A few countries grab the highest attention as tourist destinations when it comes to Europe. Countries like France, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece are considered as the must-go countries for romantic holidays. Lately, the global travel trends have changed and countries like Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey are frequented by globetrotters, especially Indians.
Georgia has seen a sea of tourists in recent years that includes solo travelers, budget tourists to luxury vacationers. Find out here why Georgia is going to be the next top European destination.
The best thing about this emerging new destination is that it can accommodate all kinds of travelers. A considerably small country in comparison to the neighboring countries, Georgia flaunts a rich cultural heritage, quite a celebratory past, astonishingly diverse landscapes, and undoubtedly food heaven for gastronomes.
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WHY VISIT GEORGIA?
Are you someone who is looking out for a new European destination that is not just budget-friendly but a unique country too? Georgia is the answer to your query. Located at the crossroad between Europe and Asia, Georgia offers a great blend of both worlds. It celebrates emerging modernism alongside the traditional lifestyle.
This post will give you enough reasons why Georgia should be on your bucket list. Moreover, it will compel you to look at this offbeat destination from a new perspective.
Whether it’s the cobbled streets with traditional architectures, new-aged urban lifestyle, unique cave town, black sea beaches, picturesque mountain valleys, or the most exceptional and exclusive churches, Georgia can sway you with everything in the real sense.
If we only talk about the food culture of Georgia, it has been commanding undivided attention from food lovers across the globe. Georgia has taken the food culture to another level. The country is considered a “Food Paradise” globally.
Whether it’s the lip-smacking non-vegetarian food, distinctive taste of their traditional wine, delectable cheese, or most celebratory vegan and vegetarian food, Georgia has nailed it completely.
Whether you want to visit the most eclectic capital city, want to explore the black sea and secluded beaches, try to experience your adrenal rush by indulging in the adventure activities, or just want to visit unique architectural treasure, Georgia has everything to impress you.
If you are a slow traveler who prefers to just travel miles to be in a mountain valley and go on hiking. Kazbegi is the destination that will overwhelm you in no time.
For a road trip, Georgia is an excellent choice. The great road conditions and exceptional road connectivity make it very easy for travelers to plan a road trip across the country.
Not just that, Georgia shares its border with four amazing countries like Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia. One can easily cover these countries on a road trip if you have a valid Tourist Visa and International Driving License.
1. A UNIQUE COUNTRY
Georgia is a unique country in the true sense. Whether it is the geographical location, exceptional architecture, the culinary delights influenced by the west and east countries, the language, the winemaking process, or just the cultural heritage, this country is truly fascinating.
Straddling Europe and Asia, Georgia celebrate the uniqueness in its full glory. This Caucasian country is home to the highest mountain range in Europe and the highest inhabited mountain village.
From its exclusive and unique architectural treasures in forms of the Orthodox churches and ancient monasteries, the pristine black sea town in Batumi, cave city of Uplistsikhe, qvevri wines in Kakheti region, to the unique Georgian language, or their wonderfully chaotic yet modern capital city, Tbilisi, everything about this tiny country is exceptional.
2. GEORGIAN HOSPITALITY
Georgia is known for its warm hospitality. The Georgian people are very welcoming, and they value their guests. The Georgians love indulging in conversations with their guests. They love to talk about their rich cultural heritage and their history a lot. So, it’s great to know their country from their tales.
The most interesting part of their hospitality is that they always serve you their traditional delicacies and it is nothing less than a culinary delight.
Expect a supra, a Georgian feast where you will be treated like royalty. They love feeding their guests and if you happen to be in a Georgian household, you can’t escape a feast, especially curated for you.
The Georgians simply love their wine. They will just keep pouring your glass if it is empty. Don’t forget to get a taste of their local drink called “Chacha” which is made of the leftover graves pulps and contain more than 60% alcohol. So, go easy on Chacha if you are trying it for the first time.
They are also very friendly. If you have a Georgian friend, he/she will go the extra mile to show you around their country. The Georgians are also very helpful. You can always reach out to a local if you get stuck in any problem in their country.
3. A BUDGET-FRIENDLY DESTINATION
Unlike other European countries like France and Italy, Georgia is quite a budget-friendly country. It is also an ideal country for backpackers. The capital city, Tbilisi houses some of the quirkiest hostels for budget travelers. One of the buzzing places in the capital city is Fabrika.
