With green mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and deep gorges carved in between them, Georgia’s Dashbashi Canyon, sometimes known as Tsalka Canyon, is a natural wonder covered in the dense green of its land with the flowing Khrami river beneath.
While it was already a popular spot amongst the locals, it became an attraction when the government opened it in 2022 after introducing the dizzying glass bridge. Like a diamond floating in the sky, this glass bridge stretches for a good 700 feet with an all-glass made cafe in the shape of a diamond dangling at its center.
It’s sure to give anyone a rush of adrenaline or a sprinkle of chill across the spine as they gaze down at the river which almost looks hair-line thin from the sky. Completed with a cascading waterfall, a hike to get there and cherry blossoms peppered on your way down, Dashbashi Canyon is a great day trip from Tbilisi for anyone that wants to wallow in nature.
The Dashbashi Canyon Bridge & Diamond Cafe
Opened in 2022, this diamond glass bridge in Georgia have become popular with tourists and locals alike for its thrilling 240 meters (787 feet) long glass bridge that hangs a dizzying 280 meters (900 feet) above the canyon’s ground. The bridge is a first of its kind in the country and showcases a heart-stopping view of the deep canyon and its powerful river down below.
But that’s not all of it. The real attraction lies in the diamond shaped cafe – if you have the courage to make your way till there. Head to the lowest floor of this cafe and be ready to give a treat for your eyes. This level is made of only glass where you get to see the canyon and its green with an unfiltered 360-degree view. Physics play games with your head as you feel like you’re floating on air and gravity isn’t doing its job.
The glass bridge is just a walk in the park of what Dashbashi really has to offer. Just a few feet away from the canyon’s entrance, a set of stairs lead half way to the bottom of the canyon. If you thought the glass bridge was heart-pumping enough then these stairs will give you a new thrill.
Held against the edges of the cliff, this is what every adventure traveler will find interesting. Designed like it was inspired by the breath-stopping stair scene in Jurassic Park III, these are built into the side of the cliff where you can see the views of the canyon as far as it stretches.
The stairs also has its own viewing platforms where you can take some insta-worthy images of you against the canyon’s backdrop while the clouds hover above you. With trembling legs, you’ll make it half way until it reaches the start of the hiking trail. From there on, it’s a steep curvy hike to the stream and waterfalls below.
The Hike and Dashbashi Waterfall
Prepare your legs to feel like jello and make sure you have a strong pair of lungs because this hike is going to take your breath away. Quite literally. The set of stairs leading to the canyon below ends when a road begins. This road is steep on your way down and while climbing back up, it’s sure to give anyone a hefty workout akin to a cardio session. The climb is very steep so make sure your kids don’t run down the slopes as it could be dangerous.
The estimated time taken to climb down and back up is 2 hours and with short pauses in between (especially to get some air back into your lungs during the climb back up) you might take more time but it’s well worth it! Because at the bottom of the climb is a waterfall and a beautiful gushing river. And on the path, depending on the season you visit, the entire canyon will be erupted in green as well as various flowers.
Towards the end of April and beginning of May, the winter snow would have melted, giving way to an abundance of trees and flowers. This time of the year is also when you can see white cherry blossoms popping up all over the place.
As you near the bottom of the canyon, a sound of gushing waters will fill your ear and the sight of a beautiful yet powerful river will fill your sight. This river is clean, pure and cold to the touch. It’s a refreshing scene from the hustle and bustle of Tbilisi’s city. Walk along the river path and you’ll eventually reach a waterfall with a green pool. In the winter days, the waterfall hardens into ice turning this place into a winter wonderland.
Though this waterfall is not as big as the one in the National Botanical Garden, it still makes hiking down to the area worth it. It’s falling waters spray droplets to the visitor spending time gazing at this part of nature.
A 10th Century Church
Like an eagle’s nest perched at the highest point, a 10th century church sits at the top of the canyon. It’s almost like a scene out of a historical movie with an old building and old-style church bells right in front of it.
Though the church can be seen from the trail of the Dashbashi canyon hike, it’s actual location is in Kvemo Karli, Tsalka – which is an hour ride from Dashbashi. The church is a “free cross” type domed building and was said to be built by order of Eristav-Eristavi Rati. It’s built of hewn stone and has two entrances with the south door covered in a large carved stone. Visitors might also find tombstones and horse statues to the south and north of the church.
The inscriptions on the church suggest that it was built by order of a Georgian duke of the time. The church is now called St. George’s church and it stands to the north of the village.
Kass Diamond Resort
For those who would like to spend a night by the canyons and take in the views of this nature-surrounded place after sundown or would be too tired to go back to Tbilisi the same day, the gorge has its own set of stays at the Kass Diamond Resort. The new resort has villas with each lodge having 1 living room, 1 separate bedroom and 2 bathrooms with a bath and a shower.
The lodges also have all the necessities including tea makers, a restaurant, a bar, a terrace and offers a buffet breakfast. It’s a great retreat for those who want to stay surrounded by the green a little longer.
Distance to Dashbashi Canyon from Tbilisi
As mentioned before, Dashbashi Canyon can is definitely a choice if you’re looking for day trips from Tbilisi. It takes around 2 hours one way to reach the canyon and another 2 hours back to the city. Exploring the canyon can take anywhere between 2 to 4 hours, depending on what you would like to do. You can explore the canyon or just chill on the benches and swings after taking a walk on the diamond glass bridge.
Since the canyon takes a couple of hours to reach, we recommend going by car so you can cut off any unnecessary time taken with public transport. You can take this affordable one-day excursion or drop us a message using our contact form to get the details of a guide and car that will take you to Dashbashi or anywhere else you would like to go during your trip.
Tips to remember
Dashbashi canyon entry fee – The canyon has an entry fee of 49 GEL for adults
Food – While you can see a restaurant at the canyon’s entrance, you can’t access it once you pass the gates. If you reach Dashbashi towards the afternoon, it’s adviced to have lunch at this restaurant before paying the ticket and getting inside as there is no food inside the canyons. You should also carry water with you as the hike towards the waterfall and back up can get pretty intense and there are no drinking stations in between.
Clothes – Make sure you wear comfortable clothes according to the weather. Dashbashi tends to stay below 18°C most of the time and on windy days, the bridge can get pretty cold.
Hiking trail intensity – The hiking trail is not an easy one. The climb down makes one feel like gravity is pulling you down more than usual while the climb back up can get pretty intense as it is very steep. Make sure you’re used to walking or hiking if you plan to go for this activity.
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