Georgia, a country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is a former Soviet republic, home to authentic Caucasus Mountain villages and Black Sea beaches. It is famous for Vardzia, an extended 12th-century cave monastery, and the ancient Kakheti wine-growing region. The capital, Tbilisi, is known for its diverse architecture and cobbled streets of its old city. During this tour, we’ll visit the most attractive locations of the ancient city of Tbilisi, then take a local flight to Mestia, where the real adventure begins. We’ll visit the Zuruld Massif, Svaneti and Margiani Museums, Korduli Lakes, Shkhara Glacier, Shdugvra Waterfall, the famous Mkheri Church, and finally a trip to Kakheti where we’ll visit the most famous Georgian wineries.
Meeting at Tbilisi airport. Transfer and hotel accommodation. Sightseeing of the city with a trip to the old part of Tbilisi. We’ll visit Metekhi Church; Old baths; Chardin Street; Old caravanserai; Narikala, Sioni Cathedral; Mtasminda, and Ethnographic Museum. Later in the day, we’ll depart to Mtskheta – Georgia’s oldest capital (Jvari Monastery; Svetitskhoveli Cathedral), for lunch and evening return to Tbilisi. Free time. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
TBILISI - MESTIA
After breakfast, we’ll pack and fly to Mestia. Here, we’ll go on a short trek tour around Mestia. A tour of the Zuruld massif for a total of 6 km in duration – max 3h walking. Part of it is by cable car. We’ll arrive at 2,455m, overlooking the surrounding peaks. It offers a phenomenal view of some Caucasus’ most prominent mountains, such as Ushba, Tetnuldi, and Laila. After a few photographs, we return to Mestia, for a visit of the Svaneti Museum, or Margiani Tower Museum. Overnight stay.
MESTIA - KORDULI LAKES - MESTIA, 21 km, 1500 m ascent, altitude 2.749mnv
After breakfast, we set off on a trek to Korduli Lakes. This is a trek that goes to a group of lakes that lie beneath Mount Usba, one of the more fascinating mountains of this region. The mere reflection of the massif in the lake is an experience worth the effort.
If we have enough strength left in the tank, we’ll embark through the Korduli Pass, located 200 meters above the lake, offering perfect views of the surrounding peaks. Return to Mestia and free time to rest. Overnight stay.
MESTIA - USHGULI - SHKHARA GLACIER - USHGULI, 16 km, total ascent 540m
After breakfast, we leave the hotel and board the famous marshuts, a type of public transportation that exists only in Georgia. We drive to Usguli village. From here, we’ll take a relaxing walk experiencing the beautiful glaciers around us. After our brief glacier tour, we return to Ushguli for a well-deserved break. And what better way to end the day with a well-deserved drink at the bar offering a perfect view of the surrounding mountains.
USHGULI-MAZERI - SHDUGVRA WATERFALL - MESTIA, 14 km to the waterfall
Breakfast. We grab the popular marshutka and drive to the village of Mazeri, where our trek starts. The road takes us through beautiful coniferous forests, mountain streams overlooking the peaks of Usba. There are two ways to get to the waterfall. The longer and more attractive version starts at the Grand Hotel Ushba, crossing the bridge over the Dolra River to the left of the hotel. The trail passes through springs of mineral water, a church with a picturesque location, and beautiful meadows. Then slowly ascends along the path of pine forests until it reaches the boundary pillar from where the last climb begins. It would be best if you had your passport with you because sometimes border guards ask for it.
The trek is 7 km long and takes about 3-4 hours in one direction. The waterfall can be reached both from above and from below. It cannot be fully accessed as it creates constant rain and wind.
If we have the strength and time, we can continue the steep climb near the waterfall and hike to the Ushba Glacier. We’ll take an additional 3 km and 2 hours of walking for a more demanding trail. If good weather serves us, we’ll be rewarded with a great view of the peaks at Ushba (4,000 m high). After a busy day, we return the same way to our base in Mestia, for relaxation. Overnight stay.
MESTIA - MKHERI CHURCH - MESTIA, 16 km, total ascent 1,500 m
After breakfast, we’ll depart to Mkheri church. The trek starts a few km from our accommodation, so we’ll take a taxi to the starting point of the trek. If you want to see something truly memorable and unique, the 360-degree panorama of the Caucasus Mountains from Mkheri Church will offer precisely that. Just grab a hat, bring some food, 2 liters of water, and get ready for a 5-hour walk through the woods, to one of the highest European churches at an altitude of 2500 m.
Mkheri Church is at the top of a panoramic alpine hill on the edge of the beautiful peak of Lahili (4,000 m) overlooking the peaks of the Greater Caucasus Mountains on the other side. When the day is sunny, all these peaks are visible: Lahili, Ushba, Tetnuldi, Shkhara, and others. Return to Mestia. Overnight stay.
MESTIA - TBILISI
Breakfast. Flight from Mestia to Tbilisi. Arrival in Tbilisi for some free time. Overnight stay.
TBILISI - KAKHETI TOUR - TBILISI
After breakfast, we’ll go on a Kakheti tour. Tour of the Bodba Monastery, then the city in Signagi, visit the Tsinandali Museum, with included lunch and wine tasting in the wine cellar in Nafareuli. Return to Tbilisi. Overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.