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.
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.
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.
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.
Half an hour north of Tbilisi lies Mtskheta with a modern, ancient old town.
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.
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.
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.
Food & Drinks
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.
The markets offer fresh vegetables and sweet-coated nuts are touted, which hang on a string.