Walking in Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains: Kazbegi & Tusheti

Group Tour

13 Days From £2,395

Overview

A land steeped in myths and legends and extraordinary natural beauty, Georgia offers the perfect backdrop to this walking adventure in the Greater Caucasus mountains.

Beginning in its capital, Tbilisi, we head out along the epic Georgian Military Highway to Kazbegi National Park and the slopes of Mount Chaukhebi, where we will hike amongst the breathtaking Greater Caucasus landscapes. From here we travel via the country's famed wine region to the majestic beauty of Tusheti National Park, ...

Read More

HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

12 x Breakfasts
11 x Lunches
11 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will travel by minibus, 4WD vehicles and by foot.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

EXPERT TEAM

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

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Moderate / High

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

Flexible booking conditions regarding transfers and cancellations

ACCOMMODATION

Wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience. This can obviously vary greatly across both countries and tours. On this particular trip we will stay in comfortable 3* hotels as well as staying in small local guesthouses. The guesthouses in Tusehti are very basic with shared facilities. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

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.

Book With Confidence

We understand that flexibility is now a key factor when booking a holiday, and we believe our Covid Promise and Covid Viable Test provide that.

We believe these terms and conditions for making a booking are amongst the most generous in the travel industry right now, and we hope they will give you the confidence, when you feel ready, to go ahead and book your next adventure.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

Map & Itinerary

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

Walking in Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains: Kazbegi & Tusheti
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.

KMM 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 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.

KMM Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: TBILISI – TRUSO GORGE – KAZBEGI NATIONAL PARK

DAY 3: TBILISI – TRUSO GORGE – KAZBEGI NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast we set off north along the famous Georgian Military Highway, taking in the first views of the stunning Greater Caucasus Mountains. This is a spectacular highway that winds its way through sheer mountains, as although it was named by Tsar Alexander I, this route actually dates from before the 1st century BC and is still important as one of the only links to Russia through the Caucasus Mountains. As we make our way north, we find the untouched beauty of the lesser-visited Truso Gorge where we will enjoy our first walk. Walking through the beautiful nature of Truso Valley, we pass by remote villages and ancient towers hidden within canyons and alpine meadows. Truso Gorge is famous for its rock formations formed by mineral water springs, and many houses have now been abandoned due to the challenges of mountain life, showing the resilience of the remaining residents. Once we reach Abano village, we then drive on to Stepantsminda, located in the heart of Kazbegi National Park.
Walking time: Approx. 4hrs
Walking distance: 12km
Ascent/descent: 400m/400m
Highest altitude: 2370m

Porta Caucasia or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: KAZBEGI NATIONAL PARK: JUTA & SNO VALLEY

DAY 4: KAZBEGI NATIONAL PARK: JUTA & SNO VALLEY

Setting off through the spectacular Sno Valley this morning, we’ll travel by road to the remote village of Juta (2165m). En route we can spot the famous Giant Stone Head Sculptures, created by local artist Merab Piranishvili to help immortalise Georgia's great poets. Cut off for six months of the year and surrounded by glorious mountain scenery, Juta provides an unforgettable glimpse into traditions and times long past. It is also the starting point for a pleasant four-hour circular walk to the foot of Mount Chaukhebi. The route in itself is not considered to be particularly challenging but does climb to around 2550 metres and provides some magical vistas along the way. On our return to Juta, we’ll be rewarded with some homemade honey as we visit a local family, before returning to Stepantsminda for the evening. 
Walking time: Approx. 4hrs
Walking distance: 9km
Ascent/descent: 680m/680m
Highest altitude: 2580m

Porta Caucasia or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: KAZBEGI NATIONAL PARK: GERGETI CHURCH & GVELETI WATERFALLS

DAY 5: KAZBEGI NATIONAL PARK: GERGETI CHURCH & GVELETI WATERFALLS

Today we set out on foot for a three-hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodland to Gergeti Trinity Church (14th century) located at 2170m. Weather permitting we may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus on Mt Kazbegi (5047m). After lunch in Stepantsminda we then drive through the dramatic Darial Gorge, where we have the opportunity to walk to Gveleti waterfalls (approx 4km, 2hrs).
Walking time: Approx. 5hrs
Walking distance: 11km (total)
Ascent/descent: 735/735m
Highest altitude: 2165m

Porta Caucasia or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: KAZBEGI NATIONAL PARK – ANANURI - MTSKHETA - TELAVI

DAY 6: KAZBEGI NATIONAL PARK – ANANURI - MTSKHETA - TELAVI

Today we turn back south along the Georgian Military Highway, stopping at Ananuri to visit two fortified churches beautifully situated on the Jinvali water reservoir. From here we continue on to Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia which contains many of Georgia's most beautiful and oldest churches including Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli. After lunch we then journey via the Gombori Pass into the Kakheti region, well-known for its wine producing and great views of the Caucasus mountains and valleys of Kakheti. Here we visit a local producer and can observe the traditions and culture of the region as well as taste the wines, before ending our day in Telavi with a delicious local dinner.

