Make a list of the things you typically seek from a great trip – beautiful landscape, exotic culture, relaxation, excellent companionship – and Shepherd’s Way Trekking delivers them all with guided horse treks into the “Mountains of Heaven” of Central Asia’s secluded paradise: the Kyrgyz Republic. For anyone seeking to travel with authentic and friendly guides that can open the gates of Kyrgyzstan’s great culture and scenery for you, there is simply no better way to go than by horse.
Clients from around the world have highly appreciated our excellent services.
Most of the treks start from our family home in Barskoon village (350 km east of Bishkek) to the Tian-Shan Mountains along the shepherds’ ways and last from 2-30 days. All these tours give riders a view of Kyrgyzstan’s nature in its pristine condition.
Riders go from an altitude of 1700 m above sea level up to glaciers of 4000 m and experience the cool, refreshing feel of summer snow and a top-of-the-world view virtually unmatched around the globe.
On each trek you will find
• All of our guides are local people who have extensive knowledge and experience of riding in the Tian-Shan mountains.
• Excellent English-language interpretation, allows you to communicate with mountain shepherds and their families. Upon request French translation is available.
• The horses are strong, reliable and show amazing surefootedness over the varied mountain terrain.
• The saddles are comfortable and handmade in the Kyrgyz tradition.
• Our kitchen in Barskoon prepares delicious traditional Kyrgyz dishes. All meals during the trek are prepared for you so you can relax and just enjoy the scenery.
• Camping conditions of utter comfort and all other equipment necessary for a relaxing and safe trip.
• Reasonable prices competitive with any other horse trekking companies in Central Asia.
Why travel with Shepherd’s Way Trekking?
• Treks are adapted depending on the riding skills and endurance of participants: from very easy treks along wide paths to more challenging treks crossing large rivers, high passes and riding above impressive gorges.
• Horse treks are also available for inexperienced riders or even those who have never ridden before.
• Groups are usually small – with between 2 and 8 riders – so riders are assured of personal attention.
• Short treks are available for families, groups and individuals. In combination with treks to other regions, it gives an opportunity to discover the country from many perspectives.
The ultimate trekking experience for independent and adventurous riders. Your own tailor-made trek with the help of our experienced and knowledgeable team. We can help you buy and sell your own local horses, advise you on the care of your horse, equipment needs and itinerary for your very own self-guided trek.
Shepherd’s Way Trekking is a Central Asian leader in culturally-based mountain horse treks.
There are more than 20 different itineraries to a variety of places. Combined treks of different durations are available upon request, from 2 to 30 days. You can ride:
• Part of the Silk Road and visit the remains of an 11th century fort once operated by Chinese merchants.
• Along the Barskoon river, Juuku Valley or Ak-Shyirak Canyon
• Visit dozens of waterfalls, cross hundreds of streams, rivers and passes, some over 4000 metres high (over 14, 000 feet). Ride at the foot of glaciers, in the middle of water in very spectacular canyons or wild across the open fields of the high plateaus.
• Meet shepherds with their herds of cows, sheep, yak and horses.
• Sit cross-legged atop the carpets in traditional Kyrgyz yurts and drink tea, fermented mare’s milk (kymyz) and share traditional food.
• Camp in utter comfort in our high-quality tents and your warm sleeping bags necessary for a good nights sleep after your day in the saddle.
• Enjoy great and silent nature, a magical environment
• See falcons, eagles and vultures circling overhead. Watch deer, mountain goats, Ibex, Marco Polo sheep, marmots and wild rabbits.
• Relax in the many hot springs of the Issyk-Kul region
The trek includes:
Accommodation in a house/yurt upon arrival and before departure in Barskoon village, accommodation in tents during the trek, English speaking tour guide, cook, horseman, 3 meals a day, tents, horses with all equipment, cooking equipment, first aid kit and visa support.
You need to bring:
Down jacket, warm sweater, warm sleeping bag, silk sleeping bag liner, rain gear (waterproof trousers should have an opening on the outside at the bottom of the leg in order to put on and take off without removing your trekking boots), 2-3 pairs of warm socks, waterproof trekking boots, gloves, sunglasses, sun cream with high UV-protection, lip balm with UV-protection, torch, personal medicine, metal water bottle (0.75 L), Therm-A-Rest mat, riding chaps, Micropure (or any other water purification)
During your trek a cook will prepare your meals.
A typical menu is as follows:
Breakfast: hot drinks, bread, fried eggs or meat, cheese, honey, jam, dried fruits
Lunch: is a picnic and consists of bread, tea, cheese, meat, fruits, chocolate.
Dinner: hot vegetable soup, meat, pasta, salad, rice, cheese, honey, dried fruits, fruits, chocolate, hot drinks,
If you have any special dietary requirements please let us know before the start of your trek.
• Karakol town is east of Issyk-Kul Lake: Each Sunday the animal market takes place. At the same time you can visit the Moslem mosque, Russian Orthodox Church, Karakol historical museum and the Prjevalsky museum.
• Song-Kol Lake is a shepherds’ summer pasture. Song-Kol, in Kyrgyz, means “The Final Lake”. You will be welcomed by Kyrgyz shepherds in their yurts.
• Tash-Rabat caravanserai: Kyrgyzstan’s most impressive Silk Road relic, a very interesting stopover between Bishkek and Kashgar (China). Tash-Rabat is hidden in southern Naryn, a region filled with history and culture.
• Petroglyphs dating back to the third millennium BC: major collection in Cholpon-Ata, on the north shore of Issyk-Kul Lake. Cholpon-Ata is also a very popular resort.
• Burana Tower: 60 km from Bishkek: 25 m high, this 11th century minaret is another relic of the Silk Road. There are many grave stones surrounding the tower.
• Osh, in the southwest of the country, one of the oldest towns in the world, great bazaar.