Ski Tour Expedition in Svaneti
Svaneti region is a one of the mountainous region of Georgia. Located on the western part, it shares its border with Russia. Surrounded by 3,000–5,000 meter peaks, four of the 10 highest peaks of the Caucasus mountains and glaciers, upper Svaneti offers amazing and unspoiled winter panoramas. Divided in 2 sub regions called upper and lower Svaneti, the number of inhabitants is around 12-13000. There are 2 small ski resorts which offer also some possibilities of fresh powder. The region is notable for its glaciers, picturesque summits and charming villages. Svanetia is also well known for its architectural treasures: the famous Svan towers have been erected mainly in the 9th-12th centuries. Georgia is also well known for one of the best powder ever. `
Day 1: Arrival in Tbilisi
Departure Arrival in Tbilisi.
Pick up at the airport.
Depending on your arrival time, free time to get first impression of the city center.
Overnight in Tbilisi in hotel located in the very center of Tbilisi.
Day 2: TBILISI-Night train ZUGDIDI
We start our day visiting Mskheta located at 15 km of Tbilsi. Mskheta is the former capital of the Georgia kingdom in the 5th century and its beautiful 1000 years old cathedral is a very important symbol in the Georgian orthodoxy. According to the legend, the King Vatang Gorgasali from Mskheta was hunting in his territories with his falcon. Once the rapace killed a pheasant which has been found almost cooked in some hot springs. The king then decided to build the main city of the country around this special place. His son moved the capital from Mskheta to Tbilisi. Note that « Tbili » in Georgian language means hot. On our way back we have a look at the old soviet district. We have a quick lunch.
In the end of the afternoon visit of the old center of Tbilisi, the bath district, the Narikala fortress and stroll around in the small streets. We have a diner quite early in a restaurant before getting then night train which leads us to Zugdidi.
Overnight in train. 2 or 4 couchettes per cabin.
Day 3: MESTIA
Arrival around 6am. A minibus is waiting for us. On our way, after one hour drive, we have a breakfast. Arrival in Mestia at around 11. We are welcomed in a confortable guesthouse (double room) located in the very center of Mestia. Free afternoon in Mestia and introduction of the ski tour itinerary. Overnight in the guesthouse. The following itinerary give you some ideas about itineraries we will take. Depending on snow conditions and weather (which could be very different from Mestia to Ushguli), we will decide what to do. The only thing we will spend 3 nights in Ushguli and at least 1 night in Mestia. The others nights we will adapt according to the conditions.
Day 4: SKI TOUR
- MASERI (a village located at 20 mn from Mestia) to BARCHI .
- Via Detsil Mount. Start at 1500m; Detsil (2590m), ong descent to Barchi more than 1200m down.
- Difference in altitude (+)1000m. A jeep come to pick us up at Barchi. back to Mestia guesthouse. Itinerary already done (I have description about the itinerary)
- Descent to Barshi
Day 5: SKI TOUR
- CHALATI glacier (USHBA)
- Ascent on the crest in direction of Ushba and Chalati glacier via Guli Pass.
- Descent of Chalati glacier.
- Difference in altitude (+) is almost 2000m.
- A jeep come to pick us up at then end of the descent, at the foot of the glacier. Itinerary already done (but I have not the complete description about the itinerary).
- Descent to Guli valley and glacier
- Once up we ski down to Maseri on the Guli valley/glacier.
- Difference in altitude (+) is almost 2000m.
- Itinerary already done (I have description about the itinerary)
Day 6: SKI TOUR
Ushguli is an amazing beautiful place in the middle close to many glaciers. We go there by car. We can spend there 3 days. One day to Karetta glacier or Dadiashi mount or Tchubedishi. For these itineraries I have some parts described but not entire. These itineraries have already done. But there are so many we could do. It is just the pace to be:). Accommodation by a family guesthouse in Ushguli.
Day 7: SKI TOUR
UGIRI pass-SIGMIEUKI summit- ADISHI
The car give us a lift at the Ugiri pass. Ascent to Sigimieuki mount (3180) and descent to Adishi village (2100). (amazing place where one or 2 families live there all the winter) Accommodation by a family guesthouse in Adishi
Or we could come back on ski from Ushguli through Adishi (1day). And then from Adishi to Djabeshi (1 day) and on the crest to Mestia via Zuruldi mount (2450m) (1 day). Itinerary already done (I have description about the itinerary)
Day 8: SKI TOUR
A good idea would be also to take one day ski pass and go up to Tetnuldi. Descent to Djabeshi is simply pure fun, all the day.
Day 9: MESTIA-ZUGDIDI-NIFGHT TRAIN TO TBILISI
After the last ski tour day, we leave Mestia around 4-5 pm.
We have a diner in Zugdidi in restaurant We take the night train to Tbilisi at 10pm.
Overnight in the train
Day 10: TBILISI-DAVID GAREJA-TBILISI
At the arrival we take the minibus and have a breakfast in the city before exploring the desert ecosystem of Georgia.
We go today to David Gareja, a cave dweller city and a monastery founded in the 6th century by David Garejeli one of the 13 Assyrian fathers. The complex knew its apogee in the 12th century. Located in a semi desert ecosystem at the border with Azerbaijan, the both Lavra and Udabno monasteries offer beautiful panorama over the steppes. Visit around 3 hours. After a picnic we drive back to Tbilisi. You get some free time in the city to stroll around in the old Tbilisi. We have a last diner in Tbilisi
Overnight in a 3/4 stars hotel.
Day 11: Departure DAY
Transfer to the airport