Where to go in Georgia

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Where to go in Georgia

Georgia is an incredibly beautiful country with picturesque landscapes and countless amazing places. So, choosing where to go during a vacation in Georgia is not an easy task.

There are ski resorts on the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, hot beaches on the Black Sea coast, and over two thousand balneological resorts. Even exploring the cities of Georgia with their historic buildings, museums, art galleries, and unique Georgian charm cannot be done fully in just a couple of weeks. The fortresses and monasteries on the mountain slopes, allowing a glimpse into Georgia’s proud past, also deserve a separate journey.

To choose a place worth visiting in Georgia, it is necessary to first determine the purpose of the trip.

Excursion Cities in Georgia

Georgian cities have their own unique and incomparable appearance. Architectural monuments, stained glass windows, sculptures, and numerous museums allow you to immerse yourself in the culture and history of Georgia, get to know it better, and understand the proud character of this mountainous country.

Presidential Palace in Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi

To truly get acquainted with the capital of Georgia, a couple of weeks won’t be enough. To save money on a professional guide, it’s worth paying attention to the following attractions in Tbilisi on your own.

Shota Rustaveli Avenue

While walking along the main street of the capital, you can see:

– the monument to the great poet of the Georgian people, Shota Rustaveli;

– the Academy of Sciences, built in the 20th century;

– the Opera and Ballet Theater and the Theater University;

– the Drama Theater;

– the National Gallery of Georgia.

Also located here are the old Parliament building and the main Orthodox shrine of the country – Kashveti Church. The avenue is crowned by the Vorontsov Palace and Freedom Square.

Sameba Cathedral and other churches in Tbilisi

The main cathedral of Georgia is the Holy Trinity Cathedral “Sameba”. It would be more accurate to call it the Sameba church complex, as the main building includes several smaller structures. The total area of the cathedral reaches five thousand square meters. Services are held not only in the aboveground part of the church but also underground: five of the nine chapels are located in the basement of the church. The “soul” of Sameba is an icon with four hundred Georgian saints.

In the capital of Georgia, there is a whole host of the oldest churches in the Caucasus:

– the unique churches of Echmiadzin and Surb Gevorg;

– the famous Metekhi or Assumption Church;

– the Church of St. George (Kashveti);

– Sioni (luxurious Sioni Cathedral).

The Newest Park in the City – Rike

Rike is the youngest park in the city. From a distance, Rike is recognizable thanks to the original design of the metal Bridge of Peace, which also serves as an entrance to the park area for pedestrians. The heart of this green oasis is the Presidential Palace. It is surrounded by numerous benches of original shape and small drinking fountains. At the other end of the park, the Tbilisi cable car starts.

Excursion Routes from Tbilisi

After exploring the city itself, you can visit one of the many tours around the country that start from Tbilisi. The most popular excursion programs include:

– The Military-Georgian Road to the spiritual capital of Georgia – Mtskheta;

– the wine region of Kakheti;

– the unique fortresses in the rock: Rabati, Khertvisi, and the Vardzia Monastery.

Batumi Piazza Square, Georgia

Batumi

Batumi is a wonderful Georgian resort city that is primarily suitable for lovers of active leisure. Despite the abundance of beaches, the main attraction here is the unique combination of ancient and modern architecture. The city’s distinctive ensemble of buildings includes the following attractions:

Cathedrals and churches:

– the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin

– the oldest church of St. Nicholas

– the Church of St. Barbara

– the Church of St. George

– the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on Mtatsminda Hill

“Ali and Nino”

or the moving statue of Ali and Nino on Batumi Boulevard. Tourists are recommended to get acquainted with the new symbol of the city during the day and in the evening when the night lighting is turned on.

“Ali and Nino”

or the Batumi cable car that connects the city promenade with Mtatsminda Hill.

a trio of squares:

– Europe (Argonauts) Square;

– Piazza Square;

– Theater (Poseidon) Square.

The resort city of Batumi is the center of Adjara, so daily excursions to the surrounding areas of the province (including the Botanical Garden, Okatse and Martvili Canyons, Sataplia Cave, and many other natural and man-made attractions) depart from the city.

