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5 Adventurous Things To Do In Georgia
Written by travel writer, Rahma from The Sane Adventurer
The country has witnessed a past of Arabs and Ottomans passing through its land, which has left its cultural identity in its roots. This makes Georgia a highly culturally diverse country to explore. Stay in Tbilisi for all the touristy fun and games activities, but as soon as you plan to step outside the cobbled street lovely city of Tbilisi, Georgia is all about adventure.
Not many people are aware that Georgia is blessed with a mixed landscape of mountains, plains and the sea that makes it perfect for the adventure seekers. I visited Georgia in the autumn last year and is an avid adventure lover; my only focus was to enjoy the most of the adventurous activities the country has to offer.
And well, I wasn’t disappointed at all!
To my surprise there is a lot more adventure to be had in Georgia then I actually thought and planned. In this post, I am going to share the five adventure activities I enjoyed in Georgia.
Paragliding In The Caucasus Mountains
Paragliding is one of the best things to do in Georgia and the one which I was the most excited about! And not to mention, in the end, it was the one I loved the most.
The paragliding is done at the small town of Gadauri that comes between driving from the capital city of Tbilisi to the small town of Kazbegi neighboring the Russian border. The take-off spot lies at 2800 meters about the sea level on a lush green mountain top of Gadauri.
Many companies are operating the flights and twenty minutes of flight costs something around 80 to 100 dollars. But before you judge the cost of paragliding to be slightly expensive, let me mind you – it is totally worth it!
The flight starts taking off with a professional pilot on top of a mountain who then takes you higher and higher near the surrounding Caucasus giants. As I visited during the autumn season, all the mountains were covered with grass and the sky was as clear as crystal.
The views of the many rivers that flow from the mountains in Georgia from the top are simply breathtaking! They look like a thin white line passing through the gigantic mountains surrounding them from all directions. It was quite surreal to see the ground more than 2000 meters below my feet.
Trekking To A Lonely Church On The Mountain
The landscape of Georgia is quite mountainous and offers tons of trekking and hiking opportunities. I am a crazy trekking lover and when I got to Kazbegi; my guide informed me about a short two hours trek to a lonely church on Mt. Kazbegi, I was over the moon!
The short trek is done in the small border town of Kazbegi on Mt. Kazbegi. It is the highest and definitely the most stunning snowcapped peak in the region.
The trek falls in the easy to medium category; however, it is a short distance; therefore, it can be easily done with just average physical fitness.
The way to the lonely church goes through a scenic path gaining rapid elevation. The trek passes through giant pine trees and a muddy path where at some points it is hard to see the sky as there are quite a lot of trees on the way.
The trek ends at the Trinity church on the top of the mountain with some extraordinary views of the small town below.
The abandoned church is a 6th-century church, which is quite an interesting place to visit in itself. Alternatively, the entire trek can be skipped, and the lonely Trinity Church can be reached by thirty mins off road jeep ride, but what so adventurous in doing that? Nothing, right?
River Rafting, River Rafting, River Rafting
You must be confused about the repeated river rafting in the headline, right?
Well, there is a reason I used it three times. Georgia is blessed with many rivers flowing directly from the mountains in different directions throughout the country.
The flow in most of the rivers near the capital city of Tbilisi is fast and therefore, they offer great opportunities of river rafting all year long except December to March when the weather becomes too cold for rafting. Aragvi River that lies near Gadauri is very popular for river rafting. It also happens to fall in the tourist route of the country, which makes it a perfect choice for adrenaline junkies like to me to hop on a raft and flow with the waves!
During September when I visited Georgia, my guide suggested morning to be the best time to go for rafting when the river flow is moderate to strong. It is always good to make prior bookings for any activities you planned for the day, but in Georgia, you can get booked there and then at the spot.
The rafting was initially not in my plan, but seeing a huge crowd around the river while passing through it, I was convinced that this is something that should definitely not to be missed!
Forest Hiking In A Natural Park
The adventure opportunities in Georgia are undoubtedly countless! Who would have thought of going on a forest hike before visiting the country?
Yes, even I didn’t know about it!
The Borjomi Natural Park in the city of Borjomi is one of the largest parks in the country with natural drinking water springs, waterfalls, natural hot water pools and a short one hour hike through the forest! This surely makes the Borjomi Natural Park a must place to visit.
The forest hike starts towards the end of the park, which is a paved walk through a thick natural forest with a stream flowing through it. The trek ends at the hot water spring, which is a great place to have a relaxing hot bath within nature.
Though the hiking trail is well paved crossing a few small bridges along the way, there are no lights on the way. Therefore, it is highly recommended to complete the hike back and forth during the daylight only. Though it is a protected area, hiking in the darkness that too on a narrow path with all sorts of insects around is just not a pleasant idea.
Just like the trekking in Kazbegi, this forest hike can also be done by a jeep ride at an additional price, but that won’t be as good as hiking so close to natural stream with all sorts of greenery around.
Diving To An Underwater Church
I deliberately kept the most interesting adventure for the last!
Getting the opportunity to dive to an old sunken church is something that you won’t get to do everywhere.
Well, in Georgia, that is absolutely possible!
But before we get in the nitty-gritty, here’s a short history of the underwater church, which is sunk in the Zhingavli Reservoir. The Zhingavli Reservoir on the Georgia border road just in the outskirts of Tbilisi was actually built on old villages.
The villages were abandoned, and the area was flooded in order to build the reservoir which now serves as the primary source of water for Tbilisi.
During the monsoon reason when the water levels are high, it is the best time to dive to the underwater church. Being not-a-good diver, I was forced to skip this adventure, but many of my group members went for it, and they absolutely loved it!
The church is quite near to the main viewpoint towards the mountains on the right. This activity has to be booked in advance, and it is not permitted to dive to the church independently, though there are people who still do that. As the water levels are dropping in the reservoir, the underwater church is predicted to be emerging out of the water in the next five to seven years.
Though there is a lot of more adventures that Georgia has to offer, but these five were my favorite. Another reason that these top ideas for what to do in Georgia made the list is the fact that the places are located in close vicinity with each other and therefore, it becomes easier to visit all the adventure spots. This area is also the most tourist-favorite stretch of Georgia so commuting, on the whole, is very stress-free.
I hope I was able to help you know a little more about what Georgia has to offer. Being a very underrated country, the tourists confine themselves just to the culture and food diversity of Georgia, but if you step out of Tbilisi, Georgia is nothing but a giant untouched playground for adrenaline lovers like me waiting to be explored.
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