- The three most popular hiking trails
- Around Borjomi
- Multi-day routes
- Short routes through national parks
- On a note
Georgia is a beautiful country with amazingly diverse nature. In addition to the magnificent Caucasian mountains with fortresses, watchtowers and monasteries, there are almost deserted steppe places, mud volcanoes, mineral springs and relict yew and juniper forests. People come here not only for a beach holiday or wine tours in the vineyards - Georgia has everything to walk along it.
The three most popular hiking trails
There are about twenty national parks and several large reserves in Georgia, the nature here is ecologically clean and untouched so much that it is really possible to meet wild animals on travels, and of course - many rare birds and plants. Hiking tourism is developing in the country, new routes are being laid, the most popular ones are being developed.
- Uplistsikhe is a unique rock town, so big that walking around it is a full day trip. These rooms, carved into the rocks, are about three thousand years old. More than 150 caves have been preserved here, which were used in different ways, arches, remains of carvings, roads, warehouses. There is even a secret tunnel that led from the fortress to the river. The length of the route is any.
- To the Sameba temple from Stepantsminda (Kazbegi) - probably this is the most popular route, which in fact is a pilgrimage - you need to climb to the top of the mountain, where at an altitude of 2170 m there is a beautiful temple of St. Trinity of the XIV century. He is one of the visiting cards of Georgia. In principle, you can get there on a bad road by car, but real pilgrims go on foot. The length of the route is 5 km one way.
- Route from Mtskheta to Jvari. Mtskheta is the ancient capital of Georgia, where the main shrine of the country is located - the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. And on a high mountain across the river is the Jvari monastery. Usually both of these places are included in sightseeing tours, both offer incredible views. You can just walk from one to the other - climb to Jvari from Mtskheta (it can be difficult) or go down to the city from the monastery. The length of the route is about 10 km.
Borjomi is the most famous mineral resort in Georgia, there are healing springs and thermal pools. It is located in a picturesque mountainous area, which is considered a national park and along which several ecological routes have been laid - from very short to many days. In summer, these forests are full of mushroom spots, wild roe deer, goats, wild boars, and sometimes even bears.
- The health trail is the shortest trail in Borjomi, which leads along a rather steep mountain slope to the observation deck above the city. It offers stunning views of the resort lying in the valley and the forested mountains. The length of the route is 3 km.
- The Panoramic Trail is a two-day route for those who like to see the surroundings from a bird's eye view. It leads along the top of the ridge and is equipped with observation platforms. You can spend the night in an equipped shelter on one of the passes - there is a place for a fire. The length of the route is 34 km.
- The trail of St. Andrew the First-Called - the route passes along the mountain range through the peaks of Samarskvareo and Rkinis. According to legend, the apostle Andrew the First-Called once hoisted a cross on the latter when he came to preach in these places. This is a multi-day full-fledged route: two days of ascent and two days of descent through the gorge. In places, the rise is quite steep, and you will also need to cross the river several times using suspension bridges. The length of the route is 54 km.
Svaneti is the most beautiful mountainous region of Georgia. A multi-day route along low peaks and passes starts from Zugdidi or Mestia and leads to the Shdugra waterfalls, mountain lake Koruldi, through the Chkhutnieri and Latpari passes and ends in Batumi. On the way, you can admire the mesmerizing views of Elbrus, the famous Svan towers, waterfalls, bizarre rocks, and beautiful views of the foothills. The length of the route is 85 km.
Along the Juta Valley - the route starts from the village of Juta and leads along a shepherd's path through the valley of the Kvenamtistskali River, first wide, then closing into a narrow canyon, and then ascending to alpine meadows. This is followed by an ascent to the double pass Chaukhi, and descent from it. Rockfalls are possible here even in summer, so it's best to take a helmet on this trip. After the descent, I will meet a small mountain lake, and then the route descends back to the same village. Approximately this route takes 2-3 days. The length of the route is 48 km.
Along Kazbegi - the route starts near the Trinity Church in Gergeti (you can also walk there or get there by car) and runs along the valley of the Kistinka River up into the mountains. Around there will be stunning views with waterfalls and rocks, lakes left by retreating glaciers and the glaciers themselves, the valley of the Juta and Chaukhi rivers, with protruding crystals of rock crystal. In these places one can meet "ghosts" - projections of shadows on fogs rising from the valleys into the mountains. The path lies through three mountain lakes of Abudelauri: Green, Blue and Gray. They are passed by a road accessible for cars, so that the route ends with them. The length of the route is 73 km.
Short routes through national parks
Mtirala National Park - here the eco-trail starts from the gorge of the Chakvistskali River along the mountain serpentine to the top of Mount Mtirala. Chestnuts and box trees grow here, along the way there are mineral springs, you can relax in a real Colchis village and inspect an old mountain apiary there. Almost at the very top of the mountain, there will be a small waterfall flowing into the bowl of the mountain lake - here you can swim. The length of the route is 7 km.
The trail to the Machi fortress in the Lagodekhi National Park. A fortress in a national park on the very border with Azerbaijan. The road to it leads through the village of Mitsini, the forest and the Bnelis-Kheoba ravine. The fortress is completely overgrown with forest and is a picturesque ruin entwined with ivy. Historians date the fortress to the 8th century, although the surviving walls are most likely built much later. The length of the route is 7.5 km.
The pearl of the Vashlovani National Park is the valley of the Takhti-Tefa mud volcanoes. The road to them begins from the village of Detoplis-Tskaro - this is a dirt road in the middle of an almost steppe (and in some places desert) landscape, unique for the Caucasus. You can drive along it by car or bicycle, or you can go on foot - then the path will take a couple of days. On the way, you will meet Lake Iori, and the volcanoes themselves are divided into two groups and are located almost at the very border with Azerbaijan. The length of the route along the valleys themselves is 3-4 km, on foot from the village of Detoplis-Tskaro - about 50 km.
On a note
Whenever traveling in the Caucasus, remember that it is hot and dry here. There are water sources almost everywhere, but you also need to have water and sunscreens with you.
Good footwear when traveling in the Georgian mountains is also very desirable: there may be steep climbs, crumbling stones, wet boulders in waterfalls. There are very few mosquitoes in the Caucasus, and there are few ticks, but nevertheless they happen in the forests, so repellents will not be superfluous.
Georgia is a small country, some of the beautiful routes can run through border areas, so it is better to have a passport with you.