The wonders of Svaneti

ITINERARY

Day 1

Arrival - Tbilisi

Day 2

Tbilisi - Zugdidi

Day 3

Zugdidi - Mestia – Zhabeshi

Day 4

Zhabeshi  -  Tetnuldi - Adishi

Day 5

Adishi – Chkhutnieri Pass – Iprali 

Day 6

Iprali - Ushguli

Day 7

Ushguli – Mestia - Mazeri

Day 8

Mazeri – Ushba Glacier - Mazeri

Day 9

Mestia – Koruldi Lakes – Zugdidi - Tbilisi

Day 10

Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Tbilisi 

Day 11

Tbilisi – Departure
 

Day 1
Arrive

Arrive in Tbilisi, meeting at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 2
Visit the capital of Georgia

Discover the capital of Georgia – Tbilisi, explore its old district with paved streets and traditional houses with wooden balconies, at the bank of Mtkvari river. We visit the landmarks of the city: Metekhi church and its plateau which unfolds a superb view of the old city, Narikala Fortress - the ancient symbol of the city, the district of baths (Abanotubani) known for its Sulphur hot springs. 

In the afternoon we visit the National Museum and its collections of “golden treasure” from the ancient period. At the end of our day we visit Dry Bridge - place which attracts visitors with its flea market.

Transfer to the train station. Evening train Tbilisi-Zugdidi 21h45-06h05 +1.

Walking hours: around 3h.
Overnight in the train.

Day 3
Trek from Mestia to Zhabeshi

Arrive in Zugdidi at 06h05.

Transfer from Zugdidi to Mestia by car.

Start our trek from Mestia (1500m) towards the village Zhabeshi (1680m). 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.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 3h, 140km.
Walking hours: around 4-5 km, 16 km.
Elevation +: on foot - 400m.
Elevation -: on foot - 300m.
Difficulty level: average.
Overnight in Zhabeshi.

Day 4
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 (4852 m). This 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 5
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 6
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 7
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 8
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.

We arrive in the village at the end of the day and finally return back to Mestia by car.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 00h40, 20km.
Walking hours: around 7-8 hours.
Elevation +: on foot - 1100m.
Elevation -: on foot - 1100m.
Difficulty level: difficult.

Day 9
Lakes of Koruldi

In the morning departure to Korouldi lakes (2850m) by 4x4 car. Here we can enjoy magnificent views of the lake at the foot of the peaks of the greater Caucasus

Then we return to Mestia on foot or by car.

After short stop, transfer from Mestia to Zugdidi train station by car. 

Evening train Zugdidi - Tbilisi 22h15-06h35 +1.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 3h00, 140km.
Walking hours: around 3-4 hours.
Elevation +: total - 1300m.
Elevation -: total - 2800m.
Difficulty level: easy.
Overnight in the train.

Day 10
Discover ancient capital and UNESCO Sights

Arrive in Tbilisi at 06h35. Meeting at the train station.

Departure for Mtskheta – an old capital of Iberia kingdom, visit Jvari (Cross) monastery perched on a hill and overlooking the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral ("Life-giving column") dated back to the 11tcentury. Shopping of Georgian national handmade souvenirs. Possibility of buying national handcrafted souvenirs. 

Return to Tbilisi. Free time for leisure.

Transfer: Private vehicle, around 1h, 50km.
Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 11
Departure

Transfer to the airport, departure.

The wonders of Svaneti

11 Days

Mariam Papunashvili

Head of the receptive department

Maryam is graduated from the Faculty of Tourism Management at Ilia Tchavchavadze State University and after she did he...

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...