NEW: Trek Georgia & the Caucasus Mountains -

NEW: Trek Georgia & the Caucasus Mountains

Highlights

  • Experience the immense scenery and fascinating culture of Georgia on this remote trekking adventure
  • Where ancient monasteries and domineering fortresses overlook every hilltop
  • Trek to distant mountain villages, where people have managed to retain ancient traditions
  • Marvel at the the architecture and natural landscapes of still inhabited remote village-fortresses
  • Ascend through through deep canyons to the Atsunta Pass, one of the highest passes in Georgia at 3431m
  • Experience vast night skies and epic sunsets over snow capped mountains 
  • Camp in remote wilderness and enjoy spending time in far-flung places
  • Get off the beaten track and traverse rugged sections of the Greater Caucasus Mountains
  • Enjoy one of the oldest wine regions in the world.

Overview

Situated at the crossroads between Asia and Europe, Georgia is fusion of vibrant small towns, UNESCO-listed churches and monasteries, captivating history, fascinating culture and jaw-dropping landscapes. For thousands of years traders and adventurers have crossed through Georgia on the historic Silk Road and their legacy still remains today.

You will experience the enchanting city of Tbilisi before embarking on your trekking adventure of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, the stuff of real adventures. With following both old and new trails you will be surrounded by snow-capped mountains which dominate the skyline, flourishing valleys, pass through remote mountain villages and be in awe of monasteries, churches and cathedrals  some built in stunning locations, surrounded by gardens and forests and perched on top of dramatic gorges. Your route will also take you over the stunning Atsunta Pass at 3431 metres, one of the highest passes in Georgia. The range of scenery is immense of this much unchartered wilderness. Georgia is also famous for its wine, which has been produced here for almost 10,000 years, crafting the perfect finale for your epic back-country adventure.

Costs
Registration fee: £175 per person. Non-refundable and payable on booking.
Remaining balance: £1450 per person. Payment due 5 weeks prior to departure.

New trek special offer – the first five people who book on this awe-inspiring new adventure will receive 5% off the remaining balance

 

Included before your trek
– Plenty of support from your highly experienced Adventurous Ewe team
– Pre-trip support materials – kit list, final details info doc, responsible tourism tips
– All trek information available through our mobile phone app via Vamoos
– Discount code for ashmei sporting apparel, Joe Brown and The Climbers Shop, both online and in store
– Trek training guide
– All risk assessments and safety management
– Public Liability insurance
– International Passenger Protection
– Monthly payment plan on request

Included on your trek
– 4 nights hotel or local family run guesthouses on a twin/triple share basis
– 3 nights mountain camping 
– Adventurous Ewe Expedition Leader (for groups over 6 people)
– Expert English-speaking Local Georgian Mountain Guide
– Local crew including camp crew, drivers, horses and cooks
– All transfers as per itinerary 
– Transfer of main kit bag during trek by horses 
– All meals as outlined in your itinerary
– Drinking water for the duration of your trek

Not included in the price of the trip
– Flights to and from Tbilisi, Georgia (these can be booked for you at an additional cost)
– Items on your Kit List
– Travel insurance (mandatory)
– Visa (if required)
– Any vaccinations (if required)
– Additional drinks 
– Dinner on first and final night
– Tipping of local guides and crew
– Costs incurred with retiring from the trek early ie. transfers, accommodation, flight change costs, etc.
– Additional spending money

Itinerary 

Day 1

UK – Tbilisi, Georgia
Upon arrival your local representative will meet you for your transfer to your hotel in Tbilisi. Depending on your flight time, you will have the chance to explore this hip capital city which in recent years has emerged as one of the coolest cities in Europe. Dating back to the 4th century AD, exploring Tbilisi is a kaleidoscope of old and new. Meander around the old town, the ancient sulphur baths and the plentiful art galleries and handicraft markets which are all accessible on foot. With its dramatic valley setting, picturesque Old Town, eclectic architecture and world-class restaurants and a selection of natural wine bars, Tbilisi is also renowned as the vibrant and cosmopolitan centre of Georgia. Equally special are its proud, high-spirited people: Georgia claims to be the birthplace of wine.

Please note, once you have booked on this trip, we will provide you with the flight information arrival time to coincide with the airport transfers to Tbilisi. 

That evening you will have time to make final preparations for your trek following your trek briefing from your Adventurous Ewe Leader.

