Following their visit to Vashlovani National Park in an UAZ Campervan – we decided to give Kim and Del a small upgrade and set them out on a trip with our Hilux Expedition Camper. They made an awesome journey from Tbilisi to Batumi, from East to West Georgia – obviously not over the highway, but rather via steep and narrow mountain passes.
This route will bring you to some of the highlights of Georgia like Vardzia and Paravani Lake, but also gives a chance to visit some of the lesser frequented places such as Tabatskuri Lake and the Adjarian Highlands.
Check out the full itinerary with tons of practical information and more beautiful photos: https://www.goingthewholehogg.com/tbilisi-to-batumi-road-trip-itinerary/
Part one: Vardzia and Georgia’s Lake District by Expedition Camper
Welcome to The Beast! Not its official name, but it's what we liked to call it. This Toyota HiLux Expedition Camper was our home for 3 weeks in May, allowing us to get off-road and explore some remote parts of Georgia, as well as a few better known spots. This is Part One of our journey. We kicked off our road trip at Paravani Lake, one of our favourite places in Georgia. Sitting at 2073 metres, on the Javakheti volcanic plateau, it's a bit chilly up here in Spring. So, after saying hello to a few pelicans and buying ALL the cheese at Poka Nunnery we headed south to warmer climes. The drive to Vardzia was a real surprise, a stunning gorge with ruined clifftop forts. We camped in a field below Vardzia, looking up at the expansive 11th-13th century monastic cave complex. The following day we explored the complex with a guide, seeing the beautiful frescoes in the church, winding through tunnels, listening to the sparrows, and admiring the views.
Part Two: Overlanding Georgia in a Toyota Expedition Camper
In Part Two of our Toyota Expedition Camper Georgia series it's all about the nature (with a sprinkling of Soviet mosaics for an added splash of colour!). Lakes, mountains, and rivers. Pelicans and frogs. Cows and pigs wandering past our kitchen. A spectacular hilltop camp with views of Mt Elbrus and the Greater Caucasus Range. Quiet little moments from our (off) road trip around Georgia. Oh, and a comedy encounter with a spider.
Part Three: Camping in the Adjara Highlands, Georgia
In Part Three of our Georgia overlanding trip in the Toyota HiLux Expedition Camper (from Overlando Campervans in Tbilisi), we finally make it to the Adjara Highlands. Approaching from Bakhmaro in Guria region, we tackle the dirt road that leads through yaylas (summer farming settlements in the alpine zone) such as Zoti Keli to Chidila Pass at 2400 metres. It's a tricky road, with some steep drop-offs on one side and snow still packed in at the other side in mid-May. The HiLux can handle it of course, but can Kim's nerves?!?
Part Four: Overlanding and Glamping Georgia (Adjara, Imereti, and Racha)
In the final episode of our four-part overlanding Georgia series we wake up to a warm welcome from a local farmer in the mist-enshrouded Adjara Highlands. He brings us some homemade cheese, bread, and creamy churned milk, and then teaches us how to eat it properly! The answer is not with a spoon ; )