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Exploring Georgia

Welcome to the Georgia Travel Guide, a 7-minute read quick guide full of useful information on Georgia Travel. The country, settled at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, attracts tourists with its diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, culture enthusiast, or a connoisseur of natural beauty, Georgia offers numerous experiences that suit to each traveler’s preferences.  Explore the must-see attractions and the best things to do in Georgia, with a particular focus on Tbilisi, the fascinating capital of Georgia. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on a Georgia trip.  This article will help you to plan your trip to Georgia with pieces of advice on each season. Discover the secret of why Georgia is a year-round haven for adventure and cultural exploration. Before the start of the vibrant pulse of Tbilisi, let’s highlight the 5 reasons why you should visit Georgia!

Five reasons to consider Georgia in your must-see travel list

1. Historical & Cultural Heritage of Georgia

The country has a long and enchanting history, with a mix of traditions and modernity. Tbilisi is one of those heritages combining old and new with its cobbled streets, traditional architecture, and vibrant markets. Georgia is also famous for its unique alphabet, ancient monasteries, and historical sites.

2. Georgian Hospitality

Experiencing the warmth of Georgian hospitality, known as “supra,” is an integral part of the culture and the emphasis of the country on Georgian delicacies. The tradition of welcoming guests with open arms is deeply embedded in the culture. Guests are often invited to participate in traditional feasts filled with laughter, toasts, and an abundance of delicious food. 

3. Landscapes of Georgia

From the stunning peaks of mountains to the lush valleys and vineyards, there is a wide range of natural beauty for your exploration, such as the unique landscapes of David Gareja’s semi-desert region. A season of tranquillity in Georgia is autumn as the landscapes are painted with warm hues. In the summer when the sun graces the landscapes, another amazing side of the country is unveiled. For beach lovers, the Black Sea opens its sandy shores and lively promenades, such as Batumi.  

4. Georgian Wine

The wine regions, mainly Kakheti, are famous for the grape harvest festivities. Georgia is considered the birthplace of wine with a history of over 8,000 years of winemaking. The traditional winemaking method, known as “Qvevri”, implies the fermentation and aging of wine in large clay vats buried underground. Wine enthusiasts can enjoy the exploration of picturesque vineyards, carpeted in red and gold; participate in wine tasting at local cellars, and learn about deeply rooted wine culture.  

5. Extreme activities

For extreme lovers, there is a variety of adventure activities in Georgia, such as hiking in the mountains, climbing, river rafting, skiing, caving, and paragliding.

Reasons to visit Tbilisi

  1. Old Town, the narrow cobblestone streets of Tbilisi, is full of historical buildings, centuries-old churches, modern art galleries restaurants, and cafes.
  2. Iconic Fortress Narikala offers a panoramic view of the city.
  3. Bridge of Peace is a place that travelers always visit and are amazed at its architecture. 
  4. A boat trip on Kura River flowing through the city. 

Cultural Highlights of Georgia

Georgia – a treasure trove of cultural sights, demonstrates a rich goblin of traditions and history. The ancient monasteries do not only hold deep spiritual significance, but also are architectural marvels of the country. Notable among them is Gergeti Trinity Church, with a fantastic view of Mount Kazbeg and the most visited sightseeing of Georgia.

The next one is a UNESCO-listed unique medieval masterpiece, Gelati Monastery. There are also several must-visit monasteries, which are Svetitskhoveli, Bodbe, Nekresi, Bagrati, and David Gareja.

On the other hand, Georgia is rich in cave towns of Vardzia and Uplistsikhe, which tell about the civilization and lifestyle of pre-Christian times identifying the centuries-old history of locals.

Festivals in Georgia

Georgia is rich in cultural events, concerts, and festivals, which are held all over the country., though only few of them mentioned below: 

Tbilisoba Festival is held every year in October to celebrate the birthday of the capital city. 

