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Reviews for On foot in the Caucasus

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On foot in the Caucasus reviews verified by reevooReevoo

8 reviews

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On foot in the CaucasusScores 8.1 out of 10 based on 8 reviews
(7 out of 10)


Whitley Bay
Although Nino, our tour leader was very pleasant and helpful, with interesting facts about Georgia, she had a poor knowledge of the mountains, which was disappointing on a walking holiday. The local mountain guides who accompanied us were useless, spoke no English, showed no interest in the walks and did not stop to keep the group together unless phoned by our leader. The walks often did not match the dossier description, being too short. The standard of accommodation was variable, being very good in Tbilisi and unacceptable in Becho, where our group had to share two bathrooms with the family of about 20, even having to wait until the family had finished using the bathrooms themselves. The owners were quite rude and unwelcoming, unlike the delightful Meri in Mestia, who couldn't do enough for us. It was noticeable that our group was allocated the worst accommodation of all the Visit Georgia groups we saw and given the fact that the majority of guesthouses were charging £20 to £25 for full board, we felt that this tour was vastly overpriced and represented the poorest value for money we have ever experienced in 40 years of travelling. In our opinion the pricing should be on a par with the Moroccan trips. Moreover, only 2 of the hotels named in the final documentation were actually used by the group. We should be given a correct list or no list at all. We were quite surprised that the tip kitty had to be in US dollars rather than local currency, and had to intervene when Nino wanted to give the first mountain guide 30 dollars as she did not understand that tips are given for good Service! This review sounds very negative, but these aspects need to be addressed. On the other hand, Levan our driver was excellent, the food was plentiful and delicious everywhere we went, Georgia is a beautiful country and we enjoyed the trip very much.
Confirmed traveller: 15 August 2016
Published on: 26 August 2016
(8 out of 10)


Georgia is a most interesting & quirky country. It has quite a history, both past & recent. Whilst there are a lot of churches & cheese, Georgia fortunately has some wonderful scenery & many of the churches are in stunning settings. Georgians are also very good singers, so worth attending at least one church service.
Tbilisi is a congenial place to spend a couple of days. Very safe. Nice mix of cultures & history.
Mestia & Ushguli are both fascinating & scenic areas.
Two of the trekking days are challenging & some trekking days are long, but the rewards are high. If you like wildflowers, you will be in wildflower heaven.
I felt that the Mount Ushba trek involved a very risky fast flowing glacial stream crossing. One slip & there was a distinct danger of being washed down to the voluminous waterfall about 30m away. This should not be encouraged when the water is high.

I would have given the trip a higher rating but for 3 factors:

1) The Visit Georgia leader Nino, was disappointing. Nice lady, ran things fairly smoothly, but young, nieve & unreceptive. Not the leader designated in the Explore pre-departure information. Her English was passable but not great. She had little common sense & her timings both trekking or on the road were usually wildly inaccurate. Her main interest was clearly religion & churches, not trekking or the natural world. I found she was singing from a different hymn sheet to that usually required on what is primarily a trekking trip. She seemed unable to understand that the scenery, wildflowers etc rather than selfies were a big attraction. Although Nino claimed to have done all the treks previously, I would question this. She actually managed to get 2 of us lost on a particularly vertiginous dead end slope on the Mt Ushba trek. She was a poor judge of trekking ability. Her pre-trekking daily advice was fairly useless, patronising & tedious, normally restricted to waterproofs, comfortable shoes, sunscreen & a hat. Useful advice would have been potable water availablity enroute & the need to take sufficient water. Many days were hot & long. Visit Georgia give you a 500ml bottle of water each day as if this is adequate. It is not. Our first picnic lunch was spent in a forest full of steaming cow pats complete with flies. We had recently passed through some lovely meadows & the horrible fly infested forest was next to a pleasant cafe with good views & a clean toilet, where we could have had drinks & coffee to accompany the picnic lunch (cafes usually allow this). Nino was resistant to any digression from her "schedule" eg a long time was spent in & around the Gergeti Trinity Church but she said that trekking 15 mins up to a viewpoint of the stunning church setting was not on her "schedule" so we shouldn't go. I got the impression that Nino viewed trekking as something to be endured as part of her job but she would much rather have been visiting a church. She was excellent in the latter capacity

2) Local guides were a waste of time. I think they are obligatory. They didn't speak English, had no interest in the group, & often motored ahead out of sight of most of the group.

3) Accomodation in Kazbegi, Becho & Ushguli.
While the hotels were often not as listed by Explore, accommodation in Tbilisi, Kutaisi & Mestia was good or better than expected. Meri's Guesthouse in Mestia looks unpromising but is clean & adequate with a charming host & hostess.
The hotel in Kazbegi had good rooms but the road facing rooms had to contend with a constant stream of growling transport trucks enroute to Russia from about 5am onwards with lots of other road noise during the night. Not the restful mountain experience.
Doli Koldoni's Guesthouse in Becho had hostile unwelcoming owners. My bedding smelt.
The guesthouse in Ushguli had very cramped dark rooms.
Both these guesthouses had about 15-20 people sharing a bathroom/toilet. The rooms were strangely full of the owners "junk"

The bus used was very comfortable. Levan was a safe & helpful driver.

Handy hints:
Water purification tablets were very useful. Tap water possibly not safe. There is no recycling in Georgia. Take your own water bottles & purify tap water
A dry bag for your camera etc can be reassuring for dodgy stream crossings
Confirmed traveller: 14 August 2016
Published on: 14 September 2016
(9 out of 10)


Glenties, Ireland
Georgia is exotic, ranging from the sophistication and night life and jazz in Tbilisi, to the simplicity of the over-river wooden built latrines in the mountains.

Ushgali was my highlight of the trip, way up in the mountains. Villages of great simplicity, valley sides grazed by docile cattle and horses, defensive towers pointing skywards, narrow footpaths to share with the shaggy dogs and cattle, and fresh real milk.

Our excellent bus driver drove carefully on the narrow winding roads through the mountains where there were landslides one side, and a precipice down to the deep valley and gushing river below on the other side.

The service provided by our tour leader was excellent. When he had to make new arrangements in one place for more sophisticated accommodation for some of us, he was very efficient, and at all times kept his good humour.
Confirmed traveller: 26 June 2016
Published on: 30 June 2016
(8 out of 10)


The walks from Kazbegi and Mestia were the highlight of the trip. Some however were quite short and I would have preferred longer ones. The accommodation in Mestia wasn't good but some of us were moved to a different much better hotel.
Confirmed traveller: 26 June 2016
Published on: 28 June 2016
(10 out of 10)


Excellent holiday and very good value for money. The group I was with were all travelling alone which made for a group of people who wanted to mix and we all got on very well. Our guide was also very good and we learnt about the country and its recent past.
Confirmed traveller: 15 August 2015
Published on: 29 September 2015
(8 out of 10)


Trek to the foot of Mt Chaukhebi (wild flowers)
Trek to the top of Mont Guro (wildflowers and spectacular scenery to snow peaked mountains)
Overnight stay in Ushguli.
Market at Kutaisi
Confirmed traveller: 27 June 2015
Published on: 15 October 2015