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Travel booking

Study-Hiking Tour 14 Days | incl. Svaneti

As a private trip?
All our travel offers can also be booked as a private journey to have advantages such as, flexible date choice and individual support of your personal guide. On our private journeys you travel alone or with a private group, e.g. with your family or friends, and have a guide and a driver exclusively at your group’s disposal.

travel date participants
May to October 2 - 12 enquiry »

Route

Do you have any questions about the travel offer?

Touroperator Tamuna Kuprashvili

Tamuna, Maka and Teona make up our enthusiastic operator-team.
We are gladly at your service for questions and more information. Contact

duration: 14 days / 15 nights
tour guide: English-speaking
catering: half board / full board
difficulty: 3

Medium difficulty, hikes up to 8 successive hours

Hiking in Georgia on the footsteps of the Argonauts. Lowlands of Cochis and Ushguli, the highest village of Europe in the Greater Caucasus. Mestia, the centre of Svaneti, the Enguri Valley with the medieval villages. Tbilisi, the capital at the crosspoint of the Military- and the Silk Roads and Kazbeg, mount of Prometheus.

Highlights

  • Tbilisi, old town, National Museum
  • Mtskheta, Jvari, Svetitskhoveli, Georgian Military Road
  • Kasbegi, Sno-Valley, Tchauri Massif 3.842m
  • Ananuri, Uplistsikhe, wine estate Vacheishvili
  • Chiatura, Katskhi pillar, Kutaisi
  • Svaneti, Becho, Koruldi Lake
  • Mestia National Museum, Machubi
  • Lagurka Church, Ushguli, Lamaria
  • Bezengi-Wall, Enguri, Shkhara
  • Latpari Pass, Lentekhi
  • Semi desert Gareja, Jimiti, Sighnaghi
  • Wine estate Shumi, Tsinandali, Alaverdi

Program

Arrival in Tbilisi

Reception at the airport as usually shortly after midnight and transfer to hotel.

Driving distance: approx. 25km, time: approx. 0,5 h.
Overnight stay in Tbilisi

1City of warm springs

Tbilisi, old town, Metekhi, Narikala, Rustaveli, National Museum

Sightseeing tour in Tbilisi Old City starts in the morning (later upon request). Medieval churches Metekhi (13th c.), Anchiskhati (6th c.) and Sioni (13th c.), synagogue, mosque and Narikala Fortress (4th c.). After a stop at the oriental baths-district and Freedom Square, the tour goes further along central Rustaveli-Avenue. Subsequently, the schedule foresees a visit to the National Museum with the Treasure Chamber of Georgia. The museum collection contains i.a. fascinating goldsmith’s artworks of ancient Colchis. A delicious welcome dinner in a traditional restaurant concludes the first day.

Walking tour: 8-10km, approx. 5-6 hrs.
Overnight stay in Tbilisi (B/-/D)

2Old capital Mtskheta and the Georgian Military Road

Mtskheta, Jvari, Svetitskhoveli, Stepantsminda, Gergeti (Tsminda Sameba-Trinity Church)

Journey north to Mtskheta, the old capital of Georgia at the crosspoint of the Military- and the Silk Roads. Visiting the Jvari Monastery (7th c.) looking over the old capital and the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th c.), the heart and soul of Georgia in the centre of Mtskheta. The journey proceeds along the Military road into the Greater Caucasus. The age-old caravan trail connected the North with the Orient as described by the Greek geographer Strabo in his reports of (1st c. B.C.). In the afternoon a hike (approx. 3-4 h.) to the pilgrimage church Tsminda Sameba (Gergeti Trinity Church, 14th c., 2.170m), standing in proud solitary splendour in front of a spectacular panorama of the Kasbegi Summit (5.047m), the highest mount in the eastern Greater Caucasus.

