Cattle drive Tusheti

7 Days

Travel date

TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
October 1, 2023 Available €1.280
8 Available

A beautiful adventurous short trip between Europe and Asia

Adventure and hiking tour. Hiking time four days, 4×4 transfers to/from Tusheti. It’s a great trip for photographers.

You hike with the Georgian shepherds and their animals from the mountains of Tusheti in the Greater Caucasus down to the Alazani valley in Kakheti.

In addition to the sheep, the shepherds’ horses, cows and dogs also run across the mountains into the plain.

Experience autumn in the Georgian Greater Caucasus!

You find a packing list here

Overview

Tusheti is located in the north-eastern part of the Greater Caucasus chain and is the homeland of the Tushi people. Twice a year the Tushetian shepherds change pastures for their sheep, goats, cows and horses. In the spring they move from the southern steppes in Shiraki on the Azerbaijani border across Kakheti to the north and then over the 2970 m high Abano Pass to the Tusheti mountain villages. On lush meadows in the harsh mountain air, they produce the finest types of Tushetian cheese, tend their herds and maintain centuries-old traditions.

At the end of September, after the potato harvest and before the first snow falls in the high mountains, the temporary shepherd camps are dismantled, horses, donkeys and trucks are loaded and the herds are driven back to Kakheti over daily stages of 20 to 30 km. In addition to our regular tours to Tusheti in the summer months, we only offer this adventure trip on one date in autumn. The participants can expect grandiose landscapes, Tushetian hospitality, solitude and an adventurous journey with the herds on horseback or on foot across the chain of the great Caucasus. Tusheti is an Eldorado for nature lovers, riders, adventurers, anglers, photographers, journalists and artists.

The photographer Michael Fröhlich photographed a beautiful book about the Tusheti cattle drive http://www.blurb.de/b/4811098-viehtrieb-in-tuschetien

Highlights

  • City tour Tbilisi
  • Off-road drive over the Abano Pass (2870 m) to Omalo
  • Visit of Omalo, Dartlo, Parsma and Girevi
  • An afternoon in the shepherd camp
  • Cattle drive with the shepherds
  • Visiting the Kakheti region

Itinerary

Arrival day 30.9. :
Arrival to Tbilisi, Georgia

Our driver will pick you up at your arrival time and take you to the hotel
The overnight stay from the day of arrival to day 1 is included in the travel price

10.00 a.m. Sightseeing of the picturesque Georgian capital Tbilisi (Tbilisi), city tour of the old town. Free time in the afternoon. Welcome dinner in a typical Georgian restaurant. Overnight in hotel 3*.

Breakfast, Dinner

Departure from Tbilisi to Eastern Georgia via the Gombori Pass to Zemo Alvani in Kakheti. Driving time approx. 2 hours. Coffee break and transfer to 4WDs at the home of our lovely driver Zaza. Adventurous drive along deep gorges over the Great Caucasus and the highest motorable pass in Georgia, the Abano Pass from 2926m to Tusheti over 90 km. Picnic at the pass and drive on to the picturesque village Chesho and overnight with our host.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Exploring the village in its impressive surroundings and visiting a shepherd camp. We get to know the simple and hard way of life of the Tusheti shepherds of their animals. We make preparations for the cattle drive and you will get to know interesting events from the eventful Tuschetian history. 10-km hike along the Pirikiti-Alasani river to the now almost deserted villages of Parsma and Girevi. In Girevi we stop at friendly shepherds if possible. In the afternoon they prepare as a crispy shashlyk barbeque on the campfire. There is ample time for picturesque landscape shots. Picnic in Parsma or Girevi. Overnight in Chesho

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The cattle drive begins early in the morning with sheep counting. The herds run separately according to groups. The horses and cows run separately. We accompany the herds on foot. The pace is not particularly fast but brisk. On request we can also organize riding horses with saddles at an additional cost. The shepherds’ dogs are livestock guardian dogs and you have to learn to get along with them.

The trail follows the river along the village of Dartlo via Old Omalo to Omalo through scenic stretches of unique beauty. The luggage vehicle accompanies us and prepares the picnic. Arrive in Mirgvela in the evening. Hiking distance approx. 18-20 km

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we drive through wild gorges through Central Tusheti. The route is not too long on this day so that the herds are not too exhausted before crossing the pass. Overnight in Omalo. Hiking route approx. 15 km

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today the Abano Pass of 2926 m is crossed on foot. Depending on the weather, this can be very nice, hard and exhausting when it rains or even snows. Behind the pass it goes downhill in many serpentines to the Abano thermal baths at about 2000 m altitude. We say goodbye to the shepherds and drive another exhausting two hours by vehicle back to our host Zaza in Alvani. Drive through Kakheti to Telavi, where the return to civilization will be celebrated in the evening. Hiking route approx. 18 km

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Sightseeing program in the region of Kakheti. Return to Tbilisi via Gombori Pass. Arrive in Tbilisi around 3:00 p.m. Leisure.
Overnight in Tbilisi

Breakfast, Lunch
Departure day :
Departure

Transfer to the airport or individual extension of your stay in Georgia

Breakfast

Our services

Included services

  • Tour according to the travel program
  • All transports/transfers from/to Tbilisi Airport
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Travel organization in consultation with the shepherds
  • Local Tusheti guides
  • Breakfast in Tbilisi, full board in Tusheti, welcome dinner on the first evening
  • Riding horse by arrangement for a surcharge (EUR 50.00 per riding day)
  • 4WD escort vehicle with driver for the duration of the cattle drive
  • We reserve the right to make minor changes to the itinerary depending on the start date of the shepherds, the weather and the condition of the travelers
  • Accommodation:
  • 3 nights in Tbilisi: Hotel
  • 4 nights in the mountain villages in Tusheti: Local guesthouses
  • 1 night in hotel in Kakheti region
  • Subject to minor changes in the travel program depending on the weather and the condition of the travelers
  • Taking out travel health and travel accident insurance is an absolute prerequisite for participating in this trip

Not included services

  • tips

Travel date

TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
October 1, 2023 Available €1.280
8 Available

FAQs

How is luggage transported en route?

Your luggage will be transported by our escort vehicles. A small daypack is handy for on the go.

How strenuous are the hikes?

You will walk between 10 and 20 km over the four days with hikes at altitudes between 1800 and 2800 meters. You are also welcome to cover certain sections in the escort vehicle.

Map

What our guests say

Dear Hans,
the cattle drive 2019 was now the second trip with Kaukasus-Reisen in addition to the photo tour. Like the first trip, the cattle drive was very well organized. Impressive landscapes and the encounters with the shepherds were profound. The Tushi people have preserved many of their old unique traditions around Dartlo, Omalo, Bochorna etc. The American author J. Steinbeck, who traveled through the Soviet Union, made the following experience: wherever we were in Russia, the magical name Georgia was always mentioned. People who had never been there and who probably would never be able to go there spoke of Georgia with a kind of longing and great admiration. In their tales, Georgians were great dancers, great musicians, great workers and lovers. And they spoke of the country situated in the Caucasus and on the Black Sea as a kind of second heaven. It is said that when a good and righteous person dies, he does not go to heaven, but to Georgia. I was able to experience this up close on the trip at the age of 71. Until the next trip with you.

Ingo Reinhardt, Graz
Ps. the trip is also suitable for photographers!

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Cattle drive Tusheti
From €1.280
/ Adult
From €120
/ Single room

Where we are

Heiner & Teona