The Next Big Thing In Hiking: Walk The Transcaucasian Trail

Story by World Expeditions

Posted: May 10, 2019
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It may still be in development but the Transcaucasian Trail is already anticipated by hiking enthusiasts as the next big thing in hiking – and World Expeditions is thrilled to be among the first to offer the option to walk selected sections of the long-distance trail in both Armenia and Georgia, the only two countries adequately mapped so far.

Hiking trails wind through the vast Caucasus Mountain range

In development since 2015, once completed the Transcaucasian Trail will extend more than 3,000 km (1,864 miles) in length. It will connect more than 20 National Parks and protected areas in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, the three countries collectively known as Southern Caucasus.

From high-altitude grasslands and permanently snow-capped peaks to thick forests and shrubby plateaus, the dramatic Caucasus range ranks among the most inaccessible mountains in the world due to a lack of reliable and detailed recent data. The best available topographic maps are thought to be decades-old Soviet military maps, while public domain aerial imagery is often of low quality and inconsistent.

Yet, the Caucasus is a ‘biodiversity hotspot’: a quarter of the approximately 6,500 plant species that have been found in the mountains are estimated to exist nowhere else on earth, while the varied native fauna includes the iconic Caucasian leopard and Bezoar goat, as well as wolf, brown bear, jackal, lynx and hyena.

In addition, the region has preserved a distinct identity and cultural heritage: the earliest evidence of wine-making, more than 8,000 years ago, has been found in Georgia, while Armenia is considered as the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion, already in 301 AD. Home to a number of ethnic groups, with more than 40 indigenous languages spoken across the region it is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world, surpassed only by Papua New Guinea and the Amazon.

The monastery of Sevanavank on the shores of Lake Sevan

“This is one of the most exciting itineraries we are launching this year. Geographically, biologically and culturally the Caucasus range is one of the most diverse regions in the world.

The Transcaucasian Trail offers the ultimate hiking experience in central Asia and it has already started to capture the imagination of many travellers.

At World Expeditions we always strive to offer to our customers the ‘next big thing’ and this trail is so unique that we feel it has the potential to be on every hiker’s wish list”.                                                          

Although the two sections are offered as separate itineraries, the dates have been specially chosen so keen hikers wishing to tick off both countries in one trip can complete the Armenia segment first and then continue the trail in Georgia. 

NEW! Transcaucasian Trail Hike with World Expeditions:            

  • Armenia - 8 days, launching 20 May; monthly departures until September
  • Georgia - 10 days, launching 28 May; monthly departures until September

In addition to offering the option to walk parts of the Transcaucasian Trail in Armenia and Georgia, World Expeditions is adding in 2019 a new, two-week Armenia to Georgia by Bike itinerary that starts in Yerevan and finishes in Tbilisi.