Picture Perfect Georgia

Immersive Photography Tour of Remote Landscapes

Detailed Description

Overview

Difficulty
Comfort
Imereti   Shida Kartli   Tbilisi   Racha-Lechkhumi & Kvemo Svaneti   Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti   Mtskheta-Mtianeti  
Destination
Special
Tour type
June — September
Period
12 days
Duration
4-6
Group
12+
Age
GT015
Program code

Unleash your inner adventurer and set your creativity free on this 12-day photographic expedition into the depths of Georgia. This tour is a unique blend of exploration and education, designed to immerse you in the less traveled paths of Georgia, capturing the raw authenticity of life and nature, from ground level to soaring heights.

Travel to the heights of the Great Caucasus Mountains, capturing the rugged charm of Ushguli, the highest inhabited village in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Revel in the ethereal beauty of Svaneti, a land of towering peaks and fortified homes, where the spirit of the highland warriors lives on. Stand in awe amidst the majesty of the Caucasus giants - Elbrus, Shkhara, Tetnuldi, Gistola, and Ushba, capturing the soaring spectacle against the vastness of the sky.

Roam through the historic towns of Mestia and Etseri, focusing your lens on the distinctive architectural styles that stand testament to the passage of time. Soak in the tranquility of the Jvari Monastery, another UNESCO World Heritage site, its historic tales etched in stone and whispered through the wind.

Embrace the freedom of Georgia's drone-friendly skies to capture the breathtaking beauty of this diverse landscape from a bird's-eye view. From the towering Katskhi Pillar to the ancient Svan Towers, let your aerial imagery tell the untold stories of these scenic locales. Experience the thrill of capturing the perfect sunrise over the Koruldi alpine lakes from above, or framing the imposing Gergeti Glacier in its icy splendor.

Under the guidance of a professional photographer, seasoned in the subtleties of Georgian light and landscape, this tour transcends the ordinary. It's not merely about taking photographs, but creating a narrative of your journey through this magical land. With a focus on honing your skills, understanding the unique regions, and creating lasting memories, this trip is sure to kindle your passion for photography and storytelling. So, pack your gear, charge your drone, and join us on this unforgettable Georgian odyssey.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrival in Tbilisi

Touchdown in Tbilisi, where our welcoming team will whisk you off to your accommodation. Depending on your arrival schedule, seize the opportunity to explore and photograph the city's charm. 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 — Tbilisi to Kazbegi: Mountain Majesty Unveiled

Embark on an adventure as we traverse the historic Georgian Military Highway, cutting through the heart of the Great Caucasus Mountains, en route to Kazbegi. Nestled at an altitude of 1,740 meters, the Kazbegi region is a haven for nature and photography enthusiasts alike. Our journey begins with a stop at Jvari Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering sweeping views of the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. Next, we visit the Ananuri Fortress, a 17th-century architectural marvel that provides awe-inspiring vistas of the Zhinvali Reservoir. As we continue along the Military Road, we pause at the iconic Russian-Georgian Friendship Monument, a tribute to the countries' historical bonds, set against a backdrop of dramatic mountain landscapes. Each location offers unique and inspiring photographic opportunities. Our day concludes in the quaint mountain town of Stepantsminda, nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of Kazbegi. Overnight in Stepantsminda.

Route: Tbilisi — Private car | 160 km · 3 h Stepantsminda

Activities: Sightseeing | 3 hours

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Ananuri Fortress, Russia-Georgia Friendship Monument, Jvari Monastery, Zhinvali Reservoir, Sno Fortress, Sno Church, Mount Kazbek, The Stone Heads Of Sno.

Day 3 — Captivating Cascades of Gveleti

Wake up to the surreal beauty of Kazbegi, a region defined by its towering peaks and verdant valleys. Our first day in this picturesque landscape starts with a trek to the Gveleti Waterfalls. Tucked away in the Gveleti valley, these two majestic waterfalls, known as the "Big" and "Small" Gveleti, cascade down from the heights of the Great Caucasus Mountains, offering a striking spectacle for photographers. As we explore the region, immerse yourself in its tranquil beauty, capturing stunning images of the mountains, rivers, and flora. The day is yours to wander and capture the untouched beauty of this remote corner of Georgia. As the day winds down, we return to Stepantsminda, a perfect spot for capturing twilight's last gleam over the mountainous landscape. Overnight in Stepantsminda.

Route: Stepantsminda — Private car | 6 km · 15 min Gveleti Waterfall — Private car | 6 km · 15 min Stepantsminda

Activities: Hiking | 2 hours

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Gveleti Waterfall, Dariali Monastery.

Day 4 — Hike to Gergeti Glacier

Before breakfast, we set off on an exhilarating hike to the foot of Gergeti Glacier. This magnificent ice mass extends from the peak of Mount Kazbek, one of the highest summits in the Caucasus at 5,047 meters (16,558 feet) above sea level. This early morning adventure presents ample opportunities to capture the dramatic interplay of light and shadow on the rugged mountain landscape, and allows us to witness the glacier's ethereal beauty up close. Our path takes us past the iconic Gergeti Trinity Church, perched at an altitude of 2,170 meters (7,119 feet). This 14th-century monument juxtaposed against the backdrop of Mount Kazbek offers a surreal fusion of architectural splendor and natural grandeur. After a day full of awe-inspiring photography, we return to Stepantsminda for a well-earned rest. Overnight in Stepantsminda.

