Georgia Rioni River Rafting Adventure Tour

Four Spectacular Rivers & Cultural Discovery in the Caucasus


Blending the beautiful landscapes and sparkling rivers of the Caucasus Mountains with legendary Georgian hospitality, this special adventure is nothing short of true quest. Take in the intriguing history of this crossroads of Europe and Asia, admire the magnificent Orthodox churches and monasteries, and savor the delicious wines and cuisine. Get your adrenaline boost over six days of Class III+ rafting on four different rivers, and visit many attractions in between, from Stalin's birthplace and Vardzia caves to the old towns of Kutaisi and Tbilisi. Each day abounds in spectacular Georgian charms.

11 Days

From: $4,995

Blending the beautiful landscapes and sparkling rivers of the Caucasus Mountains with legendary Georgian hospitality, this special adventure is nothing short of true quest. Take in the intriguing history of this crossroads of Europe and Asia, admire the magnificent Orthodox churches and monasteries, and savor the delicious wines and cuisine. Get your adrenaline boost over six days of Class III+ rafting on four different rivers, and visit many attractions in between, from Stalin's birthplace and Vardzia caves to the old towns of Kutaisi and Tbilisi. Each day abounds in spectacular Georgian charms.

Highlights


  • Take an adrenaline-powered whitewater rafting adventure on four different Georgian rivers

  • Stay in lodges and guesthouses that boast dazzling views of mountains, rivers and towns

  • Join us for our 50th-anniversary celebration on a river trip that we first ran in 2006

Download Itinerary

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Georgia Rioni River Rafting Adventure

Start: Tbilisi, Georgia  End: Tbilisi, Georgia

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Tbilisi, the Capital of Georgia

    Day 1

    Welcome to Georgia! Your MT Sobek trip leader will meet you at the airport for a shuttle transfer to your hotel in the old town, where labyrinthine cobblestone alleys whisper of the city's past. At 6pm, meet up with your group in the hotel lobby for orientation, then savor the first taste of delightful Georgian fare at the welcome dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel Old Metekhi

    Meals: Dinner

  • Discover Tbilisi & Head to the Caucasus

    Day 2

    Take in the panoramas of Tbilisi from the towering 4th-century Narikala Fortress, and visit the National Museum or the 6th-century Zion Orthodox Cathedral, rebuilt after invasions by Persians, Arabs and Mongols. Continue to the nearby UNESCO-protected Mtskheta, the former capital of Georgia. In the afternoon, head north to the town of Gudauri in the Caucasus, stopping along the way to marvel at the Russia-Georgia Friendship Monument, a half-circle of stone arches lavishly decorated with tile murals. Enjoy a dinner on your own at one of the local restaurants.

    Accommodation: Hotel Marco Polo Gudauri

    Transportation: 2-hour private transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Get Active Rafting on the Aragvi River

    Day 3

    On the scenic drive from Gudauri to the river put-in, consider trying tandem paragliding with a professional instructor. Then continue to the small town of Pasanauri in Mtiuleti province, and start your adventure on the Aragvi River. Paddle through class II and III rapids all the way to the Jinvali water reservoir, stopping along the way for a lunch at the petite Meneso village. After settling into the hotel, consider strolling to the nearby Ananuri fortress, a well-preserved castle complex above the Aragvi.

    Accommodation: Villa Ananuri

    Activity: 6 hours/14 miles rafting; optional tandem paragliding

    Transportation: 50-minute private transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Visit Stalin's Museum in Gori & Marvel at the Caves of Vardzia

    Day 4

    In Gori, Stalin's hometown, visit the museum that showcases the house of his birth, as well as many personal artefacts. Head on to the 9th-century Rabati Castle, a majestic complex that includes a mosque with a minaret, a synagogue, a Christian church, the rulers' Jakelis' Palace, and a citadel with restored ancient buildings. Finally, admire Vardzia Cave City, a palace-monastery complex built in solid rock over 13 levels as a hideout from the Mongol raids for the 12th-century Queen Tamar.

    Accommodation: Vardzia Resort

    Activity: 6 hours sightseeing

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Raft the Kura River & Explore Oni Village

    Day 5

    The Kura River, also known as Mtkvari, is the longest river running through Georgia. Starting from the village of Qvabiskhevi, power through Class III and III+ rapids to the storybook town of Likani. After rafting, head back into the Caucasus, to Oni in the upper Racha area. A charming old village with pretty mountain views, Oni holds ruins of medieval fortresses, a synagogue, Orthodox churches, and a town museum; it's perfect for easy wanders or evening strolls towards the mountains.

    Accommodation: Oni Guesthouse

    Activity: 6 hours/9 miles rafting

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Feel the Rush of the Rioni River

    Day 6

    Get ready to descend down the fast-dropping, constant-action Rioni River. Raft over 18 miles between the tiny towns of Oni and Ambrolauri, powering through Class II to Class IV rapids. Along the way, admire small forested canyons and waterside villages with churches and forts, and stop to refresh with a picnic lunch by the river. In the evening, take in the serene Ambrolauri, once the residence of Imereti kings.

    Accommodation: Ambrolauri Guesthouse

    Activity: 6 hours/18 miles rafting

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Raft the Lower Rioni River & Arrive at Kutaisi

    Day 7

    Continue rafting the lower section of the Rioni River. Starting from Tvishi village, enjoy stunning mountain scenery, impressive rock formations and lively whitewater as you make your way to the end of the section at Tvishi gorge. Enjoy a lunch, then continue on to the region's capital of Kutaisi, arriving early enough for a walk around the town. The former capital and one of the longest continuously inhabited towns in the world, Kutaisi offers much to see.

