• PANORAMA TRAIL HIKING GUIDE

    BORJOMI-KHARAGAULI NP

    Two hikers traverse the grassy ridge on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail
  • PANORAMA TRAIL

    BORJOMI-KHARAGAULI NP

    Two hikers traverse the grassy ridge on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail

A GUIDE TO HIKING THE PANORAMA TRAIL

BORJOMI-KHARAGAULI NP

The Panorama Trail is one of many hiking trails in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. As the name suggests, this 2 day route offers fantastic views of the Lesser and Greater Caucasus mountains, and is ideal for those looking for a short but scenic overnight hike. Although basic accommodation is available at Amarati Shelter, hikers need to be self-sufficient to tackle this route, carrying camping and cooking equipment. The hike is accessed via Borjomi town, conveniently located just a couple of hours from Tbilisi or Kutaisi.

In this guide we cover everything you need to know about hiking the Panorama Trail in Borjomi NP. This includes a detailed outline of the route, trekking distances and times, camping and accommodation options, packing lists, transport info, and more. We also provide a map and our GPX track download to help you find your way.

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links – if you purchase a product or service via these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps offset the cost of running this blog and keeps us travelling so that we can continue to produce great content for you. We greatly appreciate your support!*

BORJOMI-KHARAGAULI NP: PANORAMA TRAIL QUICK FACTS

            • Distance | 32.5 km
            • Duration | 2 days
            • Start/End | Atskuri Ranger Station
            • Min Elevation | 909 m
            • Max Elevation | 2187 m
            • Total Ascent | approx. 2160 metres
            • Total Descent | approx. 2160 metres
            • Hiking Season | Spring – Late Autumn
            • River Crossings | None
            • Water Sources | Streams and springs (limited)
            • Fees | Register and Pay Camp/Hut Fees in advance
              (Passport/ID Card required)

BORJOMI-KHARAGAULI NP: PANORAMA TRAIL QUICK FACTS

Distance
32.5 km

Duration
2 days

Start/End
Atskuri Ranger Station

Min Elevation
909 m

Max Elevation
2187 m

Total Ascent
approx. 2160 metres

Total Descent
approx. 2160 metres

Hiking Season
Spring – Late Autumn

River Crossings
None

Water Sources
Streams and springs
(limited)

Fees
Register and pay
Camp/Hut Fees in advance
(Passport/ID Card required)

 


WATCH OUR FILM

Watch the behind the scenes version of our Panorama Trail hike on Instagram stories

Watch the behind the scenes
version of our Panorama Trail
hike on Instagram stories 

PANORAMA TRAIL HIKING MAP

PANORAMA TRAIL

HIKING MAP

Use the map below to help guide you round the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli NP. Tap the menu button at the top left for more details, to toggle layers on and off, and switch between satellite and terrain view.

To use an offline version of this map, download our KML file for use with Maps.me (iOS/Android), or the GPX file for use with other offline mapping apps such as Gaia (iOS/Android) or OsmAnd Maps (iOS/Android). See the expandable box below for tips on using these apps. 


To save this map to use online on desktop or mobile just tap the star symbol at the top. When you open Google Maps on your phone, navigate to ‘Saved’ at the bottom, then swipe along to ‘Maps’ at the top. You’ll find this map in your list of maps.

On desktop, click the three lines at the top left, select ‘Your Places’, then ‘Maps’. Click the map, then scroll down and select ‘Open in My Maps’ to access the interactive version.

Alternatively, just tap the rectangle symbol at the top right of the map in this blog post to view the My Maps version larger on desktop.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to view this version of the map offline, but we’ve provided a download for a similar version for offline use.


MAPS.ME

Maps.me is our go-to offline mapping app. We find it straightforward to use for planning routes in advance, as well as navigating on the trail. It doesn’t drain our phone battery, and it’s quick and easy to save and organise ‘bookmarks’. There are many trails already marked on Maps.me, plus you can download and import a KML track of your route to the app. 

