Georgia

The Birthplace of Wine!

Georgia is a country in the South Caucasus, straddling Western Asia and Eastern Europe, at the eastern end of the Black Sea. The country is filled with magnificent history and unparalleled natural beauty. The oldest traces of wine production were found in Georgia!

Georgia’s landscape is dominated by numerous high interconnected mountain ranges, plateaus, lakes, gorges and valleys. Beech, oak, hornbeam, pine and yew forests grow on the slopes. The southern portion of the country is bounded by the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. The highest peaks in the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range rise more than 5,000 meters above sea level. The region between Kazbegi and Shkhara along the Main Caucasus Range features numerous glaciers with eternal snow. While most of the country is rather mountainous, the eastern part of contains a small segment of semi-arid plains characteristic of Central Asia, and the slopes to the west are covered by temperate rain forests. Georgia is home to a large number of animal species, with the Persian leopard, Brown bear, wolf, and lynx roaming the forests.

Georgia’s history and culture can be traced back to the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia. It was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity, in the 4th century. Georgia’s countryside is covered with ancient towered fortifications, many of which house ancient churches and monasteries. Although the country has struggled against and was invaded many times by the world’s biggest empires – the Mongols, Persians, Ottomans, Russians ¬– for centuries, the Georgians have managed to preserve their cultural and traditional identity.

During the 11th century, Georgian culture enjoyed a golden age and renaissance of classical literature, arts, philosophy, architecture and science. Georgian culture was influenced by Classical Greece, the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. After a long period of turmoil, the revival of Georgian language and the classical Georgian literature of the poet Shota Rustaveli in the 19th century, laid the foundations of the romantics and novelists of the modern era.

The Georgian Black Sea coast enjoys sub-tropical conditions and beautiful beaches, and during the Soviet era it was known as the “Riviera of the Soviet Union”. Georgian cuisine and wine were favoured by the Soviet elite.

Georgia has one of the oldest wine-making traditions, dating back to before 5,000 BC, and due to its great climate, produces some of the best wines in the world. Also Georgia’s cuisine is famous throughout the region, with wonderful dishes usually flavored with garlic, coriander, walnuts, and dill. Fruits and vegetables burst with flavor. The two national dishes are khachapuri (a cheese filled bread) and khinkali (minced, spiced meat in a dumpling). A traditional Georgian feast or supra is an unforgettable experience, with a spread that no group could finish, accompanied by a great number of toasts set to wine or brandy.

Georgians are hospitable to a fault. They believe that guests come from God, and friendship is prized highest among all the virtues. Foreigners are still regarded with undisguised, friendly curiosity. It is characteristic of Georgian hospitality that Georgians wish nothing more than to hear that foreigners are enjoying their experience in Georgia.

What To See & Do

  • Spectacular skiing on virgin snow of the Greater Caucasus’ pristine slopes

  • Attend a performance of the Tbilisi Ballet

  • Jeep adventure through rugged mountains and fast flowing streams

  • Culinary tour through Kakheti, the birthplace of wine

  • Caving! Georgia features the deepest known cave in the world

  • Helicopter flights over Georgia’s glaciers

  • Study 12th century fresco’s in ancient churches in the remote mountain valleys of Svaneti

  • Experience a supra, a traditional Georgian dinner feast

When To Go

Georgia is roughly divided into two main climatic zones – east and west. Generally, Georgia’s climate is affected by subtropical influences from the west and Mediterranean influences from the east.

Along the Black Sea coast, from Abkhazia to the Turkish border, and in the region known as the Kolkhida Lowlands inland from the coast, the dominant subtropical climate features high humidity and heavy annual precipitation ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 mm per year. Average winter temperature is 5 °C, while average summer temperature is 22°C.

Precipitation in Western Georgia tends to be uniformly distributed throughout the year, although rainfall can be particularly heavy during the Autumn months.

Eastern Georgia has a transitional climate from humid subtropical to continental, with annual precipitation being considerably less than that of western Georgia, ranging from 400–1,600 mm. spring and autum in this region are the relatively wet time of the year.

Summer temperatures average 20°C to 24°C, winter temperatures 2°C to 4°C.
The mountains and their elevation play an important role in creating several distinct microclimates. Conditions above 1,500 meters are considerably colder than in the low-lying areas. Above 2,000 meters frost is not uncommon even during summer. Winters in the mountains of Georgia bring thick blankets of snow.

Sample Itineraries

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