Trekking in Georgia and the High Caucasus

Trek twice over 3000m passes in the `Alps of the East`




From $1,620 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Classic views of Mt Kazbek (5047m) the highest peak in Georgia
  • Fortified villages of Mutso and Shatili and UNESCO Mtskheta city
  • Visit villages and locals cut off for 6 months of the year by snow
  • Top adventure trekking holiday in Caucasus mountains of Georgia

East of the Black Sea and bordered in the north by the long chain of the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia is one of the most exciting adventure travel and trekking/walking destinations in Europe. From the capital Tbilisi, we travel north to the striking Mount Kazbek (5047m) and begin trekking across the Sadzele and Borbalo passes into the remote Khevsureti Range. Crossing open ridges, with far-reaching views, we descend through flower-filled mountain pastures into steep-sided and forested valleys, where we find the fortified medieval villages Mutso and Shatili. Close to the northern border, this is Georgia's most traditional region, home to animist shrines, hidden churches and impressive stone-built defensive towers. After our 'loop' northwards into the mountains, we will add to our understanding of this fascinating country with a day of guided sightseeing in Tbilisi and in the nearby town of Mtskheta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former Georgian capital.

Is this holiday for you?

This is one of the more adventurous trekking itineraries on the south side of the Caucasus Mountains. However, it is not a particularly high-level trek, and with its maximum elevation only a little above 3000 metres, the effects of altitude will be a minor consideration. Our route follows trails between valleys and villages, and the underfoot conditions should prove straightforward for the most part, although there are a couple of steep ascents and descents as we cross the passes, and some paths which are through much vegetation. Most of the trekking days involve hiking for 5 or 6 hours, and we have two longer days with up to 8 hours of walking. Overall, this is a short trekking holiday at a generally easy pace.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at Tbilisi hotel, single airport transfer provided. Drive to Kazbegi, short walk, camp (2300m).
  • Begin the trek over the Sadzele Pass (3056m), down to our campsite near Roshka (2000m).
  • Trek through meadows to Gudani Village where we overnight (1800m).
  • Trek across the Barbalo pass (2996m) and descend to the Arghuni River (2000m).
  • A long day trek crossing the Tsubrovana pass (2880m) and descend to Ardoti village (1700m).
  • The final trek is across the Khadotani pass (2460m) down to the fortified village of Mutso (1400m).
  • Return drive to Tbilisi, stopping at the ancient fortified village of Shatili.
  • Sightseeing in Tbilisi and Mtskheta.
  • Departure day. Early morning single transfer to Tbilisi Airport is provided.
Sat 23 Jul - Sun 31 Jul Code GHC /01/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 13 Aug - Sun 21 Aug Code GHC /02/16/ Adult$1,620 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Tbilisi. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Tbilisi Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at Tbilisi hotel, single airport transfer provided. Drive to Kazbegi, short walk, camp (2300m).

    After breakfast we drive up the famous Georgian Military Highway (leading to the Georgian-Russian border). On the way we will make a stop to visit the Ananuri architectural complex. Built in the 17th century, the two churches and the fortress overlook the Zhinvali water reservoir. Continuing our stunning drive along the Tergi River will bring us to Kazbegi the main town in the region. From Kazbegi a is a leisurely uphill 1½ hour walk up through beautiful valleys and woodland leads to Gergeti Trinity Church located at 2170 m. Weather permitting we may catch a glimpse of one of the highest peaks in the Caucasus - Mt Kazbek (5047m). Returning to Kazbegi, we drive to the village Juta, cut off from the rest of the country for 6 months a year by snow. We camp at the end of the road in the remote valley (2300m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 1 - 2 hours walking

  • Begin the trek over the Sadzele Pass (3056m), down to our campsite near Roshka (2000m).

    Today, we leave our transport which will make the long journey around to meet us on the other side of today’s pass. We set off through the valley and make a steady climb to the Sadzele Pass (3056m) where we have wonderful views of the Great Caucasus. This is the highest point of our trek. Crossing the pass we leave Khevi region and descend to Khevsureti region, walking amidst a sea of wildflowers. We reach our camping place near the village of Roshka (2000m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 900m

    • Distance 16km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1000m

    • Time 6 - 7 hours walking

  • Trek through meadows to Gudani Village where we overnight (1800m).

    We have a lovely walk today, mostly downhill on a pleasant trail which passes through flower- filled meadows to reach the Khevsuri Aragvi River which we descend to through the forest on a steep trail. Here we pick up a little-used road to Gudani village and we camp just above the village.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 650m

    • Distance 11km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 770m

    • Time 6 - 8 hours walking

  • Trek across the Barbalo pass (2996m) and descend to the Arghuni River (2000m).

    Today’s hike starts with a long steady climb over a fantastic ridge with great views to reach the summit of the Barbalo pass (2996m). We then make a steeper descent, dropping almost 1000 metres to Kistani village on the Arghuni River. A beautiful days walk, descending through another maze of flowers to our campsite by the river (2000m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1350m

    • Distance 14km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1180m

    • Time 8 - 10 hours walking

  • A long day trek crossing the Tsubrovana pass (2880m) and descend to Ardoti village (1700m).

