Three countries in the Southern Caucasus, stretching from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea: Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, where Asia meets Europe, history is mixed with the present. This region is associated with influences from Turkey, Mongolia, Perse and Russia, creating three colorful cultures.
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Azerbaijan is predominantly Muslim. In the past, Georgia and Armenia were the first two kingdoms in the world to follow Christianity. Therefore, the heritage of religious art, ancient churches and monasteries are both treasures of these two countries and the highlight of the beautiful natural scenery. The Caucasus mountains, with a total length of 700 km, with many peaks over 5000 m high, separating Russia and Georgia, Azerbaijan is still unspoiled. There are only three motor vehicle routes connecting the North and the South, in which the Military Road connecting Russia and Georgia, across the foot of the 5047 m high Kazbek mountain, is the most famous.
So, is 10 days in Georgia enough, what to do and how to spend 10 days in Georgia country? Let’s check out our suggested Georgia travel itinerary with the detailed 10 days in Georgia road trip itinerary as follows. We also suggested Georgia travel itinerary for 7 days and 5 days!
Referring to Georgia country, one must mention the word Georgia, with the unique alphabet, all symbols are round and beautiful. After a few days in Georgia, I also learned three words: “gmadlobt” – thank you, “ki” – yes, and “ara” – no. As for words like taxi, hotel, and toilet, everyone understands, so fortunately, I don’t have to learn.
Formerly part of the former Soviet Union, most Georgians speak Russian. At first, I also tried to use google translate to translate from English to Georgian, but because of the “oh my God” meaning too many times, I had to translate it into Russian for convenience and also easy to understand.
Although on the edge of Asia, Georgian culture and customs are more like Europe. They are still kind but not pushy, which means with a few trips together with a few people asking, they won’t invite for a wedding like in India and Pakistan. Personally, I find traveling in Georgia very pleasant and safe for all men, women, old women, and children. Even safer than most Western European countries now.
If you are someone who has seen the landscapes of Europe, North America, North India, and Xinjiang with your familiar eyes, I must say first that the Georgia scene is not too beautiful to surprise. But Georgia has a very charming “vibes”, both classic and authentic that I want to come back as soon as I return home. This is hard to describe, you have to come to experience.
Georgia travel itinerary for the first-timers
Below is the 10 days in Georgia country I made. I originally planned a different itinerary, but because of 4-5 consecutive days of rain, I couldn’t go to the mountain. But rain is a matter of God, and I have to work hard to change the itinerary. Link Gmaps.
- Day 1, 2: Visit Tbilisi, overnight in Tbilisi. If you lack of time, you can reduce 1 day in Tbilisi or change 1 day to the route to Mestia.
- Day 3: Day trip to Kakheti wine regions, Ikalto Monastery, Khareba Winery, Sighnaghi. Overnight in Tbilisi.
- Day 4: Jvari Monastery, Mtskheta, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Shiomgvime (Cave of Shio). Overnight in Akhaltsikhe.
- Day 5: Akhaltsikhe Castle, Khertvisi Fortress, Vardzia Old City, Kutaisi. Overnight in Kutaisi
- Day 6: Martvili canyon, Enguri dam. These two places are not too special, can be skipped, go straight to Mestia or Ushguli. Overnight in Mestia or Ushguli.
- Day 7: Walk around Ushguli, back to Mestia. Overnight in Mestia.
- Day 8: Mestia to Kutaisi. Visiting Kutaisi. Overnight in Kutaisi.
- Day 9: Gelati Monastery, Katskhi column, Ananuri Fort. Overnight in Kazbegi.
- Day 10: Hiking from Gergeti to Trinity church (1 hour oneway, +333 m). Overnight in Tbilisi.
Conveniently I also write down my Armenia 3-day itinerary:
- Day 11: Crossing the Armenian border, Akhtala Church, Haghpat Monastery. Overnight in Yerevan.
- Day 12: Walking around Yerevan, Garni Temple. Overnight in Yerevan.
- Day 13: Khor Virap Monastery, Noravank Monastery. Take a night flight home.
Great Caucasus 10 Day Trekking And Hiking Itinerary (#10 days in georgia country)
This itinerary I have not made but temporarily write for the next season. Hiking in June or late September or early October.
