Lying on the coast of the Black Sea and bordering Russia to the north, Georgia forms the eastern fringes of Europe and bridges a continental and cultural divide between Asia. Despite its small size, this country hosts a unique mix of landscapes; ranging from the 5193m high point of the ice clad Peak Shkara which peers over in to the Russian frontier, to the eastern plains of Kakheti which is rumoured to be the earliest known site of wine production dating back to 8000BC.
Culturally the region is equally as fascinating as its geography. Although it is a multi-ethnic state, the Georgian language bears no relation to any Turkic or Indo-European languages and their traditional culture is entirely unique despite their historical links with the Turks, Russians, Greeks and Persians.
Lying on the banks of the Kura River, the capital city of Georgia is most well-known for its distinct architecture… its unsurprising though as the city has been estimated to have been destroyed and rebuilt some twenty-nine times giving plenty of opportunities for refinement. There’s a great variety of things to see and do here ranging through wandering the winding streets of Old Tbilisi, an afternoon at the sulfur baths and the Simon Janashia Museum which is home to hundreds of thousands of Georgian and Caucasian archaeological and ethnographic artefacts.
This historic northwestern province of Georgia is inhabited by an ethnic subgroup of Georgians known as the Svans. Much of the region is mountainous and forested, with one of the most famous figures on the landscape being Mount Ushba which rises over the Inguri Gorge. Along with seeing this mountain and other jagged peaks in the area, any visitor to the region should also check out the famous Svanetian towers erected in the 9-12th Century and witness the unique local dance which accompanies an equally unique type of polyphonic singing dating back nearly two millennia.
Most nationalities can enter visa free. For those not eligible, you must get an e-visa in advance of your visit.
In the northern hemisphere, seasons with hot summers and snowy winters.
The currency is the Georgian Lari. You will need to exchange money once in Georgia. US Dollars, Euros, British Pounds and Russian Rubles are most commonly accepted form of currency to convert. Money changers are widely available in Tbilisi but are scarce outside the city. For up to date exchange rates please have a look at www.xe.com
Two prong European style systems (types C and F).
Most guesthouses and hotels will offer wifi. In cities 3G works well.
Khinkali, Georgian dumplings and Khachipuri, geogrian bread with cheese and egg, are two national dishes. Aubergines, fresh vegetables and lots of meat feature in traditional Georgian cooking.
Alcohol is permitted and is widely available
Georgian, although Russian is also widely spoken.
No special dress code. Although for women to enter a Georgian Orthodox Church they must wear a skirt (apparently?)
SAFETY & SECURITY
The FCO considers Georgia to be a low risk travel region. However it does advise against travel to the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Primarily this is due to the frozen conflict in the regions rather than immediate risk from attack by individuals. We take precautions when travelling to Georgia. Contact us for information on how we work to minimise risk for our guests and staff.
Aka Morchiladze – Journey to Karabakh
Kurban Said – Ali and Nino: A Love Story
Zaza Burchuladze – Adibas
Tony Anderson – Bread And Ashes: A Walk Through the Mountains of Georgia
Peter Nasmyth – Georgia in the Mountains of Poetry
Trips in the Caucasus
The Russian Caucasus is an enchanting region, ethnically diverse with towering, rugged mountains. Since the end of the Soviet Union, it has been more infamous for insurgency. Chechnya was for 20 years a byword for a failed state. However, behind…explore