Georgia Trekking - The best off-the-beaten path hikes in Georgia - Hiking in Georgia

Georgia Trekking – 7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Trails for Hiking in Georgia (country)

 

Hiking in Georgia (the country in Europe) is an unforgettable experience! This tiny country in the Caucasus is a great trekking destination for outdoor lovers. There are many hiking trails in Georgia and in this Georgia Trekking Guide, we’ve selected the 7 best and most beautiful off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia for you!

 

Hiking in Georgia (the country in Europe) is an unforgettable experience! This tiny country in the Caucasus is a great trekking destination for outdoor lovers. There are many hiking trails in Georgia and in this Georgia Trekking Guide, we've selected the 7 best and most beautiful off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia for you!

 

” Anyone who had a chance like me to roam through these desolate mountains and studied at length their fantastic shapes and drank the invigorating air of their valleys can understand why I wish to describe and depict these magic scenes for others.”
 Mikhail Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time

 

Georgia, also known as the “Gem of the Caucasus”,  covers 14 different mountain ranges.  You can hike along many routes that will take you through breath-taking landscapes and traditional villages.

There is still little information online about trekking in Georgia.

 

We are glad that Jozef from Caucasus Trekking and Davit Berishvili from Georgian Tour, both seasoned hikers with a love for trekking in Georgia, composed us a list with their favorite off-the-beaten-path treks for each region in the country.

 

Here are the 7 best off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia!

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia - Journal of Nomads

Photo by Caucasus Trekking

 

 

 

Hiking in Georgia – 3 Stunning Hiking Trails by Caucasus Trekking

 

Jozef, the creator of Caucasus Trekking fell in love with Georgia.

 

As a citizen of the former Eastern Bloc, Georgia is exotic and familiar at the same time. He loves that its people and mountains are still unspoiled by mass tourism.

 

He visited Georgia several times, walked its best-known hiking trails, and while planning his treks, he found out that it was hard to find some relevant info.

 

He decided to make a website about trekking in Georgia and it’s a great resource for any hiker who wants to explore the pristine mountains of this beautiful country.

 

His website contains very valuable information and you should also definitely check out his list of Nine Great Treks of Georgia and 12 Best Day Hikes in Georgia. You can follow Jozef on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Here are his 3 favorite off-the-beaten-path treks:

 

1. Hiking in Tusheti – Ghele to Parsma Hike, crossing the Pirikiti Range

Duration: 8 hours
Distance: 21km
Elevation gain: 1200m up, 1400m down

 

Hiking in Tusheti - Hiking Map Georgia - Ghele to Parsma Hike

 

Georgia Hiking Map – Hiking in Tusheti from Ghele to Parsma – source: Caucasus Trekking

 

I really like the popular Omalo – Shatili trek but if there is one part of this hike that I would adjust, it’d definitely be the hike from Omalo to Dartlo on the first day.

 

This trail navigates through the bottom of Pirikiti Alazani valley. It’s a nice walk, but the views are quite limited. You also spend nearly the whole day walking on a jeep road.

 

When I hiked from Omalo to Dartlo a few years ago, I kept looking on the ridge above me and was wondering if I could walk across the Pirikiti Range instead. It looked so much cooler.

 

Last year I found out that it was possible. There is a trail that climbs onto the Pirikiti Range and it goes all the way to Nakle-Kholi pass. From there, it descends to Parsma and joins the classic trail to Shatili.

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia -Pirikiti - Journal of Nomads

Hiking across Pirikiti Range – Photo by Caucasus Trekking

 

This trail is not suitable for everybody.

 

If you are interested in traditional villages and prefer an easier start so you can get used to the heavy backpack, you might prefer the classic trail.

 

But if you seek challenges and great views from day 1, this could be the trail for you. You only have to make this decision if you plan to trek to Shatili.

 

If you just want to roam around Tusheti for a few days, you can walk to Parsma on day 1 and use an alternative trail to return to Omalo on day 2.

