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I'll be trekking in Georgia in September from Mestia to Ushguli as a group of 4 people.

We have a flight booked back home departing from Batumi at Friday morning around 9:30 AM, while we're planning on finishing the trek at Wednesday evening, spending the night in Ushguli.

So what I'm trying to understand is - is it practical to plan on getting from Ushguli to Batumi in a single day? Maybe over the night? I know the drive between Batumi and Mestia could take up to 7 hours, so I figured that with a problematic bus schedule this could be tricky and might take two days.

Considering we don't mind taking a taxi to and/or from Mestia or even renting a car - how can we do it?

EDIT:

Alternatively, it is possible for us to start the hike 1 day earlier only if we could find a way to get from Batumi to Mestia while leaving Batumi at 5PM. That way we will have two full days for the distance at the end of the trek, described in the original question, making it much more feasible. I'm guessing taxis are not hard to find in Batumi but will we be able to find a driver to take us there so late? Or a car rental to leave In Mestia and pickup 4 days later?

  • With a group of 4 people the most convenient will be to hire a taxi along with its driver, I think. – alamar May 21 at 9:13
  • @alamar I'm sure, and we would like to take one. But we were wondering if it would be possible to find a driver willing to drive us for 6-7 hours, when the drive could end at 11PM. That be true either at the end of the trek or at the beginning of it. – Nexaspx May 21 at 10:50
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Two full days to make the move from Ushguli to Batumi is plenty, as you should be able to do it all in one day. Your cheapest option for four people is to use a bus. Keep in mind that you will need a taxi driver to take you from Ushguli back to Mestia, in order to catch a bus as there is no public transport within Svaneti (no buses from Ushguli to Mestia).

In my experiences in other parts of Georgia, taxis are very easy to find and run 24/7 and are quite cheap. It's fairly easy to find a willing driver, who will take you far. Everything is negotiable and people are usually very friendly.

A taxi from Ushguli to Mestia is about $16-$20 USD. The bus from Mestia to Zugdidi is $9 USD and operates 3 times a day. The bus from Zugdidi to Batumi is $9 USD and also operates 3 times a day.

You can see the full route here.

That website mentions:

"Minibuses (marshrutkas) depart regularly, but there is no fixed schedule. Pay with cash to the driver or at the station."

Also, there are usually a lot of taxi drivers near bus stations in Georgia, if you do not want to wait for a bus. A bus is definitely a little cheaper, but can take a while.

Alternatively, you could book a taxi (or a "bus taxi") directly from this website, which costs between $120 USD to $200 USD. This is probably the easiest option but costs more money. The choice is yours.

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