Hitch-hiking in Georgia: advantages and disadvantages

Old beat-up van and yellow tinged hills - On the road, Southern Georgia

Advantages

Hitch-hiking in Georgia is undoubtedly one of the easiest things a hitch-hiker can do. There are scarcely any motorways (just around Tbilisi), on which people stop anyway. The concept of hitch-hiking is well known and it’s also sometimes practiced by locals, especially those living in remote mountainous villages. Georgian people are EXTREMELY friendly and hospitable, and held us in awe every time they stopped for us by offering us not only the lift, but also meals, drinks and even ice cream. Besides that, in Georgia you stand the chance of communicating in English and if that fails, the majority of Georgians speak Russian like natives.

It’s a pleasure to visit and hitch-hike in this beautiful country, admiring its various landscapes, as in Georgia you can find many different forms of terrain, beginning with high mountains, highlands and plains, and finishing with beaches on its stunning Black Sea coast.

Picnic with our couchsurfing host and friends - Akhalkalaki, Georgia, Hitch-hiking in Georgia

Disadvantages

Listing disadvantages of hitch-hiking in a country so perfect for it does feel a little like nit-picking but as always there are a number of very minor inconveniences to keep live interesting. The political position of South Ossetia an Abkhazia (see Political situation) make travel to the regions fool-hearty at best. The situation with Russia is all the more sinister and hangs like a black cloud over this tiny nation.

Roads in Georgia are often in poor repair if they exist at all. During our trip in 2011 the road from Zugdidi to Mestia was under construction and it took us a good six hours to travel the 130 km distance. The road wound round a mountain-side and it was the only way to get to Mestia, so even though the road was under heavy construction, it remained open. Sometimes we had to wait for the massive bulldozers and lorries to do their job and sometimes it just took ages to drive through the dusty two metre-deep holes full of rock and tree rubble..

Old beat-up van and yellow tinged hills - On the road, Southern Georgia, Hitch-hiking in Georgia

Our Experience

We hitch-hiked in Georgia in 2011 during our CaucasusTurkeyGreece trip. We crossed Georgian borders 6 times, as due to the political situation in the region it served us as a transition hub between countries which don’t hold friendly relations with each other. We stayed in the country around 3 weeks and we covered 1504 km by hitch-hiking.

This was our route:

written by: Ania

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