Your guide to the 15 best day hikes near Tbilisi, Georgia – with detailed trail information, transport instructions and hiking tips.

Some of the most beautiful places in Georgia are right on Tbilisi’s doorstep and only a day-hike away. It might surprise you to learn just how many trails there are within the city, too – each one leading trailblazers into rolling hills for a different view.

Whether you want to keep it local or you’re looking for an active half or full day trip from Tbilisi, this list brings together the best urban trails plus the top day hikes from Tbilisi, all with starting points under 3 hours away by road.

This post offers a short overview of each hike with links to detailed guides, trail maps and other resources where available. At the end, you’ll find my Tbilisi hiking tips and links for finding organised group hikes.


Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.


Hikes in Tbilisi city

These first 6 hikes follow trails in and around Tbilisi. The departure points are easy to reach by foot, bus or taxi from anywhere in the city. For safety reasons, I always recommend pairing up with a hiking buddy rather than hiking solo in Tbilisi. Avoid being on the trails after dark as most are unlit.

1. Tbilisi TV Tower Hike

  • Distance: 1.5-2km one-way
  • Difficulty level: Easy (steady uphill climb over paths & stairs with some dirt sections)
  • Duration: 30-60 mins + time for sightseeing
Tbilisi TV Tower stands on a hill overlooking the city.
Tbilisi TV Tower.

This popular short hike is your ticket to the best views of Tbilisi city. It starts from the Church of Mikhail of Tver (behind Rustaveli Metro) and takes you to the top of the highest peak, Mtatsminda, via the iconic Tbilisi TV Tower. The path is part paved, part dirt, and quite steep in some sections.

An alternative route starts from the Lower Funicular Station and takes you to Mtatasminda via the wonderful Mtatsminda Pantheon, a graveyard filled with striking headstones. This path is completely paved and slightly shorter at 1.5km.

Sunset at Mtatsminda is incredible, so I strongly recommend doing this climb in the late afternoon. My favourite way to finish is with a Ponchiki filled donut (or two) from the cafe at Restaurant Funicular.

To get back down, you can either walk the alternate route to make a loop (only if it’s still light out), ride the funicular, or take a city bus.

→ For detailed instructions, see my guide to the Tbilisi TV Tower Hike.

2. Turtle Lake to Mtatsminda Hike

  • Distance: 8km one-way
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Duration: 3 hrs + time for sightseeing
Looking down at Tbilisi from the viewpoint above Turtle Lake.
Looking down at Tbilisi from the viewpoint above Turtle Lake.

This route starts from Tbilisi’s most popular hiking area, Turtle Lake, and takes you up into the hills and along a ridge to Mtatsminda.

The route is sign posted and easy to follow, with several modifications for different fitness levels. From the lake’s edge, you first head up to the viewpoint for a look at the lake and the Svan Tower. You can end the hike early by tracking down to Rustaveli Avenue from here, or you can press on across the ridge.

Along the way the trail passes the Nightingale Forest, the Open Air Ethnographic Museum and a cactus garden before finishing near the amusement park. Finish by walking down via Mtatsminda Pantheon (the reverse of the route described above) or by taking the funicular or a bus.

Get directions for the Turtle Lake Mtatsminda Hike on Wikiloc.

→ For detailed instructions and a video, see Geotrend’s guide to the ‘Tbilisi Views’ hike.

3. Kojori to Tbilisi Hike

  • Distance: 16km one-way
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Duration: 4-4.5 hrs + time for sightseeing
A flag flies atop a rocky outcrop in Kojori, near Tbilisi.
Tbilisi Kojori hike.

This hike starts from Azeula Fortress on the western outskirts of Tbilisi and carries you downhill through the town of Kojori back into the city. On a clear day, you’ll be treated to views of the Greater Caucasus part of the way. This is the easiest short hike in Tbilisi that can be done using public transport alone.

Start by taking city bus #10 from Freedom Square (50 tetri; 40 mins) or a taxi (25-30 GEL when booked through Bolt) to Kojori. After scrambling to the top of Azeula Fortress (partly by metal staircase), pass through the town – stopping to admire the Soviet-era mosaics – before continuing to Udzo Monastery where the dirt trail down to Tbilisi starts.

