cycle touring Georgia
AsiaFrom the road

Cycling Georgia & Azerbaijan

It has been 5 weeks in Turkey so far, and although this versatile country was fantastic in every sense, all three of us have been ready for a change and a new country to explore. It was time for Georgia and Azerbaijan!

The border crossing itself was quite uncomplicated and the customs officers were happy to see us on our heavy loaded bikes. Since there was no ATM at the border checkpoint, our main goal from now on was to find a place to get some Georgian Lari.

Although it was still a bit rainy weather since we arrived in the mountains again, the temperatures for cycling have been great. After the first few kilometers in our new country, the sun came out and offered us some amazing landscapes. After a while, we reached the first tiny village, a rural farming village. This village was quite interesting to see, as it was different to the ones in Turkey so far. There were no paved roads, the houses were built from clay, wood and stone. Ducks, chickens and other animals were walking around freely,  and in the gardens there were stacks of cow-dung cakes (dried cow dung plates) they use to fire up.

We quickly realized that there was no ATM to find here and the currency exchange (euros/dollar to Lari) with a local shop owner didn’t work either. 10 kilometers later we reached the next village, which was like the first one, just a bit bigger. As it was already getting dark, we decided to try our luck with one of the two guesthouses. This time, the owner accepted our few euros we still had left from Europe, so we had 3 beds and a place to stay the night. We paid a bit more and got some flatbreads, thawing from the freezer, a big bowl of honey, and another one with butter. As this region of Georgia and also the region around Kars in Turkey is famous for Honey, and since the owners had their own apiaries, the honey was excellent and from their own bees. Not only the honey but also the butter and flatbread were homemade, it was super delicious and exactly what we needed.

The next day we finally reached the first smaller city, and so, also found an ATM. In one of the shops we bought enough food and snacks for the next days and we also stopped for our first Georgian restaurant for lunch and to try our first Khachapuri, a Georgian bread specialty. We waited almost an hour for the food, but the wait was worth it! We got three huge Khachapuris, which look like a boat made of bread, filled with cheese, cream and an egg on top, all baked in an oven. It was something of the best I’ve ever eaten but it was also super masty. We had a hard time leaving the restaurant again and to get us on our bikes. At the next ascent, we made slow progress, until the approximately 1500 calories from the Khachapuri kicked in a few hours later, and the energy, so as our regular speed was back again.

When we reached lake Paravani, the sky opened up and we got great sunny weather. The lush green and mountainous Landscapes were still stunning and I could understand well, why Georgia is so popular amongst bicycle tourers. Especially in the north and in the west of the country there are even more of these sceneries with even higher mountains and I definitely would like to go back there to visit these areas too by bike ore foot. However, as we were doing big climbs and cycled in the mountains since eastern Turkey, we now wanted to reach the capital city Tbilisi. From where we spent the last night, a few kilometers before lake Paravani, we decided to cycle all the way to Tbilisi in one day.

We reached Tbilisi pretty exhausted, after 155km and more than 1700m of climbing, the longest and also one of the toughest days for all three of us on our journeys so far. Although we had some super steep climbs too, we went from around 2100m down to Tbilisi and 400m of altitude. So it was also a bit of a temperature change between the 10 degrees in the morning and the 32 degrees in the capital city.[/penci_text_block][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Hello Georgia
Paravani lake Georgia
Landscape Paravani lake Georgia
steep climbs Georgia
Tbilisi old town
Tbilisi city garden
Tbilisi kartlis deda
Tbilisi church
Tbilisi old houses
Tbilisi bridge of peace
Tbilisi underground graffiti
Sameba church tbilisi
Georgian Chinkali
georgian wine
Azerbajian horse drawn cart
Azerbajiani man home training
Azerbajiani man training
young Azerbajian boy boxing
Azerbajian Family
Azerbajian mountains
cycle touring Azerbajian
Bərdə Azerbajian
terrible road Azerbajian
rough road Azerbajian
sandy road Azerbajian
Sunset Azerbajian
stray dog
young stray dog
hay stacks Azerbajian
Campspot Azerbajian
cycling along the caspian sea

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