Georgian Christmas On the 7th of January, Georgians celebrate Christmas and decorate Chichilaki, which is a Christmas tree made of dried walnut or hazelnut branches. 

Lamps Festival is annually held in Svaneti. Due to its similarities to ‘Día de Muertos’, it is also called as ‘The Day of Dead in Georgia’. At night, people make torches from the branches of birch or oak trees and take them to their relatives’ graves.

Wineries of Georgia

Georgian wine-making traditions go back the 6th centure BC, with age-old traditions and unique endemic grape sorts. Georgian unique winemaking method called Qvevri is included in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  Qvevries are big clay pots burries in the ground in which wine is aged. There are lots of wineries in Georgia starting from family-run, small boutique and to bigger ones prodicing several millions ob bottles per year. Alongside visiting wineries for wine tasting travellers can participate in wine festivals held mainly in Autumn.

Chateau Mukhrani is a viticultural symbol founded in the 19th century and situated in the Mukhrani wine region. Chateau Mukhrani combines traditional and modern vine-making tools, and produces wide selection of wines. Guests are able to learn about the process of winemaking and conduct a variety of wine degustation. 

Kvareli Wine Cave, located in the region of Kakheti, utilises a method of qvevri and suggests a unique dungeon wine experience. The cave conducts ideal conditions for aging and storing wines. Guests can plunge into the underground chambers, learn about the process of winemaking, and enjoy the unique aromas of wines matured in the unusual environment.

Tsinandali Estate, a cultural and wine-producing gem, is situated in the region of Kakheti. Tsinandali Estate combines traditional and innovative methods to conduct high-quality wines. Once it is hosted by nobility, Tsinandali Palace is now owned vineyards and a winery. Guests can experience the winery, explore gardens and enjoy a variety of wine tastings.

Black Sea Shores of Georgia

Batumi, a vibrant resort with a breathtaking seaside embankment, is famous for its modern architecture, botanical garden, and lively atmosphere. There are lots of modern attractions on the shore of the city, including aqua parks and amusement parks, where travellers can perfectly relax and have fun. While Batumi Boulevard is made for a leisurely walk along the aqua edge, the Tower of Alphabet – stood out beyond the Black Sea, is a technological marvel in Batumi.

Anaklia, an enchanting seaside city, is a must-visited place where travellers can have sunburnt relaxation and family-friendly entertainment. The beaches of Anaklia, surrounded by lush nature, are places to relax with the opportunities of modern amenities that most visitors prefer during travel time. Aqua park and amusement park are integrated into the picturesque scene of the shores of the Black Sea attracting a variety of travellers to immerse themselves in the breathtaking sea activities.

Ski resorts in Georgia

Georgia offers several ski resorts located close to the capital city of Tbilisi. 

Gudauri, located about 2 hours from the capital, is one of the most famous ski resorts. Its wide ski territory suits all qualification levels, from beginners to experienced skiers. The contemporary infrastructure of Gudauri, including ski lifts, ski and snowboard rentals, lots of restaurants, and a wide range of hotels enhances the overall attractiveness of the resort.

Bakuriani, situated a little far from the capital city, is famous as a family-friendly resort for its ski schools and easy slopes, making it a perfect place for families and beginner skiers. The breathtaking surroundings and well-maintained routes promote a welcoming environment for a newbie to this sport. 

Hatsvali, located in the province of Svaneti, suggests an extraordinary skiing experience amidst picturesque mountainous views, as well as difficult routes and a chance to explore the untouched landscapes. In comparison with Gudauri Resort, Hatsvali attracts experienced skiers looking for a more unusual adventure. 

Spring in Georgia

Blooming Landscapes: Witness the blooming beautiful nature of Georgia when spring covers Georgia with vibrant colors, especially in Kakheti and Sighnaghi.

Wine Exploration: As it is the period of growing grapes, wine lovers can explore wineries and vineyards, as well as have a degustation of a variety of grape sorts.