Kojori is higher than Tbilisi so it’s advisable to do this trek in a downhill direction. You’ll find a longer variation of this route further on in the list.

→ For detailed instructions, see Going the Whole Hogg’s guide to the Kojori Tbilisi Hike.

4. Hiking in Tbilisi Botanical Garden

  • Distance: Various
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Duration: Various
View of Mother of Georgia and Tbilisi city from the Botanical Garden.
Hiking on the high paths in Tbilisi Botanical Garden.

Tbilisi Botanical Garden is located right in the heart of the city in a valley behind Narikala Fortress. As well as the gently meandering paths that take you through flower gardens to the waterfall, there are more challenging uphill routes that deliver you to the elevated parts of the garden.

There are lots of routes of various lengths to choose from. I recommend heading to the southern (higher) section, where you’ll get a city view and a look at Kartlis Deda (Mother of Georgia) from the back.

You can easily turn this into a longer urban hike by walking up to Narikala Fortress first via the Betlemi Street Stairs.

→ Find directions and more information in my Narikala Fortress Guide.

5. Hiking in the Dendrological Park & around Tbilisi Sea

  • Distance: Various
  • Difficulty level: Very easy
  • Duration: Various

Tbilisi Dendrological Park is a 93-hectare area of oak and birch trees, walnut groves, and medicinal plant gardens. Similar to the Botanical Garden in Batumi, this is a more manicured space without the same wild feel as the national parks around the city mentioned above. Still, it’s a very pleasant place for an easy hike, helped by the fact that it’s completely flat.

Various trails wind through the forest so it’s simply a matter of choosing your own adventure. In the warmer months, I suggest walking down to Tbilisi Sea, the city’s biggest reservoir. You’ll find various swimming areas and beach bars dotted along the shore.

There’s an option to extend this hike by tracing the lake west then climbing up to the Chronicles of Georgia to see the monument and get a view of the residential Dighomi district. This longer route covers 7.5km and takes approximately 1.5 hours.

6. Shavnabada Monastery Hike

  • Distance: 2km one-way (starting from the highway)
  • Difficulty level: Easy (steadily uphill over a sealed road)
  • Duration: 40-60 mins + time for photos and visiting the monastery
A view of Tbilisi city from the garden at Shavnabada Monastery.
Views from the yard at Shavnabada Monastery.

Shavnabada Monastery is perched atop a hill at the southern end of Tbilisi, right on the border with Kvemo Kartli region. This part of Georgia is all wide plains and big skies; climbing up to the monastery is the best way to get a view of this stunning pastoral landscape.

Start by taking a taxi to the start point on the highway (15 GEL when booked through Bolt) then follow the long and winding paved road all the way up. You have to share the road, but traffic is usually sparse, especially in the early morning. When I visited I saw more tortoises on the road than cars!

When you’re done soaking up the views, retrace your footsteps back down to the highway and pick up a taxi or van travelling back to Tbilisi. Alternatively you can try to find a path down the opposite side of the hill.


Hikes near Tbilisi

If you’re prepared to travel a bit longer by road to reach the trail, these 9 additional day hikes near Tbilisi are all accessible by marshrutka or GoTrip transfer.

7. Kojori to Asureti Hike

  • Distance: 12km one-way
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Duration: 4 hrs + time for sightseeing
  • How to reach the trail: City bus or Bolt taxi (20-30 mins from Tbilisi)
A Lutheran church in Asureti, Georgia.
Hike to Asureti village.

This half-day hike also starts from Kojori – but instead of walking into Tbilisi you’ll be heading south to the historic town of Asureti. Once a German colony known as Elisabethtal, this town boasts a gorgeous Lutheran church and several half-timbered houses that date back to 1817.

Combined with Azeula Fortress at the start, this hike is perfect for anyone who’s interested in culture and history as well as nature.