Kutaisi

Kutaisi is the third most popular Georgian resort. This small city, which was once the capital, can be explored in a day. It serves as the “starting point” for many popular excursions around the country:

Okatse and Martvili Canyons

where adrenaline enthusiasts can take memorable photos at the top of the waterfall.

Gelati Monastery and Motsameta

stone heritage from the golden age of Georgia.

Sataplia and Prometheus Caves

which, according to legend, preserve traces of dinosaurs.

Fountain in the central square of Kutaisi, Georgia

Mtskheta

Mtskheta is called the soul of Georgia, and it is a city that is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. In pre-Christian times, it was the center of pagan cults. Nowadays, tourists are mainly attracted to the following Orthodox landmarks:

– Jvari Monastery (the “cross”);

– the magnificent ancient Cathedral of Svetitskhoveli;

– the cozy Samtavro Monastery;

– the simple Church of St. John the Baptist.

Another popular place for tourists is the Fortress of the Cross (Bebris Tsikhe).

Gori

Gori is considered to be the oldest Georgian settlement, founded long before our era. The resort is literally located on the rocks (“goris”), hence the name. Once, one of the most destructive earthquakes in the Caucasus destroyed a large part of the ancient buildings, so now tourists can only see the ruins (including the Gori Fortress). Among the modern attractions of the city are the Joseph Stalin House-Museum, the Museum of War, and the historical and ethnographic museum complex.

Akhaltsikhe

The city is interesting for comparing the largest resort cities with the everyday life of ordinary people. Visitors come here to see the local Rabati and Khertvisi Fortresses, Vardzia – a cave monastery city, as well as the Borjomi and Safara churches. Akhaltsikhe offers travelers low prices, delicious food, and simple accommodations.

Ozurgeti

The capital of Guria, Ozurgeti, is a combination of the luxury side and the simplicity of Georgia. Sea lovers are attracted here by the calm sea and uncrowded beaches with black sand.

For those who crave adventure, there are excursions to local beauties:

– the hard-to-reach monasteries of Shemokmedi and Jumati, the road to which is already a separate journey;

– the ancient fortresses of Askan and Lihauri;

– the spacious Lihauri Church.

Ozurgeti is often called the black city because most of the ancient buildings are made of very dark stone.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, Georgia

Beach Resorts in Georgia

The hot coastline of the Black Sea, bathed in sunlight, embodies the dream of an ideal beach vacation. You can start swimming at the beaches of Adjara, Guria, Svaneti, and Samegrelo as early as May, and the season lasts until the end of September.

Batumi

The main beach resort of the country attracts tourists with its warm and gentle transparent sea, clean pebble beaches, and shallow seabed. One of the undeniable advantages of Batumi is its modern European-level infrastructure. However, compared to other classic summer resorts in Georgia, the prices here are considerably higher.

Kobuleti

The resort has not yet fully transformed itself. The city combines the legacy of a solid Soviet past with modern infrastructure. The ten-kilometer coastline of Kobuleti has both sandy and pebble zones. The local sand is attributed with healing properties for the cardiovascular system.

Sarpi

The border town of Sarpi is a city of contrast. For many years, Sarpi has been attributed the title of the best beach in Georgia. However, the distinctive feature of the seaside vacation here is that the coastline is located near the busy Georgia-Turkey highway. The proximity to the 24-hour traffic may not be suitable for those who value comfort and tranquility.

Mtsvane-Kontskhi

The name of the town translates to “Green Cape.” The resort owes its title to the dense “cap” of exotic vegetation. In Mtsvane-Kontskhi, it is so green thanks to the subtropical climate: the unique combination of abundant moisture and warmth has turned the town into a natural botanical garden.

Beach in Batumi, Georgia

Ski Resorts in Georgia

The glistening snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains consistently attract ski enthusiasts. Georgia has created all the conditions for the flourishing of this sport and attracting tourists. The ski season here runs from November to May. The main advice for adventure enthusiasts is to obtain good insurance before traveling to Georgia, as local medical services can be quite expensive for tourists.

You can enjoy skiing in Gudauri and Bakuriani.

