Georgia- Sakartvelo to the locals, is on the crossroads of Western Asia & Eastern Europe. Its bounded by the black sea (West), Russia (North), Turkey/Armenia (South) & Azerbaijan (South East). We visited Georgia in the month of July and lush greenery greeted us from every corner. We spent 10 days driving through this beautiful country and have listed a detailed itinerary, trying to cover as much of the places to visit in Georgia.
BEST TIME TO VISIT GEORGIA
If you enjoy lush greenery with snow peaked mountains, you should visit from June until August. If you are in Georgia for the snow, you should plan your visit from November until March. Winters are not always snowy so check here before you plan your trip.
HOW TO GET HERE
Here is the list of 94 countries whose citizens can stay for up to 360 days without a visa. Indian nationals need to apply for an E-visa to enter Georgia. Indian nationals with a valid residence or tourist permit of countries as mentioned here can get Georgia visa on arrival.
FlyDubai, Wizz Air, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, Air Arabia, Emirates, Air France, S7 Airlines all have frequent flights to Georgia. You can find the best deals on SkyScanner
WHAT TO PACK
If you are visiting Georgia in Spring, you can pack summer clothes with light cardigans. The mountain ranges will be cold throughout the year with the temperature dropping to 9C in Spring so packing a few winter clothes and a windbreaker is essential.
TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN GEORGIA – ITINERARY AT A GLANCE
We used Tbilisi as our base in Georgia. As its right at the centre, it was easy to plan our trips from here.
Day 1 & 2 TBILISI
Day 3 MTSKHETA-MTIANETI REGION/GUDAURI
Day 4 KAKHETI
Day 5 TBILISI
Day 6 & 7 BATUMI
Day 8 KUTAISI
Day 9 TBILISI
Day 10 GO HOME
Day 1 & Day 2 TBILISI
Tbilisi is a vibrant city full of life with warm & friendly people and one of the most popular places to visit in Georgia among tourists. You might come across very few natives who speak english, yet they are more than willing to help and make you feel welcome. The best way to discover this city is by foot. Driving within city limits can be borderline crazy. Cabs are cheap, though they might take you for a ride literally, so checking with a local on the fare structure can help haggle. Most international flights fly to Tbilisi, so you can start off with Tbilisi and do a full circle. Else you can consider flying out of Batumi or Kutaisi.
Highlights of Tbilisi
¥ Rustaveli Avenue
¥ Tbilisi Funicular
¥ Freedom Square
¥ Old Tbilisi & The Bridge of Peace
¥ Try the Chicken Stew Boat Khachapuri at Samikitno Rest. near Freedom Square
¥ Try the Kindzmarauli Wine from Tsangala’s Wine Shop, Shavteli Street
¥ Abanotubani Sulphur Baths
¥ Mamadaviti Church
¥ Narikala Fortress
Where we stayed: Urban Boutique Hotel. Book Here
Day 3 -MTSKHETA-MTIANETI REGION (GUDAURI)
We head to the Kazbegi mountain ranges with a stop over at Ananuri, which is a UNESCO Heritage site. The castle itself is breathtaking with stunning views of the Aragvi river. Kazbegi is ranked high on the list of places to visit in Georgia.
It is believed that Christianity was first preached in Georgia during the 5th century and with a majority of Christian population, Georgia has numerous beautiful churches. From childhood I have always believed in three wishes being granted when one visits a church for the first time, and by the end of the trip, trust me, I had run out of wishes!
The trip to Kazbegi took us about 4.5 hours from Tbilisi and the drive was nothing short of stunning, with green mountains, patches of snow, fresh water rivers, grazing herds of sheep and cattle and the magical drive through the clouds.
Our first stop was the Holy Gergeti Trinity Church. I could use a whole truckload of adjectives to describe this place but it still wont do justice. The church is at an elevation of 2170 m under Mount Kazbegi. You can either trek up to the church which takes about 3-4 hours or take a local taxi.Now the local taxi’s used are extremely old beat up Russian Lada’s which are well past their prime. Be prepared for a rough ride but the view that awaits you at the top is totally worth all that & more.
This region is a popular ski destination and is mostly a ghost town during Spring/Summer.
Highlights of the Area
¥ Stepantsminda (Gergeti Trinity Church)
¥ Georgian-Russian Friendship Monument
¥ Gudauri Recreational Area- Paragliding (Highly dependant on weather/wind conditions)
Stay at the Rooms Hotel Kazbegi to enjoy stunning view of the mountains.
Day 4 KAKHETI
Kakheti region is ranked highly on the top places to visit in Georgia. Kakheti is solely for the wine lovers. One of Georgia’s premier wine producing areas, Kakheti will be your ideal happy-hazy part of the vacation.
Most wine cellar visits here would involve a tour of the premises, history of wine and a couple of freebies in the name of wine tasting. The best vineyard in the area is that of Winery Khareba.
Highlights of the Region
¥ Monastery Tours-David Gareja Monastery Complex
¥ Winery Khareba Tour
Where we Stayed: Hotel Sweet Home B&B. Book Here
Day 5 TBILISI
Kakheti to Batumi is too long a drive so its better to stop over at Tbilisi and visit any spillovers from Day 2 or just enjoy the night life here before gearing up for the long drive to Batumi.
Day 6 & 7 BATUMI
Batumi is a seaside city by the Black Sea coast and the capital of Adjara Region, close to the Turkey border. It is about 8 hours of drive from the capital city.
If you enjoy a bit of gambling, this is one of the top places to . Initially we were only planning to stay a day here but we totally fell in love with the city and extended our stay. What we loved here was the Black Sea cruise and the long walks by the Batumi Boulevard.
Highlights of the city
¥ Batumi Boulevard – Boulevard itself had so much to offer from restaurants to beach shacks, arm wrestling competitions, Chess matches, Scooter rides, Ferris Wheel, Skateboarding to name a few
¥ Cruise along Batumi Coast
¥ Argo Cable Car
¥ Fountain of Neptun
Where we stayed: Divan Suites. Book Here
Day 7 IMERETI REGION
Three hours from Batumi, this city is the third biggest in Georgia after Tbilisi and Batumi and has an international airport.The reason for our stopover here was solely to visit the canyons.
An hour away from Kutaisi, river rafting at Martvili Canyon is pretty safe and is a child friendly activity.
Okatse Canyon was next on our list. A 1km long walkway suspended along the edge of the canyon enables visitors to explore this natural wonder and its beautiful waterfalls. A word of caution here for people with Acrophobia,the pathway though sturdy does not give the same impression and can get pretty scary.
Sataplia cave is a must visit for all dinosaur enthusiasts like my better half, where dinosaur footprints were discovered in early 1935 and preserved till date. Next stop was the Prometheus Caves. Discovered in Imereti region in 1984, Prometheus Cave is one of Georgia’s natural wonders with breathtaking views of stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, petrified waterfalls, cave pearls, underground rivers, and lakes.
Highlights of the Region
¥ Okatse Canyon
¥ Martvili Canyon
¥ Prometheus Cave
¥ Sataplia Cave
The last day of our 10 day trip dawned with us having mixed feelings about leaving Georgia. We will most definitely miss the lovely people, the country side. And most importantly… The WINE
Note: We visited Georgia much before the tourism barrage started and it was still a hidden gem. Lot of things have changed over the years and we try to keep the article as updated as possible 🙂