Georgia is a country which can boast very rich (and difficult) history, breathtaking landscapes and really original cities. This little country, located right in the center among the biggest powers on earth, has always been invaded from all directions. Few people in the West know about it. When you say "Georgia", they think you are talking about the state in the US. And those who know probably wouldn't visit it either. This is apparently because of the media coverage showing only war and poverty. But the war is over now, let's leave the politics aside and have a look at this forgotten place, a hidden jewel located on the crossroads between Europe and Asia.
Planning to travel to Georgia? A trip to Georgia is a journey into kindness and humanity. A gem hidden between Asia and Europe, there are plenty of things to do in Georgia. Warm-hearted people, Tbilisi’s vibrant nightlife, delicious cuisines, Caucasian Mountains, deep forests, mysterious caves and stunning countryside, there is so much to see and experience in Georgia.
Book a holiday package to Georgia and discover this stunning land replete with rich history and fascinating cultural heritage. Georgia has a diverse range of natural landscapes from subtropical coastline to high peaks, wine-growing regions, and rich alpine pastures to numerous architectural monuments. A trip to Georgia will give you an insight into eclectic beaches, coupled with splashes of modernity showcasing a delightful mix of the East and the West.
Is Georgia safe?
At no point during my trip to Georgia I felt unsafe. You feel just as safe as if you were in any other western country or a city. There are many policeman patrolling the streets, and even at night, while taking pictures with quite an expensive camera in Tbilisi and Batumi, I didn't notice any suspicious behavior. I even was jammed in the middle of a crowd during a political demonstration before elections. Of course, you have to take normal precautions as you would in any new place you're traveling to. Local people are usually very nice, helpful and curious about tourists because there are still very few of them visiting Georgia.
There are, however, things you should be careful about.
The way people drive. It is really mad, Tbilisi looks like one big construction site and there are very few pedestrian crossings, pavements or sidewalks. I got stuck several times in the middle of a road trying to run between the cars. It's not a nice experience at all. Our driver that we went with from Tbilisi to Batumi drove really madly too, trying to take over all the cars at all costs.
Also, be careful before going to disputed territories in the north - Abhkazia and South Osetia. The conflict is still going on, and although the situation now is stable, those two regions are out of control of Georgian government.
In the mountains, with regions that are sparsely populated there are wild animals and stray dogs and if something happens (you fall off the cliff etc.), there's no help or hospitals around. You should be never walk in the mountains alone and without proper equipment.
Is Georgia worth visiting?
I can give just one answer: definitely! Considering that you don't want to spend all the time at the swimming pool at a five star hotel (although you would find those in Georgia now too). For me, this country was a little bit shocking: I didn't expect it to be so diverse and amazingly beautiful. Of course, poverty is visible, especially in rural areas. You have to be prepared for that. However, I hope it will get better in the future. They should be no less famous than Spain or France. Diversity of landscapes is really impressive, as not often, within a few hours of driving you can move through a few climate zones watching the countryside change. From dry cliffs and canyons, through mountains and mixed forests of temperate climate to high, snow covered peaks in the north, and sub-tropical beaches of Batumi with palm and banana trees. Remember, we are talking about the area similar to that of Ireland.
Georgian cities are exceptional. Tbilisi (read my full post with beautiful photos here) and Batumi (read my full post here) were the most illuminated cities at night I have ever seen. Every palm tree, every building in the city center shines with various colors. There are also beautiful dancing fountains in the main squares. Architecture-wise, those two cities are completely different from each other but equally nice and charming. The traditional architecture in Tbilisi takes the form of houses with distinctive balconies situated on very steep slopes or on a cliff. Main square of Batumi, is in turn very colorful and somehow gives the impression that you are in a fairy tale. Modern architecture is very original, beautifully illuminated and in many astonishing shapes. I will write about it in another post and upload some pictures in the gallery to demonstrate it.
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