Summer in Georgia

Swimming time:  Go to the shores of the Black Sea, mainly Anaklia and Batumi, to enjoy sun-drenched beaches, sea embankments, and lively nightlife.

Svaneti Hike:  Trek in Svaneti mountainous sceneries with its old towers and walking paths opening picturesque views. 

Autumn in Georgia

It is time to savor the breathtaking sceneries as the leaves transform into red and yellow shades in a place such as Borjomi for photographing.

Wine Festivals: During this period, wineries organize festivals in wine-producing provinces where you can get acquainted with the process of making traditional wine and taste a variety of wines. 

Winter in Georgia

Skiing: In winter Georgia turns into a snow-capped wonderland where you can ski on the slopes of Bakuriani, Gudauri, and Hatsvali.

Festivals & Events: Get into the Christmas atmosphere in Tbilisi, where you can find charming Christmas markets, light shows, and holiday events.

Top places to visit in Georgia

Mestia: Whether you climb mountain peaks, cross valleys, or trek off-road, Mestia is an adventurous paradise among the other picturesque landscapes of Georgia. Known for its mountainous terrain, it is a paradise for active leisure lovers, hikers, trekkers, and jeep riders. The recommended destination for hikers is Svan Towers with an impressive view of the Caucasus Mountains. For adventure enthusiasts, the suggested destination is breathtaking trekking trails over alpine meadows and unspoiled valleys. There are varied opportunities for exciting trips over difficult terrain for jeep riders feeling the harsh charm of Svaneti landscapes. 

Kakheti: Kakheti – a main wine-producing province in Georgia, attracts wine and culture lovers. You will have an opportunity to visit Tsinandali Estate, Chateau Mukhrani, Kvareli Wine Cave, Alaverdi to learn about Georgian traditional wine-making and taste a variety of grapes sorts. During the trip to Kakheti region, you will have an incredible feeling visiting Telavi and the love city of Sighnaghi.

Kazbegi: Kazbegi, situated in the fabulous sceneries of the Caucasus Mountains, attracts adventure lovers and tranquillity seekers. When you trek to the peak of Mount Kazbek, Gergeti Trinity Church, you will have feelings of tranquillity delighting a stunning view.

Batumi: Whether you are looking for casino thrills, cultural events, or sun-drenched relaxation at Batumi Drama Theatre, it provides a delightful combination of hospitality and entertainment for visitors. Batumi is one of those cities in Georgia that ensures a variety of modern hotels satisfying different preferences and budgets for a comfortable stay.

Practical tips to visit Georgia

1. Visa Information

EU member countries, The UK, The USA, Australia, Canada, Australia, and many South American and Asian countries passport holders are exempt from visa to Georgia for 90 – 180 days. Before planning your trip, it is preferable to review the current visa requirements. 

2. Airports of Georgia

There are 3 international airports, each situated in various provinces of Georgia. The first is Tbilisi International Airport, which is the main airport located close to the capital city and suggests many international flights. The next one is Kutaisi International Airport, situated 14 km west of Kutaisi, which is a popular node for low-cost carriers, allowing easy access to different provinces. The last one is Batumi International Airport, located on the shore of the Black Sea with good connections to seasonal flights.

3. Land Borders of Georgia

Often combined tours are the best way to explore the region and compare countries. Georgia neighbors Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. When crossing borders, you should be aware of the special requirements and regulations to enter into every border country. In general, crossing the border is straightforward, but it is preferable to review for any travel advisories or border restrictions.

Conclusion

Georgia greets travelers with open arms and offers a rich heritage of history, culture, and nature. Being informed about visa requirements, selecting the most convenient airport for your route, and knowing border regulations will help ensure a smooth and pleasant trip through this diverse and welcoming country. We hope this Georgia travel guide inspired to to visit Georgia, wishing you a safe travel! In case you are interested in the Armenia tour Armenia Travel Guide awaits you. 

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