Are you looking for an original travel destination that promises a fascinating culture, hospitality, and culinary delights? Then we recommend Georgia. Find out more about why you should travel to Georgia now and what you need to know before you go for a relaxing holiday and a lot of anticipation. The deep gorges and the monasteries in the mountains look very inviting; you should go there. But first, you prefer to turn a little further south.
You can see the cave city of Wardsia and the border with Armenia from a distance. In the west, where the sun rises, numerous jumps for you, Wine fields from Kakheti catches the eye. Behind it, the semi-desert Garedscha begins with the cave monastery David Garedschi, and finally, the border with Azerbaijan comes. My family and I had an enjoyable experience some years ago there. Georgia should be one of the top countries to visit for everyone who loves to explore and make memories. Below are ten beautiful places to visit and do in Georgia.
Here are 10 things to do in Georgia:
10. Stepanzminda & Caucasus Mountains
The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia are simply breathtaking and one of the top sights on this vacation. You can already enjoy the beautiful mountain panorama during the three-hour drive from Tbilisi to Stepanzminda. If you like, even during a paragliding flight from above. A stop at Ananuri Castle and the only border crossing with Russia is also worthwhile. We decided on a two-day tour to get to know the Caucasus a little better.
We walked from Stepanzminda to the Gergeti church. From there, we had a great view of the famous Kazbek. However, since this tour only lasted 3 hours, we decided to do another little hike to a very original there called Zoo. Stepanzminda was bigger and more touristy than expected because ski tourism also came here. Nevertheless, the tour to the Caucasus Mountains is one of our Georgia highlights.
Almost half of the Georgian population lives in the capital Tbilisi (or also called Tbilisi by the locals). No wonder, because the city in Georgia has many attractions to offer. The river forms a small canyon on which the houses were built to the brim. The old sulfur baths on one side and the futuristic buildings on the other side of the river are also extraordinary.
In addition to the synagogue and the mosque, there are also several Georgian Orthodox churches in the city. Most are still shaped by the time during the Soviet Union when they were painted white on the inside. The history of the town is old, and there are a lot of legends about it. So it is worth taking a city tour to understand better the city, the history, and the culture of Georgia. A visit to Narikala is also an absolute must-do. From the Persian fortress, you have a beautiful view of the city. You can easily spend a week in Tbilisi, as you can make great day trips or a detour to the Caucasus Mountains from here.
8. David Garedschi
The cave monastery in Kakheti is the oldest in Georgia. It is located in the middle of the semi-desert Garedja, in the Kakheti region, directly on the border with Azerbaijan. The semi-desert, like the monastery, was named after the founder David Garedschi, who founded the first monastic community in Georgia in the 6th century and thus shaped the religion, history, and culture of Georgia. Not only the monastery is a sight, but also the landscape and the stops.
On the two-hour drive to the cave monastery, the road suddenly got worse, but the view from the minivan was always beautiful. The semi-desert is still relatively green in May, but everything is dry here in summer. The vastness and idyll of this landscape are beautiful, in our opinion. We made two stops to take a close look at an old oil production facility and a dry salt lake. David Garedschi is one of the top sights, and a day trip is a MUST on every Georgia vacation.
7. Uplisziche cave city
Uplisziche is the oldest cave city in Georgia. Although some caves have already collapsed, the explanations of the guide make it easy to imagine how life used to work. On the way there, we stopped at the Jvari Monastery, the old capital Mtskheta and Gori, the birthplace of Stalin. Through the tour and our guide, we have learned a little more about the history of Georgia. We would, therefore, recommend the sight to everyone during a Georgia vacation. There is another cave city in Georgia, Wardsia, which, however, cannot be reached as a day trip.
6. The wine region in Kakheti
When you travel to Georgia, you will quickly notice that Georgians love wine. Almost every family grows their wine or at least produces it themselves. One of the best-known wine regions is in Kakheti. Of course, a wine tasting should not be missing here. The unique production of the wine (for example, it is also not filtered) makes the taste unique and intense. Every wine tastes different here and, in our opinion, delicious. Especially if you drink it with the locals during a Supra (Georgian feast).
5. Okatse Canyon & waterfall
Our definite highlight in Kutaisi was the trip to Okatse Canyon. On the 7 km long circular hiking trail, there is a 1.2 km long section which we call “the floating hiking trail.” A steel structure that was built directly on the canyon abyss. As long as you are not afraid of heights, this hike is enjoyable. At the very end, there is a vast footbridge that leads further into the canyon. You can not only enjoy a great view of this attraction but also enjoy the little thrill. But be careful: the canyon is closed on rainy days. Otherwise, the jetty will be too slippery. The Okatse waterfall is just a few minutes’ drive away, and here also, footbridges lead to a viewing platform. From this, you can see two huge waterfalls from above and below.
4. Gelati Monastery & Motsameta Monastery
There are many Georgian Orthodox churches and monasteries in Georgia because religion is significant for the young generation. Two very well-known monasteries are located near Kutaisi, namely the Gelati Monastery and the Motsameta Monastery. You can combine the two quite well. It’s best to have a taxi driver to drive you there. Although the monasteries are so well known, there were hardly any other tourists there. If you want to enter the churches, cover your shoulders and knees with a scarf. Quite often, there are borrows in front of the church. Otherwise, enjoy the idyll and the view.
Kutaisi itself is very manageable. You can walk to the top sights such as the main square with its huge fountain and the Bagrati Cathedral. A real insider tip is the old amusement park, which is located near the church. A ride on the rusty Ferris wheel is worth it – not only because of the view. Kutaisi itself is not very worth seeing, but above all, the surroundings have a lot to offer. There are two beautiful monasteries, just a few kilometers away: Motsameta and Gelati. Both have their very own flair and provide a beautiful view of the mountainous hinterland.
Another day trip, one of the top attractions during a Georgia vacation, is a visit to the Okatse Canyon, Okatse Waterfalls, the Prometheus Cave, and the Martvili Canyon. In comparison to Tbilisi (Tbilisi), everything is cheaper in Kutaisi. The best way to get to the capital is with a minibus that leaves the bus station every hour.
2. Trip to Baku / Azerbaijan
From Tbilisi (Tbilisi), you can easily travel by night train to the Azerbaijani capital Baku. The city on the Caspian Sea likes to boast of the wealth of oil, and you almost have the feeling of being in Dubai. Behind the old town on the new harbor promenade, one futuristic building follows the next. The “Flame Towers” to be seen as symbols of the city at night in lighting are genuinely fascinating. After a day of exploring the city and a day trip to the “Mud Vulcanos” and “Burning Mountain,” we set off again in the sleeping car towards Tbilisi.
1. Prometheus Cave
The Prometheus Cave is a 12km long stalactite cave and is one of the sights in Georgia. On a 40 minute tour, however, you only see a small part of it. The path through the cave and the stalactites are brightly illuminated. A stalactite needs 100 years to grow 1 cm. Now you can work out how old this cave is. If you want, you can also go on a small climbing tour or a boat trip to the canyon. The cave was part of our day trip from Kutaisi.
Georgia has something to offer everyone. Their culture is exciting, and they are friendly people to interact with. They celebrate on every occasion and eat like the world champions. People like to forget the time at such a party. Georgia is a country that I highly recommend to anyone who loves traveling and exploring a different culture.