Exploring new countries by bike is always a good idea. You are closely connected to your surroundings, engage more easily with other people and feel nature more intensely, yet you can cover more ground than by foot in less time.

For us, Georgia was the perfect getaway for a two-weeks bikepacking adventure. So before I dive into more details about this journey, I want to share some background information about Georgia and talk about my preparations for this trip. 

I hope this article gives you a good overview of what to expect and how to get started for an adventure by bike in Georgia -- or at least inspire you to go to new places and step outside of your common surroundings. Enjoy :) 

  • Zagari pass
  • Making coffee in a bus stop
  • Andrea checking the route near Paravani lake
  • Horses in a bus stop
  • Cows on the road
  • Mzia and Andrea
  • Filling up water & food for the next climb
  • Highlands
  • Zagari pass


A little about Georgia

"When God distributed the lands and all the peoples came together for this, the Georgians were just having another feast. They drank and sang and forgot their appointment with God. But he was so moved by their merriment and their joy of life that he gave them the territory he had actually reserved for himself. And so the Georgian people came to have their land, which they called Sakartvelo - the land of the Kartvelians."
Founding myth of Georgia, via Deutschlandfunk

Ushguli, Georgia


Georgians are passionate storytellers - and this founding myth is their favorite story. This is how they like to see themselves - and they have many reasons on their side: their singing, their wine, their cooking, their joy of life and the beauty of their nature (source and translation: Deutschlandfunk). 

Georgia is located in the Caucasus Mountain Range between the Black Sea in the West, Turkey and Armenia in the South, Russia in the North and Azerbaijan in the West. Its capital is Tbilisi and its currency is Georgian Lari (GEL). The size of Georgia is just about the size of Bavaria (just about 70.000 square km). After over 200 years under Russia, Georgia claimed its independence in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union. While Georgia might not be very famous amongst tourists from Central Europe (yet), for Russians it has been. During the Soviet Era, the USSR built 186 sanatoriums across the state created for comrades who needed rest and relaxation. These sanatoriums were abandoned with the fall of the Soviet Union. Click here to read more about it. One thing is for sure: Georgia is still a paradise-like place for tourists and adventure seekers.

Flights & organization beforehand

There are some direct flights to Georgia from Germany. For us, Memmingen to Kutaisi was the best option. One return flight was around 175 € + 90 € for bike transportation. The parking lot in Memmingen for the car was about 100 € for two weeks. We packed the bikes and our equipment in carton boxes and only took our hand luggage on board with us. Check-in and boarding was uncomplicated and quick. Bikes were transported safely.

Before the trip we only knew from other people's blogs and Strava activities about Georgia for cycling. Andrea, my travel partner, had been in Georgia for a skiing holiday 7 years ago. We did not book any accommodation or tour in advance. We decided on every overnight stay just on the go. A good source of information for Georgia for us was It helped us to plan and gain a rough idea about what to expect for our trip.

Georgia by bike

Traveling through Georgia I noticed quickly that Georgia is the land where milk, honey, and water flow. Cows run freely, one can find fresh honey in all corners of the country, drinking water is free and accessible everywhere, and also all kinds of fruits & vegetables grow here during summer. Even if Georgia is just the size of Bavaria, its forests, mountains, lakes and coasts offer ever-changing landscapes.

The Caucasus Mountains lay at the intersection of Asia and Europe with 8 peaks over 5.000 meters including the highest peak in Europe (Mt. Elbrus in Russia). Georgia is not only a great destination for hiking and skiing tourists, but its adventurous roads and demanding mountain passes are appealing to cycling tourists, too. The Greater and Lower Caucasus offer rolling green hills, highlands, hike-a-bike-sections, rocky climbs and descents, mountain lakes, waterfalls, gravel passes and beautiful views all along.

People in Georgia have been incredibly helpful and interested. They have invited us to their homes, helped me to repair my bike selflessly, gave us great self-made food, water, coffee. Georgia is considered a very safe place for travelers and I from my experience, this is absolutely true. Even if we were facing a language barrier often, we felt welcomed and 99% of the time comfortable around locals. Only a few times we felt a bit overwhelmed by the attention of men who invited us to drink beer during the day. The question about our families and our relationship status was raised regularly.

Buying bread for lunch near Mestia


My packlist was rather short because temperatures during summer get very hot and not much extra clothing is needed. The combination of comfortable & fast drying cycling apparel, a set of light weight shirts and shorts, rain pants & jacket and a warm jacket was ideal. 

The list contains sponsored products as well as affiliate links marked with (*) which support me in case of purchases but do not cause extra costs for you. 



