DAY 1. WELCOME TO GEORGIA!
You will arrive in the beautiful capital of Georgia, Tbilisi.
Upon arrival you will be introduced to the whole program where we will set some house rules, share expectations, discuss any fears/obstacles, and agree on some basic principles and ground rules for living and working together. There will also be an opportunity for any questions and answers before we commence the trip.
You will be transferred in a comfortable mini-bus to Bakuriani, which will be a 3-hour drive. You will check-in at the Eco House Bakuriani where you can rest and enjoy a campfire later in the evening.
DAY 2. TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Today you will enjoy a couple of team-building sessions with your peers. There will be activities to encourage trust and foster team cohesion and various obstacle courses to overcome both individually and as a team.
Today you will also be preparing for the hiking trip. Your team leader will explain the details, provide you with all the knowledge and materials to set you up for success, as you and your peers will be making your trip under the supervision and support of your team leader. There will be many decisions to be made, but an exciting trip awaits you.
Bakuriani is a famous spot for adrenaline lovers, 180 km west of the capital. It is 1800 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the spectacular Caucasus mountain peaks. Local people call
this place “Sunny Valley”, because it has an average of 210 sunny days a year. The well-known Borjomi springs are only a 40-min drive from Bakuriani.
DAYS 3-5 – HIKING BORJOM-KHARAGAULI NATIONAL PARK
After much planning and decision making, it is finally time for a 3-day hiking expedition through Borjom-Kharagauli National Park. There is the possibility that horses might accompany you on this hike to help lighten the load by carrying some luggage. You may also have the chace to experience riding the horses. The expedition is not only recreational, but also has an educational purpose. During the hiking expedition the main focus will be on developing participants’ soft and hard skills, observing and understanding the group dynamics, engaging in efficient and effective teamwork and communication.
You will spend the night in tents/shelter at Borjom-Kharagauli National Park.
The Park is famous for its spectacular landscapes, historical and architectural monuments, resorts and villages. Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park’s villages are rich with history, local cottage industries and legendary Georgian hospitality. Borjomi is one of the most popular resorts in this area, famous for its healing mineral springs, unique nature and historical monuments. Borjomi’s naturally carbonated mineral water has volcanic origin, giving it a distinctive sulfuric taste. It helps to heal many kinds of diseases.
Borjom-Kharagauli National park covers an area of 5000 square kilometers. There you can meet Caucasian deer, chamois, beautiful forest cats and even a lynx! More than 215 species of birds and 30 species of animals live there. Students will enjoy the stunning variety of blossoming plants, breathtaking views and magical forests during the hiking trip. Paths in the park are marked and well-arranged. Tourist shelters, picnic spots and camping sites are arranged along the routes. There are also sites for setting up a fire.
DAY 6. END OF HIKE
As you approach the final stretch of your hiking trip, Kvabiskhevi campsite will be your last stop where you will explore castle ruins, swim in small rivers and spend the day in the area. The latter part of the day will be used to discuss the hiking expedition and how the team cooperated, reflecting on any insights gained, and sharing valuable lessons learnt.
DAY 7. FARM LIFE IN BARBALE
Today you will visit a local organic farm in Barbale, which is 30 minutes’ drive from the campsite. As a group you will have a meeting with the farm owners of Barbale, who will explain how they maintain and organize the farm. You will also get a glimpse of the products they offer.
Time to roll up your sleeves and get ready for some farm action by helping out with different activities on the farm. After a full day packed with excitement and hard work comes a time to rest, refresh and enjoy dinner provided by Barbale farm.
The farm was founded in 2015 by four friends. It produces organic healthy products. Its motto is: “We produce health.” Barbale grows ecologically clean, organic potatoes, corn, beans, pumpkins and more. They also make herbal teas and raw honey. Hundreds of volunteers from different countries around the world help to produce the organic products on the farm.
DAY 8. WATER & FUN ACTIVITIES AT CHITAKHEVI CAMPSITE
Today is all about having fun and enjoying the various water activities offered at Chitakhevi campsite, which is 30 minutes from Barbale farm. There will be activities such as rafting, kayaking, bouldering, barbecueing and more. In the evening you will head to Tbilisi which will take 3 hours by bus.
