2021 fundraising trek
Kazbegi to Tusheti
Ten-day itinerary: Sep 12 – Sep 21
Contribution: $2,450 USD per person
Join the Transcaucasian Trail team for a trek across the mountain regions of eastern Georgia
The trek from Kazbegi to Tusheti is a truly classic trek following ancient shepherds paths across this wild corner of the Caucasus. You will support our work to preserve and protect this incredible landscape by joining our exclusive 10-day tour of this remote and fascinating region of Georgia.
We start our trek below the icy peak of Kazbegi, one of the most prominent mountains in the Caucasus, making our way over challenging passes through the steep forested canyons of Khevsureti all the way to Tusheti, home to a fascinating cultural heritage and one of the last wild corners of Europe.
These tours will be led by Paul Stephens, the founder and director of the Transcaucasian Trail Association, along with other members of the TCT team in Georgia. We will stay in local guest houses and see up close the work of the TCT and why it is important. All proceeds from the tours will go to support our work on the TCT and our youth leadership program, the Caucasus Conservation Corps.
Keep reading for more details. For enquiries and bookings contact [email protected]
Sep 12 – 21
Day 1: Travel from Tbilisi to Kazbegi, overnight at hotel in Juta
Day 2: Hike over Chaukhi pass to Roshka, overnight w/family
Day 3: Transfer to Mutso, overnight camping
Day 4: Hike to Atsunta pass, overnight camping
Day 5: Hike over Atsunta pass, overnight camping
Day 6: Hike to Girevi, overnight at family guesthouse
Day 7: Hike Ghele ridge, overnight in Dartlo
Day 8: Hike from Shenako to Diklo fortress
Day 9: Travel to Alazani Valley, overnight at family-owned winery
Day 10: Return to Tbilisi
A new trek for 2021
We are excited to offer this trek across the high mountains of eastern Georgia for the first time this year. The trip will be a compelling combination of rugged adventure and cultural experiences.
Get ready for ten days full of incredible hiking, delicious meals, fascinating history, and friendly people. The regions of Tusheti and Khevsureti are famous in Georgia for fiercely defending their mountain homes and for preserving their ancient stories and traditions into the modern day. Tusheti is home to one of the largest protected areas in the Caucasus and where village life is tied to the rhythms of the seasonal movements of the sheep flocks.
As with all of our fundraising treks, 100% of the profits go back into our work in the local area, helping ensure the future of this world-class long distance trail.
Our itinerary is very active. We’ll be hiking almost every day, and a few of the days are long. Most nights we will stay at local guesthouses, but we will also be camping for several nights as we cross over Atsunta pass, one of the highest walkable passes in Georgia. Luckily, we will have horses to carry our extra gear for these three nights, and we’ll provide the camping gear, so you don’t have to worry about bringing any to Georgia.
Read the itinerary below for more information about distances and elevation gain. If you are wondering about the difficulty of the hikes or the fitness level required, feel free to send us an email at [email protected]
Here are the details:
Day 1: We leave Tbilisi in the morning, and make our way to Stepantsminda and the iconic Trinity church at the base of Mount Kazbegi. We’ll have time for short hikes to other local sites before we make our way to our to Juta, one of the highest villages in Georgia, where we stay at a small alpine lodge. (Hiking: 7 km +500 m/-500 m)
Day 2: We hike past Chaukhi, a striking granite massif, called the “Dolomites of Georgia” and over a high pass, descending to the colored lakes of Abudelauri and onto Roshka, where we stay with a local family. (Hiking: 17 km, +1,200m/-1,400m)
Day 3: Today we’ll drive over the Datvisjvari pass to Shatili, an ancient fortress village on the border with Chechnya, Russia. We will explore the village and then make our way to Mutso another medieval village that has been beautifully restored, before setting up camp for the night near Khonischala. Camping overnight. (Hiking: 5 km, +250 m /-250 m)
Day 4: Khonischala to Atsunta Pass: We make our way to Atsunta Pass (3,400 meters) one of the highest walkable passes in Georgia. Depending on the season, we’ll be hiking through the lush green of early summer with the slopes full of blooming white rhododendrons or through the gorgeous colors and ripe berries of late summer. Horses will carry our gear, and we will camp overnight. (Hiking: 11 km, +1300 m /-50 m)
Day 5: Atsunta Pass toward Girevi: After we make it over the pass we start our descent into Tusheti, passing by the shepherds tending their flocks and visiting the traditional pre-Christian shrines that dot the landscape. Camping overnight. (Hiking: 13 km +750 m/ -1,300 m)
Day 6: To Parsma: We make it to the first villages in the Pirikita Alazani valley and cool our heels in a local guesthouse, while we learn about the local traditions. (Hiking: 12 km +300m / -500m)
Day 7: Ghele ridge: We’ll hike a spectacular ridge line across the center of Tusheti with views of the three valleys below us and raptors swirling overhead. We’ll overnight at a guesthouse in the incredibly picturesque village of Dartlo. (Hiking: 19 km +1300m/-1,100m)
Day 8: Shenako to Diklo. Our final day in Tusheti, and we’ll be sad to be leaving this magical landscape, but we have an exciting hike to Diklo fortress, an ancient stronghold dramatically perched above a canyon on the border with Dagestan. (Hiking: 7 km +300 m/- 400 m)
Day 9: We drive over Abano Pass to the Alazani Valley (5 hours), the heart of Georgian wine country, stopping by a hot spring for a quick dip to soothe our sore muscles on the way down. We’ll stay at a family-run winery where we can toast our hike and make up some of the calories we burned over the past week with a traditional Georgian feast.
Day 10: Drive to Tbilisi (3 hours), stopping at the UNESCO-listed 11th century Alaverdi Cathedral.
Hiking Boots At The Ready!
So you’re interested in joining us in 2021? Get in touch using the form below! We’ll send you an application form to join the team. Places are offered on a first-come first-served basis, so register now to secure your spot.
If you prefer not to use the online form, you can contact us directly at [email protected].
What happens after I click the big green button?
This is an enquiry form, not a booking form, and using it neither obliges you to take part in the trek or guarantees you a place! We first want to make sure that you’re fully informed about the experience and that your expectations match what we’re offering. Our team will respond to your message by email or phone to go over the details of the trek and ask you a few more questions relating to your level of hiking experience and fitness. If all is well, we’ll ask you to pay a deposit to secure your place on the team. We’ll be in further contact with you before your departure, and we’ll always be on hand to answer any questions you may have during that time.