Explore ancient cities, glaciers, forests and culture as you travel through Georgia

This all-encompassing trip takes you from the medieval towns of Kutaisi to lush green slopes of Mestia valley. Reconnect with nature on hikes through wooded forests and past the Chaladi glacier, wander the ramparts of the Narikala Fortress, learn the secrets of Georgian cheese making and indulge your taste buds with fragrant Georgian wine.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Tbilisi, Georgia
Finish
Tbilisi, Georgia
Destination
Georgia
Style
Original
Code
KFSG
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Journey to the Svaneti region, a remote and alluring land of snow-capped mountains, where you'll discover medieval tower-houses and a fascinating local dialect.

  • Get active on hikes to Georgia's Shkhara glacier.

  • Learn the art of preparing delicious kubdari during a cooking demonstration.

  • Take guided walking tour of Tbilisi a fascinating eclectic mix of architecture, and culture; hear stories of kings and queens and intrigue and mystery from your local Leader.

  • Discover Georgian wine – be warned though one glass is never enough.

  • Overindulge in Khinkali - Georgian dumplings, learn from the locals the only way to eat these delicious parcels.

Is this trip right for you?

  • You will reach a significant altitude on this trip (2,200 metres) at the highest point so a good level of fitness is required for hiking. That said, alternative activities can often be arranged for those who would prefer not to hike.

  • It is important to be aware of cultural sensitivities when photographing churches and other religious sites.

  • As we don't want you to miss anything, the itinerary is densely packed, so you'll be busy. There will, however, be plenty of free time and opportunity for independent exploration.

  • You require comfortable shoes suitable for moderate level trekking, water proof would be the preference for your comfort.  

Itinerary

Welcome to Georgia! Your tour leader will leave you a note at reception detailing on what time you will be meeting with the rest of your group. Tonight is free for an optional dinner – there are plenty of restaurants and cafes within a short walking distance of our hotel.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast take part in a sightseeing tour of Tbilisi. The locals like to call their capital the "Balcony of Europe", placing it on par with many of Europe's graceful old cities. All the sights in the Old Town are very close to each other and within a few minutes’ walk. We start our visit to Old Tbilisi from Metekhi Church, and then walk to the Synagogue, Sioni Cathedral and Anchiskhati Basilica. From here, visit Narikala Fortress and the Sulphur Baths. Afterwards, you'll have free time to further explore the capital. The evening is also free for you to enjoy. Perhaps indulge in Tbilisi's lively theater scene and witness some of the energetic and acrobatic dance that Georgia is known for.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tbilisi - City tour
Optional Activities
  • Tbilisi - Museum of Georgia - USD5
  • Tbilisi - Museum of Fine Arts - USD2
  • Tbilisi - Sulphur Baths Entry - USD35
  • Tbilisi - Aerial Cable Car - USD1
  • Wine Tour – Kakheti Region (8-9 hours) - USD155
  • Tbilisi - Funicular - USD2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, drive approximately 1 hour to Georgia's ancient capital and religious centre – the town of Mtskheta, which is over 3000 years old. Visit Mtskheta's top historical sights: Jvari church (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century), where the Robe of Christ is said to be buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Afterwards, continue to the pretty city of Kutaisi, the second largest in the country (approximately 3 hours). Kutaisi is more than 3000 years old, connected to the legend of Jason and the Argonauts, along with his mythical (or is it?) Golden Fleece. Here we visit another significant historical site, the Gelati Cathedral. There may also be time to explore the cobbled streets of the town as you make your way up to the ruins of Bagrati palace and citadel.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse/Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mtskheka - Jvari Church
  • Mtskheka - Svetitskoveli Cathedral
Optional Activities
  • Kutaisi - Bagrati Cathedral & Gelati Monastery - Free
  • Iago’s Winery Tastings - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After a restful night, visit a local farmers market grab some snacks and ger ready for the next part of your adventurer; a journey to the remote Svaneti region. Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in the Caucasus and is divided in two parts: Upper Svaneti and Lower Svaneti. Arrive into Mestia (approximately 5 hours), the centre of Upper Svaneti. Mestia is surrounded by mountains, medieval-type villages and disctinctive tower-houses. The famous tower-houses were built to accommodate villagers at times of invasion and violence during the 9th -13th centuries. Around 175 towers still stand today, although many are uninhabited. The area is home to the Svans, a proud people with a long history of survival in this isolated part of Europe, who speak their own language. Spend the night in a local guesthouse.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kutaisi - Farmers Market
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After breakfast this morning we discover how Georgians make their beloved cheese. Cheese is found in many Georgian dishes and is a key ingredient in the famous khachapuri, a traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread which you will no doubt eat plenty of during your time here!

