It’s clear that the beautiful country of Georgia isn’t your typical popular holiday destination. It is a relatively new country, declaring its independence by the Supreme Council of Georgia, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Before travelling here, I knew very little about the country other than it is bordered by Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. I was under the assumption that its culture was very similar to Russia but I was very wrong! I soon became aware that Georgia has its own language, history and culture, which I was very eager to broaden my knowledge on.
It is approximately the same size of Ireland, however its landscape differs incredibly. Georgia is an appealing holiday destination for anyone as its scenery comprises of green countryside, high mountain peaks, wine-growing valleys, charming cobblestoned towns and Black Sea beach resorts. The countryside has become popular amongst climbers, walkers or hikers looking for the thrill of exploration. However, the towns and cities are less picturesque.
Georgia is far from a prosperous country and you will notice this the second you arrive in its capital city Tiblisi, mostly evident from its poor infrastructure. This country has the largest gap between rich and poor in the region which explains the high level of beggars and rundown buildings that captured my attention once the plane landed. One of the most important things I would advise to potential tourists is to be aware of the crazy driving habits of Georgians, and the lack of pedestrian crossings!
It wasn’t until I arrived in the scenic Georgia that I realised the Caucasus Mountains are the highest mountain range in Europe. While the highest peak is in Russia, Georgia takes the title of the second highest. My geography knowledge isn’t exactly at an expertise level but I was always under the assumption that The Alps had this claim.
The Caucasus Mountains are located on the Georgia-Russia border but the country is surrounded by an abundant mountain ranges to visit. The easiest option to explore them is to book a tour with any of the many tour guides scattered throughout the streets of Tiblisi. I would recommend tourists to reserve a place on the tours upon arrival as it is great value for money and I discovered natural beauty that I was not aware existed in Georgia.
I decided on taking the full day tour of Tiblisi which included a trip to Sighnaghi, the city of love. We also voyaged through the former capital of eastern Georgia, Gremi; Gombori, another mountain range; and Telavi, a town rich in historical, architectural and natural monuments. I must admit it is very easy to be entranced with Georgia’s natural wonders. What I appreciated most was the pleasant change of exploring a country’s hidden trails without the usual high number of tourists present.
Want to find out more about Tbilisi? Just click here to my next post!