Wild Tusheti

Untamed beauty of Georgia's Tusheti mountains and the birthplace of wine in Kakheti

Detailed Description

Overview

Difficulty
Comfort
Tbilisi   Kakheti  
Destination
Active
Tour type
July — September
Period
10 days
Duration
6-12
Group
14+
Age
GT010
Program code

Join us on an unforgettable adventure through the breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage of Georgia's Tusheti and Kakheti regions! Our tour includes a day of sightseeing in the vibrant city of Tbilisi, followed by two days of exploring the wine culture, historical landmarks, and delicious cuisine of Kakheti, the birthplace of wine. We'll have the opportunity to taste a variety of local wines and enjoy a guided tour of the wine cellars.

Then, we embark on a four-day hiking journey through the remote and rugged Tusheti mountains, a historical region of Georgia now part of the Kakheti administrative region. Here, we'll witness stunning alpine meadows, pristine rivers, and ancient villages that serve as silent reminders of Tusheti's deep-rooted history. This region, cut off from civilization for most of the year due to its high altitude and harsh weather conditions, is one of the most authentic and preserved regions in Georgia. Accessible only in summer, Tusheti offers a unique and unforgettable blend of nature and culture, acting as a gateway to a past era, offering an adventure that is as enriching as it is thrilling.

We'll stay in cozy family-owned home-stays, where we'll experience the legendary Georgian hospitality firsthand and learn about the Tush people and their rich traditions and unique language. During our hikes, we'll enjoy picturesque picnics prepared by our hosts, surrounded by the natural beauty of the region. Tusheti is known for its ancient architecture, including stone towers and fortified villages, as well as its vibrant folk music and dance. Our hike is easy, with all luggage transported by a vehicle, so we can fully immerse ourselves in the beauty of the landscape and the culture of the Tush people without any extra stress.

Whether you're a nature lover, a culture enthusiast, a wine connoisseur, or a foodie, this tour has something for everyone. So come with us and discover the best of Georgia, from the lively city of Tbilisi to the remote and wild Tusheti region, all while enjoying the ease and comfort of our expertly planned itinerary.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Welcome to Georgia

Our team will greet you at Tbilisi International Airport and escort you to your hotel for a well-deserved rest. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Route: Tbilisi

Accommodation: Included Old Meidan Tbilisi by Urban Hotels * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: not included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Not included

Day 2 — Discovering Tbilisi & Mtskheta

We'll embark on a tour of the city to make sure you have an unforgettable time in Georgia. Our Tbilisi itinerary will include stops at the pedestrian streets of the old town, historic churches such as Anchiskhati and Sioni, the ancient Meydan square, the famous sulfur baths and mosque. We'll also take a cable car up to the statue of Mother Georgia for panoramic views of the city and photo opportunities. After lunch, we'll explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mtskheta, the sacred pilgrimage city. Here, we'll visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Jvari, two of the most impressive churches in the country. Then, we'll head back to Tbilisi for dinner and overnight stay.

Route: Tbilisi — Private car | 30 km · 45 min Mtskheta — Private car | 30 km · 45 min Tbilisi

Activities: City Walking | 4 hours , Sightseeing | 4 hours

Accommodation: Included Old Meidan Tbilisi by Urban Hotels * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Sioni Cathedral, Jvari Monastery, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Meidani Square, Sulfur Baths, Jumah Mosque, Mother of Georgia, Narikala Fortress, Rustaveli Avenue, Bridge of Peace, Freedom Square, Anchiskhati Basilica.

Day 3 — Explore Gareja Semi-Desert

Today, we'll visit David Gareja, one of Georgia's most notable religious and cultural centers, featuring a monastery cave complex founded in the 6th century by one of the Assyrian fathers, David. Currently, only the Lavra monastery is accessible, under the control of Georgia. After lunch, we'll make our way to the Kakheti region, renowned for its wine. Our first stop will be the charming city of Sighnaghi, also known as the "City of Love." A stroll through its narrow streets will give you a deeper appreciation of its nickname. Dinner and overnight stay in Sighnaghi.

Route: Tbilisi — Private car | 100 km · 2 h David Gareja — Private car | 110 km · 1 h 45 min Sighnaghi

Activities: City Walking | 1 hours 30 minutes , Sightseeing | 2 hours

Accommodation: Included Hotel Brigitte * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: David Gareja, Sighnaghi Wall, Bodbe Monastery.

