The kayaking section has a difficulty rating ranging between 3 and 3+.
Vardzia, near which the route starts, is a 12th-century monastery complex carved into a cliff. It is located in Aspindza Municipality, in the Samtske-Javakheti Region, on the left bank of the Mtkvari River.
The Mtkvari River originates in Turkey, enters Georgia near Vardzia and converges with the Caspian Sea, by flowing through Georgia and Azerbaijan. The Mtkvari is the longest river in the South Caucasus, with a total length of 1,515 kilometers, 400 of which flows in Georgia. It is fed by snow, rain, and underground waters.
The route starts in the village of Mirashkhani, 4 kilometers far from Vardzia Complex, at an altitude of 1,269 meters above sea level. Then it passes through the Tmogvi Canyon and ends at the confluence of Mtkvari and Paravani rivers, next to the Khertvisi Fortress, at an altitude of 1,099 meters above sea level.
The length of the section is 10 kilometers, with a drop in elevation of 170 m, and its difficulty rating is set between 3 and 3+ (moderately difficult, numerous high and irregular waves, cliffs and whirlpools, clear but narrow exits).
The best period for kayaking on this section of the Mtkvari River is from April to the end of September.
How to Get to the Starting Point
From the center of Aspindza to Vardzia Complex is 30 km. You will need an SUV to get to the starting point of the route in the village of Mirashkhani.
You will need to be an experienced kayaker to take this route.
It is advised to either kayak with a local kayaker or at least get information from such a person before your trip. To book a tour, contact a local company in advance.
The minimum age for kayaking is 18 years.