Route: Stepantsminda — Private car | 5 km · 30 min Gergeti Trinity Church — Private car | 5 km · 30 min Stepantsminda

Activities: Sightseeing | 3 hours , Hiking | 3 hours

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Gergeti Glacier, Gergeti Trinity Church.

Day 5 — Journey to Kutaisi - The Majesty of Katskhi Pillar

We leave the towering peaks of Kazbegi behind as we embark on a journey towards Kutaisi, Georgia's third-largest city, nestled in the heart of Imereti region. Our route takes us through a medley of landscapes, each with its own unique photographic charm. Our day's highlight is a visit to the extraordinary Katskhi Pillar. This natural limestone monolith, rising approximately 40 meters (131 feet) from the ground, is crowned by a small church and has been a site of Christian hermitage since the 9th century. This distinctive feature in the otherwise rolling landscape provides an excellent opportunity for drone photography, capturing the pillar's isolated beauty against the surrounding verdant greenery. As we proceed to Kutaisi, known for its rich history and charming old town, we'll have the chance to capture the transition from the remote mountainous regions to the bustling urban life. Overnight in Kutaisi.

Route: Stepantsminda — Private car | 360 km · 6 h Kutaisi

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

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Katskhi Pillar, Chiatura Drama Theatre, Katskhi Monastery, Kutaisi Opera Theatre, Kutaisi Green Bazaar, White Bridge.

Day 6 — Kutaisi to Etseri - Majestic Peaks and Cultural Heritage

Our day begins with a visit to the Bagrati Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a masterpiece of medieval architecture, known for its ornate stone carvings and commanding views over Kutaisi. We'll then embark on a scenic mountain drive to Etseri, a picturesque village in the Svaneti region. As we ascend into the heart of the Greater Caucasus Range, the landscape transitions from the fertile lowlands to rugged mountain scenery, providing numerous opportunities for diverse and stunning photography. Look forward to capturing dramatic landscapes, quaint settlements, and glimpses of local life along the way. As we reach Etseri in the evening, we'll have the chance to capture the enchanting beauty of the sunset over the mountainous backdrop. Overnight in Etseri, a serene gateway to the mesmerizing Svaneti region.

Route: Kutaisi — 4x4 | 250 km · 5 h Etseri

Activities: Hiking | 1 hours

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Bagrati Cathedral, Enguri Dam.

Day 7 — Etseri to Lakhushdi - Ancient Towers and Mountain Serenity

Begin the day by immersing yourself in the local culture of Etseri, an enchanting village that's rich with Svan traditions. This is where centuries-old defensive stone towers punctuate the landscape, offering a glimpse into the region's medieval past. Capturing the architectural splendor of these Svan towers and the surrounding mountain scenery will be a highlight of your photographic journey. Later, we set off for Lakhushdi, another charming Svan village nestled in the heart of the mountains. We'll hike to the intriguing ruins of Sgobuli, a testament to the region's rich history. Walking through the narrow streets of Lakhushdi, experience local life up close. Frame the daily hustle, the rustic architecture, and the stunning landscapes into lasting memories. Overnight in Lakhushdi, enveloped by the peaceful mountain silence.

Route: Etseri — 4x4 | 35 km · 1 h Lakhushdi

Activities: Sightseeing | 2 hours , Hiking | 2 hours

Accommodation: Included Ecohouse Svaneti * Or similar | Guest House | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Mount Ushba, Mount Tetnuldi.

Day 8 — From Alpine Sunrise to Majestic Waterfalls: A Scenic Journey to Mestia

The day breaks with a splendid sunrise, a perfect start to our journey from Lakhushdi to the enchanting Becho Valley. Here, we embark on a scenic hike towards the Shdugra Waterfall, a cascading marvel that showcases the raw power and beauty of Georgia's landscapes. This waterfall, one of the tallest in the country, offers a visually arresting spectacle, perfect for nature photography. Our exploration continues with a visit to the Chalaadi Glacier. Nestled amidst towering peaks, this icy spectacle presents an awe-inspiring sight, offering an extraordinary backdrop for your photos. The frosty blue hues of the glacier against the rugged mountain terrain make for striking compositions. The day concludes as we arrive in Mestia, a historic town serving as the administrative center of the Svaneti region. Here, ancient Svan towers stand tall against the backdrop of the majestic Caucasus Mountains, offering panoramic views that will leave you breathless. Overnight in Mestia, as you soak in the captivating ambiance of this unique mountain town.

Route: Lakhushdi — 4x4 | 30 km · 2 h Chalaadi Glacier — 4x4 | 15 km · 30 min Mestia

Activities: Sightseeing | 4 hours , Hiking | 4 hours

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Shdugra Waterfall, Chalaadi Glacier.

