Our travels in Georgia
Whilst we were travelling in Georgia, we utilised a number of different modes of transport. Below is a summary of where we went, the mode of transport used, length of time the journey took and how far it was.
|Journey||Mode of transport||Distance (miles)||Time taken||Cost per person (GEL)|
|Turkey border to Batumi||Marshrutka||12||30 mins||1.5|
|Batumi to Mestia||Marshrutka||170||7 hrs 15 mins||35|
|Mestia to Borjomi||Marshrutka||222||8 hrs 30 mins||40|
|Borjomi to Mtskheta||Marshrutka||87||2 hrs||7|
|Mtskheta to Stepantsminda||Marshrutka||105||3 hrs 45 mins||10|
|Stepantsminda to Tbilisi||Marshrutka||97||3 hrs||10|
|Tbilisi to Sighnaghi||Marshrutka||65||1 hr 45 mins||7|
|Sighnaghi to Georgia border||Taxi||31||45 mins||25|
Accommodation is available to suit all budgets in Georgia. Our experience is that you get what you pay for. We stayed in a number of different places on our travels throughout the country. Using various booking portals to book the accommodation. From our experience, the hotels we stayed in were all of a reasonable standard.
Don’t expect tea/coffee making facilities in hotels or guest houses. Bathrooms are western style, with bath or shower. Bathrooms will also be provided with a bucket and scoop. This is for the Muslim washing ritual, during which water is to be poured over the bather. Toiletries were provided.
WiFi may be advertised as being available. Generally, it is, but the signal strength and quality can be poor in the rooms that aren’t close to the router.
Marshrutkas are the minibuses used throughout Georgia. A fast and cheap way to travel both between cities and in the cities, following fixed routes. They don’t have a fixed timetable. Just flag it down, if there is space they will stop, if they are full they will just keep going.
It is not uncommon for 15 people to crowd into a 10 seat minibus. There is luggage space at the back and under the seats. Expect luggage and local’s bags to be stacked in the aisle. If there are a few people waiting for a minibus, it will be a free for all when it arrives. Don’t assume there will be any sort of orderly queue.
If getting a marshrutka from one of the terminal stops you may have to wait for it to fill up before it leaves. During this waiting time, if you leave the minibuses to go to the toilet or shop, ensure something is left on your seat to reserve it.
Fares & tickets
Fares are set and the same price applies for both foreigners and locals.
Tickets are purchased by paying the driver. Be cautious when using these minibuses. The condition of both the vehicle and the driver may not be what you are used to in the west. Should you feel the vehicle is not roadworthy, wait for one that you feel happy with.
They are a safe and quicker way of getting around. We had to use taxis on one occasion. Getting to the Georgian border from Sighnaghi. Simply because there were no marshrutkas on the weekend.
Be cautious when using taxis. The condition of both the vehicle and the driver may not be what you are used to in the west. Should you feel the vehicle is not roadworthy, get another that you feel happy with.
Our experience was a Mercedes taxi that was in a good condition. The Georgian taxi drivers are picky over what journeys they take. Don’t be offended if a driver doesn’t want to take you to your destination. You will always find a driver that will. Agree on a price that you are both happy with before you get in the taxi.