Rafting in Georgia is very pleasant and safe with professional guidance, special equipment (helmets, life jackets, wetsuits, special rafting boots) and safety instructions. Special preparation is not needed to enjoy this experience to the full.
Rafting is a group sport, in which every member has a specific role and follows the instructions given by the instructor. There are several methods that are used for paddling. Students will do the so-called “canoe” method, when group members are deployed equally on both external sides of the boat, with legs are attached to special bindings. The instructor sits in the back of the boat, giving out orders.
DAY 9. WATER & FUN ACTIVITIES AT ARAGVI RIVER AND JINVALI RESERVOIR
Another exciting day awaits you! There will be more kayaking, canoeing, barbecueing and other activities. In the evening you will return to Tbilisi for rest, refreshment and dinner.
DAY 10. VISIT TEMI COMMUNITY IN GREMI
Your next destination is the historical village of Gremi in the heart of Kakheti region, a cradle of famous wine. There, at the bottom of the Caucasus mountains, a community called “Temi” engages people with physical and mental challenges in social enterprise. Temi started as a grassroots organization in 1989 and has grown steadily since then.
Nowadays, about 70 people with different backgrounds and abilities live and work in Temi. The community provides the best possible life opportunities and care for its members and develops their entrepreneurial activities in order to reach financial independence. Life in Temi is based on the belief that all human beings are equal, that everyone can contribute and that each has the right to reach his or her full potential. You will be hosted by the community and will be able to support them into their daily work (this could be working on the vineyard, woodcraft, tourist reception, etc.)
DAY 11-12. HIKING LAGODEKHI NATIONAL PARK
As a final challenge, you will embark on a second hike at Lagodekhi National Park. During your 2,5-day trip (2 nights) you will visit Black Rock Lake on the border of the Russian Federation and enjoy breathtaking views of Great Caucasus mountains. Accommodation will be arranged in either tents or tourist huts.
Lagodekhi National Park was the first nature preserve in Georgia. It is located at altitudes ranging from 590 to 3500m and covers an area of 24,451 hectares. Lagodekhi is a treasure for nature lovers: green forests, glacial lakes, spectacular waterfalls, deep valleys and access to a wide variety of Kakheti’s wildlife.
DAY 13. SECOND HIKE CELEBRATIONS
In order to celebrate the successful accomplishment of the second hiking expedition and finish the trip on a high note, you will visit Kazbegi, one of the top destinations in Georgia with its rich cultural heritage and stunning views. After visiting Trinity Church at the top of the mountain and sightseeing around the village, you will have a chilled evening in a hotel and recharge for the final day.
Kazbegi National Park is 165 km away from Tbilisi and is 1744 meters high. It covers an area of about 8700 hectares. According to Greek myth, Prometheus was chained to the side of the mountain. According to the Georgian version, it was near the peak of Kazbegi. The mountain is surrounded by mineral lakes. It attracts alpine lovers from all over the world.
DAY 14. SIGHTSEEING & SHOPPING IN TBILISI
On the final day of the program, after returning from Kazbegi in the early afternoon, you will visit some sights in Tbilisi, the beautiful capital of Georgia. You will have the opportunity to shop at local stores and collect souvenirs. In the evening, you will visit sulfur baths, one of the many highlights the city has to offer. Afterwards, you will enjoy dinner at a traditional Georgian restaurant where there will be a closing ceremony to end your 15-day trip in Georgia.
Tbilisi is more than 1560 years old and shows the colorful variety of rich, ancient Georgian culture. The old town of Tbilisi is famous for its medieval buildings, curvy stone-paved streets and holy Orthodox churches. In the old town you can see Abanotubani baths (sulfur baths) – according to the Georgian legend, these springs were the reason for founding the city here. “Tbili” means “warm”, which is why the capital is called Tbilisi.
Tbilisi is unique, warm and welcoming. The city inspired many famous Russian writers and poets to create cultural masterpieces. The combination of special architecture and amazing nature brings a unique charm to this place. Tbilisi is stretched on both banks of the Kura River.
DAY 15. END OF THE ITINERARY
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