"A stunning 8 day cycle tour into the pristine Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. Medieval watchtowers, ancient churches, glaciers and waterfalls are some of the highlights along with the fascinating Svan people and culture that inhabit this once remote region".
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Day 1: Arrival Tbilisi, GeogiaDinnerYou'll be met at Tbilisi international airport and transferred to a centrally located hotel in downtown Tbilisi. Depending on your arrival time we may have time for a Tbilisi sightseeing tour before a group meeting and dinner in the evening. There is plenty to see in Tbilisi with plenty of historical sites, museums, forts and steam baths as well as fantastic walks among the cobblestone lanes about the old town so, if time permits, we recommend arriving a day early to explore further.
Day 2: Transfer to Svaneti/ Cycle to MazeriBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 40 kmAn early start today as we are going to drive approximately 380km to Svaneti in the western-most part of Georgia. We'll stop for a light lunch on the way, a good chance to sample the excellent local dish khachapuri which is a pizza-like cheese and bread pastry with various fillings and toppings. Our start point for the cycling is the Enguri Dam where we'll set up the bikes and begin our ride following the Enguri River into the Caucasus mountains passing by forests, ravines and waterfalls. We'll cycle to the small village of Khaishi, where we'll load up the bikes for the steep ascent to Mazeri, a tiny village nestled in a valley below Ushba Mountain in the Dolra Valley. We'll have dinner and overnight in nice locally run guest house.
Day 3: Hike to Shdugra Waterfall/ Cycle to MestiaBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 35 kmIn the morning, after an early breakfast, we are going to take 6-7km hike up the Dolra River to the Shdugra waterfall. The hike is not difficult but definitely worth the effort as Shdugra waterfalls are Georgia's highest and located in stunning alpine scenery. After returning from our hike we'll have lunch before setting off on the bikes to Mestia, Svaneti's most populated and famous village. The ride along the way brings us into a wider expansive valley surrounded by high mountain peaks, and dotted with tiny villages, watch towers and farms. Most striking and prominent is Ushba Mountain's twin peaks. We'll spend two nights in Mestia in a cozy guest house. In the evening, a walk in the village is highly recommended.
Day 4: Hike and Bike to Chalaidi Glacier/ Visit Svaneti Museum of History and EthnographyBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 25 km
Today we'll spend most of the morning biking and hiking to Chalaidi glacier. We'll make our way first on bikes through villages with the famous tower houses and simply stupendous mountain backdrops. Ridiculously perched churches slowly go by high above us as the valley narrows to the point where we need to leave the bikes behind and go on by foot. It's an easy and scenic 3km hike to the glacier. We make our way back 3km the same way to the bikes before riding back to Mestia. In the afternoon, we'll visit the excellent Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography, one of Georgia's best museums, with fascinating displays of church treasures, manuscripts, weaponry, jewellery, coins and historical photos.
Day 5: Cycle to UshguliBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 60 kmOur destination today is the beautiful village of Ushguli, one of the highest continually inhabited villages in Europe at 2100m and our highest stay of the trip. Situated at the head of the Enguri Gorge, Ushguli is spectacularly located below Shkhara Mountain which at 5068m hovers magnificently above this small untouched village of 200 people. Old abandoned tower houses dot the village and the Ushguli chapel dating back to the 12th century sits on a ridge with the imposing Shkhara mountain in the background. Walks in the village are recommended. We'll home-stay with a local family and be treated to proper Georgian hospitality.
Day 6: Cycle to LentekhiBreakfast, Lunch & Dinner 60 kmAfter breakfast, we put the bikes in the trucks for the drive up to Zagaro pass (2620m). We'll jump on the bikes from here for a stunning downhill run through forest, wildflower meadows and high alpine scenery to Lentekhi. Most of the road is dirt but it is easily manageable and much the part of the adventure. Lentekhi, is a small mountain village where inhabitants survive from farming and the timber industry. It's famous for several churches, its castle and mineral springs. We'll overnight in a local guesthouse.
Day 7: Cycle to Tsageri/ Drive to Tbilisi via Gori and Stalin MuseumBreakfast & Lunch 30 kmIn the morning we'll continue our easy descent to Tsageri town at 425m. We'll load up the bikes and drive back to Tbilisi. On the way we are going to stop in Gori and visit the Stalin mmmuseum, an interesting look at some soviet kitch and history of Gori's most famous son. On arrival in Tbilisi we'll head out for a final night dinner after checking in to the hotel. Dinner is not included tonight as it is customary to chip in for a thank you dinner and toasts for our guides and staff!
Day 8: Departure dayBreakfastToday is departure day and you are free to depart at anytime. We'll organise your airport transfer for you.
Georgia is a hot destination right now and it's not difficult to understand why. After years under Soviet rule, this former communist state has emerged as a cultural and adventure wonderland. A huge variety of landscapes belie it's relatively small size; ranging from low-land marsh-forests, swamps, and temperate rainforests to eternal snows and glaciers, while the eastern part of the country even contains a small segment of semi-arid plains. Forests cover around 40% of Georgia's territory while the alpine/subalpine zone accounts for roughly around 10 percent of the land. The stunning Caucasus mountains offer sublime wilderness for hiking and biking, punctuated with medieval outpost villages, imposing watchtowers and ancient churches. The capital city, Tbilisi, merges modern architecture in new civic buildings and roadways with medieval-era churches, steam-baths and cobblestone alleyways. Situated on the junction between Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East, its history is vast and turbulent as it was on an important strategic trade and military route back into antiquity. Its melting-pot legacy is reflected in a population that features ethnic groups such as Armenians, Abkhazians, Assyrians, Azerbaijanis, Greeks, Jews, Kists, Ossetians, Russians and Ukrainians. The Georgians love to feast, called a supra, comprised of eating, drinking and toasting (often until the next day!) and it's fertile land makes for delicious organic food and wine. In, fact Georgia is the oldest wine making region in the world with a history of 8000 years!
