Trekking in Georgian Great Caucasus
The breathtaking landscapes, the surreal northern part of the country, dotted with mountains of 5000 m and more, the proximity of glaciers and snow-capped peaks make you dream, as they majestically overlook the tiny villages with a medieval look, nestled in the valleys. The enormous green and flower-covered mountain sides offer spectacular open views of the surroundings, making every day of walking awe-inspiring and magical.
Arrival - Tbilisi
Visit the capital of Georgia
Discover the capital of Georgia – Tbilisi, explore its old district with paved streets and traditional houses with wooden balconies, at the bank of Mtkvari river. We visit the landmarks of the city: Metekhi church and its plateau which unfolds a superb view of the old city, Narikala Fortress - the ancient symbol of the city, the district of baths (Abanotubani) known for its Sulphur hot springs.
In the afternoon we visit the National Museum and its collections of “golden treasure” from the ancient period. At the end of our day we visit Dry Bridge - place which attracts visitors with its flea market.
Walking hours: around 3h. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Discover UNESCO sights and the Greater Caucasus
Departure for Mtskheta – an old capital of Iberia kingdom, visit Jvari (Cross) monastery perched on a hill and overlooking the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral ("Life-giving column") dated back to the 11tcentury. Shopping of Georgian national handmade souvenirs. Possibility of buying national handcrafted souvenirs.
On the way of Kazbegi visit Ananuri Fortress offers picturesque views over the Jinvali Reservoir. Cross the legendary Georgian Military Highway, one of the world’s most beautiful roads, through the valleys, ravines and finally over the 2300-meter Cross Pass.
From here we start our journey to the mountains of the Greater Caucasus.
Continue to Kazbegi (1750m), surrounded by the gigantic mountains of the Caucasus. This picturesque village is dominated by Mount Kazbek (5047m), the seventh-highest summit in the Caucasus. From the village, start our hiking towards Gergeti Trinity Church (14th century) perched on the hill (2200m), the views of Mount Kazbek and the surrounding peaks are splendid.
Return to the village.
Transfer: Private vehicle, around 3h, 160km. Walking hours: around 2 hours, 6 km. Elevation +: total - 1500m, on foot - 450m. Elevation -: total - 550m, on foot - 450m. Difficulty level: medium. Overnight in Kazbegi.
Hiking in Truso Valley
In the morning departure towards the valley of Truso (2000m) by 4x4 car. The valley is interesting with its variety of geological layers, here we can clearly see how the Greater Caucasus was formed. The road follows the Tergui River and takes us to the limestone source area.
From here we start our 4-5-hours hike in the valley. After crossing the wooden bridge, we meet the natural lake of sparkling water. The path continues along the river, passing by the tents of the shepherds. Finally, we arrive in the only inhabited village of the valley. It is possible to continue our walk to the monastery or return back to the starting point on the other side of Tergi river.
The valley is full with the ruins of the abandoned villages, houses and towers characterized of Khevi region.
After hiking, return to Kazbegi by 4x4 car and continue the road to Gveleti, from the road start our hike to the Waterfalls of Gveleti.
The bigger waterfall if located 1 km away from the main road. This hike is quite easy and refreshing after a long hike in Truso valley.
Transfer: Private vehicle, around 2h30, 70km. Walking hours: around 6-7 hours, 16 km. Elevation +: total - 500m, on foot - 200m. Elevation -: total - 500m, on foot - 200m. Difficulty level: easy. Overnight in Kazbegi.
Trek from Kazbegi to Khevsureti Region
In the morning departure by 4x4 car from Kazbegi to the village Juta (2200m) - one of the highest village in the Caucasus, from here we start our walk in the direction of Chaukhi mountains (3842 m). After a few hours of climbing, we find ourselves at the pass of Sadzele (2633 m)*, from where the splendid view of two sides of the hill can be seen. We begin descending towards Khevsureti region. The descent is quite steep and technical, but with full of emotions.
At the end of the day we arrive in Roshka village (2000m) to spend the night and prepare for the next busy day.
*There are 2 paths from the village Juta to the village Roshka, the 1st one goes through Chaukhebi pass (3338m) which is very difficult to do in one day, but is possible to see three magnificent multicolored lakes (white, blue and green lakes), the 2nd road goes through Sadzele pass (2633 m), we recommend to take the path which goes to Sadzele pass.
Transfer: Private vehicle, around 00h40, 20km. Walking hours: around 7 hours, 18 km. Elevation +: total – max. 1600m, on foot – max 1100m. Elevation -: total – max. 1330m, on foot – max. 1330m. Difficulty level: difficult. Overnight in Roshka.
Region of fortress-villages
In the morning we leave for magical fortress-village Shatili (1400m) at the edge of the river. The historic village is the unique complex comprising the medieval town with fortified residential towers built with stones.
After a quick visit of the village, we leave to discover another medieval village of the region - Mutso (1880m), almost completely abandoned over a century ago. Difficult to access, the ancient village retains the original architecture, and is an authentic destination for mountain hikers. The village is recently restored and its restoration was awarded the Europa Nostra prize in Paris which is called the “European Oscar” of cultural heritage protection.
Then we start our hike from Mutso to Ardoti village (1820 m). After visiting the village, we return back to Shatili.
Transfer: Private vehicle, around 3h, 65km. Walking hours: around 6 km. Elevation +: total – 480m. Elevation -: total – 600m. Difficulty level: average. Overnight in Shatili.
