Akhaltsikhe - Khulo - Batumi road conditions required
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Aug 18, 2013 1:29 PM Last Post By: marculla
Oct 30, 2012 2:56 AM
Does anyone know whether the Akhaltsikhe - Khulo - Batumi road is passable nowadays? Especially Khulo.
I will be in Akhaltsikhe beginning of November? What's the weather like in that region, does it rain a lot?
Alternatively does anyone know anything about Akhaltsikhe - Kutaisi road?
Surely, the shortest way can always become the longest but still we would really appreciate the latest information if any.
Thanks in advance!
Oct 30, 2012 10:14 AM
1It is passable. some parts are still not in good shape though. Adjara region, where Khulo is located is generally quite humid and rainy. Khulo also gets a lot of snow in winter.
current weather in Khulo :
Akhaltsikhe-Kutaisi road: normal Georgian road. nothing special.
Oct 31, 2012 4:28 AM
3No, that is just a mountain dirt road that crosses mountain range dividing Samtskhe and Imereti regions. Used only by loggers and park rangers.
Oct 31, 2012 5:37 AM
4Thanks for the update.
Do you have any idea if it is possible to arrange a 4x4 vehicle in order to get to Batumi?
We will be crossing the border Posof/Vale, so maybe it is better to arrange the transportation right at the border, what do you think instead of going all the way to Akhaltsikhe? What would be the approximate price for that?
Oct 31, 2012 11:58 PM
5Wow, you do like to make things difficult for yourself.
The chances that there'll be anyone at the Posof border with a 4x4 willing to take you all the way to Batumi via Khulo have to be next to nil. And, even if there were, if it were my 4x4, I'd make you absolutely pay through the nose for the special trip and the possibility I'd lose an axle. You do understand, do you not, that normally when people travel between Batumi and Akhaltsikhe they go via Kutaisi and Khashuri because it's both faster and safer? All public transport goes that way, even in the summer.
And I know you're in a tearing hurry to get up to Svaneti and freeze, but it still seems bizarre when crossing at Posof not to take a day to visit Georgia's most famous historic attraction at Vardzia.
Nov 1, 2012 5:27 AM
Nov 2, 2012 2:35 AM
7No, I've only gone as far as Khulo from the Batumi side--as far as you can get via public transport.
I did live in Adjara for two years, however, so I have a pretty good idea how locals feel about traveling that road, especially in the wet autumn weather. (Adjara is not merely "rainy." During the Soviet period it was famous as the rainiest place in the USSR.) Which is why I pointed out that your plan is problematic. Not impossible, mind you. Just highly usual, and therefore very likely to cost you a lot of money to bring to fruition.
However, it's 100% clear at this point that you haven't come to this forum in search of recommendations of what is economical, sensible, or worth doing. All you want is validation of your vague Google Maps-based notions of the country which have been informed by zero actual experience. Therefore, I won't further waste my time.
But if by some fluke you actually follow through with this plan (unlike the various other people who have tossed the idea around on this forum over the years) by all means come back and post about your experience and prove me wrong.
Nov 6, 2012 4:31 PM
8I drove Batumi-Khulo-Akhaltsikhe about 3 weeks ago and DON'T DO IT! I ended up on a lot of bad roads around Georgia and Armenia and that road was the worst of them. What looks like 3 hours is really more like 8. Take the northern route on the expressway even though it looks like it's out of the way. You will regret taking the mountain route. I'm happy to give you more details on it if you have more questions about there or other parts of Georgia.
Nov 8, 2012 9:35 AM
9It's probably fine with a 4x4, but not any regular car. I had a Toyota Yaris and was guaranteed by several of the staff at the Marriott in Tbilisi that that road was an expressway, a 3 hour drive and completely fine with the car that I had, otherwise I would not have attempted it.
Jan 26, 2013 10:02 AM
10I'll confirm what others said:
- The chance of even finding a basic taxi at that border-crossing from Armenia is pretty slim. Besides, it's a pretty lengthy walk between the checkpoints there. You'll most likely end up on a marshutka that'll cross the border and continue on to a town like Akhalkalaki.
- Marshutkas don't run the Khulo-Batumi route, even in the summer. There's a reason.
Jan 26, 2013 10:07 AM
Feb 12, 2013 8:47 AM
Don't know when you are going. But we drove from Batumi via akhaltsikhe to the border crossing at Bavra with a standard renault laguna station last summer on a sunny day in the end of July.
The road is extremely scenic. We took the road by accident as we did not informe about the road conditions but it was one of the better mistakes of the vacation. If you are carefull and patient there is no problem taking the road with a normal car. Just sometimes it is wise to get off the car and make one off your partners guide you around the deepest potholes.
Ooh and drink a beer on the pass. There is a small cafe over there.
So take the 150km detour if you want to get from batumi to the armenian border fast but take the nice mountain road if you have time.
Aug 18, 2013 1:29 PM
13We did the road this summer with a 4x4. The road is not overwhelming and probably it is not faster than the longer trip north. If you want to get an idea, just check the video from Swiss tv, starting at 06:30, including a stop at Khulo and the restaurant on top mentioned in the previous post, ending at 14:50.
Actually it is a nice documentary, this part entirely on Georgia, unfortunately in German.
Maybe I am also less sceptical about this road because we happened by accident to drive (or ride?) to Mestia via Tsageri - Lentekhi - Ushguli (this one I would definitely not recommend). If it is difficult with a 4x4, that should tell more than enough.
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