Our 14-day Cultural and Hiking tour in Georgia is a match for adventurous souls from any corner of the world. You will have a lifetime experience enjoying hiking amid breathtaking Caucasian mountain landscapes and waterfalls. One of the highlights of the tour is Svaneti region with its center Mestia located 1500m above the sea level, a destination with some of the most exciting hiking trails in the world.
Our interest in visiting Georgia started in 2009 after our daughter returned from a trip there and told us what a great place it was to visit. I found My Geo online and last Fall began working with Sati to put together a hiking and cultural trip that would retrace some of our daughter’s steps and much more. She put together a 16 day custom itinerary that included the major spots we wanted to visit and much more! Our friends here in the US thought we were a little crazy for going to a country so far away which seems to be not well known. The people of Georgia are very friendly, many of the young people and most in the hospitality business speak English and you will meet travelers from all over the world here. The country has a fascinating history and is truly one of the world’s great crossroads. As it turns out it was an adventure of a lifetime and one not to be missed.
Our guide for the trip, Tazo, was wonderful. He and his Land Rover took us places I never thought we could go. He kept us well supplied with water and great insights about the places we visited plus good advice on what to eat and which restaurants to visit. The tour included a great breakfast every morning which more often or not also supplied our lunch, all admissions to the various sites and comfortable hotels, most of the time walking distance to points of interest and dining. We went on a lot of memorable treks, visited some amazing towns and points of interest too numerous to mention, but these are the most memorable parts of the trip, though almost everything was memorable:
Tbilisi has turned into one of the world’s great tourist destinations. Lots to see and do, great restaurants and a unique ambiance. Make sure to catch one of the dinner shows that features Georgian polyphonic singing and dancing. Don’t forget to take a boat ride down the river in the evening and ride up the cable car to the top of the mountain overlooking the city.
Chauki Pass trek from Juta to Roska – This was a fantastic 17 km portered trek as arranged by My Geo and Tazo. My wife and I are in our mid 60’s and I was not sure we could do this but our mountain guide came with his horse that transported our packs. We started at the Zeta campground where we stayed the night before in a geodesic dome cabin with private bathroom. The scenery was stunning and only got better as we climbed. The descent from the top of the pass was very tricky but we got lots of help from our mountain guide, Bocho. Tazo was waiting for us at the end of the hike and took us to this great guest house in Roshka where we stayed the night. The food there was made from scratch and featured home made dairy products. This was an experience of a lifetime!
Svaneti – Mestia and Ushguili Our daughter told us we had to go there and she was right. It is quite a trip from Tbilisi and will add time to your trip, but it is well worth it. To break up the trip we stayed in Kutaisi on the way up and back but also took some extra time to hike in Borjomi National Park and spend a night in Borjomi. The beauty of the huge glacier covered Svaneti mountains is almost indescribable, and pictures will never do it justice. The villages have the famous towers you might have seen. When we come back to Georgia someday we will spend even more time here.
Kaheti - We had only a short time in Georgia’s famous wine region but the highlight was the trip to the Khareba winery where we sampled some great wines and learned how to cook the iconic dishes of Georgian. We also had visited the Chateau Mukhrani earlier in the trip which was also very enjoyable.
Food and Wine: Though I had become familiar with Georgian food while traveling in Eastern Europe on business, it is way better in Georgia! The whole country is one big wine region, not just Kaheti. We also ate many of the regional dishes which were really great and will try cooking some of these at home, though without real Georgian cheese and some of the herbs that are hard to find outside the country I would not expect it to be the same. Because of all the trekking and the high level of activity we had during this trip, we may have been the first people ever to visit Georgia and not gain weight! At the time of this review the US dollar was very strong so pretty much everything we ate and drank cost us very little. I think we saved enough money on our dining to pay for our airline tickets here!
Speaking of getting to Georgia, if you live in a city close to an airport served by Turkish Air, getting there is extremely easy. I would highly recommend working with My Geo to put together your itinerary.
Lloyd and Rosette Moss, Virginia, USA
As it turned out here just was not enough “free time’ built into the itinerary to just relax, shop and enjoy some of the cities. I never asked for this and I know it would have involved eliminating either some points of interest or extending the trip. With all the traveling, the itinerary was exhausting for us old people. I would have particularly liked ½ day of free time in Tbilisi, Kataisi and Mestia. I think when you work on such itineraries you should ask people how much free time they would like in the major cities to explore on their own.
There were two hotels we really did not like and one which had a problem:
The Hotel Alaznis in Tevali was a dump with the most uncomfortable bed we have ever slept in. Neither of us got much sleep! I had the feeling we were in a prison and it really left a bad impression at the end of the trip, though the breakfast was not too bad. Had I realized just how bad it was when we checked in, I would have moved to the Holiday Inn at our own expense. We arrived too tired (and drunk) to do anything about it. Do not put Americans in this hotel!
The Tiflis hotel in Akhaltsikhe was actually very nice BUT it is located far from any restaurant. After hiking all day we just were not up to the 2-3 km walk to get dinner that night. Tazo was not staying there so we really could not rely on him to transport us. One thing we experienced in Georgia is that none of the cab drivers we encountered spoke a word of English. We tried using apps like Yandex but even then, we would call for a cab and one would never show up so we avoided cabs as much as possible. I don’t know if there was a comfortable hotel closer to the central business district but it would have been better to be located there.
One hotel (I think it was Hotel Old Borjormi), had its mini-split air conditioner located right above my head. It dumped cold air on my face all night and when I woke up I had a chest cold it took me four days to get rid of. It was far too hot not to use it.
We really enjoyed the Bridge Boutique hotel in Tbilisi, the Gold Tower in Mestia and the Hotel Terrace in Kutaisi. When I made the initial reservations with you, I really did not know what to expect for accommodations nor did we ever discuss the level of hotels we would be staying at. I guess this is something I should have brought up. I know you were trying to keep the price down, but I think I would have upgraded a couple of these.
I do need to give you and Tazo a lot of thanks for arranging the mountain guide, Bocho (if there is a better spelling for the review, please let me know) and his horse for the Chauki Pass trek. I had no idea it would be portered (where horse carries most of our load) but it made a huge difference to us and made the trek far more enjoyable and memorable. There were lots of activities on this trip we really enjoyed but I don’t think too many people read 6 page reviews.
Thanks for everything. I hope this review brings you lots of business.
This was an excellent program to fully experience Georgia, its must-see and other amazing places, history, traditions and culture. Some days included long drives but it did not reflect to the trip as the sites were really worth it. The hike to Okatse Canyon was perfect, nature magnificent. I really liked Mestia and had delicious lunch there. By the way Georgian food is great.
Me and Molly want to thank you for the perfect arrangements suiting our requirements. The program was great and we enjoyed both the cultural and trekking parts of the tour. We met locals, they are very nice and warm and happy to travelers. The hotels you chose for us were great and comfortable. Molly and I are sending our best wishes to you and your great team. Keep it up! Definitely recommend.
We are an experienced travel company which offers tours not only to Georgia but to Armenia and Azerbaijan as well.
We select only superior hotels situated in the central city near to the major sights.
We cooperate only with professional guides who have more than 5-year-experience in tourism.
We are responsible for the quality of our tours and guarantee that all the packages have the best value for money
We ensure our travellers with comfortable air-conditioned vehicle.
Each year we receive numerous positive feedbacks from our customers.