Included
– Transfer from Tbilisi to hotel from nominated flight
– Overnight accommodation in hotel (twin room share)

 

Day 2

Tbilisi – Ananuri – Shatili

Following breakfast, you will set off on your adventure of the majestic Greater Caucasus Mountains. Your initial transfer will take you past the former Georgian capital Mtskheta, as you head directly towards the country’s most picturesque, fascinating and pristine high-mountain regions. Taking the opportunity to stop enroute at the beautifully situated fortress of Ananuri on Shinvali Reservoir, an impressive castle complex on the stunning Aragvi River. You will then continue towards the Khevsureti region along smaller towns through the narrow valley of the rushing river Aragvi until Bear Cross Pass at 2,600 meters. Here you will have your first impression of the Caucasus. After a picnic lunch you will continue to the famous fortress village of Shatili, the starting point of your trek. You will have the chance to explore this incredible mountain village. Shatili’s Old Town, built between the 7th and 13th centuries, is a unique agglomeration of tall koshkebi (towers) clinging together on a rocky outcrop to form a single fortress-like whole. It was abandoned by the 1980’s, and the new village, of about 20 houses, is just around the hill. Some of the old towers have since been restored as guesthouses. 

Included:
– Transfers
– Overnight in a local family hotel 
– Breakfast, picnic lunch & dinner

Day 3

Trek Shatili – Mutso – Khonichala 
Leaving the historic highland village of Shatili you will start your trekking journey taking a shepherd trail into the Caucasus mountains and hike into the wilderness for 4 days. Accompanied by horses carrying your kit, you will hike through the picturesque valley of the Andati River to the old fortified town and present ruin of Mutso. Here you can climb to the ramparts and take in the impressive views of the khevsurian slopes and valleys. Enjoy another picnic lunch before hiking to your towards Khonichala. The end of the day will see you trek into your campsite ready for a well deserved meal and a night camped under the stars.

Included:
– Overnight camp near Khonichala
– Breakfast, lunch & dinner
– Luggage transfer by horses

 

Day 4

Trek Khonichala – Atsunta Pass
Following breakfast in camp, your trek starts with a long ascent through deep canyons towards the Atsunta Pass. This pass crossing is as thrilling as any Himalayan pass crossing. Right from the base of the climb, where you see the pass as a tiny speck, to the approach to the top of the pass is simply awe-inspiring! There’s few treks in Europe which have such a spectacular pass crossing. The landscape changes dramatically as you gain height. Within a few hundred feet you leave the pristine grasslands behind and enter the dramatic stone and rock formations of the mountains. In the afternoon you will reach your tent camp just below the pass and looking back you will be in ore of the vast panoramic landscape which stretches for miles.

On reaching camp, you can relax, take in the peacefulness of the surrounding mountains and witness an unforgettable sunset over the vast snow capped range.

Included:
– Overnight camp 
– Breakfast, picnic lunch & dinner

Day 5

Trekking across the Atsunta Pass at 3431 metres 
Following breakfast in camp, you will start hiking up to the highest point of your journey, Atsunta Pass at the elevation of 3431metres. This is one of the highest passes in Georgia. Here you will stop for snacks and enjoy spectacular panorama views of surrounding summits, alpine meadows and deep canyons of Khevsureti province and take the time to marvel at your trekking achievements. Your route then descends into the mountain region of Tusheti, one of Georgia’s most picturesque and pristine high-mountain regions. Centuries-old koshkebi (stone defence and refuge towers) still stand in many villages, and evidence of Tusheti’s old animist religion is plentiful in the form of stone shrines called khatebi (singular: khati) decked with the horns of sacrificed goats or sheep. Today most Tusheti folk only go up to Tusheti in summer, to graze their flocks and participate in festivals.

Tonight you will camp below the Atsunta Pass and enjoy a well deserved rest following such an epic hike in the mountains.

Included
– Overnight camp 
– Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6

Trek Chontio – Girevi
Following breakfast in camp, you enjoy your last long day of trekking this majestic region as your route takes you through the deserted village of Chontio which is the last inhabited village in Pirikiti valley. Your route continues towards the mountain village, Girevi, at 2060m which is inhabited year round even throughout the harsh winter months, mainly by the border patrol. Leaving the remote mountain wilderness behind you, the trail starts to see signs of civilisation again. 

Included
– Overnight in a local family hotel 
– Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7

Trek Girevi – Dartlo – Omalo
Following your last breakfast in the mountains you will continue your trek through the beautiful green valley of Pirikiti Alazani River. Passing through the famous Tushetian villages of Parsma and Cesho and onto Dartlo. Dartlo is a village nestled against the mountain slope and is one of the most beautiful villages in the whole of Tusheti. The medieval settlement lies in the heart of the region and exudes a unique charm where you’ll feel transported back in time. Today’s trek will see you cover 10kms before meeting your vehicle at the largest village in Tusheti, Omalo. With having a chance to visit Omalo you will then embark on a rather bumpy transfer from Abano Pass and onto the lush wine region of Kakheti and onward to Tbilisi. Arrival approximately 19:00. 

