/ Where and how to hike in Georgia (Country)?
A friend and I are looking to go to Georgia (country) - CaucasusMountains -this year for our hiking trip. However, we are struggling to find information on how to do this. We would like to know if anyone has recommendations?
From what we can see online we have the standard options of a 'tour' - which is rediculously expensive - self-guided or day hikes, but past this we cannot find much out such as where is best etc.
We have previously completed the Tour du Mont Blanc and a trek in the Tatras and both of these were self-guided so are happy to do this again. We are interested in a variety of routes or locations. I personally am a ametuer photographer if that makes any difference.
If we were to do a self-guided or day hikes where would be best to start and or base ourselves from? Online we found somewhere called Mestia but little else and little information on routes.
Thank you in advance!
FYI we are not climbers.
For clarity, Georgia USA or Georgia the country?
Ahhh good spot, I mean the country - I have edited the post accordingly!
I forgot about the state.
Have a look at www.nationalparks.ge Several national parks with walking routes.
( it will also give you the names of the parks, so it will be easier to Google for information)
Hi, I spent the last few months hiking 3000km all over the Caucasus, in Armenia, Georgia & Russia so far (some pictures here: https://www.spektakl.co.uk/tag/caucasus/). Jozef's site is the best for routes in Georgia: https://www.caucasus-trekking.com/
Join the Trekking in Caucasus FB group too.
Mestia is a great base for day treks, probably among the most touristed places in Georgia though. The TCT so far is only routed in Svaneti. It's worth a visit to see some of the great Caucasian peaks even if you don't climb (Ushba, Tetnuldi, Shkhara). Stepantsminda is convenient from Tbilisi and Kazbek is a great sight, good treks but also very busy in summer. I recommended in another thread to visit Armenia if you have time, the hiking is quite a unique experience there. If you want to stay in Georgia, Racha is near Svaneti but a little more remote. Tusheti and Khevsureti are also amazing places, but even more remote (one road in that is closed during the winter). Further south you have nice day hike options around Borjomi National Park. Depends what time of year you are going really. Drop me a message me if you would like any routes or KMLs.
Another endorsement for http://caucasus-trekking.com and FB group from me, Josef is a great guy and his website is among the most comprehensive resources on Georgian hikes and trails in English on the web, quite possibly the best one, if you can't read Georgian
Mind when you go though, May and June might be the most rainy months, with some hikes still inaccessible due to snow in the passes or roads (the Abano pass road opens late May or even later, depending on conditions and local workers) and the summer season gets the most crowds, especially in the more touristy areas like Mestia.
You might not want to go to Mestia as your first destination there though, or at least not to take the "classic" Mestia - Ushguli trail. The main trail gets a little bit too crowded to my liking during the high season with all the associated tourist "crap" (well, at least for Georgia, much less crowded than anything in the Tatras I guess!), unless you go via the lesser known variants mentioned on the web. Mestia/Ushguli is nice, but somewhat touristy and overpriced in the high season (I guess they have to be, though, like any seasonal town with an influx of foreigners for two months a year and then nothing!).
All in all, a great place to visit, like most of the Caucasus. Everything from high mountains to volcanic areas, semi-arid deserts to moderate rainforests in one small country. Just don't be startled if a local stray dog decides to accompany you for a week long hike (and know how to behave around the occasional shepherds' dogs guarding the flocks in more remote places)
Self-guided is no problem, just do your research on the mentioned websites and FB groups (some trails depend on glacier-fed river crossings and the few bridges might get torn down by spring floods - some are fordable without much difficulty for an experienced hillwalker, but some might be more formidable).
I'd also dedicate a day to tasting the local cuisine and wine. The Kvevri made amber wines are really something, and as for eating Khinkali and Khachapuri, you must :D
This Alpine Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are...
Base Jumper Tom Erik Heimen and trail runner Kilian Jornet "race" up & down the iconic Romsdalshorn (1550m) in Norway.