Why Visiting Georgia (country) Should Be on Your 2019 Wish List
A Big Request
As many people of my age, I was quite apolitical, but when it comes to my country, my dear Georgia, it's hard to avoid politics. That's why, I have to start writing this article with some, but of great importance, political news.
Many may not know that since 2008, 20% of Georgia is occupied by Russian Federation. A couple of days before, Georgia's citizens spoke up against the visit of the occupant country's delegation. Which was later referred as " A Russophobic Act" by the head of Russia's government, who soon banned flights from Russia to Georgia, and vice versa, aiming at the destruction of our economy. Though, this statement is quite exaggerated, as Russian tourists only affect the fifth of our tourism income.
I believe that Georgia will get over the expected economic crisis with the help of international tourists who have interest in our country.
So, below are reasons why visiting Georgia should be at the top of your summer wish list.
A BOOM of Hospitality
The first thing you will notice in Georgia is the attitude of local people towards you. They will treat you as if you are their long lost relative, especially the elderly in villages.Here, people love tourists and foreigners, in general, as we find them interesting. Georgians not only like to hear something different from foreigners, but also to surprise them. Yes, you guessed right, we are people full of surprises! When you take a tour to Georgia, you can learn how to make traditional dishes (and later eat them) and also, you can buy pieces of our traditional costumes! And what's important, doing all of those in Georgia is extremely cheap!
So, if anyone would like to experience what it's like to have adventures with such welcoming people, don't be shy to contact any Georgian you know, they'll be happy to help you! But be careful, you will be experiencing immense amount of joy!
Are you a gourmand? Then Georgia is for you!
Khinkali... Khachapuri... Lobiani... You may have heard these words. These are Georgian dishes which are popular with tourists. Khinkali is a Georgian dumpling, Lobiani is made with beans, and its name actually means "with beans". Those two and many more are super delicious, but if you ask a tourist what he or she wants to eat first, they will say Khachapuri. Khachapuri is bit hard to pronounce, isn't it? but don't worry, it's easy to eat! It is made of dough and cheese, but the taste and the shape still varies according to the region of the country from which it originated. We have Imeruli, Megruli, Acharuli... well, words are not necessary here, just see them yourself below.
You've seen that khachapuri is full of cheese, but we don't stop here! Georgian Cheese is very popular inside and outside the borders and we have even more dishes with stretchy lumps of cheese. One of them is called Elarji, it's a traditional dish of Samegrelo, a region of Georgia. To put it short, Georgia is a cheese paradise, you can eat and taste as much as you want!
Georgian food, fruit and vegetables have truly distinct features. Everything is fresh and gives you an opportunity to taste the life itself.
Our Treasure - Wine
We are the land of wine. The earliest signs of winemaking in Georgia tell us that the wine culture existed here about 8000 years ago. Georgian winemaking method using Qvevri (a clay vessel) is included in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. In Georgia, there are up to 500 grape varieties in total, most of which are grown for viticulture. Here,I have to mention, than in the beginning of the year, 24 Georgian wines received highest awards at the 6th Sakura Japan Women's Wine Awards, which is very prestigious competition.
Come and taste our delicious wine yourself, you won't be disappointed!
Healthy Atmosphere and Stunning Views
Georgia's climate is highly recommended for people who have health problems. Mountain air, sunny coasts or mineral waters are very beneficial for one's health. You want to breath fresh mountain air, but can't decide whether you want to see the snow or green fields? Oh, wait, you also want to see the rivers and springs? Seems quite impossible, right? But not in here, Georgia! If you go to Svaneti region, Ushguli settlement and look up, you will see the highest point of Georgia, which is called Shkhara. Shkhara itself is spectacular and majestic, but around you, everything mentioned above can be found. Fields with flowers, cattle, snow, rocky terrain, mountain goats and bighorn sheep are all together around you... And, of course, rivers! What's more, you could never imagine what you'll see there - high towers were people used to live and still do!
The Black Sea Coast
Sandy or stony beaches? Which one do you prefer? Whatever your answer is, we have both. Sandy coast includes Ureki and Maltakva resorts, while other seaside regions are pebbled. Apkhazeti region has gravelly coasts, but unfortunately, nowadays, it is occupied by Russia, along with the Samachablo region. Batumi is a spectacular city, with unique architectural spots, so I bravely suggest to go there.
Canyons and Karst Caves
Our country is rich with canyons, especially the western part. Martvili Canyon is one of those. It has karst caves, fossils, mineral waters and waterfalls. Recently, dinosaurs' footprints were found in Martvili, which made the region and the canyon even more popular among people. On the area of the canyon, great amount of prehistoric animals' bones were discovered.
Another destination is Okatse Canyon which is just too beautiful to resist. The same can be said about Dashbashi Canyon, that is quite close to Tbilisi,the capital.
While visiting those canyons, you can hire a boat and discover the whole new world yourself.
About karst caves - Prometheus cave is beyond stunning! Especially after the colourful illuminations were installed. In Georgia world's one of the longest karst cave systems - New Athos Cave and one of the deepest -Krubera Cave can be found. Both of them are located in occupied territories of Apkhazeti.
Traditional Dances and Costumes
We have many traditional dances, they originate from different regions of Georgia. While visiting our country, you should definitely attend one of the many concerts and street performances, and if you're a quick learner, you can easily catch on some simple moves. We dance in our Traditional clothes which are very gorgeous!
Tbilisi - The Main Entertainment
Tbilisi, the capital, is the unique city. The old part of the city called The Old Tbilisi offers unforgettable moments, but if you are not fond of the unique streets, architecture, orthodox churches and Sulphur baths (yes, we have Sulphur baths in Tbilisi), you can always turn to night clubs like Bassiani and KHIDI.
Tips for Visiting Georgia in Summer
I hope this article made you more curious about Georgia. If someone decides to visit my beautiful country this summer, I have some tips which can be helpful for you!
- Summer in Georgia is hot, so bring many light clothes, sunglasses and a sunscreen. However, it gets little bit chilly in the evenings and at nights, so don't forget to bring your sweatshirt, long trousers and a scarf.
- Get a camera! You're going to be taking lot's of pictures!
- Bring a mosquito repellent. During summer Georgia is invaded by the mosquitos.
- While visiting Georgia, you can ask local people for the recipes of traditional dishes, so that you make them when missing our country.
- We, Georgians, respect people who respect and like our language, so when meeting people, don't forget to say Gamarjoba (hello) and Gmadlobt/ Didi madloba (thank you/thank you very much). And when leaving Georgia - Nakhvamdis (goodbye; which literally means "until next time").