With its stunning mountain vistas, healing thermal springs, beautiful Black Sea coastline, rolling green hills, ancient traditions and extremely rich history and culture, Georgia, the “Pearl of Caucasus”, offers memorable and unique travel experiences like no other.
23 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL TO GEORGIA
- The natural beauty: With its unique landscapes, stunning mountain scenery, beautiful coastline and mesmerizing forests and canyons, Georgia has a lot to offer.
- A great destination for the practice of adventure sports any time of the year: skiing, paragliding, trekking, speed racing, night skiing, scuba diving, rafting, mountain biking...
- Remarkable sense of hospitality: the Georgian people are one of the friendliest people in the world. They are welcoming and love to spoil their guests.
- Georgia is one of the safest countries in the world.
- Georgia, land of ancient traditions, has an extremely rich history and culture.
- Georgia is the birthplace of wine and the Georgian winemaking method is inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- Skiing or swimming? Both! Georgia or the place where you can ski in the morning and hit the beach in the afternoon.
- Kutaisi and Mtskheta are among the 15 oldest cities in Europe.
- The oldest remains of human (outside Africa) were found in Georgia (1.8 Million years old) in 2005, rewriting the story of mankind.
- Ultimate heli-ski destination.
- The Georgian food: The traditional Georgian feast (Supra) is a unique experience itself.
- The music and dance: Georgian National Dance is one of the most spectacular dances in the world and the Georgian Polyphonic Singing is inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- Ushguli and Bochorna are the highest permanently inhabited settlements in Europe.
- Land of the Golden Fleece.
- Beautiful caverns and cave cities throughout Georgia.
- Friendly bottlenose dolphins can be observed regularly in the Black Sea.
- The Raptor Migration (September – October) in Batumi: Up to 100,000 raptors pass through Batumi in a single day, and you can observe almost all European raptor species.
- Georgian Alphabet is inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- Georgia’s traditional handicrafts and ornaments.
- Sighnaghi, the city of love, and its charming streets.
- Speleologists’ paradise: 4 of the 10 deepest caves in the world are located in Georgia (n°8 “Shakta Vjacheslav Pantjukhina”, n°7 “Sarma”, n°5 “Illuzia- Snezhnaja” and n°1 “Krubera-Voronja Cave”).
- Georgia is one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world (12 different climate zones and 49 types of soil).
- World’s oldest honey remains (5500 years old) were discovered in Georgia.
Citizens from the countries listed at the following link: https://www.geoconsul.gov.ge/HtmlPage/Html/View?id=25&lang=Eng do not need a visa to enter Georgia. A passport valid for the duration of stay is required (or national ID card for EU citizens). Citizens not referred to in the list above are advised to contact the nearest Georgian embassy to check visa requirements.
The Lari (GEL) is the local currency of Georgia. There are several ATMs in cities and towns throughout Georgia. Many places will take credit cards (such as Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus) but some may not; if you are staying in a rural area, bring some extra cash.
All major international currencies (US dollars, Euros, Sterling and currencies of the neighbouring countries) are accepted in Georgia and can be exchanged at the airport or commercial banks in the country.
The official language of Georgia is Georgian (Kartvelian family of languages). It has its own alphabet. Russian is also widely spoken in Georgia. English is mostly spoken by people aged in their 20s/ 30s. A lot of Georgian people speak French as well!
Located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Georgia is a country in the mountainous South Caucasus region bounded by Russia to the north, Turkey and Armenia to the south, Azerbaijan to the east and the Black Sea to the west. The total area of the country is estimated at 69700 square kilometers.
The country is divided into three main geographical regions:
- • The Greater Caucasus Range,
- • The Central Lowlands,
- • The Lesser Caucasus.
The highest point in the country is Mt. Shkhara and the lowest point is Bogs (between Poti and Kulevi).
Georgia has a 310km long coastline and more than 25,000 rivers.
BEST TIME TO VISIT GEORGIA
Whatever the season, there’s always something to do in Georgia.
The best seasons to travel to Georgia (nicest weather) are spring (May to June) and autumn (September to October).
