Our entry into Georgia was unexpected, or at least much earlier than we had planned – so much for plans… We entered knowing nothing about this country and didn’t even have guidebooks. Those who follow our website, know how much I read about the country I am visiting and that I use guidebooks a lot (here are blog posts with my book recommendations).
So, this was the first time I (sort of) depended on what I found on the Internet. I was happy to find lots of info (link to good websites below), and we were simply blown away by this country. The countless opportunities for overland camping in Georgia is just a small part of its charm!
A month was not enough. Overland Haven with Grant and Sarah is a wonderful place (info below) and we stayed a week. During the three weeks that followed, we wandered across the country, the weather forecast pretty much being our guide. The grapes were harvested, the leaves were turning yellow and winter was on its way.
Georgia is a country with an incredible history with lots of tangible remains. A paradise for those who love churches, cemeteries, fortresses, ruins and cave towns, but also for overlanders who love to roam its winding roads. So much space, such gorgeous landscapes and in terms of those beautiful roads, I know we haven’t seen the best yet.
For now, enjoy these first overland camping experiences in this beautiful country. More blog posts on Georgia will follow in the coming weeks.
Check it out: the Landcruising Adventure Laptop Sleeve Collection
Index for Overland Camping in Georgia
In this blog post we will share the following topics:
1 – Map with GPS Waypoints of our Campsites in Georgia
Let there be no misunderstanding: no, you don’t have to go to these places. No, these are not by definition the best spots. In Georgia you will have no problem finding your own places to camp. These photos will give hopefully you a sense of magic that you will feel when traveling here and are meant as an inspiration.
We decided share our GPS Waypoints for travelers who would like some tips about camping spots which we enjoyed or found practical. Please note that this is always our personal experience. So, be inspired here, check out iOverlander (more on this below) as a useful back-up system, but go and have your own adventure!
If you have great tips to add, feel free to do so in the comment section. Thanks!
2 – Favorite Spots for Wild Camping in Georgia
01 – Wild Camp – Gergeti Trinity Church
Why: While camped in a parking lot, this is a gorgeous setting surrounded by mountains and the beautiful, little church idyllically built on a top providing views of the valley. Below the church is a public toilet and spring (2.175 meters, Oct ’22).
GPS Waypoint: 42.664490, 44.615028
02 – Wild Camp – Mtskheta, above town
Why: It may be busy in summer with (day) campers, but it was October and we had the empty fields all to ourselves with a lovely view of the river and mountains across it. No facilities (615 meters, Oct ’22).
GPS Waypoint: 41.845629, 44.696427
03 – Wild Camp – Sulphur Bath in nature
Why: Natural hot baths in the middle of undulating hills, free of charge. Can be busy with local visitors and there’s quite some litter. We parked a bit away from the baths, behind the high vegetation where we camped in peace and quietness (50 meters, Oct ’22).
GPS Waypoint: 42.104257, 42.586308
04 – Dashbashi Canyon – away from the tourist site
Why: If not beautiful, it’s weird with the ‘diamond’ lit up at night… The canyon has become a massive tourist site. However, on the other side of the canyon you can pitch your vehicle wherever you want (1520 meters, Oct ’22).
GPS Waypoint: 41.595889, 44.126698
05 – Vardzia Monastery Caves – with view of the caves
Why: The valley is gorgeous and here you camp along the river with the, still partly inhabited, caves on the other side (1240 meters, Oct ’22).
GPS Waypoint: 41.378820, 43.287700
3 – Useful Spots for Overland Camping
06 – Useful Spot – Tbilisi, behind the Holy Trinity church
Why: To our surprise we found twelve other overlanders camped here even though it was late in the season. During our days here it was a quiet place to camp and on walking distance from the old town. Public toilet next to the church (450 meters, Oct ’22).
GPS Waypoint: 41.698961, 44.818177
07 – Useful Spot – Overland Haven
Why: Grant & Sarah bought a terrain about one hour east of Tblisis (40 kms) and welcome visitors. Great company, lovely spot to camp and take a rest. Laundry machine available (770 meters, Oct ’22).
GPS Waypoint: 41.735632, 45.308220
08 – Useful Spot – Katskhi Pillar, parking lot
Why: Possibly packed in high season but we had the parking lot to ourselves. Quiet night. Lots of birdsong in the morning, and at night a perfect view of the tall pillar that was basking in orange light of lamps, giving it a mythical ambience in the mist. Possible advantage in high season: easy visit early in the morning before the crowds ascend? (600 meters, Oct ’22).
GPS Waypoint: 42.286386, 43.215885
4 – Paid Campsites & Other Paid Accommodation
As of yet we have not made use of this.
5 – A Word on iOverlander
Whether wild camping or staying in hotels, iOverlander is the best overlanding resource on finding places to stay as well as other practical points for overlanders, e.g. on workshops. (You may find a number of the above-mentioned campsites on iOverlander).
iOverlander a non-profit project, started and maintained by fellow overlanders. To keep this great resource for overlanders going, you can contribute in (at least) two important ways:
- Donate (you will find the donate button on the website).
- Share your own experiences of camping that add value to other overlanders (camping spots or otherwise useful points).
Find iOverlander here.
6 – Additional Overland Travel Resources
Suggestions to find good travel information on Georgia:
- The forum on Horizons Unlimited has been a longstanding source of information especially for motorcycle tourers but has a growing wealth for four-wheeled travelers as well.
- Overlanding Facebook groups, among which Overland to Asia and Overland Georgia.
- Wander Lush & Going the Whole Hogg are inspiring travel blogs for Georgia (and other countries in the Caucasus).
- Guidebooks I know of, but haven’t used: a Bradt Georgia Travel Guide, Lonely Planet Georgia, Armenia, Azerbajjan.
- Reise KnowHow Roadmap that we find very useful: Georgia Roadmap.
- Keep an eye on our Georgia blogs, among which an Overland Travel Guide and an Overland Budget Report.
NEW: A Guidebook on Georgia for Overlanders
This fantastic road-trip guidebook for overlanders with some of the best off-roads in Georgia. We haven’t seen this book yet but have used Oun Travela’s Explore Kyrgyzstan. On their website you will now also find Explore Georgia; The Best Off-Road Routes.
Check out this book: 24 Off-Road Routes in Georgia
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