Georgia

Georgia

Curious what backpackers do in Georgia? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

51 travelers at this place:

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  • Day66

    Entering Tbilisi had been quite a challenge for us as the traffic became just crazy with 6 lanes in one direction used by 8 cars, and us on our bikes far-right. But, with great self-confidence, we made our way and enjoyed to pass any jammed car.

    Our first stop was the bicycle monument and we were wondering which sense it makes in Tbilisi because we didn't see any other cyclist and the only other people stopping by were tourists jumping off the sightseeing buses, taking pictures and jumping back on the bus. We also saw lots of new cycle racks nobody uses, but at least there is one bicycle lane in one of the streets. Beka later told us that Saakashvili, a former president of Georgia, is a cycling fan.

    During our time in the city, we realized that almost everybody wants to drive a car, although modern buses and cable cars are going everywhere - the air quality says hello. On the other hand, we found the city to be remarkably clean and groomed, with nice green parks and gardens - despite there is a lot of construction work going on at the moment.

    We stayed at Beka's place for 4 nights. He is a great host, a real sportsman and chances are not too bad that we meet up again in Iran, the destination for his next cycling trip.
    Speaking of Iran, after two visits to the Iranian embassy in Tbilisi, we finally got our visas from the helpful staff! In the meantime we used our days in Tbilisi very well to explore the city by foot, bus and cable car and found it definitely worth to discover the surrounding hills and as the weather was pretty good from there we obtained beautiful views over the city. Back in the valley, the old town distributed a special flair while we were tripping over broken pathways, inhaling the smell of bed eggs near the historical sulphur baths and watching the bustle.

    Cheers from Oguz in Azerbaijan! :-)
    Silke & Hauke
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  • Day123

    Today we walked around in the Abanotubani neighbourhood - real nice! Took the cable car, enjoyed a nice view over whole Tsibili, the mother of Georgia and the castle, checked out the botanical garden and had a nice body rub incl. hammamlike massage in the sulfur bath no. 5 - feeling very clean now 😉

  • Day58

    Our first thought when leaving shimmering Batumi: 'Let the adventure begin!' We encountered cows, pigs and horses in the city and on the roads, black exhaust clouds, overstuffed crammed vans passing by, tobacco, vine and khaki fruits in the trees, kids racing against us with their bike and lots of warm smiles!

    We came to the Dandalo medieval bridge, set up our tent and joined a campfire with two Georgian and two Saudi Arabian guys, enjoying Arabic coffee, Caj, Tamr (dates from Saudi Arabia) and a pile of lamb meat - thanks for the invitation Nasser, hopefully you enjoyed the snow and the mountains!

    Climbing on, we came to Khulo where we were received by an old man on the road, hugging us, talking, screaming, laughing and following us into a café - apparently not even the locals understood what he was saying. But did this crazy man have a presentment?

    After that, a Belgian guy who plans to open a hostel in Khulo told us the road would become worse - and what happened not even 3km further? A big bang from Haukes rear wheel and not only the inner tube but also the tyre bursted. We fixed it and continued, as the road continued to become worse and steeper. Time to set up our tent! We decided to start early the next day to master the last 25km to the pass (1300m in height to go, >5% average climb) to have an extended lunch break in the sun with stunning views from the top. However, the road conditions became a nightmare and it took us more than six hours to get to the top, completely exhausted but super proud!

    Everything in Goderdzi seemed closed down because the hiking season is over and the skiing season would start in December, but luckily, a little hotel was open and we could get any room we wanted. When we entered the restaurant it still felt like the hotel was just open for us but an hour later, Julia, Pierre and Michelle from Russia and France came in and it started to fill up with Georgians drinking and singing their songs - what a great atmosphere on the summit, surrounded by clouds.
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  • Day61

    After a few "what the hell are we doing here?"-moments, we found cycling through this gorgeous landscape to be worth any effort, with all the colors, valleys, creeks and waterfalls, the snow, sun and clouds, the coldness and warmth. We definitely want to come back one day to hike to the more remote Adjarian villages hidden in the mountains.

    It's been easy to find great camp spots next to a river, especially the beautiful Kura river makes you thinking about pitching the tent every few kilometers.

    Back on asphalt after more than 50km on difficult terrain, we came to appreciate smooth roads like never before.

