Back in September we went on a bike tour in Svaneti with a group of great guys from Dubai - Paul, Serge, Ken and Eugine. Our friends arrived early in the morning about 2 o’clock. We picked them up from the airport with the bike bags and headed back into the city centre to the bike shop. We unloaded and assembled the bikes.
The guests had amazing bikes and I was really excited to see how they would ride them! They were very friendly and really keen to have an adventure. We left that morning to get on the road early and miss the traffic. On the way we picked up some hot sweetbread from a street seller.
The drive to Svaneti is long but very scenic with many mountains which gradually rise up. Our first stop was the village of Mazeri. That evening we took our intrepid friends to a hiking trail which led up to some spectacular waterfalls. We only had a few hours of daylight left for the hike so we quickly made our way.
The ancient forest all around us and mountains in the distance covered with waterfalls was brilliant to see. We passed a dramatic bridge over white water and climbed steeply stopping regularly to take photos of the amazing valley behind us and the waterfalls ahead of us.
After climbing for some time we decided to head back as the light started to close in. It had been well worth it and a great way to stretch the legs after the drive. We were all ready to tuck into some delicious food. The guest house was very cosy; a large typical Georgian house.
After really good nights sleep in the morning we were up early to prepare the bikes before starting our first ride downhill out of Mazeri to the road to Mestia. We started with a short road climb undulating over the mountains The villages on the road to Mestia are really impressive.
The old way of life is unspoilt and there are many traditional towers and architecture. We arrived, dropped our bags at the guest house and took a road climb to the chairlifts. Serge and Paul got a shuttle and Eugine and Ken rode the whole way!
The chairlift covered the last 4 km up to the summit with amazing 360° views of the entire mountain range. From here after having a drink we traversed along the top to the furthest point in order to get some memorable photos and ride some incredible sections of trail.
With big grins on our face we started the main descent down on dusty singletrack. Unfortunately half way down one of us had a tire blowout so we waited for a few minutes for ‘The Godfather’ Vako to arrive and save the day. We made some repairs and then continued enjoying the ride before heading back to Mestia for lunch.
Before dinner that evening we had a special surprise adventure in store. We drove up switchback after switchback to the summit of a nearby mountain whilst the sun was setting. The views were incredible, the place was magical. It was difficult to believe!
The following day we took the shuttle up a different mountain following some single track and Enduro road for about 15 km beside water rapid rivers and amazing mountain views.
The high point of this ride was reaching a traditional ‘medieval’ village with an amazing quite technical downhill and then double track downhill for a further 15 km; a thrilling adrenaline filled rush.
The trail ended at a village at the bottom where we are able to wash our bikes and made friends with the locals. The day ended in Ushguli with a walk to the ancient ruins of the old queen Tamar whilst the sun was setting. We all agreed it felt like a really spiritual place.
The following day we are up really early ready for the descent to Lentechi. The route was 60 km of varied tracks downhill! (not for the faint of heart) The first 50 km is amazing varied rocky track and undulating flowy trails ending with a leg stretch on the road.
We finished the day with a dip in the river and a feast in a local restaurant before jumping the vehicle and heading back to Tbilisi in high spirits over such an amazing trip. That evening we met up again for dinner and Jazz Karaoke in local bar ‘Jazzanova’! Thanks to our friends Paul, Serge, Ken and Eugine for an awesome trip. We hope you come again.