Hiking In Birtvisi Canyon (Hidden Trails Of Georgia)

The other day in company of three we headed to Birtvisi Canyon for some hiking experience.

It all started reading some info of a non-standard close to Tbilisi located destinations. And Birtvisi just popped up on this list. Turns out - there is a Birtvisi Fortress located somewhere in the middle of these canyons.

I had never before heard of such place and was pretty much agreeably surprised learning that it's located just some one hour drive distance from Tbilisi in region of Kvemo Kartli (Lower Kartli). Birtvisi canyon is located in Trialeti Planned National Park.

There are two roads heading to Birtvisi from Tbilisi:

Tbilisi - Birtvisi road

Tbilisi - Birtvisi road

Driving directions: Tbilisi - Birtvisi (distance ~ 60 km)

We choose the longest but probably the better road (asphalt road) via road 6

Head on Rustavi Highway (Road 6), at the intersection turn right on Marnueli direction (Road E117 - look on road  for signs heading to Marnueli), then at village of Koda again make a right turn and just drive straight passing villages of Asureti, Jorijashvili, Sagharasheni now you should start looking for local tourism signs (brown) directing to Birtvisi.

At first there will be sign indicating distance to Birtvisi 1km. We missed this but after some 2 km there is a second sign - Birtvisi 3.5 km, make a sharp right turn, drive into some village, take the first left turn, drive some 300 meters, and here you go - you have arrived on site, you should leave your vehicle on a mountainous meadow and make the rest distance (some 2.5 km) by foot - well, that's why I call it a hiking, right?

Unfortunately we weren't informed about precise location of Birtvisi Fortress at that moment, so we didn't reach it actually this time.

Now I have learned that if we would continue our route and not turned back, we would probably reach that fortress after some 2km. But no regrets about that, just another reason to come back to this lovely place with spectacular views.

Photos from this route

Buds at Birtvisi

Buds at Birtvisi

Trail to Birtvisi Canyon

Trail to Birtvisi Canyon

Birtvisi Canyon

Birtvisi Canyon

Mountain flowers at Birtvisi Canyon

Mountain flowers at Birtvisi Canyon

Dead tree at Birtvisi Canyon

Dead tree at Birtvisi Canyon

Valley at Birtvisi Canyon

Valley at Birtvisi Canyon

View from Birtvisi Canyon

View from Birtvisi Canyon

Dandelion at Birtvisi Canyon

Dandelion at Birtvisi Canyon

At Birtvisi Canyon

At Birtvisi Canyon

Moss on the rocks

Moss on the rocks

Birtvisi Canyon

Birtvisi Canyon

At Birtvisi Canyon

At Birtvisi Canyon

Rocks at the Birtvisi Canyon

Rocks at the Birtvisi Canyon 

I'm definitely planing to come back to this place, probably this autumn when it will be more green. Next time I'm eager to find that well hidden fortress as well.

About Birtvisi

Birtvisi is a ruined medieval fortress in Kvemo Kartli, Georgia, nested within limestone cliffs in the Algeti river gorge. It is now within the boundaries of the Tetri-Tsqaro municipality, adjacent to the Algeti National Park, south-west of the nation's capital Tbilisi.

Birtvisi is essentially a natural rocky fortress of 1 km², secured by walls and towers, the most prominent of which – known as Sheupovari ("Obstinate") – tops the tallest rock in the area.

Various accessory structures, an aqueduct included, have also survived.

In written sources, Birtvisi is first mentioned as a possession of the Arab amir of Tiflis of which he was divested by the Georgian nobles Liparit, Duke of Kldekari and Ivane Abazasdze in 1038. In medieval Georgia, Birtvisi entertained a reputation of an impregnable stronghold whose master could control the entire strategic Algeti gorge. The Turco-Mongol amir Timur notably reduced the fortress during one of his invasions of Georgia in 1403.After the partition of the Kingdom of Georgia later in the 15th century, Birtvisi was within the borders of the Kingdom of Kartli and in possession of the princes Baratashvili.

Birtvisi Georgia
Coordinates: 41.591418 44.544883

About Reinis Fischer

Reinis Fischer is a Drupal Developer who works and lives in Tbilisi. A programmer by day and a writer by night. Or Vice Verse. Covers topics on Travel, Restaurant Reviews, Finances, Blogging e.t.c. Loves DIY and recently is excelling as a main constructor in his latest project - home remodeling.
Learn more or contact author.
Signup for monthly Newsletter!