Day 4 — Georgia's Wine Country

Today, we'll continue our exploration of Kakheti, starting with a visit to the Bodbe Monastery, considered the most beautiful church in the region. From here, we'll take in views of the Alazani valley. Next, we'll head to the famous Tsinandali Estate, where you can take a peaceful walk in the park, visit one of the oldest cellars in Georgia, and sample the estate's renowned wine. After lunch at a local restaurant, we'll visit the Alaverdi Monastery, famous for its high dome. Finally, we'll make a stop in the capital of Kakheti, Telavi, for a short city tour. Dinner and overnight stay in Telavi.

Route: Sighnaghi — Private car | 110 km · 2 h 15 min Telavi

Activities: City Walking 45 minutes , Sightseeing | 3 hours

Accommodation: Included Green hotel ANG * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Alaverdi Monastery, Bodbe Monastery, Tsinandali Palace, Telavi Bazaar, Giant Plane Tree, Monument of Erekle II.

Day 5 — The Great Caucasus Range

We'll continue our journey to the Great Caucasus Range, leaving the capital of Kakheti and driving to the Toucheti region by 4x4 car. From the village of Pshaveli, we'll follow the Stori River gorge to cross the Abano Pass at 2,900 meters. Enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by nature's beauty. After a 5-hour drive, we'll reach Omalo, the "capital" of Toucheti. We'll also stop in the ancient villages of Shenako and Diklo to admire old houses and medieval watchtowers. After a short walk to old Diklo (around 3 km), dinner and overnight stay will be at a guesthouse in Diklo.

Route: Telavi — 4x4 | 110 km · 5 h Diklo

Activities: Hiking | 1 hours , Sightseeing | 2 hours

Accommodation: Included Guesthouse Diklo * Or similar | Guest House | Twin or double room, shared WC & shower on the floor

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: included, dinner: included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Abano Pass.

Day 6 — Exploring Tusheti

Today, we continue our journey on foot from Diklo to Dartlo. This ancient village is known for its historic stone towers and houses. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed in the great outdoors, surrounded by nature's beauty, as we walk approximately 16 km. Our luggage will be delivered to Dartlo, making the journey more comfortable. Dinner and an overnight stay will be at the Dartlo guesthouse.

Route: Diklo — Hiking | 16 km · 7 h Dartlo

Activities: Hiking | 7 hours

Accommodation: Included Guesthouse Shuni * Or similar | Guest House | Twin or double room, shared WC & shower on the floor

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: included, dinner: included

Guide: Full day

Day 7 — Explore Omalo

From Dartlo, we head to Omalo, a 13 km journey with breathtaking views along the way. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed in the great outdoors, surrounded by nature's beauty. Our luggage will be delivered to Omalo, a principal village in the historical region of Tusheti. Dinner and an overnight stay will be at the Omalo guesthouse.

Route: Dartlo — Hiking | 13 km · 6 h Omalo

Activities: Hiking | 6 hours

Accommodation: Included Guesthouse Mgzavri * Or similar | Guest House | Twin or double room, shared WC & shower on the floor

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: included, dinner: included

Guide: Full day

Day 8 — The Tushetian Lake Oreti

Today, we'll drive from Omalo to Kumelaurta village, where we'll start our hike. At the end of the hike, we'll cross a small stream, walk uphill, and reach the stunning Oreti lake. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed in the great outdoors, surrounded by nature's beauty. From Oreti lake, we'll have breathtaking views of all of Tusheti. We'll then return to the village of Kumelaurta and drive back to Omalo. Dinner and an overnight stay will be at the Omalo guesthouse.

Route: Omalo — 4x4 | 10 km · 45 min Kumelaurta — Hiking | 6 km · 4 h Oreti lake — Hiking | 6 km · 2 h Kumelaurta — 4x4 | None km · 45 min Omalo

Activities: Hiking | 6 hours

Accommodation: Included Guesthouse Mgzavri * Or similar | Guest House | Twin or double room, shared WC & shower on the floor

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: included, dinner: included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Oreti lake.

Day 9 — Back to the Capital

We'll transfer back to Tbilisi and have free time in the city. Overnight stay in Tbilisi.

Route: Omalo — Private car | 200 km · 6 h Tbilisi

Accommodation: Included Old Meidan Tbilisi by Urban Hotels * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Not included

Day 10 — Farewell to Georgia

It's time to say farewell to Georgia as we escort you to Tbilisi airport, leaving you with memories to last a lifetime.

Route: Tbilisi

Accommodation: Not Included

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Not included

Our tour program's list of attractions is a guide, not exhaustive. Unlisted sites may be visited, and listed ones might be viewed from a distance. Conditions like operating hours, weather, or local rules may affect access. Thank you for your understanding.

Prices

This tour has open departure and can be organized based on your preferred dates. Remember, prices vary based on the exact group size.

