Still one of Eastern Europe’s hidden holiday gems, Georgia (the country, not the US state) is the ultimate playground for outdoor adventurers and culture lovers. In the heart of the Caucasus, where Europe and Asia converge, you’ll find rugged mountain ranges, bustling cosmopolitan cities as well as story-filled ancient monasteries, all waiting to be explored. Read on for our round-up of the best things to do in Georgia…


Explore the Capital

Immerse yourself in the captivating allure of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, a city that seamlessly blends its rich history and modern cosmopolitanism. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine streets of the Old Town, where the air is infused with the aroma of freshly baked bread and the facades of ancient buildings are painted a whole host of rainbow hues. Head up to the Narikala Fortress and explore the fiercely fortified castle and its viewpoints, where the city will unfold beneath you like a patchwork quilt. When legs are weary, one of the best things to do in Georgia is let the sulphur baths of Abanotubani envelop you in their warm embrace, transporting you to a world of total R&R.


Kazbegi and Gergeti Trinity Church

Just three hours north of the capital lies the popular high-altitude retreat of Kazbegi, an area of majestic mountains and untouched beauty. As you head further into the hills, the verdant valleys and crystal-clear rivers give way to the imposing grandeur of Mount Kazbek. When you reach the summit, you’ll see a crown jewel nestled within this landscape—the Gergeti Trinity Church. Its weathered stone walls and cone-topped turrets stand proudly against the snow-scattered backdrop and create a striking scene that is worth taking a snap or two of.


Wine Tasting in Kakheti

Surrender to the allure of Kakheti, Georgia's up-and-coming wine region, where vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see. As one of the first countries in the world to develop the art of winemaking some 8,000 years ago, exploring these grape-laden slopes is one of the best things to do in Georgia. Engage your senses as you meander through rolling hills and fertile valleys, adorned with rows of verdant vines heavy with the promise of exquisite wines. Step into ancient wineries, where the aroma of aged oak barrels mingles with the scents of sun-soaked grapes, before enjoying a taste of the fruits of Georgia’s hillsides.


The Beach at Batumi

Prepare to be captivated by the coastal jewel of Batumi, where modern architecture dances harmoniously with the turquoise waters of the Black Sea (which is typically only black when it’s stormy). As Georgia’s second-largest city, it boasts crazy buildings (with Dubai-esque designs, one might argue) which may leave you feeling as though you’ve stepped onto a sci-fi film set. Stroll along the enchanting Batumi Boulevard, caressed by the gentle sea breeze, while the sun casts a golden glow over the modern sculptures that dot the promenade. If you’re keen for a night out, the city’s vibrant bars and pulsating energy will be ideal, but if a more laid-back approach is what you’re after, the Botanic Gardens and the Byzantine fortresses might be more up your street.


Hiking in Svaneti

Venture into the rugged beauty of Svaneti, a realm of breathtaking landscapes and ancient traditions. It is a world away from Tbilisi’s cosmopolitanism and is a place where tales of heroes and legends are whispered by the wind. Traverse the winding roads that lead to the medieval towns of Mestia and Ushguli, where timeless stone towers stand tall against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Feel the earth beneath your feet as you hike through untamed wilderness, coming across glassy hidden lakes, cascading waterfalls billowing mist and meadows adorned with pastel-hued wildflowers.


Vardzia Monastery

Deep in Georgia’s south, close to its border with Turkey, lie the jagged-topped mountains of the Caucasus, which gently give way to wide open plains and sloping rock faces. Here you will find Vardzia, a mesmerising cave monastery carved painstakingly into Erusheti Mountain’s cliffside, its pathways, staircases and cave entries creating a labyrinth of passageways that look as though they have been taken from the pages of Lord of the Rings. Descend into the warren of tunnels and chambers with a guide, until you reach the hallowed sanctuary of the Church of Dormition, where the flickering light of candles illuminates frescoes that have withstood the test of time. This is one of the best things to do in Georgia if history and culture is what you’re after.

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