- Day 1: Tbilisi, Gori, Tskaltubo, Kutaisi. Overnight in Kutaisi.
- Day 2: Go to Mestia, wander the villages around Mestia. Overnight in Mestia
- Days 3, 4, 5, 6: Trekking from Mestia to Ushguli (50 km). Overnight in villages along the way.
- Day 7: Hiking Koruldi Lake or Shkhara Glacier (18 km), about Kutaisi. Overnight in Kutaisi
- Day 8: Kutasi goes to Kazbegi. Overnight in Kazbegi.
- Day 9: Hiking Truso valley (22 km). Overnight in Kazbegi.
- Day 10: Sno Village Giant Stone Heads, hiking Juta valley. Return to Tbilisi, catch sunset at Jvari Monastery.
Note that if you want to go to all 3 countries, you must go to Azerbaijan first, then Armenia because Azerbaijan does not allow entry from Armenia.
7 Day Itinerary For Busy People
If you have little time in Georgia, I can suggest a shorter itinerary, going through only the most popular areas:
- Day 1: Visit Tbilisi, overnight in Tbilisi.
- Day 2: Jvari Monastery, Mtskheta, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Shiomgvime (Cave of Shio), Kazbegi. Overnight in Kazbegi.
- Day 3: Visit Trinity church in Gergeti, Ananuri fortress, go to Kutaisi. Overnight in Kutaisi.
- Day 4: Visit Kutaisi, go to Mestia.
- Day 5: Mestia go to Ushguli, go around Ushguli, go to the glacier if the weather favor. Back to Mestia. Overnight in Mestia.
- Day 6: Go around Mestia, go to Kutaisi. Overnight in Kutaisi.
- Day 7: Kutaisi, Katskhi column, go to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi.
If you still have a tight time, you can combine days 6 and 7, going straight from Mestia to Tbilisi in 8 hours.
Currently, Georgia has an e-visa policy for Vietnamese citizens. Simple and easy procedure. The price of the e-visa is 20 USD. Passport conditions valid for more than 6 months.
In addition, if you have a valid Korean, Japanese, American, Canadian, Schengen visa, you will be exempted from visa. But I once knew a friend who was refused to board a plane when transiting in a third country because the airline did not know this rule.
When should you go to Georgia?
The climate in Georgia is quite similar to the mountains of Europe, spring from late March to early June. Summer from June to the end of August. Autumn, September and October. Every season has its own beauty. Spring and autumn are cool, is the low season, everything is cheap, tourist spots are deserted, but there is a lot of rain. Summer on the mountain is green, but it’s the peak season, so it’s crowded and the services will be a bit expensive.
I went to Georgia in mid-May, the low mountains and prairies are blooming brilliantly, there is still white snow on the high mountains. Hope to be back in a yellow autumn.
Getting around Georgia
I heard that public transportation in Georgia is quite cheap, convenient and easy to take. But because I like wandering and taking pictures along the way, I chose to rent a car for convenient jumping off.
Below are 5 ways to rent a car:
1. Self-drive car rental. The rental price for 8 days on rentalcars.com is about 500 € (550 USD), excluding insurance, the second driver surcharge. Note that the car rental contract always has a small line that the car cannot go to Ushguli and Gergeti. If you go this way, your entire 10-day itinerary will cost about $800 for the car after adding all the extra costs.
2. Rent a campervan. In 2020, I booked a campervan in Georgia but then had to cancel because of the pandemic. Contact: Anna [email protected]. Price in 2020: 100-130 USD / 1 day, depending on the number of days, the longer the cheaper.
3. Car rental package from the beginning to the end of the itinerary. I consulted nearly a dozen tour operators and the driver was quoted as a package price from 1800 USD to 2800 USD/10 days, 5-seater car.
4. Car rental day by day via web http://gotrip.ge. The website is easy to use, just plan a day’s itinerary like making on Google maps. The web will report a list of drivers, car photos and prices to choose from, roughly similar to Uber. The price is from 80 to 150 USD / 1 day, depending on the short distance and the type of vehicle. I have used this service 4 times and find it very good. The downside is that this site does not have a driver service for a long trip.