From July 1, 2024 to Sept. 30, 2024

What's included?

Accommodation

5 nights — Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

4 nights — Twin or double room, shared WC & shower on the floor

Meals

9 breakfasts, 4 lunch, 4 dinners.

Guide

7 days — Full day,

Transport

Private car: ~580 km, Hiking: ~41 km, 4x4: ~120 km. *

Activities

City Walking: ~6 hours 15 minutes, Sightseeing: ~11 hours, Hiking: ~20 hours. *

Additionally included

Accommodation, Transport, Entrance fees to all sites according to the programm, All meals in guest houses, English speaking guide, Wine tastings, Wine tasting.

Not included

Plane tickets, Personal expenses and tips, Travel insurance.

The provided measures of total kilometers for transport, duration of guide services, and activities in our tour program are approximate and may vary depending on the program flow and terrain conditions. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these numbers, please note that they are intended as estimates. We make every effort to provide the most precise information possible to give you an idea of the overall tour experience.

Note

Guide services can be offered in various languages, tailored to the group's needs and preferences. Hiking duration may vary due to factors like trail steepness, path conditions, group fitness levels, and more. For those interested in extended tours, please inform us, and we'll gladly provide options and pricing upon request.

Please note that the indicated price is based on a group size of 8 participants. If the group size is smaller, the price can be adjusted accordingly.

Equipment & Checklist

Embarking on a trekking adventure in Tusheti, Georgia is an amazing way to experience the stunning landscapes of the region. Since you'll be hiking and your luggage will be transferred by car, it's important to pack light and choose gear that's both functional and comfortable.

During the summer months, the temperature in Tusheti can range from 10°C (50°F) to 20°C (68°F), but keep in mind that weather conditions can change quickly, so it's essential to pack accordingly with warm layers and rain gear. Additionally, you'll be trekking at high altitudes, so it's important to take the necessary precautions to acclimate and stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and smoking.

With the right preparation and gear, including sturdy hiking boots, breathable clothing, warm layers, waterproof and windproof jacket and pants, trekking poles, hydration system, snacks, and a camera, you'll be well-prepared to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and unique culture of the region. Here's a comprehensive checklist for your summer hiking adventure in Tusheti:

Accommodation

The accommodations in this tour offer a unique blend of traditional character and modern conveniences, with the majority of nights spent in locally-run hotels or home-stays with shared facilities, and a few nights in good and clean 2-3 star city hotels with private facilities. Both types of accommodations, whether in family-run establishments or city hotels, are clean, good, and centrally located to maximize your time for exploring the sights. If a hotel name is marked with "* or similar," it means a similar hotel of equivalent or higher class may be provided based on tour dates, group size, and hotel availability. The itinerary section of the program description will specify the exact type of accommodation for each day.

Meals

Eating is an integral part of travel, and with Georgia.to, you will have the opportunity to savor the delicious cuisine that Georgia has to offer. While breakfast is included, some lunches and dinners may be held at local restaurants, giving you the flexibility to choose where, what, and with whom you want to eat. Although meals are not typically included in the trip price, food is generally inexpensive, with an average cost of 10-15 euros per person for dinner or lunch, including drinks. However, our group often eats together to allow for a diverse taste of dishes and for the enjoyment of each other's company, though this is not a requirement.

Food Arrangements During the Hiking Part

During the hike in the mountains, meals are typically organized as picnic-style lunches, with a variety of fresh, hearty, and filling items to fuel you throughout the day. The exact menu may vary depending on the day, but common options include sandwiches, fruits, nuts, and snacks. Water is provided to keep you hydrated. For dinner, you will have the opportunity to experience the local cuisine by dining with local families. If you have specific dietary requirements, please let your travel assistant know and they will do their best to accommodate them.

Transport

In this tour, all transportation is private and tailored to your group's needs. Depending on the size of the group, transportation options can range from a car, a mini-van, or a minibus. In areas with challenging road conditions, a 4x4 vehicle may be used to ensure a safe and comfortable journey. With private transport, you will have the flexibility to customize your itinerary and move around at your own pace.

Luggage Transportation During the Hike

During your hiking journey in the mountains, you'll be able to travel light with just your personal belongings. To ensure that your luggage is safe and secure, it will be transferred from one overnight point to the next by a reliable 4x4 vehicle. This means that you can focus on enjoying your hike and taking in the stunning mountain scenery, without having to worry about carrying your luggage. Rest assured that your luggage will be waiting for you at your next accommodation, so you can freshen up and relax after a day of hiking.

