Georgia By Off-Road Motorcycle (Guided)

Code: GEO/MOT/DIF/19
  • motorbikes and an an ancient georgian wall
  • IMG_20180614_172311_1024x768
  • IMG_0764_576x768
  • Foto- Thomas van Hemert-5549_1024x683
  • IMG_20180614_190915_1024x768
  • shutterstock_177545576_1024x681
  • MVIMG_20180612_193935_1024x576
  • Signaghi Church BOB
  • 1 25398230_1879300552088760_5018337840658312617_o_1024x576
  • Georgia Winter Scene Sheep
  • Foto- Thomas van Hemert – IMG_9161_1024x576
  • Church Signaghi BOB
  • Chess Tbilisi BOB
  • 1 20664548_1706700932682057_8899990395410797285_n_1024x576
  • 1 36087936_2123687147650098_4789670820383293440_o_576x768
  • Old Tbilisi Moto BOB crop to landscape
  • MVIMG_20180614_132122_1024x576
  • Tbilisi old house BOB_crop to landscape
  • IMG_20180615_091710_1024x576
  • Foto- Thomas van Hemert-5683_1024x683
  • IMG_20180611_075143_1024x768
  • IMG_20180614_165236_1024x768
  • Foto- Thomas van Hemert-4146_1024x683

Flexible Departure: June – September 2019. See Itinerary below for details

This thrilling blast across Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains is perfect for those after a short, sharp dose of two-wheeled adventure.

Starting in the charming capital, Tbilisi, we’ll explore Svaneti and Tusheti,  two of Georgia’s wildest and most remote regions. Riding a BMW GS650, you’ll bump along remote tracks, twist up superb mountain roads, eat fabulous Georgian food and fall in love with Georgia and its people. Far bigger than the Alps, these Caucasus Mountains are a biker’s dream.

During the trip you’ll be staying at local guesthouses and homestays – the best way to really get to know any country. You’ll be feasting on home-made produce, glugging home-made wine and sitting around candle-lit tables making countless happy toasts to friendship, family and more.

The ride is going to be challenging, so don’t come on this trip if you are used to slick tyres and city pavements – you will need a modicum of off-road riding skill to fully enjoy it. It isn’t trials, but the roads are very, very rough in places so you need to be prepared. But hey, isn’t this all part of the adventure?

Due to winter snows, this route is only doable from late-June to mid-September – but since the minimum group size is only three, you can choose the dates to suit you.

This is a partner-led trip, so you’ll be looked after by our superb Georgian partner.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Tbilisi International Airport
DEPARTURE TIME Whenever your flights arrive
INCLUDED
  • Rental of a BMW F650GS
  • All accommodation
  • Mechanic travelling with group
  • Airport transfers
  • All meals
  • All wine and other drinks
NOT INCLUDED

We will be there at the airport to collect you, and will drop you there in good time for your return flight. Please note that to ride a motorbike we will need to see your proof of holding a valid driving licence, and you will be self-certifying that you can handle a bike like this on very rough roads.

Georgia Off-Road Motorcycling Small Group Tour.
Minimum Group Booking of just 3 persons. Maximum group 8 persons.
Late June to mid-September only.

1

Day 1:

Arrive Tbilisi International Airport, Georgia.
We’ll come and pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your accommodation in Tbilisi – a comfortable small hotel in the Old City. Some flights arrive very early in the morning and others throughout the day, so this will be a gentle day of exploring this fascinating capital city at your own pace whenever you arrive. We’ll meet for supper and chat through our departure tomorrow.

2

Day 2:

Tbilisi to Racha.
After gearing up the motorcycles, we’ll head west towards Racha, a mountainous region that’s undiscovered even by Georgian standards. The local population is known for its relaxed attitude, and we think the combination of the scenic beauty and glorious roads will help you feel the same way! This is authentic rural Georgia. We’ll spend tonight at Temuri’s amazing guesthouse. He built the place himself and will regale you with tales of the wolf and bear pelts on his walls. Homemade wine, regional dishes, and chacha spirit are certain to be on the menu. Today is mostly road riding as we make our way up into the hills.

