“The best short adventure journey between Europe and Asia”
“An experience of a lifetime !” Mike Bourgault
Hiking with sheep, cattle, horses, dogs and the friendly Tusheti herdsmen in the most beautiful scenery
At the end of September the Georgian shepherds go from the Tusheti mountains in the Greater Caucasus down to the lush wine region of Kakheti.
This is a true adventure tour. Experience the autumn in the Greater Caucasus in the most beautiful way.
Hiking time three to four days. Transfer with SUV to/from Tusheti.
Overnights in local houses and small hotels.
Travel dates: 01.October through 07.October 2017
Number of participants: 3-11
Tour price: EUR 1200.00
The remote Georgian region of Tusheti is surrounded by the beautiful Greater Caucasus mountain range in the North East and is home of the Tush. Twice a year the Tushetian shepherds move their sheep, goats, cows and horses between the winter and summer pastures. In springtime they move from the southern steppes in Shiraki near the Azerbaijani border across Kakheti to the north and then over the 2970 meter high Abano pass to the Tusheti mountain pastures, their homeland.
At the end of September, after the potato harvest and before the first snow starts to fall in the high mountains, the temporary shepherd’s camps will be dismantled, horses, donkeys and trucks loaded and the herds will go on their way back to Kakheti, doing 20 to 30 km day trips. Apart from our regular trips to Tusheti in the summer months we offer this adventure only during this week in autumn.
You can expect to see the most beautiful landscapes, experience the Tush hospitality, the mountain’s solitariness and be part of this adventurous trek through the Greater Caucasus on horseback or on foot. Tusheti is a paradise for nature lovers, equestrians, adventurers, fishermen, photographers, journalists and artists
01.10. You will be picked up at Tbilisi Airport and taken to your accommodation. After breakfast you’ll visit the picturesque Georgian capital Tbilisi (Tiflis), do a walking tour through the Old town of Tbilisi and along the lively Rustaweli Avenue. Welcome dinner in a typical Georgian restaurant. Overnight at the Art Pension Murtazi or at our guests apartment.
02.10. Departure from Tbilisi to Eastern Georgia over the Gombori pass to Zemo Alvani in Kakheti. This ride will take about 2 hours. Coffee break at the house of our Tushetian driver Zaza. Adventurous ride along deep canyons through the Greater Caucasus on the highest road in Georgia, the Abano pass at 2926m to Omalo. We’ll have a picnic at the pass and will then proceed to the picturesque village of Cesho, where we’ll stay at our host’s place
03.10. Exploring the village and its striking surroundings plus a visit to a shepherd’s camp. We’ll learn about the simple and harsh life of the Tushetian shepherds and their animals. We will be doing our preparations for the cattle drive and we’ll get to learn interesting stories of the eventful history of the Tushs. 10 km hike along the Pirikiti-Alazani River to the now almost deserted villages of Parsma and Girevi. If possible, we’ll have a break at a local shepherd’s camp in Girevi. There will ample time for scenic photography. Overnight in Cesho.
04.10. The cattle drive will begin early in the morning at the crack of dawn. The herds are going to be split up in groups. The horses and cows will have their own, whereas the sheep will be separated by age and gender. We will accompany the herds on foot. We won’t be going very fast but it still will be at a steady pace. Upon request horses with saddles will be available for you. The shepherd’s dogs are guard dogs with an important task so we have to respect them and treat them accordingly. The trek will follow the river to the village of Old Dartlo up to Omalo through unique and beautiful sceneries. The car with our luggage will be going ahead of us and a picnic will be prepared. Arrival in the evening in Omalo. At night, a sheep will be slaughtered to make shashlik over the campfire. We will be celebrating with the shepherds. You’ll spend the night in hotel Tusheti. Those who want to can stay in the shepherd’s camp overnight. Distance about 22 km
05.10. After the shepherd’s breakfast we’ll be hiking through Central Tusheti’s wild canyons. The stretch today won’t be that long to spare the animals before crossing the pass the next day. Overnight in the ranger station near the entrance of Tusheti national park. Distance about 15 km
06.10. Crossing of the Abano pass at 2926 m. Depending on the weather this can be fairly easy to pretty exhausting. There’s always a chance of rain and snow! After we’ve crossed the pass we’ll go down on the winding roads to around 2000 meters altitude reaching the spa of Abano. Here’s where we will say farewell to the shepherds and drive two hours back to our host Zaza in Alvani. From here we’ll go by car to the Art House Pona, where we’ll have a nice party at night to celebrate being back in civilized world again. Distance about 18 km
07.10. Breakfast and tour of Kakheti with the churches Alaverdi, Gremi and Shuamta. Return to Tbilisi via Gombori Pass. Leisure in Tbilisi. Transfer to the airport or custom extension of stay in Georgia
Tour according to itinerary
All transportation from / to Tbilisi Airport
English/German/Russian speaking guide
Travel arrangements in coordination with the shepherds
Breakfast in Tbilisi, all meals in Tusheti, welcome dinner on the first evening
Accommodation in shared rooms with outside toilet
Additional horse surcharge 50,00 EUR per day
4WD support vehicle with driver for the duration of the cattle drive
Minor changes in the itinerary depending on the start date of the shepherds, the weather and the condition of travelers reserved
2 overnights in Tbilisi: Hotel VIP, Artist Pension Murtazi or Guest apartment
4 overnights in the mountain villages in Tusheti: In Tusheti family hotels, clean rooms with basic comfort, with full board, sometimes in the mountains without toilet and bathroom with outdoor toilet and spring water
1 overnight at Art House Pona or Villa Ikalto
Obtain a travel health insurance and travel accident insurance, on request we can obtain an insurance for you
Please note: travel and accommodation in the mountains of Tusheti are adventurous! Please assume that it’s far different from what you have at home. We do our best to organize you a great trip. Please bring a lot of understanding and empathy.
Tour price: EUR 1200.00 to / from Tbilisi
For reservations please fill out the form below or call 00995 599 570554