November to February is perfect for winter activities (skiing, speed riding, Heli ski …).
During the summer (July to August), the best places to be are on Georgia’s beaches (Black Sea coastline) or in Georgia’s mountains (Kazbegi, Tusheti, and Svaneti to name but a few).
Autumn (September – October) is also a great time to visit Georgia as you can witness the festive wine harvest.
The wet season lasts from February to April.
• Travel Insurance:
You are required as a condition of booking to be insured against medical and personal accident risks. If you are planning to travel to high altitude in Georgia, please check what your insurance policy covers as many insurances do not provide cover over 2,500 meters. You will need a full insurance covering medical treatments, accidents and evacuation by helicopter. It is also a good option to choose an insurance that covers flights cancellation and unexpected losses and damages.
• Vaccines and Medicines:
You do not officially require any immunisations to enter Georgia. However, the following vaccinations should be considered before traveling to Georgia:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
Bring your own medicines with you (in particular, diarrhea medication): Water Purification Tablets/ Isotonic Powder/ Basic First Aid Kit/ Diamox/ Oximeter / Ibuprofen for general aches and pains/ Imodium or Pepto Bismol capsules for diarrhea, etc.
• Bug bites:
Use an insect repellent and wear long sleeved clothes at night to avoid mosquito bites, especially during summer.
• Altitude sickness
Learn to recognize altitude sickness symptoms (insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nauseas, loss of appetite, heart rate acceleration, breathing problems, and hallucinations). Be prepared before you go on a high altitude trek.
- • Watch out for pickpockets, particularly in tourist areas.
- • Avoid overnight buses.
- • Do not carry large sums of cash. Do not display your cash or expensive items.
- • Trekking alone is not recommended.
- January 1st: New Year’s Day.
- January 7th: Orthodox Christmas.
- January 19th: Orthodox Epiphany.
- March 3rd: Mother’s Day.
- March 8th: International Women’s Day.
- April 9th: Day of National Unity.
- April: Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday and Monday.
- May 9th: Day of Victory over Fascism.
- May 12th: Celebration of Saint Andrew.
- May 26th: Independence Day.
- August 28th: Assumption of Saint Mary.
- October 14th: Celebration of the first Christian church.
- November 23rd: Saint George’s Day.
Georgia is one of the safest countries in the world. The rate of violent crime is extremely low in Georgia. However:
CULTURE & PEOPLE
Georgia has an extremely rich history and unique distinctive cultural identity.
There are lots of different ethno-linguistic groups living in Georgia. Yet, there is a strong sense of Georgian national identity and almost all ethno-cultural groups share this mutual identity. The Georgian culture is a unique blend of European and Middle Eastern influences and is defined by its own traditions, customs, manners, dialects and folklore. Georgians are “Kartvelebi” and their country is called “Sakartvelo”.
Despite the Soviet occupation, Georgia has always kept its distinctiveness. Georgia is an Eastern Orthodox Christian country, and the religion has an important role in Georgian’s daily life. In Georgia, guests are gifts sent from God and foreigners visiting the country are also considered as gifts. Georgia society is patriarchal and it isn’t unusual in Georgia to live with your family, parents and grandparents.
GEORGIAN GASTRONOMY AND WINE
The Georgian gastronomy is a blend of Middle Eastern and European culinary influences. Each region has its own cuisine tradition.
Georgian famous dishes are: Khinkali (Georgian tasty dumplings), Khachapuri (cheese pie), Lobio (kidney bean), Lori (Georgian ham), Muzhuzhi (pig leg), Sulguni (cheese), Mchadi (maize scones), Kharcho (mutton soup), Chakapuli (lamb dish), and Khashi (beef dish) to name but a few.
A supra, a Georgian feast, can lasts for hours. The Tamada is the leader who makes toasts.
Georgia, the birthplace of wine, produces about 150 million liters of wine every year. The most famous wine region is Kakheti and the best varieties are Saperavi, Khikhvi, Mtsvane, Tsinandali, Tvishi, Alaznis Veli, Alazani and Mukuzani.