As with most of my trips I agonised over where to visit and what to do, given that I only had two weeks and a lengthy wish list of places I wanted to visit. See my full travel report of this trip here.
|1||Flight to Tbilisi, 06.00 – 17.15|
|2||Explore Tbilisi, night train to Zugdidi 21.45 – 06.05 (31 lari)|
|3||Early marshrutka on to Mestia, day in/around Mestia (cable car)|
|4||Day in/around Mestia (hike to cross)|
|5||Travel to Ushguli, afternoon in Ushguli (glacier)|
|6||Morning marshrutka back to Mestia, day in/around Mestia (glacier)|
|7||Mestia (08.00) to Zugdidi to Kutaisi (13.00) to Khashuri (14.00) to Akhaltsikhe|
|8||Vardzia and Sapara day trips by taxi (60 lari) from Akhaltsikhe|
|9||Akhaltsikhe to Gyumri (5hrs), Gyumri to Yerevan (marshrutkas)|
|10||Yerevan – Garni and Geghard (bus/taxi)|
|11||Yerevan – Khor Virap, Wine Tour, Noravank Monastery (hitching)|
|12||Yerevan to Alaverdi (09.30, bus, 3hrs), Sanahin, Haghpat and Akhtala Monasteries by taxi, on to the border and then to Tbilisi (hitching)|
|13||Tbilisi to Kazbegi (marshrutka)|
|14||Kazbegi to Tbilisi via Mtshketa and Ananuri Fortress (marshrutka/hitching)|
|15||Flight home, 05.10 – 10.40|
1. I’d originally planned to spend one night less in Svaneti, but it was so beautiful that I sacrificed one day in Tbilisi at the end of my trip to spend the night in Ushguli, rather than just visiting as a day trip (which would have been exhausting and not allowed me to properly explore the valley to the Shkhara glacier). Definitely a good choice!
2. Garni temple wasn’t great, Geghard Monastery was impressive but no more so than Sapara (my favourite monastery of the trip) or those in northern Armenia (I particularly liked Haghpat and Akhtala), however it did allow me to take one of my favourite photos of the trip.
3.Overall I was pleased with the balance of my trip.