Georgia

Georgia boasts vast mountain ranges with superb walking, skiing opportunities, a magnificent coastline, immense archaeological wealth, and a modern capital that shows off contemporary Georgian culture.

Georgia is one of those places that most people know something about but it’s not anywhere near the top of their list as somewhere they might actually want to visit. Those who do venture there are inevitably surprised and delighted at what they find. Nestling between the dark waters of the Black Sea and the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia’s ancient and compelling history stretches back to a time long ago when, as legend tells, Jason and the Argonauts came here in their search for the Golden Fleece.

Georgia is reputed to be the birthplace of wine and today produces some delicious bottles from the many verdant vineyards spread amongst its green valleys. Its fertile plains grow wonderful produce including luscious green olives, shiny purple aubergines and plump, dark-khaki avocados. There is lively, breezy beach life to be had on Georgia’s Black Sea coast and the soaring mountains of the Caucasus are topped with romantic castles aplenty. Lodged between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, Georgia offers a rich, off the radar experience to the more adventurous traveller. The magnificent natural beauty and rich culture of this southern Caucasus nation has a good claim on being called one of Europe’s best kept secrets.

Tbilisi, the alluring and achingly-cool Georgian capital, buzzes with fine dining restaurants offering the best of its native cuisine and there new, hip boutique hotels opening all the time. Not surprisingly, Tbilisi has become known as one of the coolest cities in Europe in recent years. To the north of the city of Tbilisi, the mighty, jagged peaks of the Caucasus soar up sky-high to over 5,000m and pristine natural beauty is abundant, the opportunities for adventure endless. Just as spectacular are the atmospheric Svaneti mountain villages with their imposing defensive towers, classic and distinctive drum-domed churches, some of which are UNESCO World Heritage listed, and extraordinary monasteries hewn from rock caves centuries ago.

The friendly, outgoing Georgians know Georgia as “Sakartvelo”, and love to welcome newcomers to their wonderful country. They are rightly proud of everything which it has to offer, especially their superb wine and unique mouth-watering cuisine. To those in the know it’s not hard to appreciate why Georgia is often showcased as a top place to go by many respected travel writers. Georgia nowadays is the most frequently visited country in the Southern Caucasus; its rich, enticing culture and extraordinarily diverse scenery make it the perfect place to go for those who love a plentiful mix of nature and history on their travels.

The entirety of the Georgian republic is about the same size as Ireland which makes it fairly easy to get around it by road in manageable daily distances. As well as the east-Georgian mountains and cultural attractions accessible from Tbilisi the western part of the country is explored less often but is also extremely rewarding.

A magnificent coastline, immense architectural and archaeological wealth, and a modern capital that shows off contemporary Georgian culture.

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