Offbeat: western Georgia

Jammed in between giants Russia and Turkey, Georgia is often overlooked, and wrongly so. Spectacular mountainous scenery, ancient cathedrals and even cave towns are all to be found here.

From our base of Kutaisi, we are exploring western Georgia, a region brimming with natural beauty:

  • Martvili Canyon, where a walk through waterfalls, gorges and dense forest makes it difficult to not fall in love with this region. It is one hour away from Kutaisi, day trips are available on Viator from 22€.
  • Cave city of Vardzia. Once a cave monastery home to 2000 monks, it marks the eastern frontier of Christendom. It is a mere 50 minute scenic ride from Kutaisi, making for a perfect day trip crossing rural Georgia.
  • Svaneti. Mountains 4,000m tall act as backdrop for many walking trails, passing through tiny medieval villages built out of stone. It can be a bit more challenging to get to this part of the Georgian Caucasus, which makes it a fabulously rewarding experience.

Seemingly lost in the Caucasus and a stone’s throw away from Russia, Svaneti is not on every tourist’s bucket list. Which, in our opinion, adds to the magical experience of venturing out into the relatively unknown Georgian mountains.

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