To use Maps.me, first download the app (iOS/Android). Hover over the region or country that you want to visit and the app will prompt you to download this map. Once downloaded, it can be viewed offline. 

You can tap anywhere and save it as a ‘bookmark’ by tapping the star symbol at the bottom. Hit ‘Edit Bookmark’ to personalise the bookmark colour, organise your bookmarks into different folders, and rename them. 

You can navigate easily or plan routes in advance by tapping your start point and selecting ‘route from’, then tapping your end point and selecting ‘route to’. Tap the car, walking, or cycling symbol at the top of the screen to indicate your mode of travel. If you want to plot a different route to the one suggested by Maps.me, just tap a third (or fourth, fifth, etc.) bookmark between the start and end points and select ‘add stop’. 

Maps.me shows the distance and travel time, plus elevation profiles for hiking trails. Note that the estimated time isn’t always reliable, but we’ve always found the distance and elevation gain/loss to be largely accurate. It only shows very basic contour lines.

You can track your progress on the trail using GPS. The arrow shows your direction of travel. Tap the compass at the top right of the screen to keep the map in a fixed position (the arrow will rotate). Alternatively, tap the arrow at the bottom right of the screen to rotate the map in the direction of travel (the arrow will stay in a fixed position).

GAIA

Gaia (iOS/Android) is another offline mapping app that is very useful. It shows the contours in much more detail than Maps.me, as long as you have previously viewed the section of map online. With a paid membership you can download various maps in advance for offline use. The app has existing OpenStreetMap trails marked and you can import GPX tracks and view them offline. You can also create new routes online yourself and export them as GPX or KML files. You can navigate easily on the trail using the arrow that shows your GPS location. Unlike with Maps.me, it isn’t possible to quickly check distances between two points (or at least we haven’t figured out a way to do it). There are a lot of useful features in the free version and even more benefits if you have a paid annual membership, so if you spend a lot of time outdoors it is worthwhile learning how to use the app to its full advantage. 

In our experience, Gaia drains your phone battery much quicker than Maps.me, even in flight mode, so it’s best to shut down the app completely each time you finish using it. 

OSMAND MAPS

OsmAnd Maps (iOS/Android) is another great offline mapping app with lots of useful features. In our opinion, it’s not as intuitive as Maps.me, and it has so many features that it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Like Gaia, we recommend checking out the written and video tutorials on the OsmAnd website to learn how to fully use the app. The benefits of the app include being able to plot routes in advance and save them as GPX tracks, and to view detailed elevation and terrain information, including surface types. You can also import GPX tracks. One downside is that the free version does not include contour lines, but these can be added via a paid plugin.


PANORAMA TRAIL BREAKDOWN

We’ve broken down the Panorama trail hike into separate days and sections below.

We’ve also given approximate timings and distances for each day and section, as well as approximate figures for elevation gain and loss. The total daily figures for elevation gain and loss are based on our recorded route using Garmin and may not be 100% accurate, but they are a good guide of what to expect. The elevation gain and loss figures for each hiking section are estimates based on our recorded track and mapping apps.

The timings are based around average hiking speeds and are intended as a rough guide. If you’re a fast hiker it may take you less time, and conversely, if you’re a slow hiker it may take you longer.

ELEVATION PROFILE AND 3D ROUTE MAP VIDEO

Panorama Trail Borjomi Kharagauli NP Elevation Profile

The elevation profile of the Panorama Trail trek, starting and ending at the roadside (about 800 metres from the Atskuri Ranger Station)



DAY 1 | ATSKURI RANGER STATION → AMARATI SHELTER

14.2 km | + 1355 m / – 330 m | 5 – 7 hours

DAY 1

ATSKURI RANGER STATION
AMARATI SHELTER

14.2 km

+ 1355 m / – 330 m

5 – 7 hours

Day 1 is spent largely in the forest. You climb steadily until clearing the treeline where wonderful views open up. It’s best to carry enough water to last you until you reach Amarati Shelter as there is only one spring near the start of the trail, and it may run dry later in the season.

