Svaneti from Kutaisi

ITINERARY

Day 1

Arrival -  Kutaisi

Day 2

Kutaisi – Zugdidi – Mestia

Day 3

Mestia – Tchalaati – Mestia

Day 4

Mestia – Zhabeshi

Day 5

Zhabeshi  -  Tetnuldi - Adishi

Day 6

Adishi – Chkhuntieri Pass – Iprali 

Day 7

Iprali - Ushguli

Day 8

Ushguli – Mestia - Mazeri

Day 9

Mazeri – Ushba Glacier - Mazeri

Day 10

Mazeri – Zugdidi - Kutaisi

Day 11

Kutaisi - Departure
 

Day 1
Arrive

Arrive in Kutaisi. Kutaisi is the second largest and the most important city in Georgia - in the West part of the country. Here is one of three international airports of Georgia, mostly low cost airlines operate at Kutaisi airport. Transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in Kutaisi.

Day 2
Visit UNESCO Sights and depart for the Greater Caucasus

Visit Kutaisi and UNESCO sites: Gelati monastery, which is the illustration of the Georgian culture since X C until the XVIII C, the masterpiece of the Golden Age of medieval Georgia, the center of science and education during that period. After we visit recently renovated Bagrati cathedral – the symbol of the city, dated back to the X century. Visit local bazar.

In the afternoon, we continue to Mestia, Svaneti - mountain region rich with the diversity of landscapes. Svaneti is one of significant areas of the myth of Argonauts, here used to get the gold with lamb leather. Situated on the southern slopes of the central Greater Caucasus, surrounded by 3,000–5,000 meter peaks.
 

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 5h, 250km.
Overnight in Mestia.

Day 3
Depute of trekking

Today we start our trekking adventure with a short 4-5-hours hike to Chalaadi Gorge. In the morning our local driver with 4x4 car takes us to a small wooden bridge suspended over Mestiatchala river. Here, at an altitude of 1600m, our adventure begins! We cross the bridge and enter to the alpine forest. After crossing the forest, the trail continues to the Glacier Chalaadi (1900m) and the road becomes more and more stony and we need to be more careful during walking. The glacier gives birth to the river also named Chalaadi and offers us a splendid view of the northern summit of the Mount Ushba and the Mount Chatin on the other side.

Return to Mestia.

In the afternoon visit Mestia with its Ethnographic Museum which has a very rich cultural collection of the region from the Stone Age to the present day, including medieval Orthodox art examples. 

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 1h.
Walking hours: around 4-5 km, 12 km.
Elevation +: total – 400 m, on foot - 300m.
Elevation -: total – 400 m, on foot - 300m.
Difficulty level: average.
Overnight in Mestia.

Day 4
Trek from Mestia to Zhabeshi village

In the morning we start our trekking from Mestia (1500m) towards the village Zhabeshi (1680 m). From this morning, each day we move on foot to reach the highest village Ushguli step by step. Every day the car delivers our luggage to the village where we stay for overnight.

The first day towards Ushguli is easier, the trail follows to the rivers and the north side of the mountain. The path passes Mulakhi village, it is possible to visit the churches of the village.

After 4-5 hours trekking, we arrive at the village of Zhabeshi (1680m) surrounded by the mountains including the peak of Tetnuldi (4852m), which means “white” in English. The next day we continue around this peak to reach the other side of the mountain.

Free time to visit the village and its typical houses of the region.

Walking hours: around 4-5 km, 16 km.
Elevation +: 400m on foot.
Elevation -: 300m on foot.
Difficulty level: average.
Overnight in Zhabeshi.

Day 5
Hidden village among the mountains

In the morning we start the trek from Zhabeshi (1680m) to Adishi village (2040m) which is located at the other side of 2500m pass. This day is more difficult which begins with the climbing to the pass. The trail crosses the mountain forest and climbs up to the slope of Tetnuldi ski resort. Here we can have a little rest and enjoy the vast panorama of the greater Caucasus mountains.

