Vira Natura

Georgia in Summer - Gateway to the Caucasus

24 June - 6 July 2024
From €3,950.00 per person

Flower-rich meadows stretch to the horizon beneath picture-postcard mountain villages and glaciers in the ruggedly beautiful Caucasus of Georgia. This tour is rich blend that combines the vibrant and diverse flora together with fascinating historical sites and unique cultural traditions. In early summer the meadows are at their peak with myriad bellflowers, lilies, knapweeds and crane’s-bills and there is ample opportunity to spend time walking amongst the flowers and revelling in an unspoilt landscape.

A 12-day tour with Basak Gardner 

Day 1     Arrive in Batumi & Botanical Garden

Flights typically arrive early and after a rest in the hotel and lunch we will visit the iconic Batumi Botanical Garden. Founded in 1912, this garden contains a fine collection of more than 5000 plants from all over the world. Overnight Batumi

Day 2     Drive to Mestia via Zugdidi

Drive to Mestia is about 6 hours, we will visit Zugdidi Botanical Garden from the 19th century on the way.

Day 3     Ushba Waterfall

A short drive takes us to the start of the walk. It is a long walk with some steeper sections but we can walk as far as we want. We will see a powerful waterfall and many wonderful lilies along our route. Hiking up can be up to 12 km but depends on the conditions and weather. Overnight Mestia. 

Day 4     Ushguli, Shara glacier

tbc. Overnight Mestia or Ushguli

Day 5     Drive to Kutaisi via Zagaro Pass

A short drive to the village of Ushguli and then an eas one hour walk towards the Shara Glacier stopping for wonderful meadow flowers on the way with again many soft yellow Lilium monodelphum amongst the many meadow flowers. Near Ushguli, the Zagaro Pass reaches over 2500 meters and is a great place to see many Primula species as well as Anemone and the chocolate cubes of Fritillaria latifolia. Overnight Ushguli.

Day 6     To Vardzia via the Zekari Pass

Leaving the city behind we will ascend towards the Zekari Pass where you can see both the Greater and Lesser Caucasus ranges. Wonderful flowery bushes of white Rhododendron caucasicum and the pretty pink Sedum pilosum can be seen on the rocks. We will spend the night near Vardzia, where there is a historic cave monastery complex (dating back to the 12th century) nestled within the rugged cliffs. Carved into the rock face, it has intricate tunnels, chambers, and religious sites, offering a glimpse into medieval monastic life. Overnight Vardiza.

Day 7     Tabatskuri Lake & Bakuriani

Changing views shift from dry valleys to alpine meadows, culminating in Tabatskuri Lake, a serene alpine gem. The colour of the meadows will keep changing as we go on from yellow of abundant lilies to orange or red of Papaver, pink Tanacetum coccineum and various lilac-blue Campanula. Lunch will be a picnic near the lake and then we will drive on to Bakuriani where we overnight.

Day 8     Drive to Tbilisi via Gori

Gori is Stalin's birthplace and today we will visit the Stalin Museum. The complex of the museum was opened in 1957. However, in the actual house where Stalin was born, a memorial museum was opened in 1937 whilst the tyrant was still alive. Overnight in Tbilisi.

Day 9     Drive to Gudauri via Khada Gorge

Leaving the capital we visit the Dreja Monastery, stopping on the way for a flowery gorge where Stachys macrantha, Lathyrus roseus, Tanacetum, various Silene, butterfly orchids (Platanthera) and hundreds of fragrant orchids (Gymnadenia conopsea) smother the slopes. More orchids follow later on with  lovely Dactylorhiza iberica and delicate Epipactis palustris before we reach our hotel at Gudauri. It has well-positioned terrace with beautiful views, perfect for enjoying evening drinks.

Day 10     Truso Valley & Cross Pass

Driving further north we will have a quick stop at the Cross Pass at 2380 meters and then descend into the Truso Valley which offers a range of trails leading to scenic viewpoints, hot springs, and ancient ruins. Along the way we can look for Saxifraga, Hedysarum caucasicum, Linum, Astragalus, Campanula and many other flowers. This day involves some walking of up to 10 km. Overnight Gudauri.

Day 11     Juta Massif

A one hour drive takes us to the start of our walk towards the Juta Massif. The trail winds through diverse terrain, ranging from flowery meadows to rocky slopes, and eventually leads you towards the stunningly beautiful Chaukhi Pass. Vantage points offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys, making it a highlight of the trip. This is another day that involves some hiking, maybe up to 10 km. Overnight Kazbegi.

Day 12     Gveleti waterfalls & Darial Gorge

Carved by the Tergi River, the Darial Gorge is a dramatic and historically significant natural formation situated on the border between Georgia and Russia. Known as the "Gates of the Caucasus,” the gorge is a key passage along the ancient Silk Road. Its towering cliffs and rushing waters create a breathtaking backdrop and are also home to chasmophytes such as Saxifraga, Campanula, Valeriana saxicola and Asyneuma. Not far from the border, we will a pair of and close by grow more fragrant lilies. Overnight Kazbegi.

Day 13     Drive to Tiblisi & flights

Before our flights we will have some time to look around Tbilisi. 


24 June - 6 July 2024


Per person: 3950 Euros

Single supplement: 385 Euros

Deposit: 595 Euros. 


  • 12 nights of accommodation
  • All food
  • Ground transport (with jeeps)
  • Entry fees (mentioned in the itinerary)
  • Guide services
Not included:
  • Flights
  • Travel/Medical Insurance
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Personal expenses


Minimum number of participants 10; maximum 16.

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