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Georgia itinerary (for 3-4 weeks)

If there is a country with a distinctive mark, it is Georgia: the Caucasus. Its green hills, forests, meadows full of flowers, rivers, lakes, glaciers and snowy peaks are paradise for those of us who love trekking. These mountains have the added bonus of housing picturesque Orthodox Christian monasteries, fortresses and medieval turrets. The latter is linked to its long and striking history, the scene of conquests for centuries. Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Mongols, Ottomans... and Russians, of course. In the case of Georgia, and in the view of the Georgians, "Mother Russia" got angry when they declared independence from the USSR (Georgia was the first to leave that great Union of Republics) and took away first Abkhazia and then Ossetia. For better or worse, all these towns left a wide cultural range that can be seen today in the traits of their people, gastronomy or music.

Ushguli, Svaneti

Georgia is a country that is gaining well-deserved fame and I would recommend it to any traveler, especially lovers of trekking and history. We arrived from Turkey and toured it for a month and a half, passing through some of its most emblematic treasures. This was our route:

Batumi (entry from Turkey)

Route along the Black Sea


Mestia - Ushguli trek

Okrostskali Lakes trek

Kutaisi and around


Touring Kazbegi


Route around South Georgia: Tbilisi - Vardzia


Borjomi National Park


Batumi, Georgia

Modern buildings, skyscrapers, casinos, dozens of pubs, mini discos, bars and Cafes, music on every corner, Russians everywhere... and beach, lots of beach. That's Batumi. If you like to party and have a good time, this is your place. It was probably not our case, coming from such a cultural trip through Turkey... Of course, if it turns out that it is also your first stop in the country, you will be amazed by the Georgian flavors. I tried my first of many kachapuris here. Yum.


I can't help with accommodation, since we camped on the beach.


Black Sea, Georgia

Georgia is not all mountains. It also has beautiful beaches where you can spend a few days relaxing and seeing another side of the country. We traveled from Batumi to Anaklia, the last stop before the Russian-occupied territory of Abkhazia. These are some towns and beaches where you can stop:

Magnetic Beach. Tourist beach whose main attraction is its sand: it is black and has magnetic properties.

Grigoleti. Population on an extensive, endless beach.

Anaklia. Georgia's last stop. From here you can visit the Kolkheti National Park, a wetland with a high density of birdlife.


We stayed a few nights in Anaklia, in the Café of a family that also had rooms (I don't remember the name). It was well priced and they had no problem with Cocaí. Also one night at the Hotel New Wave 1 (Grigoleti).

Note. The road from Zugdidi to Mestia, climbing more and more meters, is beautiful, bordering the Samegrelo National Park, with the Inguri River becoming so wide in some sections that it looks like a lake. In addition to breathtaking landscapes, you will be accompanied by cows, dogs and other domestic animals, bee hives and honey stands (the region's honey is famous)...


Svaneti Towers, Ushguli

The mountainous region of Svaneti is famous for its houses, stone buildings and medieval turrets. The Svaneti Towers are constructions that served as both a defense post and family housing. Invasions in this northwest region of Georgia were frequent, and as they themselves say, you couldn't trust even your own neighbors. The most touristic and representative towns in the heart of Svaneti are Mestia and Ushguli, both with plenty of infrastructure to come and enjoy a few days of their beauty and history, architecture, views, restaurants... Coming to these towns is worth it in itself, but if you also like trekking and the mountains, you have several plans just a stone's throw away. These are some:

La Cruz Viewpoint y Koruldi Lakes. Popular hike that leads to a viewpoint in the mountain with an incredible panoramic view of Mestia and, a few kilometers further, several beautiful deep blue lakes. There are usually cattle, semi-wild horses... and shepherd dogs :)

Koruldi Lakes

Mestia – Zuruldi peak cablecar. A fun plan that is not expensive (at least in 2019). It is worth the journey for the views themselves and because you reach the top of a mountain full of flowery meadows (at least in spring/summer) and ravines with spectacular views. Also, the trekking route that connects Mestia with Ushguli begins from here (I'll tell you about it below).

Shkhara Glacier. The route starts from Ushguli, the so-called highest inhabited town in Europe, and is 8 km (16 round trip).


There are a handful of possible accommodation options, from campsites and guest houses to hotels. We camped in the garden of a family business once and then stayed with my parents at the Koruldi Guesthouse. Highly recommended: awesome views, service and breakfasts.

Note. Mestia and Ushguli are connected by road (journey about 2 hours), but there is a wonderful and popular trekking that connects them crossing mountains, valleys and medieval villages. Described below.


