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  • Writer's pictureemanuelegallone

Georgia, incredible mountain landscapes !

Here few pictures and impressions we want to share about of our recent trip to Georgia.

In April 2022, just few weeks after the Russia/Ukraine war started, we set off to Georgia (on the another border to Russia) for a 2 weeks overlanding trip,

Against many of our friends fears and misbelieves we landed into a land where there is no sign or worry about Georgia being another Russian war-front.

We only found a country full of lively and pleasant people, busy with their relentless daily life.

Our trip started in Tbilisi, the capital. When we arrived it was freezing cold, often below zero degC and windy. Still with a good sun and clear skies.

Tbilisi is a lovely city, full of life and things to do. Not just architecturally interesting but also with lots of nature landscapes and fun activities.

Right after Tbilisi, we decide to drive to Gudauri and have 3-4 days of ski. In the past days was snowing quite a lot (expected 2.5m of snow there) and the weather forecast was very favorable.

We heard roads there might be broken here and there, probably with snow and congested so we decided to rent a 4x4 car and drive with it.

Must be said that the quality of cars in Georgia is quite high. Often you find very expensive cars and in general most are new. You cannot miss though to see some really old vehicles still hitting the roads today, even memories from the ex Soviet Union.

On the way to Gudauri, we stop at a couple of interesting places, good for a quick visit:

1) Mtskheta town and his archeological wonders

2) a very picturesque monastery/castle (Ananuri Fortress), overlooking a massive river/lake.

With these stops and lunch breaks we made it to Gudauri in not much more then 3h. Thanks also to the fact that the heavy transports to Russia (trucks) were stopped on the side of the road for too much snow on the pass! Otherwise I can't imagine this tiny broken road to be full of all those trucks! Might have taken 5 hours...

Gudauri is a ski village. Build very recently just for snow enthusiasts. Nothing else to do there other than ski, paraglide, hike. And that's what we were looking for.

After Gudauri we set off again heading west to Kutaisi and stopped on the way to Uplistsikhe, and see the caves of one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia, dating 2,000 to 1,000 years BC.

Impressive rock village, carved into sandstone that somehow resembles Petra in Jordan. Immerse into a stunning landscape of mountains, overlooking a valley and its river.

From this impressive village we continue our journey to Kutaisi, which is the old capital of Georgia. A village deep into the mountains and its natural wonders. From here we hiked into canyons, caves, rivers.

After a couple of days in Kutaisi, we set off again back towards Tbilisi, eastwards, restless to visit more places, heading to Borjomi, a mountain village, famous for his natural sulphur water springing out everywhere and the magical forests around it.

In Borjomi we quickly visit the town, which is a very small characteristic village, with its heydays probably in the 80-90s.

However, the main attraction we though is the nature around the village. beautiful forests of pines, rivers and great views. and the best to see it was in a horse riding trek and so we did!

What then? Weather forecast was not promising anymore in the east of Georgia, so time to cross the country further east and head towards the last (but not least) destination of our journey, which is Kakheti, the wine region.

This was probably the longest stretch we travelled in Georgia, almost crossing the country in less then 4 hours.

Arrived in Kakheti region, we made our stop into Sighnaghi, a hilltop village, one of the most picturesque we have visited into this journey, with the backdrop of the Caucasus mountains.

This village, which has quite a few intact churches and fortification walls, is the capital of the Kakheti region, which economy is based on wine production, manufactured with the traditional unique Georgian method, which is seasoning the wine into clay pots underground (instead of oak barrels like in Europe).

This village has really impressive landscapes always in views of the mountains and also here we decided to conclude our trip with another horse ride tour of the area!

And this was it for our first Georgia 10 days exploration tour. Driven about 1000km across the country.

We focused our trip on the main natural and historical wonders, easy to access, and left behind us many natural places and beauties that we would for sure one day come back and visit more equipped for overlanding!

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