Georgia is perhaps better known for a variety of other things in addition to its singing. Magical dancers dwell here, puppets put on shows depicting a rich legendarium, ancient ruins are here to be explored, and the nation’s natural beauty is beyond compare. Towering mountains, pastoral valleys, icebergs, sunny beaches, primordial forest, sun-bleached canyons, and quaint mountain villages all combine to make landscapes the likes of which would fit right into the stuff of fantasy.
Georgia’s rich wine history, which dates back 8,000 years, gives the nation the title of the birthplace of wine. The Georgian traditional technique of making wine in Qvevri (wine-making clay vessel), has now spread to other countries as well. The Qvevri, a Georgian invention, and 525 endemic grape varieties ensure that Georgian wine is like nothing else in the world.
Couple this with Georgia’s exquisite cuisine, which includes sixty different varieties of cheese, delectable dishes made with walnuts and vegetables, hearty dishes of meat and bread, and unique desserts, and you’ve got a recipe for a marvelous trip.
In short, Georgia is a country with something for absolutely everybody. From lovers of art and music to foodies to wine connoisseurs to adventure travelers to photographers to hikers and skiers… Georgia has you covered!
Georgia is in the Caucasus, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, on the shores of the Black Sea. It is a small country but has served as a connector of cultures for centuries as a part of the Silk Road, the world’s largest commercial artery.
Georgia has a unique climate since it contains almost all the climate zones existing on Earth, from humid subtropical regions to glaciers and permanent snow. That is why you can enjoy yourself in Georgia with any setting or scenery you wish at any time of the year.
You will soon be convinced of this fact if you visit any of Georgia’s protected regions, of which there are 6,000 scattered across 490 hectares in total. Don’t forget about the resorts and revitalizing mineral waters, which are also an integral part of the climate.
Have you heard about Zezva and Mzia? About the first Europeans, who were discovered in Georgia in 2001? That was how we found out that people roamed these lands some 1,800,000 years ago.
By the end of the 2nd millennium BC there were already several fledgling nation-states here, but the most peaceful and successful period in the country’s history, its Golden Age, is connected with the rule of the glorious Queen Tamar.
Georgia was one of the first countries to officially convert to Christianity, and of the fourteen writing systems in the world, one of them is the Georgian alphabet. The famous poem The Knight in the Panther’s Skin was written in this language, which was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2013 along with other Georgian writing.
Every region of Georgia is distinguished by its own architectural style. You won’t find modern architecture and cultural objects only in museums and exhibition halls here, but also in the streets and in art cafés.
Georgia’s musical folklore is quite varied as well. Gurian Krimanchuli (a convoluted and high-pitched song) gives way to the dignified Svan Lile, while Imeretian Kalakuri blends into the Kakhetian Mravaljamieri and so many more. Georgian dance is also diverse, and, of course, so are the traditions of hospitality, which remain in the memories of every traveler long after they’ve returned home.
While in Georgia, you absolutely must take part in a traditional Georgian supra. This is far more than just a delicious feast - it is a fascinating cultural tradition.
A tamada leads a supra. The Tamada is a person who gives toasts during the feast, controlling the flow of the evening with their speeches and the pace their drinking sets. After the tamada, the other participants in the supra give their own toasts. The tamada and the other participants tell interesting stories, read poems, sing, dance, and speak to each other with only love and warmth. Don’t be surprised if you see complete strangers with their arms entwined like old friends at a Georgian supra. That’s just the Georgian way – full of love.
As for the food you will see at a Georgian supra, it is just as diverse. There is a huge variety of cheese bread - khachapuri, a local take on dumplings - khinkali, polenta with elastic cheese - Elarji, tender lamb stew with herbs and sour plums - Chakapuli, bean stew - Lobio, veggie and walnut patties - Pkhali, magical chicken soup - Chikhirtma, crescent-shaped Shoti bread, grape juice based energy bar - churchkhela, and an 8,000-year-old wine tradition. It is impossible to make a full list since every region of Georgia presents you with its own unique tastes. In Kakheti or Mtiuleti you may encounter a variety of meat dishes, while in the west you might be hosted with vegetable and dairy dishes, meaning that any kind of dietary preference, whether vegan, vegetarian, or religious, will certainly be able to find something interesting for the palate.
Perhaps by now you’ve already reached the point where you no longer need to read why you should pack your bags and hurry off to Georgia, where an unforgettable adventure awaits.