Adishi Glacier, Mestia - Ushguli trek

“El aire fresco anunciando la llegada de la noche. La tranquilizante melodía del arroyo. La visión del impresionante paraje salvaje en que estáis inmersos tú y tu perra. No hay mayor satisfacción que cuando decides dar por terminada una larga jornada de pateo y buscas un sitio chulo para armar tu campamento particular por un día. Yo no concibo un trekking de varios días sin llevarme la tienda… Porque me perdería atardeceres y noches en lugares espectaculares. Como este, uno de los escenarios más increíbles en que vamos a dormir: un colorido valle moteado por vivas flores, junto a un riachuelo que va a morir al potente río que tendremos que cruzar mañana, entre dos faldas de montaña que luchan por llegar a los 3000 metros, y, lo más asombroso, con la visión de un imponente glaciar que nos da las buenas noches desde las alturas. El Adishi Glacier, de una belleza salvajemente estratosférica. Estamos en el Cáucaso, uno de esos sitios que soñaba visitar desde niño. Cerrando esa esquina sureste del mapa físico europeo que nos daban en clase de geografía. Un punto abstracto que después de tanto tiempo se ha hecho real y concreto. Cocaí disfruta de sus últimos pasos del día olfateando las flores y el pasto, observada detenidamente por curiosas vacas y caballos. Yo me he abrigado como buenamente he podido, cogiendo de la mochila la poca ropa que me he traído para esta aventura formidable”. Fragment of my book El Pekín Express Canino (only in Spanish).

69 km route very popular among hikers in the Svaneti region. And it is not surprising, because here the Caucasus mountains are particularly beautiful, with a good handful of snow-capped peaks above 4000, and some even exceeding 5000. The landscape becomes more and more varied as the kilometers pass: meadows colored with flowers, wooded areas, small lakes, glacial rivers, white peaks... And, of course, one of the biggest attractions of this trail: medieval villages. Adishi and Ushguli are a must see.

Svaneti villages, Georgia


We did free camping (three nights), but the hike pass through several towns and in all of them there are guest houses that also offer breakfast, lunch, dinner... The sad thing is that by becoming so commercial the locals have become “corrupted.” They didn't let me use Wi-Fi in a guest house where I was going to eat (they told me it was only for guests) and I met several hikers who were quite displeased with the service they received in their guest houses.

Note. The route, although long, is not very demanding and is easy to follow. The only somewhat complicated point is when crossing the river in front of the Adishi glacier, as it can carry a lot of water. There is a “service” to do it on horseback (paying the owners) if you don't feel capable.


Okrostskali Lakes, Georgia

“Pasamos por un valle maravilloso lleno de flores y a continuación aquello empezó a subir, hasta el punto de que parecía más escalada que trekking. Llegamos con la lengua fuera a punto de anochecer. Ahí estaba esperando el primero de los lagos. Un espejo de agua precioso rodeado de afiladas cumbres nevadas. Al otro lado, Abjasia. Montamos el campamento, cocinamos algo y cenamos en la tienda Cocaí y yo dormimos en el saco bien juntitos y con todas las capas puestas porque el frío apretaba”. El Pekín Express Canino.

This tough trek begins in the village of Lukhi. We could divide the route into two parts: a dirt track of about 20 km, which is nothing more than a road for loggers' trucks (other types of vehicles can't even pass by), and then a 10 km path, much steeper. It starts at about 700 meters above sea level and ends at 3000 meters above sea level. That is to say, an interesting elevation difference.

Unlike trekking between Mestia and Ushguli, it is easy to lose the way here and you need some experience. I used and even then the trail was not visible many times. Furthermore, the grass can be very high, you have to cross a powerful river and, at the end, as I say, there is an infernal slope that culminates in the first of the two lakes. Unusual natural beauty. Silence. Just on the other side of the mountain is Abkhazia.

Note. There is no infrastructure of any kind, so you have to bring food, water (or filter) and camping equipment.


Kutaisi, Georgia

City less visited than others, but highly recommended. Highlights include the central square and the surrounding streets, the walk along the Rioni River and the beautiful Botanical Garden. In fact, Kutaisi surprises with its gardens and monuments. In addition to the gastronomy. It was my parents' baptism in Georgia and they were crazy about the food. We ate khachapuri, khinkali, kubdari and other delicious local dishes, drank amazing wine… and chacha, the quintessential Georgian liquor. But there is more around Kutaisi. We went to the following places.

Gelati. Beautiful monastery just 10 km from Kutaisi. This medieval complex has been a World Heritage Site since 1994, surely due to the multitude of frescoes and paintings it houses. Cocaí was able to enter... but it's true that I didn't ask.

Gelati, Georgia

Martvili Canyon. Nice place with waterfalls, caves and a river between cliffs. In addition, it is very pleasant to eat in a restaurant next to the river. We stuffed ourselves to eat at Restaurant Canyon.


