To all hikers, climbers and adventure seekers, welcome to the country of Adventure: welcome to Georgia.
Walking through the mountains all morning was hard going at times, but the view was totally worth it!
Getting away from busy life is easy in Georgia. Whether you’re following ancient trails along lush river valleys, past ancient stone towers and castles or catching your breath on high altitude mountain paths, it is likely that you will be the only person for miles around. Many paths have been maintained over the centuries by locals dedicated to looking after their cattle and livestock, and with so many trails to choose from, your walk can be as challenging or as easy-going as you like. And what an experience. Marvel at the magnificent snowy peaks of the Caucasus mountains, full of hidden valleys and glaciers. Lower down you come across more varieties of animals, birds and flowers than in any other European country. Wherever you decide to walk, you’ll be sure of a warm welcome. Whether you choose to sit and drink some local wine, sample the delicious locally produced food or even stay overnight in the villagers home, you’ll always be treated like a guest.
Filled with high cliffs, hot sun, and icy peaks, opportunities to catch thermals in Georgia is overwhelming. Why not come and find that perfect spot for yourself.
And if walking becomes too tiring you can always ride. Breathe in the pure sweet air as you gallop across the green plateaus of southern Georgia; gasp as your horse pulls you up and over the high passes in Khevsureti or Tusheti. And at the end of the day, camp in the remotest, most idyllic of places or find your own home-stay for the night. Allowing you to travel into areas beyond the reach of even today’s 4x4s, you’ll understand why a horse is a ride perfectly suited to explore more of this incredible country.
Because Georgia is a compact and diverse country, there is a very small distance between completely contrasting landscapes. All can be seen within a day or so, when travelling by 4×4 vehicle: deserts, sea, subtropics, tea plantations and high mountains. Experiance the breathtaking scenery change moment by moment and capture the essence of what it is to be in Georgia.
With twelve mountains higher than Mt Blanc and some of the most spectacular peaks in Europe, Georgia is becoming the mountaineers new favourite country. While the bravest can anticipate scaling over 5,000 metres at Mt Kazbek or Georgia’s highest mountain, Mt Shkhara, there are also a huge number of easier, lower climbs for every level of mountaineer.
With so many fabulous mountains, countryside and well established paths, Georgia is a perfect place to fulfil your mountain bike ambitions. Race along high ridges or stroll down elegant valleys; the choice is limitless and invigorating.
Georgia is full of wild, fast flowing rivers, fed from glaciers in the surrounding mountains, as the water races from its 5,000 metre peaks to the sea in just a short distance. Many offer superb white water opportunities, and you can take advantage of many carefully organised tours to experience this incredible adventure for yourself.
Georgia and especially its Western part contain an amazing array of cave systems, from underground rivers and lakes to enormous caverns and limestone scenery. Trek, or ride to some of the many canyons that dot the landscape and at Sataplia, experience the thrill of seeing actual 300 million year old dinosaur footprints set into the rock ground. The Tskaltubo Cavern system has not yet been fully explored but even now it offers adventurers the chance to go over a kilometre underground and take a boat across its enchanted lake.
With over 360 endemic species of birds, Georgia is a bird-watcher’s dream. Principal migration routes through the high Caucasus and along the Black Sea corridor provide superb viewing opportunities in stunning settings.
Hot air balloons have unrestricted use of the air space in Georgia, and the weather conditions allow flying almost all year round. Some say that a hot air balloon is the perfect way to see the scenery, valleys and mountains of Georgia with Kartli Valley in Shida Kartli and Alazani Valley in Kakheti of the particular appeal due to the stunning and unique scenery.
Georgia’s natural environment is one of the most special in the world. Geologically its’ surface is more diverse, than that of much larger countries and the stunning landscape ranks among the world’s top twelve. In a mere 67,000 square kilometres (the size of Ireland) you can find 5000 metre-plus peaks; glaciers; alpine meadows; sub-tropical coastline; high desert; semi-desert; fertile valleys; wetlands and of course a large swathes of virgin forest. The rich natural resources found in our country are exceptional. National parks and protected areas cover more than 7% of Georgia. 75% of the all protected areas are covered withwoods. There are 14 national reserves, 9 national parks, 17 suppressed, 14 natural monuments and 2 protected landscapes in Georgia.
No country in Europe possesses such rich flora and fauna as Georgia, nor such a diversity of landscape.
Due to its large areas of uninhabited forest and remote high alpine zones, Georgia has more species of animals, than any country in Europe. This includes a number of endemic species – perhaps the most notable being the Caucasian aurochs (‘jikhvi’ in Georgian), unique for its splendid laterally curved horns. Besides this, Georgia has many animals now no longer found in western European countries. It has brown bear, lynx, wild boar, bezoar goats, chamois, wolves, jackal, wild cats, a number of endemic butterflies, lizards, snakes and numerous tortoises. Recently the endangered Anatolian Leopard has been caught on remote cameras in the Vashlovani National park – although it has yet to be seen by the naked eye.