First of all: Our offers are adressed equally to women and men, as well as at skiers and snowboarders. We have specialized in (small) groups. We ask for your understanding that we do not put groups together ourselves, experience has shown that this does not work. So motivate friends and like-minded people to come along. We look forward to your inquiries! (here)!
Svaneti: "into the wild... "
Located in north-western Georgia on the main ridge of the Greater Caucasus, Svaneti is unique and and a place completely different to everything we know from central Europe. Surrounded by mighty mountains between 3000 and 5000 meters high, there are small villages where time seems to have stood still. Especially in winter, many settlements are difficult or impossible to reach. Impressive mountains like the Schchara (with 5193m the highest mountain in Georgia), the Ushba (4737m) or the Tednuldi (4858m) have ensured that the region, not far from the Black Sea, has always been independent. The result is a language of its own, unique customs and centuries-old traditions.
The Svans are a Georgian tribe. Svan is one of the 3 official Georgian languages, they have always been considered wild and defensive. In order to protect Georgian art objects and treasures from enemy attacks, they were always brought to Svaneti. To this day, the Swans have preserved their culture and old traditions, despite increasing tourism (especially in the summer months). The main town and capital of Svaneti is Mestia, a mystical place that is incredibly impressive at any time of the year.
Mestia, the main town of Svaneti, is a small, remote town and difficult to reach, especially in the winter months. This is precisely why the wild and rough mountain world around Mestia has largely retained its originality. And as soon as you see the incredible beauty of the area with your own eyes, you know that the hardships of the journey have been worth it. The settlement is about 5 hours drive from the nearest airport in Kutaisi. The good news: Kutaisi can be reached by direct flight from many cities in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The budget airline Wizz Air connects many international airports directly to Kutaisi. The flight from Vienna, for example, takes 3 hours and 15 minutes. After countless flights with the Hungarian airline, we can't report anything bad from our personal experience. The prices are more than reasonable. A return flight with luggage and ski luggage is between €250 and €350, depending on the departure airport. The seat spacing is relatively reasonable, there is nothing to eat, but if you know what to expect, you can prepare and you will not be disappointed. Irrespective of this, you have to get used to the idea anyway, since there is hardly any alternative. Departures are usually Friday or Saturday, return flights on the same days.
Here are a few reasons why you should have Svaneti at the top of your list:
Freeride and Skitouring weeks from € 1090,00
This is guaranteed for bookings made until October 1st. There are no hidden costs and you will be delighted with the value for money.
With our freeride trip to Svaneti, almost everything is included in the package and there are hardly any additional costs!
What is included, what is not
This is Included:
This is not:
We help to find the ideal flight
Our service begins before you book. After you have contacted us and we know when and from where you want to start your freeride adventure, we will help you finding the ideal flight. This does not necessarily have to be the cheapest one that a flight booking portal suggests. The duration (stop over times) of the trip, baggage regulations (skis or snowboards must be with you and there are sometimes very complicated and airline-dependent regulations) and arrival time on site in order to have as many days of skiing as possible are decisive. Departures are usually Friday, Saturday or Sunday and the return flight is 7 days later. This results in 6 full days of skiing. Most of them are direct flights with the Hungarian Wizz Air. We have a lot of experience with the airline and help you with questions about ski luggage or avalanche backpacks. There are constant changes here, but we are always well informed and are happy to share our experiences with you. This is pure service and we don't earn anything at all.
7 nights hotel including half board in Mestia
We only work with small, family-run hotels. Even if everything is different than in the Central European Alps, the accommodations are very cozy. Everything is very clean and what is particularly important and by no means a matter of course: warm. The rooms are twin rooms. On request we can try to organize single rooms. A bathroom is always available in the room, WiFi is provided. We spend a lot of time in our partner hotels ourselves and always feel well looked after. The food is hearty, the Georgian cuisine is not exactly low in calories, everything is freshly prepared every day, only products from the region are used. Most of the time there is both breakfast and dinner in buffet form and
there is always more than enough to fill your stomach. Regardless of your arrival times, there is always either breakfast or, if you arrive later, dinner. Drinks have to be paid by yourself, but this will not break the bank. A chilled beer for dinner costs around 1 €. The accommodations are all centrally located in the city center, you can end the evening in a cafe or small restaurant. One of our partner hotels has a small sauna, but we can organize a sauna evening on the mountain with an incredible view. Those looking for wellness areas and indoor pools will not find what they are looking for in Mestia!
