Visit Georgia, and you’ll unearth a small country with rich history and bewitching culture. This stunning European nation has plenty of intriguing attractions – unknown to several visitors. From ice-capped mountains and cave cities, to Black Sea beaches and ancient towns, we’ve got Georgia’s top ten things to do and sights covered.
Here are the top 10 things to do in Georgia, Europe:
1.Tsminda Sameba Cathedral
A key symbol of Georgia’s post-Soviet religious rebirth soars loftily on Elia Hill above Avlabari. Tsminda Sameba Cathedral, a remarkable sight by night, was sanctified in 2004, after a decade of building. Consisting of a numerous architectural styles, the traditional look of the church was carefully chosen from more than one hundred designs. The interior are impressive and consists of nine chapels with more than half of them located underground! One of the best Georgia tourism places.
2. Narikala Fortress
Perched on a hill overlooking the Mtkvari river, dominating the Old town skyline, Narikala dates right back to the 4th century, when it was a Persian citadel, protecting the city from external attacks. An earthquake in 1827 ruined not only the fortress, but also the interiors of Church of St Nicholas. The walls and battlements from the 16th and 17th centuries still lends a stunning view.
A dramatic 60 km drive into the wilderness from Akhaltsikhe to the cave city of Vardzia will lead you to a 12th century monastery, with a labyrinth of tunnels and rooms that extend for kilometres into Erusheli mountain. It is a 30 minute steep climb and there is a small entrance fee to pay the monks who manage it. Formally consisting of over six thousand rooms and 13 storeys, today it houses over 300 rooms and halls!
4. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
This enormously noble building dates back to the 11th century – a golden age of Georgian church architecture. This cathedral is a replica of its former 4th century version. The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral has been time and again attacked by Persians, Russians, and Arabs, and ruined by many earthquakes – enduring them all. This cathedral is not only an important place of Christian worship, but is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. Batumi Boulevard
Batumi is a beautiful city on the coast of the Black Sea, known for its contemporary architecture, pleasant weather, and beaches. The Batumi Boulevard was originally built in 1884 and is the life and soul of the city. The boulevard stretches 6 km along the coast, with fountains, trees, cafes, and beach bars adorning it. The boulevard is one of the places to go in Georgia for fun.
This enchanting and once massive cave city offers stunning views of the Mtkvari valley near Gori. The name Uplistsickhe means ‘the lord’s fortress’ and the town was literally carved out of the rock in the 6th century.
7. Aerial Tramway in Tbilisi
Aerial tramway started functioning in 2012, connecting one end of Tbilisi to another. The steep hike up through the Old Town has now been superseded with an aerial tramway which whisks you from Rike Park up to Narikala Fortress in just 2 minutes. The tramway not only makes the journey easier and quicker, but also offers breathtaking glimpse of the Mtkvari River and the Old Town. A must thing to do in Georgia Tbilisi.
8. Old Town
The Old Town of Tbilisi is the place where Georgians head for some action and excitement. Keeping its rich rich legacy intact, the town resonates with antiquated churches, old balconied houses, leafy squares, winding lanes, quaint little busy bars, and countless cafes – overlooked by the 17-centuries-old Nariqala Fortress.
9. Mount Kazbek
It’s hard to miss the mountains and the scenery of Georgia. Part of the Caucasus Mountain range, Mount Kazbek is a 5,047 m peak that entices thrill seekers, avid trekkers, and mountain climbers with its challenging hikes and magnificent panorama. Located on the border of Georgia and Russia, Mount Kazbek stands true to its name – ‘mountain of ice’.
10. Lake Ritsa
Mesmerizing Lake Ritsa, encompassed by mountains, with its turquoise water full of trout, is a favoured attraction in Abkhazia, north Georgia. The crater lake is part of the Ritsa Nature Reserve and one of the deepest in Georgia. The best time to visit is during the summers, which is always balmy; the lake shores are splendid for picnics, long strolls, and boating.