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Georgia Explorer

Group Tour

15 Days From C$3,885

Overview

The once ancient kingdom of Colchis, Georgia has long been linked with the Greek legends attributed to Jason and his band of Argonauts. Sandwiched between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, this mythical land today provides us with one of the last hidden gems left in Europe.

This journey takes you from its charming capital, Tbilisi and through forested valleys and snow-capped mountains, where ancient cave towns and clustered rural villages, rich in heritage that can trace its origins ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

13 x Breakfasts
13 x Lunches
13 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

Minibuses

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

Wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience. This can vary greatly across both countries and tours. On this particular trip we will be in comfortable hotels and simpler guesthouses. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE/HIGH: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-4hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-5 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

VERY HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 5-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Georgia Explorer
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN TBILISI

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN TBILISI

Rooms will be available in Tbilisi from this afternoon. Those arriving on the group flights will arrive in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Sharden Hotel or similar

DAY 2: TBILISI

DAY 2: TBILISI

The pre-departure meeting will take place this morning at the hotel, after which we will have a city tour including Old Tbilisi. From the Metekhi Church (13th century) overlooking the river Mtkvari to the Narikala Fortress (4th century), one of the oldest fortifications in the city, we’ll also pay a visit to the Sulphur Baths, the synagogue, the Anchiskhati Church (6th century) and Sioni Cathedral (6/7th century). In this cathedral the cross of St. Nino – the woman who brought Christianity to Georgia – is preserved. All these sights are in close proximity and it’s a pleasant walk. You will have the rest of the day to soak up the café culture of Tbilisi, relax and shop.

Sharden Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: TBILISI- DAVIT GAREJA - TELAVI

DAY 3: TBILISI- DAVIT GAREJA - TELAVI

In the morning we travel to David Gareja cave complex (6th century) located in a stark, semi-desert landscape. Here we will see Lavra Monastery and dramatic views across to Azerbaijan. On the way to Telavi we will visit a unique 300-year-old wine cellar. The wine is produced and stored here, and we’ll learn more about the wine-making process and sample several Kakhetian wines.

Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: TELAVI - KAZBEGI

DAY 4: TELAVI - KAZBEGI

This morning we will visit the market in town before driving to the Khevi region via the picturesque Gombori Pass. We will drive to the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia, Mtskheta, where we will visit Jvari Monastery (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century), both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We will stop at Ananuri to visit two fortified churches beautifully situated on the Jinvali water reservoir. As we follow the Georgian Military Highway we will enjoy wonderful views of the Great Caucasus Mountains.

Stepantsminda Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: KAZBEGI – MTSKHETA – GORI

DAY 5: KAZBEGI – MTSKHETA – GORI

This morning, there will be a chance to take a walk for about 2 hours up through beautiful valleys and forests to the Gergeti Trinity church (14th century) located on top of the mountain (2170m) and one of the country’s most iconic images. Weather permitting, we may also be able to catch a glimpse of one the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi (5047m). Descending from the high mountains we will then visit Uplistsikhe Cave Town (1st millennium BC) – one of the main points along the Great Silk Road before heading to West Georgia – the famous land of the Golden Fleece, where Jason and the Argonauts sailed. We will continue on to the town of Gori in the heart of the Kartli region, the birthplace of the most famous Georgian of all times – Josef Stalin.

Hotel Victoria or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: GORI - KUTAISI

DAY 6: GORI - KUTAISI

We will visit the surreal Stalin Museum, his house and private carriage. We will then drive to Kutaisi – the second largest city in Georgia – where we will visit Prometheus Grotto with its giant chambers of stalactites and stalagmites. Afterwards we will visit Gelati Monastery, home to an impressive collection of frescoes. Once we’ve have checked into our hotel, there should be chance to go for a walk and stretch our legs.

Argo Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: KUTAISI – USHGULI

DAY 7: KUTAISI – USHGULI

We’ll leave early as we have a long drive ahead of us, but it’s worth it as we’ll have magnificent views as we cross the Zagaro Pass. Late afternoon we’ll reach Ushguli, the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe (2200m) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: USHGULI – MESTIA

DAY 8: USHGULI – MESTIA

We’ll take a beautiful morning walk which follows the banks of the Enguri River in the direction Mt. Shkhara and its glacier. Afterwards we return to Ushguli, stopping off to visit the Lamaria church with its 12th century stone defence tower, before driving on to Mestia.

Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: MESTIA – LAKHIRI – MESTIA

DAY 9: MESTIA – LAKHIRI – MESTIA

This morning we’ll drive towards the village of Lakhiri village, where we’ll start our day’s walk. We’ll enjoy great views of the Caucasus and especially the two-summit peak of Mt Ushba (4690m). On our return to Mestia, in the late afternoon, we will have a few hours to explore the town at our own pace before dinner.

Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: MESTIA

DAY 10: MESTIA

This morning we will drive to the Koruldi Lakes, offering stunning views of the surrounding glaciers and mountain peaks. We will then visit the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography. After lunch, we will take the Zuruldi Cable car to a café where we can relax and enjoy views of the Svaneti.

Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: MESTIA – BATUMI

DAY 11: MESTIA – BATUMI

In the morning we’ll drive through Zugdidi where we will have lunch and continue towards the Black Sea coast. Before reaching Batumi there will be an optional stop off at the Botanical Gardens, which are over one hundred years old. For those who would prefer to go for a swim, we will continue our journey onto Batumi. This evening we’ll enjoy a stroll through the old town and along the boulevard beside the sea front.

Hotel Aisi or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: BATUMI – VARDZIA

DAY 12: BATUMI – VARDZIA

Today we will head over the Goderdzi Pass to Akhaltsikhe. Akhaltsikhe is crowned by a fully restored fortress, the Rabat, one of the only Ottoman complexes in the country. In the afternoon we’ll drive on to the cave city of Vardzia. Vardzia is a magnificent 12th century cave town carved out of the hillside in the Golden Age of Georgia, and is one of Georgia’s highlights.

Valodia Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: VARDZIA

DAY 13: VARDZIA

This morning we will visit Vardzia cave complex, which stretches over half a kilometre. Vardzia once consisted of almost 3000 caves and was one of the best examples of Georgia’s renaissance. The complex also includes dwellings quarters, refectories, wine cellars, and small hall-type churches, one of which is even hewn out in rock with some stunning 12th century frescoes to admire. This afternoon we will make a brief photo stop at another cave town, Vanis Qvabebi, before returning to our guesthouse for some free time to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Valodia Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: VARDZIA - TBILISI

DAY 14: VARDZIA - TBILISI

As we head towards Tbilisi, we’ll be able to admire the beautiful landscape surrounding Lake Paravani, where we will be able to see the sky and the hills reflecting in the water. Our last visit before reaching Tbilisi will be to visit the Poka Nunnery. On arrival into Tbilisi we visit the stunning treasures of the National Museum. For our last night we’ll head out for dinner in a local restaurant.

Sharden Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15: TOUR ENDS IN TBILISI

DAY 15: TOUR ENDS IN TBILISI

The tour will end this morning at the hotel.

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Superior

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Simple

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Simple

No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

Supporting locals

In the Caucasus - and in particular in Georgia - we have developed unique relationships with many of the mountain communities in the region, and through our form of interactive tourism we have provided support through offering important additional income opportunities. On this trip we travel into the remote Svaneti region, where conditions can be harsh and there is limited opportunity for earning an income. By staying at small family-run guesthouses, we are able to put much needed funds directly into the local communities. In addition, all food is produced locally so several members of the village benefit financially, which improves several families’ standard of living. The great thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the locals financially and us from the fuss they make of us!

 

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
TK 1986 London Heathrow (LHR) 16:35 Istanbul (IST) 22:15
TK 386 Istanbul (IST) 23:55 Tbilisi Airport (TBS) 03:05
TK 379 Tbilisi Airport (TBS) 10:40 Istanbul (IST) 12:05
TK 1971 Istanbul (IST) 14:40 London Heathrow (LHR) 16:40

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com

For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for Georgia.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements. Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Azerbaijan

Take a trip east to see Georgia’s very different neighbour. The Silk Road crossroads town of Sheki and the bizarre capital of Baku are just some of the highlights that await. Allow 4-6 days.

Armenia

You could cross the border into Armenia where we would be happy to tailor-make any itinerary for you in this fascinating country.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

The Greater Caucasus range moderates local climate by serving as a barrier against cold air from the north. The relatively small territory covers different climatic zones, which are determined by the distance from the Black Sea and by altitude. The climatic zones are ranging from humid subtropical to snow and glaciers. In the spring and autumn the weather can be very changeable ranging from 10-23C - often in one day. In the summer, you can expect temperatures to be 30C plus. Please prepare for all eventualities, including rain.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

Is This Trip For Me? It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. Please therefore take time to read the itinerary carefully. All our tours are graded to give an overall picture of the trip but these are only guidelines and you should check the daily itinerary. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

For this particular trip anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as many of the walks are optional. Please be advised that on this trip vegetarians can be catered for but the selection and variety may be limited.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

The Nature Of Adventure Travel: We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights apart from in the private cottage due to the limited number of rooms available there.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Standard policy. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour. A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking. We are ATOL and ABOT bonded. For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

Wild Miles: This tour will earn you 4406 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour:-

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in your pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION

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