Silk Road & Beyond

Georgian Military Highway

Ox Cart Caucasus Mounatins
Ox Cart Caucasus Mounatins
This is the main road running for 220km from Tbilisi to Vadikavkaz in Russia. So named by Tsar Alexander I, this route actually dates from before the 1st century BC and is still important as one of the only links to Russia through the Caucasus mountains.

This spectacular highway winds its way through towering mountains, climbing to above 2300m at the Krestovy pass. The treacherous hairpin bends and sheer drops were enough to strike terror in the hearts of many 19th century travellers and the route features in stories by Lermontov, Tolstoy and Alexander Dumas.

Heading north from Tbilisi one first reaches the medieval fortress of Ananauri, overlooking the Aragvi river and valley. Within the fortified walls are two beautiful churches. Further along the highway lies Gudauri, a modern ski resort based around the Austrian built 4 star Sport Hotel Gudauri.

Nearing the Russian border, one comes to the town of Kazbegi, overlooked by the monumental Mount Kazbegi (5033m), the highest peak in the Georgian Caucasus.The last point is the Daryal Gorge, where the road runs some kilometres on a narrow shelf beneath granite cliffs 1500m high. At the Southern entrance to the gorge are the ruins of Tamara's castle.