NK Guesthouse (Kutaisi). The curious nature of the building, the room and the terrace with picturesque views of neighboring rooftops and the surrounding streets, added to the owner's good nature, made it one of our favorites on the trip through Georgia.

Guest House Nava (Martvili Canyon). The room for three (and a dog) was very austere and small, but we managed well. Recommended!


Uplistsikhe, Georgia

It is a city excavated in the rock dating back to 300 BC, located a few kilometers from Gori. This archaeological site is one of two so-called Georgian Cappadocias (the other is Vardzia, described later). It is well worth coming and soaking up its history while you walk along its rocks, go into the caves and contemplate the houses and sanctuaries that once housed life.


Stepantsminda, Georgia

This northern area of Georgia is one of my favorites. Here I will divide the description into three parts: the route itself, Stepantsminda and the Kazbegi National Park.

Route to Kazbegi. The route to Kazbegi and Stepantsminda competes in beauty with that of Mestia. The landscape becomes wilder and wilder and demands you to stop often to take photos. There are two must-sees: the impressive Anaruri fortress and monastery and the Russia Georgia Friendship Monument. Inaugurated in 1983 to celebrate the bicentennial of the Treaty of Georgievsk, which established Georgia's dependence on Russia (hence the animosity of Georgians towards their powerful neighbors). The monument is a semicircle with very cool murals, but it is overshadowed by the landscape of ravines in which it is immersed and the spectacular views.

Anaruri Fortress

Stepantsminda. The best-known symbol of Kazbegi is the mythical and spectacular Gergeti monastery-church, visible from any angle of the village of Stepantsminda. A picture is worth a thousand words (see above). You can't miss the Gveleti Waterfall either. To get to this waterfall we had to drive a few kilometers along the mountain road that goes to Russia (the only border crossing open between both nations) and then take a short trail following a river. The same one that feeds the waterfall. Well signposted, short and very cool trekking.

Kazbegi National Park. In this Park there are many natural places, some of which involve great mountain adventures. We chose two that could be reached by car and a short walk. On the one hand, the Juta Valley, formed by the Jutistskali River, full of colorful flowers. Perfect for spending a few hours relaxing and eating. On the other hand, the Artkhmo Gorge. It is very little touristy and the tranquility is absolute. Of course, be careful when crossing the suspension bridges... and also with the cows (they attacked us!).

Kazbegi National Park, Georgia


Guesthouse Mari Kushashvili (Stepantsminda). Simple and charming, with a very wild “English” type garden, where they serve wonderful breakfasts surrounded by thousands of flowers.


Tbilisi, Georgia

We loved the capital of Georgia. Great night atmosphere, full of little bars and terraces with music. The dogs are also part of the show. In Tbilisi there are many stray dogs, and in summer they become active when the sun sets after having been lying in some shade all day.

The monuments in Tbilisi that impressed us the most were the Sameba Cathedral and the Clock Tower, which houses a puppet theater that puts on a show about the “cycle of life” every day. We also took a boat ride on the Kura River, which allowed us to see the city from a unique perspective (a posh party, with various snacks and wine on the way!), and took the cable car in Rike Park to the Narikala Fortress, from the 4th century. Cocaí was welcomed on board without problem. We saw the fortress and the market on the surrounding street, we visited the nearby statue of Kartlis Deda, better known as Mother Georgia... But the best thing about going up here is the panoramic view of Tbilisi, at your feet.

Tbilisi, Georgia

As my father said when we left: “Tbilisi is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen and it is so little known…”. A few kilometers away is the Tbilisi Sea, actually a lake with waves. Very cool to disconnect and have a picnic.


We stayed at the Hotel Toscano. Happy to be able to go with Cocaí.


Touring South Georgia: Bareti Lake

There are many interesting places in southern Georgia, its least explored side. We were in the following ones:

Manglisi. Small city surrounded by nature. We really liked the valley in which it is surrounded, a small nearby lake, the cathedral – one of the oldest Orthodox temples in Georgia, dating back to the year 330 – and especially the cemetery. The tombs are works of art, surrounded by low artistic wrought iron railings, photos of the deceased and a story about them.

Bareti Lake and Dashbashi Canyon. The first is a lake in the middle of the wilderness and the second is a canyon integrated into a more rugged landscape. In fact, the route becomes more and more rugged as you move towards Vardzia.

Khertvisi Fort. This fortress-castle, from the 10th century, impressed us a lot. The views of the valley are magnificent. On top of that they allow dogs to enter.

Khertvisi Fort

Ajaltsije. City that exudes history with another fortress. What a number of forts and castles in this area.


We stayed in a family house in Manglisi.


Vardzia, Georgia

“Se trata de un conjunto rupestre de cuevas y túneles que forman una ciudad a lo largo de una ladera montañosa. Es impresionante pensar que había gente viviendo ahí y cómo se debían de desplazar para ir a por productos, trabajar en el campo o simplemente visitar a sus parientes y vecinos”. El Pekín Express Canino.