Driving distance: approx. 170km, time: approx. 4 hrs.
Hike distance: approx. 5km, time: approx. 2-3 hrs.
Altitude difference: up approx. 500m, down approx. 500m
Overnight stay in Stepantsminda (B/-/D)

3Hiking in the Greater Caucasus

Juta, Sno Valley, Chaukhi Massif, Darial Gorge

After breakfast we journey to a small dreamy village Juta (2.165m), the second highest village in Europe, lying on the northern slope of the Caucasian Mountain Range seven kilometres away from the border to Ingushetia. Having visited Juta, we hike through the enchanting Sno Valley up to the majestic Chaukhi Massif (3.842m), the most famous climbing area in the Eastern Caucasus. European mountaineers baptized the massif with the name “Caucasian Dolomites”. Afterwards, a short trip to the Russian border via the wild Darial Gorge, the millennia-old battleground for aggressors baptized with the name “Gate to the North” and known as “Gate to the Underworld” to the ancient Greeks. 

Driving distance: approx. 40km, time: approx. 1 h.
Hike time: approx. 5-6 hrs.
Altitude difference: up approx. 400m, down approx. 400m
Overnight stay in Stepantsminda (B/P/D)

4Along the ancient Silk Road

Ananuri, Zhinvali Reservoir, ancient cave-city Uplistsikhe, wine estate Vacheishvili

Our journey back leads us along the Military Road first and then onwards along a branch of the ancient Silk Road. Due to its strategic significance gained in the 19th century, the Russian Tsarist Empire classified the caravan linking road as “the gate to the Orient”. A number of fortifications emerged along the route serving the purpose of defense against hostile attacks. After visiting the richly ornamented Ananuri Fortress Complex (17th c.), picturesquely embedded in the Zhinvali Reservoir landscape. En route we have a short break Gori at Stalin’s birth house (museum visit is possible upon request at extra cost and sufficient time). Next destination is Uplistsikhe, the ancient cave city on the Silk Road. Uplistsikhe was founded in the 1st millennium B.C. the preserved portions of the city dates back to the 2nd-3rd c. A.D. The city reached the climax of its urban development in the Middle Ages. Many thousand inhabitants lived mostly on commerce. Situated at the age-old caravan trail, Uplistsikhe was one of the most important transshipment centres for coveted goods from the East and the West. Final part of today’s journey takes us to the idyllic family-run wine estate of Nika Vacheishvili in Ateni, who grows the rare endemic vine Atenuri resulting in fine wines. Dinner, wine degustation and the beauty and peace of the countryside rounds off the day.

Driving distance: approx. 180km, time: approx. 3-4 hrs.
Overnight stay in Ateni (B/-/D)

5Cableway-town Chiatura and Kutaisi

Katskhi pillar, cableway-town Chiatura, Kutaisi

Journey via Chiatura to Kutaissi. Chiatura was an important industrial centre due to from the year 1877 operated mining of manganes ore. 40 percent of the manganese ore worldwide was mined here. The 22 still operating cableways of the town are the whimsical relicts of the soviet times.  Streched over six kilometres, they still are the fastest and most practical way of transportation for the population. Upon request you are welcome to take a ride. After chiatura we visit the Katskhi Monastery (5th-6th c.), whose tiny church is enthroned on the top of a 40-metre high pillar, reachable (only for monks) just by a rope ladder. We continue our journey to Kutaisi, where depending on time and desire, we can sightsee the Bagrati Cathedral.

Driving distance: approx. 200km, time: approx. 3-4 hrs.
Overnight stay in kutaisi (B/-/D)

6Fabulous Svaneti

Kutaisi farmers’ market, Svaneti, Becho

After the morning visit of the local farmers’ market our journey takes us to mythical Svaneti. Today’s destination is Becho, a small village in heart of Svaneti. Under good weather conditions we can see the massif of the almost 5.000m high Mount Ushba “the Terrible” with its prominent double peak from. The Becho Valley is a superb trekking destination. In the evening there’s time to take a short relaxing walk along the river.