 ROADSIDE → TREKKING SIGNPOST | 2.7 km | + 243 m / – 12 m | 45 – 60 mins

 ROADSIDE →
TREKKING SIGNPOST

2.7 km | + 243 m / – 12 m

45 – 60 mins

From the railway line next to the main road, a rough vehicle track leads to the Atskuri Ranger Station. Here you’ll find bins, a trekking map, and the hut itself. The trail is marked with red and also blue waymarkings, denoting the ‘St Andrews Trail’ and ‘Panorama Trail’ respectively. A wide path works it’s way gently up through the forest, soon crossing a small wooden bridge to the left. From here a narrower trail winds through the trees, passing alongside streams, and crossing back over the main wide track a couple of times.

After about 2.7 km you’ll reach a trekking signpost directing you up a trail to the left.

TREKKING SIGNPOST → GRASSY MEADOW | 6 km | + 715 m / – 105 m | 2 – 3 hours

TREKKING SIGNPOST
→ GRASSY MEADOW

6 km | + 715 m / – 105 m

2 – 3 hours

From here, the ascent starts. There are a few steep sections, but it’s mostly a steady climb through nice forest. There is a water pipe soon after starting the climb (about 120 metres beyond the signpost), however we were told at the visitor centre that there was no water until Amarati Shelter, so this may be seasonal.

After about 4.5 km the forest trail meets a dirt road. Turn right and continue up the track. There is a steep but short section at the end. This emerges at a grassy meadow which offers up your first big views. There is a herder camp near here so you may encounter cows and dogs.

Expansive views over forested hills and the valley to the south from the first grassy meadow on Day 1 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi Kharagauli National Park

Expansive views to the south after emerging from the forest



Expansive views over forested hills and the valley to the south from the first grassy meadow on Day 1 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi Kharagauli National Park

Expansive views after emerging from the forest



GRASSY MEADOW → AMARATI SHELTER | 5.5 km | + 397 m / – 213 m | 2 – 3 hours

GRASSY MEADOW →
AMARATI SHELTER

5.5 km | + 397 m / – 213 m

2 – 3 hours

The trail continues to the right, leading in a northerly direction to a higher viewpoint. It then heads west, climbing along a ridge with more views opening up. After about 4 km you’ll reach the highest point of the day.

The marked trail branches off to the left and descends through the forest towards a herder camp and Amarati Shelter beyond. We missed this turn-off and instead continued along an obvious trail leading straight across the grassy plateau. This joined the following day’s trail, where we turned left and approached the hut from the northeast (this route is reflected in our GPX track).

Amarati Tourist Shelter in the morning sun below towering cliffs, on the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Amarati Shelter sits in a hillside clearing beneath towering craggy cliffs



Amarati Tourist Shelter in the morning sun below towering cliffs, on the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Amarati Shelter sits beneath towering craggy cliffs



Whichever way you go, the final stretch descends about 170 metres to the herder camp, then climbs a little to Amarati Shelter on the opposite hillside clearing. The trail here is a bit steep in parts and can be muddy after rain.

AMARATI SHELTER

Amarati Shelter consists of one large room plus a small entrance area. There are 6 wooden bunk beds (providing beds for 12 people) inside the shelter, plus a table and benches. There are no mattresses, just hard wooden bases for each bed, so you’ll need a sleeping mat if you plan to stay in the hut. There is no electricity supply at the shelter.

Outside, there is a large covered picnic table and a designated fire pit surrounded by log benches. There is really only one flat spot suitable for camping, immediately to the left of the shelter. The rest of the grassy ground is quite sloping. There are two drop toilets nearby. The closest water source is about 300 metres away, a little bit up the hillside. There is a water pipe at the shelter, but it was dry when we were there in early October and it looked like it had been for some time.