    We have a steep climb this morning to reach the Tsubrovana pass (2880m), and an equally steep descent into the Chanchakhisikali valley. This is a tough morning’s work but from here the walking becomes much easier as we descend to the traditional Khevsurian villages of Khakhabo and finally along the river to the village of Ardoti (1700m). After a drink at camp if we wish we can pop up to look around this fortified village which now only has 1 or 2 families in resident.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1230m

    • Distance 17km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1570m

    • Time 10 hours walking

  • The final trek is across the Khadotani pass (2460m) down to the fortified village of Mutso (1400m).

    Walking up the Andaki River to the winter village of Bakhao, we make a steep ascent to the Khadotani pass (2460m), and then a more moderate descent to the Khonisukali River. We now follow the river to Khonischala village, and from here to the beautiful village of Mutso. We have the option to walk up to this ancient fortified village and explore this deserted ruin before we continue to the campsite just up the road. Our last night at camping is enjoyed next to the river.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 1480m

    • Distance 19km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1700m

    • Time 6 - 8 hours walking

  • Return drive to Tbilisi, stopping at the ancient fortified village of Shatili.

    Leaving our campsite we drive the 30 mins to Shatili another fortified village at the historical centre of Khevsureti Province. Located in the deep Arghuni Gorge, Shatili is a unique complex of medieval and early modern fortified dwellings. There are approximately 60 stone-built towers that cluster together to create a single chain of fortifications. Inaccessible by road in the winter, the village is home to just a dozen or so families. Some restoration work has been done on the village to bring back to life it’s former glory. Its dramatic architecture is a testament to the troubled history of this border region. After looking around this unique village we board our vehicles for the long drive back to Tbilisi where we check into our hotel around mid afternoon and later have dinner in a local restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Sightseeing in Tbilisi and Mtskheta.

    Today we have a guided sightseeing tour of Tbilisi and of Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. We begin by walking the narrow streets of old Tbilisi where we learn about its rich history and architecture. There is a wealth of religious and secular buildings from across the centuries including the famous 19th century houses with wooden multi-coloured balconies. We will also visit the sulphur baths which made an unforgettable impression on Pushkin, Lermontov, and Duma. In modern Tbilisi we visit the History museum with its gold treasures. Following the Tbilisi tour we drive to the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia, Mtskheta which is reputedly 3000 years old. Here we can visit the 6th century Jvari church and 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral where the Robe of Christ is supposedly buried. Both Jvari and Svetitskhoveli are UNESCO World Heritage sites. At the end of the tour we drive back to Tbilisi and the remainder of the afternoon is free for further independent sightseeing, shopping, relaxing in a coffee bar or possibly doing some wine tasting. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Early morning single transfer to Tbilisi Airport is provided.

    KE Land Only package services end with an early morning group transfer to the airport. For those with later flights, the hotel will provide a breakfast and can also arrange taxis to the airport.

Holiday Information

  • A professional leader
  • Single timed Tbilisi Airport transfers at the beginning and end of the trip
  • Accommodation as described in the dossier (includes a hotel 'night' for early morning arrivals on day 1 of the Land Only itinerary)
  • All land transport throughout the trip
  • Baggage transfer by vehicle where appropriate during the trekking
  • 6 nights full-service camping
  • Entrance fees to tourist sites which are part of the itinerary
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan

  • Travel insurance
  • Tbilisi Airport transfers (other than the single group transfer at the beginning and end of the trip)
  • Tips for local staff
  • Entrance fees at tourist sites which are not part of the itinerary
  • Breakfast on the final day if departing earlier than 8am
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The group will rendezvous either at Tbilisi Airport in the early morning of day 1 of the Land Only itinerary or at breakfast at the group hotel in Tbilisi on that day. Within the Land Only cost of this holiday, we have arranged for a single timed group transfer from Tbilisi Airport on arrival. This transfer will normally depart at around 5am on day 1 of the Land Only itinerary. The local guide or a representative of our local agent will assist with this transfer. Please make sure the flights you choose enable you to meet this transfer. If necessary, independent transfers from Tbilisi Airport can be arranged in advance, at extra cost, through the KE Office. At the end of the holiday there will be a single timed group transfer back to Tbilisi Airport at approximately 2am on the last day of the trip itinerary.

Clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights and should let us know if airport transfers are not required. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Included in the holiday are 3 hotel nights in Tibilsi. This will enable clients on the preferred flight (arriving in the early hours of the morning of day 1 of the Land Only itinerary) to have the use of a hotel room to rest/sleep and freshen up prior to breakfast. Note that it will also be possible for clients arriving a day earlier than day 1 of the land Only itinerary to use this hotel night. At the end of the holiday there are 2 nights spent in the group hotel in Tibilsi. During the trek there are 6 nights camping. All accommodation is on a twin share basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single traveller of the same sex. Depending on availability, it is possible to request single rooms for the hotel nights or single tents for an additional charge. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the trip dates and prices page on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Georgians have a great culinary tradition and national specialties include the following: walnuts used in all sorts of ways, bean salads, aubergines and spinach dishes, layered bread and melted cheese, cured meats, fresh and pickled vegetables. They also have 500 varieties of local wines. Breakfast are continental style, with cereals, bread and jam, tea, coffee and sometimes eggs. Packed lunches are provided and will consist of bread and a variety of meats, cheeses, tomatoes and cucumber. There will also be fruit and biscuits. Dinner at camp are usually a traditional soup followed by vegetable and meat dishes with potatoes, rice or pasta.

All meals are included from breakfast on day 1 to dinner on day 8.

Approximately £150 (or equivalent US dollars, Euros etc.) should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses including your bar bills and reasonable tips to the support crew. If you intend to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Georgia's unit of currency is the lari. By far the easiest way to obtain your travel cash is from ATM’s using a credit card or a debit card. ATM’s are available in Tbilisi close to the group hotel or at the airport. Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and services in some shops, hotels and restaurants in Tbilisi.

A professional, English-speaking local guide will lead the trip. There will be a city guide and translator who also goes on trek as well as a local mountain guide and full camp crew whilst on trek. In addition, the group will be supported by one or more drivers as required.

Tips do not form part of the wages of local staff but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. It is best if the tip is given at the end of the trip by the group as a whole. We recommend that each group member contributes around £30 and that tips are then distributed between the local guide and support staff as the group feels is appropriate.

We ask you to restrict your luggage to a single trek bag and a daypack. Your main trek bag will be carried between overnight camps in the support vehicle. There is no weight restriction as such other than that imposed by your international carrier.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres. Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days by holders of the following passports: United Kingdom, Ireland and all other EU member states, United States of America. Holders of passports not on the above list should contact their nearest Georgian Embassy to see if a visa is required.

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Daypack c.30 litres – 1800 cu in
  • Sleeping bag - comfort rating to zero degrees C
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Hiking boots
  • Gaiters*
  • Trainers / sneakers for camp
  • Sandals for river crossings **
  • Technical walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)
  • Spare laces
  • Trekking trousers / pants *
  • Waterproof over-trousers / rain-pants
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Underwear

    Long johns (thermal underwear)

  • Thermal base layer shirts (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)
  • T-shirts / Long sleeved tops *
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare bulb and batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

    Water bottles 1 Litre / 2 pint (x2)

  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Thermal or fleece gloves
  • A selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Trekking towel
  • Sunhat
  • Fleece hat or balaclava
  • Headscarf for ladies (for church visits)
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE kit bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Insect repellent (DEET); antiseptic cream; throat lozenges; diarrhoea treatment (Diocalm or Immodium); painkillers; plasters/band-aids and blister treatment; and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose sweets and vitamin tablets are a useful addition

The following items are optional:

  • Thermarest (a foam mat is provided)
  • Shorts* (shorts are not allowed in many church visits)
  • Travel clothes
  • Trekking poles
  • Camera, film, batteries

    Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)


  • *Note that on some days you will have to walk through areas of undergrowth and full-length trousers & long sleeved tops will be necessary. You may also wish to wear gaiters on these days. Your trip leader will advise when this is necessary.
  • ** There are several river crossings encountered on the trek. The most suitable footwear is a pair of open sandals that can be securely fastened and remain comfortable to walk in when wet. Crocs and flip flops are not suitable footwear for river crossings.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an active holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are after all, the more you will enjoy your holiday. Whilst regular hiking in hill or back country is the best preparation, Jogging, cycling and swimming are also good for developing better cardiovascular fitness and stamina. Whatever your training regime, before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Daytime temperatures in the lower valleys will vary between 20ºC/68ºF and 25ºC/77F at the times of year we operate this holiday. The weather in summer is generally excellent - with hot days, clear skies and little rain. In the mountain villages at around 2000 metres elevation, the night time temperature will fall to 10ºC/50ºF. As with any mountain region, cooler conditions and stormy weather cannot be ruled out at any time of year. In Tbilisi temperatures are much hotter in the summer months and can reach well into the 30's.

Georgia, Bradt Guide Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Lonely Planet. Georgia: A Sovereign Country of the Caucasus. Odyssey. Roger Rosen. Bread & Ashes. Tony Anderson. A Journey Through the Mountains of Georgia.

Georgia: Geoland 50K Trekking Maps 1:50,000. Sheets 2, 3 and 4

These maps have contours at 20m intervals, with additional relief shading and numerous spot heights, plus colouring and graphics to indicate different types of terrain. The road network distinguishes between local paved or unpaved roads, dirt tracks, forest roads and footpaths. Sheets 2 and 3 cover the main walking area, whilst sheet 4 covers Kazbegi. Note that it is possible to obtain good maps from the tourist information office in Tbilisi.

Recent Reviews & Blog Posts