Driving distance: approx. 230km, time: approx. 5 hrs.
Overnight stay in Bechoi (B/-/D)

7Becho Valley & Ushba waterfall

Becho Valley, Ushba waterfall, Mestia, „Machubi”

Today we hike above the Becho Valley to the Ushba waterfall. The route runs comfortably through the forests for about 40 minutes followed by a quite steep ascent. In about 2 hours we reach the waterfall. After the break we descend back to the lowland and drive to Mestia. In the afternoon we visit one of the typical Svanetian tower-houses “Machubi”, where a family, together with all their winter- and livestock, used to reside in medieval times. Immediately adjacent to the tower-house you find its own defense tower, which used to provide protection to an entire extended family for centuries. We also visit the Mestia National Museum with its collection of important icons and gold treasures from Early Middle Ages, which were brought from towns to the Svaneti during the impending danger of attacks in the past and thanks to the remoteness of the Svaneti highlands had been spared from robbery and destruction.

*Hiking in rainy weather not recommended
Driving distance: approx. 25km, time: approx. 1 h.
Hike distance: approx. 25km, time: approx. 4-5 hrs.
Altitude difference: up approx. 740m, down approx. 740m

Overnight stay in Mestia (B/P/D)

8Glacier world of the Greater Caucasus

Koruldi glacial lake, Svanetian Chain

Our plan for today is a trip to the Koruldi lakes. First we drive from Mestia (1.500m) to the north up to the altitude of 2.339m from where we hike to the lakes. The route leads us northwards to Mount Tskhakezagari (2.359m), wherefrom you have a fantastic view of Mestia and the Svanetian chain in the south, as well as luscious mountain grasslands and snow-covered glacier chains in to the north. Facing the northwest we find ourselves face to face with the mighty double headed Glacier Ushba “the terrible”. The trail takes us further across alpine meadows to the Koruldi Glacial Lake at the altitude of 2.740m.

Driving distance: approx. 30km, time: approx. 2 hrs.
Hike time: approx. 4-5 hrs.
Altitude difference: up approx. 500m, down approx. 500m

Overnight stay in Mestia (B/P/D)

9Ushguli, highest village in Europe

Ushguli, Lagurka Church, Lamaria Church

Trip to Ushguli, the highest village of Europe (2.200 m). En route, a short hike from the village Kala to the most important sanctuary of the Svans: the Lagura Church of Saint Kvirike with its characteristic frescos of the “Svanian School” from the 10th century. The trip continues upstream the river Enguri to the highest permanently inhabited settlement in Europe, Ushguli. The picturesque fortress-tower-ensemble of Ushguli is an impressive example of the medieval Svanian architecture and belongs to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. A leisurely walk through the village and an ascent to the Lamaria Church brings the day to a delightful conclusion.

Driving distance: approx. 50km (off-road), time: approx. 2 hrs.
Overnight stay in Ushguli (B/P/D)

10Hiking along a glacial river

Bezingi-Wall, Enguri, Shkhara

Today with take a long but exciting hike from Ushguli across the wild Enguri Valley upstream along the torrential river to its origin at the foot of the Shkhara Glacier (5.200m). Shkhara is the highest mountain in Georgia and the third highest in the Greater Caucasus. It slightly towers above the Bezingi-Wall, an imposing, over 12-kilometer-long glacier range with altitude mostly beyond the limit of 5.000m. Having enjoyed this natural paradise, we take the journey to Mestia.

Hike distance: approx. 22km, time: approx. 8 hrs.
Driving distance: approx. 50km (off-road), time: approx. 2 hrs.

Overnight stay in Mestia (B/P/D)

11Journey back to Kutaisi via Latpari Pass and Lentekhi

Latpari Pass, Lentekhi, Kutaisi

Journey back over teh Latpari Pass (2.828m) with a magnificent view of the giant mounts: Ushba (4.700m), Tetnuldi (4.858m), “the white bride of Svaneti” and Laila (3.602m). The long journey through the Latpari-Lentekhi is fairly strenuous, however, the enchantingly beautiful scenery during the entire drive makes it absolutely worthwhile. The Greater Caucasus reveals itself once again in all its versatility and splendour.

