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Georgia
 Country of hospitality, wine, and monasteries 
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Georgia


Georgia surprised us. As a former republic of the Soviet Union, it is similar to Ukraine or Russia, but there are some significant differences:

 - Large-scale reconstruction of tourism facilities and infrastructure
 - A lot of new buildings with unusual design
 - Top quality of night lights everywhere
 - Reformed police system

During the last 10 years, the government has spent a huge amount of money on all these changes. But welfare of the people has almost not changed, Georgia is still a rather poor country. Probably because of that fact Mikhail Saakashvili's team lost the presidential election in 2013. From our side we were pleasantly surprised with the tourist infrastructure of Georgia and also by Georgian cuisine. Every day we ate khinkalis, khachapuris, corn tortillas, kharcho soups and much more.

Actually, Georgia is a small country, so better rent a car if you want to visit many places. Public transport is basically minibuses. They are often crowded and don't run according to the schedule.

The first few days we were living in Tbilisi and made several trips: to Kakheti and to north Georgia. To inspect the rest of the country, you need to spend the nights elsewhere.

We have to say that despite a hectic schedule of our route, we visited not all places from our wishlist.

Day 1: Tbilisi
Day 2: Tbilisi
Day 3: Ujarma Fortress, Ikalto Monastery, Alaverdi monastery and fortress, Kindzmarauli winery, Gremi Castle
Day 4: Mtskheta, Ananuri Fortress, Observation deck in Gudauri, Trinity Church in Gergeti
Day 5: Paravani Lake, Khertvisi Fortress, Vardzia
Day 6: Rabat Fortress, Borjomi
Day 7: Gelati Monastery, Cave of Prometheus, Inguri Dam, Svaneti
Day 8: Mestia
Day 9: Dadiani Palace, Batumi
Day 10: Tbilisi

Day 1

We landed in the evening and were pleasantly surprised to receive small bottles of wine together with stamps in the passport in the Tbilisi airport. The first 3 nights we spent in Tbilisi.

Day 2

The entire second day we were walking around Tbilisi.

Cableway to the Nariqala Fortress
Cableway to the Nariqala Fortress Yuriy Buriak


Bridge of Peace
Bridge of Peace Yuriy Buriak

Day 3

For the entire day we went to Kakheti. One day is not enough for this region, try to plan 2 days. 

Landscape on the way to Kakheti
Landscape on the way to Kakheti Yuriy Buriak

We visited:

Ujarma Fortress

Ujarma Fortress
Ujarma Fortress Yuriy Buriak

Ikalto Monastery

Holy Spirit Temple (7-9 century)
Holy Spirit Temple (7-9 century) Yuriy Buriak

Alaverdi monastery and fortress

Alaverdi monastery and fortress
Alaverdi monastery and fortress Yuriy Buriak

Kindzmarauli winery

Kindzmarauli winery
Kindzmarauli winery Yuriy Buriak

Gremi Castle

Gremi Castle
Gremi Castle Yuriy Buriak

We also stopped in Telavi, walked in the downtown and visited a local market.

Churchkhela at a market in Telavi
Churchkhela at a market in Telavi Yuriy Buriak


Market in Telavi
Market in Telavi Yuriy Buriak


Market in Telavi
Market in Telavi Yuriy Buriak

Day 4

On this day we went to the north along the Georgian Military Highway and visited:

Mtskheta

View from the Djvari Monastery
View from the Djvari Monastery Yuriy Buriak

Ananuri Fortress

Ananuri Fortress
Ananuri Fortress Yuriy Buriak

Observation deck in Gudauri

New observation deck in Gudauri
New observation deck in Gudauri Yuriy Buriak

And in the end, one of the most beautiful places in Georgia, Trinity Church in Gergeti.

Trinity Church in Gergeti
Trinity Church in Gergeti Yuriy Buriak


View from the Trinity Church in Gergeti
View from the Trinity Church in Gergeti Yuriy Buriak

During our trip, we saw other interesting and beautiful places.

Zhinvali reservoir
Zhinvali reservoir Yuriy Buriak


Zhinvali reservoir
Zhinvali reservoir Yuriy Buriak


Almost
Almost "gold" on the Georgian Military Highway Yuriy Buriak


Almost
Almost "gold" on the Georgian Military Highway Yuriy Buriak


We left the car to take a picture with a rainbow.
We left the car to take a picture with a rainbow. Yuriy Buriak


Landscapes on the Georgian Military Highway
Landscapes on the Georgian Military Highway Yuriy Buriak

Day 5

On this day, we left Tbilisi and drove west towards Vardzia. On the way we stopped near a huge ravine.

Canyon on the Tbilisi - Manglisi road
Canyon on the Tbilisi - Manglisi road Yuriy Buriak

Then we walked around the Paravani Lake.

