Georgia – The hidden gem of Eastern Europe

Looking for a quick getaway from India  to a place which has the scenery of Europe, with its air of exclusivity and charm , without making a huge dent in your pocket? Georgia is just the right place for you. It’s natural beauty and charm is unspoiled by tourists.

tblisi photo

 

 

It is perfect for a 4-5 days  getaway with breath-taking views of mountains, rolling hills of green and wine yard orchards running for miles and miles. It also has Promethus caves which are some of the biggest natural mineral caves found in the world.  Each place has its own interesting piece of history associated with it which is beautifully explained by the local guides over there.

 

Is it necessary to have a local guide?

It is very important to have a local guide who speaks English as most of the population prefers speaking German or Russian.  These guides are easily available online with their contact details on websites such as TripAdvisor. Once initial contact is made with them, they are usually very helpful and will even offer good tips on which restaurants to visit according to the diet restrictions(such as being a vegetarian or jain) and places to visit separately.  These guides will charge around  INR 40 to 50 thousand for the sightseeing of the entire trip, depending upon the duration.

How is the food?

For the dairy lovers, Georgia is the perfect place. Their local bread, Khachapuri, is the garlic bread which you have always dreamed of having.

Georgia-Khachapuri
source : ingredientmatcher.com

It is warm, gooey cheese stuffed bread which simply melts in your mouth. Several of the restaurants provide quite a great selection in terms of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. There is a lot of exquisite local cuisine and you will surely find something that triggers your taste buds. There is Lobio (Bean Soup) and stews made out of mushrooms and cheese which are great for those with a vegetarian palate. For non-vegetarians there is a wide selection of different types of meat along with delicious stews and Qababi.  

Basic dishes are quite inexpensive, anything above 25 to 30 lari is quite exorbitantly priced. Consider it to be a total  expenditure of around INR 3 to 5 thousand per person.

 

The local landscape of Georgia is very interesting. It is quite diverse, consisting of mountainous regions, caves and huge wine orchards. It is advisable to allot a day for each region. Such as a day of History in Tblisi, a day of wine tasting in Mtskheta and one of enjoying mountain sights in Kazbegi. A visit to  the Aragavi river, which is on the way to Mtskheta, is specially recommended.

Argavi river
Source:  georgianjournal.ge

It is very important to have a direct visa from Georgia, from its embassy, as there may be some trouble with the online applications of visa. However, be sure to get a local driver who understands all the routes through Georgia as well as English well. The weather is pleasant (it never crossed 25 degrees), although nights can become a little chilly.

It’s perfect to visit this amazing landscape in the summer, and book a hotel which is near the main capital city of Tbilisi. If you visit them in their off-season (which is May-June), hotels can give even a better upgrade- for free.

Therefore, the next travel plans should be focused on this uninhabited, pristine piece of European beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

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