It’s then time to enjoy the delights of your last night in this incredible and diverse country filled with an enormous sense of achievement having trekked through the majestic Great Caucasus Mountains. What better time than to sample some of the local wine.

Included
– Overnight in Tbilisi hotel (twin share basis) 
– Breakfast and celebratory dinner

Day 8

Return home
Following breakfast at your hotel you will bid farewell to the historical region of Georgia and transfer to the airport ready for your return flight to the UK. Filled with a huge sense of pride and achievement on completing your mountain trek through the Great Caucasus Mountains, you will arrive home with plenty of stories to tell and new friend-sheeps formed.

Included
Airport transfer
Breakfast

 

 

 

Essential Information

FLIGHT BOOKINGS
Flights are not part of the package allowing you the flexibility to book a flight from your nearest UK airport and also giving you the option to extend your stay in Georgia or use any frequent flyer points that you may have. There are a couple of airlines who operate flights from the UK to Tbilisi Georgia (TBS). Check out Emirates, KLM or Georgian Airways. Georgian Airways fly direct. We recommend using Sky Scanner to source flights to suit your requirements: https://www.skyscanner.net/ 

Once you have booked on this trip, we will send you recommended flights which will have airport transfers available for you.

Adventurous Ewe can also organise your flights through our Flight Agent if you wish. For further information, please email us at info@adventurousewe.co.uk

PASSPORT, VISA, INSURANCE & VACCINATIONS
Passport
As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Once booked on the trip you can log into the Adventurous Ewe system to update your booking with your passport details. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

Visa
British nationals do not need a visa to enter Georgia for visits of up to one year. Please check with your travel agent or with the embassy for other nationalities.

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it’s important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. For British citizens please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/georgia/entry-requirements

Insurance
It is a condition of joining this trip that you are insured and we require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won’t be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24 hour emergency contact number has been sent to Adventurous Ewe or uploaded to your personal account 14 days prior to departure.

If you have credit card insurance Adventurous Ewe will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank’s name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details and ensure they are sent to Adventurous Ewe or uploaded to your personal account 14 days prior to departure.

Vaccinations
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. For up to date vaccination information please check the NHS government website ‘Fit for Travel’ at: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Please note, some vaccinations require a course of injections therefore we recommend consulting your GP or Travel Clinic 6-8 weeks in advance of travel.  

We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip.

Travel Aware
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. To keep informed of current travel news visit https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

MEDICAL AND HEALTH INFO

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with the style of travel. 

We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip.

Georgia has a very strict anti-drugs policy, which can also cover prescription and non-prescription drugs or medicines, otherwise commonly available in the UK and the European Union. For example, non-prescription medicines containing codeine are illegal in Georgia. This can cause serious problems for travellers and in some cases lead to administrative and criminal proceedings. Before travelling, check Georgia’s medication importation regulations on the Ministry of Health website

If you intend to travel with prescription medicine, you must carry a doctor’s prescription and ideally the original packaging. See Health

Drinking water
As a rule we recommend that you do not drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. Generally this isn’t serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it’s enough to spoil a day or two of your trip. Drinking water will be provided for the duration of your trek. Water consumption should be minimum of 2-3 litres a day whilst trekking. Rehydration satchels and diarrhoea blockers are essential items for your personal first aid kit.

Altitude sickness
Parts of your trek go above 2800metres / 9200feet where there is a chance you might experience some health effects due to the altitude – regardless of your age, gender and fitness. 

Before your trek:
Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor as well.

During your trek:
Whilst our UK Mountain Leaders have remote expedition first aid qualifications and are experienced with high altitude trekking, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of trekking at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.

SAFETY
Adventurous Ewe prioritises the safety of all of their trekkers and staff, and as such have developed a thorough safety management system. This encompasses comprehensive risk assessments and procedures together with audits of all aspects of your challenge from vehicles to accommodation to the trek activities. Your health and safety is our top priority.

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel advice website for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

Please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/georgia 

WEATHER AND SEASONAL INFO
During the spring months of April and May temperatures range from 10ºC to 22ºC with light rain fall. During the summer months of June, July and August, the average temperature ranges from 20ºC to 30ºC, which means it is pleasantly warm during this time. Please note that coastal areas will be humid. It is important to remember that on the mountain slopes of Georgia, temperatures even in the summer months can go as low as +4ºC.

EXPERIENCE

Trekking experience and level of difficulty
You’re in for an active trip! Whilst previous experience isn’t essential for getting involved, a good level of fitness will really help you get the most out of this trek. If you can imagine yourself trekking in the mountains for 5 days on the trot whilst carrying your day-pack and enjoying the delights of camping in the remote mountains; this is the adventure for you.