DAY 2 | AMARATI SHELTER → ATSKURI RANGER STATION

18.3 km | + 805 m / – 1830 m | 5 – 8 hours

DAY 1

AMARATI SHELTER
ATSKURI RANGER STATION

18.3 km

+ 805 m / – 1830 m

5 – 8 hours

The return section of the Borjomi Panorama Trail is the highlight of the trek in our opinion. The first few hours are spent traversing a ridge with fantastic views of the surrounding Lesser Caucasus, and in clear weather, the Greater Caucasus Range can be seen to the north. After, the descent through the scenic forest provides some welcome shade and protection from the wind. The final section is a bit of a slog. It requires a 100 metre ascent to re-join the trail from Day 1, followed immediately by a 300 metre descent to the dirt track before continuing on to the Atskuri Ranger Station. The first water source of the day is a stream about 13 km from the shelter, so make sure you have plenty of water with you from the start.

AMARATI SHELTER → RIDGE VIEWPOINT | 3.8 km | + 369 m / – 183 m | 1 – 2 hours

AMARATI SHELTER →
RIDGE VIEWPOINT

3.8 km | + 369 m / – 183 m

1 – 2 hours

From Amarati Shelter, climb back up the hill for about 20 – 30 minutes and head slightly to the right towards the grassy clearing. You’ll spot a white sign ahead with a schematic map of the Borjomi Hiking Trails.

From here, the trail curves around the hillside below Mt Megruki and Mt Pikala for a few kilometres, leading to a ridge and viewpoint that looks north, all the way to Mt Kazbek.

A hiker on the grassy hillside on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

The trail heads north, then curves 180 degrees around the hillside before climbing to the ridge and heading south



A hiker on the grassy hillside on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

The trail heads north, then curves 180 degrees
around the hillside before climbing to the ridge
and heading south



RIDGE VIEWPOINT → START OF FOREST DESCENT | 6.2 km | + 318 m / – 437 m | 2 – 3 hours

RIDGE VIEWPOINT →
START OF FOREST DESCENT

6.2 km | + 318 m / – 437 m

2 – 3 hours

You’ll spend the next 6 km traversing the ridge and enjoying the best views of the whole trek. In clear weather, the snowy peaks of the Greater Caucasus Range can be seen stretching out in a line to the north.

After a brief stretch through forest, the large rocks below Sakekela peak make a nice lunch or rest spot. The section beyond here is particularly scenic as the trail curves around the hillside. There are lots of impressive rock formations, and some dead and uprooted trees making for an eerie landscape.

A short while later the route leads down towards Little Ochora on a grassy slope with no clear trail. Skirt around the right side of the hill and through the trees. After climbing up a short gully-like section the views open up again. Continue along the ridge and look for trail markers on fallen trees pointing downhill to the right. Head straight down and you’ll soon reach the tree line.

Note that the two water sources marked near the tree line on Maps.me were dry when we trekked in early October.

A big standalone rock thrusting up from the cliffs below Sakekela peak on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Marked as ‘Big Stone’ on Maps.me



A lone tree standing on the grassy ridge on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

A lone tree on the grassy ridge



Autumn colours showing on the forested slopes below the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Autumn colours on the Panorama Trail



A big standalone rock thrusting up from the cliffs below Sakekela peak on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Marked as ‘Big Stone’ on Maps.me


A lone tree standing on the grassy ridge on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

A lone tree on the grassy ridge


A hiker passes below cliffs and near trees with bright yellow leaves on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

The trail around Little Ochora



START OF FOREST DESCENT → ROADSIDE FINISH | 8.2 km | + 118 m / – 1210 m | 2 – 3 hours

START OF FOREST DESCENT
→ ROADSIDE FINISH

8.2 km | + 118 m / – 1210 m

2 – 3 hours

Now starts the big descent, through a lovely forest with a variety of trees. There are some steeper parts but nothing too tricky. After descending around 700 metres (about 3.6 km after entering the forest), you’ll reach an open clearing with a stream and small wooden bridge. Cross over and prepare to climb, about 100 metres in elevation on an old overgrown dirt road with moss covered embankments. This trail then rejoins the trail from Day 1, where you simply retrace your steps all the way back down to the trekking signpost at the road.

