CYCLING & HIKING IN GEORGIA

 

Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, bordered to the north by the magnificent Caucasus Mountains, gifted with a long and ancient history, and claimed to be the birthplace of wine making, Georgia is one of the most fascinating places we’ve ever visited. Over the centuries it has been invaded by Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Mongols, Persians, Ottomans, Russians and Armenians. Since the peaceful Rose Revolution in 2003 the Republic of Georgia has returned to the world stage as a safe new country to explore. Despite its small size Georgia has Europe’s highest level of biodiversity: there are around 4,300 species of flora - of which 380 are endemic to Georgia - and more species of mammals than any other European country. Georgia is also the route for many migratory bird species. Historically it is equally impressive, dating back centuries, some say to the dawn of time. Its ancient history is evident through its magnificent monasteries, its striking stone-built defence towers, old churches and castles perched on rocky crags which dot the spectacular mountain landscape. Perhaps Georgia’s most celebrated asset is its people; they are warm, spirited, cultured and obsessively hospitable, and you’re bound to return home from this adventure having made plenty of friends.

INTRODUCTION

 

 

“We did not know that Georgia was such a wonderful adventure destination. Eka, you truly made our journey to the country you love worthwhile, we’ll come back.”

Maria Robinson - 2016

 

 
 

GEORGIA IN PICTURES


 

ABOUT OUR GEORGIA TOURS

To help you decide if a Slow Cyclist holiday in Georgia is for you, here is some general information about our trip. It is intended as a guide. For more detailed information download the brochure from our listings page.

GUIDES & SUPPORT

Your host will be a member of The Slow Cyclist team in the UK, who will be accompanied by our fantastic English speaking local guide Eka (read more about Eka on our blog) and her team on the ground. Eka is Tushetian and, along with her Danish husband Olaf, owns a winery in Kakheti. There are very few people who know both Tusheti and Kakheti better then her. She is a highly accomplished rider and mountaineer whose enthusiasm and passion for Georgia is infectious. In 2000, at the age of 15, she won the historic Tushetoba Horse Race, the first woman in Tushetian history to do so. Eka spent a number of years in the U.S., graduating from Trinity Episcopal School in Virginia before studying International Business at the University of Tbilisi. During this trip our bags will be taken ahead each day and on the cycling days a driver will often – but not always – be nearby to offer a lifts if any of the group need one. During the hiking days we will be supported by horses and, if you get tired, you will be able to ride for part of the journey. 


TERRAIN & EQUIPMENT

The terrain on the cycling days of this journey varies from smooth tarmac roads to country paths and trails. Mountain bikes are therefore the best tools for the job. We use excellent mid-range hard-tail mountain bikes and carry spares and parts at all times. The hiking terrain is mountainous so we recommend a good pair of walking boots and, if you have them, walking poles. 


WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

Support vehicle, support horses, Slow Cyclist host, English-speaking expert local guides, accommodation, all meals, all activities and entrance fees, water and snacks throughout, soft & alcoholic drinks at meal times, bicycle & helmet hire. 


WHAT IS EXCLUDED?

Flights, visas (if required), personal travel insurance, local airport taxes (if applicable), tips for local staff & personal costs.


FOOD & DRINK

The Georgian table and its selection of dishes provides a fascinating insight into a unique culture. They use plenty of garlic, walnuts, cumin and coriander to flavour their food. Although meat is central to their cuisine, a meal is normally served with many dishes (a “supra” being a Georgian feast), including vegetables and cheese plates and everyone helps themselves to they what. There is no doubt that, regardless of your dietary preferences, there will be plenty to tantalize your taste buds. If you have an allergy or food preference, please let us know at the time of booking. 


ACCOMMODATION

We aim to use accommodation that enhances your overall experience, rather than simply providing a roof for the night. Sometimes this means staying in a local home or simple hiking lodge and at other times one of Georgia’s best boutique hotels. Rest assured you will always be comfortable and well looked after. Due to the remoteness of our journey the accommodation, particularly in Tusheti National Park, is basic and will have shared facilities. The rooms will be clean but simple. Lodging is based on twin sharing. We can accommodate single rooms when we are staying in Tbilisi and Signagi (fee £250) but we cannot guarantee single rooms every night. 


CLIMATE & WEATHER

The best time to visit Georgia is from June to September when it is warm and sunny. The mountain regions get a lot of snowfall over the winter months, but by June the snow will have melted and the road opened. Average temperatures in the mountains are around 16 degrees. Evenings are cool. In lowlands and the wine region average temperatures are around 22 degrees. Rain is not uncommon any time of the year.