Hiking in the Georgian Caucasus

Hiking in the Georgian Caucasus

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9 Days
From

$1640

$1595

Hiking in the Georgian Caucasus

9 Days Starting and ending in Batumi

Visiting: Batumi, Becho Pass, Ushba, Mestia, Koruldi Lakes, Ushguli, hotel GURO, Shkhara, Mulakhi

Tour operator:

Explore!

Tour code:

WGEO

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Medium, None

Age range:

14-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Active, Adventure Tours

Interests:

Cultural, History

Activities:

Hiking, Trekking

From:
$1640
$1595 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$45
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Tour Overview

The trips offers the chance to trek in a fascinating, off-beat region that's just being discovered by tourism. Georgia's Svaneti region has its own unique history and culture and lies among the craggy snow-capped peaks and deep gorges of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Stay with the proud Svantian people in remote villages with their distinctive koshki - medieval defensive stone towers.



Caucasus hikes - Trek to the foot of Mount Ushba, summit Mount Guro and reach the Shkhara Glacier

Ushguli - Travel back in time at this remote UNESCO-listed village where oxen still plough the fields

Food and drink - Enjoy hearty home-cooked local dishes and Georgian wines

Highlights

  • Caucasus hikes - Trek to the foot of Mount Ushba, summit Mount Guro and reach the Shkhara Glacier

  • Ushguli - Travel back in time at this remote UNESCO-listed village where oxen still plough the fields

  • Food and drink - Enjoy hearty home-cooked local dishes and Georgian wines

Itinerary

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Day 1: Trip Starts In Batumi On The Shores Of The Black Sea
Location: Batumi
Accommodation: Hotel, Aisi
Meals Included: No Meals

The trip starts today in Batumi, on the shores of the Black Sea. Batumi is Georgia's second largest city and the capital of its Autonomous Republic of Adjara. It is both an important port and Black Sea holiday resort.



There are no activities planned for today and you are free to arrive at any time although please note that your hotel room may not be available until after 2pm. Complimentary airport transfers are provided to all customers arriving today into Batumi International Airport (BUS), which is located just a few kilometres south from the city centre. As the flight most likely to be taken by customers travelling from the UK does not arrive until mid-evening, your leader does not plan to hold the welcome meeting until after breakfast tomorrow (day 2).



Should you have time to explore today, we recommend striking out on foot to stroll along the waterfront Promenade which stretches for several kilometres and is very much the beating heart of the city during the summer months, with many open-air cafes and restaurants.

Day 2: Drive To The Mountain Village Of Becho In Svaneti Region
Location: Becho Pass, Ushba
Accommodation: Jena's Guesthouse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Your trip leader plans to meet everyone after breakfast today for a welcome meeting. If you have not already met with the leader, please check the hotel reception area for a notice regarding timings.



After this we set out on our drive north, following the Black Sea coast at first before heading inland, through increasingly dramatic scenery, to the Caucasus Mountains. It's around a five hour drive to our destination for the night, the village of Becho in the region of Svaneti. Becho lies close to the Russian border in the shadow of the magnificent Mount Ushba. At 4,710 metres, Ushba is commonly known as the 'Matterhorn of the Caucasus' because of its distinct spire-shaped summit. Situated on the southern slopes of the central Caucasus Mountains and surrounded by 3,000 to 5,000 metre peaks, Svaneti is the highest inhabited area in the Caucasus. Its valleys are dotted with beautiful medieval villages where you will see many stone towers, or Koshki, as they are locally known, which were originally built in medieval times to protect the villagers from invaders and provide sanctuary from avalanches. It is an area of stunning natural beauty with glaciers, rivers and coniferous forests. The local people, known as Svans, are a distinct ethnic sub-group with their own language and traditions.

Day 3: Hike To Waterfalls At The Base Of Mount Ushba
Location: Ushba, Mestia
Accommodation: Hotel, Chubu
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we drive a short distance up the valley to the start point of our trek near the settlement of Mazeri. Our hiking route starts out following the left bank of the Dolra river, ascending gradually through thick forests on a rocky trail. There are some great views of the beautiful Ushba waterfall along the way. Eventually we cross the river on a wooden bridge to reach a small military encampment in the woods. The Russian border is not far away, just over the mountains. From here the route becomes steeper and the path soon leaves the forest to reach the impressive waterfall at the base of Mount Ushba. You can choose to rest at the bottom of the falls or continue on a steep hike all the way to the top. We plan to have a picnic lunch during our hike and enjoy the views before making our way back on the same trail through the forest to our bus.



