An Amazing Country
At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Georgia is a combination of uniqueness and diversity. Although a small country, you can find here the Caucasus Mountain range, Black Sea coastline, curative climate and mineral waters, national parks and UNESCO Heritage Sites, ancient history, diverse culture and traditions, delicious cuisine, rich wine culture and last but not least, our world-famous Georgian hospitality.
From the architecture of Tbilisi’s Old Town to the vineyards of Kakheti; from the ancient stone towers of Svaneti to the beaches and nightlife of Batumi, there is something to inspire and excite everyone. Ski the Caucasus Mountains, Europe’s highest mountain range, in the morning and relax by the Black Sea coast in the afternoon. Sample the delicious Georgian cuisine and wine at a traditional Supra (or feast) one day, detox in our natural saunas and spas afterwards. Georgia has a unique, welcoming culture which explains its world-famous hospitality. With its unique alphabet and language, and many world-famous artists, Georgia will surprise and delight you at every turn.
History and Culture
One of the most striking things you see as you travel through Georgia is the number of churches. Georgia was one of the first countries in the world to officially adopt Christianity, in 337 AD, but its history goes back much, much further. Some of the world’s oldest hominid remains, dating back over 1.8 million years have been found in Dmanisi, city located near the capital, Tbilisi.
Ancient Greek story of Jason and the Argonauts’ search for the Golden Fleece isinspired by the Georgians’ unique way of using sheepskins to collect the heavy gold deposits from the high mountain rivers.
Georgia has long been a kingdom and over the years its boundaries and capitals have changed as successive Kings and invaders held sway; from King David to Queen Tamar; from the Mongols, Persians and Ottomans to the Russians. Each has left their mark, yet somehow the true spirit and character of Georgia shines
Whatever it is you want from a holiday, come to Georgia for the best moments of your life.
One of the Oldest Christian Countries
This is a nation where a long tradition of religious tolerance unites people instead of dividing them. Throughout all its history, strangers of all faiths have always been welcome in Georgia. Living in the mountains and on the borders of so many civilizations one begins to appreciate the mysterious and learns to live within the numinous. Of course, the primary religion here is Christian as it has been since the fourth century. The Georgian Orthodox Church is at the heart of the nation’s soul, fundamental to its history, an indisputable part of its future.
There is no better way to catch the inimitable atmosphere of Georgia’s history than in its churches. Perched on mountaintops high up in the Greater Caucasus, Mt. Kazbegi, or carved into sandstone hillsides, as in Vardzia or David Gareji. The walls are usually covered in frescos and frequently resound with the sounds of our polyphonic choirs. Stand in Tbilisi’s Sioni Cathedral on a Sunday morning and experience the sounds of a religious tradition spanning nearly two thousand years. Visit the splendid Gelati complex near Kutaisi and see a large cathedral covered floor to cupola-top with magnificent frescos and mosaics. Wind your way up into the remote mountain valleys of Svaneti and encounter superb 12th century frescos in the most far-flung churches, as well as several museums packed with elegant icons and treasures.
The Cradle of Wine
Georgia is unquestionably the birthplace of wine. Grape seeds have been found in Caucasian tombs 7000 years ago, along with wine implements such as clay vessels. Nowhere else in the world is the evidence of viniculture so old. Indeed the word ‘wine’ has been traced to Georgian word g˙vino, which has been in use for much longer than most modern languages have existed.
Indeed there is no country where wine is more revered and a wine culture so developed and cherished. Incredibly there are over 500 indigenous species of grape (most used for wine) far more than anywhere else, most of them still completely unknown to the rest of the world. Here you can taste wildly unique varieties of wine in a vast array of subtle flavor differences.
Today most wine is still produced in exactly the same way it was long ago. Grapes are placed in large earthenware vessels called ‘qvevri,’ large enough to fit a person inside, buried in the ground up to their necks. These special wine vaults are then sealed and left to ferment for three or four months. The result is a tannin and vitamin-rich wine, completely organic and distinctively flavorful. Georgian wine is so pure and untainted by artificial ingredients (such as sulphites) that hangover is practically unknown.
Visit virtually any home in the premiere wine-growing region of Kakheti and be greeted at the door by a glass of traditionally made home-produced wine – a tradition dating back at least three thousand years, and a delight to any traveler. Make sure you try homemade white wines, “chacha”, made with a process where the skin is left on for part of the fermentation and with their own uncommon color and taste.
Georgia’s moderate climate and moist air, influenced by the Black Sea, provide the ideal conditions for wine culturing. Names like Saperavi, Mukuzani, Teliani are becoming increasingly familiar to wine connoisseurs around the world. We are more than proud to show off the process that takes these fine grapes from vine to bottle – and then of course, to the table.
We treasure our wine and our wine traditions over all else – and invite you to taste the fruit of our labors for yourself.
At the Crossroads of Europe and Asia
Throughout the 20th century, Georgia has been famous as a holiday destination – a combined Switzerland and Rivera – for citizens of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. They came for high mountains, sunny beaches and a world-renowned cuisine. Today Georgia is a country strongly connected to tradition, at the same time as being a modern, democratic state embodying western values. With the fall of the Soviet Union, Georgia’s beauty is now open to any traveler thirsting for new sights, sounds, smells and an elemental and rich culture. From the shores of the Black Sea to the soaring peaks of the Caucasus – from rich Wine Country in eastern Georgia to Cave cities, to the spa town of Borjomi and cultural delights of Tbilisi, Georgia’s natural beauty is the matter of legend.