Adventures / Remote Rides

Adventure Cycling in Georgia

Cross the Caucasus Mountains to the Black Sea along the ancient Great Silk Road

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Trip Ref #10002

Adventures / Remote Rides

Adventure Cycling in Georgia

Cross the Caucasus Mountains to the Black Sea along the ancient Great Silk Road

DURATION

6 nights

LOCATION

Georgia

ANNUAL LEAVE

5 days off work

SEASON

Jul—Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Tbilisi International Airport, Georgia

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Wild camping · Guesthouse

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

Cycling experience needed, along with good fitness and a serious sense of adventure.

Cycle the ancient trading route that once connected East and West and travel through the famous Goderdzi Pass (2200m)

Wild camp beside the volcanic Lake Paravani and take a celebratory dip in the Black Sea

Visit the ancient cave city labyrinth of Vardzia, carved deep into Erusheti Mountain

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking guides and a bike mechanic

Accommodation

2 nights in a hotel, 4 nights in a local guesthouse and 1 night wild camping

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Equipment

Specialized Pitch bikes and all your camping equipment

Permits

All permits and entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Personal expenses

Travel insurance

Tips for your guides

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Tbilisi Airport

Catch any flight on Day 1

Ends

Tbilisi Airport

Catch any fight that departs after 6pm on Day 7

Transfers

Private transfers between the airport and the hotel are included for any time you choose to arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 7 (must be after 6pm).

If you are arriving before Day 1: you can easily get a taxi from the airport to your hotel for around £10/$13. If departing after Day 7, then your hotel can arrange a transfer for you.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Tbilisi from major airports across the UK and Europe.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Wild camping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 6

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

You’ll experience a delicious mix of local and national Georgian cuisine, cooked with fresh produce that's often grown or reared by the guesthouse owners themselves. Georgian cuisine is renowned for its mix of eastern and western flavours, aromas and colours. It can be slightly spicy and consists mainly of meat, vegetables, cheese and fruit. There are plenty of traditional dishes without meat, so vegetarians are well catered for. Lunches will be picnic-style in the wilderness.

Local, energy-giving cycling snacks will be provided, but if you would like specific things then it's best to bring them from home.

Vegetarians and vegans can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Tbilisi

You'll stay in a twin-share room at the GTM Kapan Hotel in the historical centre of town - the perfect base for exploring the city.

On the road

You'll stay in small, locally owned guesthouses in twin-share rooms. These are clean and comfortable with shared facilities and are usually family run, so come with their own cuisine and stories.

Wild camping

You’ll spend the night in twin-share tents in remote spots. Although this is wild camping, your host will set up a dining tent and a toilet tent to make it more comfortable.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and single tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request at the time of booking (it is subject to availability).

Day 1

Welcome to Georgia

Check into your hotel in Tblisi's historic old town. If you have time, it's well worth exploring as the capital is packed full of UNESCO sites. Meet your guide and fellow adventurers and after a briefing about the journey ahead sit down for your first traditional Georgian meal at a local restaurant.

Day 2

Lake Paravani

Cycling

50km · 1150m up · 550m down

Set off early for Manglisi and after getting your bike set up, overload on dramatic, wild scenery as you cycle to the spectacular Dashbashi Canyon. Ride the long open track that leads to the treeless Javakhti Plateau, known locally as the Georgian Siberia. Take a dip in the volcanic Lake Paravani and set up camp in a remote corner. Catch the sunset over the water and then join your host for a feast of freshly caught fish.

Day 3

The Labyrinth of Vardzia

Cycling

65km · 400m up · 1100m down

Pass the beautiful Lake Saghamo on your way to Vardzia: a city carved into the mountain. Seeming like something straight out of the Lord of the Rings, this ancient cave-palace-monastery was built for the fabled Queen Tamar and is still protected by a small group of monks. Explore some of the two hundred cave dwellings and learn about its fascinating history of earthquakes and invasions before another delicious dinner.

Day 4

The Rabati Fortress

Cycling

65km · 870m up · 900m down

Cycle from village to village, keeping your eyes peeled for the legendary Caucasian sheepdogs and their semi-nomadic owners. Wander the impressive 9th-century Fortress of Rabati. For castle geeks, this really is something, having been liberated many times over the centuries and now housing a mosque, an Orthodox church, a synagogue, a Catholic church and a citadel. Phew!