You can stick to the dirt road all the way back to Atskuri Ranger Station, avoiding the longer and slower forest trail that you walked previously. And from the ranger station, just follow the track you arrived on to return to the main road.

A small wooden bridge crosses a stream in the forest on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

The small wooden bridge in the forest clearing, just before the trail climbs again



A small wooden bridge crosses a stream in the forest on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

The small wooden bridge in the forest
clearing, just before the trail climbs again



OPTIONAL 1 DAY EXTENSION

AMARATI SHELTER → MT MEGRUKI / MT SAMETSKHVARIO | 7 – 18 km | 4 – 8 hours

AMARATI SHELTER →
MT MEGRUKI/
MT SAMETSKHVARIO

7 – 18 km | 4 – 8 hours

If you want to extend your Borjomi hiking adventure to 2 nights/3 days, the below makes a nice return day trip from Amarati Shelter. You can walk all the way to Sametskhvario, the highest point in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park (and day 2 of The St Andrew’s Trail), returning the same way. Alternatively, walk as far as Mt Megruki or the nearby craggy viewpoint, where our own attached GPX track ends (although we’ve added the route as far as Sametskhvario to our map for your reference). You are above the treeline the whole day, making for excellent views. Take enough water with you from the shelter as there is none along the way.

From Amarati Shelter, retrace your steps and walk back up the hill. Instead of heading east, back towards Atskuri, continue climbing north up the hillside, passing a number of dead trees. The trail then curves around to the right and up to a small saddle with great views either side. The markings here are few and far between, but the trail is obvious enough and if in doubt, check your GPS.

From the saddle, continue climbing in a northerly direction up the ridge, leading to another saddle just below Mt Megruki. From here you’ll get your first view of distant Mt Kazbek, (weather permitting of course!).

Turn right for the short climb up to the top of Mt Megruki, the summit clearly marked by a tripod pole. Turn left to carry on up towards the craggy rocks for more views of the Greater Caucasus Range, including one of Mt Ushba peeking through the gap to the left of Mt Sametskhvario.

A view of distant Mt Kazbek from Day 2 of the St Andrews Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

A view of distant Mt Kazbek from Day 2 of the St Andrews Trail



A view of distant Mt Kazbek from Day 2 of the St Andrews Trail in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

A view of distant Mt Kazbek from
Day 2 of the St Andrews Trail



At this point you can carry on to the next tourist shelter below Sametskhvario, which is another 5.6 km / 380 metres up and down. Otherwise, you can call it a day and retrace your steps to Amarati Shelter.

WHEN TO TREK THE PANORAMA TRAIL

The hiking season for Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park extends well beyond that of regions in the Greater Caucasus such as Svaneti or Tusheti. The max elevation on the Panorama Trail stays below 2200 m, and hiking is possible from Spring to late Autumn. Part of Day 2 is also Snowshoe Trail No. 11, meaning sections of the route can even be completed in winter (December to February).

If you plan to hike early or late in the season (eg. March/April or November/early December) it’s a good idea to contact one of the visitor service specialists in advance to check trail conditions:


