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Die Altstadt von Tiflis, Bild: monticello / shutterstock

Georgia – Adventure in the Caucasus

Georgia is currently still on the list of few travelers, but this is completely unjustified. The small country on the border between Europe and Asia offers immense diversity both culturally and scenically and welcomes its guests with open arms. The country has been independent since 1918 and is now home to almost 4 million people. A flight from Germany takes about 3.5 hours, the most common airport in Georgia is Tbilisi. However, there are also international airports in Kutaisi and Batumi.

Sights and highlights in Georgia

Tbilisi – the heart of Georgia

Tbilisi
Tbilisi, Image: MiGol / shutterstock

The capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, is home to more than a quarter of the country’s population and is a cultural and economic hub. The city also has a lot to offer visitors and is the center of tourism in Georgia.

The city centre of Tbilisi is particularly beautiful, especially known for its lovingly carved wooden balconies. In the narrow cobbled streets there are numerous bars, bars and wine cellars and invite you to enjoy the hospitality of the Georgians.

Another highlight in the Georgian capital is the spa district of Abanotubani. Since Tbilisi means “warm spring”, a part of the city’s history can be discovered here and visitors can enjoy the baths with sulphurous water that can reach temperatures of up to 47 degrees. There are also numerous providers of massages and other spa services here. If the legend is to be believed, the hot springs under the city were once discovered during the hunt of a Georgian king, when a pheasant he had killed fell into a hot spring and was immediately cooked.

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Towering over the city of Tbilisi is the mighty Narikala Fortress, which was once the most important castle in the country and played a central role in the numerous conflicts in the region. Today, unfortunately, only a ruin remains, but after taking the cable car to the castle, there is a fantastic view over Tbilisi and the surrounding region.

Cave Monastery of Davit Gareja

In a day trip from Tbilisi you can visit the cave monasteries of Davit Gareja, which are located on the border with neighboring Azerbaijan . If you don’t want to drive yourself, you will find numerous tour operators in the Georgian capital that offer day tours here. The journey alone is an experience, because the road leads through a barren landscape marked by salt lakes. The monastery complex itself consists of 2 monasteries, the renovated Lavra Monastery in the valley and the ruins of the Ubadno Monastery a little further up the mountainside. There are also cave paintings to discover on the grounds and the view from the higher monastery to the countryside all the way to Azerbaijan is impressive.

The Ananuri Fortress

Ananuri, Georgia
Ananuri Fortress, Image: UBC Stock / shutterstock

The Ananuri Fortress is located north of Tbilisi on the Georgian Military Road, picturesquely situated on the shore of the Aragvi Reservoir. The oldest parts of the building date back to the 13th century and the castle includes a variety of buildings, including an Orthodox monastery inside the complex. The castle can be visited and is developed for tourism, on the forecourt there is a small market with stalls selling food, souvenirs and all kinds of odds and ends. A special highlight is when a bridge below the fortress, which used to be part of the Georgian Military Road, becomes visible in the reservoir at low tide.

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Gergeti Trinity Church Tsminda Samebna

Again north of the Ananuri Fortress, also on the Georgian Military Road, is the Gergeti Trinity Church. It can be reached on a hiking trail in about 3 to 4 hours from the road and offers a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains, and there are numerous cafés and restaurants in the village.

Cave city of Uplistsikhe

Uplistsikhe
Uplistziche, Image: Ralf Poppcke / shutterstock

About 12 kilometers from the city of Gori lies the abandoned cave city of Uplistsikhe. Once home to up to 20,000 inhabitants, the cave city with its labyrinth of underground rooms and tunnels is now abandoned. The first people are said to have lived here 3000 years ago, the last left the city in the 18th century. The largest complex of the cave city is the Tamaris Darbasi, a huge hall in the rock, which is held in place by two columns. The cave city is a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage and is currently being extensively restored.

Batumi – The gambling city from Georgia on the Black Sea

Georgia’s second-largest city looks a bit like an eastern version of Las Vegas. Since gambling is strictly forbidden in Turkey , which is only 20 kilometers away, business is flourishing all the better here and has allowed some casinos to emerge. The city also has a very beautiful historic city center and a beach invites you to swim in the Black Sea in summer.