Great Day Trip From Tbilisi
Georgia’s diverse landscape is dotted with exciting natural marvels. On our three-week long trip through this diverse country we had so far explored and discovered mesmerizing waterfalls, deep gorges, naturally bubbling lakes and high mountains. After returning to Tbilisi we initially assumed that we had finished with our wanders through nature but when Jerome’s friend wanted to spend another day with us we decided to take a day trip to Dashbashi canyon and waterfalls, a place she had never visited before, despite spending every summer at her grandmother’s house near Tbilisi. Her family had taken us to the remote David Gareji cave town at the start of our time in Georgia, yet they had never heard of Dashbashi Canyon before, which I had stumbled during my research for the trip.
Brief Visit to the Little Kittens
Before we could leave for Dashbashi Canyon we had to make a brief stop at the family’s winery to visit the kittens both Jerome and his friend had fallen in love with in the prior days. After a few cuddles we could finally pry them away from the little creatures and left Tbilisi behind, driving west. After three weeks of driving through Georgia, I had adjusted to the local, erratic driving style but we doubt that without Google maps we would have found the route easily.
Driving West Through Georgia’s Countryside
At first the road swerved through the hilly countryside outside Tbilisi and we even passed a tiny ski resort, Betania. Having crested the hills above Tiblisi the road levelled out and ran along a long ridge of hills. After Manglisi the hills levelled out and we drove across a high plain, that would eventually lead to Vardzia, Borjomi (the long way round) and the Turkish boarder. At the outskirts of Tsalska near its impressive water reservoir we turned off to the left onto a small dirt track towards Dashbashi village and its cute, little chapel. The dark crevice of the gorge kept following us along and we could have stopped at one of the picnic spot to get a better glance into Dashibashi Canyon but we were too eager to get down to the gorge and to the waterfalls.
Heading Downhill Into the Canyon
After parking the car at Dashbashi village boarder we took the winding track downhill, there even is a signpost directing you into the canyon. Walking downwards, the view of the impressive canyon opened up. The kids got excited when they glimpsed the waterfalls in the distance, thrilled by the idea of a dip in the cool water, despite the fresher temperatures and the lack of sunshine that day. After three bends in the track we noticed a narrow, trodden path to our left. It appeared to lead into the right direction of the waterfall and we decided to take this short cut.
The Marvellous Dashbashi Waterfalls
Following a few scrambles over boulders we arrived at the lush and overgrown riverbed, the clear water running past. Turning left again, besides the river, we finally reached the marvellous waterfalls. The sight was truly astounding, unlike most other waterfalls, water trickled down the entire moss covered cliff face, forming a long fluid wall. The kids chose to have a picnic first, before jumping in for a dip. Climbing a large boulder, they found the perfect spot to sit, eat and enjoy the splendid sight of the waterfalls and the canyon.
Freezing Dip in the Water
I remained on the rock after our picnic, while the other three ventured down to the river’s edge to take a plunge in the clear waters. Jerome’s friend was the first to jump in, she screamed once she had submerged in the stream and immediately left the water. It appeared it was just too cold, even on a hot summer’s day. Jerome tried shortly afterwards and even he could not stand to be in there for longer than a minute or so. Was it really that freezing? Surely the water, draining from the reservoir in Tsalska could not be that cold? We had bathed in the glacial mountain lake at Juta and the chilly Martvili Gorge but the water in Dashbashi really did feel ice-cold! It dashed our hopes of an afternoon swimming but even so we all agreed it was a special place.
Nevertheless we enjoyed our sojourn from Tbilisi to the secluded Dashbashi Canyon and waterfalls in remote Georgia, largely undiscovered by foreign tourists and travellers and a great choice for anyone seeking a fascinating setting surrounded by nature. On our climb uphill to the village I ventured off to the left to explore the little chapel, perched above the gorge. Chris and the kids would not share my interest in religious buildings and returned towards the car instead.
Charming Little Chapel
However they missed out on a charming chapel, amidst a beautiful flower meadow and some incredible views of the gorge, the village and the surrounding landscape. The inside was tiny, a few religious icons covered the otherwise bare walls and a brick dome adorned the ceiling.
Meet the Cute Piggy and Calf
On my return to the car I strolled though the flower meadow and discovered a pig and calf happily grazing there. They looked up with curious eyes but shortly after, they were munching the fresh grass again. I had not realized but I actually ended up strolling through someone’s garden and past their wooden house on the way back. The washing was strung on a line to dry and the door was open. Thankfully no one saw my wanders past and after leaving through the gate I found myself back at the car park.
Early Dinner in Tbilisi
The others were already impatiently waiting for me and we soon left the Dashbashi canyon and village behind. The marvellous waterfall and gorge were definitely a great day out from Tbilisi and a perfect picnic spot. We stopped for an early dinner of shawarma in Tbilisi’s university district, where we were doused by torrential rain – a summer storm had taken us completely by surprise. The rain caused the kids to be really worried about the cat and her kittens in the empty pool at the winery, they were anxious they might have drowned, so we had to detour back to check on them. The fur balls turned out to be just fine , albeit a little damp, and Jerome and his friend said goodbye, promising that they would meet again sometime soon in Germany.
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Hotels in Georgia
The ultimate place to be in Tblisi! This luxury abode is a work of art, housed in a former printing house, with a lush courtyard and large stylish rooms.
This über-cool hostel set around a courtyard with cafes, restaurants and craft shops offers great family rooms with their own private terrace besides the standard shared rooms with amazing breakfast.
Hidden on a quiet street in the lesser explored parts of Tbilisi , this small boutique hotel offers unique designed rooms, some with their own balcony or even a free standing bath tub. Highly recommended!
Once the summerhouse of a wealthy, Iranian consular, this unique building now houses a small hotel and spa.
Ski to door access or hiking in the surrounding mountains and Borjomi, the latest addition to Bakuriani’s hotel scape will wow any tourist or active winter sports fanatic.
This small hotel housed in a historical building has recently been renovated and houses spacious rooms within walking from the town centre.
Generally we would not recommend a chain hotel but the Best Western is the only upmarket hotel, for all those looking for home comforts and well-trained English speaking staff.
Wake up to the breathtaking views of Gergeti Trinity church, followed by an impeccable breakfast on the vast terrace. Enjoy a relaxing swim or spa treatment after a long day of hiking in the surrounding Caucasus Mountains.
Are you after the spectacular views of the impressive mountainside but unable to afford Rooms Hotel? The cabins provide an equal panorama and basic comforts.
Hit the ski slopes from this opulent hotel in Gudauri and savour an après ski cocktail by the fireplace or take a plunge in the large indoor pool.