- 2x signature bib short 
- 2x signature jersey short sleeve
- 1x baselayer
- 2x sport bra
- 3x socks
- 3x underpants
- 1x long tights
- 1x short tights
- 1x ignition short sleeve T
- 1x ignition long sleeve T

(all cycling apparel by RYZON - check it out here* and save 10 % with Wiebke_Summer_10)

- brooks running shoes
- puffy jacket
- phantom light shell jacket
- buff
- rain jacket
- rain pants


ORTLIEB seat pack 16,5l*
ORTLIEB handlebar pack 9l*
ORTLIEB accessory pack 3,5l*

camping gear:

- MSR hubba hubba tent
- mattress Thermarest neo x air lite*
- stove Jet boil*
- forclaz decathlon sleeping bag 10 degrees*
- aeropress

- ID card
- passport
- cash (€ and GEL)
- visa card


- Wilier Triestina USMA slr
- tires by Racing Ray & Racing Ralph (Schwalbe tires, tube type)
- Sram eagle force (rear 10-52 T / front 32 T)
- FIDLOCK magnetic twist bottles
- Hiplok Z lok


- phone iPhone 11 Pro
- camera Fujifilm XT-1
- GoPro Hero 10 (lost)
- Anker powerbank
- wahoo ROAM bike computer
- Suunto vertical watch
- charging cables


- sunscreen
- tooth paste
- tooth brush & case
- comb
- nail clipper
- tweezers  

- first aid kit


- pump
- multitool
- tire lever
- 2 tubes
- lighter

helmet and eyewear:
* & UVEX sportstyle 236 glasses*

Preparations & route planning

The inspiration for our Georgia adventure came from Cass Gilbert's route called Caucasus Crossing sparked our interest and was a big help for our route planning. We changed the route on the go. We only did the first big hike-a-bike section on day four of our trip and skipped the rest due to a lack of time. Time is very important when you want to go on long hikes or very rough tracks. Two weeks is definitely not long enough to do the whole Georgia's Caucasus Crossing by bike.

The route

Here you can find the complete route on Komoot. We spent the first week in the Greater Caucasus and the second week in the Lower Caucasus. In between the two mountain ranges lays a valley as well as the main road of the country who cuts through here. It is recommended to avoid the main road. Georgian drivers go very fast, the conditions of the roads and the high traffic are not welcoming for cycling. That is why we decided to hitchhike for 180 km between Zestaponi and Tbilisi.


Week 1 // Greater Caucasus // the beginning


After a late-night arrival at Kutaisi International Airport, we quickly organized a hotel for the night, withdrew Georgian cash from the ATM, swapped our SIM cards, and arranged for a taxi. Opting for a spacious cab, we headed to Samtredia, a town near the airport, where a welcoming guest house opened its doors for us at 2:30 am. Resting until 8 in the morning, we were greeted with a Georgian breakfast prepared by the friendly lady of the hotel (price 5€). After unpacking our bikes, we set off on our adventure around 11 am, leaving our bike cartons safely stored at the hotel for our return flight in two weeks.

The hot climate, unfamiliar surroundings, and lack of sleep lent an air of excitement and exhaustion to our first day. Yet, the verdant landscapes, majestic mountains looming on the horizon, and the endless blue skies lifted our spirits and invigorated our minds. Following a muddy trail through a dense forest, we decided to wash our bikes in a nearby river and indulge in a refreshing bath. However, unluckily I discovered both of my aerothan tire valves had broken, possibly due to the water's force. We spent an hour or two attempting to fix the tires and then pressed forward until we ran out of water.

Seeking help from some friendly locals to refill our bottles, we were warmly invited in for coffee. Thanks to Google Translate, we could also engage in some small talk. They generously treated us to a full table of food including sweets, cherries, bread, peaches, Khinkali (Georgian dumplings), coffee, and Coca-Cola. As our newfound friends proudly showed us their modest property and we decided to spend the night in their company. After a refreshing bucket shower, we were given the guest room with a generously-sized bed. Overwhelmed with gratitude and exhaustion, we quickly drifted off to sleep. Mzia, the young woman of the house, was already at work milking the cows when we got up early ion the morning. Her boundless hospitality and warmth would remain with us throughout the following two weeks of traveling through Georgia.


Mzia and Andrea, on the evening we arrived at their door to ask for water and were welcomed inside like we belong to their family.



Family near Enguri dam, sharing their dinner with us, toasting with honey water.


The lovely family, including Mzia, her husband and her mother in law, had already prepared a big breakfast table for us. They made us coffee, we had bread with homemade cheese and homemade yogurt. We continued our journey later that morning, taking selfies before leaving, becoming friends on Facebook to stay in touch. We left some Lari (about 15€) on the bed, feeling that this is the least we can contribute. We continued towards Zugdidi, a big Georgian city with a nice market and rather no other tourists. From Zugdidi roads got steeper towards Mestia, the Mecca for all kinds of tourists in Georgia. 

Our tent next to the house and the bee hives.


