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Backpacking Georgia (the country): itinerary, highlights and tips

Georgia – In 2018, one of the crucial fashionable Dutch television exhibits ‘WIDM’ was shot in Georgia (the country, not the state), which resulted in an increase of Dutch travelers to Georgia. Although I never watched WIDM, I can think about it was straightforward to convince the Dutch audience with footage of Georgia’s majestic mountains, lush vineyards, unique cuisine, vibrant Tbilisi, and historic cave cities. Final spring, I solo backpacked in Georgia for about two weeks. Most of my time I spent climbing the Caucasus in Georgia’s north. Right here’s a mini guide to backpacking Georgia with my itinerary, highlights and tips!

The semi desert plains around Davit Gareja on the border with Azerbaijan. Davit Gareja was one of many highlights of my visit to Georgia. – Backpacking Georgia. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers.

Backpacking Georgia

Why do you have to go backpacking in Georgia?

  1. Compact and numerous. You’ll be able to simply spent 5 to six weeks in Georgia, nevertheless it’s additionally good for a one-week vacation since you’ll be able to simply do lovely day journeys from Tbilisi. The landscapes differ from desert and mountains to sea and forest.
  2. Reasonably priced. I solely spent 30 euro’s per day (discover my detailed overview of prices of backpacking in Georgia here). Flights to Kutaisi and Tbilisi are low cost from Europe.
  3. Superb scenery.
  4. Delicious and unique meals.
  5. Rich culture and history as the crossroad between Europe and Asia.
  6. It’s the land of wine! Georgia is the oldest wine-making nation on the earth.
  7. Welcoming individuals.

backpacking georgia stephantsmindaThe well-known Stephantsminda church near Kazbegi. It solely takes a 1,5 hour hike as much as reach this lovely view. – Backpacking Georgia. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers.

My 2-week Georgia journey itinerary (from west to east)

Obviously, I only had a limited amount of time. These are some locations I didn’t go to, but would love to go to during a subsequent backpacking journey in Georgia: Tusheti (!), Vardzia cave city, Stalin museum in Gori, and Batumi.

Kuro camping in KazbegiFunky Kuro tenting in Kazbegi with bonfires and hammocks. – Backpacking Georgia. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers.

Backpacking Kutaisi
  • Highlights: Visiting the gorgeous Bagrati cathedral up on Ukimerioni Hill, the extravagant Colchis fountain with golden ornaments and vibrant Kutaisi market. Additionally, I did a fun full-day tour from Kutaisi, which included a go to to Okatse canyon, Martvili canyon, Kinchka waterfall and a visit by previous Sovjet type cable automotive to Gelati monastery. The day tour was fairly touristy, but nonetheless much enjoyable!
  • Accommodation: Hostel Vagabonde
Backpacking Mestia / Svaneti
  • Highlights: The cable automotive for a lovely view over Mestia. A go to to the Svaneti History & Ethnography Museum, lunch at the Sunset cafe or drinks with reside music at Leila’s. Nevertheless, the primary factor to do in Mestia is climbing. I did a 5 day Mazeri to Usghuli hike together with a fellow traveler (and not using a information). Nevertheless, there are also plenty of day hikes potential e.g. the hike to Chalaadi glacier or to the cross.
  • Accommodation: Nino Ratiani Guesthouse

Okatse canyon and Martvili canyonA fun day trip to Okatse canyon and Martvili canyon from Kutaisi. In Martvili canyon, you are able to do a touristy, but lovely 25-minute kayak experience – Backpacking Georgia. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers.

Backpacking Tbilisi
  • Highlights: The Previous City with the meidan (bazaar), the avant-garde Peace Bridge, the Clock tower, Narikala Fortress, the cable automotive, and Rike park. In Georgia’s city centre, the Museum of Georgia is value a visit. In the night, there are plenty of good restaurants or you possibly can go clubbing in the epic Bassiani techno membership. Once I was there, a pal of mine performed at the large Tbilisi Open Air music pageant, which was also enjoyable to attend. In the event you’re in search of a cocktail or stylish drinks, I heard Dive Bar is the place to go. From Tbilisi, additionally it is straightforward to do day trips to the cave monasteries of David Gareja (highly advisable), to the winefields in Sighnaghi or to the Stalin Museum in Gori (sadly, I didn’t have time for Gori).
  • Lodging: Marco Polo hostel
Backpacking Kazbegi
  • Highlights: Mountaineering to Gergeti glacier, seeing well-known Stephantsminda church
  • Accommodation: Kuro tenting

Camping in Kazbegi at Kuro camping and hiking to Gergeti glacier.Tenting in Kazbegi and mountaineering to Gergeti glacier. Ensure that to rise up early for the Gergeti glacier. – Backpacking Georgia. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers.

Instructed 1-week Georgia journey itinerary

In the event you only have one week in Georgia, I might recommend the following one-week Georgia journey itinerary. Start off with one full day in Tbilisi before taking the bus to Kazbegi. When you love mountaineering, stay for one or two nights and explore the majestic Caucasus mountains. When you don’t love mountains and climbing, a day trip might suffice. Then head again to Tbilisi. From Tbilisi, you are able to do straightforward day journeys to David Gareja, the cave monasteries, to Stalin’s Gori and to Sighnaghi. Should you love wine (and enjoyable), I might recommendation to stay no less than one night time in Sighnaghi.

Find out how to put together for backpacking Georgia?

Backpacking in Georgia is straightforward and protected, however you might need to pack and verify some things before you go.