Vardzia is a city carved into the mountain, the other Georgian Cappadocia that I had mentioned before. Important information, if you go with a dog they will not let him enter. You can take turns if there are several of you, and if not you will have to leave him at the guest house to visit Vardzia. It can also be seen from outside.

Views of Vardzia from outside

But don't worry, there are other things you can do with a dog in Vardzia! A few km away there is an Orthodox church carved into the rock on top of a mountain. You have to climb some stairs in the darkness of the cave to reach the sanctuary. Apart from being amazed by this place, with several rooms, a bathroom and the prayer area, what surprised us most is that there is a monk... living inside! He told us that he has lived there for five years as a hermit and delighted us with very interesting stories about the place and his life. The guy had given up his married life with children to dedicate it to God (or himself).

And of course the popular Nuns' Monastery, which can be reached following a dirt road from Vardzia. In this beautiful place of reflection you can also buy plum vodka, which we found very funny: the Spanish nuns making muffins and their similar Georgians producing what the neighbors really want. We were very impressed to see the nuns with their chores in the garden… And the monastery is beautiful.


We stayed at the Guest House Vania, run by a lovely elderly couple who had a great dog, as well as other animals, beehives and a beautiful garden.


Borjomi National Park

This Park offers different excursions through its green mountains. One of the most popular is to Mtsvane Monastery, also known as the Green Monastery. Another wonder carved in stone and wrapped in a forest. I also become a monk like this ;)

We also drove up the mountain towards a lost lake... The thing is to venture down a little road or path. Although you can also go to the Visitor Center in Borjomi town to get some recommendations.


We stayed at Hotel Villa Likani (Borjomi National Park). It's the most expensive one we stayed in on the entire trip (partly because my parents were going back to Spain), but it was very good.



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El Pekín Express CaninoEn marzo de 2019 mi perra Cocaí y yo salimos de Madrid con una mochila, una tienda de campaña y una misión entre ceja y ceja: llegar a China a dedo. Cuando andábamos en India hizo entrada en escena un "pequeño invitado" que puso el mundo patas arriba, incluido nuestro viaje. Tres años después volvimos a casa con un camino plagado de aprendizajes, aventuras, seres maravillosos... y una perra nueva: Chai :-) Más info sobre este libro, en realidad trilogía, aquí.

La Reina Leona. Un cuento ilustrado basado en una historia real de una perra que conocí durante la pandemia en India y con quien formé un vínculo muy especial. Puedes conseguirlo aquí.

Diarios de viajes por Sudamérica y Norteamérica. Estos dos libros cuentan, a modo de diarios, mis primeros años como mochilero, incluyendo el encuentro con Cocaí en Bolivia y todas las aventuras vividas con ella. Hago especial énfasis en la conexión con la naturaleza y las personas que nos brindó el camino. Leer más aquí.

Únete a nuestra iniciativa y recibe novedades sobre viajes, perros y viajar con perro 😉

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Somos Rober, Cocaí y Chai, tres amigos de tres naciones distintas que recorren el mundo en autostop. Desde el año 2013 hemos hecho tres grandes viajes: Sudamérica, Norteamérica y Asia. Nuestra próxima aventura es África. El objetivo principal de este blog es animar a otras personas (¡y perros!) a lanzarse también a conocer los bellos rincones y culturas que nuestro planeta atesora

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La trilogía más esperada desde el Señor de los Anillos


El Pekín Express Canino, portada
La Reina Leona, portada
Queen Leona, cover book
Diario de Viajes por Sudamérica, portada
Diario de Viajes por Norteamérica, portada

El Pekín Express Canino

En marzo de 2019 mi perra Cocaí y yo salimos de Madrid con una mochila, una tienda de campaña y una misión entre ceja y ceja: llegar a China a dedo. Cuando andábamos en India hizo entrada en escena un "pequeño invitado" que puso el mundo patas arriba, incluido nuestro viaje. Tres años después volvimos a casa con un camino plagado de aprendizajes, aventuras, seres maravillosos... y una perra nueva: Chai :-) Más info sobre este libro, en realidad trilogía, abajo.

La Reina Leona

Un cuento ilustrado basado en una historia real de una perra que conocí durante la pandemia en India y con quien formé un vínculo muy especial. 

¡Disponible también en inglés!

Diarios de Viajes por Sudamérica y Norteamérica

Estos dos libros cuentan, a modo de diarios, mis primeros años como mochilero, incluyendo el encuentro con Cocaí en Bolivia y todas las aventuras vividas con ella. Hago especial énfasis en la conexión con la naturaleza y las personas que nos brindó el camino. 

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