svan-towers-in-the-traditional-village-of-ushguli
8-day adventure

Trek the Svaneti Region

Georgia
  • Kandoo Trekking
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Code: GETS

8 days
Moderate

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our UK team

Our local team

Our team in the Caucasus are based in Yerevan and offer a range of short and longer beautifully scenic treks for small groups. Working with local guides that have a passion for the area and it's unique customs, they will take you along remote treks in the Upper Svaneti region or help you to complete part of the newly developed Transcaucasian Trail. Your safety and the quality of your trips is their commitment. Regular communication by our in...
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Kandoo's view

Immerse yourself in the ancient traditions and hidden wonders of alpine Georgia. Discover the quaint ruins of abandoned villages and beautiful traditional buildings, interspersed with proud Svan Towers, as your trek through the remote landscapes of the Upper Svaneti, treading the path less taken. Unwind with the gentle nature of the locals and sample their delicious cuisine as they proudly welcome you to their home. This is an adventure for those wishing to explore the rugged, natural beauty of a forgotten landscape, where the only others around are the nomadic farmers, tending to their livestock. Stepping back into a simpler time, delve into a world of lush, alpine meadows and glistening waterfalls to the melodious chime of cowbells.

Trip highlights

  • Trek the stunning alpine, pathways of a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Stay with locals in the hidden mountain village of Adishi
  • Explore the cultural delights of Kutaisi including the magnificent Gelati Monastery
  • Discover the abandoned villages of the Upper Svaneti region

Experiences

  • Kandoo Trekking
    Hikers in Thorong, during the Annapurnas Tour
    Our core collection of treks and hikes, through some of the world's most outstanding landscapes

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Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Welcome to Kutaisi

    Arrive into Kutaisi International Airport, where we will be greeted by our driver and guide. They will then transfer us to our hotel, where will spend the rest of the day at our leisure. We will have a pre-trek briefing this evening at our hotel at 6pm.

    • Accomodation: Hotel
  • Day 2

    Kutaisi - Mestia

    Today we will have the whole morning and early afternoon to discover Kutaisi – one of the oldest cities in Europe. Wander through its lively streets and be captivated by the warm hospitality of its people. Kutaisi reveals a rich heritage held within sites like the Colchis Fountain and the White Bridge. With a welcoming spirit and fascinating landmarks, Kutaisi promises an authentic Georgian experience that will leave a lasting impression.
    In the afternoon, we will embark on our journey North. Driving through the scenic mountains, we have time to immerse ourselves in their splendour before reaching the town of Mestia, a step back in time, located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Upper Svaneti region. Preserved by the isolation of its surroundings, the medieval villages and tower houses that make up the village of Mestia date back to the 9th century. Here we check into our hotel for the night.

    • Accomodation: Hotel
    • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Mestia - Zhabeshi

    This morning we follow the lush, green valley of the Mulkhura River as it passes through the villages of Lakhiri, Cholashi, Majvdieri, Chvabiani, and Tsaldashi. We have our first taster of the delightful, traditional architecture of these charming villages before crossing the Gvaldi Pass, from which a scenic, alpine vista is laid out before us. We arrive into Zhabeshi, nestled at the base of Tetnuldi Peak, in the late afternoon and the beautiful slopes of Tetnuldi provide an incredible backdrop to our evening.

    • Hiking time: 6 - 7 hours
    • Accomodation: Guesthouse
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Dinner
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Trip information

Difficulty

This adventure is of moderate difficulty. The terrain can be steep and rocky and you will be hiking for 5 days consecutively.  In some months the weather can be very hot and the sun intense, which adds to the difficulty of the hiking. The maximum ascent in a single day will be 1400m. You should be in good physical condition with recent experience of hiking for several days in row with over 1000m of ascent and descent in a day. To ask about your suitability for this trip and what you can do to prepare please feel free to give us a call.

