Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Remote Rides

Cycle the Silk Road across 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

Cycle the Silk Road across 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

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

Logistics

Starts

Tbilisi Airport

Catch any flight on Day 1

Ends

Tbilisi Airport

Catch any fight 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. If you are arriving early or staying on, let your host know and they will be able to arrange a transfer for you.

Travel options

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

What about all the carbon?

We mitigate 4x the carbon generated by all our customer flights annually through our partnership with Cool Earth.

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. Other dietary requests can also be accommodated, speak to your host for more details.

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.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

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, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

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

It's no secret that we love cycling and many of us at HQ think it's the best way to see a country, however, we realise that organising your own trip can be a total faff. On our cycling trips, we’ve found a local guide who has put together a perfect route and will navigate for you all the way. We also send a van that transports your overnight luggage and provide high-quality bikes and delicious snacks to keep you going. Faff eliminated!

All you have to do is turn up, pedal and take in the amazing landscape with your fellow tourers. You will cycle at your own pace, with regular stops to regroup so that no-one gets left behind. These trips are not just open to lycra-clad roadies, although those are welcome too!

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 2020 model Specialized Pitch bikes. 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.

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.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

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.

All of our group adventures are especially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded.

"I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I've ever been on!" Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.

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.

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Transferrable Deposits

Cancel up to 31 days before departure and we'll transfer your deposit into credit for a future booking.

Free Date Changes

Free date changes up to 31 days before departure.

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