georgiayour journey to the caucasus
Yes, this is the other Georgia! While you may feel like travel to Europe has gotten routine, there are many emerging destinations remaining to visit. A client favorite has been Georgia, formerly part of the Soviet Union. Bordering Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey, this country plays in a complicated neighborhood. But within your first day, you will discover the wonder and beauty of Georgia and its people.
Part of the adventure is getting there. With few flights from Europe to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, you will be at the mercy of the airline schedule. A nine-hour layover in Warsaw was the norm until a couple of years ago. After your long trip there, exploring Tbilisi is a good way to start your journey. Surrounded by mountains, the heart of Tbilisi is easily explored on foot. Take a cable car up to the Narikala Fortress and explore, while taking in the breathtaking view of the city below. Enjoy the sulphur bathhouses in the city heated by natural hot springs. Georgian food is a gastronomic wonder, very different from Russian and other neighboring cuisines. Take time to enjoy!
The true beauty of Georgia lies outside the cities. With mountains in both the north and south, there are plenty of regions to explore. Our favorite is the Kazbegi National Park on the northern age of the Caucasus Mountain Range. According to Georgian legend, the high peaks are where Prometheus was chained for eternity. The town of Stepantsminda offers many guesthouses and small hotels and is the perfect base for exploring gorges and glaciers, as well as several architectural gems.
To the west, there are several beach areas along the Black Sea that make for good swim stops. Most beaches are rocky, but the water is refreshing. There are many rolling hills and places to explore near the shoreline.
There are a couple of disputed regions between Georgia and Russia, but these are easy enough to avoid. For extended stays, you might want to pair Georgia with Armenia or Azerbaijan. Note that while you can travel between Georgia and either of these countries, the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is closed due to the ongoing and long-standing conflict between these two countries.
More Journey Softly destinations like this: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia
Photos: Stepantsminda, Kazbegi; Old Town Tbilisi; Gergeti Trinity Church, Kazbegi