The descent towards the village Adishi offers us different views of the village. Finally, after 7-8 hours of walking we descend into the village hidden among the mountains at the foot of Mount Tetnuldi (4852m) small and beautiful village was one of the significant villages which kept Georgian religious treasure during the medieval wars. Several churches in the village with its regional murals are absolutely worth to visit.

Walking hours: around 7-8 km, 18 km.
Elevation +: on foot - 850m.
Elevation -: on foot - 450m.
Difficulty level: difficult.
Overnight in Adishi.

Day 6
Panorama of the peaks of the Greater Caucasus

In the morning, departure from Adishi village (2040m) towards the Chkhutnieri pass (2800m). The trail follows Adishistskali river and finally crosses it before starting another climbing of 800m altitude. We cross the river by horses and begin the ascending path rich with alpine plants.

After we climb the pass, all the peaks of the Greater Caucasus between 4000m and 5201m, as well as Tetnuldi glacier are in front of us. The alpine field with some flowers and the panorama offers us a magic place for lunch break or refreshment. 

After a short break we start a descent with a winding path goes to the village Kalde (2000m), almost entirely ruined medieval village.

Finally, we descend to the village Iprali for overnight after a difficult but emotional day.

Walking hours: around 7-8 km, 18 km.
Elevation +: on foot - 850m.
Elevation -: on foot - 850m.
Difficulty level: difficult.
Overnight in Iprali.

Day 7
Trekking to the highest village Ushguli

In the morning we start our last day of our circuit towards Ushguli (2200m), one of the highest villages in Georgia. The trail follows to Khaldetchala River and finally climbs up to the mountain which separates two valleys: Khalde and Enguri. At the end of the day we descend to Ushguli - the village with typical Svan towers. The village is located at the foot of Mount Shkara (5201m) with nine peaks and the highest peak is located in Georgia.

Arrive in Ushguli, free time to visit the village.

Walking hours: around 6 hours.
Elevation +: on foot - 400m.
Elevation -: on foot - 200m.
Difficulty level: difficult.
Overnight in Ushguli.

Day 8
Hiking to the Glacier Shkhara

In the morning we start a short relaxing walk to the Glacier Shkhara (2390m) of 3-4 hours. During the hiking it is possible to visit Lamaria Church (IX-X CC).

In the afternoon return back to Mestia by 4x4 car and then continue the road to Mazeri village (1660m) located at the foot of Mount Ushba (4700m).

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 2h, 70km.
Walking hours: around 3-4 hours.
Elevation +: total - 0m, on foot - 200m.
Elevation -: total - 800m, on foot - 200m.
Difficulty level: easy.
Overnight in Mazeri.

Day 9
Hiking to the Glacier Ushba

The last day of our trek is more technical. In the early morning we ahead toward the Mount Ushba on foot. The trail offers several adventures: crossing the river on foot, alpine forests, rock climbing and crossing the snowy areas that remains even in summer at the less illuminated places.

The trail splits into two directions and we have the choice of discovering Ushba waterfalls and / or continuing to the glacier Ushba (2700m). The ascent to the waterfalls of the glacier is quite difficult but the culmination of the trek is so impressive that the afford is rewarded.

Then we descent to Mazeri village which requires a lot of concentration.

At the end of the day, return back to the village Mazeri.

Walking hours: around 7-8 hours.
Elevation +: on foot - 1100m.
Elevation -: on foot - 1100m.
Difficulty level: difficult.
Overnight in Mazeri.

Day 10
Zugdidi – city of Dadiani dynasty

In the morning departure from Mestia to Zugdidi. Visit Dadiani Palaces to see the exhibition of Georgian cultural heritage connected to the emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, Tagiloni treasure materials and the memorial relics of Dadiani dynasty.

Continue the road to Kutaisi.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 5h, 250km.
Overnight in Kutaisi.

Day 11
Departure

Transfer to the airport, departure.

Svaneti from Kutaisi

11 Days

Naniko Khuskivadze

Marcketing and communication

Originally, tourism was not his main occupation, but the trip has always followed. By working on cultural sites in Georgia...