Georgia – Single Trails In The Caucasus Mountains
Mountainbiking in Georgia
Mountainbiking in Georgia – Mediterranean and high alpine trails in Tbilisi and the Caucasus backcountry
Situated at the strategically important crossroads where Europe meets Asia, Georgia has a unique and ancient cultural heritage, and is known for its traditions of hospitality and cuisine. Georgia declared sovereignty on the Soviet Union in 1989, and independence in 1991. While hikers and culinary lovers have already discovered this hidden gem, it’s still relatively unknown to mountain bikers although it holds endless opportunities for organising cross-country or mountain bike tours. Beautiful nature and different landscapes await you. Biking around Tbilisi area or the Tusheti National Park won’t disappoint you. Be amazed by the unspoiled nature, the many historical monuments, incredibly friendly and welcoming people and the local cuisine. Trails are both, constructed and natural. Whereas you’ll find Tbilisi with a population of 1.2 Mio quite busy at times, it’s much calmer and quieter in Tusheti National Park, which is located only 80 km north of the capital. A dangerous mountain pass (Abano Pass) takes us to the Caucasus hinterland. We benefit from the great biking infrastructure and the numerous trails. Descents starting at the altitude of roughly 3.000 m will take us through small mountain villages and make us enjoy every second while being out there. Its authentic and rustic atmosphere will welcome and please you during our stays in Omalo and Dartlo.
Barely any bike area can claim more diverse trails on relatively ‘small’ space. In Tbilisi, dry, sandy and partly rocky Enduro-trails await you. Starting at approx. 380 m above sea level we’ll explore the trails in the hilly hinterland either pedalling or by shuttles.
Half a day we’ll spend sitting in a Mitsubishi Delica 4×4 which takes us across the Abano Pass into the Tusheti National Park. Within a minute you transition from the urban area to a high alpine region in Georgia – what a change. Perfectly constructed paths wind their way from 3.000 m down to the valley past simple mountain villages. People there either work in tourism or still as shepherds.
Customer is king. How true is this statement in Georgia? Everywhere you go you’ll encounter friendly, helpful and welcoming people. This local mentality renders tourists happy and make them smile. If we are lucky we’ll be invited for a snack or lunch by shepherds in the mountains. Or they might make us familiar with their local schnaps habits. Good fun. The Georgian cuisine is often considered being among the ‘haute cuisines’ of Soviet countries. It’s hearty and tasty and most importantly for us riders, there’s always plenty on the table to fill our hungry bellies after long rides. At the guest houses people offer the local and homemade products. Meat lovers’ palate will be especially spoiled but there is always some fantastic meal for vegetarians, too.
This trip offers a combination of urban Enduro-trails and high alpine hiking paths. While some of the constructed trails in the urban area have built-in jumps and kickers we’ll mostly be biking on very long hiking paths in the rural national park with few switchbacks on a soft or pebbly terrain. Partly, it’s necessary to push or carry the bikes to get to the spots. Forest roads, as we well know them, don’t exist. Bike-hike and bike at its finest.
Level of difficulty is around S2. Some parts are easier and very flowy whereas there might also be a few catchier passages. Trails in Tbilisi are quite fast and reach difficulty level S2 maximum.
We’ll spend day 1 to get used to the surroundings in Tbilisi. That’s where we start getting to know the first trails. On day 2 we’ll embark on the trip to the hinterland and the high alpine areas of Tusheti National Park.
Capability and fun when biking trails rated S2 or partly S3
Power and condition for 1,500 hm up (partly pushing and carrying) and up to 2,500 hm down daily. Don’t underestimate the altitude in the national park. We’ll bike at 3.000 m above sea level.
In August, temperatures are high (up to 40°C). In the alpine regions it will be warm with around 25°C. Sun protection is needed.
3x double or triple room in a hotel in Tbilisi (inkluding breakfast and 2 lunches)
4x accommodation in simple guest houses in Tusheti National Park (full board)
6 days guided and coached by our certified bike guides
Individual travel to/from the destination (We are happy to assist with booking.)
3x dinner in Tbilisi
Drinks in the evening
- Well-maintained All-mountain or Enduro bike with 140 mm spring deflection and platform pedals (no click-in pedals)
- Helmet, goggles, gloves, protectors
- Spare equipment and tools (brake discs, tyres, tubes, etc.)
- Knee protectors – further protectors as needed individually