The South Caucasus is perfect for mountain biking. That is a region of challenging majestic mountains, velvet green hills, fast rivers, and raging waterfalls. The journey through the South Caucasus will give you emotions that are cannot be expressed with words.
In this article, we will share some information about the famous mountain biking routes in Armenia and Georgia, as well as provide you with some useful tips:
Geghadzor - Aragats North Lake (3,450m) - Mountain Biking Trail
Technical Specifications of the Trail
The best time is: July – September
The distance of the biking trail is 24 km.
The duration of the biking trip is 5-6 hours.
The area is located at an altitude of 2,232-3,454 m above sea level.
95% of the road is covered by sandstones, and the other 5% is paved.
This exciting trail begins in the Aragatsotn Province in Geghadzor village. To get to the village you can take a taxi from Yerevan. The road will take аbout an hour and a half and will cost you 8500 AMD ($17). You will find the marked sign of the trail beginning just at the main road of the village. Start cycling from the village up to the foot of Mount Aragats, which is the highest mountain peak (4096 m) of Armenia and one of the world's largest volcanos. At an altitude of 3,010 m is a beautiful lowland lake which is the last destination of your biking journey. You can continue by foot and walk up to North Lake (3,450 m). On the trail you will be able to enjoy the beauty of alpine meadows covered with colorful seasonal flowers: forget-me-nots, alpine violets, wild lilies, poppies, bellflowers, and others. The best season for visiting is summer and the beginning of autumn. Please take into consideration that it is not recommended to climb the mountain in rainy days.
Sevaberd - Geghama Mountains - Azhdahak (3,597m)
Technical Specifications of the Trail
The best time: May - October
The distance of the biking trail is 40km.
The duration of the biking trip is 6-7 hours.
The area is located at an altitude of 2,000-3,597m above sea level.
99% of the road is covered by sandstones, with 1% paved.
To enjoy this trail you should go from Kotayk Province to the village of Sevaberd. From Yerevan the road will take less than an hour and will cost you about 3,600 – 4,000 AMD ($8) to the village in the Geghama Mountain Range. The first 1-2 km will be on a paved road then you will continue on the road covered with sandstones. Ride up to the foothills (3,200 m) of Mount Azhdaak – the third highest mountain in Armenia. After reaching your destination for the day we recommend leaving your bikes and climbing to the top of Azhdaak to enjoy the crystal small crater lake and the marvellous views seen from the height. Your journey in Kotayk village can be combined with some sightseeing. Not far from Sevaberd community there is a cyclopean fortress belonging to the 1st millennium BC. The area of Geghama Mountains is not forested but is very beautiful because of colorful alpine meadows and small mountain lakes, and the frigid rivulets descending from the mountains.
For other Armenian trails you can take a look at this travel site.
Biking Around Svaneti
Svaneti is a magnificent mountain region located in the north-west of Georgia. It is divided into Upper and Lower Svaneti. If you decide to spend your cycling trip in this area, you will enjoy incredible breathtaking sceneries, admire green hills turning into blue glaciers, and alpine meadows.
Start your trip from the Khuberi Pass and finish by riding to the center of Lower Svaneti, Lentekhi. During the trip we recommend you visit the Jvar reservoir and the village of Haishi, as well as the historical center Latali, and the district center, Mestia. Make sure you don't leave without spending some time in the high-mountain villages of Ipari, Kala, and Ushguli. From Ushguli you will need to move to the Zagari pass and head towards Lentekhi. You can finish your journey by traveling to Kutaisi – the second largest city in Georgia and the center of Imereti region. The journey around Svanetia is long and not that easy, taking at least 6 to 7 days. You will need to take care of your accommodation for all the days of travel. To facilitate this task and solve any issues with transfers, of course, it would be better to use the services of tour companies.