Horseback riding in Georgia
Horseback riding in Georgia
Horseback riding in Georgia
Horseback riding in Georgia
Horseback riding in Georgia
Horseback riding in Georgia
Horseback riding in Georgia

A wild horseback riding adventure, riding 125km through the stunning Tusheti mountains, staying in guesthouses along the way.  Visit traditional villages and old ruins, enjoy a relaxing bath in the natural hot sulphur water baths, then finish the trip at a family winery and a visit to the Alaverdi monastery.  This is a point to point horseback trail that you won't forget.  Designed for intermediate  riders and above.  While there are opportunities to trot and canter, it is the tricky mountain terrain that requires a confident rider with a good seat. 

Accommodation is in basic family run guesthouses, serving delicious Georgian food that will leave you very satisfied.  

Sometimes lunches on the trail can be a little late so feel free to pop a snack into your saddle bag.

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Due to the early start time we recommend arriving the day before, a few hotels near to the meeting point are listed below, in the extra notes. Tbilisi is a beautiful city with a mix of historical and modern architecture and well worth a visit.  

** Please note that the itinerary below is a guide and may change at short notice in response to the changeable mountain weather conditions**

 

Day 1
Tbilisi – Alvani - Omalo (no riding on this day)

Meet your guide at the Big Bicycle Monument at 8am to pick up the transfer and leave for Kakheti region. A quick stop at the Telavi bazar to collect some ingredients for lunch provides the perfect opportunity to purchase any alcohol you might wish to buy. Then set off to Omalo via Abano pass at 2930 meters it provides some spectacular views. This is a 75km long mountain road that takes around 5 hours from the village of Alvani, there will be opportunities to stop to take some pictures on route before arriving in Omalo. Unpack, then join the guide for a welcome dinner before settling in for the night. Overnight stay in Omalo at the guest house. 

Day 2
Omalo – Oreti lake - Omalo - Riding distance: 28km 

After a hearty Georgian breakfast, meet the horses and go for an introductory ride to Oreti lake (2600m). This ride allows you to get a feel for the horses and get used to the trail saddles. Return for another overnight stay in Omalo, with a delicious home cooked meal.

Day 3
Omalo – Dartlo - Baso -  Riding distance: 25km
 
After another hearty Georgian breakfast, gather for the easiest riding day. Today the ride is on the dirt road, this means some opportunities to trot and canter short distances. Lunch in Dartlo – a historic village located in Pirikiti Alazani valley in Tusheti, which is the focus of new restoration work that repair many of the buildings in the village and restore traditional features, such as slate roofs. On the way from Darto to Baso visit some old villages such as Dano, Chesho and Parsma (optional). Overnight in Baso Village at the guest house.

Day 4
Baso – Jvarboseli – Tsovata - Riding distance: 24km 

After breakfast ascend to Nakaicho pass, descend to Jvarboseli, some of which will be on foot, and after lunch visit Tsovata valley, lined with several village ruins and Tsova Tush farmers (Nakh people branch). Tonight stay is in Jvarboseli at the guest house.

Day 5
Jvaboseli – Vakisdziri – Vestomta - Riding distance: 23km

After breakfast head out towards Vestomta via Vakisdziri, ascend to the pass of Sakhare and then descend to Vestomta, and see some beautiful views across the moutains. Overnight in Vestomta at the guest house.

Day 6
Vestomta – Abano pass – Alvani - Riding distance: 28km (
60km by 4x4car)
An early start today, aiming to head off from Vestomta, at at least 8 am, pass the Ortskali valley, ride along several alpine lakes and ascend up to Abano pass. On the pass we’ll be picked up by the 4x4 cars, transferred to Torgva’s Abano (bath house) to enjoy the natural hot sulphur water bath at 1800m high. After the natural hot sulphar bath drive back to Alvani for overnight stay at the guest house.

Day 7
Alvani – Tbilisi (no riding day)

Depart after a late breakfast to visit a small family winery and visit Alaverdi monastery. 
Say farewell and transfer to Tbilisi, arriving approx. 3-4pm to pick up your flight home.


 

Due to the early start time we recommend arriving the day before, a few hotels near to the meeting point are listed below. Tbilisi is a beautiful city with a mix of historical and modern architecture and well worth a visit.

Some suggested hotels within a short walk of the Big Bicycle Momument: 
Zemeli Boutique Hotel 
Hotel British House
Boutique Hotel Day Inn 

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

There are approximately 10-12 horses in the herd to choose from. The horses are a local breed, Tushetian horses, used to traveling as a herd. They are calm, exceptionally strong, very clever, and well used to the mountain terran.  



The tack used is traditional Causasian saddles with a leather cusion for added comfort, great for the long hours in the saddle. Stirrups are similar to english iron stirrups.



Hard hats are highly recommended and while there are some available onsite, it is recommended that riders bring their own where possible. The ride moves through different valleys in the Tusheti mountains. 


Rider requirements

For this ride you will need a sense of adventure and good general fitness.

You should be confident at walk trot and canter, riding in open spaces and on steep terrain and have a good head for height.

