Before I go any further, I feel like I need to clarify that this week, I’ll be speaking about the European country and not the US state! Last October, I was fortunate enough to visit Georgia with my family, being shown around by some long-time friends.
I wasn’t sure what to expect before arriving in Tbilisi, as my knowledge of Georgia, both present and past, was lacklustre to say the least. In just under a week’s stay, we had our eyes opened to not only a beautiful country, but one of the most hospitable and welcoming places I’ve ever been to.
Keep reading to see my tips for your trip to the Caucasian country.
Discover Tbilisi and Mtskheta
The best way to describe Tbilisi is incredibly charming. The old town is a maze of winding paved streets, bustling bars and restaurants and historic buildings. While in the city, make sure to visit a traditional sulphur bath, which is surprisingly revitalising. After a morning city tour, you can make the short drive to Mtskheta and visit Svetiskhoveli Cathedral and Jvari Monastery.
Plan a day trip to Uplistsikhe and Gori
Combine your visits to the famous cave town and Stalin’s birthplace. Marvel at the troglodyte architecture dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages, followed by a surreal and at times shrine-like visit to the Stalin museum in Gori. Here you will see paintings, photographs and furniture, as well as the small home Stalin was born in and his official train carriage.
Kazbegi National Park and Gergeti Trinity Church
For the most beautiful landscapes, head to Kazbegi National Park, where you will be able to admire the peaceful snow-covered peaks. It’s a great area for hiking and outdoor activities, with sites such as Gergeti Trinity Church perched 2200m above sea level. Make sure to enjoy lunch while you’re in the area, with a special mention to Rooms Hotel Kazbegi, who have a breath-taking terrace with a panoramic view of the mountains.
Kakheti wineries and Sighnaghi
For wine lovers, when in Georgia, you absolutely need to plan some time to visit the Kakheti region. Tour a winery, experience grape stomping and immerse yourself in the rich history of Georgian viticulture. While in the region, head to Sighnaghi, the City of Love, to see the Sighnaghi museum, which houses a collection of Niko Pirosmani’s work.
Food and music
Georgian food and Georgian music no doubt contributed to how much we enjoyed ourselves on our trip. Hospitality is manifested through music and food, with supra (feasts) being commonplace. While there, make sure to sample khinkali (dumplings), chakapuli (lamb stew), shashlik (meat skewers), khachapuri (cheese stuffed bread), sulguni cheese and pkhali (minced vegetable with walnuts). Enjoy your supra while being entertained by a choir of traditional Georgian folk singers: there’s nothing better.