Kviria Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: TELAVI – ALAVERDI – TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK

DAY 7: TELAVI – ALAVERDI – TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK

We start the morning with a visit to the local farmers market, where we can observe daily life and buy some supplies for our picnic lunch, before visiting Alaverdi Cathedral (11th century), the highest cathedral in the Caucasus for many centuries. We then head once again deep into the heart of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, this time to the less-visited Tusheti region. Recognised as a protected landscape, the region is managed by the Tushetian people and here we will get the chance to enjoy local hospitality and sample some typical home-made food (including its famous cheese). This provides a rare opportunity to not only contribute directly to the preservation of this unique area, but also to experience village life first hand. The Tushetian people live very much off the grid, with our guesthouses being run off solar panels. Our visit here too will be very much low impact, with much of the time spent walking through this captivating landscape. On arrival in Omalo, we will enjoy a short walk to Keselo, a collection of nearby towers which once served as a fortress, standing high on the surrounding hills.

Omalo Guesthouse or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK: OMALO – SHENAKO – DIKLO

DAY 8: TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK: OMALO – SHENAKO – DIKLO

We set off into this stunning landscape today as we follow rivers, cross wooden bridges and pass through forest to reach the small but striking village of Shenako. A traditional mountain village occupying the southern slopes of the Priqiti ridge, Shenako is filled with historical and geographical appeal. Rarely visited by outsiders and scattered with typical Tushetian towers, it is home to the 13th century Russian built Church of the Holy Trinity. Here we’ll enjoy a traditional Georgian lunch prepared by our local hosts, before continuing on. We pass through pine wooded valleys, after which the road eventually leads up to Diklo. Infused with legend and folklore, it provides an atmospheric setting for the night and a walk up to the moss-covered ruins of its old fortress provides some stunning views out across the surrounding countryside.
Walking time: Approx. 4.5hrs
Walking distance: 15km
Ascent/descent: 530m/550m
Highest altitude: 2150m

Diklo Guesthouse or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK: DIKLO – CHIGO - DARTLO

DAY 9: TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK: DIKLO – CHIGO - DARTLO

Today we continue exploring the beautiful Tusheti landscape as we walk along the mountain slopes to the village of Chigo. This will take us most of the day and we can enjoy a picnic lunch en route. After some time to relax and explore Chigo, we drive to Dartlo. Often described as a “village-museum” due to the traditional houses and buildings crafted with stone walls and slate roofs, Dartlo is home to beautiful medieval towers, wooden carved balconies and offers marvellous views of the surrounding area. It is a little bigger than the other villages – which are really just hamlets – and so here we will again stay in a small local guesthouse, meet more locals and enjoy more of their fabled hospitality.
Walking time: Approx. 6.5hrs
Walking distance: 10km
Ascent/descent: 310m/640m
Highest altitude: 2500m

Dartlo Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK: DARTLO – KVAVLO – DANO – CHESHO – PARSMA - GIREVI

DAY 10: TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK: DARTLO – KVAVLO – DANO – CHESHO – PARSMA - GIREVI

Our journey today begins on foot, hiking mostly uphill to Kvavlo, home to a number of towers and interesting sites, before following the trail to the beautiful hamlet of Dano. From here we continue along a pathway that connects us back to the main road, where we once again meet our vehicles and drive on to the picturesque villages of Chesho and Parsma where we can spend some time exploring. Built in the middle ages, the stone tower of Parsma still stands today and was built in a peaceful time by a Kist father-son from Bauli, like many of the towers in the region. Here we enjoy a home-cooked lunch with a local family, before this afternoon walking to the village of Girevi, only inhabited during the summer months. Discover the atmospheric Girevi Fortress, before settling in for the evening with our hosts who will introduce us to the art of making khinkali (a local dumpling), as well as introducing us to some of the local Tushetian beer – Aludi.
Walking time: Approx. 3hrs
Walking distance: 9km
Ascent/descent: 620m/500m
Highest altitude: 2150m

