When people ask what my favourite countries were in Europe, my tours in Georgia is near the top of the list. I realise Georgia is in the Asian continent for most, but it is a confusing subject.
Anyhow, I enjoyed the country a lot but was racing through it so I don’t feel qualified to talk about much of the country besides the wine). However my friend Silke inspired me to write about it further by providing brief insights from what I saw. In fact, this was really tiki touring at its finest..I wouldn’t make a decision on where to go until I woke up…I’d planned to go to Armenia but then found out about a wine festival….wine festival wins of course & so my tiki tours in Georgia would continue.
Hiking To Kazbegi Church & Beyond
Kazbegi in the north of the country isn’t far from the Russian border. The main attraction for those who come here is the hiking. While I only spent one full day here the hiking in Kazbegi was exceptional. To get to the Kazbegi Church you can either hike, drive or go via horse cart as the church is the ‘unofficial’ start of the hike. The hike is reasonably challenging depending on how far you choose but every time you start to battle you just need to look back behind you to see the stunning views.
Underrated Accessible Kutaisi
Kutaisi is a direct benefactor from Wizz Air flying to their airport. I really enjoyed this place, despite many looking to move on ASAP. The downtown region isn’t massive with a ruggedly good looking river flowing through the heart. One of the more popular attractions is this church. I’m no religion bunny but after an hour chilling out in the church I was converted to be a frequent visitor here if I lived in Kutaisi.
On my return from Tbilisi I couldn’t help but check out the Prometheus Caves not far from Kutaisi. I took the long way there (went to the wrong bus station) but had fun catching random rides mixed in with confused looks from locals. Once I got into the caves they were very, very impressive. Having been in a few caves this was the best presentation of caves I’ve seen. The group I was with were all Russian except me so I didn’t learn much about them, but it was still a blast.
The Passionate Capital Tbilisi
The capital city of Georgia, hmmmm. I’m not a massive fan of the city but I didn’t dislike it either. I spent four days here and found plenty to do, but it just didn’t hook me 100% (I should have done the free walking tour…joining a free walking tour is normally one of the first things I do!).
I would still go back as it is the hub of the city and you can get some pretty good views like the photo above. I caught the cable car up to Narikala like many do and had a blast hanging around the structures overlooking the cities chaos.
The reason I decided to leave Kazbegi early was to watch the All Blacks vs. Georgia in a pub. The Hangar Bar was showing the match and it was great fun sitting amongst the Georgian supporters having some good banter. Georgia put up a good fight & you can tell they’re a rugby union nation when you drive through small villages and see rugby balls not soccer balls.
Holiday Destination Batumi
Batumi was getting bad reviews from those I talked to before getting there. They said it was trashy and all drunk party goers but I didn’t come across any of that. The weather was very average there but me and my friend Loretta managed to walk up random alleyways, through gardens…doing anything we could to reach the summit of the Mnatobi viewpoint before getting the cable car back down.
The Home Of Wine
The east of the country is the least visited places in Georgia. The theme of my tiki tours in Georgia involved bad whether but I did enjoy the Kukhuri winery tour in Telavi. I got a personalised tour and sampled all the bottles they produce which are either sweet or dry wine.
Where Is Georgia?
Give me a map and I’ll show you exactly where Georgia is. I’d be lying if I knew where it was on the map a few months earlier.
This is a great post that will give you an idea of what to expect before travelling to Georgia.
It’s in one of the few ‘undiscovered’ areas, the Caucasus region. Georgia has the Black Sea looking after it’s west coast, Russia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east and Armenia and Turkey squeezing into the south. The bus ride from Istanbul to Batumi (on the west coast) is around 18 hours or so.
How Did I Arrive In Georgia?
I flew with Wizz Air from Katowice, Poland to Kutaisi for a pretty good price booking days in advance. Would highly recommend this flight as Katowice is near on of my other favourite destinations, Zakopane!