Georgia is a country in Asia and is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination. I was impressed by the friendly people, the beautiful nature and the unique food. I combined the backpacking trip with Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Tbilisi

The capital city Tbilisi is located approximately in the center of Georgia and is the hub. From here, the other cities are connected by public transport. In the evening it’s recommended to take the cable car to the Narikala fortress, to admire the sunset and the city at night.

Stepantsminda

To the north lies the small town of Stepantsminda, which is a good starting point for hiking in the Caucasus. On clear days, Mount Kazbeg can also be seen.
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Hiking in the Caucasus

In the north of Georgia lies the Caucasus. There are many hiking trails to admire breathtaking nature. We rented a tent in Tbilisi and hiked from Juta to Roshka over a pass of more than 3300 m. Since the way was too long for a day, we camped in the middle of the mountains. A heavy thunderstorm hit us, and we spend spontaneously a night with locals. We hitched the way back to the city.

David Gareja

David Gareja is an old monastery complex with caves carved into the rocks a few millennia ago. It’s right on the border with Azerbaijan and you can do a day trip from Tbilisi.

Mtskheta

Half an hour north of Tbilisi lies Mtskheta with a modern, ancient old town.

Markets

 The markets offer fresh vegetables and sweet-coated nuts are touted, which hang on a string.

Georgian food

Georgia offers delicious food. Typical are khinkali, stuffed dumplings that are so big that you have to eat them with your fingers without messing up. In addition, there are many meals with walnut oil and eggplant. In addition, the typical green lemonade or Georgian wine is drunk.

Travel Tips

Planning

  • I have used and can recommend the Lonely Planet Guide for Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
  • On our route we traveled from Azerbaijan to Tbilisi. Then we took a bus north to Stepantsminda and hiked from Juta to Roshka. We continued to Tbilisi and then directly to Armenia. After Armenia, we went back to Tbilisi and made day trips to David Gareja and Mtskheta, before we went back to Germany by plane.

Transport

  • Transport in and around Tbilisi can be planned with Google Maps.
  • Transport between the cities is hardly available on Rome2Rio. We used WikiVoyage and the Lonely Planet.
  • The main means of transport between the cities are minibuses (Marshrutka). These leave when the bus is full, which can take up to an hour. There are also private transports that make photo stops on the way, but are significantly more expensive.
  • Hitchhiking is a free alternative and safe. We used it to get back to Stepantsminda from Roshka.

Accommodation

  • For Tbilisi, it is best to book at HostelWorld.
  • In the hiking regions it’s cheaper to go camping than a guest house.

Hiking

  • The trails are best described on caucasus-trekking.com.
  • We rented the tent online and picked it up in Tbilisi.
  • Unnecessary luggage prior to hiking is best stored at the hostel in Tbilisi. We were at the campsite in Stepantsminda and had to stow our stuff in a tent.
  • It can be better to hike in the off-season. This is colder, but it will rain less.
  • I used OsmAnd‘s offline navigation app and imported the coordinates of WikiLoc.

Do you have questions to plan your trip or suggestions? I'm looking forward to your commentary.

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