WHY VISIT GEORGIA
Located in the heart of the Caucasus, Georgia has a strategic position and many sites to discover: this small country (less than 5 million inhabitants) contains pleasant surprises and prices are still very affordable for the traveler.
Start with the capital Tbilisi, which gathers the main animations of the country, and testifies to its rich and long history. Located on the hillside, it is crossed by the river Koura, and you will visit the old town with its winding alleys, its beautiful squares planted with greenery, its multitude of cafes and its numerous and charming churches. To see the cathedral of Sion and the old basilica of Antchiskhati.
Continue your exploration by discovering the province of Svaneti, with its authentic villages, high peaks, and stone towers where the villagers took refuge in case of war. It also has a multitude of churches decorated with frescoes and very ancient icons, and it has preserved centuries-old traditions. You can go hiking, climbing, in the middle of thick forests. Then visit Vardzia, a troglodyte town, whose fortifications date from the 12th century, and which was considered a holy city because of its monastery formerly populated by 2000 monks. Its houses in the rocks form a true labyrinth, with 119 sets of caves, including 13 churches.
Do not miss the 300 km of coasts on the Moire Sea, with their sandy beaches, and in particular the town of Batumi and its pebble beach. For mountain enthusiasts, Touchétie, in the north-east of the country, is ideal for hiking, whether on foot or on horseback. The environment is still very wild and it is reached by a single road after crossing the pass of Abano at almost 3000 meters. You will admire a sumptuous landscape of snow-capped peaks and deep gorges, and you can even practice skiing in the resort of Bakuriani.
WHAT TO SEE IN GEORGIA
Top destinations in Georgia are:
- Tusheti National Park
- Lake Ritsa
WHEN TO GO TO GEORGIA
The best period to visit Georgia is in May, June, September, and October.
The climate undergoes two types of influences: subtropical in the west, and Mediterranean in the east. Along the Black Sea, there is strong humidity and abundant rainfall, with average temperatures of 5 ° C in winter and 22 ° C in summer.
To the east, the humidity is lower and the average temperatures a little higher. The best time to leave is from May to July, then from September to October, as the weather is sunny and warm. August is not advisable because of the humidity and high temperatures in the plains, but in the mountains, it will be a good season for hiking.
Following is a list of typical festivals and celebrations in Georgia.
- Tamaroba: Held on May 14 each year, Tamaroba is the celebration of the reign of one of the greatest Georgian monarchs, Queen Tamar, who lead the country into its golden age. This day of remembrance is honored throughout the country, but the main festivities are held in Akhaltsikhe and Tbilisi.
- Independence Day: While Georgia’s independence was really dated March 31, 1991, locals celebrate their freedom on May 26, which when the country became its own state. Traditionally, a military parade is followed by a huge gala concert and the festival of flowers in Vardobistve takes place. This event transforms the Bridge of the World into a big, colorful ark of flowers.
- Ninooba: Ninooba means the Great Church Holiday, which is dedicated to the arrival of Saint Nino, who first converted Georgians to Christianity. The celebration is held on the first day of June when believers go on a pilgrimage following in the footsteps of Saint Nino that passes through the Mtskheta-Bodbe route.
- Mckhetoba-Svetickhovloba: This large spiritual feast is celebrated by Georgians every October 14. It is based on the miraculous acquisition of the country’s greatest relic—Jesus Christ’s tunic—which was the reason for the establishment of the Mtskheta Cathedral. A festive service and a mass christening are held at this time.
- St George’s Day: Annually on November 23, Georgians remember Saint George the Victorious, one of the most legendary characters in the history of Christianity. On this day, churches ring their bells and believers pray for peace, welfare, and health. Locals prepare festive meals and families sing traditional songs.
- Christmas Day: Christmas sees churches begin solemn liturgy as early as the night before Christmas Day (December 25) with services beginning in festive parades called alilo. Believers and priests walk down the street carrying icons, crosses, and banners while singing about Christ’s birth. On Christmas Eve (December 24), candles are lit in Georgian houses and festive dinners are served.
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH GEORGIA
by plane, the main airports are:
GENERAL INFORMATION ON GEORGIA
health tips & vaccination: drink only bottled water and avoid ice
local currency: Georgian Lari
local time zone: GMT+4
electricity: type C and type F (220 V, 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN GEORGIA
typical food in Georgia
- Lobio: bean and walnut salad
- Pkhali: a patty of minced greens and ground walnuts. Popular choices include spinach pkhali and beetroot pkhali
- Khachapuri: consisting of layers of flatbread alternated with melting cheese
- Basturma: cured meat and assorted fresh and pickled vegetables
- Khinkali: juicy dumpling filled with minced meat (lamb or beef and pork mixed), onions, chili pepper, salt and cumin
- Ajapsandali: a dish consisting of eggplant, potato, tomato, bell pepper, and seasoning
- Mtsvadi: meat impaled on a stick and cooked over an open flame
- Tklapi: sundried puréed fruit roll-up leather
- Kharcho: soup made of beef, rice, cherry plum purée, and chopped walnut. Usually served with finely chopped fresh coriander
- Lobiani: a dish of bean-filled bread
- Puri: Georgian bread
- Nazuki: Georgian spice bread
- Chivishtari: cornbread filled with cheese
- Sulguni: cheese similar to mozzarella in texture
- Nadugi: appetizer consisting of fresh cheese mixed with mint and wrapped, cone-like, in a thin layer of Sulguni cheese
- Jonjoli: is pickled sprouts
- Qatmis Salati: chicken salad with chopped chicken, onions, mayonnaise, and seasonings
- Salata Olivie: chicken and potato salad dressed with mayonnaise
- Badrijai Nigvzit: thin, long slices of eggplant (or aubergine) are cooked until brown and soft, then a paste of walnuts, vinegar, and spices is spread on the eggplant slices, which are then rolled
- Tolma: meat and rice wrapped in cabbage or vine leaves
- Chikhirtma: brothy chicken soup with vinegar, egg, and flour
- Mtsvadi or Shashlik: kebab cooked on charcoal and usually served with tkemali (a sour plum sauce)
- Chashushuli: a tomato-based veal stew with onions and red peppers
- Salguni: mild, semi-soft and salty cheese ready for eating or to be baked
- Chakapuli: lamb or veal stew flavored with white wine, tarragon, sour green plums, and coriander
- Matsoni: fermented yogurt
- Churchkhela: a sausage-shaped candy
- Karaliokis Chiri: dried persimmons
- Borjomi: Georgia’s favorite mineral water
- Limonati: lemonade
- Lagidze: fizzy flavored soda
- Chacha: wine vodka
souvenirs from Georgia
- Papakha, traditional high fur hat
- Panduri, a traditional Georgian three-string instrument
- jewelry made of gagat (black amber)
- wine, brandy, and chacha
- Katsi drinking horn
- Churchkhela, traditional sausage-shaped candy
How are you?: Rogor khar?
Thank you: Gmadlobt’
What is your name?: Ra gk’via?
How much is it?: Ra ghirs?