The Northern region of Tusheti in The Republic of Georgia is bordered by Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. At our nearest point we’re be about 2kms away from the Russian border as we cycle through this hidden gem of wilderness. The region is largely unchanged since the middle ages and it’s only possible to get to during the summer months. There is very little infrastructure, with only dirt tracks and shepherd trails between villages.
The way in and out of Tusheti is a dirt and rock jeep track cut out of the mountain side. On the way in we’ll drive to the top of the pass at 2800 m, an adventure all its own, before riding all the way down to our first night stay over in Omalo an ancient fortress village. It’s a 30 km/2000 m descent of undulating dirt and jeep track that switches back all the way down to the bottom of a valley following the Khiso Alazani river into Tusheti which sets the tone for this incredible MTB adventure.
Before all this we discover the regions of Kazbegi and Chauki in the north of the country famous for the third highest mountain in Georgia, Mt Kazbeg and its wild mountainous scenery. With a visit to Chauki often referred to as the Georgian Dolomites it sets us up nicely for the rest of the tour.
|TOUR PRICE||6450 GEL|
You will be met at Tbilisi International Airport by one of our team and taken to your hotel in Old Tbilisi overlooking the River Mktvari and Narikala fortress.
After pick up from your hotel in Tbilisi you will be transferred to the village of Juta (2200 m) at the end of the Sno valley. Here we start the bike tour proper. After a short but strenuous climb to 5th Season mountain hut, we continue up the valley heading toward the Chauki Massif mountain range (3842 m) with impressive views of the mountains all day. We then take a short break and prepare for the descent along smooth single track back toward Juta and onto rough jeep track for a great descent in the Sno valley. Riding through small villages, following the river all the way we have a superb view of Mount Kazbegi ahead of us. Eventually we reach the village of Sno, the birthplace of the Georgian orthodox patriarch, before heading on to our final destination of Stepantsminda.
Today we head for Mountain Kazbegi and climb from Kazbegi (Stepanstsminda) village to the foot of Gergeti glacier covering Mt. Kazbek at the elevation of 3014 meters. On the way, we will pass beautifully situated Gergeti Trinity church, probably the most famous Georgian landmark. Climbing above the church we part push and part ride up a slither of single track that leads all the way up to cross pass. From here it’s a short rocky ride to Altihut, a new European standard mountain hut at 3014 meters, where we stop for lunch before an incredible single track descent all the way back down to our guesthouse at Stepantsminda. Full of twists and turns and rocky descents we have to focus hard to stay on the trail. After an early evening meal we transfer by vehicle to the Khakheti region, in preparation for our adventure into Tusheti the following morning.
Transfer to Tusheti and the Abano pass at 2900 metres for a thrilling 32 kms descent into Tusheti.
1300 m ascent -2000 m descent
Visit the ancient towers of Keselo in upper Omalo. Climb and descend to Dartlo in the pirikiti Alazani valley along 20 kms of snaking jeep tracks through pine forests and alpine pastures. In the afternoon we hike to the ancient village of Kvavlo high above Dartlo.
Ride to Girevi the furthest point we can go before we need passports! Today we ride through more remote villages such as Parsma, a village set upon a rocky outcrop way above the trail. It’s a superb round trip of 30 kms, sometimes we have to dismount and navigate the rocky riverside trail so be prepared.
In the afternoon we explore Diklo one of the furthermost villages we’ll visit on the trip and its historical fortress on the Dagestan border before rewarding ourselves for a tough morning’s climb with a great descent riding it in reverse.
Today we ride from Shenako to Omalo then take the vehicles up to the Abano Pass. From the pass, it is a long, long descent (more than 2,000 m of vertical descent) until the Kakhetian plains 42 kms below. It’s a bike ride full of thrills!