    Another anecdote: Silke needs to speed up buying groceries if she doesn't want Hauke to cycle slalom behind - in Borjomi (which is actually famous for its healthy waters), there was enough time to get invited for three shots of vodka and some sausages, Gagimardschos!
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  • Day63

    Looking forward to our reunion with Tural in Gori, we speeded up and chose to cycle on the motorway for the first time. Moreover, we're not yet in the mood again to go slalom on the bumpy side roads.

    In Gori, which is actually Stalin's birthplace, we met Tural in the lovely Nitsa Guesthouse, had a Georgian feast together and admired the daughter of the house playing the piano. What a great host family! We decided not to visit the Stalin museum as it is said to not review the history in a proper critic reflective way. However, at least the giant Stalin statue has been removed. Or as a French guest commented on the Stalin cult 'What an impression would a Hitler-statue in Germany make?'.

    Next day, the three of us hit the road towards Tbilisi and cycled together until we split up at Mtskheta as Tural wanted to meet another friend and we decided to pay a visit to Mtskheta. Contrary to Gori, we found this city to be in a better shape, but significantly more touristy. However, the cathedral is quite impressing and we could practice our Russian with a nice Georgian granny in our guesthouse.

    In the meantime we've left Tbilisi behind us and are having a lunch break in a roadside family kitchen. The border with Azerbaijan is getting closer. Pictures of Tbilisi will follow...
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  • Day125

    Our hosts friend Giga took us to Sighnaghi today, beautiful and very clean small village. Apparently this is the wine city of Georgia. Well, the best place trip advisor recommended was closed, the 2nd local winery was full of russian tourists and the 3rd place only had two wines, but the "free" tasting also offered cognac and georgian vodka 😉 had a good time anyway!

  • Day130

    Today we took our last tour of the sabbatical - a ride to Kazbegi. After visiting some beautiful monasteries and a water reservoir, we hired a driver to take us up Kazbegi mountain. Well, the drive was certainly adventures, the view was... non-existing due to fog. So we decided: lets go home, the weather sucks 😉 also I really have huge Leberwurst and Lakritz-cravings

  • Day71

    Nana & Vazha made us a truly warm welcome in Lagodekhi with coffee, bread and cheese by their fireplace. They have a beautiful house, surrounded by a garden full of vine stocks, pomegranate and persimmon trees. Each year they pick three tons of grapes, from which Vazha turns one ton into vine for their personal use.

    Pretty quickly during our conversations, we decided to stay a day longer to explore the Lagodekhi National Reserve, Vazha had been working for 28 years as a director, by foot. Our 1-day-hike to the Black Grouse waterfall whetted our appetite for more hiking in this area.

    Nana prepared us super delicious Georgian meals and, not to forget, without Vazha's experience and help, our trip would have ended in Lagodekhi for the moment when the axis of Hauke's front wheel broke during a minor repair - true to the motto "Don't push too hard (Nach fest kommt ab)". According to Murphy's Law, we didn't carry a spare part, so Vazha and Hauke drove around the town to find something they could use - and luckily, in a small hobbyist workshop, they found a suitable shaft - a bit bent and rusty, but better than nothing! And after almost 500km, it still works :)

    Our last two evenings in Georgia were really cosy, sitting together by the fireplace, chatting (two other travelers from Poland arrived in the Guesthouse as well), drinking homemade wine and reading.

    For sure, one day we'll visit this beautiful country again solely because of the people's kindness, the beautiful mountains and the delicious food!
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  • Day56

    A cabin with seaview, three meals a day, sunshine, an endless sea and a freight ship called 'Drujba' (means friendship), what did we want more? Well, there was more: At the port of Burgas we met Tural from Azerbaijan who has been cycling all around the world and whose contact we received from Bojan in Negotin. We shared a cabin, of course, and his stories are just amazing. We experienced the crazy truck drivers acting out a solid drinking culture and participated by investing the rest of our Bulgarian money in beer, longdrinks and Schnaps. Gagimardschos!

    Several cute, playful dolphins were guiding us and the beautiful skyline of Batumi with the majestic Caucasus Mountains behind welcomed us to Georgia.

    Heavy spasms in both legs after almost one week without cycling? Hauke almost had to call a taxi for the 3km from the ship to the hostel, but we made it. After quickly checking in our room, we saw the three of us heading towards the next Georgian restaurant with a thrill of anticipation. To say it with Turals words: "This is the moment I've been waiting for more than two years!" (Although he could have gone directly from Azerbaijan to Georgia instead of round the world.) But since we tried our first Khinkali with him we absolutely understand his feelings about this delicious, delicious Georgian specialty, jammy! Combined with Georgian wine and Chacha, even better.