Guides

Our group tour leaders are the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals with excellent English language skills. If the common language of the group is different, we can provide guides in other foreign languages by coordinating with our travel assistant team. The guide will be available to the group for the entire duration of the trip, and their exact availability is marked in the Itinerary section of the program for each day. Please refer to the Itinerary section to know how long the guide will be available on each day.

Money

In Georgia, the currency is the Georgian Lari (GEL). You can exchange money at banks, exchange offices, and some hotels. Small exchange offices are omnipresent throughout Georgia and offer competitive exchange rates. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best place to exchange money, as exchange rates may vary depending on the location. You can also check the current exchange rates on www.xe.com

Bank cards are widely accepted in restaurants, hotels, and shops, but it is advisable to have some cash as a backup, in case there are issues with local ATM machines or credit cards. However, it is possible that in remote villages, bank cards may not be accepted, so it is best to have some cash on hand. The most widely accepted cards are Visa and MasterCard. We recommend exchanging only small amounts of money at a time, as exchange rates can fluctuate frequently. It is also advisable to inform your bank in advance of your travel plans to avoid any issues with international transactions.

Tipping

The Georgia.to travel team, including guides, drivers, cooks, etc., are paid a fair wage and do not expect tips. If you choose to leave a gratuity as a way of expressing your satisfaction, please note that damaged or adhesive coins or banknotes cannot be exchanged. Tips can be left at your discretion in envelopes. In restaurants, it is customary to leave 5-10% as a tip.

Health

For your health and safety, it's important to be in good health before traveling to Georgia. Consult with a doctor or travel medicine specialist for recommended vaccines and preventive measures. To prevent insect bites and follow food safety measures, it's best to drink only bottled or treated water and be mindful of what you eat.

Bring enough of your prescription medicine and ensure that it is legal in Georgia if you have a pre-existing medical condition. A basic first-aid kit, including pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, and insect repellent, is also recommended in case of minor illnesses or injuries.

While Georgia has modern medical facilities in cities like Tbilisi and Batumi, it's still wise to have travel insurance in case of unexpected medical expenses. There are no specific health requirements for this trip, but it's important to prioritize your health and safety while traveling.

Visa Requirements for Georgia

Visa requirements for Georgia for foreign citizens vary depending on the country of origin. Citizens of most countries are eligible for a visa-free entry to Georgia for stays of up to one year. However, some countries require a pre-arranged visa, which can be obtained from a Georgian embassy or consulate. It is recommended to check the specific visa requirements for your country of origin before traveling to Georgia. Here is a short list of countries with citizens that do not need a visa to enter Georgia for a stay up to one year:

EU countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and more. Switzerland, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico etc.

Please find the exhaustive information on the Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Georgia website: https://www.geoconsul.gov.ge/

Dress Code

When visiting Georgia, it is important to be mindful of the local customs and dress codes, especially when entering religious buildings. In such places, it is expected that visitors dress modestly with women covering their heads and legs. Shorts and skirts above the knee are usually not allowed. Outside of religious buildings, there is a more casual and relaxed dress code with no specific restrictions, and visitors are free to wear what they prefer. It is worth noting that Georgia is a modern and European-influenced country, so visitors may encounter a mix of styles from traditional and contemporary.

Laundry

Laundry service is available at most of our hotels for a reasonable fee, typically around 10 euros or less per load. If you need this service, please let your guide know in advance to arrange it. During the hiking portion of the trip when staying at family hotels or home-stays, you may need to do your own laundry at times. To ensure environmental safety, we recommend bringing non-polluting/biodegradable soap for this purpose.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is not a requirement to enter Georgia, but it is highly recommended. A comprehensive travel insurance policy can provide coverage for trip cancellations, medical expenses, lost or stolen belongings, and emergency evacuation. In case of unexpected events, having travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection. It is important to review the coverage and terms of your travel insurance policy before departing to ensure it meets your specific needs and provides adequate protection while traveling in Georgia.

Safety and Security

Georgia is considered one of the safest countries in the world and visitors can generally feel safe while exploring the country. Crime rates, including pickpocketing, are low and tourists can move around freely without major concerns for their safety. However, as with any destination, it is always advisable to take basic safety precautions, such as keeping valuables out of sight, not carrying large amounts of cash, and being aware of one's surroundings in busy areas.

Emergency Contact

In case of any emergencies, we are available for support. During office hours (Tbilisi time), you can reach us at +995 591 257 715 for any urgent questions. Additionally, upon booking, you will be provided with a 24/7 personnel travel assistant for the duration of your trip. They will be available to assist you with any needs or concerns.

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Last update: June 5, 2024, 4:59 p.m.