Arrive Tbilisi and transfer to hotel.
After breakfast you will be collected from the hotel at about 10.00 11.00 am and taken to the old town in Tbilisi for some shopping & sightseeing, with the opportunity to visit the National Museum and Treasury. Own arrangements for lunch & dinner. On your wish you can have a meeting during the dinner with the leading guide to discuss the details of the trail, horses, and rules. Night at the hotel in Tbilisi.
After an early breakfast you will be collected from the hotel and driven about 1 hour to the stable near the village of Asureti to meet the horses and guides and prepare for the journey. Mount up and set off riding, heading first towards village Asureti and then through lowlands and foothills forested with oak and hornbeam. Continue through valleys of wildflowers and open meadows, crossing the river Algeti then stop for a picnic lunch by the village of Golteti (about 3 hours of ride) and in the afternoon ride on heading towards the small town of Tetri Tskaro (White Spring), up into the forested hills to the village of Gudarekhi, where camp is set up, with its 16th century tower and a lovely view of the Algeti valley. Dinner and night in camp (about 3 hours of ride).
Breakfast in camp and then a chance to enjoy the scenery for an hour while camp is being packed up. Then set off riding through beech forest to Gudarekhi Monastery, which is surrounded by the ruins of old city of Gudarekhi (around 1 hour of ride). This wonderful 12th century monastery, with its beautiful multi-coloured stone bell tower, is now uninhabited. The main church still stands, surrounded by many ruins, and there is a wonderful mythical feel to this fairy-tale place. A picnic is laid out in the walnut groves surrounding the monastery and there is time to explore before lunch. In the afternoon ride on, first through forests again and then to open grasslands where the shepherds bring their sheep for the summer by using the same ancient road that has been part of Silk Road network. You may be lucky enough to meet the herds of sheep and cattle, with the drovers mounted on local ponies or donkeys and with a few pack animals carrying their supplies for the summer. The cow bells and the singing drovers are often heard across the valleys. Continue through ancient beech forests and meadows of wild flowers until you come to the village of Ivanovka (around 3 hours of ride). Night in the guesthouse.
Set off from Ivanovka riding through forested hills and pasture, ride on climbing steeply uphill until the landscape opens out with wonderful views of the Southern Caucasian Mountains and having a stop at the highest point of the ride 1750 meters. The lunch place is located near the village of Menkalisi (around 2,5 hours of ride). After lunch, ride down from this ridge, through woods and crossing meadows of wild herbs until, across the valley, the tower of the 12th century Pitareti Monastery complex appears through the trees. Cross the small river and ride on to the monastery where camp is set up (around 2,5 hours of ride). This monastery was uninhabited for many years but a few monks have recently moved back. There are excellent carvings on the eastern façade and on the interior walls many of the frescoes remain intact. For the brave there is a chance to wash in Pitareti mountain stream! Dinner and night in camp with an impressive view of the monastery complex.
Breakfast and leave Pitareti. You will ride past a 7th century fort, restored in 17th century, with secret tunnel which there may be time to explore! Crossing the Khrami river, ride on along forest tracks and across open pastures, stopping for a picnic lunch near a spring close to the Azerbyjanian village of Darbazi (around 3,5 hours of ride). After lunch ride on through the forest and across vast meadows covered with cowslips and primroses in early spring, daisies in late spring and summer. There is some agriculture too in this area, fields of wheat, beans and maize, peppered with red poppies. In the distance, a fort and church are visible, set on a volcanic plateau at the junction between two rivers, almost an island and an ideal vantage point. This is the site of Dmanisi, once one of the most important of Georgian fortresses and towns. Ride down the ancient stone road to the bottom of the gorge, crossing the river Mashavera and continue to the village Patara Dmanisi, passing the walls of the old fortress (around 2,5 hours of ride). The night is spent in the village guest house. A chance for a shower before a traditional Georgian supper!
After breakfast you will have a chance to explore Patara Dmanisi, an archaeological site which has been excavated by a world re-knowned Georgian archaeologist. There is a medieval fortified town and 6th century three-nave basilica. Close by, the oldest remains of Homo Erectus so far discovered in Europe were recently uncovered. They are estimated to be 1.7 million years old - in age second only to those found in Africa! The remains of H.sapiens (about 200,000 years old), Paleolithic artefacts, and woolly rhinoceros remains have also been found here. Lunch back at the guesthouse, with possibility to have a short nep then set off from Patara Dmanisi over hills and through forests carpeted with wild flowers. Camp is set up near the small village of Ukangori (around 2 hours of ride).
Breakfast and ride on from Ukangori through the woods to the Azeri shepherds summer pastures and on in the direction of small town of Poladauri. Riding through the forest you arrive near the small town of Poladauri where you stop for lunch (around 3 hours of ride). In the afternoon (around 2,5 hours of ride) continue to St Tevdore church ruins, riding through woods then acacia spinneys humming with bees and low woodland. Then the landscape opens out towards to the 13th century monastery of Tsugrugasheni on the hill, which you have chance to visit and see beautiful calving and great view of the valley. After the visiting the monastery continue the ride to St Tevdore church ruins where nearby camp will be set up. Dinner and the night in camp.
Set off riding from St Tevdore by crossing the river Mashavera to the 5th century church of Bolnisi Sioni, which is the oldest cathedral in Georgia. The church here is the only surviving example of the original three aisled basilica (without transepts) and there is a 17th century bell tower next to it. After visiting Bolnisi Sioni continue ride towards the village Rachisubani through forested hills and open areas of vineyards and maize before the lunch break next to 13th century bridge (around 3 hours of ride). After the lunch cross the rivers Poladauri and the route then takes you into the hills, crossing plains of wheat until you see the village of Kosolari on the other side of the river Khrami gorge. From here it is a short ride down to the river Khrami where camp is set up (around 2 hours of ride), perfect for an evening swim! Dinner and night in the camp.
Breakfast and set off riding. Cross the river Khrami then climb into the hills leaving village Kosolari on the left side, crossing plains of wheat until you reach the village of Durniki. Ride down the hill towards village Assureti and across the river Algeti to the stables (around 4 hours of ride). Lunch break is optional and can be skipped if group agrees to arrive to Tbilisi earlier. Say farewell to the horses here and meet the car that will drive you back to Tbilisi. There will be a chance to visit a local spa in Tbilisi where you can enjoy a relaxing soak in sulphur baths with an eastern massage - a highly recommended optional extra! Own arrangements for a farewell party with a Georgian 'supra' or feast, sampling local cuisine and wine and then the night at the hotel in Tbilisi.
Breakfast and transfer to the airport.
NB. The above is an example of the itinerary planned but it is only an example and may be changed at your guides discretion if they consider changes necessary due to weather or other local conditions.