The semi-autonomous region of Adjara runs along the Black Sea
coast and borders Turkey. It has been
historically a trading crossroads, often with smugglers taking goods from east
to west and back again. The area was the historically the start of the silk
road. Its capital Batumi displays a mix of old and new buildings, and odd
communist era designs. It used to be the playground of the Soviet top brass.
Further down into the eastern valleys of Georgia we have
Kakheti the wine region. Kakheti has an 8000 year history in wine production
where it was discovered that leaving grape juice in a buried amphora over winter
created an alcoholic drink. Wine is integral to the hospitality of the
Georgians and if a traveller gets invited into someone’s home the first thing
that is put in front of you is a glass of local wine. The word wine is ‘yvino’
in the local dialect, this could be where our words for the drink developed
Bikexplore is planning to organise a cycle holiday from Tiblisi
to Kasbegi along this tricky mountainous road in the near future.
The capital of Georgia, Tiblisi is a rapidly developing city
with a lovely old quarter of cobbled streets and traditional buildings. It has
an expanding nightlife and café scene. Georgia is modernizing fast now, with
good roads being driven through the mountains and tourist infrastructure being
set up. Now the tourist can find privately run guest houses in most of the
villages. Although many roads are still gravel, quite a few are being upgraded.
Georgia is an amazing country, small enough to get around and
not yet on the tourist trail. You will still feel as though you are the first
to travel here yet be sufficiently pampered with good accommodation and
excellent food and wine. In partnership with a cycling agent, Bikexplore will
be running a variety of different cycling trips to Georgia, touring, wine
tasting and adventure trips.