Georgia is a lovely country located in the Caucasus region, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The country is blessed with a paradise-like virgin landscape of rolling mountains, lush greenery and a Black Sea coastline. Moreover, the country’s rich culture, friendly people, ancient structures, excellent cuisine and fine wine, makes Georgia a perfect holiday destination.
The lovely capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, is located on the banks of the Mtkvari River and is known for its stunning architecture, dramatic mountain landscapes and rich history. The ruins of the ancient Narikala fortress, aesthetic Old Town, Eastern Orthodox churches like the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Soviet-styled Parliament Building, Georgian National Museum and the statue of the ‘Mother of Georgia’, Kartlis Deda are the city’s main highlights. The ride on the Funicular, a cable railway to the amusement park on Mt Mtatsminda is simply spectacular and offers great views of the city.
Kazbegi or Stepantsminda, is a scenic mountain town in the South Caucasus region, surrounded by lush green landscapes and is a treat for the eyes. The Tsminda Sameba Church (Gergeti Trinity Church), located at an elevation of 2170 metres, with the backdrop of Mt Kazbek, is Georgia’s most iconic landmark. Hiking up to the church and to Mt Kazbek are the most popular activities in Kazbegi.
The sprawling landscapes of the Greater Caucasus mountains, lush greenery, white streams and medieval villages make up the ancient land of Svaneti, located in northwest Georgia. It is popular for scenic hiking and trekking trails and skiing. The main city Mestia where you can visit the Svaneti History & Ethnography Museum and the remote village of Ushguli with its Ethnographic Museum and Lamaria Church are popular places in the region.
Vardzia in southern Georgia is a 12th-century cave monastery located on the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain, on the banks of the Kura river. The original underground cave fortress had 13 levels and more than a thousand well connected chambers which served as the throne room, meeting halls, residences, churches, wine cellars and kitchens. The monastery suffered damages from foreign attacks and an earthquake and today you can visit a small part of the complex that still stands strong.
The port city of Batumi, on the Black Sea coast, has a bustling urban vibe compared to the other low-key aesthetic cities in the country. The waterfront Batumi Boulevard, Batumi Botanical Garden, charming old town and interesting architectural structures like the Alphabet Tower, Ali and Nino statue and the Batumi Tower are the city’s major highlights. Batumi also features luxurious resorts, hotels, bars, nightclubs and restaurants and has become a popular holiday destination in Georgia.
Tusheti is where you say goodbye to wifi and connect with nature. It is hidden away in the northeastern corner of Georgia and is popular for its untamed mountainous landscapes and sprawling greenery. This is a great destination for horse-trekking and hiking, and scenic trails will take you through beautiful valleys, snow-capped peaks, and traditional villages. Omalo, Dartlo, Shenaqo and Diklo are the main villages.
The ancient city of Kutaisi is located on the banks of the Rioni river. It is known for historical landmarks like the 11th-century Bagrati Cathedral, a fine example of medieval Georgian architecture and the 12th-century Gelati Monastery complex, featuring Byzantine architectural styles, impressive archways and mosaics. Other highlights include the Colchis Fountain, Kutaisi Historical Museum and Sataplia Nature Reserve (here you can see the footprints of dinosaurs!).
Gremi once flourished as the capital of the Kingdom of Kakheti and the 16th-century Gremi Fortress is what remains of the ancient town. The most famous part of the fortress is the Church of the Archangels, with three floors, a wine cellar, bell tower and underground tunnels. The bell tower also houses a small museum where artefacts from the site are displayed.
The UNESCO listed 11th-century Alaverdi Monastery is located in the Kakheti region, eastern Georgia and was once the tallest church in the country. You can admire the architecture of the monastery and the impressive frescoes it houses. The complex also houses the Bishop’s residence and the renovated Alaverdi Marani winery, which produces some of the country’s finest wines.
The Davit Gareja Monastery is located on the slopes of Mt Gareja in the Kakheti region, near the border with Azerbaijan. The complex dates back to the 6th-century and hundreds of cells, residential quarters, churches and refectories seem carved out of the rocky slopes. Due to frequent border disputes with Azerbaijan, the monastery has not been renovated and you can see the original crumbling structures. You can hike up to the monastery and explore the rundown caves, some of which have their original frescoes intact. From here, you will also gain views of the Azerbaijan border.
Georgia is a visual delight for its visitors – its charming cities and towns, ancient monuments and vast stretches of pristine landscapes offer unparalleled beauty and an unforgettable experience. If you are seeking for a peaceful holiday with aesthetically pleasing sights and interesting history or wish to explore nature at her truest self, then this little Caucasus country will not disappoint you.
Georgia is known as the birthplace of wine.