Georgia is an amazing cluster of cultures, religions, fascinating landscapes and ancient history. The country where everyone can find something to his liking - from snowy peaks to subtropical shores, from deserts to lush forests, from cities to enchanting villages. The country of the legendary Golden Fleece, the birthplace of wine, fascinating dances and polyphonic songs.
Ethnic Georgians constitute a majority of the population. The official language is Georgian, one of the oldest languages in the world. Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city, which has always been home to people of diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds and its varied history is reflected in its architecture, which is a mix of medieval, classical, Middle Eastern, Art Nouveau, Stalinist and Modernist structures.
History&Mythology: Our culture is ancient and very multifaceted: you can follow the traces of pagan civilizations, get fascinated by rich Christian heritage and also find the objects of Muslim and Jewish cultures. Our common ancestors were living here: the first hominid fossils(dated as old as 1.8 million years) out of Africa have been excavated in Dmanisi in early 90s.
The well-known myths about Medea, Jason and the Argonauts, originate from the lands of Colchis(modern day western Georgia). Jason approached the shores of Georgia to steal the legendary Golden Fleece. Caucasus was the location, where Zeus chained Prometheus to the mountain, punishing him for giving fire to the mortals.
Georgia is a birthplace of wine. Country's history and the history of winemaking is intertwined: the archaeological findings prove that local people cultivated grapes and produced wine in clay vessels already 8000 years ago. This technology lives till now and you can come and experience it, see how wine is being born, taste it and even take part in harvest, if you come to Georgia in September-October.
About Georgians: The Georgian people are one of the chief attractions of this country – our traditions of hospitality and kindness extend to everyone we meet and until you experience a full Georgian meal with endless courses of sublime local cooking and lengthy toasting ceremonies, you can’t claim to have seen the real Georgia!
When to visit: It does not really matter what time you will choose for your trip: Georgia is offering plenty of various activities year-round and enchants its guests with its wild natural beauty. The diversity of Georgian landscapes and climatic zones is truly impressive. Travel from alpine highlands to the seashore and Martian-lake-semi-desert, from dry air of lowlands to lush subtropical areas, and you won't believe your eyes. Trekking, hiking, horse riding, paragliding, rafting and 4x4 tours are the main activities in the warm period of the year from May to October. From December to mid-April the mountains are covered with snow, and five Georgian ski resorts Gudauri, Tetnuldi, Hatsvali, Bakuriani and Goderdzi- are waiting for winter sport lovers. And of course, the beaches of the Black sea are welcoming the guests from May to the late September.
Combine it all with amazing local gastronomy, healing mineral waters and internationally praised party scene of Tbilisi and you will get the full picture. Though, experience is always better than imagination. You are cordially invited to visit! We hope you will enjoy it!
The area: 69 700 km2;
Population: 3,720,400 people;
Language: The official language is Georgian, the only language in the Iberia-Caucasian family written in ancient script, with its own unique alphabet. English and Russian are also spoken.
Climate: The west - subtropical climate; The east - continental climate;
The alpine edge starts from 2,100 m, but from 3,600 m there is constantly snow and frost.
Currency: Lari (GEL); Check the exchange rates: $ € £
According to Georgian law, all goods and services should be paid for in local currency (Georgian Lari) although prices are often quoted in US dollars. Lari can’t be bought outside the country but US dollars and Euro can easily be exchanged for the local currency. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Credit cards are increasingly being used in Georgia and ATMs can be found in major cities. Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted.
Time zone: GMT (GMT +4)
Drives: On the right;
Internet TLD: ge;
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-type, two-pin plugs are used.
Calling code: +995
Emergency(Police, Fire Rescue, Ambulance): 112
International Airports: Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi
-Cheap flights: If you are looking for a budget flight airlines check Wizzair and Rynair both fly from Europe.
-Ladies will need to cover head and in some cases wear skirts when visiting monasteries . Most of the monasteries will have both but sometimes it is not enough, so its better if you have your own.
-Crossing the street: Be careful on Zebras in big cities, as some of the drivers do not stop. Shame on them!
-Taxi & Other transport: Use Bolt app for Taxi, it offers cheapest service and in this way you will avoid being cheated by some dishonest taxi drivers. For other means of transportation in Tbilisi you can use a subway, bus or a minibus and for all those you can use one card which you can get at subway stations.
-Bring some cash in the remote areas: Tbilisi is a humming, metropolitan city where ATMs are prevalent and credit cards are widely accepted. The same is true for Georgia’s other major cities, like Kutaisi and Batumi. Once you head into the countryside, however, where it’s all ma and pa eateries and family-run guesthouses, you’ll need to pay for almost everything in cash. Small towns tend to have at least one ATM, but if you’re setting off into the really remote areas or attempting a multi-day hike, be sure to have enough cash with you to cover all your costs while you’re away, plus a bit extra just in case.
-Internet is almost everywhere: Whether you’re in the heart of Tbilisi, a remote village in the High Caucasus or a dinky café near a waterfall in the middle of nowhere, chances are you’ll have access to Mobile internet or even WIFI. Though sometimes a trip to the wilderness is the perfect excuse for a digital detox, while travelling in Georgia you certainly won’t be forced to take a break from your Instagram feed if you don’t want to. The country is seriously well connected and most of the time the internet is pretty fast as well. For the best coverage Expert Guides team recommends you to get a Magti sim card.
-Stray dogs: In the cities, there is an excellent initiative where stray dogs are collected, vaccinated, de-sexed and released back onto the streets. They are friendly and you can feed them and play with them. However in the mountains its a bit different and especially you should be careful with the sheepdogs that are, quite understandably, viciously protective of their flocks. Basically, just use your common sense. If they’re friendly, give them some love. If they’re not, best to keep a wide berth.