Start by taking a bus or taxi to Kojori as described above. After submitting the fortress, walk downhill towards Kabeni Monastery then follow the river all the way into Asureti (7.5km or approx. 2 hrs). At the end of the hike take a van or local taxi back to Tbilisi (40 mins).

8. Hike to Jvari Monastery of Mtskheta

  • Distance: 6km one-way
  • Difficulty level: Moderate (unmarked uphill trail)
  • Duration: 90 mins + time for photos
  • How to reach the trail: Marshrutka or GoTrip transfer (30-40 mins from Tbilisi)
Jvari, a stone church in Mtskheta, Georgia.
Hike to Jvari Mtskheta.

While the Gergeti Trinity Church hike in Kazbegi is by far my favourite day hike in Georgia, it’s not possible to tackle this one in a day from Tbilisi. Instead, you can hike to another iconic Orthodox church: Mtskheta Jvari.

Part of the UNESCO-Listed Ancient Monuments of Mtskheta, this hilltop church has a history that goes all the way back to the day of Saint Nino. Most people visit by car, but it’s possible to hike up from Mtskheta city following an unmarked trail.

While you’re there, make time for Svetitskhoveli and all the other wonderful things to do in Mtskheta.

To get to Mtskheta from Tbilisi, take a marshrutka van from Didube Station (1 GEL) or book a round-trip transfer with GoTrip for 15 USD per car, including wait time while you do the hike.

→ For detailed hike instructions and a map, see Awayfarers’s guide to the Jvari Hike.

Watch Gringo Nation’s video of this hike.

Book a transfer from Tbilisi to Mtskheta with GoTrip.

9. Birtvisi Canyon Hike (Algeti National Park)

  • Distance: 5-8km one-way (depending on the route)
  • Difficulty level: Moderate-difficult (very steep rock in parts)
  • Duration: 2-4 hrs + time for sightseeing
  • How to reach the trail: GoTrip transfer or marshrutka (60-75 mins from Tbilisi)
An unreal landscape of limestone rocks at Birtvisi Canyon.
Birtvisi Canyon hike. Photo credit: Wikicommons/Paata Vardanashvili CC BY-SA 4.0 (changes made)

The first of two hikes in Algeti National Park, this challenging trail takes you through the spectacular Dolomites-like rocks of Birtvisi Canyon to Arsena’s Castle, Birtvisi Fortress and Sheupovari Tower.

The trail starts from Tbisi (not to be confused with Tbilisi) and is well signed at first, but the lack of markings after the forest portion of the walk can make things confusing. I highly recommend using Wikiloc to navigate.

This landscape of cone-like limestone formations is quite unique in Georgia, and the views from the top part of the canyon are spectacular. So if you’re up for a bit of adventure and you’re a semi-experienced hiker, this is a great option for you.

If you need a place for lunch, I highly recommend Taverna Tbisi. It looks modest from the outside but the food is top notch!

To reach the trailhead from Tbilisi, you can either take a Tsalka-bound marshrutka van from Navtlugi Bus Station near Isani Metro (I recommend aiming for the first van at 8am; 3 GEL) and jump out at Tbisi. To get back to Tbilisi, flag a van travelling the opposite way. Note that services only run until around 4pm.

Alternatively you can book a private transfer to Birtvisi with GoTrip for just 25 USD return, including wait time while you do the hike. If you’re using GoTrip, you can easily visit Samshvilde on the same day (see the next section for more info).

Get directions for the Birtvisi Canyon Hike on Wikiloc.

→ Book a round-trip transfer from Tbilisi to Birtvisi or from Tbilisi to Samshvilde and Birtvisi with GoTrip.

→ For more information, see Red Fedora Diary’s guide to visiting Birtvisi Canyon from Tbilisi.

10. Samshvilde Canyon & Fortress Hike (Algeti National Park)

  • Distance: 5km return
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Duration: 60 mins + time for photos
  • How to reach the trail: GoTrip transfer (75-90 mins from Tbilisi)
Stone ruins of Sioni church amidst a green landscape in Samshvilde, Georgia.
The remains of Sioni church at Samshvilde.