    Accommodation: Hotel Terrace

    Activity: 1.5 hours/7 miles rafting

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • See the Sights of Kutaisi

    Day 8

    Spend today, between river trips, discovering Kutaisi and visiting the main sights in and around town. Marvel at the Bagrati cathedral, a masterpiece of medieval Georgian architecture and see the complex of the Gelati Monastery and Academy, one of the country's most treasured religious and cultural landmarks. Take in the Prometheus caves, with breathtaking stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, petrified waterfalls, cave pearls, underground rivers, and lakes. In the evening, relax over a dinner on your own.

    Accommodation: Hotel Terrace

    Activity: 6 hours sightseeing

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Tackle the Upper Tskhenistskali River

    Day 9

    Take a scenic ride to Laksuna in the lower Svaneti province for the river run-in. Paddle Class II to Class IV rapids, and enjoy an energizing break over a tasty lunch by the water. Savor four exciting hours on a big river, traveling toward the small riverside town of Tsangeri. On the drive back to Kutaisi, make several scenic stops, from strolling along a hanging walkway to visiting the tallest waterfall in Georgia

    Accommodation: Hotel Terrace

    Activity: 4 hours/13 miles rafting

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Raft the Lower Tskhenistkali River & Return to Tbilisi

    Day 10

    Enjoy the trip's grand finale and the last day of whitewater action. Starting from Tsageri, embark on the final leg of the journey, the lower section of the Tskhenistkali River. Paddle 13 miles and savor one more lunch by the river. Then drive to Tbilisi and settle into the hotel. Enjoy some time to yourself to pack or roam the city streets, then gather with the group for the farewell dinner, another Georgian feast.

    Accommodation: Hotel Old Metekhi

    Activity: 4 hours/13 miles rafting

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Tbilisi

    Day 11

    After breakfast, it's time to head to Tbilisi airport for homebound or onward flights. Consider combining this trip with one of MT Sobek's other adventures in Europe!

    Meals: Breakfast

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Dates & Prices


  • 2023
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2023

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Download Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Local Guide

Local Guide

We work with only the most experienced and knowledgeable local guides on our trips. You will be in excellent hands with a fully licensed and accredited local guide who will share their expertise in everything from history and architecture, to culture and traditions, the best local cuisine, activities and crafts, or even shopping. Local guides live, breathe, and love their trips because as locals they are an integral part of their communities. Their connections run deep and pride in their piece of the world is contagious.

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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 3. Exciting whitewater rafting, from Class III to Class IV rapids, around 15 miles a day. Riverside hikes are easy to moderate, with some steep and potentially slippery sections. Also includes cultural touring of historic sights.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 3

6 hours/14 miles rafting; optional tandem paragliding

Day 4

6 hours sightseeing

Day 5

6 hours/9 miles rafting

Day 6

6 hours/18 miles rafting

Day 7

1.5 hours/7 miles rafting

Day 8

6 hours sightseeing

Day 9

4 hours/13 miles rafting

Day 10

4 hours/13 miles rafting

Accommodations


Combination of comfortable hotels and guesthouses, complemented by delicious local cuisine.

Hotel Old Metekhi
Hotel Old Metekhi

In the historic part of Tbilisi, Hotel Old Metekhi is a great starting point for exploring Georgia's capital. Decked out in earthy tones, its 21 rooms have AC and central heating; most feature a seating area and a balcony. The Old Metheki restaurant serves European and traditional Georgian cuisine, and there is live music every night.

Hotel Marco Polo Gudauri
Hotel Marco Polo Gudauri

At an elevation of 6,500 feet, Hotel Marco Polo sits scenically surrounded by the gorgeous Gudauri mountain gorges and ski slopes. The rooms at this ski resort feature classic alpine style, private baths and amenities like TVs, Wi-Fi and minibar. R'n'R is aplenty here, from the bowling alley and tennis court to the spa with a hot tub, indoor pool and gym.

Villa Ananuri
Villa Ananuri

The private Villa Ananuri overlooks the Ananuri fortress and sits minutes away from a lakeside beach. Surrounded by dreamy gardens, and featuring traditional Georgian architecture and interiors, it offers a very local experience that comes coupled with warm Georgian hospitality. The spacious rooms are well-equipped, and there is an outdoor pool and a sauna on property.

Vardzia Resort
Vardzia Resort

Nestled on a dramatic mountain slope, Vardzia Resort is beloved for its gorgeous terraces, outdoor pool and a verdant garden that all boast mesmerizing views. Most of the resort's 38 well-appointed rooms offer vistas of the mystical Vardzia cave monastery complex. Breakfast is buffet-style and karaoke are great fun in the evenings.

Oni Guesthouse
Ambrolauri Guesthouse
Hotel Terrace
Hotel Terrace

Located close to the Kutaisi city center, Hotel Terrace is a family-run property named after its superb rooftop terrace, ideal for evening drinks. Its contemporary rooms feature flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, private bathrooms with a shower, a seating area, as well as AC and Wi-Fi. The excellent buffet breakfast delights with numerous freshly made Georgian dishes.

Weather


Expect moderately cool days in June, with temperatures ranging from 63°F to 84°F.

 
Jun
Tbilisi 
High
Low
Tbilisi
84
63

Guest Reviews


"I have taken 12 trips with MT Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me-widening my view of the world and its peoples."

Jane B.
MT Sobek Guest

"I've taken six MT Sobek trips and they have all exceeded my expectations. The staff, the food, the logistics and the communications have always been exceptional. Thank you for being my "go to" adventure travel company!"

Margaret I.
MT Sobek Guest