The region with its history since the 1st millennium BC till XX C
In the morning departure to Gori – soviet city and the central part of Georgia, the hometown of J. Stalin, where we can visit the house-museum of Stalin and its armored car.
Then we discover an abandoned rock-hewn town Uplistsikhe (about 1h30), dug into the rocks dates back to the 2nd century, is overlooking to the river Mtkvari.
Transfer: Private vehicle, around 6-7h, 210km. Walking hours: around 2 km. Elevation +: total - 0m. Elevation -: total - 800m. Difficulty level: facile. Overnight in Gori.
Discover UNESCO Sights
Early in the morning departure to Kutaisi – the second town of the country, visit UNESCO sites: Gelati monastery, which is the illustration of the Georgian culture since X C until the XVIII C, the masterpiece of the Golden Age of medieval Georgia, the center of science and education during that period. After we visit recently renovated Bagrati cathedral – the symbol of the city, dated back to the X century.
In the afternoon, we continue to Mestia, Svaneti - mountain region rich with the diversity of landscapes. Svaneti is one of significant areas of the myth of Argonauts, here used to get the gold with lamb leather. Situated on the southern slopes of the central Greater Caucasus, surrounded by 3,000–5,000 meter peaks.
Transfer: Private vehicle, around 7h, 390km. Elevation +: total - 900m. Elevation -: total - 0m. Overnight in Mestia.
Trek from Mestia to Zhabeshi
In the morning, start our trek from Mestia (1500m) towards the village Zhabeshi. From this morning, each day we move on foot to reach the highest village Ushguli step by step. Every day the car delivers our luggage to the village where we stay for overnight.
The first day towards Ushguli is easier, the trail follows to the rivers and the north side of the mountain. The path passes Mulakhi village, it is possible to visit the churches of the village.
After 4-5 hours trekking, we arrive at the village of Zhabeshi (1680m) surrounded by the mountains including the peak of Tetnuldi (4852m), which means “white” in English. The next day we continue around this peak to reach the other side of the mountain.
Free time to visit the village and its typical houses of the region.
Walking hours: around 4-5 km, 16 km. Elevation +: on foot – 400m. Elevation -: on foot – 300m. Difficulty level: average. Overnight in Zhabeshi.
Hidden village among the mountains
In the morning we start the trek from Zhabeshi (1680m) to Adishi village (2040m) which is located at the other side of 2500m pass. This day is more difficult which begins with the climbing to the pass. The trail crosses the mountain forest and climbs up to the slope of Tetnuldi ski resort. Here we can have a little rest and enjoy the vast panorama of the greater Caucasus mountains.
The descent towards the village Adishi offers us different views of the village. Finally, after 7-8 hours of walking we descend into the village hidden among the mountains at the foot of Mount Tetnuldi. This small and beautiful village was one of the significant villages which kept Georgian religious treasure during the medieval wars. Several churches in the village with its regional murals are absolutely worth to visit.
Walking hours: around 7-8 km, 18 km. Elevation +: on foot - 850m. Elevation -: on foot - 450m. Difficulty level: difficult. Overnight in Adishi.
Panorama of the peaks of the Greater Caucasus
In the morning, departure from Adishi village (2040m) towards the Chkhutnieri pass (2800m). The trail follows Adishistskali river and finally crosses it before starting another climbing of 800m altitude. We cross the river by horses and begin the ascending path rich with alpine plants. After we climb the pass, all the peaks of the Greater Caucasus between 4000m and 5201m, as well as Tetnuldi glacier are in front of us. The alpine field with some flowers and the panorama offers us a magic place for lunch break or refreshment.
After a short break we start a descent with a winding path goes to the village Kalde (2000m), almost entirely ruined medieval village.
Finally, we descend to the village Iprali for overnight after a difficult but emotional day.
Walking hours: around 7-8 km, 18 km. Elevation +: on foot - 850m. Elevation -: on foot - 850m. Difficulty level: difficult. Overnight in Iprali.
Trekking to the highest village Ushguli
n the morning we start our last day of our circuit towards Ushguli (2200m), one of the highest villages in Georgia. The trail follows to Khaldetchala River and finally climbs up to the mountain which separates two valleys: Khalde and Enguri. At the end of the day we descend to Ushguli - the village with typical Svan towers. The village is located at the foot of Mount Shkara (5201m) with nine peaks and the highest peak is located in Georgia.
Arrive in Ushguli, free time to visit the village.
Walking hours: around 6 hours. Elevation +: 400m on foot. Elevation -: 200m on foot. Difficulty level: difficult. Overnight in Ushguli.
Hiking to the Glacier Shkhara
In the morning we start a short relaxing walk to the Glacier Shkhara (2390m) of 3-4 hours. During the hiking it is possible to visit Lamaria Church (IX-X CC).
In the afternoon return back to Mestia by 4x4 car.
Visit Mestia with its History and Ethnography Museu
Visit of museum of Mestia (if time allows) which has a very rich cultural collection of the region from the Stone Age to the present day, including medieval Orthodox art examples.
Transfer: Private vehicle, around 2h, 45km. Walking hours: around 3-4 hours. Elevation +: total - 0m, on foot - 200m. Elevation -: total - 800m, on foot - 200m. Difficulty level: easy. Overnight in Mestia.
Back to the capital
In the morning, take a long road from Mestia to the capital. In the evening arrive in Tbilisi.
Transfer: Private vehicle, around 28h, 465km. Elevation -: total - 900m. Overnight in Tbilisi.