All transfers, really all
We will pick you up at the airport in Kutaisi and take you to our partner hotel in Mestia by minibus. The 220 km journey takes about 5 hours, depending on snow conditions and weather. The road is sometimes very narrow and depending on the conditions you can make better or worse progress. The journey is exhausting, but 100% worth the effort!
On the last day of your trip you will be picked up from the hotel in good time and you will return to Kutaisi.
Getting around in Svaneti in winter is only possible with four-wheel drive vehicles. Most of them are Toyota Delica buses that are available for our groups. No matter what is on the program, the transfer is always included!
6 days ski tour and freeride guide including all transfers
No matter if you have a day of cat skiing, lift-assisted freeriding or a day of ski touring, a guide is always with you! Our experience has shown how important this can be in the mountains around Mestia. On the one hand, this is about your safety on the mountain, on the other hand, everything runs more smoothly if you have a local guide at your side. Small organizational problems can lead to lengthy delays, the guides know everything and everyone and always find quick solutions.
Our guides are all from Svaneti, grew up in the mountains around Mestia and know every stone on their playground. All are GMGA (Georgian Mount. Guide Association https://ifmga.info/) certified, some speak English very well, but all can communicate security - related contend more than enough. For all mountain activities with a guide, a maximum group size of 6 people per group applies. Our snow groomer can carry a maximum of 12 guests, so there will be 2 guides. With a homogeneous groups there is a head and a tail guide, with different levels of performance and / or condition we can split the group with one guide each. In most cases, a driver is required in addition to the guide, because the starting points for the freeride variants and the ski tours are not the same as the end of the tours. Our packages also include transfers to the starting points and collection at the end of the day of skiing, as well as transfers to and from the garage of our snow groomer.
Personal support on site
We are always there for you! Personal on-site support is one of the most important reasons why you should plan your freeride adventure with us. From our own experience, we know that ski trips like the ones we offer can be organized with a lot of research and courage by yourself. Sometimes everything works out as it should, but sometimes it doesn't ... Unforeseen little things cost a lot of nerves and, above all, time you lose on the mountain. Taxis that do not come, reserved rooms that are not available, or ATMs without money. Little things that are uncomfortable, especially when the sun is shining and the powder is waiting.
Georgia is a unique travel destination, precisely because many things are completely different than at home.
"Ati Ts`uti" = ten minutes, you will hear one or the other time, an elastic term in Georgia .... Every now and then you have to leave your comfort zone and get involved in the Georgian way of doing things. Sometimes everything takes a little longer, but in the end everything will be fine! Although not too far from home, you enter a completely different world with people often acting not the way you expect them to.
We are also not immune to breakdowns and possible problems, but we can react immediately and find solutions based on our contacts and personal experience on site.
The "Ushguli Option" (not included)
Ushguli is where the road ends! 41km away from Mestia is the tiny village of Ushguli at 2200m above sea level. The place, at the foot of Shchara, the highest mountain in Georgia with 5201m, is, like Mestia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The partially decayed settlement is a unique experience in winter. Endless ski touring options and an incredible panorama. The Elbrus, the Ushba, the Tetnuldi and of course the Shkhara are within reach. Fantastic, practically always untouched slopes even days after the last snowfall in one of the wildest and most untouched areas of Eurasia.
Only a few ski tourers make it out there, this is due to the fact that the place is very, very difficult to reach in winter. The road leading there is narrow, winding and steep and we are glad that we have our careful and experienced drivers who will take you there safely. For the 41km our drivers need almost 2 hours. Ushguli is suitable for all those who are able to / want to climb about 1000 verticals. For the Ushguli option, your physical condition should be good and if we do Ushguli, then only with an overnight stay in the mystic village. When selecting our partner hotels, we also made sure that warm twin rooms and excellent food were available. You don't have to check out at the hotel in Mestia, of course, and just pack what you need for one night. We have not integrated the "Ushguli Option" into our packages as a fixed component, it makes no sense to go to Ushguli two days if the weather does not match. Due to the exposed location at over 2200m there is little forest and therefore no bad weather alternatives. But if the weather and snow conditions are good, you should not miss this unique experience!