Georgia

Georgia’s mix of natural beauty, medieval history and Soviet influences has made it one of Eastern Europe’s most fascinating destinations. Long hidden behind ‘the curtain’, it has emerged, butterfly-like on travellers’ maps. Boasting hilltop churches, meandering cobbled streets, mountainscapes and a wine region the French would envy, Georgia is sure to capture your imagination.

Georgia Tours & Travel

All our Georgia trips

Azerbaijan, Georgia & Armenia

17 days from
USD $3,790
CAD $3,910
AUD $3,835
EUR €2,640
GBP £2,215
NZD $4,270
ZAR R38,385
CHF FR3,195

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Articles on Georgia

Soup is for life, not just for lunch: five Asian soups that will change the way you feel about soup

Posted on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 by Eliza Eliott

Everyone knows soup is a great lunch option, but it's often overlooked for dinner. This article hopes to change that.

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Seven essential things to do on any Chilean adventure

Posted on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 by Lia Mitchell

This blog was originally going to be titled, '7 Cheap Chile Adventures Only a Hitchhiker-Insider on Your Intrepid Staff Could Tell You About', but we thought that might be a bit much.

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These five dumplings prove the theory that dumplings are the greatest food in the world

Posted on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 by James Shackell

Intrepid's in-house foodologist, James Shackell, sets out to prove a theory as old as time itself.

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Five of our favourite things about Ecuador

Posted on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 by Intrepid Admin

Sure, Ecuador doesn’t have the famous ruins of Peru or the culinary draw of Argentina, but it still belongs on your ‘go to’ list for a South American adventure.

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About Georgia

At a glance

Trips Available: 1
Capital city: Tbilisi (population 1.4 million)
Population: 4.6 million
Language: Georgian
Currency: GEL
Time zone: (GMT+04:00) Caucasus Standard Time
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin)
Dialing code: +995

Best time to visit Georgia

Spring and autumn are the best times to head to Georgia. Summers (especially July and August) can be very hot and humid with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius. This is a great time to escape to the Black Sea or the mountains to cool off. Winters can be very cold, although the country rarely freezes over. Power supplies are frequently interrupted however so don’t rely on heating. This is a beautiful, fertile region so bring an umbrella and expect rain at anytime of year!

Georgia weather chart

Geography and environment

Church in Georgian mountains
Georgia’s spiky topography makes for stunning scenery. The Greater Caucasus Mountains crisscross the country, divvying it up into pockets of forests, valleys and glaciers. Its only coastline runs 330 km along the stunning Black Sea. Georgia’s neighbours include the Russian Federation, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Top Picks

Old settlement in Uplistsikhe

Top 10 Georgian Gems

1. Tbilisi

Set along a backdrop of hills and the Mtkvari River, Tbilisi is simply lovely. It’s been Georgia’s capital since the 5th century and the architecture tells the story of the city through the ages. There’s a fascinating mix of European, Byzantine, Middle Eastern and Soviet styles. Explore churches, winding alleys, parks and fortresses.

2. Kutaisi

One of the cradles of Georgian civilisation, Kutaisi is home to the immense Bagrati Cathedral. It may be in ruins but this 11th-century building still impresses from its hilltop.

3. Gori

Once an important strategic post in the Middle Ages, Gori is now better known as the birthplace of Stalin. Learn about his early years and how they shaped the man.

4. Uplistsikhe

Not far from Gori is one of the Caucasus’s oldest settlements. Dating back to the 5th century and the days of the Silk Road, Uplistsikhe has a 9th-century church, an ancient monastery and a 2nd-century Roman theatre to explore.

5. Chalato Glacier

Take the opportunity to hike to Chalato Glacier. Your efforts will be rewarded with stunning views of snow-covered peaks.

6. Homestay Hospitality

The Georgians are renowned for their hospitality. Be welcomed into a family home and get a taste of what it is to be Georgian. The houses may be simple but Georgian family life is rich.

7. Kazbegi

This nugget of a town may be distinctly Soviet in flavor but its setting is anything but dismal. Enjoy views out to Mt Kazbek and the hilltop Tsminda Sameba Church.

8. Telavi Wine Region

Whatever your favourite drop of wine, you’re sure to find a tipple to tickle your fancy here. Hundreds of varieties are grown and each village in the region has its own.

9. Shaumta Monasteries

One of the highlights of Telavi are the nearby monasteries. Dubbed the ‘old’ and ‘new’ monasteries, they’re nestled into woods among mountains. The old monastery dates back to the 5th century.

10. Batumi

Enjoy a beach break Georgian-style along the beautiful shores of the Black Sea. Take in views of rolling hills and holidaying locals as you sip on a Turkish coffee.

FAQs on Georgia

GEORGIA:

Most nationalities do not currently require a visa for Georgia. Visa free nationalities can now only stay "visa free' in Georgia for 30 days. However, all nationalities should check with the nearest embassy for the latest visa information as this may be subject to change at short notice.

For any questions regarding visas or supporting visa documents please get in touch with The Visa Machine on the following contacts:
Australian office: gday@thevisamachine.com or call +61 (0)26 100 3077.
London office: hello@thevisamachine.com or call +44 (0) 207 148 6402

Citizens persons permanently residing in the countries listed below may enter Georgia without a visa for short-term visit (Not exceeding 90 calendar days in any 180-day period).

More countries are listed on the official Ministry of Foreign Affairs website - https://www.geoconsul.gov.ge/en/visaInformation

Canada
Australia
Germany
France
Japan
Norway
Netherlands
New Zealand
South Africa
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America
Tipping isn’t expected, but it’s welcome. When in a restaurant, just round up the bill.
There are plenty of internet cafes in Tbilisi but they’re harder to find outside the capital.
Georgia has good mobile phone coverage. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.
Georgia has western-style flushable toilets. Keep loose change handy to pay for public toilets and carry some paper with you, as the public toilets may not have any.
Bottle of soft drink = 1.50 GEL
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 2.50 GEL
Cup of coffee = 5 GEL
Simple lunch = 10 GEL
Three-course meal = 20 GEL
Short taxi ride = 3 GEL
Yes, tap water is considered safe to drink.
Credit cards are widely accepted.
There’s good access to ATMs in nearly all towns and cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Jan 7 Orthodox Christmas Day
Jan 19 Orthodox Epiphany
Mar 3 Mothers’ Day
Mar 8 International Women’s Day
Apr 8 National Unity Day
May 4 Orthodox Easter Sunday
May 5 Orthodox Easter Monday
May 8 Victory Day
May 25 Independence Day
Aug 27 Mariamoba (Assumption)
Oct 13 Svetitskhovloba (Georgian Orthodox Festival)
Nov 23 Giorgoba (St George’s Day)

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to:
http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Georgia/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Georgia Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Georgia

1. Be considerate of Georgia’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

8. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
Stories I Stole Wendell Steavenson
Georgia Through Its Folktales Michael Berman
A Time of Miracles Anne-Laure Bondoux