 

Here’s a detailed description of the Ghele – Parsma hike across the Pirikiti Range

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia - Nakle - Journal of Nomads

Photo by Caucasus Trekking

 

2. Hiking in Khevsureti – Kistani to Akhielli Hike across the Kalotana Pass

Duration: 2 days
Distance: 32 km
Elevation gain: + 1000m

 

Georgia Trekking Map - Hiking in across the Kalotana Pass

Trekking in Georgia Map – Kalotana Pass Hike. Source: Caucasus Trekking

 

The Kistani to Akhielli hiking trail is probably one of the most beautiful treks in Eastern Georgia. You’ll hike high above the surrounding valleys and mountains.

 

The trail starts in Kistani and follows the main ridge of the Greater Caucasus. 

 

There is no marked path and most of the time you walk in grass so you have to be careful that you’re going in the right direction. Use the ruins of the medieval towers in the distance as your focus point. 

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia - Journal of Nomads

Photo by Caucasus Trekking

 

Despite its beauty, this trek gets very few visitors due to its length, remoteness, and overall lack of information.

 

There are no villages to resupply and possibilities to refill water on the ridge are limited. Trekking is therefore recommended only to experienced hikers who are used to long walks in the wilderness.

 

Here’s a detailed description of the Kistani – Akhielli trail.

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia - Journal of Nomads

Photo by Caucasus Trekking

 

3. Hiking in Kazbegi – Hiking in the Artkhmo Gorge

Duration: 3 hours
Distance: 12 km
Elevation gain: 420m up, 420m down

 

Hiking in Georgia - Artkhmo Hiking Trail - Hiking in Kazbegi

Hiking in Kazbegi, Georgia map – Artkhmo Hiking Trail. Source: Caucasus Trekking

 

If you hike on the well-known trails around Mt. Kazbek, there is a chance that you will meet many tourists. However, there are many lesser-known valleys in which you can enjoy total solitude.

 

One of those valleys is the Artkhmo gorge, a few km Southeast of Kazbegi, which I visited last summer. This valley housed once several small communities but I only found ruins, shrines and numerous cows.

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia - Journal of Nomads

Photo by Caucasus Trekking

 

I really liked this hiking in the Arthkmo Gorge. The gorge is so serene and peaceful.

 

I visited abandoned places before but this time I had no friend to talk to and there was no-one who could break the silence. So I just sat and contemplated the people who once lived there and so on.

 

It´s a great place if you want to run away from crowds.

 

Here’s a detailed description of the Arthkmo Gorge Hike.

 

Artkhmo – Photo: Trekking in Caucasus

 

 

 

Georgia Trekking – 4 Best Hikes in Georgia by Georgian Tour

 

Davit Berishvili was born and raised in Georgia and had a lot of unique experiences while exploring his country. He runs the website Georgian Tour, a great resource for anyone interested in traveling to Georgia.

 

Davit loves hiking, camping and spending time with his friends in the wild. He also enjoys organizing tours for friends, family and foreigners. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Here are his 4 favorite off-the-beaten-path hikes.

 

4. Hiking in Svaneti – Dayhike to Mkheri

 

Duration: 6-7 hours (4 up, 2 down)
Recommendation: Camp at Mkheri or continue trekking crossing pass over Laila to Lentekhi.
Distance: 14km
Elevation gain: 1200m

 

Hiking in Svaneti - Hiking to Mkheri - Georgia Hiking Map

Hiking in Svaneti – Hiking trail to Mkheri. Source: Caucasus Trekking

 

Since the summer of 2011, I’ve dedicated almost every weekend to explore Georgia. I always went on different hikes or to different destinations.

 

I was always comparing places and making lists of the best ones to visit in Georgia; places that I wanted to show to my Georgian and foreign friends. After I took a trip to Mkheri, this hike made it to my top list.

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia - Journal of Nomads

Davit Berishvili from Georgian Tour and his wife

 

The trail to Mekheri starts at the hiking pointer standing by the main road in the Lenashi village. You first have to pass the villages of the Latali community and then cross the bridge over the Enguri River. Make sure you get the right turn!

 

Once you’ve crossed the river, it’s easy to follow the path to the mountain top. The trail goes through a forest, giving you some shade during most of the route. There is no water on the way so make sure you’re prepared!

 

When you exit the forest, you are in the alpine zone and you’ll see its majestic beauty and breathtaking panoramas!