In the afternoon we drive deeper into Svaneti to Mestia, the main centre in Upper Svaneti and our base for the next two nights. Mestia is a large villagemall town sited at an elevation of 1500 metres with a population of over 2,600. It's becoming increasingly popular with Georgians and Russians as small a ski resort in winter (there are a handful of runs outside of the town) and a centre for trekkers in the summer months. Quite a few of the old stone dwellings on the northern side of the town still retain their imposing stone watchtowers and these are illuminated at night, an enchanting sight. At the Margiani House museum you can visit a traditional Svantian home and climb inside one of the watchtowers. The History and Ethnography Museum is well curated with information provided in English and well worth a visit if you are keen to find out more about the Svan culture.



Today's 11 kilometre walk is expected to take approximately 6 hours with a total ascent and descent of 980 metres if ascending to the top of the falls, 450 metres to the first waterfall.

Day 4: Hike From Jvari To The Beautiful Mountain Lakes Of Koruldi
Location: Koruldi Lakes, Mestia
Accommodation: Hotel, Chubu
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we make a short journey by four-wheel drive vehicles to Jvari. At an altitude of 2150 metres, Jvari is the starting point for our hike to the beautiful mountain lakes of Koruldi which lie at 2750 metres at the foot of Mount Ushba. The views of the surrounding mountains and their snow-covered glaciers is simply stunning. From the top we hope to see several summits including Mounts Tetnuldi (4800m), Laila (4008m) and Chatini (4012m). We retrace our steps on our return hike to our waiting vehicles and return to Mestia for a second night.



Today's 8 kilometre walk is expected to take approximately 3 hours with a total ascent and descent of 600 metres.

Day 5: Four Wheel Drive To Ushguli And Mount Guro Ascent
Location: Ushguli, hotel GURO, Shkhara
Accommodation: Nanuli's Guesthouse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we drive to Ushguli and as the road condition deteriorates past Mestia we'll travel by four-wheel drive vehicles. There's almost a sense of driving back in time on the journey which culminates with a striking view of the four hamlets which make up Ushguli, nestled at the bottom of a steep valley with many brooding medieval watchtowers in sight. Oxen are still used to plough the fields of potatoes and the streets are a often muddy, higgledy-piggledy warren of mainly stone dwellings.



We strike out on the first of our two hikes from Ushguli in the afternoon - the ascent of Mount Guro whose 3070 metre summit overlooks the village. The hike starts with a steep climb out of the village and continues steeply upwards through pastures rich with many wildflowers including orchids and wild tulips. We'll take our time to enjoy the views which open up to show us Mount Shkhara (Georgia's highest peak at 5201m), Mount Tetnuldi and Mount Laila. The panorama from the top is simply stunning and we spend time here before making our way back down to the village.



Today's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take approximately 5 to 6 hours with a total ascent and descent of 800 metres.

Day 6: Trek To The Foot Of Mount Shkhara And The Shkhara Glacier
Location: Shkhara
Accommodation: Nanuli's Guesthouse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Mount Shkhara is Georgia's highest mountain, standing at 5201m, it's the eastern anchor of an imposing 12 kilometre long ridge known as the Bezingi Wall. Our walk to the foot of the glacier at the base of the mountain follows the course of the Enereti River back to its source along a surprisingly flat trail and for the most part we are rewarded with spectacular views of the mountain. Wildflowers carpet the grassy valley and purple orchids can be seen in bloom along the banks of the river. As we reach the final approach to the glacier the path becomes steeper and terrain rockier. Finally we reach the tongue of the glacier, with incredible views up to the craggy, snow-covered sides of Mount Shkhara. We return on the same route to Ushguli.



Today's 18 kilometre walk is expected to take approximately 6 hours with a total ascent and descent of 320 metres.

Day 7: Hike From Mulakhi To Mestia
Location: Mulakhi, Mestia
Accommodation: Hotel, Chubu
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we take four-wheel drive vehicles once again for the journey back towards Mestia, stopping en route at the small village of Mulakhi. The vehicles then depart with our main luggage for our hotel in Mestia, while we continue on foot on the final hike of the holiday which takes us all the way back to our hotel. The trail skirts around the side of a valley and passes through several small settlements and takes in superb views of the mountains all the way back to the Mestia valley. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch with views along the trail.