It is a hub of uber-cool cafes, an artist studio, the biggest in the region hostel, an open courtyard to hang out with your friends, and some exciting events. This is the best place to meet fellow travelers.
Georgia has an excellent road transportation system. Travelers can use public transport to travel from one destination to another, especially in Tbilisi and Batumi.
Marshrutka vans are the easiest way to travel around Georgia. The ticket price is quite affordable. You can also opt for a shared taxi which is not on the higher side. It completely depends on the destination you are heading to.
Tourist places like National Heritage Site/Protected Area, museums, and galleries are quite affordable in comparison to other European countries.
Though, Tickets to the opera or ballet are little on the higher side. You must experience Tbilisi. The cost varies from bathhouses. Although on average, it is a luxury thing to do for a budget traveler.
Being the oldest winemaking country, wine is quite cheap in Georgia and one can party hard in this country with wine and local food.
4. UNIQUE ARCHITECTURAL TREASURE
Georgia boasts some of the best architectural wonders. Whether it is the exceptional architectural designs of the Orthodox Churches, ancient monasteries, modern buildings in the capital city, or the upscale design hotels, Georgia is a great example of a unique architectural treasure.
Likewise, one can also see the soviet architectural designs on some of the remaining buildings in the country. They have a very distinct pattern that makes them stand out.
One of the finest examples of unique architecture is the earliest monasteries on the mountain top in Kazbegi is Gergeti Trinity Church. Built-in the 14th century, the Trinity Church is Georgia’s most iconic church, located on the hilltop with the backdrop of the Kazbek Mountain. Moreover, this is the most photographed and landmark Orthodox church in the country.
Apart from that, I was awed when I visited the Jvari monastery which was built in the 6th century and is located in Mtskheta. In addition, the most fascinating thing about this Medieval Georgian church is that it has survived gloriously all these years and still carries the charm. The epic hilltop location is one of the inviting factors for this unique architectural treasure.
However, the most enthralling part of these ancient cathedrals and monasteries is that they are built in the most captivating locations, far away from the city or town.
Most of these ancient architectures are on a mountain top and the view from there is simply jaw-dropping. When in Georgia, don’t miss uniquely authentic cave monasteries named Vardzia and David Gareja.
When it comes to the houses in Georgia, their pattern and design are influenced by both Europe and Asia. The hanging balcony of traditional Georgian homes with lace-like decoration is quite an identity.
To get a glimpse of the traditional Georgian architecture, you must take a walking tour of the old Tbilisi. One can find some of the finest architectural treasures in a beautiful hill town called Sighnaghi in the Kakheti region of the country.
5. FOOD HEAVEN
If you are a food explorer who visits countries in search of the best gastronomic experience, you have landed in the right country. Georgia surprised me completely with an array of Georgian traditional cuisine on the very first day of my arrival.
From starters to the desserts, Georgia can transport you with its eclectic taste of local food. It ranges from salad, bread, meat-based item to the best wine. The delectable taste and smoothing fragrance of their cuisine will linger in your mouth for hours after you taste it.
Whether it is the national dish, Khachapuri, the flat cheese bread, Khinkali, a popular dumpling made with a variety of fillings like pork, minced lamb, and beef, Lobio, hot boiled beans with spices, served in a clay pot with the pickles, Badrijani nigvzit, a fried and rolled eggplant stuffed with walnut paste and spices, or Classic Georgian Salad, you will be in a food coma in Georgia.
You can travel to Georgia just for a great gourmet experience alone. The best part of the food is that Georgia has a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan food as well. So, if you are a vegan or vegetarian traveler, you will be overjoyed by the food options you are going to get in Georgia.
Cheese and wine are widely celebrated in Georgia. Therefore, you can’t expect a Georgian feast without these. Georgia produces more than 250 varieties of cheese. Moreover, Georgia enjoys the reputation of one of the top countries to produce the best cheese in the world.
There is one famous quote in Georgia, “If you don’t have Kveli (cheese in Georgian) at home, then you are dead”.
In addition to that, Walnut, Pomegranate, and Kidney Beans are the most common ingredients present in Georgian traditional food.
6. TBILISI: AN ECLECTIC MELTING POT
If you are a city explorer and love visiting unique cities across the globe, the capital city of Georgia will mesmerize you in the right way. The eccentric Tbilisi is a melting pot of traditional and modern influences.
