- Continent: Asia
- Area: 69,700 km²
- Population: 4,935,880
- Capital city: Tbilisi
- ISO code: GE
- National language: Georgian
- International dialing code: +995
- Currency: Lari
- License plate number: GE
- Flight routes from Georgia: 917
- Flight routes to Georgia: 887
- Popular airports: Tbilisi (TBS), Batumi (BUS), Kutaisi (KUT)
- Large cities: Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Sokhumi, Zugdidi, Gori, Samtredia, Khashuri, Senaki, Marneuli, Tkuarchal, Akhalts'ikhe, Tsqaltubo, Och'amch'ire, Kaspi, Borjomi
- Airlines based in Georgia: MyWay Airlines, Georgian Airways
Georgia travel guide (Asia)
Georgia is in the Caucasus on the border between Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Geography: Georgia is a mountainous country; the entire country is located on a plateau. The greater Caucasus Mountains are to be found in the north, with the western back of the lesser Caucasus Mountains and the Armenian highlands in the south.
Mountains and rivers: the highest point on Georgian soil is the 5,069 m (16,630 ft) high Schchara in the greater Caucasus. The Kura is the longest river in the country with a total length of 1,360 km (845 miles).
Climate and best time to visit: due to the high mountains that help to moderate the climate by acting as a divide between the Armenian highlands and the valleys, the climate in Georgia tends to be relatively pleasant. Georgia has several climate zones: from subtropical and humid in the west to the dry and temperate continental climate in the east. The northern Caucasus protects the country from cold air coming from the north and allows the Black Sea in the west to warm the earth and provide for a pleasant climate, noticeable in particular in the extensive wine-growing regions. The former Soviet countries are the main importers of Georgian wines, which tend to be little known in Western Europe. Spring in Georgia is relatively short and transforms quickly into hot summer. The most pleasant time to travel in Georgia is during the autumn, when it is a little cooler. There is hardly any snowfall during the cold winters. Due to the favourable location, a large and rich diversity of animals and plants was able to develop during the course of the centuries. The country is one of the most important ecological regions in the world.
Language and communication: the official and national language is Georgian; many people also understand Russian and Armenian. In a few regions, some ethnic groups also speak Ossetian, Abkhaz and Assyrian. English and other foreign languages are only really understood by people in Tbilisi involved in trade and business.
Health and vaccinations: vaccination against hepatitis A, typhoid, diphtheria, polio and tetanus is recommended. Long clothing should be worn to provide protection against mosquitoes and other insects, and a locally purchased insect repellent should also be used. Medical care is good in Tbilisi. Visitors are advised to take out comprehensive medical and travel insurance that covers repatriation costs. A first aid kit should be packed and fruit and vegetables peeled or boiled before being eaten
Entry requirements: British nationals wishing to visit for less than 90 days do not need a visa for Georgia. Stays may be extended at the Civil Registration Agency of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.
Arrival and onward journey: Airzena Georgian airlines provides flights from many European hubs to Tbilisi (TBS). Turkish airlines fly from Stansted (STN) to Tbilisi (TBI) with a stopover. The national airline Airzena Georgian Airlines (A9) also provide domestic flights to Kutaisi (KUT), Batumi (BUS) and Senaki (SSS).
Capital city: Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia and has more than 1 million inhabitants. The city is in the east of Georgia on the banks of the river Kura. As the city is in a basin, it is bordered by several high mountain ranges. The name Tbilisi translates as “warm spring" derived from the hot sulphur spring in the northeast on the hillsides of the Mtabori Mountain. The 47°C water from the spring has been used by nearby bathing houses for centuries. There are a great number of museums and theatres in Tbilisi and the city has a wealth of cultural events on offer. The ruins of the fortress of Nariqala, dating back to the 3rd century, are also interesting; for centuries they served to defend the city from military attack. The narrow cobblestone streets with the many churches and the synagogue are also characteristic of the city. The world famous Silk Road once passed through the old town, which may still be seen in the well-maintained caravanserais. The houses in the old town are made predominantly of wood with carved wooden balconies that were once common in Istanbul, but were almost completely demolished there due to environmental influences. Visitors to Tbilisi are also encouraged to visit Mzechta. This city was the former capital of Georgia in pre-Christian times. Mzechta is the religious centre of Georgia and all the kings of Georgia were crowned in the Sweti-Zchweli cathedral that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to ancient tradition, Jesus Christ’s dress coat is kept here.
Places of interest and beaches: the harbour town of Batumi on the Black Sea is another beautiful town. This subtropical city is near the Turkish border and the Turkish flair on the Caucasian Riviera is to be seen everywhere. The old town, with its narrow labyrinth of lanes, the sea park, the oceanarium, the impressive theatre and the numerous Turkish baths are all worth a visit.
Nature lovers should head out to the Bordschomi Charagauli National park in South Georgia. The 76,000-hectare park lies at an altitude of 400 to 2,600 m (to 8,530 ft) and is one of the largest national parks in Asia. The park is open between the months of April and October and has many hot springs as well as 8 different hiking trails of graded difficulties. The park was opened in 2003 after a decision by the Georgian parliament and lies directly on the bordering spa town of Bordschomi.
Religion: Georgia is a multiethnic country with 26 different ethnic groups 85% of which belong to the Georgian Orthodox Church. There is also a 10 % minority of Muslims and adherents of Jazidism, Judaism and the Jehovas witnesses.
Major cities and accommodation: Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Rustawi, Suchumi, Sugdidi, Gori and Poti.