- DAILY TOURS
- WEEKEND TOURS
- PACKAGE TOURS
- EASTERN BLACK SEA
- TAILOR MADE TOURS
A developing city: Batumi
The hidden world of the Svans.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Svan Towes
The glory of the Caucasus Mountains
Walks among glaciers and glacial lakes
The highest village of Europe: Ushguli (2180 meters)
An untouched and fairly unknown geography and culture
The glorious and sulphur smelling Enguri River
Day 1: KUTAISI – MESTIA – CHALADI GLACIER
After meeting our vehicle at 3.20 AM local time at the Kutaisi Airport we will start our 5 hour journey to Mestia. Since we will be travelling at night we will not take breaks apart from a short mid-way bathroom break. We will drive slowly as the roads are rather windy so that we can rest a little bit. After arriving at our hotel at approximately 8 AM we will have some time to rest and meet at the lobby at a time designated by our guide. Today’s program is not very tiring. After a 30 minute drive our first stop will be at the beginning of the path to the Chaladi Glacier. We might start our walk from a little further behind depending on the weather and the group. This walk takes 45 minutes under normal circumstances and even though the beginning is rather steep it has a fairly flat surface in general. The Chaladi Glacier is the glacier located at the lowest altitude, at 1750 meters. The tip of the glacier may be a little further back or more in front depending on the season. We will have a photograph break at the foot of the glacier. There is a slight risk of pieces of the glacier or stones breaking off and falling so we must listen to our guide very carefully. Our walk both ways will take approximately 2 hours in total. When we arrive back in Mestia we will have our lunch comprised of local dishes at Laila Restaurant. After lunch we will walk around the streets of Mestia and try to get to know the Svan people. We will walk among the legendary Svan towers which are under UNESCO’s protection and maybe enter some of them and then we will head back to our hotel. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 2: Koruldi Lakes – Panoramic Hilltop – Mestia
After breakfast we will head out to the Koruldi Lake. Our walk will begin at the hotel. After going through Mestia we will start ascending and we will reach the panoramic hilltop in 1 hour and 15 minutes. This hike will be on a stabilized road and it is not very steep but there is a constant ascent. After looking at the beautiful views from the hilltop we will carry on towards the Koruldi Lake. Our walk will be on the treeless steppes and will end at the lake within an hour. What will be awaiting us is a group of lakes including one main lake and many scattered large and small lakes around it. If the weather permits you will see that we are totally surrounded 360 degrees by mountains. Today’s lunch will be a packed lunch, or rather an open sandwich buffet. After spending time at the lake we will walk back to the panoramic hilltop via the same route. From the hilltop we will enter into a path and get down to Mestia using a different route. After a total walking time of 5 hours we will have some free time. Those who want to can rest at the hotel or spend time walking around Mestia and shopping. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 3: Shdugra Waterfalls
Today magnificent views are awaiting us. After a 45 minute drive to the upper part of the village of Mazeri in the Becho region we will walk along the Dolra River. At this time of year the melting glacier waters fill up the river bed to the brim. We will start ascending through forests that remind us of the Turkish Eastern Black Sea Region. After walking 7 km we will see our first waterfall. Afterwards we will pass through the border where we will see 3 soldiers guarding the place and start our steep hike up to the Shdugra Waterfalls. Within half an hour we will arrive at the waterfalls and get as close as possible depending on the strength of the water. You may have to get a little wet if you want to see them from the front. After taking many photographs we will return back to the river side and have our packed lunch. We will rest for a little while after lunch and then start heading back through the same path. Once we arrive back at our vehicle we might get the chance to dive into some fruit orchards – with permission of course. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 4: Village of Ushguli – Mestia
Today will be a more restful day. We will drive up to the village of Ushguli which has made a name for itself as the highest village of the European continent. We will either use our own vehicle or rent Mitsubishi Delica minibuses depending on the weather. The drive will take approximately 1,5 hours. We do not need to explain the beautiful views that we will see. We will have lunch at a village restaurant. There are many alternatives for those who would like to do little hikes before lunch. We can walk around the village or even do a little nature hike towards the Shkhara glacier. The glacier is at 7,5 km from the village, so we will not be able to walk the whole trail. Those who do not want to hike today may spend their time at one of the many local cafés. We will all meet at a designated place and time for lunch. You should let your guide recommend you some of the many local dishes. After lunch we will head back to our vehicle and drive back to Mestia. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 5: Enguri River and Dam – Batumi Botanical Park – Kabuleti
After an early breakfast we will say goodbye to the Svaneti region. Today we will head out to another region full of beauties: Acara. The highlight of the day is the Botanical Park located very close to Batumi city center. Our drive there will take 4 hours and we will be driving along the Enguri River. We will take a break to look at the Enguri Dam built on the river in 1961. This is the second highest dam of Europe with a height of 271.5 meters. One of the most interesting features of the dam is that the electricity cables that take electricity to the city run underground. After a break here at the dam we will carry on driving to Batumi. If we have enough time we might also visit the museum at the city of Zugdudi as a bonus. Before reaching the Botanical Park we will stop at Aras guest house, where we will be spending the next 2 nights, to leave our luggage and have our lunch. After lunch we will head straight to Batumi Botanical Park which is 102 years old and covers a very large ground. We will only be seeing approximately 15% of it. At the end of our visit we will drive back to Kobuleti and settle in our guesthouse where we will also have dinner.
Day 6: Khino Plateau – Kobuleti
After a restful night we will have our breakfast and head out to see the Khino Plateau. After a 1,5 hour drive we will take a 10 km hike from the Upper Khino Plateau to the hidden waterfall. Those who want to can ride horses. Our lunch will depend on the weather; we will either have a packed lunch or be guests at one of the highland houses. The Khino Plateau is not much different to our highland plateaus regarding its use by the people of Acara and the views it offers. It also houses the Kintrishi River, a church and bridges. This plateau is located within the grounds of the Mtirala National Park and if we have time we may see a little bit more of the national park. At the end of the day if it is sunny we might be able to go to the Kobuleti beach and take a swim in the sea. We haven’t even mentioned the possibility of taking dips in the river pools of the River Kintrishi. Dinner will be at our guest house.
Day 7: Batumi City Center – Sarp Border Gate
We have reached the end of a great week. After breakfast we will check out our guest house and drive to Batumi city center for a city tour. Our city tour includes the cathedral, old streets of Batumi, the statue of the Golden Fleece, the Ethnography Museum, and the Europe Square. Today will begin rather early in order not to delay our guests who will go to Hopa. Those who will go to Trabzon have a little bit more time, so to find the happy medium, lunch will be on your own today and our vehicle will go to the Sarp border gate twice during the day. The tour will end at the border gate so our guests should make preparations to get from the Sarp border gate to Hopa or Trabzon. All the necessary information will be given by your guide. It is now time to say good-bye. By now we know that our good-byes are never easy. In the 7 days we spend together we will have realized that with the help of eco-tourism philosophy we have become friends and will carry on seeing one another. We are sure that you will meet great friends on our tours.
1st to 4th days: Mestia Old City Hotel. This is a stone building with wood sidings. All rooms have bathrooms.
5th and 6th days: Aras Guest House. Our guest house is located in Kobuleti and it has 3 bungalows with bathrooms. 4 rooms are attached and have one common bathroom.
See you at other Alternative Routes