    Batumi looks really impressing and has obviously done a lot for tourists with a well maintained, palm-lined promenade, casinos, clubs and hotels but we were eager to discover the real Georgia and left the next morning to climb the Caucasus Mountains.

    We said goodbye to Tural who would chose a more straight forward route on his way home and promised to meet in Gori, Tbilisi and in his hometown Baku, for sure. See you there, then!
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  • Day69

    Endless offerings of grapes, grape juice, churchkhela and wine along the road through colorful mountain slopes resolved all doubts that Kakheti is a true wine-growing region. So we ended up camping between vine stocks and enjoyed the silence a day ride away from metropolitan loudness.

    We found out that traveling on the main roads by bike increases the chances to run across people we met before, so did Julia & Pierre stop by when they saw us. As for the climb up to Signaghi we needed more time than expected we didn't make it to meet up again with these lovely guys.

    However, the ascent was absolutely worth it as Signaghi provides stunning views over the surrounding valley and the Great Caucasus. The town itself is very well restored and quite touristy with plenty of guesthouses and restaurants.

    Unsurprisingly, we found ourselves within a group of Russian tourists and tried our best to keep up with drinking homemade wine and dancing the Georgian style to Georgian live music.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Georgia, Georgien, Қырҭтәыла, Georgië, Gyɔgyea, ጂዮርጂያ, Cheorchia, جورجيا, ܓܘܪܓܝܐ, جيورجيا, Xeorxa, Гуржи, Gürcüstan, گورجیستان, Грузия, Georgya, Грузія, जॉर्जिया, Georgian Republic, Jorjiya, Zeyɔrzi, জর্জিয়া, ཇོར་ཇི་ཡ།, Jorjia, Gruzija, Гүрж, Geòrgia, Gáh-lū-gék-ā, Гуьржийчоь, گورجستان, Gürcistan, Gruzie, Grëzóńskô, Гєѡргїꙗ, Грузи, Gurcıstan, Georgiska, ޖޯޖިޔާ, ཇཽ་ཇཱ, Georgia nutome, Γεωργία, Kartvelio, Gruusia, Geólgia, گرجستان, Jeorgii, Géorgie, Jôrg·ie, Georgje, An tSeoirsia, A Chairtbheil, Xeorxia, જ્યોર્જીયા, Yn Çhorshey, Jiwarjiya, Kak-lû-kit-â, Keokia, ג'ורג'יה, Jeoji, Grúzia, Վրաստան, Gruzia, Georgía, グルジア共和国, Géorgia, საქართველო, Jurjya, Хъырцей, Jojia, Гүржістан, ហ្សកហ្ស៉ី, ಜಾರ್ಜಿಯಾ, 그루지아, Гюрджю, Pow Grouzi, Гуржисттан, Гуржистан, Gyogya, Zorzia, Zorzi, ຈໍເຈຍ, Gruzeja, Joriji, Грузие, Zeorzia, Грузий, Hōria, Грузија, ജോർജ്ജിയ, Republik Georgia, Ġorġja, ဂျော်ဂျီယာ, Грузия Мастор, گرجستون, Djiordjiya, Sakartvelo, जोर्जिया, जर्जिया, Jóojah, Gruuzii, Jioorjiyaa, ଜର୍ଜିଆ, Гуырдзыстон, ਜਾਰਜੀਆ, Jorja, Gruzja, جارجیا, Γρουζία, Geórgia, Kartulsuyu, Jeworujiya, Ӂеорӂия, Ґрузія, Geworugiya, जार्जिया, Giorgia, Georgie, Zorzïi, Grozėjė, ජෝර්ජියාව, Gruzínsko, Joorjiya, Gjeorgjia, IJojiya, Gruzyjo, சியார்சியா, జార్జియా, Jeórjia, Гурҷистон, จอร์เจีย, ጆርጂያ, Gruziýa, Heorhiya, Sōsia, Гөрҗистан, گرۇزىيە, Gurjiston, Zorzania, Gruzii, Giê-oóc-gi-a (Georgia), Grusiyän, Jeoorji, 格鲁吉亚, Гүрҗмүдин Орн, საქორთუო, גרוזיע, Orílẹ́ède Gọgia, 格魯吉亞, Georhië, i-Georgia

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