Georgia seems to appear on nearly every world tourers favorites list, and we are no different. It’s one of our favorites too. And how could it not be? Where else are you invited to a crazy picnic nearly every night just because you were passing by? Georgia has some of the friendliest, most hospitable people on this planet, plus, their beautiful country has many small roads without much traffic, beautiful mountains, and easy wild camping opportunities next to a new river every night.
Distance: Depends were you go
Time needed: We spent 10 weeks, 6-7 weeks would be enough
Highlights: Loop to Mestia, swimming/camping daily in rivers, picnics all the time
Road surface: Paved/unpaved depending on which section
Traffic: Not bad except for main highway into Tblisi
Best season: May-October; Completed July-September 2014
Water/food availability: Easy
Solo female: No problem.
Overall difficulty: Easy except for road to Omalo which was very difficult.
Georgia ended up being the easiest country we have ever visited for camping as there is lots of open space, rivers, ans beautiful free camping spots. Also, because of the prevailing picnic culture, it’s easy to camp next to a fire pit and picnic bench whenever you please!
Georgia is a fairly cheap country, though nothing like India or Bolivia. They have wonderful food (especially bread) but not a lot of “street food” so we ended up cooking all of our own meals since actual restaurants are more expensive. Never the less, since it’s easy to free camp and find staples like bread and cheese, and noodles and rice everywhere, it’s an easy country to do for five to ten dollars a day! And if you have a bit more money, there are plenty of bed and breakfast type guest houses popping up all over the place for twenty or thirty dollars a night (meals included).
Since we had so much time in Georgia we ended up working for a few weeks at different hostels which was wonderful as it gave us a free place fo call home for a bit. We just walked around to different hostels in the capital and in Mestia (a tourist town) and asked if we could work for a free room (and food at the places with restaurants attached).
Georgia only opened up to western tourism about ten years ago, so much of the country still doesn’t see a lot of outsiders which makes it a fun place to visit. That being said, it’s quickly becoming a hot spot for Europeans so go now before it gets too crowded!
We just picked random little roads and started cycling!
My blog entries throughout this route:
– Where Wine, Friendly People, and Beautiful Camping Meet
– Sveneti: In the Land of Towers and Mountains
– Georgian Cuisine
– Welcome to Georgia
Feel free to comment with your own thoughts, corrections, or updates in order to help others looking to complete this route too.