Day 9 — Alpine Majesty: Koruldi Lakes and Mestia Exploration

As dawn breaks, we ascend to the breathtaking Koruldi Alpine Lakes, perched at a lofty altitude of approximately 2,400 meters (7,874 feet). Here, amidst the vastness of the Great Caucasus, capture reflections of the mighty peaks in the serene waters. Later in the day, choose to delve into the history of Mestia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with unique Svan towers, or simply unwind in this tranquil mountain retreat. As the sun sets, we'll whisk you away to a panoramic viewpoint for a grand vista of Mestia under the starlit sky. Overnight in Mestia

Route: Mestia — 4x4 | 12 km · 30 min Koruldi Lakes — 4x4 | 12 km · 30 min Mestia

Activities: Sightseeing | 3 hours , Hiking | 1 hours

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Koruldi Lakes, Mount Ushba.

Day 10 — From Mestia to Ushguli: Journey to the Sky

We chart a course to Ushguli, the highest inhabited village in Europe, perched at an altitude of 2,100 meters (6,900 feet). Along the way, we pause for photographic interludes, including the stunning Tetnuldi Plateau. Upon reaching Ushguli, we delve into its quaint, narrow streets, taking a step back in time. The pinnacle of the day is our encounter with the imposing Shkhara Glacier, located at the foot of Mt. Shkhara, Georgia's highest peak at 5,193 meters (17,040 feet). This icy spectacle provides an unforgettable backdrop for your images. As the day concludes, we settle in for the night in Ushguli, a place where life thrives amidst the grandeur of the Caucasus.

Route: Mestia — 4x4 | 45 km · 1 h 30 min Ushguli

Activities: Hiking | 3 hours

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: St. George Church, Queen Tamar Castle, Chazhashi Savior Church, Lamaria Church, Mount Tetnuldi, Mount Shkhara.

Day 11 — Ushguli to Kutaisii: Mountain Passes and Off-Road Thrills

As we bid farewell to the ethereal Svaneti, we embark on an early morning drive through the rugged terrain of the High Caucasus. Crossing the formidable Zagari Pass, we welcome an off-road adventure amidst breathtaking high-altitude vistas. This day also marks our entry into Racha, a region celebrated for its untouched natural beauty, lush forests, and serene mountainous landscapes. Nestled in the heart of this tranquility lies our destination - Kutaisi, a city teeming with rich history and culture. Overnight in Kutaisi, preparing for the final day of our photographic odyssey.

Route: Mestia — 4x4 | 200 km · 8 h Kutaisi

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

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

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Zagari Pass.

Day 12 — Kutaisi to Tbilisi: Farewell, Georgia

On our final day, we ensure a smooth transfer to the airport, drawing a close to our extraordinary journey through the unparalleled landscapes and historical richness of Georgia. Every photo you've captured is a tangible memory, a story waiting to unfold. We hope that these stories not only captivate your heart but also leave a longing to revisit this enchanting country. Safe travels and remember, the beauty of Georgia will always welcome you back!

Route: Kutaisi — Private car | 230 km · 3 h 30 min 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 May 1, 2024 to Sept. 30, 2024

What's included?

Accommodation

9 nights — Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

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

Meals

11 breakfasts, 3 lunch, 2 dinners.

Guide

10 days — Full day,

Transport

Private car: ~772 km, 4x4: ~599 km. *

Activities

Sightseeing: ~17 hours, Hiking: ~16 hours, City Walking: ~1 hours. *

Additionally included

Entrance fees to all sites according to the programm, English speaking guide, Professional photographer service.

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

Hiking time depends on the steepness, the condition of the trail, the physical condition of the group and other factors.
Guide services can be provided in different languages, depending on the preferences of the group.
This tour has open departure and can be organized based on your preferred dates. Remember, prices vary based on the exact group size.
If you're interested in extending the tour for more days, please let us know, and we'll be happy to provide options and prices upon request.

Equipment & Checklist

Summer in Georgia is a great time to visit both the lowlands and the mountains. The average temperature in the summer months (June to August) is around 25°C (77°F) in the lowlands and 15°C (59°F) in the mountains, although it can get quite hot during the day.

For this tour, it is recommended to bring lightweight, breathable clothing such as cotton t-shirts and shorts for the lowlands. If you plan to spend time in the mountains, it's a good idea to pack some warm layers such as a fleece or sweater for cooler evenings, as well as waterproof gear for unexpected rain.

Remember to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly, as conditions can change quickly in the mountains. Enjoy your summer tour to Georgia!

Here's a comprehensive checklist for your summer tour to Georgia:

Accommodation

The accommodations in this tour offer a mix of traditional charm and modern conveniences, primarily in good and clean 2-3 star hotels with private facilities, with some nights spent in small, locally-run hotels or home-stays with shared facilities. All accommodations are located in excellent central locations. 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.

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.

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 the majority of our hotels for a reasonable fee, usually around 10 euros or less per load. If you need this service, please speak to your guide in advance to arrange it.

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: April 12, 2024, 6:02 a.m.