Expect to cover between 23-28km per day across 4-6 hours riding.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 220 lb/100 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

During the trail guests will stay in simple guesthouses with 2-3 people sharing a bedroom. The guesthouse in Omalo has rooms with a private bathroom, while most offers rooms with a shared bathroom. The trip has 6 guesthouse nights. 



Breakfasts are hearty - expect omlettes or fried eggs, homemade jams and bread and pancakes, cheese, cucumber and tomatoes.



Evening meals will offer a variety of Georgian dishes, including salads, meat dishes, fish, cheese, pasta and fried patatoes.


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.

Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information: As a British National you may enter Georgia for up to 90 days without a visa. You may extend your stay in Georgia beyond 90 days by applying for a temporary or permanent residence permit from the Civil Registration Agency of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.

The British embassy in Tblisi can be found at GMT Plaza, 4 Freedom Square, Tbilisi, 0105. Telephone + 995 32 274747 (Main Embassy Switchboard) or + 995 32 274775 (Visa/Consular Enquiries) Their website is www.britishembassy.gov.uk/georgia.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/georgia

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Georgia.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/georgia


Climate Summary

The Tusheti region has a typical mountain climate with short summers (July-August) and long and freezing winters. In summer, the weather can be variable with the sunshine quickly changing into storms or rainfall. The climate can be harsh, in summer average temperature reaches up to 14 Celsius, while in winter it drops to -18 Celsius. Use the link below to check the weather before you go.
https://www.meteoblue.com/en/weather/week/omalo_georgia_612600

Climate Chart

Health

Medical facilities in Tbilisi are available but can be expensive. Outside of Tbilisi, medical facilities are limited. There continues to be outbreaks of rabies in Georgia. Tap water should be avoided. Bottled water is widely available.
You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. NHS Direct (0845 46 47) can provide you with advice on the vaccination requirements for Georgia.

Health (ride specific)

Unfortunately is it very difficult to to cater for gluten free or lactose intolerant diets on this horse drive but we can cater for vegetarian diets.
Non-prescription medicines containing codeine are illegal in Georgia. If you intend to travel with prescription medicine, you must carry a doctor’s prescription and ideally the original packaging. For further advice on restricted medicines please consult the government website. www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/georgia

Electricity

220V 50Hz; two pin plugs are utilized

Mobile, WiFi and charging

There will be opportunities to charge phones/ cameras at the guesthouse on the route but not on the tent nights so it is advisable to bring bring batteries / power banks.

Packing List

Best to bring lots of layers of clothing as you will be riding in the mountains and weather can change quickly.

It is useful to take a smaller soft duffel bag as part of your luggage in case the horses need to transport gear up/down the mountains. Pack light if you can! (larger suit cases can be left with the luggage van.)

- Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384 (One can be provided on request, but we recommend you bring your own)
- Gloves
- Clothing for horseback riding (resistant fabric pants, fast drying shirts, long sleeve shirts to protect from the sun)
- Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
- Chaps
- Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
- Warm waterproof jacket for up in the mountains (temperatures can be below zero especially in the wind chill)
- Waterproof trousers
- Warm/ thermal clothes for riding in the mountains
- Warm socks, gloves, neck warmer
- Short sleeve tops
- Sunglasses
- Sunscreen
- Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent
- Refillable Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
- A small supply of sweets for a sugar boost during the long riding hours.
- Camera, spare Batteries/Chargers - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding

Although saddlebags are provided, you may not have a saddle bag on your horse so we suggest bringing a clip on water bottle/ bumbag or a small clip on saddle bag to ensure you have constant access to water/ tissues/ sweets etc.

Provided by hosts
Saddlebags

Programmes

7d / 6n programme with 5 riding days. Some set dates but also available on request.

Departure Dates

2024: 14 July; 9 August; 13 September
Available on request for groups of 3+ between mid June and end of September.

Pricing
No single rooms available (on some or all nights). Riders must be prepared to share with someone of the same sex.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20247d/6n5double pp 6+ pax1,625
20247d/6n5Small group supplement 3-5 pax199
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20247d/6n5double pp 6+ pax1,895
20247d/6n5Small group supplement 3-5 pax229
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
20247d/6n5double pp 6+ pax2,199
20247d/6n5Small group supplement 3-5 pax269
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20247d/6n5double pp 6+ pax22,825
20247d/6n5Small group supplement 3-5 pax2,769
Wildlife

The Causcasus Mountains harbour some 6400 species of higher plants, 1600 of which are endemic to the region. Its wildlife includes Persian leopards, brown bears, wolves, bison, marals, golden eagles and hooded crows. At night, you'll hear the howling wolves in the mountains though you are unlikely to see the animals up close as they tend to stay hidden in the trees.

Other Information

Tbilisi is the nearest city.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Big Bicycle Monument, Tbilisi. A short transfer from the airport (20-30min).
Transfer:
Approx. 7hr from meeting point to Tusheti mountains, included. Airport transfers not included (approx 30 mins)
Flight Guide:
Fly to Tbilisi International Airport (TBS) Flights from £355pp return
No direct flights from the UK.
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