THE HIDDEN VALLEYS OF SVANETI: 6-DAYS INTO THE HEART OF GEORGIA
I will return to Georgia again in the summer of 2019 to lead another 6-day hiking tour into the remote, unspoiled valleys of Svaneti. We will be based in the alpine town of Mestia, at a brand new guesthouse owned and operated by a wonderful local family I know. We will use this guesthouse as a base from which to hike up a different valley each day. A local guide/interpreter will accompany us as needed. The days will be long: approx. 6-8 hours of walking each day along with up to two hours of driving time. But the rewards will be laughter, camaraderie, and incomparable alpine vistas that are guaranteed to take your breath away.
This trip will be oriented towards adults with a strong level of fitness and previous hiking experience. The group will be small: 10-12 guests along with myself and a local guide/interpreter. A minimum of six people will be required for the trip to go ahead. Group dynamics are important for a good trip, so I intend to create a carefully-curated group of fit, flexible, open-minded explorers who will bring a sense of fun and adventure to anything that comes our way.
The itinerary I have in mind is based on the hikes in the region that I know from my own personal experience. The order of the hikes may vary slightly depending on local road and weather conditions during our stay.
12:00-6:00pm - Rendezvous at Roza’s Guesthouse in Mestia. (Participants must make their own way to Mestia). Settle in to rooms. Traditional Svan dinner at Roza's that evening. Trip briefing over good Georgian wine to follow.
Half-day hike to Chaladi glacier. Breakfast at 8:00am. 9:00am shuttle transfer to trailhead.
Total hiking time: 3-4 hours. Difficulty level: Easy/Moderate. Carry passports. Traditional Svan dinner together at Roza's.
Mt. Ushba/Waterfall Day Hike. Breakfast at 7:00am. 8:00am shuttle transfer to trailhead in Mazeri. Hike up the verdant Dolra valley towards Ushba glacier. Stop for lunch at Shdugra waterfall.
Approx. walking time: 8 hours return. Difficulty level: Easy/Moderate. We will pass by a Russian border post so please bring your passport. Traditional Svan dinner together at local restaurant or at Roza's.
Ushguli/Shkara Glacier hike. Breakfast at 7:00am. 8:00am shuttle transfer to accommodation in Ushguli. Have lunch. Leave at 12:00 for day hike up Inguri valley to towards Shkara glacier.
Approx. walking time: 6-7 hours return. Difficulty level: Easy/Moderate. Traditional Svan dinner and overnight at Villa Lileo in Ushguli.
Breakfast 8:00am. Depart 9:00am by minibus back to Mestia. Lunch at Roza’s Guesthouse or on own. Afternoon free. Evening singing/cultural show. Dinner at Roza’s or at local restaurant.
Koruldi Lakes. Breakfast at 7:00am. 8:00am shuttle transfer to trailhead. A challenging but beautiful day hike above the town of Mestia to the group of alpine lakes laying at the foot of Mt.Ushba. Excellent views of surrounding mountains. Dinner at local restaurant or at Roza's.
Total hiking time: 7-8 hours. Difficulty level: Hard.
Walk on this day TBA. Evening dinner together at local restaurant or at Roza's
Breakfast 8:00am. Minibus transfer to local airport or bus terminal. Tour ends.
Price: $1500 USD per person
- All guesthouse accommodation in Mestia and Ushguli
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners
- Shuttle bus transport to all hiking trails
- Fees for local guides
- Cultural performance
Price does not include:
- Transportation to and from Mestia
- private taxis
- Alcoholic beverages
- Museum entry fees