See More From Georgia

A white horse grazing on the grassy slopes of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park
Two hikers traverse the grassy ridge on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail
A view of Tetnuldi peak from Latpari Pass on the Ushguli to Chvelpi hike
The twin peaks of Ushba and Chatyn-Tau, seen from the trail on Day 2 of the Mestia to Ushguli trek in Svaneti, Georgia
A hiker on the steep final approach to Gul Pass, on the Chuberi to Mestia section of the Transcaucasian Trail in Svaneti
Mountains reflected in Kelitsadi Lake on a still morning
Two hikers and a dog rest on a rock in front of an unnamed lake on the Black Rock Lake trek
A hiker climbs the shale switchback trail to Atsunta Pass on the Shatili Omalo trek, with the layered mountains of Khevsureti behind
A hiker descends the switchback ridgeline trail from Chaukhi Pass to Abudelauri Lakes on the Juta to Roshka trek in Georgia
Snow capped Mt. Kazbek shining bright at sunrise, as seen from the town of Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) in northern Georgia
The settlement of Abano in Truso Valley, with the old monastery on the right and Zakagori Fortress seen behind
One of the best views of Gergeti Trinity Church, seen from the hiking trail to Gergeti Glacier and Mt. Kazbek
Hikers descend from the viewpoint at Kojori Fortress in Georgia
A UAZ Buhanka campervan parked at the side of a grassy track to Levani's Lake on the expansive Javakheti Plateau
A person walks beneath the huge dusty sky looking at the seemingly endless hazy view at Takhti-Tepha Mud Volcanoes in the Vashlovani Protected Area
Two people watch something in the distance from outside a parked 4x4 vehicle in the hills of Racha, Georgia.
A white horse grazing on the grassy slopes of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park
Two hikers traverse the grassy ridge on Day 2 of the Panorama Trail
A view of Tetnuldi peak from Latpari Pass on the Ushguli to Chvelpi hike
The twin peaks of Ushba and Chatyn-Tau, seen from the trail on Day 2 of the Mestia to Ushguli trek in Svaneti, Georgia
A hiker on the steep final approach to Gul Pass, on the Chuberi to Mestia section of the Transcaucasian Trail in Svaneti
Mountains reflected in Kelitsadi Lake on a still morning
Two hikers and a dog rest on a rock in front of an unnamed lake on the Black Rock Lake trek
A hiker climbs the shale switchback trail to Atsunta Pass on the Shatili Omalo trek, with the layered mountains of Khevsureti behind
A hiker descends the switchback ridgeline trail from Chaukhi Pass to Abudelauri Lakes on the Juta to Roshka trek in Georgia
Snow capped Mt. Kazbek shining bright at sunrise, as seen from the town of Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) in northern Georgia
The settlement of Abano in Truso Valley, with the old monastery on the right and Zakagori Fortress seen behind
One of the best views of Gergeti Trinity Church, seen from the hiking trail to Gergeti Glacier and Mt. Kazbek
Hikers descend from the viewpoint at Kojori Fortress in Georgia
A UAZ Buhanka campervan parked at the side of a grassy track to Levani's Lake on the expansive Javakheti Plateau
A person walks beneath the huge dusty sky looking at the seemingly endless hazy view at Takhti-Tepha Mud Volcanoes in the Vashlovani Protected Area
Two people watch something in the distance from outside a parked 4x4 vehicle in the hills of Racha, Georgia.

PANORAMA TRAIL TREK PRACTICALITIES

We’ve covered a few practical tips below to help you plan for a smooth hike in Borjomi National Park. Note that you must visit the administration building in Borjomi prior to starting your Panorama Trail trek to register and pay camping/mountain shelter fees.

REGISTRATION AND FEES

There are no park entrance fees, however you must register at the visitor centre in Borjomi (or Kharagauli) before entering Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. If you plan to stay overnight (which is required on the 2 day Panorama Trail) the fee is 5 GEL per person per night for camping, or 20 GEL per person per night for a bed in Amarati Tourist Shelter.

The visitor centre is open 0900 – 1800 fom Monday to Friday, and 0900 -1600 on Saturday and Sunday.

RENTING CAMPING GEAR

You can rent camping gear at the Borjomi National Park Visitor Centre, including a tent (10 GEL), sleeping bag (5 GEL), and sleeping mat (3 GEL). Prices are per item, per day. It’s best to bring camping gas for a stove from Tbilisi (you can buy gas at Geoland).

FOOD

There is nowhere to buy food along the trail so you need to carry food and cooking equipment for the duration of your hike. There are supermarkets in Borjomi town where you can buy supplies.

WATER

There is a spring near Amarati Tourist Shelter, but limited water sources on the trail. We found springs marked on OSM to be dry in early October. We’ve marked stream and spring water sources on our accompanying map.

Personally, we always sterilise drinking water collected from streams (using a Steripen), and we recommend you use your prefered sterilisation method to do the same.

