Traveling to Georgia in recent years has been growing fast. If few years back only few people could find this Caucasus country on the map, everyone who enjoys nature, outdoor and hiking, did put it on their travel bucket list.
If you might never thought of traveling to Georgia, check out the best 12 tourist attractions and think again.
Georgia tourist attractions
1. Svan towers
One of a kind thing of the Svaneti region are its Svan towers – a unique attractions, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. They were used as a defense towers, but some of them are still used for living. You will see many of them in Mestia, but for the best views we recommend you to visit the remote Ushguli, which is put under UNESCO due to them.
2. Prometheus underground cave
It is said the Prometheus cave is a really nice example of the underground world. It should be even more magical because of the lights throughout it, which can also be enjoyed with a boat ride (extra ticket). We really wanted to visit the Prometheus cave, but we were not allowed due to our baby boy. Even though we had it in a baby carrier, we were told it was too dangerous for him due to slippery floors. So unfortunately we needed turned back at the entrance. (42.37595 / 042.60019)
If you’ll be visiting the Prometheus cave and will be time for lunch, we found a really cool local place before reaching the village. It is nothing special from the outside, but food is amazing and cheap. No one speaks English, but everything can be agreed with a quick kitchen tour. (42.37007/042.59919)
3. Canyons and waterfalls
Due to its hilly landscape, Georgia is also rich with canyons, but two of them – the Okatse and Martvili, are the most popular of them all. We decided to visit the Okatse canyon (42.45542/042.52757), which is a bit smaller and less touristy than Martvili, but like the Prometheus cave, we were denied with entrance due to our youngest traveler.
The Okatse canyon is 2,5 kilometers long so we decided not to make it separately and just continue our way. Nevertheless we headed 7 kilometers further to visit a nice waterfall with natural pools, which were perfect for swimming on a hot day. When we visited the waterfall the entrance was still free of charge, but the fence was being built so I guess it will be charged soon as well. (42.45542/042.52757)
The Okatse canyon is impressive mostly because it is similar to some kind of a sky walk, built 15 meters high above the ground and you can walk along the canyon. To reach this, you need to walk around 2 kilometers from the visitor’s center, where also tickets must be bough. You can also reach the place with a 4WD, which drives you on a pretty nice off-road.
Main religion in Georgia is orthodox and you can see that on almost every step. Georgia is rich with monasteries and churches. One of the nicest monasteries to visit is the Gelati monastery at the outskirts of the Kutaisi town, which is also under UNESCO world heritage protection. It has been rebuilt during our visit, but it was established in 1106 by the king Davit Agmashenebeli. In the middle ages the Gelati monastery was the largest cultural and spiritual center in Georgia. It was called »New Athens« and »Second Jerusalem«. (42.29471/042.76903)
If you are keen on monasteries, there’s another smaller one near Gelati – Motsamera monastery. (42.49725/042.55531)
All the monasteries in Georgia are normally without any entrance fees.
5. Stepantsminda (Kazbegi)
Even though you are not hiking enthusiast, visiting Kazbegi is a must. If you still have doubts, let us tell you that one of the most famous symbols of Georgia is there – the one and only Gregeti Trinity church at 2170 meters. You can hike up or rent a 4WD car to take you there. (42.66489/044.61460)
On the plateau just underneath the church wilderness camping is allowed. We slept in the car and there were few hikers with tents. Just watch out for wild horses, so pack your food well that horses cannot smell it and destroy your tent.
On your way to Kazbegi or back to Tbilisi is a nice stop at the Ananuri castle, along the Aragvi river.
The capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, is for many just a starting and ending point for traveling around Georgia, but if you can spare 1-2 days for it, we definitely recommend it. The old town of Tbilisi is pretty charming, especially as new and old go hand in hand there. Check out more about Tbilisi and its tourist attractions here.
7. Adrenalin sports, outdoor activities and hiking
Georgia is an absolute paradise for everyone who likes to spend their time outdoors and being active. The majority of the best places are in the north part of the country – hiking and mountain biking are best in Svaneti and Kazbegi. Reaching Kazbegi, you can also decide for wild water rafting, quad tours or paragliding. During winter, these regions are good for skiing, so don’t be too surprised to see the chairlifts. You can get more information about Svaneti here.
8. Old towns and cities
Georgia has some really interesting old towns, but we decided to visit only one – the stone town Vardzia – the city of Queen Tamar.
Just looking at the Vardzia from afar is spectacular and when you start thinking, how this was all built without the modern technology, everything becomes even more amazing. (41.37897/043.28371)
You can get a really great view to the whole Vardzia stone town before crossing the river and reaching the parking spaces. There’s some kind of large macadam area, which you can use for views or also for cooking lunch, wilderness camping. (41.37870/043.28753)
9. Mountain passes and remote villages
The whole Georgia has some amazing roads, but you get the best ones on the north side of the country. There are loads of high mountain passes, dirt roads and paths which can only be driven with 4WD. Some of mountain passes reach more than 3500 meters of altitude.
Due to some problems with the car our highest road we driven was over the Zagar mountain pass (2623 m), but the plan was to also overpass some roads over 3000 meters. Well, we now have a good excuse to be back, as the roads and the views are spectacular.
10. Food and drink
You cannot really get to know the country without tasting its traditional food. Even though Georgia was part of formal Soviet Union, its culinary has more in common with Iran and Turkey than Russia. They use lots of veggies and meat as well. The most commonly use spices are cumin and coriander. You won’t miss when ordering different stews or baked potato with chunks of meat. If you are in a hurry, they also have an interesting selection of its fast-food. Get more information about food in Georgia here.
The Georgian wine has such a special roll that we should never put it under food and drink in general. Did you know that Georgia has a special way of wine production? It is produced in clay pots called kvevri. The wine looks golden and has a bit of earthy flavor. Either you like it or not, but it is well worth the try.
Last but not least, there are always people who put icing on the cake. Who cares about rich history, culture, amazing nature if the people there are nothing to be remembered for but being rude and unwelcoming. Luckily, people in Georgia made our travel great and we did not have any bad experiences with them.
The north region of Kazbegi and Svaneti did impress us the most, but to get the whole picture of Georgia, you should definitely make a round trip. In general, Georgia is great for traveling. Seeing its fast tourism development, we would recommend you to visit it as soon as possible to still find unique and remote places, as mass tourism might ruin that too fast.
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