If you’re already a regular exerciser, it might be an idea to up your game a little. Run those extra laps, cycle the extra mile or swim a few more lengths to make sure you’re on top form. If you’re not exercising so regularly (we’re talking 2-3 times a week here), it’s important to start in the months leading up to your departure. Your best bet would be to tackle outdoor trekking in order to get used to uneven terrain and your kit, and anything cardio based will make a huge difference (treadmill training, swimming, running or rowing). The more you are prepared, the more you will enjoy the trek. Our motto is: ‘Train hard, smile harder and enjoy the journey!’

The regions we visit on the trip are very remote and you should be prepared to spend time in areas where facilities and services are limited. Some roads are unpaved and although maintained they can be very bumpy and dusty. Walking hours stated are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group and weather conditions.

ACCOMMODATION
Hotels or local family guesthouses (4 nights twin/triple share rooms) and camping (3 nights)

You will spend 4 nights in hotels or local family guesthouses. All rooms are on a twin/triple share basis and have ensuite facilities. Some hotels have more facilities than others however it is always good to keep in mind that the star rating in Georgia is quite different to what you may expect at home.   

Single room supplements are available for this trip for the hotel stays however we are unable to guarantee availability. Please enquire at the time of booking for details and up-to-date prices.

Two person tents will available at your campsites. Please be aware that you are camping in remote mountain areas therefore the facilities are very basic, however this is part of the experience and a great opportunity to switch off from the digital world. The campsites also provide you with the chance to immerse yourself in the remote mountain lifestyle and wilderness. Take the time to recharge your batteries.

FOOD AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Lunch will varying from a buffet-style lunch-stop to packed lunches. Dinners are generally eaten in camp or at the hotel, depending on accommodation. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

Georgian specialities include Khachapuri (cheese pies), Khinkali (meat dumplings) and Lobio (bean stew with herbs and spices). There are many sauces made from walnuts to accompany cheese or meat dishes. Churchekhela – walnuts in solid grape juice is a typical local sweet.

Vegetarians can be catered for, as there are lots of fruit and vegetables, cheese and other dairy products, various local breads and dumplings. Vegans or those with wheat or dairy intolerance will find there is far less variety but can be accommodated. Walnuts are ubiquitous in salads and sauces, so those with nut allergies please be aware. Please let us know in advance of any dietary requirements and / or allergies, and we will do our very best with making the necessary arrangements.

If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to speak to us if you have any further queries or questions.

LEADERS AND CREW
Your trip will be led by a certified and experienced Adventurous Ewe Expedition Leader (for groups over 6 people) together with a Local Guide. Our leaders are selected for their experience in mountain environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that may arise. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with your Adventurous Ewe Expedition Leader. Your Local Guide, who speaks both English and Georgian, will provide you with an understanding of the areas you trek through covering environmental and historical facts, and local customs, cultures and lifestyle info.

Your local support crew is made up of local campsite crew, drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. Your Adventurous Ewe Expedition Leader works closely with the Local Guide and crew to ensure all elements of your trip run smoothly and safely. 

Your Expedition Leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local guide and support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, though a token of appreciation of their hard work is always greatly appreciated.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL
Adventurous Ewe is committed to delivering trips in a responsible and ethical manner and with sustainable development at its core. We respect and aim to operate our adventures and events to benefit local people, their economy and the environment!
Some of the ethical event management features embedded in our Georgian Trek are:

  • Using local crew who are qualified Guides, support crew and drivers who are all extremely knowledgeable and experienced
  • Staying in locally owned accommodation
  • Minimising plastic waste wherever possible
  • Recycling waste wherever possible
  • Operating with a ‘leave no trace’ ethos – ‘Leave only footprints, take only memories’ 
  • As part of this trek, Adventurous Ewe will make a donation to the environmental charity Cool Earth as part of our business partnership. To find out more please visit: https://www.adventurousewe.co.uk/cool-earth-partnership/
  • You too are welcome to make a donation to the valuable work of Cool Earth. Just £2.50 will save 10 trees and lock up 10 tonnes of CO2. Together, we can all make a difference in helping preserve this precious and wonderful planet. #ewecandoit https://www.coolearth.org/campaigns/28292/adventurous-ewe/

 

HOW TO BOOK
The easiest way to book your trip is online via the Adventurous Ewe website at simply click Dates and Availability. At the very end of the booking process it will give you the option to either pay the non-refundable registration fee of £175 per person or the full balance of £1625 per person. 

If you opt to pay the registration fee of £175 only at the time of booking, the remaining balance of £1450 is required to be paid no less than 5 weeks prior to departure.

For further information or if you have any queries, please feel free to get in touch with us at info@adventurousewe.co.uk or call 01492 588 069. 

Difficulty Rating
This challenge has a rating of High
Cost
£ 1625

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We Employ Local Experts. Areas are left exactly how we found them. We understand the need for care.

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