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On foot in the Caucasus TGG

Trip Duration Days
  • Village of Ushguli
  • Walk from Ushguli
  • Ushba Waterfall
  • Chalaadi Walk
  • Gveleti Waterfalls

Reviews for On foot in the Caucasus

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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On foot in the Caucasus reviews verified by reevooReevoo

12 reviews

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On foot in the CaucasusScores 8.4 out of 10 based on 12 reviews
(8 out of 10)


Plus points:Interesting and very scenic country, very good food, good and helpful leader; Negative points: Because of the geography of the country it was necessary to repeat parts of the itinerary; there was some confusion at the start of the tour as participants were not informed correctly about the first meeting of the group (which meant one participant missed the first day's tour although she had arrived in plenty of time)
Confirmed traveller: 13 August 2017
Published on: 25 August 2017
(10 out of 10)


East Hampshire
This tour provides access to a rapidly developing, but still relatively hard to reach region - the beautiful Svaneti region with its magical mountainscapes, villages and towers. Ushguli is really stunning. This is tied to a second region, the Kazbegi, with a lovely walk along the Truso gorge, and, being Georgia, there's plenty of visits to churches (and the odd museum) too from Tbilisi to Kutaisi to Mestia (and so on) to keep one's cultural self alive and well. All but one night of the accommodation was en-suite. The weather was beautiful and in July/August warm layers really weren't needed. The mixed past reviews of this trip stem I think from it straddling two markets - hikers keen to access Svaneti in particular and those who want more gentle day walks to complement the sightseeing. The walking is a little too easy and short for keen hikers, and at times challenging for anyone with dodgy ankles, knees, etc as there's some clambering over rocks and on uneven paths as well as some reasonable ascents in relatively hot conditions. If you're fit and active, but not looking for something too strenuous, this is a perfect itinerary. It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip with an excellent tour leader and sociable travelling companions.
Confirmed traveller: 13 August 2017
Published on: 22 August 2017
(9 out of 10)


Really excellent tour. There was a good balance of culture and nature, and the scenery in the Caucasus was stunning. I particularly found Mestia and Ushguli magical. Our tour leader was lovely, very personable and knowledgeable, and happy to answer all my questions, of which there were quite a few!
Confirmed traveller: 13 August 2017
Published on: 21 August 2017
(9 out of 10)


This trip combines hikes in Georgia's stunning Caucusus mountains with culture and history, including visits to many beautiful churches and the Stalin museum. I liked the mixture and enjoyed the different areas we visited. Our guide and driver were both excellent.

The varied mountain walks were highlights for me, and I particularly liked the villages in Ushguli, could definitely have stayed another night there.

Tips - be prepared for it to be hot in the summertime, even in the mountains.
Confirmed traveller: 13 August 2017
Published on: 19 August 2017
(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.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 15 August 2016
Published on: 26 August 2016

Thank you for your feedback Leigh and I’m also incorporating Marilyn’s (below) views in my response as you’ve shared the same feedback. While I’m glad that you enjoyed your trip in Georgia, I am sorry to hear that there were certain things you were not entirely satisfied with. Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains are one of our more off-beat and adventurous destinations and as such we recommend a certain level of expectation that things may be different from Western Europe and not always go strictly to plan. The guesthouses we use in Svaneti are also family homes. We believe that staying there gives our customers an insight in life in this remote area as well as helping to support the local economy. Very little English is spoken in these villages but the Explore leader is always on hand to help out. Your leader Nino has been trained by Explore and our operations manager felt she performed very well. She enjoys walking and was experienced on all bar one of the trails taken where she had the support of the local guide. Although they do not speak English, which makes it difficult for them to interact with the group, the local mountain guide fulfils an important role in escorting the group. On your particular trip, Nino advised us how helpful the guide was to some of the customers on the Mount Ushba walk. On a positive note, I’m pleased that the trip rated well for you overall, and I hope we’ll have the opportunity to welcome you on another one soon.

(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
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 15 August 2015
Published on: 29 September 2015
(8 out of 10)


good , no problems .
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 15 August 2015
Published on: 27 September 2015