After about 100 km on the bike on the second day we started to look for shelter or a suitable camp spot. We climbed up to the Enguri dam when we saw three people next to the street near a little house and with some bee hives. I briefly spoke to the woman and asked if we could camp next to their place when we arrived at their place. We were allowed to pitch our tent next to their little hut where the young family spends the summer to produce and sell honey. We once again experienced great hospitality and kindness. Even though we could barely communicate due to little internet coverage and only few common English words, the evening and morning with the locals was unforgettable, friendly and warm. We drank honey water for dinner and ate honey on toast for breakfast.

Ushguli, Svanetia, Georgia


The next morning we continued towards the mountains. Svanetia, the state in the north of the country, is a place for all kinds of mountaineering sports. During winter it's a paradise for skiing, in summer for hiking. Many high, significant mountain peaks can be found in this area. Stunning, spectacular and somewhat intimidating to me. While Mestia is a small town with souvenir shops, hotels and tourist offices, Ushguli is a village with spectacular towers and a mountain panorama. I highly recommend to spend some time in this area, go for a hike on a sunny day and soak in this breathtaking scenery.

Week 2 // Lower Caucasus // the second half


After arriving in Tbilisi by car (hitchhiking from Zestaponi to the capital), we decided to not spend a rest day in the city but continue towards the Lower Caucasus instead. The highlands in the south of the country are rather little populated and fewer tourists come through here. Nevertheless, we were surprised to meet a few more fellow cycletourists here as it is the direct connection between Batoumi (Black Sea) and Tbilisi. We wildcampend, stayed in guest houses and hotels and collected vertical and horizontal kilometers. After Paravani Lake we decided to go over Zekari Pass (2.300 meters high) to then descend back down to our start and end point Samtredia near the airport.


The gravel roads through the highlands and the Zakari Pass were our highlights of the second week. We found breathtaking scenery, met Georgian cowboys and saw endlessly green fields. Only the shepherd's dogs whom we encountered on the grassy fields where the cattle and sheep roamed frightened us. We had been warned by other travelers that these dogs could be quite loud and aggressive. By coming to a stop and cautiously pushing our bikes forward, we managed to leave them behind and continue on our way.

The climb up the pass was nothing short of beautiful. Little did we know that the best part about it was yet to come. The encounter with two locals who live with their cattle up on the mountain during summer made it this pass an unforgettable experience for us. It was just before sunset, temperatures had already dropped below 10 degrees C. I started to become a bit worried as winds were picking up and we had not found any suitable camping spot yet. Just 200 meters below the peak of the pass, we spotted a few houses. The woman of the houses saw us standing a few hundred meters away and called out cheerfully "come!". I pushed my bike down onto her property, said hello and she smiled at me friendly. The woman invited us to sleep in one of the cabins that was completely empty. After we had put up our tent in the little house, we were treated to a wonderful homemade dinner, sharing laughter and stories over a friendly vodka shot with our newfound hosts. We even swapped pictures of our families, bridging the gap between strangers and friends. The next morning we were shown how to make cheese and Khachapuri, being allowed to taste and help during the process. It was a truly touching experience, we were overwhelmed by the kindness and openness our new friends.

Descending from 2.300 meters above sea level to to almost zero was very long and hot. We were incredibly happy once we reached the flat lands, rolling towards the end of our trip. Overall, everything had gone smoothly even though it was challenging and we had little rest. Lovely encounters with locals, going from one place to the next everyday, the intense climate, climbs and terrain were what this adventure was made of. Georgia has really surprised me with everything it had to offer for just a short trip that felt like

Costs & accommodation

On this trip, we did not book any guest houses in advance. Finding a spot for the night was relatively easy and the infrastructure of hotels and restaurants is good. A night in a guest house including breakfast (and sometimes also dinner) was between 10 - 20 € per person for a shared room. A full meal is usually between 5 - 8 € per person. In touristy areas prices go up a little. Overall, we spent about 800 € per person for two weeks in Georgia including food, accommodation and transportation (excluding costs of gear and bikes).


Learnings & summary


Take your time. Georgia's unique blend of ancient history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality are worth slowing down and diving deeper into. Enjoying time in between days of cycling is important to process all of what is happening on a day. While we were cycling every day, I would have like to change my bike for hiking shoes and spend some slower days in the high mountains, too. I really enjoyed trying different dishes and staying with locals - this is what made my experiences there so special and truly unforgettable.

Georgia is definitely a dream destination for adventure cyclists, who like to collect lots of vertical meters. Food is rich, people are lovely and roads can be challenging. For me, this country has shown me how tough and beautiful bikepacking can be at the same time and heightened my desire to travel more and explore its neighbor countries like Armenia, Turkey and Azerbaijan as well as the rest of Georgia that I have missed on this trip.