When you think of Georgia, the first thing that pops into most people’s minds is peaches, sweet tea, and Real Housewives of Atlanta. However, America’s sweet southern city isn’t the only place on the map holding on to that name.
Georgia, an incredibly picturesque country in the Caucasus region, sits at the connecting point between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It borders the ancient Black Sea and is only a 3.5-hour flight from Dubai, making it a hotspot for travelers visiting the UAE.
If you’re in the UAE, visiting Georgia is relatively inexpensive with a flight and hotel stay costing around $436. With the countryside’s blossoming beauty, hospitable locals, and flavorful cuisine, it’s no surprise this centuries-old nation is quickly becoming a favorite travel destination.
Need more reasons to visit Georgia? Take a look at our list of 10 reasons you should add the European country to your travel plans this year.
1. Georgia’s Ancient Caves Are A Mountainside Wonder
If you’re an adventurer at heart, you should take some time to explore Georgia’s ancient caves while visiting the country. These caves can be found throughout the region, hidden amongst the hilly terrain. One of Georgia’s most popular cave sights is the David Gareji monastery complex. Carved into the rocks, this complex houses many chapels, churches, and living quarters and has one of the best views of the countryside.
If you don’t want to venture too far from the city, you can check out the caves at Uplistsike about 1.5 hours from Tbilisi. These caves are over 5,000 years old and have a cliff overlooking the river where you can take in the breathtaking views.
2. The Country Has Some of the Highest Quality Wine in Europe
Wine lovers will fall head over heels with Georgia because the country has some of the finest wines on the continent. Georgian vintners in the Kakheti wine region have spent centuries fine-tuning their wine-making process and, with its products growing in popularity, has become ‘Georgia’s Napa Valley’. Georgia was one of the earliest developers of grapes and has over 500 varieties growing throughout the country. You do not want to miss a vineyard tour while visiting Georgia so be sure to add that to your itinerary list.
3. You’ll Be Amazed By Georgia’s Beautiful Terrain
Georgia is a country with a diverse landscape broken apart by hills and shrouded by mountain ranges. It borders the Black Sea, and its Black Sea beaches are a popular stop for tourists looking to catch some sun near the ancient body of water. Swift flowing canyons, enchanting, green meadows, and lush forest grounds can be found all over Georgia and you could spend a full day taking nature walks and hikes through its terrain.
An abundance of trees and fruit flourish in the Georgian forest including beech, oak, apples, and pear trees, and you may even see some citrus groves and rows of eucalyptus trees as you drive along some of its country roads.
4. Teleport Back In Time By Visiting Medieval Land
If history and culture emergence is your thing, you definitely want to take a journey outside the city to check out the province of Svaneti. Sitting high in the Caucasian mountains, Svaneti has all the elements of a classic Medieval village, with enchanting watchtowers and castles strewn about the land. Although the watchtowers were previously used centuries ago to protect the province from invaders, Svaneti is now a cultural capsule that you can tour on your visit to Georgia.
5. Hit the Slopes During the Winter
What was once a well-kept secret amongst locals and ski enthusiasts, Georgia has become increasingly popular as a favorite destination for skiing and adventures in the snow. During winter, snow-capped Georgian mountains are perfect for skiers of all levels, and there are four main ski resorts in the country for you to choose from. If you’re not afraid of the cold, bundle up and head out into the snow for some icy fun.
6. Unwind on the Pebbled Beaches of Batumi
You can catch some serious sun by venturing to the beaches in the Black Sea resort town of Batumi. Keep in mind, there is no sand on this beach; only small pebbles littering the shoreline leading into the water. But that doesn’t take away from Batumi’s allure as a beach resort. Unlike the rest of the country, Batumi has a very modern feel and has architecture and design similar to Dubai or Singapore. So if you need a break from the countryside, head over to Batumi for a beachside break from the mountains and meadows.
7. Georgia Has Some Incredible Cuisine Too!
With influences from Greek and Mediterranean cultures, Georgian cuisine is an underrated delight you must indulge in while visiting the country. True comfort food, traditional Georgian delicacies are made with love and care and travelers say they can feel the love in every bite.
Some of its most popular dishes include khinkali, a dumpling dish filled with meats, vegetables, and potatoes, and khachapuri, a calzone-like pizza dough filled with cheese and oven-baked. Georgians also use a lot of fresh herbs in their cooking like tarragon, dill, garlic, and chopped walnut to add a unique flavor to all of their dishes.
8. Catch A Glimpse of Authentic European Culture
Tucked away in Georgia’s capital, Old Tbilisi is a reminder of the country’s rich history and past. A stroll through Old Tbilisi is a must-do on any trip to Georgia and you can find an array of churches, monuments, and buildings that have been standing for centuries.
The town sits on a hillside, and you can either ride a cable car up or climb to the top. There is also a thermal spring in the middle of Old Tbilisi that is great for relaxing and unwinding as you take in the old country.
9. Be Sure To Experience A Traditional Supra
When visiting Georgia, you have to experience a supra. A supra is a traditional Georgian feast featuring a wide variety of native dishes and foods accompanied by an endless supply of the country’s best vino. Although it can be hard to get invited to a supra if you don’t know anyone in the country and don’t speak the language, you can experience a supra through the super exclusive Georgian Folk Show and Supra. However, this supra happens spontaneously throughout the year with only 10 tickets being available for each show.
10. You Will Love The Locals
Georgian people have a strong pride in their culture, their history, and their heritage. They are known as some of the most hospitable people in the world and have been noted warriors many times throughout history. Georgians have strong humor and an innate love for life, so don’t be surprised if your tour guide or waiter cracks a few jokes while interacting with you.