This second hike in Algeti is less popular but far easier to accomplish. It takes you to the historic Samshvilde citadel, where you’ll find the remnants of a cathedral and a fortress. Archaeological research is ongoing – incredibly, this site dates back to the 4th millennium BC. You can also see a number of dig sites here. The fortress has an epic location on the side of a deep river canyon.

The easy hike starts from Samshvilde village and is partially marked. The final part of the walk, shaded and designated by stone walls, passes several small churches. It takes a maximum of 60 minutes round-trip over mostly flat terrain, thus this hike is suitable for most people, including kids.

Samshvilde village is set back from the highway and marshrutka connections are scarce. To get to the village from Tbilisi to start the hike, I recommend booking a private transfer to Samshvilde with GoTrip for 26 USD return, including wait time while you do the hike. If you’re using GoTrip, you can easily visit Birtvisi Canyon on the same day.

Get directions for the Samshvilde Hike on Wikiloc.

→ Book a round-trip transfer from Tbilisi to Samshvilde or from Tbilisi to Samshvilde and Birtvisi with GoTrip.

See my Kvemo Kartli Guide for more things to do in the area.

11. Dashbashi Canyon Hike

  • Distance: 3.5km one-way (starting from the highway)
  • Difficulty level: Easy with some steep sections
  • Duration: 2 hrs + time for photos
  • How to reach the trail: Marshrutka (2-2.5 hrs from Tbilisi)
Dashbashi canyon waterfalls cascading over a rocky cliff.
Hiking through Dashbashi Canyon.

This popular canyon is located outside the town of Tsalka in Kvemo Kartli region, roughly 90km west of Tbilisi. Dashbashi (AKA Tsalka Canyon) runs for 8 kilometres and is surrounded by thick forest – it’s particularly beautiful in fall.

There are a number of ways to explore the area. Start by walking up the ridge to visit the small church and graveyard full of treasures, and to get a sweeping view. Then hike down into the canyon for the main attraction: A long waterfall that cascades over a cliff wall into the Khrami river below. Trails are marked and easy to follow.

To get to Dashbashi from Tbilisi by marshrutka, take a Tsalka-bound van and alight at the Wissol Petrol Station. The canyon is clearly signposted from the highway. Vans depart Tbilisi from Navtlugi Bus Station near Isani Metro. I recommend taking the first van at 8am. Tickets cost 8 GEL.

Alternatively, book a round-trip transfer with GoTrip for 30 USD including waiting time while you do the hike.

Get directions for the canyon and waterfall trail on Wikiloc.

Organise a transfer from Tbilisi to Tsalka with GoTrip.

→ For more information, see Red Fedora Diary’s guide to visiting Dashbashi Canyon from Tbilisi.

Note: A viewing platform is being installed at Dashbashi so the main part of the canyon is currently closed. Alternative hiking routes in this area can be found around Beshtasheni Canyon and in Trialeti National Park.

12. Norio village to Martkopi & Anton Martomkhofely Monasteries (Tbilisi National Park)

  • Distance: 10km return
  • Difficulty level: Medium (steep in parts)
  • Duration: 2-2.5 hrs + time for sightseeing
  • How to reach the trail: Marshrutka or taxi (30-40 mins from Tbilisi)

Tbilisi National Park – named Georgia’s first national park in 1973 – covers a large patch of wilderness 20km north-east of the city. There are several marked trails through the forest, including the Mamkoda Loop (38km) and the Big Viewpoint Trail (10km).

An alternative option that combines culture and nature is the hike from Norio village to Martkopi Monastery, an Orthodox monastery established in the 6th century and linked to St. Anton, one of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers. While there, be sure to summit the nearby tower for a view. Continue another 2km uphill to Anton Martomkhofely Monastery for a panorama of the forest and Martkopi below.

The main part of this trail is less adventurous because it follows an asphalt road all the way up to the monastery from the village of Norio. Norio can easily be reached by marshrutka from Samgori Metro Station in Tbilisi (1.50 GEL) or by taxi (25-30 GEL when booked through Bolt).