Food & drink

This adventure in the Caucasus is full board whilst trekking. Georgian gastronomy consists of rich pastries, meats and cheeses, eaten alongside fresh, vegetable salads. A continental style breakfast is served at your hotel each morning and in the guesthouses you will be provided with a range of pastries, cereals, cheeses, cold meats and fruit along with plenty of tea and coffee. Each day whilst trekking you will receive a picnic lunch from your guesthouse for you to carry in your daypack.  Our lunches are all made with fresh local produce and will include fruit, vegetables, cold meats, cheese and lovely fresh bread. Evening meals will be taken at the guesthouse.  There will be a range of starters, main courses and desserts for you to choose from and you will get to try local delicacies such as Khakali and Chirbuli. In Kutaisi and Mestia, your evening meal isn't included. This is an opportunity to head into one of the local restaurants and sample the locals favourites. 


During the trip you will be given 2 bottles of water per day. Any other drinks, including additional water, are your own responsibility. You may wish to carry a water purification system such as a filter or tablets to treat water from natural springs or villages whilst trekking. There are plenty of places to refill your water bottles both in towns and in remote mountain areas, your guide will advise you when and where to refill. Please be aware that tap water in Georgia may not be safe to drink, so you may wish to bring a filter/purification tablets to treat this also. 

If you have special dietary requirements please inform us as soon as possible after booking your trip.  We will work with you to ensure your needs are met.

Accommodation

On this trip we will stay in hotels in Kutaisi and Mestia. The hotels will be of 4 star standard with double or twin rooms and private bathrooms. Single rooms can be arranged on request and subject to availability.

Whilst trekking we will be staying in local guesthouses in twin rooms with shared bathrooms. Single occupancy isn't always available in the guesthouses and will be reviewed on upon request.  

Luggage

During the trek, your luggage will be transported by an all-terrain vehicle. You should bring two bags with you, a large 80-100 litre duffel bag and a smaller 30-50 litre daypack. Your duffel bag will be transported by the vehicle each day and made available for you at your accommodation each afternoon once the vehicles have arrived. Your daypack will stay with you at all times and should be used to carry spare clothing, water, suncream, lunch etc.  A flexible duffel bag or backpack is best for your main luggage. 

How do I get there?

You will need to arrive at Kutaisi International Airport (KUT) on Day 1 of your itinerary. If you would prefer to arrive a few days earlier, we would be happy to book additional hotel accommodation for you on request.

In order to reach Kutaisi it is necessary to have a stopover in Europe. For those travelling from the UK, there are indirect flights from London and Manchester with Pegasus, Ryan Air and Easyjet with layovers in Instanbul or Budapest. If travelling from Glasgow, you will need to go via London. 

From the US, Norse Atlantic and French Bee offer the most options, with indirect flights from New York and Miami with short stop overs in Europe.  Flights from Atlanta will need to be via New York and Los Angeles. 

When you arrive in Kutaisi, please look out for our guide and driver in the arrivals area, they will be holding a large "KANDOO ADVENTURES" sign. 

Pre-trek briefing

A pre-trek briefing will be held for this trip at 6pm on Day 1 of the trip. Your guide will meet you in the hotel reception area for this briefing. 

Budget & change

The currency in Georgia is the Georgian Lari (GEL) and it's sign is ₾.  For the latest exchange rates please see www.xe.com

Georgia has a closed currency which means Lari cannot be imported or exported from the country. You can exchange currency at the airport, banks, exchange offices, or with currency exchangers. However, the latter isn't recommended as some exchangers will provide you with counterfeit money.  US Dollars and Euros are the easiest currencies to exchange. The National Bank of Georgia and TBC bank are considered to be credible banks to exchange your money with. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted at restaurants and larger shops in the big cities. If you are planning to carry a credit card for emergencies, please inform your card provider in advance. ATMs are also available in the bigger cities to withdraw cash, if you have a pre-paid card such as Monzo or Revolut this can often be done without exchange charges.

The only way to pay for things once you leave Kutaisi is in cash. Cards are not accepted in the smaller towns and villages so you will need to carry enough cash for snacks, drinks and any personal expenses. 

The average cost of a three course meal in Kutaisi is around ₾60-80 ($20-30). A taxi ride will generally start at ₾2 ($0.75) whereas a one way bus ticket for a 10 minute journey will be around ₾0.4 ($0.15). Its is a fairly a cheap place to eat out and travel compared to Western standards and if you are wanting to buy some suluguni cheese or churchellato take home then these generally cost anywhere between ₾15-270 ($5-$100) for gifts that will pack into your main bag. Don't forget you will also need to budget for drinks too. A bottle of water might cost you $1 to $2, while a local beer can be around $2 to $4. We would recommend a budget of $250 for your time in Georgia. 