Paravani Lake
Paravani Lake Yuriy Buriak

Here we visited a local house and bought some homemade cheese. That was a mistake, as the cheese was too "fragrant" :)

Road near the Paravani Lake
Road near the Paravani Lake Yuriy Buriak


Satellite receiver in a remote Georgian village
Satellite receiver in a remote Georgian village Yuriy Buriak


And also a rabbit
And also a rabbit Yuriy Buriak


We tried to pat it, but it ran away.
We tried to pat it, but it ran away. Yuriy Buriak


Fragrant Georgian cheese
Fragrant Georgian cheese Yuriy Buriak


Fragrant Georgian cheese
Fragrant Georgian cheese Yuriy Buriak

Moving further along the canyon of the Paravani river, we found an interesting bridge.

Train car bridge
Train car bridge Yuriy Buriak


Train car bridge
Train car bridge Yuriy Buriak


Train car bridge
Train car bridge Yuriy Buriak

Then we came to Vardzia.

Vardzia Cave Monastery
Vardzia Cave Monastery Yuriy Buriak


Vardzia Cave Monastery
Vardzia Cave Monastery Yuriy Buriak

And after that we returned to the Khertvisi Fortress.

Khertvisi Fortress
Khertvisi Fortress Yuriy Buriak


Khertvisi Fortress
Khertvisi Fortress Yuriy Buriak

Finally, we stopped in the center of Akhaltsikhe to make photos of the Rabat Fortress at night, and then went to the hotel. After we had settled in the hotel, we also visited a thermal spring and an observatory.

Rabat Fortress
Rabat Fortress Yuriy Buriak

Day 6

In the morning we went for a walk in a freshly reconstructed Rabat Fortress.

Rabat Fortress
Rabat Fortress Yuriy Buriak

After that we went to Borjomi to drink famous water.

Mineral water source in Borjomi
Mineral water source in Borjomi Yuriy Buriak


Tasty water
Tasty water Yuriy Buriak

The next city is Kutaisi, where we spent the night. On the way we stopped at a roadside souvenir market and met guys from National Geographic there.

Market near the highway
Market near the highway Yuriy Buriak


National Geographic
National Geographic Yuriy Buriak


Somewhere near Kutaisi
Somewhere near Kutaisi Yuriy Buriak

Day 7

In the morning, after a walk in Kutaisi, we went to the Gelati Monastery.

Bench in Kutaisi
Bench in Kutaisi Yuriy Buriak


Kutaisi
Kutaisi Yuriy Buriak


Church of Virgin the Blessed in the Gelati Monastery
Church of Virgin the Blessed in the Gelati Monastery Yuriy Buriak

Then - to the Cave of Prometheus:

Cave of Prometheus
Cave of Prometheus Yuriy Buriak

On the long way to Svaneti, we met the real Georgian guy with a pet :)

Rabbit :)
Rabbit :) Yuriy Buriak

And stopped at the Inguri Dam:

Inguri Dam
Inguri Dam Yuriy Buriak

We reached Svaneti in the evening and went for a walk around Mestia, the central town.

Center of Mestia
Center of Mestia Yuriy Buriak


Towers of Mestia
Towers of Mestia Yuriy Buriak

The next day we spent in Mestia and the surrounding areas.

Svan towers of Mestia
Svan towers of Mestia Yuriy Buriak


On the roof of the tower
On the roof of the tower Yuriy Buriak


Cableway in Mestia
Cableway in Mestia Yuriy Buriak


Mushrooms in Mestia
Mushrooms in Mestia Yuriy Buriak

Day 8

On this day we had a long trip to Batumi. On the way we visited the Dadiani Palace in Zugdidi.


Dadiani Palace
Dadiani Palace Yuriy Buriak

And one of the recreation areas on the sea:

Beach at the recreation center near Batumi
Beach at the recreation center near Batumi Yuriy Buriak


Beach at the recreation center near Batumi
Beach at the recreation center near Batumi Yuriy Buriak

We had a nice evening walk in Batumi.

Stone pouf on the waterfront
Stone pouf on the waterfront Yuriy Buriak


Piazza Square
Piazza Square Yuriy Buriak


Ali and Nino
Ali and Nino Yuriy Buriak

Day 9

In the morning we went to Tbilisi. We arrived at the capital in the afternoon and visited the Mtatsminda Park. After that we went to the airport.

Mtatsminda Park
Mtatsminda Park Yuriy Buriak


Ferris wheel in the Mtatsminda Park
Ferris wheel in the Mtatsminda Park Yuriy Buriak


View of Tbilisi from the Ferris wheel
View of Tbilisi from the Ferris wheel Yuriy Buriak

Useful links:
http://tickets.railway.ge/login.aspx?lang=en-US - railways
http://www.skigeorgia.ge - ski resorts
http://www.info-tbilisi.com/carrent/price/ - car rental
http://www.info-tbilisi.com/cars/ - car rental



Comments (Total: 7)

2014-01-10 18:57 # 1 
)) , )

2015-07-27 17:24 # 2 
! - !
))

2015-11-13 15:06 # 3 
+

2015-11-13 15:10 # 4 
, . , . h ttp://tanci-kavkaza ru/kultura-gruzii/ .

2015-12-30 19:20 # 5 Travelboi
, ! ;) www.exotour.travel

2017-11-28 15:43 # 6 
- ! ...)

2018-04-27 19:55 # 7 Doug Taylor
Nice Photos!!!!

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