Hidden in Caucasus mountains, Georgia has been getting more and more attention from travelers from all over the world in the recent years. The hype surrounding the country has a reason - put Georgia in your travel plans and you will soon have a new favorite travel destination.
Speaking one of the oldest languages in the world, Georgians will soon prove that the timeless hospitality is still in their blood, inviting you to enjoy traditional wine, cheeses and pastries.
The wonders of Vardzia start before you even reach the destination. If you’re heading there from Borjomi, a city famous for its springs of mineral water and SPA resorts, you will travel through an incredibly scenic road, crossing mountain valleys and experiencing tons of breathtaking panoramas throughout 100km long path.
Vardzia itself is a cave monastery site in Southern Georgia, on the bank of the Kura river. Historians think that the area was already inhabited in the Bronze age, yet cave settlements date back to the 12th century. These caves, forming a beehive-like city, have been an important site for Georgian Christianity and defence. Nowadays, you can climb to the very top of the mountain, get inside the caves and marvel at the archaic decorations of the Dormition church, which is taken care by 5 monks still living in Vardzia.
Crystal clear mountain air, delicious local food and a feeling of being closer to the sky can be found in Stepantsminda. It is a destination for mountain enthusiasts, as well as for history lovers. The main landmark of Stepantsminda is the Gergeti Trinity Church, located on Mount Kazbek. You can reach it by having a hike or taking one of the jeeps that will take you to the church in less than 30 minutes. If you’re an advanced mountain climber, you can take the further path that goes up to 5024 meters.
For a unique Georgian experience take a trip to Svaneti province in the northwestern Georgia, that is the highest populated area in Caucasus mountains. Villages with typical Svanetian towers and breathtaking views of mountains separated by deep gorges and rivers can be explored by hiring a jeep with a driver for a reasonable price, as driving conditions in the region might be too extreme for a non experienced driver.
A Black Sea resort and the second largest city in Georgia will surprise you with a distinct eclectic architecture and the contrast between the fancy-looking center of the city and its outskirts. If you’re visiting Batumi in the summertime, make sure to take some time to enjoy Georgian seaside. As the climate in Batumi is subtropical, even visiting it in the winter might be a good idea - long sunny walks on the promenade and beach bars will not disappoint you.
As colorful as it is, Georgia provides tourists with all kinds of entertainment, skiing included. Bakuriani is a perfect destination not only for winter sports but for biking and hiking as well - there you can enjoy the downhill ski runs, cross-country trails, horseback tours, sledding or simply take long walks through the beautiful snowy forests. Bakuriani is the Olympic training facility and the most popular winter resort in Georgia, therefore, you will find slopes for various levels and a wide range of services in the area.