…Georgia is a country in the Caucasus. It lays at the eastern end of the Black Sea, with Turkey and Armenia to the south, Azerbaijan to the east, and Russia to the north, over the Caucasus Mountains. Georgia is a land with a magnificent history and unparalleled natural beauty. The recorded history of Georgia dates back more than 4,000 years. Georgia is also one of the first world countries that adopted Christianity as the state religion in the first half of the 4th century.
Area: 69.500 Km²
Languages: Georgian, Russian is widely known, English.
Religion: Most of the population in Georgia practices Orthodox Christianity, primarily the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Currency: Georgian Lari (GEL).
Internet Domain: ge
Airport: 20 km from Tbilisi centre
Picture Georgia as a system of hills and plains between two mountain systems: the Greater Caucasus in the north and the Lesser Caucasus in the south. The Greater Caucasus range goes from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, from Northwest to Southeast; it can easily be divided in 3 parts: Western, Central and Eastern.
Georgia can be divided in provinces that do not coincide necessarily with current administrative entities, but that are historically, socially and culturally homogeneous. The provinces we considered are the ones we know best: Khevsureti and Tusheti. We will soon add in formations regarding a fourth province, Svaneti.
Although Georgia is only 69.700 square kilometers large, its biodiversity is immense: subtropics, marshes, semi-deserts, lofty alpine meadows and mighty snow-covered peaks can be found within a hundred kilometers from each other. There are 14 Strict Nature Reserves, 9 National Parks, 17 Managed Nature Reserves, 14 Natural Monuments and 2 Protected Landscapes in Georgia. Strict nature reserves comprise 141,473 ha, while national parks cover 270,740 ha. So much of Georgia is still untouched and unspoiled!
103 spa resorts and over 2400 mineral springs definitely mean that Georgia has been one of the centers of spa life for thousands of years. The location of today’s capital Tbilisi was chosen because of its natural hot sulfur springs. Now, in the very heart of the city you can still visit sulfur baths which were built there long time ago. Combined with Mediterranean climate and legendary hospitality of the locals, it makes Georgia to a unique travel destination.
Gold & Other Jewellery – Gold, silver, handmade & other misc. jewellery, precious stones are very cheap in Georgia and quality of the precious stones, gold and silver is superb. Many foreigners visit Georgia to buy jewellery because of its cost and quality.
Art & Paintings – Georgian artists, such as Pirosmani, Gigo Gabashvili, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, Korneli Sanadze, Elene Akhvlediani, Sergo Kobuladze, Simon Virsaladze, Ekaterine Baghdavadze and others, are famous for their work. In Georgia you will find many various art shops, paintings and painters who sell their works on the streets. Their work is high quality and is often very good values.
Antiques & Other Misc. Gifts – in Georgia you will able to find many antiques not only from Georgia, but Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Russian and European as well.
Georgian mineral waters have exceptional and interesting tastes – very different from French and Italian varieties. The most famous Georgian mineral waters are Borjomi and Nabeglavi. But there is a plethora of less well-known springs located in small towns and alongside roads throughout the country that is worth sampling.
Climate of the country is extremely diverse, considering its small size. The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range influencing Georgia’s climate, it protects the country from cold air masses from North. The Lesser Caucasus Mountains partially protect the region from the influence of dry and hot air masses from South as well. An average temperature in summer ranges from 32 °C to 35 °C, and in winter – from 1.5 °C to 3 °C.
The Georgians have exceptionally strong traditions of hospitality, chivalry, and codes of personal honor. They believe that guests come from God. Friendship is prized highest among all the virtues.
Georgians are hospitable to a fault (and beyond). If a Georgian invites you somewhere it will be almost impossible to pay for anything and even raising the subject of who will cover the bill can be embarrassing for your host. If invited to a private home for dinner, make sure you arrive amply stocked with wine or sweets.
If traveling in small towns (and in the quieter parts of Tbilisi) it is customary to greet almost everyone who passes you with a friendly “Gamarjoba” (Hello). And the proper response to this is “Gagimarjos”.