Gudauri

It is a young resort located along the Military Georgian Road. Gudauri offers well-developed European-level infrastructure with 57 kilometers of ski slopes for skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. There are slopes suitable for both beginners and more experienced thrill-seekers (with a maximum descent height of 1.2 kilometers). Those who are ready to retire from skiing will not be bored in Gudauri, as there are cafes, restaurants, bowling alleys, and even a sauna.

Bakuriani

Bakuriani is a traditional ski resort known since the days of the Russian Empire. It is a perfect destination for families with children. The slopes here are not very steep and safe. In addition to skiing, visitors can enjoy ice skating, sledding, and even horseback riding.

Thermal Resorts in Georgia

The Caucasus, as known from an old movie, is both a breadbasket and a health resort. Georgia’s mineral springs have been well-known since ancient times and were particularly beloved by aristocracy and ruling families of past centuries. The value of the Caucasus’ mineral waters has not diminished over time, and many travelers come here to visit the thermal resorts. Georgia has over 2,000 balneological resorts.

Borjomi

Borjomi has been attracting tourists for many decades with its combination of pure mountain air and healing mineral water. The town offers sulfur baths and pools located outdoors.

Those who enjoy strolling will appreciate the local cable car and well-maintained park. Borjomi is also the starting point for the narrow-gauge railway leading to Bakuriani. It is worth noting that while Borjomi is a tourist paradise, local residents prefer Nabeglavi.

Gudauri Winter Resort

Tbilisi

The Tbilisi district of sulfur baths is a favorite place not only for tourists but also for the local residents. The local thermal resort begins with the monument of a pheasant, which symbolizes the foundation of Tbilisi. It is said that Georgians decided to establish a settlement here due to the fortunate discovery of a cooked wild bird in natural hot water.

The hallmark of the thermal district is the Colorful (Blue) Orbeliani Bathhouse. The Georgians themselves also appreciate the luxurious Royal Bathhouse, the ancient Samele Bathhouse, and the budget-friendly Irakli Bathhouse.

Nabeglavi

For over a hundred years, Nabeglavi has been the beloved mineral water of Georgians. Because its production has not reached the same wide application as Borjomi, the bottled version is protected from counterfeits, while the “live” version is less crowded with tourists. The healing effect of the water is attributed to its high content of magnesium ions and sulfates. Chlorine content in Nabeglavi is much lower than in the more famous Borjomi.

Zvare

Visiting the health centers in this small town is recommended for those suffering from gastrointestinal diseases. The water here also helps restore energy after strenuous physical exertion (which is why many athletes visit this resort). The Zvare sources contain a significant amount of iodine, making them recommended for improving the condition of the body’s endocrine system.

Nunisi

This balneological resort is surrounded by pine forests. The high alkaline reaction of the water in Nunisi, along with the presence of dissolved gases and elevated levels of many macro- and microelements, is beneficial for those suffering from skin diseases. The local spring helps restore energy and rejuvenate the body.

Utsira

The Utsira sanatorium town can accommodate only two hundred people at a time. The picturesque nature of pine forests blends with the modern infrastructure of the wellness center, where you can not only drink healing water but also undergo a full body examination.

Abanotubani - sulfur baths area in Tbilisi

Other Popular Health Resorts in Georgia

Tourists also visit the following thermal resorts in the country:

Sairme

Not only a mineral spring town but also a renowned modern spa center and water therapy facility. There are also plenty of options for outdoor activities, including a ropes course, zipline, and hiking trails for long walks.

Tkvartcheli

Almost an abandoned town, its main attraction is the presence of thermal baths and saunas.

Surami

A cool and humid oasis, particularly beneficial for those suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Abastumani

A small resort surrounded by pine trees, highly recommended for the improvement of the musculoskeletal system.

Bakuriani

An ideal place for preserving youth and beauty. The unique mineral balance of the water in Bakuriani delays the onset of aging, provides strength, and promotes overall well-being.

The best vacation option in Georgia is to combine the classic seaside relaxation with an excursion program. Often, tourists arrive at Tbilisi Airport, spend a few days exploring the city and its surroundings, then visit health centers and resorts, and end their journey in Batumi.

Originally posted on tripmydream.com

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