It shouts loud about its past through its ancient architecture, showcases the traditional way of life in the old Tbilisi when you walk on those cobbled streets in a narrow alleyway, celebrates bohemian, modern outlook in Fabrika, and is the most happening place in the capital.
Tbilisi has a great blend of both old and modern influences. Here you will find some of the coolest cafes in the city, at the same time, the bath district, Abanotubani with sulfur bathhouses will give you a traditional feel.
The design hotels like Stamba promises an uber-luxury holiday while the traditional Georgian houses with the hanging balcony will let you travel back in time.
The eye-arresting new city sights with outlandish architectures will let you enjoy a European holiday in a capital city, at the same time flea market named Dry market will give you a glimpse of not so fancy side of Tbilisi.
Overall, Tbilisi is one of the most exciting capital cities for globetrotters. Whether you are a solo traveler, a budget traveler, or a luxury traveler, there is enough space for everything to experience immersive travel in Tbilisi.
The city thrives on its glorious architectural treasures, celebrated food culture, and emerging modernism alongside the traditional lifestyle.
7. VARIETY OF UNIQUE DESTINATIONS
Another exciting thing about Georgia is that it has a wide variety of destinations. Whether you want to visit a cave town, a beach destination, archeological sights, a snow destination, or a mountain valley, Georgia has it all.
For a wine lover, the Kakheti region is the best place to visit the vineyards and winery to see the traditional way of making Georgian wine. If you are an adventure junkie who loves thrilling experiences, you must do the winter adventure activities in Kazbegi. From paragliding, snowmobiling, snow-shoeing, to skiing, you have numerous options to indulge in the adventurous spirit.
For someone who enjoys mountain valleys and slow life, you must visit Truso Valley and Sno Valley in the Kazbegi. These picturesque valleys give you some serious wanderlust. Plan a view day in the villages, live a slow life, interact with the locals, and enjoy Georgian hospitality. One can also go for hikes and treks there.
If you are a beach lover who enjoys pristine and secluded beaches, the Caucasian country lets you admire the black sea. Regions like Adjara, Batumi, Samegrelo, and Guria have plenty of black sea beaches for beach lovers.
The people who love visiting historical places with archeological importance must include a cave town named David Gareja, Uplistsikhe, Vardzia.
8. OLDEST WINEMAKING COUNTRY
When in Georgia, do visit the Kakheti region. You will find a winery in almost every household. Georgia is the oldest wine-making country. They have been making wine for 8000 years. The best part of the wine-making process in Georgia is that they still use traditional ways of making wine.
Qvevri wine-making is practiced throughout Georgia which makes their process exceptional globally. The Qvevri is an egg-shaped earthenware vessel used for making, aging, and storing wine.
You can see the entire process in the winery tour in the Kakheti region of Georgia. Here are some of my recommendations for wine lovers.
- Classic Saperavi
- Budeshuri Saperavi
- Otshanuri Sapere
9. ONE OF THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENTS IN EUROPE
Located deep in the Caucasian mountains, with incredibly jaw-dropping surroundings, there is a town called Bochorna which is the highest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe at the altitude of 7,694 feet. This place is located in the Tusheti region of Georgia.
In addition, the Tusheti region is one of the remotest regions of this country. Considering the exceptional location, reaching the highest village is simply not easy. The road to this remote land is buried with snow for eight months of the year. That makes it inaccessible for outsiders to reach there.
You have just a window of 4 months to experience the serenity of the place that looks nothing less than an unreal corner up in the cloud.
10. PERFECT DESTINATION FOR SOLO & SLOW TRAVEL
One of the top reasons to visit Georgia is that it is safe to travel and a perfect country to do slow travel as well. Not a very big country in size, Georgia can be explored at your own pace. Since it is also a budget-friendly destination unlike other European countries, it makes it an ideal travel destination for backpackers and solo travelers as well.
Georgia has everything to make your holiday exceptionally memorable. Whether you are a culture enthusiast, an adventure junkie, history buff, architecture admirer, or a city dweller, Georgia can take you on a journey like no other. You name it and they have it.
The variety of destinations that are easily accessible, great public transport, and affordable hotels and hostels make it a paradise for globetrotters.
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