Where stories begin
From the cobbled streets of Tbilisi to the towering peaks of the Caucasus mountains, Georgia is a country filled with a fascinating range of sights. Add together its turbulent history, cultural influences from East and Wet, and thousands of years of viniculture, and you have a small, still relatively unknown, country with an awful lot to offer.
Situated at the crossroads of two vast continents, Europe and Asia, Georgia is a mountainous country with a very diverse climate that’s bordered by the Black Sea in the west, by Azerbaijan in the east, by Russia in the north, and by Turkey and Armenia in the south.
Tbilisi, the vibrant capital of Georgia, is an ancient, historic town with architecture that reflects the country’s complex history of invasions and influences. Set in a deep valley beside the Mtkvari River, Tbilisi was once one of the greatest multi-cultural trading cities along the Silk Road, and now boasts a vibrant combination of traditional charm and modern cool. Wander the city’s streets, and you’ll discover leafy squares, pastel coloured traditional houses with wooden balconies and charming shops selling their goods, along with a huge number of really good restaurants and cafes.
Away from the capital, Georgia's treasures include vast caves, ancient monasteries, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and nature reserves. Visit Kutaisi, one of the oldest cities in the country, or head to Gori, the birthplace of Soviet leader Josef Stalin, and explore the partly underground ancient cave town of Uplistsikhe. Georgia is also one of the oldest wine-producing countries in the world, and the picturesque Alazani Valley and Kakheti are well worth a visit if you’re at all interested in learning about the local vintages and indulging in a taste or two. Right on the south-western corner of the country, you’ll find the captivating city of Batumi, with its snow-capped hills and long beach by the Black Sea.
Visit the secluded region of Svaneti, deep in the mighty Caucasus mountains. This mountain hideaway, with its medieval villages, snow-capped peaks and deep gorges, mineral springs, glaciers and waterfalls, is rich in breath-taking landscapes, but there's more to Svaneti than just the sights. It's also an area suffused with the unique traditions of its inhabitants, who fiercely protect their local language and customs.
Take a holiday to Georgia and uncover the country’s turbulent past and vibrant present, and marvel at its marvellous mountainous landscape on one of our tours.
The Georgian people are known for their legendary hospitality, and with a growing tourism set-up, Georgia is rising as one of the world’s ‘must-see-now’ destinations. Here are just three of its many, many things to do and see.
Thanks to the country’s long history as a centre of intercontinental trade, its more recent Soviet past and its varied geography, Georgian food and drink is a tempting blend of many different influences.
Walnuts are vital in Georgian cuisine, often used as an important ingredient in dishes like chicken bazhe (chicken in walnut sauce) and vegetable pkhali (vegetable pâté with walnut and garlic). You’ll find walnut in various dishes, serves as a sauce or worked into soups, combined with herbs like parsley, tarragon, and coriander. Look out for the strings of ‘churchkhela’ – a Georgian speciality of walnuts coated with concentrated grape juice, or for a sweet treat, try gozinaki, a typically Christmas confectionary made of caramelized walnuts and fried in honey.
Georgian meals almost always involve bread (puri), pastry and cheese. Khachapuri (cheese-stuffed bread) is a must-try, and can be found cooked in various ways in various regions, so be sure to sample the different versions in different places. Khinkali (dumplings) are popular, and are often stuffed with meat and spices, then boiled or steamed.
Georgian wine is also very famous, and the country is known to have some of the oldest wineries in the world. Georgian amber wine (sometimes called orange wine, but never by Georgians!) is particularly special – aged in underground kvevri clay pots and available across the country, commercially or as a homemade accompaniment to meals.
Georgians are famed for their hospitality and love of good food and wine, and the country is dotted with good restaurants where you can sample the local cuisine. The national dishes tend to be heavily meat based, (mtsvadi – meat on a skewer – is a popular example) but a variety of vegetarian dishes are available.