Off-Season Hike in Georgia

Best Day Hikes around Tbilisi – Samshvilde Canyon

Best Day Hikes around Tbilisi - Samshvilde Canyon

Georgia country offers many hiking trails and destinations; however, we have sometimes time constraints and cannot travel far and do multi-day hiking like in Svaneti or in Tusheti. 

Do not worry,  Georgia is a mountainous country and wherever you go, there will be still plenty of opportunities for the hiking and exploring the nature.  Even if you are travelling to the capital of Georgia, and you want to do just a day hiking From Tbilisi, you will have multiply opportunities but some of the hikes offers the best nature and trails. Such hiking destination is Samshvilde Canyon.

Samshvilde is a medieval-abandoned town-fortress, and used to be one of the major trade centers in Georgia in the early medieval time. The ruins of the city, mostly medieval structures, stretch for a distance of 2.5 km in length and 400 metres in width in the Khrami river valley. Here you can see several ruined churches, fortification walls, and the other archeological sites.

Samshvilde Town

How to get to Samshvilde

Samshvilde is located just 60 km from Tbilisi. There is a public bus from Tbilisi to Samshvilde village, but it will be best if you hire a taxi, or rent a car to reach the location. Driving only takes 70 minutes, and the road to the village is in good condition, therefore, all types of car can reach the village.  If you have a small, sedan type car, then it is recommended to stop in the village, and start hiking from there. But you have a 4X4 car, then you can drive towards the historical Samshvilde town, stop the car there, and start hiking. By this way, you shorten the hike to around 3 km.

Samshvilde Fortress

Samshvilde Hiking Trail 

Samshvilde is an ideal destination for spring, autumn, and winter hiking. The weather is good here, with less rain and snow, and the trail is accessible all year around. However, it is too hot during the summer months, and it is preferable if you avoid the hiking in July and August.

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Samshvilde Canyon offers two hiking choices. The first one is just small short hike where you can hike and explore the ruins of Samshvilde town. If you choose this option, you will need to do just 4-5 km easy hiking.  However, the second choice is to make a loop around the canyon and do 16 km of hiking.  If you are fit and willing to explore the nature, then we recommend the second option.

Hiking in Samshvilde Canyon

Samshvilde Canyon loop is 16 km long, has easy difficulty a,nd offers good views over Khrami river and valley. The drinkable water spring is not found on the hiking trail, so bring at least 2 liter of water per person. The trail was marked and well-made just in 2021 year, therefore everyone can hike there.

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The first part of the hiking trail follows the ridge and the forest, then descends to the Khrami river, follows its basin, and then at the end of the hiking trail, it ascends sharply to the historical ruins of Samshvilde town. You can explore the ruins here, have a lunch, and then return to your car. On your way, you will pass Churches, old cemeteries, and the fortification walls.  Please note that during the May-September, the viper snakes can be found in the canyon. There are not many, and are scared of people, but be cautious, and do not damage the local flora and fauna.

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