Two options to reach Kakheti:

-Through the Brutalist town of Rustavi we end up in Georgia’s semi-dessert. Leaving some adventurous dirt trails behind us we visit the Davit Gareja Monestary. A rock-hewn complex which is inhabited by monks until this day.

-We ride the windy tarmac roads of the Sabaduri forest towards hilly Tianeti. An area ideal for getting used to a new motorcycle, its weight distribution and handling.

Soon we reach the sloping hills and Mediterranean sceneries surrounding Sighnaghi, a picturesque historic fortified town in Southern Kakheti. The beautifully renovated town offers views over the slopes of the Northern Caucasus. At our family guesthouse we enjoy the best home grown foods, delicious wines and traditional meals. We have a traditional Georgian dining feast with stunning sights over the endless plains with the eternal snowcapped Caucasian mountains right behind us.

Distance Covered: 220 KM

Riding hours: 4.5

Average speed: 50 KM/H

Highest point: 1700 M

 

From our HQ in Tbilisi we head straight up North. Kazbegi is situated right in the middle of the Higher Caucasus mountain range. Before we get closer to Kazbegi we pass the windy roads of the Sabaduri forest. The roads out here are ideal for getting used to the motorcycle quickly.

The twisty road leads us around the snowcapped mountains, on top of the passes and through the valleys. A heavenly ride. Next up: The steep serpentine up to the Gergeti Holy Trinity Church. This 14th century church is surrounded by mountains, most notably by the mighty Mt. Kazbeg.

Before heading to our accommodation there are some optional dirt tracks to discover. Put up some dust towards abandoned villages and/or ancient fortresses!

Distance Covered: 280 KM

Riding hours: 5

Average speed: 55 KM/H

Highest point: 2500 M

 

After a delicious breakfast we will offer a few optional gravel rides in this spectacular region. After the morning fun we move Southwards. From Kazbegi we ride back over the famous Georgian Military Highway. We proceed towards Gori with a secondary road connecting Mtskheta with Gori. Gori has not been able to shake of the thick Soviet sauce it is drenched in. Not much mentionable happens in Gori were it not for the fact that one of the most infamous Georgians was born here: Joseph Stalin. For those interested we will pay a visit to the museum later on. The museum aims to give an unusual account of Stalin’s life as the leader of the Soviet Union.  We dine at a local restaurant with delicious local delicacies.

Distance covered: 250 KM + KM’s from morning trips.

Riding hours: 3.5 – 5.5

Average speed: 55 KM/H

Highest point: 2400 M

 

It is time for Georgia’s spectacular North again. Racha: A mystical region that often is left undiscovered by many foreign tourists. Racha has been compared to Switzerland cause of its serene calmness, abundant lakes and the impressive mountains surrounding the area. We spent the night at Temuri’s guesthouse. He builds and makes almost everything you see at his guesthouse himself, this includes the skinned bear and wolf skins. His wife will prepare the most delicious specialties from Racha for us. In the garden local ham is freshly smoked, chacha is distilled and bread is being baked in the stone over. On most nights there is also live traditional Georgian music being played in the gorgeous garden. This is Georgian hospitality at its best.

Distance Covered: 200 KM

Riding hours: 4

Average speed: 50 KM/H

Highest point: 1600 M

We stay another in Racha. He builds all you see himself and is not afraid to talk about the bear and wolf skins that are up the wall. And more importantly; how they got there. The region is full of mountain lakes, waterfalls, amazing viewpoints and even Soviet-Styled Geysers, all of which offer some great rides.

Distance Covered: 50-150 KM

Riding hours: 1 – 5

Average speed: 30 KM/H

Highest point: Optional 1900 M

 

We explore Western Racha. The curvy roads through this green mountainous region are a Valhalla to ride through. Beautiful views are interchanged by beautiful gorges and views over the greater Caucasus. South of Racha we find ourselves in Tsqaltubo, a city known for its abandoned Soviet sanatoriums. Close by you can find the Prometheus caves, this is said to be the biggest cave complex of Europe, definitely worth a visit. Afterwards we make our way into Samegrelo. A culturally distinct region of Georgia. Known for its very distinct language as well as for its delicious cuisine. We spent the night in Martvili where on a hot Summer day the chances to dive in fresh water springs or under waterfalls to cool down are plentiful.