Particular issues to pack for Georgia
  • When you go climbing and trekking: convey good climbing footwear, trekking poles, a rain cowl, a rain jacket and a poncho.
  • Should you also plan to go tenting: convey a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, a water filter, thermal clothing, a cap, sunnies, and an influence bank.
  • Please find my full packing record for backpacking journeys right here.
Particular things to do before going to Georgia
  • “კეთილი იყოს თქვენი” = ‘Welcome”! Try to learn some Georgian. Obviously, you will learn some Georgian on the road, but you may consider learning some basics while you’re nonetheless at house. Speaking Georgian is actually fairly straightforward, but reading requires clearly a bit more apply 😉
  • Examine the newest Georgia journey advice from your government. (Personally, usually I gained’t let this affect my travels)
  • Obtain the maps.me software. The Georgia map has helpful info.
  • In the event you go climbing or trekking: download the superb MapOut app and download routes from CaucasusTrekking.com
  • Chances are you’ll need to get journey insurance coverage and some immunizations (examine together with your local healthcare clinic)

Costs of backpacking in Georgia4Tbilisi, Georgia’s enjoyable and vibrant capital. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers.

What is the greatest time to journey?

One of the best to go to Georgia is between June and September. That is also one of the best time for trekking. The winter months are great for ski trips.

Backpacking Georgia price range and costs

Like all the time, I stored monitor of my bills on paper. In Georgia, I spent roughly 27 euro or 31,5 USD’s per day. I principally slept in dormitories in hostels or in my tent and ate at small local places, which stored my Georgia backpacking costs low.

Most dormitories in Tbilisi are about Eight-9 euro per night time. A single price range room outdoors of the capital city is about 10-11 euro per night time. These prices typically embrace a simple breakfast. Food is between 4-Eight euro per meal.

Is it protected to travel to Georgia?

Touring in Georgia is usually thought-about protected. The political state of affairs is sort of secure, though protests might happen. The Overseas and Commonwealth Workplace (FCO) advise towards journey to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Take a look at the UK Department of Overseas Affairs for the newest info.

Lovely Udabno monastery at Davit Gareja with historic frescoes painted in the 10th to 12th centuries. Don’t underestimate the path resulting in the monastery. It’s truly quite steep, slippery and slender. I strongly advocate to wear correct climbing footwear! – Backpacking Georgia. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers.

Solo feminine travel in Georgia

As a ‘solo female traveler’ in Georgia, I haven’t felt unsafe whereas backpacking in Georgia (although I used to be only there for a quick time). I additionally haven’t heard any stories about sexual harassment from other feminine travelers.

Solo backpacking Georgia

Tbilisi has many fun hostels, that are a fantastic place to satisfy other solo travelers. Excursions are additionally a good way to satisfy fellow vacationers, such as the David Gareja tour. In locations like Kazbegi and Mestia, I solely encountered a number of different solo vacationers.

Communication in Georgia

The primary language is Georgian, but I found some individuals also converse English (especially in the tourist areas)! In Svaneti, the Svan language is spoken.

Internet / telephone connection in Georgia

I often buy a sim card instantly upon arrival. In Georgia, I used Beeline Telecom. I had respectable 3G virtually all over the place.

Zeta camping in Kazbegi. Colorful Camping at Kuro in Kazbegi. – Backpacking Georgia. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers.

Accommodation in Georgia

With exception of Tbilisi, you gained’t find many ‘typical’ hostels in Georgia. Nevertheless, there are numerous cosy guesthouses and cool camping places. Within the mountains, you possibly can go wild tenting. Here’s a record of the places I stayed.

  • Kutaisi – Hostel Vagabonde. Pretty hostel with friendly employees and a terrace overlooking the river. It’s a superb place to satisfy other vacationers.
  • Mestia – Nino Ratiani Guesthouse. A highly common guesthouse ran by the stunning and hospitable Nino. The kind of traveler differs from younger backpackers to couples and households.
  • Ushguli – Nato Guesthouse. A cute and clear family-run guesthouse, which served scrumptious food and had a scorching bathe
  • Tbilisi – Marco Polo hostel. A fantastic hostel proper in the midst of Tbilisi. Because it small and homely, it’s an awesome place to satisfy different travelers.
  • Kazbegi – Kuro camping and hostel. I camped at Kuro and had a fantastic view of Stephantsminda. It’s a cool place with hammocks and bonfires.

What to eat and drink in Georgia?

  • Khinkali – Georgian dumplings
  • Khachapuri – Cheese-stuffed bread
  • Kubdari – Bread full of meat, spices and onions
  • Svaneti salt – A mixture of salt, garlic, spices and herbs (also nice to take back residence as a memento)
  • Churchkhela – Rubbery walnut snack (good to convey on mountaineering journeys)
  • Georgian wine

Georgian foodGeorgian food is sort of heavy on the stomach, however very scrumptious (particularly in the event you love cheese and wine)! -Backpacking Georgia. Copyright Bunch of Backpackers.

Tbilisi restaurant tips

My good friend Tyler lived in Tbilisi and is aware of it very nicely. These are a few of his restaurant suggestions.

  • Racha: Heavy meals, their ojakhuri is particularly nice. Gets busy, because so many foreigners discovered about it, however otherwise it’s a basic haunt.
  • Taglauri: For wonderful khinkali, they make Tusheti fashion khinkali too.
  • Retro Cafe: For khachapuri. It’s actually good and you’ll be able to order the lethal lethal Titanic khachapuri. It’s large.
  • Gvimra: For one thing a bit of “fancier”. Chef is actually artistic, buddies opened it together. Trendy tackle Georgian food with elements you not often see anyplace else.
  • Amra: Pretty far out of the town middle, however they make nice Abkhazian and Mingrelian food.

The perfect hammock on the earth at Tenting at Kuro in Kazbegi. Will you be enjoyable on this exact same spot soon ;)?

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Backpacking Georgia Caucasus

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