At a time of pent-up wanderlust, adventure seekers have a new option for the travel bucket list on the global hiking trail front. The Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) is a magical upcoming hiking route that will link Europe and Asia for an unforgettable view-filled excursion.
Bordering Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, the wonderous region of Transcaucasia will be united by the scenic trail network, which has been in development – thanks to the work of countless volunteers – since 2015.
The Transcaucasian Trail
Spanning three countries and 1500 kilometres, this long-distance world-class trail will take hikers on a multi-day adventure. Walk amidst the stunning Caucasus Mountains, through peaceful meadows, national parks, glacial scenery, and medieval villages. Hikers will travel across Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan in the unforgettable journey.
“United by a shared vision of a long-distance trail network across the region, a growing community of local and international hikers, cartographers, and conservationists is putting this hidden gem on the map to help ensure that the landscapes and heritage of the region can be enjoyed by future generations,” reads the Transcaucasian Trail website.
The task has been no quick or easy task; it involves arboreous work of finding old trails, building new trails, and creating appropriate resources to help hikers have a safe and enriching experience for years to come.
Still in the Works
While the full route is still in the works – and could be for some time – new sections are regularly opening to hikers. The most recent addition is a thru-hiking route through Armenia. This marks the first country section in the international TCT. The Armenia trail will connect to Georgia, eventually taking hikers all the way to the Greater Caucasus.
Adventurers are currently able to trek sections of this biologically and culturally diverse region, with expeditions in both Armenia and Georgia. Currently, several hundred kilometres of trails exist, with stunning treks through the regions of Svaneti, Racha, Mtianeti, Khevsureti, Tusheti, Lagodekhi National Park, Borjomi National Park, and Dilijan National Park.
Both Armenia and Georgia are well set-up for tourism and memorable hiking adventures. Once an unlikely option on the hiking front, recent years have seen Armenia attract hikers from around the world, who are drawn to its charming inns, towering peaks, tree-filled Dilijan National Park, and landscape of rivers, streams, and lakes. Meanwhile, a trek through Georgia offers a backdrop of waterfalls, glaciers, and stunning mountain ranges.
Bucket List-Worthy Travel
For those in the market for bucket list-worthy travel, adventure seekers are invited to either hike independently (the TCT website offers written trail guides and interactive maps), or join an organized group excursion offered by local tour companies or on one of the guided supporters’ treks on new sections of the Transcaucasian Trail. These group excursions offer opportunities for hikers to join local teams in Georgia and Armenia for unforgettable adventures on the Transcaucasian Trail and support the expansion of the trail in the process.
A 10-day journey throughout the warmer months takes hikers through Upper Svaneti in west Georgia. The memorable adventure takes hikers village to village, where they are hosted by local families. Throughout the way, they’ll discover ancient culture throughout the postcard-worthy meadow valleys and dramatic glacial mountain peaks.
Another unforgettable excursion takes hikers from Kazbegi to Tusheti, Georgia. The 10-day journey takes hikers through the mountainous regions of eastern Georgia, through traditional pastoral cultures of Khevsureti and Tusheti and the high passes of the Greater Caucasus range.
The newest adventure departs this September (and there’s currently one spot left!) and takes hikers on a history-rich feast for the eyes through the gorges of Syunik in southern Armenia on a newly opened part of the trail. Adventurers will explore the monasteries, hermitages, and ancient villages of the region, and end at the summit of the iconic Mount Khustup.
For those looking to elevate their next outdoor adventure trip, opting to either curate their own adventure or join a group excursion, the memorable TCT trail is worth visiting – whether you hit lace up your hiking boots in the near future or wait for its anticipated completion.
(One scroll of the #transcaucasiantrail hashtag on Instagram, however, will likely inspire the latter).
Feature Image: Transcaucasian Trail IG