Day 5

The Goderdzi Pass (2043m)

Cycling

70km · 1300m up · 1800m down

Time for the big day. Climb your way through lush green forest and into the Adjara Mountains. Stop for a picnic lunch with 360-degree views and then enjoy 30km of downhill riding to your overnight spot. Georgians take their drinking seriously and this usually means ‘chacha’ - a potent homebrew grape brandy. Tonight you can visit the very, very small micro-distillery of your guesthouse owner for a few drinks and even join the locals keeping watch over the filtration process 24 hours a day. Or join the sensible and go to bed!

Day 6

The Black Sea

Cycling

60km · 480m up · 1530m down

Leave the mountains behind and pass through the Adjarian countryside to the coastal flatlands and on to the Black Sea. Finish your journey at one of the quiet beaches, where you can grab a swim before enjoying a night in sub tropical Batumi - Georgia's famous summer resort.

Day 7

Back to Tbilisi

Load up the bikes and road trip back to Tbilisi, stopping for lunch along the way, before heading to the airport in time for your flight home.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

Clothes

  • Padded cycling shorts
  • Sports top or cycling jersey
  • Fleece jacket or similar for the evenings
  • Trousers/leggings for the evenings
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Cycling gloves
  • Buff or neck scarf
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear & socks
  • Sunglasses Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Cycling shoes (bring your own pedals if using cleats)
  • Sandals

Other

  • Swimwear
  • Bumbag or small light rucksack for riding
  • Padlock for left luggage
  • Universal travel adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (including blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Energy bars and snacks

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Additional Night in Tblisi - Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Tblisi - Single Room

Per Night

Additional Night in Tblisi - Twin / Double Room Room

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night in Tblisi - Twin / Double Room Room

Per Night

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 288kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trip is designed for cyclists of average fitness, so no experience is needed, just a sense of adventure. You should feel comfortable riding back-to-back days covering an average of 65km a day. The terrain is undulating and the roads are quiet and you will often ride on tracks that enable you to experience village life.

The Goderdzi Pass (2034m) is the most challenging section of the trip and although it's a quiet road, there is a lot of climbing (1300m ascent)! However, there is always the option to hop in the vehicle support if needed.

You will be riding on approx 60% gravel roads and farm tracks and 40% tarmac road.

You will be using Trek 8.3 DS 2015 front suspension bike with hybrid tyres. These are light hardtail aluminium mountain bikes - perfect for riding on road and rough tracks. The bikes are equipped with a water bottle cage and standard flat pedals. If you would like to bring your own SPD pedals and saddle, these can be fitted for you.

Bikes are available in the following sizes:

  • Small (for people 155cm - 165cm tall)
  • Medium (for people 165cm - 175cm tall)
  • Large (for people 175cm - 183cm tall)
  • Extra Large (for people 183cm - 193cm tall)
  • Extra Extra Large (for people 193cm - 203cm tall)

If you are outside of these ranges our local host suggests you bring your own bike and the cost of bike hire can be deducted from your trip after booking.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Your host will provide you with clean safe drinking water from large containers. Bring a refillable bottle, it will be used well.

The average temperature during summer in Georgia ranges from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius in the lower valleys. Up on the plateaus and in the mountains it will be colder (down to 5 degrees at night) so you will need to pack accordingly. Rain at this time is rare although it could be windy.

As you will traverse the entire country, you will pass through several climatic regions, so be prepared for all seasons. By the time you reach the Black Sea, it will be hot and humid due to its year-round, moderate climate.

Extra luggage can be stored at the hotel in Tbilisi and collected at the end of the trip. There will also be a support vehicle on-hand to transfer your overnight luggage and meet you at stops if you need to grab an extra layer. The van also carries tools and spare bike parts that may be needed.

We would suggest bringing a small bag that can be attached to yourself or your handlebars for essentials like money, phone, suncream and a snack.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Tips are not included in the trip cost and are entirely at your discretion, however, there is usually a quick whip around at the end of the trip and most choose to leave approx. 200 GEL (£60) for the driver and the guide.

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

For current advice about travelling in Georgia, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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