Tips

Tipping when you are satisfied with the service you have received is customary in Georgia. However, it is not mandatory and should be left to the discretion of each individual. We recommend the following tips per person per day:
  • ₾13 ($5) - guides
  • ₾8 ($3) - drivers
These should be paid in the local currency where possible. 

Formalities & health

Passport

Please double check that your passport is valid for 6 months beyond the date of arrival in Georgia. We recommend that you take a photocopy of your passport and keep it separate from the original, and this will be useful if the original is lost while you are travelling.

Visa

Travelling to Georgia is visa free for up to one year, for UK and US citizens. For other nationalities a visa may be required. Please check this with your embassy.

Vaccinations

There are no specific health risks in Georgia. However, you should ensure that your routine vaccinations and boosters are up to date, such as tetanus and MMR.

Insurance

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your trip. Please ensure that all activities, excursions and destinations in your itinerary are included in your travel insurance policy, in addition to your regular cover for cancellation and medical expenses. If you are climbing Mount Kazbek, you will need to be covered for trekking up to 5100m and using fixed ropes. We ask that you keep a copy of your policy summary (containing policy number and the emergency contact number for your insurer) in your day sack at all times, so that we can access this information should we need to contact the insurer on your behalf.

Medication

Please note that Georgia has a very strict anti-drugs policy. This can also cover prescription and non-prescription medicines commonly available in the UK and US. For example, non-prescription medicines containing codeine are illegal.

If you need to bring prescription medication with you to Georgia, please also bring your signed Doctor’s prescription and the original packaging for the medicine.

Equipment & clothing

Clothing to bring

HEADGEAR
  • Sun hat – preferably wide-brimmed for protection
  • Sunglasses – high UV protection
  • Neck gaiter or scarf
  • Warm beanie style hat – fleece or wool

UPPER BODY

  • Gloves – warm fleece or wool gloves
  • Short sleeve shirt/t-shirt – lightweight, moisture wicking (x2)
  • Long-sleeve shirt/t-shirt – light/medium weight, moisture wicking (x2)
  • Fleece or soft shell jacket
  • Lightweight insulated jacket – down or primaloft
  • Water/windproof hard shell outer jacket

LEGS

  • Trekking shorts
  • Trekking trousers – lightweight – convertible trousers work well
  • Wind and waterproof over trousers (Gore-Tex or similar)
  • Gaiters

FEET

  • Trekking boots – with good ankle support
  • Training shoes or sandals – to wear in the accommodation in the evening
  • Light-weight trekking socks (x3 pairs)
  • Breathable, high-wicking liner socks (x2 pairs)

Equipment to bring

  • 80-100L duffel bag 
  • 30-40L rucksack with chest strap and waterproof cover - to carry water, packed lunch and personal items each day
  • Trekking poles
  • Water bottle or hydration bag – must be able to carry 2.0L of water
  • Drybags – provide additional waterproofing for the kit in your rucksack
  • Individual plastic tub and cutlery – for your picnic lunch
  • Headlamp (plus extra batteries)
  • Water filtration system or purification tablets

OTHER ACCESSORIES

  • Sunscreen and lip balm (high SPF)
  • Toiletries, including wet wipes, after sun and hand sanitiser
  • Camera and spare batteries
  • Personal medication and first aid kit
  • Personal snacks and energy bars – dried fruit and nuts are also good
  • Microfibre towel
  • Ear plugs, if you are a light sleeper

Dates & prices

From To Price Availability Book Enquire
21/06/2025 28/06/2025 $1,885 £1,449
Available
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12/07/2025 19/07/2025 $1,885 £1,449
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02/08/2025 09/08/2025 $1,885 £1,449
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13/09/2025 20/09/2025 $1,885 £1,449
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Want to ask us a question or book a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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Price includes

  • Airport transfers
  • An expert Kandoo Adventures guide
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation
  • 4 nights guesthouse accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
  • All land transportation
  • Luggage transfers throughout the trek

Price does not include

  • Flights and visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses
  • Meals in Kutaisi, Mestia and Lunch on Day 3