MAPS AND NAVIGATION

The Panorama Trail is waymarked and signposted, but only in a clockwise hiking direction. Although the trail markings are generally good, it’s advisable to use an offline mapping app such as Maps.me, Gaia, or OSMand to follow the route via GPS. You can download our KML/GPX tracks to use with these apps.

White and blue plus red and blue painted waymarkings on a tree show the route for both the St Andrews and Panorama Trails in Borjomi-Kharagauli NP

Waymarkings for both the St Andrews and Panorama Trails on Day 1



White and blue plus red and blue painted waymarkings on a tree show the route for both the St Andrews and Panorama Trails in Borjomi-Kharagauli NP

Waymarkings for both the St Andrews
and Panorama Trails on Day 1



MONEY

There are ATMs in Borjomi. You are unlikely to need cash for anything while hiking as there is nothing to buy and camping/hut fees are paid in advance at the visitor centre. But, it’s a good idea to have some cash with you in case you need to pay for a taxi to/from the trailhead, or for emergencies.

PHONE RECEPTION AND INTERNET

Magticom has the widest coverage in the mountains, but it’s best to assume that phone reception and data connection will be patchy throughout the hike. Set any webpages you want to reference on the trail to ‘read offline’ beforehand.

WEATHER FORECASTS

Yr.no is the best weather app (iOS/Android) we know of. It doesn’t work offline but you can check the weather in advance for locations including Atskuri and Mt’a Samets’khvario (higher than Amarati Shelter but the closest mountain location we could find). If you have a Garmin InReach like us, you can get weather reports at any location.

TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR TREKKING AT ALTITUDE

It’s important to note that most travel insurance providers will only cover hiking up to a certain altitude as standard (often 2500 m or 3000 m). In order to be covered for hiking above this, you will probably need to add on an ‘activity pack’ or such like. The highest point on the Panorama Trail hike sits at around 2200 m, but if you plan a side hike to Sametskhvario you may hike up to 2600 m or higher. It’s best to check in advance exactly what your travel insurance policy covers.

Whether you are currently in your home country or are already travelling, two travel insurance policy providers that can cover for hiking up to and above 3000 m are World Nomads (for residents of 140+ countries) and True Traveller (for UK and EEA residents only). We have purchased travel insurance policies from both of these companies in the past. We have found their policies to be comprehensive, and their online claims and extension processes straightforward.

 If you still need to organise your travel insurance, we’d suggest getting a quote from each to see which suits you best.

TREK THE TRANSCAUCASIAN TRAIL IN UPPER SVANETI

PANORAMA TRAIL PACKING LIST

You need to be self-sufficient to tackle the 2 day Panorama Trail, carrying camping gear and food. All-weather gear is required year-round, but early or later in the season extra warm clothing is a must as you will be camping at over 1900 m. We’ve compiled some packing lists and provided more info below.

ALL WEATHER CLOTHING

Make sure you pack clothing for all weather eventualities. The weather can be very unpredictable, change quickly, and vary greatly between the lower and higher altitudes. You need waterproofs and layers (including a base layer, mid layer, and outer layer). Ideally your base layers should be made from merino wool or sweat-wicking material. Avoid jeans or any cotton materials – if they get wet they are heavy, take forever to dry, and you’ll get cold easily. A hat, gloves and sunglasses are also needed. Make sure you have proper footwear (ideally hiking boots) that are broken in already. It’s a good idea to pack a pair of sandals too for wearing around camp at Amarati Shelter.

Merino T-Shirt x 2
His/Hers

Merino Thermal Baselayer
His/Hers
(if hiking outside of summer)

Merino Thermal Leggings
His/Hers
(if hiking outside of summer)

Merino Underwear
His/Hers

Sports Bra

Fleece
His/Hers

Down Jacket
(if hiking outside of summer)
His/Hers

Rain Jacket/Shell
His/Hers

Waterproof Trousers
His/Hers

Quick Drying Hiking Trousers
(preferably with zip-off shorts)
His/Hers

Trousers to wear around camp
(Lightweight, similar to above)

Trekking Socks x 2
His/Hers

Warm Socks for night
(if hiking outside of summer)

Gloves
Liner & Waterproof Outer

Sun Hat

Warm Hat
(if hiking outside of summer)

Sunglasses

Hiking Boots
His/Hers

Sandals
(for evening)

Belt


HIKING GEAR

You’ll need the usual hiking gear, such as a backpack, hiking poles, a refillable water bottle or water bladder, a water purification method, a first aid kit, rubbish bags for carrying out all your waste, a headtorch, and suncream.

