I wrote this post because its extremely confusing to find information about how to visit this site without a tour group. If you’re wondering if its even possible to visit without a tour group- it is! Most places in Georgia can be visited by yourself.
When I visited Balda Canyon, my friends & I had rented a car so we had the ultimate freedom & flexibility to visit sites as the local do. While I believe public transportation options are available, I don’t have much information on them. If you’d like to read more about our itinerary and how to plan a self drive trip to Georgia, read my blog post here.
In order to get NEAR Balda Canyon, I suggest putting in Balda Monastery in your Google Maps. The pin for Balda Canyon on Google Maps is in an obscure location.
On your way to Balda Monastery, you will see a sign for Balda Canyon on a small side (dirt) road. The sign has photos of the canyon on stand says 200m away. You should park your vehicle near this sign but do not block the road.
If you reach the monastery, you have gone too far and need to double back. However, if there is nowhere to park your car near the sign, you can drive and park at Balda Monastery however you’ll need to walk back to the sign. Its about a 10 minute flat walk.
The way to Balda Canyon is through a local’s house.
Yes you read that correctly. The house looks like this:
If they see you walking around, they’ll call you and try to speak to you. In Georgian of course. Saying “Balda Canyon” repeatedly usually gets a head nod.
They will call someone who can speak slightly more English and she asks for a small sum of money. We paid 2GEL.
Then she shows you the way and really from there, its quite straightforward. You walk through the land behind their house where they keep their cows and eventually you end up looking into the canyon.
Like a rope of jewels, the gorge spread beneath us,, sapphire blue, emerald green, a rich mossy rocks appeared below us as we stared in the ubiquitous water. It was certainly beautiful.
If only it wasn’t pouring with rain the day we went.
You can swim if the water is calm ( we did not) and its a lovely place to spend time and have a snack. There are no facilities in this canyon so if you plan to picnic then you need to bring your own food and trash bag.
In order to return to your vehicle, you will have to go back the way you came.