Caucasus Mountain Trekking/horse riding - 8 Days

Trekking Caucasus mountains

Trekking Caucasus mountains is great challenge for everyone. Depending on your abilities and skills, you can make choice between dozens of treks. During this tour we will cover 3 most important sites of Georgia: Shatili tower village and Mutso in the North East, Kazbegi Region with mount Kazbegi 5047m, Village Juta with Chaukhi Mountain range and Svaneti Region, with hundreds of towers and dozens of Highest peaks: Shkhara 5201m, Janga 5059m, Ushba 4710m.

We will not conquer mountain peaks but will enjoy all beauty of those peaks, come as much possible closer to them.

Georgia is a diverse country. Northern part of Georgia represented by the high Caucasus mountains with peaks more than 5000m above sea level. Caucasus mountains are highest in Europe. Climate and nature of Caucasus mountains varies vertically according to elevation. Ice covered summits, hundreds of indigenous species of plants and animals make Caucasus unique place to visit.
But Nature diversity is only part of the great scenario, those mountains are settled also by highlanders of Georgia who still preserve ancient social, tribal culture with fascinating, original architecture. Thousands of towers, fortresses, houses made of slate are another intriguing part of the journey. Trekking Caucasus mountains you will enjoy fascinating nature of Georgia and at the same time learn about authentic culture of mountain communities.

Khevsutreti

Khevsureti, actually part of the region, lays on the other side of Caucasus ridge. There was time when when these hardly accessible mountains were settled by brave warrior tribes-_Khevsurs and Pshavs (Khevsuri and Pshaveli in Georgian).

Many times, kings of Georgia, when lowland was invaded by enemies, found shelter here. And not only kings, there was evident migration from lowland regions to mountains as it was safer place than Kartli or Kakheti. Due to the harsh climate (winter in some places for 9 month) and terrain, local societies gone through natural survival process, only tough, strong personalities could survive here. Thus Khevsurs were best fighters and personal guard of King Irakli was formed by them.

Khevsurs with Pshavi people still practice specific type of religion which which is mixture of pagan and Christian traditions. Celebrations take place at the end of July and those who are interested in traditions, religion and mythology will find a lot interesting in Khevsur worship and sacrificial.

While the major part of Khevsureti (Bude Khevsureti) situated on the Southern slope of Caucasus ridge, region is extended beyond this division line occupying several gorges (Piraketa, Migmakhevi, Shatili and Arkhoti).

Unfortunately not so much survived from the Southern side, but we are lucky as still have Shatili tower village. Mutso tower complex and Ardoti village on the Northern side. Exact dates of construction of these villages isn’t known. Information about Khevsureti is very limited.

Shatili tower village is on the tentative list of UNESCO.

Shatili is the only tower village where tower was not only stronghold but permanent residential place as well. Situation slightly different at Mutso, where towers were used only in Summer and they had winter houses as well as during the winter season there wasn’t danger of enemy assault from the North.

Khevsurs were best fighters as I mentioned before. Shatili was last stronghold of Georgia which fell under Russian control years later of occupation of Georgia in 19th century.

Svaneti Region

Svaneti, region situated on a North-West of Georgia, where you can find hundreds of well preserved Svanetian towers, amazing nature of Caucasus with it's highest peaks. 4 from 10 peaks of Caucasus are situated on a territory of Svaneti.
Probably isolation of this region from other parts of Georgia is the reason Svani people well preserved their unique culture and even language. Yes, while they are Georgian, they speak different language and with Megrels (Megrelian language is spoken there) form the Georgian or Kartvelian language group. Which has not ties with any other language and forms independent language group.
Svans are well known for their brave spirit, Ushguli Svans never had feud rulers and with Pshavs and Khevsurs they were ruled by tribal law and by eldest people. In 90s, when Georgia became "heaven" of crime, drugs and corruption, was not easy challenge to visit Svaneti without Kalashnikov in a backpack. Nowadays crime level is the same as elsewhere in Georgia. Svans now earn from travelers and don't want to damage reputation of the region.
There are many routes worth to try through scenic villages to snow covered peaks. Overall Svaneti will be intriguing challenge for everybody starting from hiking lower to the professional mountain climber.

Samegrelo Region.

Largest region of Georgia with the population whose native language is Megrelian. While Megrelian and Georgian language belong to the same language group, Georgian speaker nothing can understand from Megrelian speech. Most Megrelians speak Georgian but in remote villages one can have problem with communication like in my case. Once I asked about Martvili canyon, but nobody could understand meaning of the word canyon and I was sent to different direction. Who knows, if not this misunderstanding, I couldn't discover exciting route to several waterfalls. Martvili canyon on it's own was about 200m far from the road, but I did 15km in search of Canyon. Beyond Martvili and Okatse canyons there is much to see in this area, especially Oniore and Toba waterfalls, Motena cave and boxwood forest nearby Oniore.
If you like spicy food, here is your paradise, Megrelian cuisine is rich and spicy.

Day 1
Itineraries

Driving to Shatili, distance 160km, 100km off road, 6 hours drive. We will cross scenic Datvisjvari pass at the 2680m altitude, get on the other side of Caucasus slope, on the way Lebaiskari village and tower, abandoned village Kistani and towers. and at the end of the route Shatili Tower village

Day 2

Driving to Mutso, trekking up to Mutso towers (1. 30 hour trekking). Driving can be altered with horse riding from Shatili to Mutso (25km both ways) if desired. Departure, overnight in Pshavi village house, tasting local cuisine, home made Khinkali, vodka etc.

Day 3

Departure to Kazbegi, en route Ananuri fortress Overnight Village Juta

Day 4

Juta village, Trekking or horse riding to Chaukhi mountains. Departure, Arrival in Kutaisi

Day 5

Highlight of the day, . We will visit Prometheus and Sataplia caves. Arriving in Mestia, Dozens of Svanetian towers, some of them from 9th century, overnight.

Day 6

Margiani Ethnographyc museum, Ushguli Village, 85km off road, Scenic views on the way, Highest peaks of Caucasus, hundreds of towers.

Day 7

Samegrelo region, Gochkadili Canyon, waterfalls, Nokalakevi fortress. The ancient Kolchian capital of the Greek Argonaut myth overnight in Kutaisi

Day 8

Departure

What's included

  • Guiding, transportation, accommodation in guesthouses, 2 meals, alcoholic beverages. tickets

What's excluded

  • Any personal expenses, meals on the way

You can send your inquiry via the form below.

Trip Facts

  • No deposit needed to book the tour, just pay before beginning the tour
  • By Range Rover SUV/By 4xminivan
  • Max 4
  • 2600m
  • Within Tbilisi area
  • Within Tbilisi area
  • No shorts (pants for woman) are allowed in Orthodox churches
  • Ages 8 and up
  • May-September
  • Moderate