Dashbashi Canyon is one of the most impressive natural monuments of Georgia, with its lush greenery and majestic waterfalls. If you are looking for a beautiful day hike that is easy to do and doesn’t require any special hiking equipment, you should definitely give this one a go. Here’s all the information you will need to know about hiking the Dashbashi Canyon on your own as one of the options for day trips from Tbilisi.
Why should you hike Dashbashi Canyon?
The canyon is only 110km from Tbilisi and 2km from Tsalka, one of the main towns of the Kvemo Kartli region. Carved by river Khrami cutting through the volcanic sediments, Dashbashi Canyon stands out with a unique ecosystem and bio-diversity formed on the lava-made hills.
The ecosystem around the canyon is relatively sparse with inadequate plant cover. However, the vegetation drastically changes on the steep and tilting slopes of the gorge backed with astonishing waterfalls.
Dashbashi Canyon itself is only 8km long. However, a small portion of it is accessible to tourists. The proximity to Tbilisi and relatively easy terrane for hiking, making it a perfect and short getaway day tour option for nature lovers, especially during the summer months; it gets quite breezy down there.
Dashbashi Canyon hike
You don’t need special hiking equipment, gear, or an offline map for hiking the Dashbashi Canyon; it’s’s quite straightforward. Once you get to sign saying Dashbashi village, the Google Map will show you a shortcut from the Gorge Viewpoint to the canyon, but in reality, we couldn’t find it.
So we walked to two cafes located around 470m from the viewpoint. This is where the descend to the canyon starts. You can either follow the path between these two cafes or go through the courtyard of Cafe-Market Pepo.
Then slowly walk down the dirt road. The path is well-rammed. There will be other people too, so no chance of getting lost. However, be careful as some parts are quite steep, and the soil is slippery.
Once you are down, you’ll need to climb over big rocks to be able to get closer to the waterfall, the main highlight of the canyon. Stream of water slowly cascades on a terrace-like and moss-covered cliff, creating a truly gorgeous scenery, while the moss stripes in the small pond create an illusion of emerald-green water!
Sit back at one of the rocks and enjoy the atmosphere as much as you can. It’s so calm and peaceful here.
On your way back, you can hike a bit more towards the small church of St. George to have stunning views of the gorge and Tsalka area.
What to bring on the hike
- Comfortable shoes that don’t slip and stand firmly. Sneakers could do fine.
- Raincoat or windproof coat
- Food or snacks
You can eat at one of the cafes I have mentioned, (we haven’t, so I can’t say if they are worth or not) or bring your own and have a nice picnic at designated spots located before Dashbashi village.
Best time for hiking the canyon
As I said above, Dashbashi Canyon is beautiful all year round. We walked there at the end of September when the weather was still warm, and autumn hues added a unique charm to the area. I have seen the pictures of Dashbashi Canyon in winter when the waterfalls are frozen created a winter wonderland scenery.
- Overall hike distance is around 4km long
- The hike is easy; however, some parts are of moderate difficulty
- Download trails at Wikiloc
- It’s quite overcrowded during weekends and public holidays. Ideally, come here on weekdays to enjoy fewer people and some peace.
How to get to Dashbashi Canyon
If you are planning on driving a car from Tbilisi to Dashbashi Canyon, there are two ways. The difference is only 10 minutes and depends on which part of the town you reside in. The roads are excellent on both highways. One way is to follow the Rustavi Highway towards Tetritskaro, however, you won’t make a turn to Tetritskaro from Partskhisi, but will drive straight. The other option is via Tskneti and Manglisi.
In case you don’t have a car, daily marshrutkas from Tbilisi to Tsalka run from Navtlughi bus station. Ticket costs 8 GEL one way. The first one leaves at 8 a.m and next at 11 a.m. Afterward, it runs every hour. Note, to check the schedule in advance, as sometimes it changes seasonally or by the demand. Taking the second one will leave you enough time to spend in the canyon without a rush.
Tell the driver to drop you off at the Wissol Petrol Station. You’ll also see the brown touristic sign saying Dashbashi Canyon. Follow the road for 2km to reach Dashbashi village.
On your way to the village, you’ll pass by picnic huts, where you can enjoy a nice meal after a hike.
Ask the driver when does the last marshrutka from Tsalka to Tbilisi leaves and make sure to be back at the Wissol Petrol Station at around 30 minutes earlier.
Prepare for the trip
To ease your travel planning, check out all the posts about Georgia travel. Additionally, here are some of the websites and services I use when preparing for my next adventure anywhere in the world.
– Book affordable flights on Kiwi.com, a platform that shows the best routes and flight deals to your destination. There’s a money-back guarantee if you miss the flight!
– Check iVisa to see if you need a tourist visa to visit Georgia, how to apply online if applicable, or where’s the nearest embassy or consulate
– Pre-book a private car transfer from Tbilisi Airport to your hotel
– Buy the most flexible and budget-friendly travel insurance, SafetyWing, to cover all sorts of health problems on the road