Kyrgyzstan - The Great Trek

Experience Level
  • Open Jun-Aug
  • Set arrivals
  • 9 to 17 nights / 6 to 15 days of riding
  • Weight limit: 14st 2lbs (90 kg) (198 pounds)
  • Usual maximum: 10

This adventurous trail ride follows part of the ancient silk route. There is a real contrast of landscapes with deep fertile valleys and arid canyons, separated by high mountain passes. Reaching the high grasslands the route takes you over open pastures with a backdrop of snow capped mountains.

Welcoming travellers is central to Kyrgyz culture and the opportunity to spend some time with the herders who live their life on horseback is part of the enjoyment of this ride.

It’s important to recognise this ride is through a remote area with very limited infrastructure. Severe mountain weather can disrupt the itinerary which also means that the timing can be unpredictable. Either Helene and Yann (your hosts) will be your guide through the mountains, but please do note that unlike other riding holidays you may have been on, the back-up rider will not speak English and his job is to care for the horses rather than to attend to the guests.

It is also possible to do either the first half or second half of The Great Trek. All groups will spend time at Lake Son Koul which is the cross-over point, all will have the possibility of seeing the horse games which are normally played here.

You must be a confident rider and in control at all paces. Pace is dictated by the terrain so is generally at walk but with opportunities for long canters in open flat country.

The horses are Kyrgyz mountain horses ranging from 14 hh to 15.2 hh.

The bridles are English style although the horses respond to neck-reining. The saddles are military style. You should be able to tack up your own horses (you will be shown how to do this at the start of the Trek and tack will be checked before each riding day).

There are long hours in the saddle and there will be occasions where you need to dismount and lead your horse for periods of up to 30 minutes, this can be both uphill as well as downhill, so you will need to be reasonably fit. There is a strong possibility of 10 hours in the saddle on some days plus some early morning starts and riding late into the evenings and even riding in the dark.

You stay in a combination of local houses, yurts and simple dome tents.

Rural Kyrgyz people do not have much furniture - neither beds nor chairs. Meals are taken sat on the floor around a low table and even in houses you will sleep in your sleeping bag on a mattress or blanket on the floor. Often the whole group will sleep together in one or two rooms.

Single accommodation is not available so you must be prepared to share.  At some of the yurts you will be invited to stay with the family, these larger yurts will accommodate the entire group and be very sociable but you can choose to erect a tent and stay outside the yurt if you prefer.

Washing and toilet facilities are limited. The camps are almost always by rivers and the camp cook will boil water over the fire for you if requested, but it will not be possible to wash every night. On a few nights during the ride there is the possibility to have a sauna and a proper wash. At the houses and yurts there will usually be outside long-drop toilets available but whilst camping there will be no toilet facilities provided.

Accommodation Gallery

( GBP | EUR | USD )

Upcoming Dates

Please note that these dates are offered to both French and English speaking guests - there is always an English speaking guide or translator when an English speaking rider is in the group but the other guests may predominantly be French speaking. We are happy to advise on which dates have a higher number of English speaking riders so please do ask.

Those doing the first half (Secret 1), return directly from Lake Son Koul by vehicle.  Those arriving to do the second half (Secret 2), transfer from Bishkek to Lake Son Koul by vehicle.

The itinerary is only a guide. You should be prepared for things not always running to plan. Changes may be due to the weather conditions, the ability of the group or other factors. The guide is extremely experienced and will always have you and the horses’ best interests in mind.

Holiday Experience LevelExp Lvl Arrive - DepartArr - Dep   Price Itinerary Availability
Secret 1
19 Jun 2019 - 28 Jun 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,075.74 View (.pdf) Book
The Great Trek
19 Jun 2019 - 5 Jul 2019 16 nights 16 ngts £1,613.62 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 2
25 Jun 2019 - 5 Jul 2019 10 nights 10 ngts £1,165.39 View (.pdf) Book
The Great Trek
5 Jul 2019 - 21 Jul 2019 16 nights 16 ngts £1,613.62 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 1
5 Jul 2019 - 14 Jul 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,075.74 View (.pdf) Book
The Great Trek
8 Jul 2019 - 24 Jul 2019 16 nights 16 ngts £1,613.62 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 1
8 Jul 2019 - 17 Jul 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,075.74 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 2
11 Jul 2019 - 21 Jul 2019 10 nights 10 ngts £1,165.39 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 2
14 Jul 2019 - 24 Jul 2019 10 nights 10 ngts £1,165.39 View (.pdf) Book
The Great Trek
20 Jul 2019 - 5 Aug 2019 16 nights 16 ngts £1,613.62 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 1
21 Jul 2019 - 30 Jul 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,075.74 View (.pdf) Book
The Great Trek
24 Jul 2019 - 9 Aug 2019 16 nights 16 ngts £1,613.62 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 1
24 Jul 2019 - 2 Aug 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,075.74 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 2
27 Jul 2019 - 6 Aug 2019 10 nights 10 ngts £1,165.39 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 2
30 Jul 2019 - 9 Aug 2019 10 nights 10 ngts £1,165.39 View (.pdf) Book
The Great Trek
6 Aug 2019 - 22 Aug 2019 16 nights 16 ngts £1,613.62 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 1
6 Aug 2019 - 15 Aug 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,075.74 View (.pdf) Book
The Great Trek
9 Aug 2019 - 25 Aug 2019 16 nights 16 ngts £1,613.62 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 1
9 Aug 2019 - 18 Aug 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,075.74 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 2
12 Aug 2019 - 22 Aug 2019 10 nights 10 ngts £1,165.39 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 2
15 Aug 2019 - 25 Aug 2019 10 nights 10 ngts £1,165.39 View (.pdf) Book
The Great Trek
22 Aug 2019 - 7 Sep 2019 16 nights 16 ngts £1,613.62 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 1
22 Aug 2019 - 31 Aug 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,075.74 View (.pdf) Book
The Great Trek
25 Aug 2019 - 10 Sep 2019 16 nights 16 ngts £1,613.62 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 1
25 Aug 2019 - 3 Sep 2019 9 nights 9 ngts £1,075.74 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 2
28 Aug 2019 - 7 Sep 2019 10 nights 10 ngts £1,165.39 View (.pdf) Book
Secret 2
31 Aug 2019 - 10 Sep 2019 10 nights 10 ngts £1,165.39 View (.pdf) Book

Prices

INCLUDES Accommodation; riding; transfers from Bishkek; camping equipment; meals; drinking water.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT It is not possible to request single accommodation so you must be prepared to share.

PAYABLE LOCALLY Additional drinks (eg. beer or coke); tips.

NEAREST AIRPORT Bishkek.

TRANSFERS Included from Bishkek.

NOT INCLUDED International flights to Kyrgyzstan.

In The Saddle Gallery

Client Photos

Location

Across the Kyrgyz and Tien Shan mountains and valleys of central Kyrgyzstan.


Weather & Climate

Temperatures can rise to 25º C in the middle of the day, dropping below freezing at night. There may be summer showers, strong winds and even snow but overall the climate is quite dry and prolonged rain is very unlikely.

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Guest Review

Awesome. I had an amazing holiday in Kyrgyzstan. The horses were great as was the guide and the rest of the group. Kyrgyzstan is a really beautiful country with amazing people. I’d recommend this trip to anyone!

Miranda ,Herefordshire

5 star rating Overall rating: 5/5

Ride Report

Lucy Downes
Lucy Downes
Kyrgyzstan is an incredible country which not many people have heard of. When I was told I would be riding there, I had to check the map myself. Near China, I discovered this mountainous country to be friendly, beautiful and just perfect for riding.

The Great Trek Riding Specialist

Lucy says

Immerse yourself in local culture and journey off the beaten track on this intrepid trail ride for true adventurers! The glorious mountain views are well worth the effort.

My Top Tip

Travel with an open mind to really appreciate the Kyrgyz way of life. Do get yourself fit because walking at altitude is surprisingly hard work!

Email: lucy@inthesaddle.com

Lucy Downes
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