 

The panoramas of the main Caucasus range are fantastic and even more beautiful are the views on the 4000m Lahili summit of the Svaneti ridge, aka the Divine Lahili.

 

The Svans (the inhabitants of the Svaneti region) also call this summit Laila.

 

Here’s a detailed description of the day hike to Mkheri.

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia -Mkheri - Journal of Nomads

Photo by Georgian Tour

 

5. Hiking in Javakheti Region – Hiking to the Abuli Megaliths

Duration: 4-6 hours
Recommendation: explore Shaori Megaliths, Didi Abuli, Levani lake and Tabatskuri lake
Distance: 14-16km (depends where you start and if you go up summit of Patara Abuli)
Elevation gain: 800m

 

Georgia Trekking - Hiking to Abuli Megalithes in Javakheti

Source: Georgian Tour

 

Foreign hikers rarely go to the Javakheti region. They may just visit the cave city of Vardzia and miss out on the love, inspiration, mysticism and exhilaration that lies in the mountains of the Javakheti Plateau.

 

It’s like the Abul-Samsari mountain range comes right out of a fairy tale and the lakes between all these mountains are like the eyes of Goliath, the giant who resided here in ancient times.

There’s a megalithic fortress on the Small Abuli mountain (2700m), which is said to be 18 centuries old and it’s a place where history meets the unreal beauty of the mountains.

 

The stoned paths on the mountains are like prehistorical highways and it used to be the place where the monks would go observing the stars.

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia - Abuli - Journal of Nomads

Photo by Georgian Tour

 

In the fall of 2013, I gathered 20 crazy individuals to explore the exotic Shaori Megalyth on the mountain above the Paravani Lake.

 

That night we camped in the forests near the lake. The day after we went on a hike to the Abuli mountain to visit the megalithic fortress.

 

We passed the Gandzani village that was populated by local Armenians and we saw many Azerbaijani shepherd huts where they had crazy dogs and the tastiest tea and cheese!

 

After trying to find our way on the path that was filled with huge stones, we finally arrived at the fortress. I will always remember this mystical place!

 

Here’s more information about the Shaori and the hiking trail to Abuli megaliths.

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia -Abuli - Journal of Nomads

Photo by Georgian Tour

 

6. Trekking in Georgia in the Adjara Region – Hiking to the Kikhani Fortress

Duration: Depends on the mood of the mountain 🙂
Recommendation: Explore the Beshumi resort, the Bako summer settlement, the Chirukhi resort and the Green Lake.
Distance: 16 km from Beshumi (hike) or by jeep from Skhalta and then 1,3km ascent
Elevation gain: 600m (1600-2200)

 

Hiking to Kikhani Fortress - Hiking in Georgia Caucasus

Hiking trail to Kikhani Fortress. Source: Georgian Tour

 

You can find the Kikhani Fortress – the Mt Olympos of Adjara – in the most Southwestern tip of the mountainous Adjara region. It can be seen as the Georgian Machu Picchu.

 

The hike offers a spectacular 360 degrees panorama and the path leading to the fortress is very windy.

 

The unique location makes this place very exotic and touristic but you must try very hard to make it there! It took me 4 attempts to get there!

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia - Kikhani Fortress- Journal of Nomads

Kikhani Fortress – Photo by Georgian Tour

 

My first attempt was in June 2021. It was a very wet season and while I was crossing the Goderdzi pass from the Adigeni side, I got caught in the rain and fog near the exotic Green Lake.

 

One of my tires blew out and I had to spend the night in the village of Ghorjomi and postpone my trip to the Kikhani Fortress.

 

My second attempt was in June 2013. We went on a hike to the Kintrishi National Park and during the last day, we planned to visit the fortress.

 

To do so we needed to camp somewhere near the town of Khulo. It rained the whole night and we ended up staying at a shepherds house. We enjoyed the local hospitality but has to postpone the trip to the fortress.

 

The third attempt was in September 2014. We were driving with a Soviet Truck to make it from the Beshumi Resort to the Kikhani Fortress but we had an accident while coming down the steep descent. We had to return to Tbilisi with some injuries.

 

My fourth and final attempt was in August 2015.  This time we finally managed to conquer Kikhani!

