The Caucasian Challenge is a road trip through the staggering beauty of this mysterious region, from the edge of Europe to the heart of Armenia. This is an odyssey of adventure in the Caucasus mountains that will push your limits as you travel to the ends of the Earth.
The Travel Scientists may scout the road ahead and give you some invaluable information to assist in your epic trip to the Caucasus but this is not your run of the mill holiday, it’s a challenge and you’ll have to rely on your own ingenuity, skill and luck as you travel to each new destination.
With packages that range from bare-bones participation, where you are almost entirely on your own, to those that throw in hotels, we at The Travel Scientists have perfected this as the best way to explore the Caucasus mountains so that if you’re ready for the adventure we’re willing to show you the way.
An unbelievable trip, the Caucasian Challenge will show you the real borderlands of Europe and Asia away from the tourist trail and provide you with a journey through the Caucasus that, as an unrivaled experience anywhere in the world, you’ll remember and cherish forever.
Whilst obviously you can stop as and where you please during the Caucasian Challenge we at The Travel Scientists don’t want you to miss any of the unique attractions this adventure in the Caucasus has to offer!
Feel the hustle and bustle of Istanbul.
Relax on the Black Sea beaches of Turkey.
Drive through the lush forests of Adjaria.
Visit the ancient villages of Svaneti, Georgia.
Pass the snow capped peaks of the Higher Caucasus.
Experience the nightlife of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.
Go wild camping at Lake Sevan.
Explore the hidden monasteries of Nagorno Karabakh.
Take the world’s longest aerial tramway (cable car).
Marvel at the Armenian world heritage monastery of Tatev.
Party in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.
Begin your travel in the Caucasus at the Gateway to the East, Istanbul capital of Turkey. This ancient city sitting astride the Bosporus is your starting point with its amazing mosques, bustling downtown and your destination is the stunning Sinop Beach on the Turkish Black Sea coast.
Wake up for the sound of the waves and after a breakfast on the beach keep the water on your left as you traverse the Turkish Black Sea coast heading East to the border with Georgia, and wheel north the resort of Batumi, the capital of Adjara. With a stunning 19th century old town and lovely seaside cafés this is an enchanting place that knows just how to party
Push your way inland East to Georgia’s second largest city Kutaisi which sits on the Rioni River after climbing some stunning passes of the lower Caucasus mountains. The timeless magnificence of the Gelati Monastery and natural beauty of the Okatse Canyon await but so does your journey through Georgia.
Run through the hills North, rising and falling with the terrain till you reach the paradise lost in the Svaneti region that is Mestia. Nestled in a valley, Mestia has an atmosphere like no other place, almost watched over by the 5000 meters high snow-capped peaks of the Higher Caucasus mountains, this is the most amazing stop over.
Travel amidst the Caucasus mountains as you thread your way towards Ushguli, the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe then drive through the rough but breathtaking landscape of an almost uninhabited region before reaching the city of Ambrolauri where Stalin’s favourite red wine, the Khvanchkara is made.
Blaze your way into the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi but don’t forget to stop in Stalin’s birthplace, Gori and see the massive Stalin museum and the small house he was born at. Reaching Tbilisi enjoy the well earned rest day before continuing onwards. There’s lots to see in this vibrant city with its mixture of architectural styles and we give you the time to experience it all from the Old Town to the lovely outdoor cafés, where enjoying great wine with live jazz.
Whether you ride the Aerial Tramway, rise up to the Narikala Fortress or just stroll around the impressive Tsminda Sameba Cathedral our rest day in the Georgian capital gives you time to experience the kaleidoscope essence of Georgia in this fascinating city.
South to the border with Armenia and on through the intriguing Lesser Caucasus to the blue waters of the Sevan Lake, the largest body of freshwater in the region, known as the “Jewel of Armenia” for its raw natural beauty, having spectacular views of the mountains beyond its shores. Wild camping with campfire and sleeping under the billions of stars make this night unforgettable.
Up into the mountains of Southern Armenia that rise around, heading south and climbing up, you make your way to Nagorno Karabakh, passing the small town of Vank, a simply breathtaking stop on this amazing journey. We won’t forget to visit the 1000 year old Dadivank monastery en route and the stunning Gandzashar monastery ruling the view above Vank, before we arrive in Stepanakert.
We experience the ever changing land of Nagorno Karabakh, leaving Stepanakert in direction of Kapan. Entering back to Armenia and after passing the old town of Goris with its historical and natural sights, we do our last bit of winding up and down to finish up in Kapan, the capital of Syunik Province.
Complete your Caucasus adventure by riding into Yerevan. A veritable feast of culture, cuisine and chilled atmosphere, this is the perfect finish to your Caucasian Challenge and the very best place to hold our traditional closing ceremonies and one of our world-famous after-event drinks parties.
Hotel Not Included
|Event shirt and cap
|Essential and hard-to-find maps
|Kick-off and finish parties
|Coordination of charity events
|Visa assistance (if required)
|Road maps (hard copies)