5. Rent a day or a few days directly with the driver. I write here the contact of the driver Lasha that I am most satisfied with on the trip. If necessary, you can message to discuss directly, the price will be softer than booking through Gotrip. Lasha is on time, drives well, is safe, speaks English, has a hobby of fishing, so she is patient enough to wait for you to take virtual pictures for hours. Wherever you want to go, just tell him to stop. The 5-seater SUV has a high ground clearance, so it can access Ushguli. He’s based in Kutaisi, so he’s very familiar with the way towards Mestia or Gori.
Contact: Lasha +995 579 41 89 89, contact via Whatapp.
I used to drive to many places but this trip I chose to rent a car with a driver, partly because I was lazy, partly because the quality-price ratio was too good. Driving in Georgia is nothing too special to experience.
In total 10 days, I pay about 1000 USD, very little difference compared to renting a self-drive car, and don’t need to worry about surcharges, insurance, deposit, parking, buying gas, repairing the car when it breaks down, driving long distances. tired, and so on. If you stop for many days in one place, you should choose to rent a car every day, saving the cost of the days when the car is parked unused.
Roads in Georgia are under repair in many parts, and insurance rarely covers tire, glass, and undercarriage repairs. Although the road from Mestia to Ushguli is not as precarious as Ladakh and Zanskar roads, it is also full of dinosaurs and rhinos, so low-ground vehicles will not be able to go.
The road to Kazbegi (Military Road) is of good quality, but it’s the only route through the mountains between the North and South Caucasus, so the container vehicles run in both directions, so it’s safer for people with good driver.
Where to stay?
Renting a hotel/apartment in Georgia is very simple, just go to basic websites like Booking, Hotels, Agoda or Airbnb. As a habit, I use Booking and only choose a room where the rating is 9 points or more, with a view.
Hotel service in Georgia is relatively good. Prices range from 30 USD / 1 double room in a guesthouse in a remote place like Ushguli to 75 USD / 1 double room in a 4-star hotel in the middle of the old town of Tbilisi. In general, from 40-50 USD, there is a large clean double room, the best view in the region. However, I went in May, which is the low season. In summer prices can be higher.
Eat and drink
Food in Georgia is delicious but a bit salty, you can tell the kitchen to reduce salt. Food prices range from 10-15 USD / 1 person / 1 meal in a good restaurant, of course not a Michelin star restaurant.
Some of my favorite places to eat:
- Tbilisi: The restaurant of the 4-star Mukharantubani Boutique hotel, delicious cooking, cheap compared to quality.
- Telavi: Bravo restaurant, extensive menu, delicious food, not expensive.
- Kutaisi: Baraqa, right next to Colchis Fountain, convenient location, good food.
- Mestia: Vichnashi, right opposite Mestia bus station, popular restaurant but very good food.
- Kazbegi (Stepantsminda):
- The restaurant of Panorama Kazbegi hotel, nice view, recommended for lunch.
- The restaurant of 5 star hotel Rooms Hotel Kazbegi, luxurious decoration, delicious food according to European taste, cheap price compared to 5 star hotel.
In short, the cost in Georgia is not very cheap compared to Asia. Compared to Europe, it is about ½ to 2/3 of the equivalent service price.
Roughly summarize the cost of 10 days for 2 people.
- Car with driver: 1000 USD
- Hotel: 400-500 USD
- Meals and petty expenses: 200-300 USD
I went with 2 people, so about 850 USD / 1 person to spend on the spot for 10 days, excluding airfare, visa and travel insurance.
Billing in USD is easy to understand, but in Georgia, Lari is used. 1 USD = 2.60 Georgian Lari (GEL).
Have a great trip to Georgia.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Tbilisi you can refer to
- Tbilisi Evening Walking Tour
- Kakheti Wine Region Private Day Tour from Tbilisi
- Kazbegi Crazy Tour from Tbilisi
- Zoo Atlanta Admission in Georgia
- Tbilisi Private Walking Tour
- Tbilisi: Kazbegi Full-Day Group Tour
- From Tbilisi: Kakheti Wine Region, Including 7 Wine Tastings
- Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Jvari, Gori and Uplistsikhe Day Tour
- From Tbilisi: Borjomi Central Park and Vardzia
- Tbilisi: City Highlights Guided Walking Tour
- From Tbilisi: Small Group Tour to Armenia with Lunch
Read more Georgia guide here.