There is a country, located between the Caucasus Mountains and Black Sea in Europe, named Georgia. This spectacular, mysterious land has endless sights to discover and experiences to offer. Natural beauty is abundant in Georgia; high mountains, fast rivers, green meadows, clear lakes and turquoise seas, plus health resorts and plenty of mineral springs. There is something on offer for all seasons. Added to this, Georgia is a country with a rich and ancient culture, and the locals are incredibly hospitable. Georgians even have a saying: “Guests are a gift from God”.
Before I tell you more, let me introduce myself. My family and I love adventures, traveling and making short films about our magnificent country – so without further ado, here are 6 places which you must not miss when you visit Georgia.
1) Gomi Mountain – The kingdom of mystic fogs
Gomi Mountain resort is located in the Guria region, at an elevation of 2.100m. The mountain is surrounded with a thick pine forest and the weather can change at the drop of a hat. Summer brings mystical fogs which can all at once snake in and envelope the peak, sometimes so dense that you can’t even see your own body, but these often dissipate just as quickly as they come; suddenly the sun comes and you can enjoy the beautiful views. The pretty little village below the mountain with its quaint, rustic huts makes this place romantic and mysterious at the same time.
The village is very easy to reach by car and makes for
2) Kazbegi – The best place for camping and hiking
Kazbegi, situated in the north of Georgia, is the home of Mount Kazbeg (or Mkinvarwveri in the local language) which is the third highest mountain in the country. The beating heart of the region is the village Stepantsminda (formerly known as Kazbegi).
There are a wealth of things to do here. Kazbegi is a great place for outdoor activities such as ice climbing, mountaineering, horse riding, paragliding and bike riding; and photographers will also find this region has much to offer. It is known for its glaciers, natural mineral waters and the historical marvels like the ancient Gergeti Trinity Church, built in the14th century. From the church you get a great view of the Kuro mountains, one of Georgia’s most magnificent mountain ranges.
One of my favourite places in this region is Juta in the Chaukhi mountains. It’s a real rock climber’s paradise. The village of Juta is one of the highest settlements (2.200 m) in the municipality of Kazbegi, and is located 24 km from Stepantsminda. It is not only beautiful, but also one of the most popular climbing spots in Georgia.
3) Tusheti – “Natural Wealth”
Tusheti has always attracted visitors with its snowy peaks, mountains and grasslands, pine forests, streams and rivers and ancient villages and castles.
The region is a real paradise for photographers and adventure lovers alike, for those who are mad about hiking, camping and exploring everything natural and wild. It’s not easy to reach, but that is exactly what makes it so enticing. Tusheti Road is one of the most dangerous roads in Georgia!
The region is also very well-known for its cultural heritage, acidic waters and gorgeous waterfalls. Some of the villages are so well-preserved you can still find and explore around their medieval castles.
4) Svaneti – Beautiful, wild and mysterious
The ancient region of Svaneti, located in the northwestern part of the country, is the highest area in the Caucasus mountain where people have settled. Here also is one of the highest continuously inhabited settlements in Europe, Ushguli.
Svaneti is divided into Upper and Lower Svaneti and is inhabited by the Svans. They have lived here since the ancient times and have preserved and still speak their own, unwritten language. Svaneti is a land of legend, where numerous ancient towers – once both the homes and fortresses of the incumbent population – stand as a symbol of the people’s eternal freedom and the land’s inconceivable beauty. These towers, which number at around 200, have stood here since as early as the 9th century, and there are also more than 190 churches and 5 museums in Svaneti – so plenty to see! The whole area is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
The highest mountains in Georgia, Mount Shkhara (5.201 m), Tetnuldi (4.974 m) and Mount Ushba (4.700m) make this area unique, and a very attractive destination for both Georgian and foreign tourists. This is a great place to visit year-round, and you can even come here during the summer to ski or snowboard.
If you ask me, Racha is one of the most beautiful regions of Georgia, a special place high up in the mountains. Racha is the place that keeps Georgians healthy. It is famous for its forests and mineral waters. People come here for a therapeutic cure or just to rest, and find everything they desire: mountains, glaciers and alpine lakes. In the mountains of Racha there’s a lot of natural mineral water, and it’s free for everybody. The different springs contains all sorts of minerals like iodine, calcium, iron and others, and are regarded as very healthy.
My favourite places in this region are the glaciers, Shaori lake and the lake called ‘Udziro’ – the lake without a bottom. Just
6) Kakheti – Land of Wine
Finally, there is Kakheti, the eastern region of Georgia that is known for producing wine from a variety of grapes. Kakheti is also rich in history. Sighnaghi, the region’s most prominent town, is known in Georgia as the “city of love”, with many couples coming here to marry due to the romantic atmosphere. Kakheti boasts a warm, Mediterranean climate, the incredible monastery complex of Davit Gareja, a desert, many beautiful churches, castles, waterfalls and lakes. Kakhetian people are very friendly and openhearted. If you visit this region, you will most certainly have an unforgettable time.
This is a guest post by Mariam Sekhniashvili. Words and photos by Mariam Sekhniashvili.
Mariam is a traveler and filmmaker from Georgia. She is a 25 year-old who enjoys being outdoors and is always active. Travel for her means adventures which give her the opportunity to move forward and develop skills she didn’t know she had. She travels her home country Georgia together with her daughter and her photographer husband. You can follow their journeys on the YouTube channel for