The Svaneti region of Georgia takes its name from the Svans, a sub-group of Georgians that have their own oral language and customs. Historically the Svans are thought to have been a dependency of Colchis, so named in early Greco-Roman geography and dating back to the 13C BC. Colchis is now thought to be the earliest Georgian state and is depicted as the destination for Jason and the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece in ancient Greek mythology. In fact, the golden fleece has been interpreted variously as a representation of the bringing of sheep farming to Greece or alternatively, as stemming from the practice of using fleeces to extract gold flecks from the fast flowing mountain streams. The Svans had a fierce reputation as warriors and the region, due to its inaccessible location, was retreated to by Georgian royalty to escape foreign threats. Today the area is famed for picturesque villages, Georgian Orthodox churches, UNESCO listed fortified tower houses erected in the 9th to 12th centuries, and the legendary scenery of the Caucasus mountains.
This accessible biking tour starts and finishes in Tbilisi with all the cycling in the western part of the country in the Svaneti region of the Caucasus Mountains. The cycling distances aren't overly long, although some climbing and descents are to be expected, on generally well paved roads with some sections on dirt roads with no technical riding involved. There will be a support vehicle to assist for transfers and if riders wish to take a rest.
Getting There & Away
This tour starts and finishes in Tbilisi, Georgia – airport code TBS. There are dozens of airlines that operate flights into Tbilisi.
Tour Info Pack
Once we have recieved your booking and deposit we'll send you a Tour INFO PACK that will include tour notes, training tips, preparation info and joining point instructions. If you have any questions about the tour at all please don't hesitate to contact us.
The tour cost is based on twin share rooming. If you are a single traveller, you will be paired with someone else of the same gender. If you wish to have your own room you are welcome to book a single supplement. We use centrally located, comfortable hotels in Tbilisi and small hotels or family run guesthouses in the countryside and smaller villages and towns chosen for their local ambience and friendliness.
For additional information regarding guides, accommodation and sleeping arrangements, cycling grades, food, bikes, etc you can head over to our About section to see more about how we run our tours.
Can we change the itinerary or customise the tour?
Not for publicly listed dates, but if you have your own group or date in mind, Yes. If you want to make a private booking we can help design a tour that suits you. You may have ideas based on any of our tours or something in mind that you can't find on our website. Just get in contact with us and let us know what you have in mind and we'll try our best to make it happen!
Do you cater for vegetarians?
Yes we do! If you have any dietery requirements just let us know when you book in the space provided (Additional Requests). For any severe alergies or other conditions it is best that you let us know in advance so that we can prepare and/ or advise you on what we can provide or what you might need to bring so that are well catered for.
What about Covid 19?
2020 has seen travel grind to a halt and the outlook going into 2021 looks to be more of the same. While we have suspended travel to most of our destinations we are operating tours in China for domestic travellers. We'll open up destinations as the stuation improves and only when travel is green lighted by the relevant health and government agencies.
Travelling during this time means adhering to mandated guidlines and practices which means having green codes enabled on your mobile phone apps, taking Covid tests, wearing masks where neccesary, and filling in contact and travel history forms. These rules and guidelines are constantly changing as situations regarding the virus change, so it is important to remain flexible. We'll inform you of the requirements when you book and leading into the tour departure date.
Given the situation as it is, please understand that cancellations are quite possible and are outside of our control. While we understand the frustrations this may present, we'll do our best to make things run as smooth as possible and keep you informed of any changes as they arise.
During this time we will only accept full payments for tours three weeks before departure. All payments, however, will be refunded in full if the tour is cancelled prior to departure, or your personal covid-related situation precludes you from commencing the tour. Please make sure when booking flights that they are aslo refundable in the event of a cancelation.
How to I make a booking and payment?
Simply go to the "Dates" section of the tour page and click on the "book now" button, or click on "book" on the website header and select your preferred tour and departure date. If you are booking onto an on demand tour and have your own dates in mind there will be an facility for you book here too.
Before you book, we recommend that you read through the tour details and our booking terms and conditions. You can contact us about the trip if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or set up a time to chat about the tour.
Upon completion of your booking form we’ll send you an acknowledgement email and invoice for a deposit. All long trips (7 days or more) require a deposit of 300USD to guarantee your place. Trips departing within 60 days at booking will require full payment. Once your deposit is received, we’ll also send you a pre-trip information pack that will give you added information about the tour, the region you’ll be travelling through, a checklist of things to prepare, suggestions for packing, training tips and more. For shorter trips and day tours we require full payment 30 days prior to the commencement of the tour or as soon as convenient if booking within 30 days of departure.
Payments can be made on credit card via Paypal or through a direct bank transfer in most currencies. Information on payments will be present on your initial deposit invoice. Paypal payments will incur a 4% fee.
*****COVID 19 Booking Terms Update*****
During this unique time we will only be accepting full payments for tours three weeks before departure. All payments, however, will be refunded in full if the tour is cancelled prior to departure, or your personal covid-related situation precludes you from commencing the tour. Please make sure when booking flights that they are aslo refundable in the event of a cancelation.
- 8 days
- Cycling Tour
- 240 km
- 4 - 12 People
- 2190 USD