Driving distance: approx. 190km, time: approx. 6-7 hrs. (off-road)
Overnight stay in Kutaisi (B/-/D)

12Kvevri potter & traditional wine estate

Shrosha Kvevri potter , IAGO’s Marani, Tbilisi

After breakfast journey back to Tbilisi. En route we stop in Shrosha, a village with particularly large clay deposits. This is where the larger part of the traditional Georgian ceramic bowls, jugs and kvevris are produced. Kvevris are the clay amphorae embedded in the earth to provide a natural temperature balance for wine seasoning. The Georgian kvevri-wine producing method counts more than 8.000 years and ranks among the oldest of the UNESCO world culture heritage. Making a kvevri is a very special form of pottery and there are only a few masters who carry on the traditional craft. In Shrosha we will visit one of them.
We continue our journey to a family wine estate IAGO’s Marani near Mtskheta. Since many years the viticulturist has revived quite a few old endemic vines and produces fine organic wines according to the Georgian kvevri method. After dinner and wine degustation we continue our journey back to Tbilisi. 

Driving distance: approx. 270km, time: approx. 4-5 hrs.
Overnight stay in Tbilisi (B/-/D)

13Mysterious semi-desert Gareja

David Gareji, Udabno, Jimiti, Sighnaghi

The route heads south-east into the Steppe Desert Gareja. The first visiting point of the day is the Lavra Monastery of David Gareji, followed by a small hike to the caves of the Udabno-Monastery with impressive frescos and spectacular view over the bizarre desert landscape at the border to Azerbaijan (a 45 min. climb, total time of the hike approx. 2-3 h.). The trip proceeds to Jimiti, a very old, typically Kakhetian village. Here you can enjoy a lunch and wine degustation at a local family’s house which gives you an excellent insight into the daily life and activities of their lives, such as bread baking and winemaking in the traditional way. A late-evening trip to the medieval town Sighnaghi offers a relaxing finale for the day.

Driving distance: approx. 220km, time: approx. 5 hrs.
Hike distance: approx. 2km, time: approx. 2-3 hrs.
Altitude difference: up approx. 150m, down approx. 150m

Overnight stay in Sighnaghi (B/D/-)

14Wine Region Kakheti

Sighnaghi, Shumi wine estate, tsinandali, Vardisubani, Alaverdi, Gombori Mountains

We start the day with a relaxed walking tour through the wriggling lanes of Sighnaghi with a breathtaking view over the vast Alazani Valley. The journey goes on along the Kakhetian Wine Route Another site of interest on the schedule is the former princely residence Tsinandali with its famous wine cellar and the Shumi wine estate where wine is prepared in traditional, as well as in the European way. A native winegrower will give you a guided tour through the production facility explaining the contrast between the two methods of winemaking. Afterwards we visit a Kvevri potter in Vardisubani. The Georgian Kvevri-wine producing method counts more than 8.000 years and ranks among the oldest of the UNESCO world culture heritage. Making a Kvevri is a very special form of pottery and there are only a few masters who carry on the traditional craft. During the walk in his small garden-museum you visualise how Kvevris are made and how Georgian peasants and winemakers mature their wine in the traditional Georgian way. Next, the journey takes us to the mighty Alaverdi Cathedral (11th c.) and across the Gombori-Mountains back to Tbilisi.

Driving distance: approx. 180km, time: approx. 4 hrs.
Overnight stay in Tbilisi (B/-/D)

Departure

Transfer to the airport as usual in the early morning.

Services

Transfer:

  • All transfers according to the programme, in a comfortable minibus
  • Offroad vehicles for day 11
  • Airport transfer 

    Airport transfer is included in the price only if the arrival is on the preceding- and the departure on the following day of the tour-programme. Otherwise we charge additional 20 € per transfer. 
    In case of less than 8 participants in a group, the transportation during the entire tour will be provided in a comfortable offroad. 

Travel guide:

  • Continuous, English-speaking GEORGIA INSIGHT guide. 