3

Day 3:

Racha to Svaneti.
Today our off-road adventure truly begins. From Oni we ride up to Svaneti. We’ll ride via Lentekhi, up to Ushguli and onwards to Mulakhi. After riding this track don’t be shy to tell the Svans; you will gain quite some appreciation for it. Out here the local language is Svan, not spoken or understood by Georgians, highlighting that this is a region of its own. From Lentekhi onwards a 70 km dirt road brings us up into Svaneti – it is rocky and not easy to ride. But the scenery is going to more than make up for it as we make our way to our homestay in Mulakhi for the night. Our riding is about 70% off-road today.

4

Day 4:

Svaneti
Our route today explores the wider area and will give you a deep insight into life in this mountain region – how hard it can be and how resilient and cheery the people are. The Svaneti region boasts traces of civilization stretching back millennia, and a part of this footprint are the winding ancient tracks that criss-cross the remote areas, allowing us to get into places and see views of mountains and 10th-century defensive towers that will blow your mind and exhaust your superlatives. We spend this evening back at the same homestay as last night and are guaranteed a warm welcome back. We’ll be 100% off-road today.

5

Day 5:

Svaneti to Kutaisi
Today we leave Svaneti, swinging down a beautiful tarmac road that offers possibly the best road riding in the Greater Caucasus.  Swooping and carving along the road, passing through villages with historic towers and Mt. Ushba as our ever-present background, you’ll know you are riding in “free Svaneti”, a regions that still keeps it pagan traditions alive.
As we leave Svaneti we ride down to Kutaisi, the capital of the Imereti region. Kutaisi is Georgia’s second biggest city and tonight we’ll dine at Palaty, a beautiful ‘’bohemic’’ restaurant with the best local food. Our hotel for the night is family-run and has good views across the city. The ride today is on tarmac mountain roads.

6

Day 6:

Kutaisi to Tbilisi
There is a main highway running east-west, but we are going to leapfrog it and take the roads less travelled. We’ll visit villages off the beaten path and enjoy some excellent riding. On the way we will experience the rapid changes in climate and bio-region – there are ten different climate zones in this small country, and today we’ll experience a fair few. The diversity of nature in Georgia is one of the things that makes it special, with zones from 5000 metre high alpine, to steppes, to lush vineyards and seaside, it’s an amazing amount packed into a small area. We’ll spend the night in Tbilisi preparing for our final challenge – the mountains of Tusheti. Terrain today is mostly on small roads with some sections of dirt tracks.

7

Day 7:

Tbilisi to Tusheti
The road to Tusheti is only open around four or five months a year – one road in and one road out. The rest of the year it can only reached by helicopter. The famous Abano pass – featured in the BBC’s World’s Most Dangerous Roads series, coincidentally produced by our very own Director, Antonia – is a treasure of the Caucasus mountains. Because of the harsh conditions the road is mainly used by local shepherds herding their flocks to lower lands when winter starts. We’ll end up in a mountainous wonderland and will stay either with a local family in Diklo, or in a small guesthouse in Omalo. About 75% of our riding is off-road today.

8

Day 8:

Tusheti to Tbilisi
We head back to Tbilisi today on our last riding day, crossing valleys, meeting shepherds and taking in the incredible views. What a final day. We’ll be back in Tbilisi by late afternoon and will have a farewell supper in a Georgian restaurant. Many flights leave late tonight so we’ll get you to the airport in time for check-in, or if you are leaving tomorrow morning you can head to the hotel and have the sleep of angels before you head home.
Where will we be staying? On this trip, we’ll be staying in small, locally-owned family guesthouses and homestays. We feel that true luxury is getting to know a place and its people, and is not necessarily measured by the thread count of the bed linen. Give us an immersive experience like this any day. I’m a solo traveller – is this for me? Yes. More than 85% of our expedition clients travel alone as part of our group. Is there a back-up vehicle? No, we don't have a back-up vehicle on this trip, as it's only a week and you won't need to carry much gear. You'll also have a mechanic riding with you at all times. What kit do I need to bring? We will provide you with an information pack after signing up to this trip, and this will detail any particular equipment we think either necessary or useful. Do I need to bring my own panniers? No, the bikes are all fitted with hard panniers and / or a top box. What will the weather be like? In the hills, it'll be chilly (warm jacket territory) at night. In the valleys and in Tbilisi it will be warm to hot, maybe in the 23-35 degree range depending on the month. How much are flights? This totally depends on season, but there are direct flights from across Europe to Tbilisi, and some from further afield. There are also budget airlines flying to Georgia now (mostly to the airport at Kutaisi, from where you'll transfer to Tbilisi), so it is entirely possible to get a return ticket very cheaply if you shop around and don't mind the time of day you'll travel. We can book your flights for you through our trade ATOL partners - please just ask us for details. Is this a guaranteed departure? No, we need a minimum of three people to sign-up to make this adventure certain of departure. This is from a maximum of eight riders so it shouldn't be too difficult to make that happen! We will take a deposit to hold your place and then confirm with you no less than 3 months prior to departure that the trip is going ahead. In the event that minimum numbers are not reached, we will return your deposit with no quibbles, in line with our terms and conditions. So why not just gather together a couple of friends and book together? What will the food be like? Amazing! Georgian food is a feast for the palate; a tasty array of (largely home-produced) meat and vegetarian dishes infused with the tastes of Persia, the Middle East and Europe.  This is definitely one of our more gastronomic trips. Are the Bikes Insured? The bikes are insured as per local law. Your own travel/personal insurance should also cover you for riding a motorbike of this size in Georgia. Do you perform proper risk management on your expeditions? Yes. We are members of TRIP – the Travel Risk and Incident Prevention Group – and perform detailed country risk assessments prior to departure, in line with the ISO 31000 international standard for risk assessment. We also maintain close contact with the relevant Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for countries we plan to visit, in addition to making use of the Australian Smart Traveller assessment tool, and the US State Department’s OSAC service. Beyond this, we have a full set of risk management and disaster contingency plans for each expedition and are expedition first aid trained by Crux Medical. For final back up we also use the services of Remote Medical Support that allows us to have a UK expedition doctor on the end of a telephone line wherever we may be. And we always carry a satellite phone if there is any danger of being out of signal in the places we travel through. We really don’t mess around when it comes to safety. Value for Money We are very proud of the routes we design and the way in which we travel them. We don’t cut corners and we plan meticulously. We are a small company that treats every guest as our friend and you won’t find that kind of service in many places. 85% of our customers have re-booked to travel again with us and some of them come on a trip every year. We also do annual expedition and remote medicine training and pay for 24/7 remote medical assistance cover. We employ professional military-grade risk assessments and plan for every possible negative scenario whilst hoping that none ever come to pass. We take our obligations to you and your safety very seriously and this all does cost money. We think the price offered is great value. What’s a partner-led tour? We run a range of different trips and expeditions. Our Director’s Cut tours are 100% designed by us, and are completely unique to Silk Road Adventures. You won’t find these trips anywhere else and a huge amount of research has gone into making these journeys one-offs. Examples of these are our ‘In the footsteps of Joanna Lumley’ and Amu Darya journeys. These trips are either led by one of the SRA directors, Marley or Antonia, or by a carefully picked expert on the region, such as Leon McCarron. Partner-led tours are a little different to this, in that they are designed, organised and led by one of our tried and trusted local partners. These tours are not always unique to Silk Road Adventures, and won’t be led by one of our UK team. However, this by no means affects the quality of the trip, or the level of enjoyment you’ll experience: we’ve put a great deal of time, research and Air Miles into ferreting out the best people to work with, and collaborating closely with them on these trips. We try and make it very clear what sort of trip each one is – if anything is remotely unclear please drop us a line here. Is this really for me? Although this is an extremely enlivening way to spend two weeks of your life, it’s also potentially dangerous. Motorcycling off-road is an inherently risky activity. It will also be physically tiring. Don’t even consider signing up for this adventure if you aren’t fully aware of the risks you are taking. If you like your holidays to include foie gras, butlers and miles of quilted loo roll then please look elsewhere. If however, you want a proper, unique and delightful experience that you’ll remember forever, then you are in luck!

Price:£1,740.00