 

Just as we were about to return from the fortress, it started raining and fogs were closing the view. We were very lucky that the mountain had temporarily showed itself to us before it was captured by mystical fogs.

 

Here’s more information and a description of how to hike to Khikhani Fortress.

 

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia -Kikhani Fortress - Journal of Nomads

Photo by Georgian Tour

 

7. Hiking in Racha – Day hike to the Lagora Huts

Duration: Roughly 6 hours
Recommendation: Explore Gona, Notsara, Zopkhitura areas or continue to the Shoda base-camp or to the pass
Distance: 13 km
Elevation: 1300-2000; 6.5km up and 6.5km down

 

The hike starts in Ghebi village, the main village of Racha. Just like Mestia in Svaneti, this village is a great base for hiking around Racha. Ghebi used to be tower village just like Mestia, but towers were demolished during soviet times replaced with more practical houses.

 

When you start the hike in Ghebi, walk towards the mobile network towers. Then you have to walk a few hours through some meadows and a dark forest until you see the St. George church. The Lagora huts are nearby. 

 

You can spend the night at the Lagora huts but don’t expect a luxury cabin! The huts have been abandoned in the 1990’s and they’re looking pretty rough. You can also pitch your tent nearby. 

 

Here’s more info about hiking in Racha and to the Lagora Huts

7 off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia - Lagora Huts - Journal of Nomads

Lagora Huts – Photo by Georgian Tour

 

Are you seeking more inspiration for hiking in Georgia?

Here’s a complete travel itinerary for the adventurous traveler!

 

Hiking in Georgia (the country in Europe) is an unforgettable experience! This tiny country in the Caucasus is a great trekking destination for outdoor lovers. There are many hiking trails in Georgia and in this Georgia Trekking Guide, we've selected the 7 best and most beautiful off-the-beaten-path hikes in Georgia for you!

 

Would you love to go hiking in Georgia? Have you already made a nice trek in Georgia? Share it with us in the comments below!

 

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO – GEORGIA TRAVEL TIPS:

  • Everything you need to know about traveling independently in Georgia (visa, how to get to and around Georgia, where to stay,…):

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Backpacking in Georgia

 

  • Plan your trip to Georgia:

The best of Georgia in 15 days – 3 complete Travel Itineraries 

 

  • Georgia travel costs:

Georgia on a budget – How much does it cost to travel to Georgia 

 

  • Hiking in Georgia:

7 Beautiful off-the-beaten-path Hikes

 

  • Skiing in Georgia:

Everything you need to know about skiing in Georgia

 

  • Hitchhiking in Georgia:

Hitchhiking in Georgia – the good, the bad and the untold stories

 

  • Our Georgian city guides:

Top Things to Do in Batumi – Our Guide to a Perfect Stay

Top Things to Do in Tbilisi – Our Guide to a Fantastic Time in Tbilisi

 

GEORGIA TRAVEL RESOURCES:

6 Responses

  1. Jelte stil
    | Reply

    Biking dirt trails in georgie?

    • Hi Jelte, as we haven’t done any biking in Georgia, we can’t really give you any suggestions but there are for sure a few great trails!

  2. ramblenerds
    | Reply

    I was always curious about these places. Your journey was great, wish someday I will travel through the mountains of Caucasus. By the way, Azerbaijan is also called the “Gem of the Caucasus”.
    Cheers! Thank you for sharing.
    Don

    • Hi Don, thank you!
      Hope you’ll get the chance to see the Caucasus one day. It’s a beautiful area of the world! And yes, the Caucasus stretches to Armenia and Azerbaijan and I’m sure both countries will claim to be the “Gem of the Caucasus” as well :D. We haven’t made it to Armenia yet but had the chance to do some small hikes in Azerbaijan, which was also great!
      But, in my opinion (and probably because I haven’t visited Azerbaijan as thoroughly as Georgia), Georgia is currently the best hiking destination to wander around the Caucasus.

      • ramblenerds
        | Reply

        Armenia has wonderful views also, the Mount Ararat is a great place to see, can’t wait for your guide on Armenian hikes!

        • We haven’t been to Armenia yet but we’ve heard many great stories about it! Guess we got the perfect excuse now to go and explore the trekking possibilities there 🙂

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