Situated in the north of the country Svaneti is bordered by both Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Bakaria in the Russian Federation. It is home to some of the highest mountains in the Caucasus. This historical region is brimming with ancient villages and the locals known as Svans have largely retained their culture and heritage for centuries. Characteristic of this region are the Svan towers (koshki) built in the medieval period to act as defense and signal towers against invading armies. Trek through the beautiful mountains to explore the medieval towers and Churches of Svaneti, be awe struck by some of the highest peaks in Europe and prepare to be immersed in local mountain culture.
Airport transfers to and from Svaneti
4x4 vehicle support throughout
English/ Georgian speaking guide and driver
All meals as in itinerary
All accommodation as in itinerary.
Travel Insurance (mandatory)
You will be met at Kutaisi airport by one of our guides and transferred to your overnight guesthouse near Kutaisi.
Overnight in Kutaisi
We set off at 10am from our guesthouse for a 4 hour vehicle transfer to Mestia in the heart of Svaneti, on the way we stop to meander around Zugdidi local market before a delicious lunch of local Khachapuri (cheese bread). After lunch we continue our journey into the mountains stopping to marvel at The Enguri Dam, the 2nd highest arch dam in the world. Arriving in Mestia in the afternoon we have time to check into our guesthouse before visiting Mestia’s ethnographic museum giving us a unique insight into the history of the ancient ‘Svan’ civilization.
Overnight in Mestia breakfast, lunch and Dinner
After breakfast we start with a short 12km vehicle transfer from Mestia to Jabeshi where we start our trek to the ancient village of Adishi. Located under Mount Tetnuldi (4858 metres) we trek through meadows and forests in the shadow of Tetnuldi before dropping down into this remote village. Stopping for a picninc lunch on route we arrive in Adishi in the late afternoon. The village has four churches: the Church of Christ, the Church of the Archangel, and two churches of Saint George. We have a superb view of the village and it’s ancient Svan towers as we descent the trail. The trail leads from the valley Mulakhura to Adishischala. Trail ends at elevation 2100m.
Total distance: 10 km
Duration: 6-7 Hours
Highest point: 2500m
Overnight in Adishi
Breakfast, lunch and Dinner
With an 8am start and after a delicious homemade breakfast we start trekking further along the valley toward Adishi Glacier, before ascending over the Chkhutnieri pass to the village of Iprali. We stop for a picnic lunch at the top of the pass to take in the views of the Caucasus. The biggest and most decorated church in this community is the Nakipari Church, built in the 10th century. Theodore, King David the Builder’s painter, painted artwork in this church. The church also contains an 11th century icon of Saint George carved in gold and silver. Horse river crossing included. Arriving at our Guesthouse mid afternoon there’s time to relax and freshen up before our evening meal.
Total Distance: 14 km
Duration: 6-8 hours
Highest point: 2722 m
Overnight in Iprali
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Transfer to Ushguli by vehicle.
Following breakfast at 8am. We have a vehicle transfer to the medieval constructions of Ushguli which are under the protection of UNESCO. A historical settlement located in the very East of Svaneti, Ushguli is one of the highest settlements in Europe (2,000-2,200m above sea level). It was part of the so-called “Free Svaneti” as for centuries the people here defended the region against numerous attacks. The Church of Saint Mary is located on one of the highest points in Ushguli and it is also the home to the remnants of one of the most ancient fortresses of Svaneti with 37 towers, dating back to the reign of Queen Tamar. The views and surrounding landscape are stunning.
There’s time to wander round through the narrow paths of this historic settlement before lunch. After lunch we have a superb trek along the valley which takes us through the mountains to Shkhara Glacier where the Enguri River starts. After which we return to Ushguli.
Elevation gain and loss 300m (5-6 hrs)
Overnight in Ushguli
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Following a traditional Svan breakfast at 8 am we transfer from Ushguli and start our trek from Becho through woods to the foot of Mt.Ushba at (4700m). A beautiful trek will bring us to the Ushba waterfalls. The first 2 hours is comparatively easy, but the next 3 hours gets a bit harder. On our way back we meet our local transport near a bridge and return to the guesthouse.
Military Base ↑↓ 400m,(walking time 4 hours) 12 km
1st Waterfall ↑↓650 m (walking time 5 hours) 16 km
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast this morning before you head off on the scenic drive back to Kutaisi. Arriving at around 1:00pm, you’ll be well rested from the drive and ready to explore at your own leisure; you can walk the cobbled streets to the stately Bagrati Cathedral; get lost in the largest, liveliest and most colourful indoor produce market in Georgia, full of indigenous cheese, walnuts, spices, herbs, fruit, vegetables, and meat; or simply stroll around the city, ingesting the culture-rich architecture that surrounds you.
Retire to your hotel when you’re ready and perhaps indulge in a final traditional Georgian meal to see your trip to a suitable end.
Transfer to Kutaisi International Airport