At the end of the hike you can return the way you came or continue on to the Bear Sanctuary and Sabaduri Forest, as described below.

→ For more details, see Reinis Fischer’s guide to the first part of the hike.

13. Martkopi Monastery to Bears Shelter & Sabaduri Forest (Tbilisi National Park)

  • Distance: 12km one-way
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Duration: 3-4 hrs + time for photos
  • How to reach the trail: Marshrutka or taxi to Norio (30-40 mins) or taxi to Martkopi Monastery (60 mins)
Thick green forest in Sabaduri near Tbilisi, Georgia.
Sabaduri Forest, perfect for a summer hike.

There are two options for this more challenging hike through Tbilisi National Park: You can either start from Norio village using the route described above, or shorten the walk by taking a taxi to Martkopi Monastery (approx. 35-40 GEL from Freedom Square when booked through Bolt).

From Martkopi Monastery, continue through the forest in a north-westerly direction towards the road, using Maps.me or another offline app to navigate. This will eventually lead you to Sabaduri, a forest of slender oak and beech trees. The path is shaded by a thick canopy and there are several water springs along the route, making this a good choice for summer (Sabaduri is very beautiful in autumn and winter, too). The trail can be muddy so avoid hiking here after heavy rain.

Set your end point for Bears Shelter in Georgia, a Georgian non-profit sanctuary for rescued brown bears just outside the village of Tskhvarichamia. This is not a tourist attraction – people are welcome to observe the bears, but you should message or call ahead to notify staff of your visit.

To get back to Tbilisi from the sanctuary, head to the main road and flag down a passing marshrutka. Alternatively you can pre-book a driver through GoTrip.ge (from 17 USD) and have them meet you on the highway.

Book a transfer back to Tbilisi from Sabaduri with GoTrip.

14. Udabno Rainbow Hills & David Gareja Cave Monastery

  • Distance: Various
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Duration: Various (1 hr to as long as you like)
  • How to reach the trail: GoTrip transfer (2 hrs from Tbilisi)
Colourful hills around Udabno in Georgia.
Hiking in the Udabno Rainbow Hills.

The semi-desert landscape in southern Kakheti region is a total contrast to the lush forests north of Tbilisi. The village of Udabno is best known as the jumping-off point for David Gareja Cave Monastery, but you can also use it as a start-point for a hike in the ‘rainbow hills’ – an impressive landscape of undulating hills painted with striations of ochre and coral (the product of mineral deposits).

There are no marked trails so you can either use Maps.me or similar to navigate your own way, or you can follow a route mapped on Wikiloc (see link below). As an example, hiking to David Gareja from Udabno via the hills takes around 3.5 hours one-way (18km). 

Alternatively you can just choose a spot on the road and set out towards the monastery (or towards Udabno) from there. I hiked from this point to the monastery on a trip with Weekend Travelers and it was very enjoyable. Just note that this landscape is very unforgiving – exposed and hot in summer and windy in winter – so exercise caution if you’re hiking alone.

Because public transport connections to Udabno are limited, I recommend either hiring your own car or organising a transfer through GoTrip for this hike. Prices start from 44 USD per car return, including wait time while you walk.

If you prefer to go with a guide, this day trip from Tbilisi with Friendly.ge includes off-roading and an 8km walk through the rainbow hills. Use the code wanderlush when you book online to get 10% off.

Another option is to hike around Mravaltskaro Reservoir, a similar landscape of rainbow hills closer to the city of Rustavi. Avoid this whole area during summer as venomous vipers are a problem.

Get directions for the Udabno to David Gareja hike on Wikiloc.

Book a transfer from Tbilisi to Udabno with GoTrip.

Check prices and availability for the Udabno hiking trip with Friendly.ge.

15. Abudelauri Lakes Hike

  • Distance: 16km return
  • Difficulty level: Moderate with some steep sections
  • Duration: 4-6 hrs + time for photos
  • How to reach the trail: Taxi (3-3.5 hrs from Tbilisi)
Abudelauri Lakes, an aqua blue lake in Khevsureti, Georgia.
Abudelauri Lakes hike in Khevsureti.

