Come, visit Georgia, surprising, unique country

Tired of cookie cutter tourism? Want to excite your taste buds? Enjoy breath-taking nature and ancient sites?

Come visit Georgia!

Any travel information site about Georgia will give you the basics:  it is part of the Silk Road, it sits at the crossroads between cultures. The food. The wine. The mountains… traditions and dances…

But I believe Georgia is more than this. My Georgia is surprising. It is not for the average person. Georgia caters to the unique visitor and guest.

Take Georgian food, for example. Partly influenced by every culture that has ever conquered this land (legion is thy name), it follows the lead of nature – local produce, spices, flavours. It tastes a bit like this, a bit like that, but, in the end, like nothing you have ever tried before. Garlicky, with walnuts, spicy and loads of fresh herbs. It does not follow the classic French cuisine rules. In fact, it does not follow any rules.  No nonsense salads and desserts and no fancy-schmancy sauces. It’s simple, seasonal and savoury. And as a result, it’s slowly becoming trendy among the foodies. Try it before it mainstreams:  Georgian food has already made it to the pages of the Washington Post.

The second wonder – Georgian wine. Here, you come to visit a country which is far away from the European wine centres and find Georgians boasting the oldest wine varieties in the world. Despite the fact that wine production was hindered during the Soviet Union – some varieties were more equal than others – many Georgian entrepreneurs are now restoring long-lost sorts, scanning villages for that special vine hidden away in someone’s grandfather’s back yard. Wine is so common here that a private piece of land can’t be pictured without at least several vines creeping up special columns – talaveri.

City dwellers don’t want to be left behind either and so you may encounter random wine harvests on the 10th-floor balcony of a multi-story building. Everyone produces wine. Homemade wine, bottled wine, regulated wine, improvised wine, traditional amphora wine, new “European” wine, wine that has won awards or your cousin’s best friend’s wine that is saved only for special guests. Even I have a little vineyard that my grandfather grew at our country house years ago. My grandparents died, the house is so old it needs a breathing machine, but the taleveri still produces concord grapes (Isabella in Georgian) every September.

Come, visit Georgia, surprising, unique country
Come, visit Georgia, surprising, unique country
Come, visit Georgia, surprising, unique country

Some say that the Black Sea coastline is the place to visit in Georgia. While I can’t imagine my life without the sea (I’ve been travelling to Ajara every year since I was 5), I believe that Georgia is a mountain country. Drive it, hike it, or horse-back-ride it, ski it, bike it or photograph it, the mountain is the soul of Georgia. The sea is more like, I don’t know, a dessert. The mountains are the meat.

You may climb any level of difficulty here – from a drive to Tbilisi’s Holy Mountain, Mtatsminda, to the Gombori pass with its breath-taking views, to the higher zones of Racha and Svaneti. You, for example, may climb a mountain for 30 minutes, 1 day, a weekend or a full week; stay at a luxury hotel in Kazbegi or a cozy guesthouse in Borjomi. You can heli-ski in Gudauri – because here you can! Or simply sit and sip wine in Kakheti, enjoying the Caucasus overlooking the Alazani Valley. To sum up, Georgian mountains offer anything and everything.

Georgia is one of a kind and that’s why I like it. Sometimes it may be overwhelming – for example, Georgians are rarely on time, we don’t form neat queues and we are unable to talk quietly. These occurrences are cultural side effects of a nation full of passion and a taste for life. You’ll be surprised.

Finally, my country is full with ancient monasteries, churches, fortresses and towers. Everywhere you step, you encounter some old and important piece of culture. My American friend visited me several years ago and we used to play the game “who spots the most fortresses” as we rode up and down this country, from Kakheti to Batumi. Before she went home, I gave her a map of Georgia with marks on all the places that we’d visited. As a result, she came back in 2 years to fill in the gaps. In conclusion, that’s what Georgia is – a country to come back to.

Toyota Yaris to move around Tbilisi

For taking day trips and moving around the capital you will need small and fast car.

Try Toyota Yaris!

Rent a Car to move around Tbilisi