Distance Covered: 205 KM

Riding hours: 4.5

Average speed: 45 KM/H

Highest point: 1800 M

 

Closer and closer to the Black sea lush green jungle-like sceneries surround us. A small windy road takes through Guria into Ajara.

We soon ride into Ajara. A region with historically both Orthodox Georgians as well as Islamic Georgians peacefully loving together. Leaving the main roads for what it is we come across the Petra fortress. A historic Roman build settlement that functioned as the Easter most point of the empire.

Closer to Ajara’s capital Batumi we can take a refreshing dive into the Black Sea. Depending on the wishes of the group we spent the night in either the hectic seaside party-town of Batumi or in the more remote villages of the nearby mountains.

Distance Covered: 225 KM

Riding hours: 4

Average speed: 45 KM/H

Highest point: 1800 M

 

We ride alongside the Black Sea Shore after which we head up North. We ride towards Svaneti. A region known for its distinct culture and independence throughout history. Even the Soviets could never fully exert their influence out here. The regions remoteness and aversion to authority of locals contributed a lot to that. This is why Svaneti still feels like a different world altogether. It also insured that the local customs and pagan traditions are still intact.

One characteristic of the regions cultural distinctness is very visible from the road: The traditional Svan watchtowers. Built from the 10th – 12th century these rock piles were used as defense towers but also to settle local disputes well into the 1990’s

Distance Covered: 250 KM

Riding hours: 5

Average speed: 50 KM/H

Highest point: 2000 M

 

We spent another day and night in Svaneti. There is simply too much to discover out here. Ride on mountains which peaks are the highest of Europe. Climb one of the historic watchtowers or a ride to Ushguli, Europe’s highest permanently inhabited village.

Distance Covered: 0-150 KM

Riding hours: 0 - 3

Average speed: 30 KM/H

Highest point: 2700 M

 

From the high mountains of Svaneti we ride back into the low lands of the historic Colchis empire. Through the witty backroads of higher Samegrelo we head down South. We end up in Kutaisi, Georgia’s second biggest city. We dine at Palaty, a beautiful ‘’bohemic’’ restaurant with the best local food. After the more ‘’barberic’’ mounains of Svaneti, Kutaisi’s small town charm will do a lot of good.

Distance Covered: 250 KM

Riding hours: 5

Average speed: 50 KM/H

Highest point: 2400 M

Today we ride from Kutaisi towards Vardzia. Yet another region where the nature is so different from anything we have seen yet that you might assume you travelled between continents today. Two options today, either we take a 35 KM-long off-road pass from Sairme to Abastumani with stunning views over the biggest national park of Europe. Or we ride the paved roads via Borjomi. In both cases we end up in Samtskhe-Javakheti. The region is not only famous for its cliffs and natural beauty, it is famed for its numerous cultural and historical treasures as well. The region can be soon as the cultural birthplace of current day Georgia.

One of these cultural sights is the Vardzia cave complex. A monastery secretly build in the 12th century behind a rock that offered protection from invaders. After an earthquake the rock and thereby the complex’s cover tumbled down.

Distance Covered: 250 KM (asphalt) / 165 KM (with 35 KM offroad)

Riding hours: 5 /  5

Average speed: 50 / 35 KM/H

Highest point: 2000 /  700 M

 

Today we take the small road connecting Georgia’s East and West. Going through the hills and mountains of the south. The road we ride used to be a section of the historic Silk Road that crossed these lands. During the trip surroundings change quickly, every 20 kilometers it might appear as if you are in another country. With these beautiful scenes and its many curves, we head towards Tbilisi. Closer to Tbilisi the road towards the Didgori Battle Memorial is certainly one to not forget.  Brand new tarmac crossing natural beauty that is simply made for motorcycle riding. The memorial itself was built in remembrance of the Georgian-Seljuk wars. Georgia, being outnumbered, defeated the Seljuk Turks which ignited one of Georgia’s most prosperous eras.

Coming from the mountains behind Tbilisi we enter the city with some great viewpoints and the sun falling down over the city.

Distance Covered: 240 KM

Riding hours: 4.5

Average speed: 55 KM/H

Highest point: 1100 M

 

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