Caucasus explorer, Georgia

14-22 August 2021

ABOUT THE adventure

A 10 day, 120km plus trail running adventure in the Svaneti National Park, located in the Caucasus Mountain range. If that's not enough expect amazing valleys and high mountain tops with local hospitality on this multi-day adventure. Natural beauty in every direction we'll traverse from one village to next in a tale of trail running exploration. Each village has its natural charm as we meander between glaciers, high passes and rivers to get between our bed and board for the night. 

overview

TRAIL RUNNING: 100KM OVER 5 DAYS

total ASCENT: 5000M 

DURATION: 4-6 HOURS PER DAY

GRADE: ADVENTUROUS

  • 8 nights accommodation at local guesthouses and hotels on a twin share basis​ (upgrade available)

  • All meals included, breakfast and evening meal at guesthouses with packed lunch provided for lunch 

  • 5 carefully curated runs departing from the guesthouse each day. Through several valley passes, over rivers and through quaint villages. These trails are spectacular in every direction. Designed by runners for runners

  • Expert running guides throughout. Qualified Leader & Outdoor First Aider and experienced ultra-marathon runner

  • All transfers during the trip ​

  • Fully supported experience off the beaten track. Your bags (small- backpack style preferably) will be driven ahead of you each day and be waiting at that night's accommodation​

  • Training plan prior to departure

  •  Exclusive Nomadic Runner discount on future trips

  • We plant trees! Instead of providing you with another T-shirt or medal, we mitigate the carbon involved with all are guests flights to the event

  • Small group - max 12 people (min. 6 people)​

PRICE

 £1000 per person 

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itinerary

DAy 01

Arrive into Kutaisi International Airport. No need to do anything we will have a driver ready to whisk you away for you first nights accommodation in a local guesthouse/hotel.

day 02

Breakfast at the accommodation before we set off on our journey high into the Svaneti national park. We lodge for the first-night at a local guesthouse in Tsana. We aim to get here for lunch giving our guest some time to soak in the amazing location.

Day 03

Today's run begins by following the river to the next village of Iprali. This forms the first part of today's shorter run and sees us settle into the flow of the mountains. The second half sees us enter the Khalde valley which we follow until we reach our guesthouse a further 5km. This is the most remote guesthouse available with nothing else around except gorgeous landscape. We unwind here and enjoy doing nothing for a few hours.

Day 04

We continue along the Khalde valley to the Chkhunderi pass, we choose to bypass this in favour for Rhododendron pass further up the river. After an initial ascent to the pass, we follow a ridge with spectacular views in all directions before descending back down to the village of Adishi. This extra few kilometres allows for even more magnificent panoramic views of the region. Board in a local guesthouse with food also provided. 

Day 05

We follow the popular and traditional Mestia-Zabeshi route for a short period before moving away from this and towards a route on the opposite side of the valley. A steady climb early on enables us to reach a glorious trail along the ridgeline of the mountain. We follow this route with expansive views until its natural termination at the next valley. Here we descend back into the valley and arrive in the small village of Heshkili. We spend the night here and enjoy the natural and jaw-dropping location. The longest trail run of the trip but is definitely worth the extra effort to explore this less trodden route and enjoy the magnificent views.

Day 06

After the long day out yesterday, we have a slightly more leisurely morning and undertake a good stretch session before our days running. We track a small ridgeling for the first few kilometres before we tail off into the woods for some single track running. This then leads to open pastures as we head towards the valley floor (approx. 1250m) and the village of Lenashi. We stop here briefly to visit the historical orthodox church before continuing on. As we pass through the pretty village of Ushkhvanari before reaching Mazeri where we will be based for the next two nights.

Day 07

From our base we head out towards the Shtugra Waterfall, today's route is a there and back hike run day, but is definitely worth the effort to climb to see this amazing landform. Sat just below the Ushba glacier this is the highest point of the trail running adventure. Once we finish our days we have a chance to decompress a bit from our running journey as we say farewell the trails and share a beer. Don't fancy it then stay local and explore at your own pace. Mestia the hub town of this regions lies a few km along the valley, take a trip to the museum of Svaneti and Ethnography for some more cultural immersion. Accommodation is the same as the night before and will be the last in the mountains.

Day 08

We have a well-deserved lay-in before breakfast. Once we packed up and good to go we start our journey back to Kutaisi City,  leaving the mountains behind until next time. After a few scenic hours of driving, we arrive at our city-based accommodation which provides an excellent base from which to explore the city. An evening meal at a local restaurant provides the perfect antidote for anyone missing the mountains. Your outbound flight should be arranged for the following day.

day 09

Breakfast in the hotel gives a final opportunity to say by to your new trail running friends and support team. 

Private transfers back to Kutaisis International Airport are arranged for you to catch your outbound flight. 

GETTING HERE

Fly:

A number of airlines operate routes between UK and Europe to Kutaisi International Airport. This is closer to the National Park and makes for an easier start point to avoid long transfers. You'll most likely arrive late but don't worry we'll have a transfer waiting to take you to the hotel. There may be a short layover on some routes but this destination is definitely worth the effort.

We start in the city of Kutaisi. The easiest way is to arrive directly but should you choose to come overland from Tbilisi this is approximately 3.5hrs drive away. There is airport to airport service available form numerous operators.  

ACCOMMODATION

 

These typically family-run traditional mountain guesthouses provide the best in local hospitality for our guests. This provides a comfortable base each night but it is by no means 4-star hotel. 

The guesthouse restaurant will provide all meals during the duration of the trip and are able to cater for specific dietary requirements. Twin rooms on a sharing basis are the standard booking but limited upgrades are available. 

Our first and last night will be in Kutaisi City and are board here will be a hotel.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Comprehensive insurance to cover you for this type of activity. The valley sits at about 1500m and we ascend/descend approx 1000m per day. Please ensure your insurance covers you for altitude up to 3000m.

  • In brief, your trail running kit! We'll provide a breakdown of what this might look like upon booking confirmation. 

  • Flights & any onward travel arrangements

  • Local currency

  • Any necessary visas  

IMPORTANT NOTES

For our cancellation policy please see our terms and conditions.

Not included in booking fee:

  • Any additional costs that are otherwise not stated under the booking

  • Flights and other travel arrangements that fall outside of trip related transfers

  • Additional activities, food and beverages unless otherwise stated

Further Info:

  • https://www.lonelyplanet.com/georgia/the-mountains/svaneti

  • Although we try our very best to keep to the itinerary and accommodation listed under each trip these are subject to change with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. We will notify guests of any changes at the earliest possible moment.

 

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