Backpack + rain cover

Hiking Poles

Water Bladder/Water Bottle

Water Purifier (eg. Steripen, purification tablets, LifeStraw, etc.)

First Aid Kit

Penknife

Maps (offline GPS)

Rubbish Bag(s)

Headtorch

Suncream

Basic Toiletries

Toilet Paper

Hand Sanitiser

Power Bank


CAMPING EQUIPMENT

Whether you are camping or sleeping in Amarati Tourist Shelter, you’ll need a sleeping mat and sleeping bag. If camping outside the shelter, you’ll also need a tent. We always like to have a pillow and sleeping liner too. You’ll also need a small stove, gas canister and cooking supplies if you want a hot meal.

WHERE TO STAY IN BORJOMI

Borjomi is a popular tourist town with accommodation options to suit all budgets. We stayed at Pirosmani15 guesthouse and would certainly recommend it. It’s in a central location close to supermarkets, the bus station, good restaurants, etc. It also has comfortable rooms, a good breakfast, and a helpful owner (David) who speaks perfect English.

Other good options nearby include House in Borjomi guesthouse, or the more modern hotels Borjomi Bridge Hotel (closer to the NP visitor centre) or Rustaveli Borjomi Hotel. You can search more Borjomi accommodation options below.

Booking.com

HOW TO GET TO BORJOMI

Borjomi is approximately 160 km west of Tbilisi, and 130 km southeast of Kutaisi.

If taking public transport, the best way to get there is by marshrutka (minibus). From Tbilisi Didube Bus Station they depart approximately every hour between 0700 and 1800. It costs 7 GEL per person and takes around 2 – 2.5 hours.

From Kutaisi, Akhaltsikhe bound marshrutkas stop at Borjomi, but there are limited departures (once or twice a day – check at the station). It can be better to change in Khashuri (get there by train or marshrutka), then take a marshrutka to Borjomi (every half hour between 0930 and 1730, 2 GEL). Marshrutkas from Kutaisi depart from the bus station near McDonalds. There is one train a day from Kutaisi I Railway Station to Khashuri (departs 1210, 8 GEL, 3 hours), and three trains a day from Rioni Railway Station (10 km south of Kutaisi) to Khashuri (0917, 1245, 1930, 2 – 2.5 hours, 8 – 12 GEL).

Check train times and book tickets via matarabeli.ge, tickets.railway.ge, or tkt.ge.

You can arrange a private car and driver via gotrip.ge.

GETTING TO THE TRAILHEAD

The trailhead for the Panorama Trail is near Atskuri and is approximately 26 kilometres south of Borjomi town. A taxi costs around 25 GEL. It’s also possible to hitchhike, or take an Akhaltsikhe bound marshrutka (0845, but confirm this at the bus station in Borjomi).

COME JOIN US ON INSTAGRAM

A GUIDE TO HIKING THE PANORAMA TRAIL

BORJOMI-KHARAGAULI NP

That’s the lot for our Borjomi-Kharagauli NP Panorama Trail hiking guide. If you have any useful info to add or stories to share, get in touch through the comments section below. Equally, if you have any questions, let us know and we’ll do our best to answer them. And if you’re planning your own Borjomi hike, good luck and enjoy!

ORGANISE YOUR TRIP


Booking.com

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Borjomi-Kharagauli NP: Panorama Trail Hiking GuideBorjomi-Kharagauli NP: Panorama Trail Hiking GuideBorjomi-Kharagauli NP: Panorama Trail Hiking GuideBorjomi-Kharagauli NP: Panorama Trail Hiking Guide
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