Girevi Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK: GIREVI – GHELE – DOCHU – OMALO

DAY 11: TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK: GIREVI – GHELE – DOCHU – OMALO

Today we drive to the village of Ghele for our final spectacular walk in Tusheti. From Ghele the trail leads us up to the mountain ridge, to provide some unforgettable views of the Tushetian landscape below as we walk along the ridge trail, enjoying a picnic en route. We eventually descend to the mystical village of Dochu, perched on a rocky outcrop, from where we then drive on to Omalo for our final night in the mountains.
Walking time: 5.5hrs
Walking distance: 10km
Ascent/descent: 600m/884m
Highest altitude: 2630m

Omalo Guesthouse
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK: OMALO – TELAVI – TBILISI

DAY 12: TUSHETI NATIONAL PARK: OMALO – TELAVI – TBILISI

We have an early start today as we spend most of today on the road making our way back to Tbilisi, stopping in Telavi en route for some lunch. This evening we can enjoy our well-earned final dinner in the capital in one of our favourite local restaurants.

KMM Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: TOUR ENDS IN TBILISI

DAY 13: TOUR ENDS IN TBILISI

The tour will end this morning at the hotel.

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 offering a higher-end experience
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 offering a higher-end experience
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 offering a higher-end experience
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 offering a higher-end experience
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 offering a higher-end experience
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 offering a higher-end experience
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

With local people, culture and eco-systems in mind, responsible travel and sustainable tourism are at the core of Wild Frontiers. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our travellers but also benefits the people and places we visit.

When designing our tours, we actively seek out experiences that have a positive impact on the communities and precious environments we visit - from supporting social enterprises; resting our heads in rural homestays; and eating at locally owned restaurants; to helping fund conservation projects that protect wildlife and their habitats. 

Visit the Responsible Travel area of our website to read more, including the work of the Wild Frontiers Foundation through which we fundraise to aid community empowerment and education projects.

Supporting Community Tourism in the Greater Caucasus

In Kazbegi and Tusheti, 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 can be 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. In addition, Tusheti is now recognised as a protected landscape, and the region is managed by the Tushetian people, so this provides a rare opportunity to not only contribute directly to the preservation of this unique area, but also to experience village life first hand.

Low Impact Travel in Georgia

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 mountains of Georgia provides an opportunity to not only take in the incredible views and ancient architecture, but to slow down and better connect with the people you meet along the way, from those in the villages we stroll through to our guesthouse hosts, whose families have lived in these remote regions for generations. In addition, the Tushetian people live very much off the grid, with their guesthouses being run mainly off solar panels. 

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) 10:20
TK 386 Istanbul (IST) 23:55 Tbilisi Airport (TBS) 03:10
TK 379 Tbilisi Airport (TBS) 10:35 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 a reputable visa agency. More details can be found here - www.wildfrontierstravel.com/visa

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.

Armenia

Armenia

Head across the border to Armenia and we would be happy to tailor-make any itinerary for you in this fascinating country.

Svaneti

Svaneti

If you enjoy mountain walking, you could visit the north-west of Georgia to experience one of the most stunning parts of the Caucasus region. Allow 7-10 days.

Azerbaijan

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

Kazbegi and Tusheti both offer mild summer temperatures at this time of year, usually sitting around 22-25 degrees Celsius during the daytime, with cool nights seeing as you're in the mountains. The chance of rain is far less during this time as well, which makes July and August prime hiking months. It is best to bring layers, considering you are in the mountains and weather can be changeable.

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 good state of health and have a high level of fitness to be suitable to join this tour.  The trek is graded as high with average daily walking time of 5-7hrs. The maximum trekking altitude reached will be 2650m.

RECCE TOURS

As we all know, the world is a constantly changing place - destinations & routes that were once cutting-edge now regularly find themselves appearing in mainstream brochures. Coming up with truly original tour ideas is a constant challenge but at Wild Frontiers we are committed to offering you a real alternative to the mainstream and each year we run a handful of new and original adventures. These are our so-called Recce Tours and since the very beginning have proven incredibly popular with those of you who like to act as our “guinea pigs” and join us on these tours. Fantastic fun and highly rewarding, Recce Tours will assuredly not go 100% to plan and it is not uncommon for clients to take an active role in tweaking the itineraries along the way. More challenging than our normal tours, these will often require a greater degree of flexibility...they will not be for everyone.

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 Diklo, Dartlo and Girevi in Tusheti, 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. 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.