hiking tours in georgia
hiking in svaneti
Before we get to the hiking tours, let us give you a brief introduction to the Svaneti region, where the most demanding adventurous hiking treks are located. Situated in the north of the country Svaneti’s borders go along with the Great Caucasian Mountains. The whole region is surrounded by gigantic snowy mount peaks and glaciers and definitely holds its place as one of the most significant regions in the country. Svaneti is divided into two parts, Lower and Upper parts, we offer most of our tours in the Upper Part of Svaneti where the Mestia is a central town of the region.
Mestia is located 240 km away from Kutaisi (via Zugdidi) and 450 km away from Tbilisi, at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level. It’s a beautiful, small central town with nice hotels and guesthouses, small restaurants, cable cars, museums, airport (local flights only) and most importantly rich with medieval Svan Towers. Mestia is a place where most of the tourists in this region gather, you can get anywhere from here. It’s actually the starting and ending point for most of the tours that take place in Svaneti. If there is one thing you must see in Georgia, (in fact the reasons for visiting this country are infinite) it is the Svaneti region with its beautiful central town Mestia.
Mestia to Ushguli (Classical 4 days hiking)
This is a classical hiking tour across Svaneti, starting from Mestia and ending in Ushguli. This tour usually takes 4 days, however, if someone wants to add other parts of the region, the company will gladly negotiate and add extra days that will give a possibility to fellow hikers to explore other mysterious villages of this beautiful region.
The whole road itself is like the path in fairy tales, its surroundings cannot be explained by words, it’s purely magical feelings that accompany hikers for 4 days and stays with them for the rest of their lives. During a hike road goes through a vast variety of landscapes, stony paths turn into velvet green valleys, trails that lay in thick forests unexpectedly go out to river banks…
Villages such as Jabeshi, Adishi, Iprali, Ushguli counts many centuries, Svan towers here were built from 9th to 12th century. The village Ushguli itself is under the protection of UNESCO world heritage, which is the highest settlement in Europe.
Day 1: Mestia – Jabeshi.
Total distance 14 km.
Time needed 6-8 hours.
Altitude: Starting Point 1,500M. Highest point: 1,900M. Ending point: 1,600M.
Overnight in Jabeshi
Day 2: Jabeshi – Adishi
Total distance: 10 km
Duration: 7-8 Hours
Altitude: Starting Point 1,600M. Highest point: 2,500M. Ending point: 2,100M.
Overnight in Adishi
Day 3: Adishi – Iprali
Total Distance: 14 km
Duration: 7-9 hours.
Altitude: Start: 2,100M. Highest point: 2,722M. End: 2,000M.
Overnight in Iprali
Day 4: Iprali – Ushguli
Total Distance: 8km
Duration: 5-6 Hours.
Altitude: Starting point 2,000M. Ending Point 2,400M. (highest point)
Koruldi lakes treks, leading to Ushba plateau, are one of the most challenging hiking trails that starts and ends in Mestia. The trail starts at an altitude of 1,400 meters above sea level, near the center of Mestia town itself. The first part of the hike is up until the viewpoint located on mount Tshkhakezagari (altitude 2,239 meters), this is the hardest part of the hike. At the viewpoint we will have a rest, maybe some lunch and after we to continue to Koruldi lakes, at the ending altitude of 2,740 meters.
From this point, the trail continues through the alpine valley and the hike itself becomes easier. Upon arrival at the lakes, hikers will enjoy magnificent views of the famous Ushba and Tetnuldi mountains… On the way back, we return to Mestia following the same way.
Total distance: 25 km.
Total Duration: 7–9 hours (including all the breaks).
Minimal altitude: 1,400 meters.
Maximal altitude: 2,740 meters.
For Kuruldi lakes Horse riding tour is also available. With horses, the total timing will be around 5 hours.
River Chalaadi is an influx of Mestiachala River that flows through Mestia. The starting point of the river is from Chalaadi Glacier, which is located 12 km away from the center of Mestia. After you get picked up from your hotel or the guesthouse, we take a jeep ride to the bridge where the Chalaadi River merges with Mestiachala. Our hiking tour starts from here and until the glacier is just 2.5 kilometers easy hike.
As of starting point trek goes through young pine forest, later when the beautiful forest path is over it becomes stony gorge, which earlier was also occupied by a glacier. The trail finishes before approaching Chalaadi glacier. Going too close to the glacier is not safe, as stone falls are frequent there.
Trek level is easy, so it’s good for everyone.
Trek normally takes 3 hours and is perfect for half-day activity.
As an option Horse Riding tour is also available, but only for short distances!! Road until young forest can be covered by horses instead of SUV vehicles (Jeep).
Becho community lies in Dolra river valley at the bottom of gorgeous Ushba Mountain. There are many legends connected with Ushba mount, according to the legends, Dali who was a goddess of hunting, was living in the rocks on the slopes of Ushba.
Shdugra Waterfall – Shdugra waterfall is located in the Becho community 20 km west of Mestia. The actual trail starts in Shikhra valley an altitude of 1,600 meters above sea level. Until the bridge on Dolra River, where the border police post is located, the trail goes through the forest and the hike is easy. From that point up until waterfalls, it is a 1.5 km hike and the maximum altitude there is 2,200 meters (approximately).
From waterfalls, the trail continues to Ushba Glacier, but this part is not an easy hike anymore. Ushba Glacier trek is one of the hardest in the Mestia region, more than 500 meters elevation is gained on a very steep rocky trail, however, the amazing views of the mountains, Ushba, Shkhelda, Mazeri on Caucasian Mountain Range in Svaneti, are priceless (2,700 meters above sea level).
Notice!!! This trail should be done ONLY in very good weather, otherwise, it is not safe.
Best season: May to October.
Difficulty: Shdugra Waterfalls– Easy to Moderate.
Glacier – Difficult.
Distance: 10 km till Shdugra Waterfall.
14 km with Glacier.
Minimum altitude: 1,600 Meters.
Maximal altitude: For Waterfalls: ~2200m.
For Glacier: ~2700 m
As an option Horse Riding tour is also available. Horse riding can start from the guesthouse until the border police post. The rest of the way it’s the hike only.