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Georgia: Walking In The Svaneti Mountains

Group Tour

10 Days From £1,695

Overview

Svaneti, Georgia's most mysterious mountain region is like a fairy tale come to life. The fabled region is renowned for its enchanting stone villages, punctuated by the famous defensive towers, and populated by a fiercely independent race, known as the Svans.

On this trip we will hike sections of the new Transcaucasian Trail, a long-distance walking path being developed to span 3000km across the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains. This is a trip for the travel connoisseur who likes ...
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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

9 x Breakfasts
8 x Lunches
8 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use minibuses, 4WD vehicle if needed and by foot.

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

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Moderate / High

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: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 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: Walking In The Svaneti Mountains
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 early the following 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 all of 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. Afterwards we visit the stunning treasures of the National Museum and 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 – KUTAISI

DAY 3: TBILISI – KUTAISI

We drive to the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia – Mtskheta - and visit its historic 6th century Jvari Monastery and 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral – both UNESCO World Heritage sites. We then head to West Georgia – the famous Land of the Golden Fleece, where Jason and the Argonauts sailed. We arrive in Kutaisi – the second largest city in Georgia and visit Gelati Church.

Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: KUTAISI - USHGULI

DAY 4: KUTAISI - USHGULI

Today, we’ll leave early as we have a long drive, 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 5: USHGULI - SHKHARA GLACIER - USHGULI

DAY 5: USHGULI - SHKHARA GLACIER - USHGULI

We start our morning walk to the foot of Mt. Shkhara, walking alongside the wonderful Enguri River which will eventually lead us to its origin – the Shkhara Glacier. Afterwards we return to Ushguli. En route we also plan to visit the Lamaria church with its 12th century stone defence tower. Approximate walking time 5-6 hours Ascent 320m/descent 320m

Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: USHGULI - IPRARI

DAY 6: USHGULI - IPRARI

Today we’ll walk to the village of Iprari, a remote village in Upper Svaneti. Along the way we will have breathtaking views across the Svaneti region. After lunch en route, we’ll walk up through the forest to Kvirike and Ivlita Church before heading to our guesthouse. Approximate walking time 5-6 hours Approximate ascent 500m/descent 765m

Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: IPRARI – ADISHI

DAY 7: IPRARI – ADISHI

Today we’ll pass the village of Kalde and walk over the Chkhutnieri Pass (2700m). There will be a river crossing, the water may be high so we might need to jump on a horse to cross the river, in the hope that we can keep our feet dry! We will continue our journey to the remote village of Adishi, which is 2000m above sea level. This evening we will be staying with the families in their homes and will experience true traditional Svanetian hospitality. Approximate walking time 7-8 hours Ascent 950m/descent 760m

Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: ADISHI – MESTIA

DAY 8: ADISHI – MESTIA

Today we’ll start our journey to Mestia on foot, reaching 2300m we’ll have beautiful views across to the Chaneri glacier, Mt. Ushba (4700m) and to Mt. Laila, the highest peak (4010m) in the Svaneti range. We’ll cross the slopes of Mt. Tetnuldi and finish our walk in the village of Mulakhi. Here we’ll be met by our vehicle and will finish the final bit of the journey to Mestia by road. Approximate walking time 5-6 hours Ascent 600m/descent 900m

Mountain Mestia or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: MESTIA – ZUGDIDI – BATUMI

DAY 9: MESTIA – ZUGDIDI – 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 10: TOUR ENDS IN BATUMI

DAY 10: TOUR ENDS IN BATUMI

The tour ends this morning after breakfast.

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
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.

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.

Low impact tourism in Georgia

In the Caucasus - and in particular in Georgia - we have developed unique relationships with many of the mountain communities in the region. Through a successful form of interactive community-based tourism we are able to provide an important additional income to the people in this remote area. On this trip we travel through regions where conditions are harsh and there is limited opportunity for earning an income. By visiting local families, we are able to put much-needed funds directly into the local communities. In addition, all foods are produced locally so several members of the village benefit financially, which improves several families’ standard of living. The wonderful thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that it benefits everyone – providing the local families with financial support and providing us with a truly wonderful and unique experience of their culture and country.

Using no-carbon forms of transport such as walking cuts down on environmental damage and tourist carbon footprint, which is more likely to be welcomed by locals. Slower forms of travel also allow for more chances to interact with people from another culture. Walking in the Svaneti Mountains provides a very special opportunity to take in the incredible views, ancient Svan towers and preserved way of life. Meet locals along the way and at guesthouse accommodations, whose families have lived here for generations.

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) 16:30 Istanbul (IST) 22:15
TK 386 Istanbul (IST) 23:55 Tbilisi Airport (TBS) 03:05
TK 391 Batumi Airport (BUS) 10:15 Istanbul (IST) 11:20
TK 1985 Istanbul (IST) 13:00 London Heathrow (LHR) 14:50

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.

More Georgia

If time allows, then why not extend your visit in Georgia to take in cave city of Vardzia, the wine region of Kakheti, the high mountains of Kazbegi or just some additional time in Batumi. Allow 1 – 7 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.

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.

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 range from humid subtropical to snow and glaciers. The climate of Svaneti is generally humid and is influenced by different air masses coming in from the Black Sea. Temperatures vary considerably with altitude.

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. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. 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

You will need to be in a decent state of health and have a good level of fitness to be suitable to join this tour.  The trek is graded as moderate with average daily walking time of 5-7hrs. The maximum trekking altitude reached will be 2700m.

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 of the tour except in Adishi where due to limited infrastructure depending on the group size you may need to share.

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.

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

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 the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
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