Today's 14 kilometre walk is expected to take approximately 5 hours with a total ascent of 520 metres and descent of 650 metres.

Day 8: Drive To Batumi Via Zugdidi
Location: Batumi
Accommodation: Hotel Aisi
Meals Included: Breakfast

Leaving the mountains behind us today we make our way back to Batumi via the town of Zugdidi. There should be some time on arrival for a seafront stroll or perhaps head to the city centre to admire some of the city's eclectic architecture. Traditional 19th-century Russian houses, soviet-era apartment building and ultra-modern high-rise constructions lie within a few blocks of each other.

Day 9: Trip Ends In Batumi
Location: Batumi
Meals Included: Breakfast

The trip ends today after breakfast at our hotel in Batumi.



There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Batumi International Airport (BUS), around 15 minutes drive from the city centre.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    3 nights simple guesthouse

    2 nights comfortable hotel

    3 nights simple hotel

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Meals – Full Board

    Breakfast: 8

    Lunch: 5

    Dinner: 6

What's Not Included

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

  • Tipping and Gratuities

Videos

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the maximum group size?

    16

  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    All customers that travel on a Explore group trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. This is a great way to start your travels, offering you that little extra peace of mind and comfort in the knowledge that there will be someone at the airport or station waiting to take you t

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    Moderate

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?

    Yes

  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    3 nights simple guesthouse

    2 nights comfortable hotel

    3 nights simple hotel

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    Yes, we would be delighted to book extra nights before the start or at the end of your trip, please let us know your requirements at the time of booking.

  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

David  

Hiking in the Caucasus

this was a veryod trip, value for money people ver

this was a veryod trip, value for money people very friendly the mountains great .

Neil  

Hiking in the Caucasus

The trip is excellent value for money the tour lea

The trip is excellent value for money the tour leader Giorgi was absolutely brilliant and very thoughtful. The group was also excellent and so too was the itinerary I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this trip, the country, locations and accommodation was all brilliant!! I would definitely recommend this trip with explore to friends and family!!!

Richard  

Hiking in the Caucasus

For a 'new' destination, Georgia is very comfortab

For a 'new' destination, Georgia is very comfortable and welcoming to visitors

Kerryn  

Hiking in the Caucasus

Had an absolutely amazing trip. Everything was so

Had an absolutely amazing trip. Everything was so perfectly arranged and planned out was definitely a holiday of a life time.

Lesley  

Hiking in the Caucasus

Very interesting trip

Very interesting trip

Roger  

Hiking in the Caucasus

Whilst I only rated Alexod, he was a delight to be

Whilst I only rated Alexod, he was a delight to be with, managed to answer all our questions about Georgia and left me with the feeling of the countries visited with Explore his is the most likely I would like to return to.

Linda  

Hiking in the Caucasus

This was probably our most adventurous Explore hol

This was probably our most adventurous Explore holiday to date. We loved the Georgian culture, the breathtaking scenery, the food and the wine. We felt privileged to have seen these remote villages in the foothills of the Caucasus before they are changed by the inevitable growth of tourism in years to come.

Lesley  

Hiking in the Caucasus

being able to see the film Dedein the local cinema

being able to see the film Dedein the local cinema really gave an insight into life in the area not so long ago. The local museum was alsood.

Read all 8 reviews

Dates & Availability

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Sunday - Monday

Jun 09, 2024 - Jun 17, 2024
$1990 $1935 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$55 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Monday

Jun 23, 2024 - Jul 01, 2024
$1940 $1887 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$53 (USD)

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Sunday - Monday

Jul 21, 2024 - Jul 29, 2024
$1870 $1819 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$51 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Monday

Aug 04, 2024 - Aug 12, 2024
$1640 $1595 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$45 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Monday

Aug 25, 2024 - Sep 02, 2024
$1820 $1770 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$50 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Monday

Sep 01, 2024 - Sep 09, 2024
$1820 $1770 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$50 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Sunday - Monday

Sep 08, 2024 - Sep 16, 2024
$1830 $1780 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$50 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jun 07, 2025 - Jun 15, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$52 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jun 21, 2025 - Jun 29, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$52 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jul 12, 2025 - Jul 20, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$52 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Aug 02, 2025 - Aug 10, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$52 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Aug 23, 2025 - Aug 31, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$52 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Aug 30, 2025 - Sep 07, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$52 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Sep 06, 2025 - Sep 14, 2025
$1880 $1828 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$52 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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