Drive to the village of Lakhiri (approximately 20 minutes) We start our walk today from the village (approx walking time 4-5 hours) in the direction of Mestia. After little uphill walking we descend to the beautiful valley full with blooming flowers and enjoy an amazing view of Chalati Glacier (2300m) and of Mestia Valley with its watchtowers. The paths can be steep and the ground uneven so you will need good fitness and appropriate footwear for this walk. Those not wishing to hike can stay in the village or in Mestia. 
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mestia - Cooking class
  • Mestia - Lakhiri Village Hike
  • Mestia - Georgian cheese making
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Walking Information: Elevation Range = +320m / -500m; total duration between 4 and 5 hours.

Please note that the lunch included for the next 3 days will be lunch boxes prepared by our guesthouse which will mainly consist of simple sandwiches with cheese, egg, tomato and cucumber, fruit and bottled water.
Today, visit the World Heritage-listed village of Ushguli, a town around 50 kilometres southeast of Mestia (approx 3 hours drive). The village is located at 2,200 metres above sea level, and is one of the highest inhabited villages in Europe. Ushguli is most famous for its abundance of watchtowers – this is where you'll see the famous view of the towers set to the highest mountain in Georgia, the snow capped Mt Shkhara (5,068 metres). Visit the 12th-century Lamaria Church and walk to Queen Tamar’s tower. Total walking time is 2-3 hours depending on fitness and trail conditions. Those not wishing to walk may stay and explore Ushguli, where there are a few small ethnographic museums in the watchtowers. In the evening you can walk around the village and become familiar with the daily life of the local people. Spend the night in a family-owned guesthouse with shared facilities.

Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ushguli - Village hike
  • Ushguli - Lamaria Church
  • Ushguli - Queen Tamar`s Tower
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Walking Information: Elevation Range = +250m / -250m; total duration between 2 and 2.5 hours.
Today's walk starts from the guesthouse. The route takes us along the river to the base of Mt Shkhara. Fingers crossed for great weather! We will have a picnic lunch today. The walking trail ends at the Shkhara glacier, where the Enguri river originates below. In the afternoon, return to Mestia and stay overnight in the guesthouse. Approximate walking time is 5-6 hours. If you do not wish to walk, please discuss options with your leader in advance.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ushguli - Shkhara Glacier hike & picnic
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Walking Information: Elevation Range = +320m / -320m; total duration 5-6 hours.

From the mountains to the sea today with a long drive to Batumi (approximately 7-8 hours) on the Black Sea coast. While past its Soviet heyday where it was one of the premiere seaside resorts, it is still popular with holiday makers from all over the region for its waterfront parks and beaches. Stay in a hotel tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning take part in a short tour around the city. The afternoon is yours to relax. Batumi has a relaxed atmosphere, great restaurants and nightlife. Stroll the boulevard, cool off in the musical fountains on the square or see the touching Ali & Nino statue lit up at night. There's also art and ethnographic museums or a cable car to panoramic views over the city.

Highly recommended is the Batumi Botanical Gardens.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Batumi - City Tour
Optional Activities
  • Batumi - Botanic Gardens - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart from Batumi and transfer back to Tbilisi (approximately 5-6 hours) by private vehicle. Stop at local winery on the way for tasting and toast our time in Georgia together. Enjoy the rest of the day in the nation's capital, perhaps with group dinner and night out together.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end today and your are free to depart at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Private Bus, walking

Accommodation

Hotel (5), Guesthouse (5)

Included activities

  • Tbilisi - City tour
  • Mtskheka - Jvari Church
  • Mtskheka - Svetitskoveli Cathedral
  • Kutaisi - Farmers Market
  • Mestia - Cooking class
  • Mestia - Lakhiri Village Hike
  • Mestia - Georgian cheese making
  • Ushguli - Village hike
  • Ushguli - Lamaria Church
  • Ushguli - Queen Tamar`s Tower
  • Ushguli - Shkhara Glacier hike & picnic
  • Batumi - City Tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

FITNESS LEVEL
Some of the best scenery in the Caucasus Region is in the Svaneti Region on day 5, 6 and 7. The included hikes can be quite steep and long. While this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, it’s essential to be at least moderately fit if you want to take part in all activities. Altitudes experienced during this trip are up to 2200m above sea level.

ITINERARY
Please note there is a chance of potential changes to the itinerary due to heavy rain, flooding and snow at higher altitudes, which often affect roads and bridges, making travel difficult or impossible (particularly in remote areas).

Essential trip information

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