Georgia: Trekking the forgotten valleys of Caucasus
We will travel across Tusheti and Khevsureti by foot during a summertime trekking in Georgia. Local horses and porters will carry our luggage, while we will be enjoying lightweight backpacking, wandering from one valley to another between villages down the land of high passes and deep, green valleys. Those who are interested will have the option to climb to the top of Mount Kazbek (5 033 m) - a mythical extinct volcano.
Tusheti and Khevsureti will unveil before us the power of nature and the spirit of old Georgian traditions. These are the only places in Georgia where the customs of the lively and temperamental shepherds have been preserved to this day.
Departure from Warsaw. Arrival in Tbilisi early in the morning. Transfer to the Pankisi Gorge, inhabited by Muslim Kists. Purchase of food and supplies for trekking at the beautiful local market in Telavi. In the evening a simple, traditional Chechen dinner. A home concert of Chechen and Georgian music with a show of traditional dance.
Drive through the one of the most beautiful and dangerous roads of the South Caucasus. Along the main Caucasian ridge and the Abano Pass (2960m above sea level), we will reach the capital of Tusheti - Omalo. An afternoon walk through the ruins of the Tushetian defensive towers in.
We leave Omalo and first with off-road vehicles, and then on foot we will go to the direction of Russian border. We will go towards the extinct mountain volcanoes. During the trip, we will be accompanied by horses that will carry our luggage. The first day of the trip will take us through the Nakaicha Pass to the mountain settlement of Chesho, and then through the villages of Girevi and Chonszio, almost to the Atsunta pass. We will spend the night in tents in arranged camp.
After reaching Atsunta Pass, we will go down to the half-deserted village of Ardoti lying on the border between Tusheti and neighboring Khevsureti. We will be already close to the fortress village of Shatili, but it will take us one more day to reach it. Overnight in tents.
After passing the spot of Georgian border guards we will take the old trade route passing right next to the "dead house" - a building full of skeletons in which old sick highlanders were dying. In the evening we will reach Shatili after passing a beautiful stone field and several shepherd's huts on the way.
The former Georgian song says a story about beautiful lady from Shatili. Today we will try to find her between the last inhabitants of this jewel among the Caucasian settlements. The architecture of the town is amazing because the houses are so connected that they form a fortress stronghold. We will have the chance to find out that the Khevsurs living here are considered the most kind and hospitable people living in the whole Caucasus mountains range. In the afternoon we will get into cars and go to Roshka, where the next stage of our journey will begin.
We set out from the village of Roshka towards the next Georgian region of Mtskheta-Mtianeti. We will wander at the foot of Chaukhi Mountain. After getting to the pass, the camp and accommodation.
We will go to the capital of Khevi - Kazbegi subregion. Another day of travel to village of Juta. After the difficulties of the earlier day, a calmer episode that leads mainly through vast valleys at the foot of the high Caucasus peaks.
We will stay in Stepatsminda. Supplementing needs at local stores. Continue walking to the beautifully situated Tsminda Sameba monastery. From here we have only a few hours to get to the edge of the glacier. Overnight in a tent.
Acclimatization and climbing to a height of 4000 meters. Preparations to get to Kazbek which is surrounded by beautiful views of the glacier and rocks. Observation of birds, sunbathing and other attractions. Overnight in a tent under a glacier or in meteorological station.
A group of volunteers will attempt to reach the summit under the care of a local, licensed mountain guide. Hiking will begin in the early morning while we will cross the glacier on the plateau, from which we will have a steep climb to the top of Kazbek. Return to meteorological station in the afternoon. If the weather is good, and the participants do not lack strength and time, the attempt to reach the summit can also be made the day before. Overnight in a tent or meteorological station.
An additional day or descent to Stepantsminda. For those interested, we plan to visit the Darial Gorge and the Gveleti waterfalls. Overnight in Stepantsminda with local families at guesthouse.
We leave the Caucasus, drive to Tbilisi. Sightseeing the city and a concert of Georgian music. Overnight in Tbilisi.
A day-long tour of Tbilisi. We will visit the old town and the Narikala fortress. For those willing to take a bath in sulfur baths. We will go to Dry Bridge flea and antique market. We will also go to the "Art Nouveau district", located along the beautiful newly renovated street of King David the Builder. For those who want an evening we can carry a party in one of the numerous Tbilisi bars. Resting in a hotel. Around 2 o'clock in the morning, departure to the airport and return to Poland.
• a return flight ticket with airport charges
• care of an English-speaking guide
• care of the local mountain guide
• transfer to and from Tbilisi airport, transport to and from the mountains, transfer from Shatili to Gudani and from Juta to Stepantsminda
• a horse carrying luggage in Tusheti, Khevsureti and Khevi
• two nights in a hotel in Tbilisi
• accommodation in Pankisi, Omalo, Szatili and Stepantsminda
• breakfasts and dinners in Pankisi, Omalo, Shatili and Stepantsminda (in the shorter version also Pasanauri)
• breakfasts in Tbilisi
• information packages and maps
• obligatory insurance guarantee for the travel agency
• NNW and KL + insurance of luggage up to 200 Euro
• a mandatory fee for the State Tourist Guarantee Fund (TFG) for each person
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• for those interested, renting horses to cross the road through Tusheti and Khevsureti (about 50 EUR for each part)
• food during trekking and in Tbilisi
The place of departure is WARSAW. In case you wish to travel from another destination or book flights on your own, please contact us for price quotation for this trip.
ACCOMODATION AND FOOD:
Due to the inaccessibility of the visited areas, it is impossible to spend each night in guest houses. During a few nights we will sleep in our own tents in the arranged camps. In Tbilisi we will be accommodated in a hotel. At each accommodation in guest houses the price includes dinner and breakfast. Other meals on their own.
We travel in small groups. The minimum number of people on the trip is 6, maximum 14.
Trekking takes place without any load, our luggage is carried a horse. Good physical condition is required. There are no technically demanding hikes along the route, however, height changes and crossing streams will obviously occur. Most of the routes run through pastoral paths.
DETAILS ON THE SUMMIT OF KAZBEK:
When you acquire Kazbek (from Stepantsminda) you will be accompanied by a licensed guide. From meteorological station to the peak, you climb in four-person groups whose members are joined with a rope. In each group - four people go with one Georgian guide. The price of the guide is fixed regardless of the number of people in the group. We cannot guarantee that a group of four will be gathered. The approach requires physical fitness (not technical skills!). On the day of conquering the summit, we will leave a camp at 3 am and return around 4 pm.
• The itinerary may change depending on the date of departure, weather and other factors.
• Learn more about general conditions of participation and find out how to sign up for a trip.
• The organizer of the trip is Active Travel Agency Barents.pl