Accommodation:

  • Tbilisi, hotel*** 4x
  • Stepantsminda, guesthouse 2x
  • Ateni, family-run wine estate 1x
  • Kutaisi, hotel** 2x
  • Becho, family-run guesthouse 1x
  • Mestia, family-run hotel 2x
  • Ushguli, family-run hotel 2x
  • Sighnaghi, Hotel** 1x
  • All rooms with own shower/WC

Board:

  • Half board: breakfast, dinner on days 1-6 and 11-14 
  • Full board in Svaneti: breakfast, picnic, dinner on days 7-10
  • One bottle of water a day

Entrances:

  • According to the programme

 

Not included:

  • Flight
  • Travel insurance 
  • Alcoholic beverages except for the degustations according to the programme 
  • Tips

Info

David Gareji

The programme contains a trip to the David Gareji Monastery. One of the highlights of the tour is the hiking from the Gareji complex entrance to the caves of the Udabno Monastery. The ascent takes approx. 45 minutes and proceeds along a partially steep, unsecured path. 

The altitude difference is 450m, the path is not secured by any railings. Medium stamina, surefootedness and head for hights is required.

Our guides are experienced in assisting the participants for whom the ascent might prove arduous. Nevertheless, we discourage you from taking part in the trip if you don't feel confident enough. It is of course possible to stay at the lower part of the monastery until the rest of the group gets back.

Baggage Svaneti

You are going to need only a daypack.The rest of the luggage will be transported in a vehicle.

Open questions

You can further information under the menu point Travel information and FAQs. Should there be any open questions left, please feel free to contact us by e-mail or phone. We will be happy to answer any further questions you have.

Long driving distance

Some day-routes require a relatively longer driving distance. Nevertheless, they are carefully planned to be diverse and exciting. You are welcome to have photo stops and/or a picnic en route.

Kintsvilis Monastery

The Kintvisi Monastery has a particularly stict dress regulations. Ladies have to wear a longer skirt and a headscarf, gentlemen - long trousers (below knee) and a shirt with sleeves covering the shoulders. 

Clothing

Ankle boots with a profiled sole are absolutely enough for hiking. Some monasteries have strict dressing regulations. Ladies have to wear a longer skirt and a headscarf, gentlemen - long trousers (below knee) and a shirt with sleeves (over shoulders). We would recommend you to pack some clothes in classic style for restaurants, Georgians in general, go out very well dressed.

Roads in Tusheti and Khevsureti

These mountain regions Tusheti and Khevsureti are accessible only from Mid-June to September due to heavy rainfalls and unpaved/unsecured roads.

Important general notes

Tourism in Georgia is relatively young and should not be compared with the standards in other European countries. Loud conversations at neighbouring tables, smoking at windows and/or doors that can not be closed tight are sometimes unavoidable and should not cloud your mood. We chose all the restaurants and accommodations thoroughly and do our best to deliver the best possible quality. We ask for your understanding in case we have to carry out short-term changes in the travel programme necessary due to bad weather conditions.

Size of scheduled travel groups

We organise our guided tours in smaller groups (4-10 people on average). You will find the minimum and the maximum number of participants for each travel offer in their respective descriptions on our website. Should there be only one place left to reach the maximum number of participants and should we receive a booking request for two people (a couple, friends), the size of the group can be increased by one more participant.

Stalin Museum

On the way through Gori you pass the Stalin Museum. A museum visit is not part of the travel programme, nevertheless, in case of interest and enough time we can arrange the museum tour for additional cost paid on site.

Accommodation

The accommodation in Tbilisi is provided in 3-star hotels, in the countryside - in family-run hotels/guesthouses, in remote regions - private home guesthouses. We chose all the accommodations very carefully. Nevertheless, please note that the standards here should not always be compared with those in west Europe.

Weather Svaneti

June-September is perfect for travelling in Svaneti.

Security

We recommend you to carry your purse close to your body, not to leave your baggage unattended in public places, to calculate the sum before exchanging money and to check change.

Arrival

You require a passport valid for at least six months after your departure.

Tips

Generally, if you were satisfied with quality and service a small tip is welcome. 

Price list

participants price per person
6 1660 €
5 1850 €
4 1980 €
3 2300 €
2 2950 €

all prices incl. a double room
surcharge for a single occupancy: 350 € per person