Georgia is one of Europe’s fastest-growing travel destinations, welcoming over 8 million visitors last year. With delicious food, rich history and an exciting nightlife on offer, there is loads to do and tons of sites to see in this enchanting Caucasus nation on the border of Europe and Asia.
Want to enjoy some jaw-dropping views from 7,000ft above sea level? Of course you do! Travel to the Georgian border and peek into Azerbaijan and Armenia by standing atop the incredible Caucasus Mountains. Cross the Silk Road and go on an unforgettable hike through Georgia’s lush countryside, friendly little villages and snowy peaks await.
History is everywhere you look in Tbilisi, which is one of Europe’s oldest cities. The best way to appreciate it is on foot. Weave your way through the capital’s narrow alleyways and cobblestoned streets on a guided tour which will give you a brilliant insight into what makes Tbilisi so special. Enjoy its rich Medieval and Soviet architecture, indulge in Georgian cuisine and squeeze in a bit of shopping at the local markets. The perfect way to kick off your trip.
Georgia has a strong Orthodox Christian tradition. Expect to see an array of stunning churches, monasteries and cathedrals throughout the country covered in ancient, artistic frescos dating back centuries. Jvari Monastery, Samtavro Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral are three not to be missed for anyone interested in history, religion and architecture.
Prefer to sit back and relax while taking in the sights? If walking tours aren’t your thing, you can take in the beautiful sights and sounds of Tbilisi with a boat tour along Mtkvari River. The one-hour tour (which costs €14) will take you throughout the Old Town, under Peace Bridge, through to Metekhi Cathedral and up towards the sulphur baths.
Want to relax after all that walking? Then prepare for a truly unique, Georgian experience by visiting one of Tbilisi’s famous thermal baths located in the heart of the city. The Abanotubani baths are easily spotted by their domed brick roofs jutting out from the ground. Here you can unwind with a range of different treatments, like a sulphur bath, a full body massage or a kisa (exfoliation). Best of all, it’s not all that expensive. A standard bath visit costs just €15 - €20.
Want to go skiing on a budget? Georgia boasts four separate ski destinations, none of which are going to break the bank. Temperatures drop well below freezing during winter, making it the perfect location to get your skis on. Bakuriani, Mestia and Svaneti are all popular, but Gudauri remains the country’s most popular skiing spot. They’ve recently opened a brand new ski school and employ fluent English-speaking instructors.
Illuminating, dazzling, spectacular. Words can’t do Tbilisi’s Bridge of Peace justice, especially at night when a host of LEDs light it up. The curvy, bow-shaped bridge connects the old and new districts of Georgia’s capital and is one of the city’s most alluring tourist attractions. A truly unique piece of architecture, this pedestrian bridge constructed from steel and glass was opened in 2010.
Georgians absolutely love their wine and it’s easy to see why. The country has an 8,000 year tradition of producing wine and it’s one of the oldest wine regions in the world. Georgia’s beloved tradition of winemaking is linked to its national identity. You won’t get a better understanding of Georgian culture than a visit to one of its many wineries. Shilda’s Winery, located in Kvareli, produces wine in the traditional qvevri technique which sees huge, egg-shaped vessels buried under the earth for fermentation. At Shilda’s you can take part in wine tasting and cooking master classes before enjoying a delicious dinner afterwards.
Want to enjoy a few cocktails and dance the night away? Good news! Georgia has a booming, passionate nightlife, particularly in Tbilisi. Bassiani is one of the capital’s coolest, most popular nightclubs. Located in the country’s biggest sports venue, the Dinamo Arena, Bassiani can accommodate up to 1,200 people and uses a swimming pool as its main dance floor. It has an international reputation as one of the world’s best techno clubs. Photography is banned inside Bassiani and security personnel will place stickers over your smartphone’s camera. Talk about top secret.
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, then Georgia’s got you covered. Enjoy the country’s enchanting landscapes the proper way with an exciting horseback ride. Gallop through the Telavi countryside and ride through captivating forests and valleys, or take in beautiful sunsets down by the Caucasian Mountains. Georgia’s scenery is unique and breathtaking and this is the ideal way to take it all in on an exhilarating adventure.
Heading on a break to Tbilisi soon? Make sure to tag us in your photos using the hashtag #ryanairstories – you might be featured on Ryanair’s Instagram feed!