The closest thing we have to the "normal tour". Unlike other ones, where you trek from beginning till the end and are usually limited to one region, this one aims to show "the best of Georgia" to the visitor that doesn't have too much time beyond the duration of this tour. During 12 days, we will introduce you to everything that makes Georgia a great destination - nature, architecture, food and culture. Of course, also this tour features lots of hiking, but beyond that, we squeezed in also numerous cultural sights from medieval to Soviet era, visit to the sea and exploration of Georgian cuisine crowned by the traditional Georgian feast, supra.
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In the morning, we leave Tbilisi and head north into the mountains along the Georgian Military Highway. We will make stops at Ananuri fortress and Russo-Georgian Friendship monument, then cross the 2379m high Jvari (Cross) pass. Afterward, we will leave the main road and after a short off-road ride, will leave our cars at the Kvemo Okrokana village to make a 4-5 hours long hike in the abandoned Truso valley. After returning to our cars, we will ride to the Stepantsminda (Kazbegi) village, where we will enjoy a dinner and spend a night at the local guesthouse.
Today, we will ride a jeep to the incredibly photogenic Gergeti Trinity church, probably the most famous Georgian landmark. From here, we will trek further up and climb Kazbegi massif towards the Gergeti glacier. If the weather cooperates, we will enjoy stunning views of surrounding mountains dominated by 5033m high Mt. Kazbek. Night at Kazbegi.
After breakfast, we will take a car to the Juta village. From here, we will hike towards the imposing Chaukhi massif (3688), known as the "Georgian Dolomites". After we reach small Chaukhi lake situated beneath the ridge, we will refresh ourselves at the local pub and return to Juta. Then we will drive back to Tbilisi - will be back right for the evening tour of the Old City.
Today, we head to the Georgian wine region Kakheti. First, we will visit Alaverdi monastery which, until recently, was the highest religious building in Georgia (which is quite a feat since the monastery itself dates back to 10th century). In its vicinity, we will visit Georgia potter creating kvevri, traditional Georgian wine vessels and also taste Georgian milk products. After a brief visit to the Gremi castle, we will take a tour in the famous wine tunnel at the Khareba winery (miles-spanning tunnels, but only small part is accessible so it won´t take that long). The next stop will be Numisi Winery, where we will see a museum, do wine tasting and take a workshop of Georgian food. Finally, we will drive to Sighnaghi, where we will enjoy traditional Georgian dinner at local guesthouse.
Tour of Sighnaghi town and after we get hungry, we will drive for lunch at Simonai Zaoti in traditional georgian supra arrangement with wine drinking and toasts (and singing if you feel for that). Then we will make a visit to Zegani Monastery and drive to Tbilisi.
Today, we drive to the west. After several hours on the road, our first stop will be the medieval rock city of Uplistsikhe. Afterwards, we will make a short stop for a khachapuri for a quick lunch (since this is a pretty busy day), where we will also pay a short visit of marble-encased birth house of Josiph Stalin. Then we will drive to Chiatura, derelict mining town famous for it's cable cars system. Not far from it lies 40 meters tall limestone pillar Katskhi, home of Maxime Qavtaradze, the most famous stylite monk in the world. Finally, we will reach Kutaisi, where we will spend a night at the local guesthouse.
After hearthy breakfast, we will visit cathedrals Gelati and Motsameta, some of the finest examples of Georgian architecture. Then we will drive to Martvili canyon, where we will enjoy a short boat ride through the gorge. From here starts the last etappe of our journey to Svaneti - along the route, we will make a stop to marvel Engeri dam, the second tallest concrete dam in the world and in the afternoon will finally reach Mestia, the regional center of Svaneti.
Before noon, we will have some time to explore Mestia on foot. We will stroll around the rebuilt city center and visit one of city´s three museums. Before noon, we will ride the Hatsvali cable car to the top of Zuruldi ridge, from where we can admire Ushba, one of the most prominent peaks of Greater Caucasus while sitting at the local restaurant (or just standing nearby :)). Then will come time to stretch our legs - we will traverse Zuruldi ridge to the old Mentashi transmitter and carefully descend to reconnect another trail below. This trail will lead us through beautiful meadows and forests to the Tsvirmi village, where we will spend the night.
In the morning, we will drive to Adishi village,where today´s hike starts. First, we will follow Adischala river deeper into the valley, then cross it and initiate the arduous climb to the Chkhunderi pass (2650m). During the climb open better and better views of Mt. Tetnuldi, Adishchala valley and the glacier and from the top comes into view also Mt. Shkhara, the highest Georgian mountain. We will descend to the other side, into the Khaldechala valley to Khalde village, center of the largest 19th anti-Tzarist revolt (which was suppressed and village burned out and depopulated). Here, we will board jeeps again and drive last 20 km to famous Ushguli, where we will spend a night.
Today, you can choose from two available programs. One option is to join our guide to climb Gorvashi pass above the Ushguli village, at the altitude of 2950m. Another option is the horse trek to the Shkhara glacier with a horse guide. No matter which option you choose, you will return to the Ushguli not long after the noon and after the hearthy lunch, we will board the jeep to ride to another famous Svan village, Mazeri, lying in the shadow of Mt. Ushba. Night at Mazeri guesthouse.
Hiking in the Dolra valley, admiring Mt. Ushba from various angles. Trail ends by the Shdughra, one of the most impressive Georgian waterfalls.After returning to the village, we boards cars again and say goodbye to Svaneti. Our next destination is Batumi, bustling city at the Black Sea. We spend nice evening there, exploring the famous promenade and have a dinner at the local restaurant. Night at Batumi hotel.
Today, we will further explore Batumi and its most remarkable sights. Then, after a pleasant lunch at the local restaurant, we board cars again and brace for a long ride to Tbilisi.