Walks through the Mountains of Georgia07 - 21 September, 2017

Trip Dates:
07 - 21 September, 2017
Trip Price: £3240 including international flights
Single Room Supplement: £320
Trip Length: 15 days

From the Promethean legends to stories of the Golden Fleece, the Caucasus mountains are known for their turbulent histories, extraordinary cultural traditions and spectacular landscapes. Situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Middle East, these mountains have been an impenetrable barrier whose ancient tribes have survived despite the ravages of the vagabound hordes from the steppes (Huns, Mongals, Khazaras and Turkes) and the mighty Eurasian empires of the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks and Russians. On this unique journey learn more of a rich culture still intact whose history is steeped in ancient customs and traditions..

.Dr Jahn will show that there is still a common mountain culture that links the Georgian Mountain tribes – the Tush, Khevsurs, Ratchuelians and Svans and he will test the old idea of the Caucasus as an impenetrable barrier with these ancient tribes living in splendid isolation from the outside world.

 The journey involves a series of moderate walks (4 – 6 hours) along the southern crest of the Caucasus Georgia whose peoples have has been profoundly affected by the country’s adoption of Christianity in the 4th century. The walks will take in the various regions around Svaneti, Tusheti and the Kazbegi and link ancient Silk routes, monasteries in spectacular positions, and picturesque villages. Learn more of the communities here where the old customs and beliefs still survive despite years of Communist oppression and political and social disarray following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

here will also be visits to Tblisi which in the 12th century, was one of Asia’s most important political, economic and cultural centres and today is a flourishing modern city with its theatres, cafes and markets. Explore the beautiful villages of Mestia and Ushguli with their incredible ‘tower houses’ the highest permanently inhabited settlements in Europe. The journey finishes at Batumi, on Georgia’s balmy eastern coast of the Black Sea surrounded by high forested mountains and lush sub-tropical hills..

This walks do not require any special technical abilities but will involve about 4 - 6 hours of walking per day over uneven and in places steep ground. Please note the highest the party will ascend in one day of walking is about 400 metres in altitude. However there are occasional steep portions of the trek where you may need to walk ‘up steps’ for about one hour. The highest altitude that the party will reach is around 3000 metres

Please note that Distant Horizons has sole responsibility for the operation of this tour. The participating University has no direct control over the operation of any tours.

Maximum Party Size: 16

Trip Leader: Dr Hubertus Jahn

Dr Hubertus Jahn lectures in East European History at the University of Cambridge, where he is the Chair of the Committee for Russian and East European History. He has travelled extensively in the Caucasus since his first visit in 1982, is married to a Georgian and has accompanied several alumni trips to Georgia. His research interests include Russian and East European history, particularly Russian social and cultural history, national identity and nationalism, popular culture, poverty, deviance and crime, history of St Petersburg, Caucasian studies.

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Walks through the Mountains of Georgia Trip Comments:

‘‘The visits to rural homes, were very enjoyable and gave us a chance to meet people in their own homes. They were most welcoming and entertaining with their hospitality.’
‘Overall, it was an excellent trip packed with wonderful experiences and accompanied by excellent guides, Dr Jahn, Teona and Irene.’
‘We travelled with people who were excellent companions open to this part of the world and very knowledgeable.’
‘The visits to rural homes, were very enjoyable and gave us a chance to meet people in their own homes. They were most welcoming and entertaining with their hospitality.’