As the ‘birthplace of wine’, Georgia offers a taste of history, excitement, and culture worthy of any connoisseur.
Want to learn more about Georgia?
Where is Georgia?
Georgia is located at the border of Eastern European and Western Asia (with territory in both continents) in what is known as the Caucasus region. Russia lies to the north, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to the south, and the Black Sea to the west.
When is the best time to visit Georgia?
Spring through much of summer and early fall are the best times to visit Georgia. Late summer can be humid, although you can escape some of this weather in the northern mountains. Winters are cold and snow makes some areas inaccessible.
Getting around Georgia
Many cities and towns have railway stations, making trains a viable way to get around the country. The main highways are in good condition for the most part, though local roads can be poor. Overall, we recommend the train as the main mode of public transport.
Language in Georgia
You’d be wise to brush up on some Georgian phrases before you go (be warned, it is a fairly unique language). More young people, especially in large cities, are speaking English as well these days – so you may be able to get by in a pinch.
The lifeblood and capital of Georgia, Tbilisi has changed and evolved over the years without ever losing sight of what made it so special in the first place. With the troubles of the 90’s and early 2000’s behind it, the city is now a bustling cosmopolitan place – with cafes, museums, restaurants, luxury, bars, and plentiful park space throughout. Of course it wouldn’t be a European capital without a charming old town, complete with centuries old architecture and an atmosphere that harkens back to its days as a crossroads between Europe and Asia. Overall, Tbilisi is a fun, picturesque city that is more than deserving of an extended stay.
If you’re looking for a summer vacation spot in Georgia, look no further than Batumi. Located on the coast of the Black Sea, Batumi has been transformed in recent years with ample resorts, hotels, great nightlife, and all the modern amenities you need. The seaside setting is warm and beautiful during summer months, though it can get snowy and cold in the winter (a common theme in this part of the world). Batumi has quietly become one of the Sea’s prime retreats – and now that it has stepped out of the shadows, it’s time to see what all the fuss is about!
The excavated cave monastery of Vardzia is exactly what it sounds like…so if that doesn’t have you intrigued, then you should probably move to the next destination. If you are interested in one of the most unique and stunning locations in this part of the world, read on! Dating back to the 12th century, this vast network of caves and structures carved into the mountain are worth a look for religious scholars and anyone interested in otherworldly retreats alike. There are even a few monks who still hold vigil here, ringing the bell every day.
Georgia is a mountainous place, and it is often said that this rugged and beautiful landscape is the highlight of any trip. If that is a creed you hold to, the Great Caucasus is where you’ll want to be. Located in the northern reaches of the country, this wild region is home to towering peaks (among the highest in Europe), isolated ancient villages, amazing hiking, lonely towers, and so much more. Venturing to Kazbegi by way of the Georgian Military Road out of Tbilisi is a great place to start, but don’t neglect the wonderful region of Svaneti either. Be careful though, even in the fairly comfortable (albeit cool) summer months, inclement weather can still hit!
Georgians often claim their country is the birthplace of wine. While they may not be the only ones to say so, they do perhaps say it the loudest. It’s not all history here either, as the idyllic region of Kakheti proves. Vineyards dot the landscape and you can hardly escape the taste of fermented grape even if you wanted to. Of course, there are also other sites to see here – including castles, churches, and monasteries – but in Kakheti, it is all about the wine.
Flights to Georgia
A round trip flight between Toronto and Tbilisi generally starts around the $1400 Canadian mark. This is fairly steep compared to some other European destinations, so it is worth looking around for budget connections from nearby countries.
Prices in Georgia ($)*
Prices in Georgia are pretty cheap for the most part, with an average day coming out to about $26 Canadian (including $9 for accommodation and food each). Budget travelers could spend as low as $10 (!) a day while the higher end comes in at a still respectable $71 a day.
Is Georgia safe?
Despite the well-publicized conflicts with breakaway regions and Russia, Georgia is actually a very safe country (having been rated amongst the safest in Europe in recent years). That being said, all travel should be avoided to the areas bordering Russia – especially the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Beyond this, there is petty crime and some fraud, while political demonstrations should be avoided. Poor road conditions are prevalent, so be extremely cautious if driving. Always remember to make sure you stay within your skill level, travel with companions, and let someone know where you are if you plan on hiking in the mountains.
For more on travel safety, check out the Canadian Travel Advisory for Georgia.
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