Welcome to Svaneti, an extraordinarily beautiful land of towers, snow-topped craggy peaks, wine and dancing. It is a place where time has not merely stopped, but rather simply never existed. The entire region is a UNESCO heritage site, so remote that it was never occupied by foreign invaders who could have plundered its treasures.
Svaneti’s medieval-type villages are highly preserved and full of historic significance. Churches date back to the 9th Century, richly decorated with wall-paintings, chased icons and alter crosses supplied by local workshops of their time. The unique tower houses, once built for defence, are also fantastic examples of ecclesiastical architecture.
Hiking is a fantastic way to discover this magical region and our fully guided tour will not fail to amaze with unforgettable panoramas, delicious local food and wine, and a multitude of places steeped in history.
Day One: Arrive
Upon your arrival into Tbilisi Airport (Georgia’s main international airport), we meet you to take you to your hotel where you can relax after your flight.
Day Two: Tbilisi to Mestia
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we depart for Svaneti. It is a drive of 420km but we break up the journey with two stops. The first is Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia and one of the country’s oldest cities. Remains of buildings here have been dated to earlier than the year 1000 BC and its 6th Century Jvari church is a UNESCO heritage site. Our second stop Kutaisi, the historic capital of the Kingdom of Colchi, where we have lunch and visit the Gelati and Bagrati Cathedrals (both UNESCO world heritage sites). We arrive into Svaneti, located in the Northwest of Georgia, and travel to Mestia in its very centre, in time for dinner. Accommodation is at Hotel Tetnuldi.
Day Three: Chaladi Glacier Trek
Today is our first day of walking; a half day trekking tour to the Chaladi Glacier with lunch en route. This is an easy hike for all standards of hiking experience. You have free time in the afternoon to relax and visit the Mestia Museum, before enjoying dinner at the hotel.
Day Four: Mestia to Adhishi
A 45 minute drive takes us to Mulakhi (Zhabeshi), where the people dwell in the gorge of the Mulakhura River, famous for its multitude of towers. From here we take a trekking tour to Adhishi, a highland village 2040 metres above sea level and 27km from Mestia. You are surrounded by a breath-taking view of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, with the landscaped dominated by medieval monuments. Your accommodation is a choice of a local guest house or in the nearby camping grounds.
Day Five: Adhishi to Kala
After breakfast at the camp, we set off on a 5-6 hour (7-10km) walking tour to the mountain community of Kala (Iprari), with lunch on the way. Again, your accommodation is a choice of a local guest house or in the nearby camping grounds.
Day Six: Kala to Ushguli
Our trek (7-9km) takes us to Ushguli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a collection of villages famous for an abundance of watchtowers with the view of Georgia’s highest mountain, Mt Shkhara (5,068km).
Day Seven: Ushguli to Batumi
We return to the town of Mestia before heading down the Batumi Black Sea coast, with lunch in the city of Zugdidi. In contrast to the region’s ancient communities, Batumi developed in the late 19th Century as the western terminus of a railway from Baku (Azerbaijan) that at the time carried one-fifth of the world’s oil production. Batumi gained free-port status with over 20 foreign consulates set up here, and the town has developed into a fashionable resort at the southern tip of the Russian empire and a crossroads between Europe and Asia. We stay overnight here.
Day Eight: Batumi to Tbilisi
The first half of our day is spent relaxing, with the opportunity to spend time on the beach. Then we depart for Tbilisi, where we arrive before dinner.
Day Nine: Tbilisi
Tbilisi is the capital and largest city of Georgia. Founded in the 5th century by Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Georgian King of Kartli (Iberia), the city is a significant industrial, social, and cultural center. We take a half day walking tour where you will visit highlights of Old Tbilisi: Bath Quarter, Metekhi Church, Anchiskhati basilica (VI c), Narikala Fortress, and a walk over the new glass bridge. In the evening we celebrate our time together with a farewell dinner in a traditional Georgian restaurant.
Day Ten: Departure
An early morning transfer takes you to the airport for your journey home.
- All accommodation
- Full board breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
- Bottle of water a day
- English speaking driver-guide
- Entry tickets as per itinerary