This hike near Tbilisi requires the most preparation and the longest time in the car to get to the trailhead. It’s much better if you can spread it out over 2 days and overnight in Roshka – but if you’re limited on time, it’s possible to fit it into one day. I recommend doing this hike in summer when sunlight hours are longer and road conditions safer. Note that this area is inaccessible in winter due to snow.

The hike to the trio of lakes – Abudelauri Blue, Green and White Lakes – starts from the village of Roshka, 100km due north of Tbilisi in Khevsureti.

Note that the road up to Roshka is notoriously dangerous. I recommend travelling with an experienced driver and a good-quality car (Delica or similar). Do not travel on this road after dark. I do not recommend travelling to Khevsureti by marshrutka.

Starting out on the marked trail from Roshka, it takes 2-3 hours on average to reach the White Lake, passing the smaller Blue and Green Lakes along the way. The most challenging part of the hike is the steep climb after the Blue Lake, which calls for hiking poles and proper boots.

→ For more information, see The Silk Road Minimalist’s guide to the Abudelauri Lakes hike.


How to find organised hiking trips & hiking buddies in Tbilisi

While many of these routes can be hiked independently without a guide and accessed using public transport, some of the more remote trails require a bit of advance planning. If you prefer to hike with friends or you want the logistics taken care of, there are two popular hiking groups in Tbilisi that I can recommend.

The first is Geo Hikers Tbilisi. This group mainly focuses on trails around the city, with guided hikes organised 3-4 times per week in summer. Routes range from relaxed beginners-level walks to faster-paced, more advanced treks.

Check their Facebook Page for upcoming events.

Weekend Travelers Georgia, my favourite group for social day trips around Tbilisi, incorporate at least a couple of hiking trips into their monthly schedule. Trips are extremely well-organised with knowledgeable guides and safe drivers. They cover some really unusual and interesting locations, so if you want to discover lesser-visited nature spots around Tbilisi, this is your best bet.

The group is very popular and places on small group tours often fill up fast – check the schedule in advance and make sure you’re online when dates are announced so that you can RSVP.

Check their Facebook Page for upcoming events.

If you’re staying at a hostel in Tbilisi you can always meet other travellers that way and pair up to do a hike together. This also helps with sharing any transportation costs involved with getting to further-away trailheads.

Finally, there are a number of day tour companies that organise guided hiking trips from Tbilisi. Keep in mind that some of these trips involve a long drive on either end so you want to be mindful of road safety – read the company reviews and don’t be afraid to ask questions before you book.

Here are a couple of hikes from Tbilisi that you can book via Get Your Guide:


Tips for hiking in Tbilisi

  • Download the Wikiloc app. This is the best resource for offline hiking maps in Georgia. Note that many of the trails mentioned here have poor 4G coverage, so maps you can use offline are essential. Buy a Georgian sim card to take full advantage of Wikiloc.
  • Be mindful of your personal safety. City trails will usually have a reasonable amount of foot traffic, but if you’re going to a remote area, it’s a good idea to link up with a hiking buddy rather than going solo. Use common sense and avoid hiking after dark. It’s a good idea to download the 112 Georgia app in case of emergency.
  • Take plenty of drinking water and avoid hiking in the middle of the day. Especially in summer.
  • Be vigilant of dogs. You’re more likely to encounter shepherd dogs in the mountains, but it’s still something you need to be wary of. City dogs and strays are far less of a concern.

Further reading

You might also be interested in…

The ultimate Georgia itinerary: Four detailed & custom designed itineraries

Georgia Travel Guide: All of my 50+ posts plus my top travel tips

Georgia travel tips: 23 things to know before you go

Places to visit in Georgia: Unique destinations around the country

The best things to do in Tbilisi: Favourites, hidden gems & local picks

35+ best restaurants in Tbilisi: Where to eat Georgian food

15 best day trips from Tbilisi: Includes detailed transport instructions

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *