Once you make a decision to visit the stunningly beautiful nation of Georgia, it can be overwhelming to choose which of the countless attractions and sights you most want to see. It would take forever to see it all, so it’s important to choose wisely. Let’s suppose that you are taking a two week-long trip to Georgia. If you want to make each day truly special here are the top 10 recommendations for your visit recommended by Zen Travel team.

  1. Tbilisi– Although you will likely fly into 1 500 year old capital city when you arrive, spend a day or two wandering through the modern architecture of the new city with its museums, shops, and restaurants, but don’t skip the Old Town either, which is dotted with ancient churches, quaint shops, maze-like streets, and the magnificent art galleries on Chardin street. After the walk through Old Tbilisi, perhaps you can relax your body in the traditional sulfur baths of the city. For history lovers, a visit to Tbilisi wouldn’t be complete without seeing the National Museum which boasts hundreds of thousands of ancient artifacts telling the dynamic story of Georgia’s development over millennia past. Climbing up to the ancient Narikala Fortress from where spectacular views of the city spreading below you will give you a feeling of being on top of the world, and of properly experiencing this historic and unforgettable capital city.
  2. Mtskheta – is an important town in Georgia with a history stretching back more than 2,300 years. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is the must-see place in Mtskheta built more than 1,000 years ago. The atmosphere of the cathedral is serene and inspiring, while the history of the kings buried there as well as the robe of Christ buried in the cathedral is a special experience for anyone, Christian or not. Jvari Monastery (The Cross Monastery) –a marvel of ancient Georgian architecture takes a bit of effort to reach but it is well worth the hike through the mountains. The view from the cliffs is simply breathtaking, with the Mtkvari and Aragvi Rivers joining together right below the monastery. Whether or not you consider yourself a religious person, Mtskheta gives you a peek into the history of the nation that shaped much of what Georgia, and Christianity as a whole, looks like today.
  3. Sighnaghi – On the eastern side of Georgia lies the region Kakheti which is a home to Sighnaghi. While this town may seem small and easily skipped that would be a mistake for any visitor, especially lovers of wine and authentic culinary experiences. The view on Caucasus Mountain from the town is truly exceptional. The undeniable beauty of the region also makes it a popular destination for weddings, both for native Georgians and visitors who want a truly unique locale for that most important day. Also, the nearby Bodbe Monastery is a destination not to be missed. It holds the remains of Saint Nino who is known for spreading Christianity through Georgia. Natural spring at Bodbe Monastery is believed to have healing properties. Many Georgians make pilgrimages here for that very reason, and it is a place of immense spiritual power and gravitas. All in all, Sighnaghi is a must see place in Georgia but the overwhelming kindness and welcoming nature of the residents makes it one of the most underrated places that is perfect for visitors looking for something truly unique on their holiday.
  4. Davit Gareja – is a rock-cut Orthodox monastery complex which located on the half-desert slopes of Mount Gareja.  Saint David, an Assyrian Monk, founded the monastic complex here in the 6th century. The complex includes lots of cells, few monasteries, chapels and living quarters for monks. The central part of the monastery, Lavra, is an outstanding piece of medieval Georgian architecture too. Within 2 hour hike from Lavra there is the Udabno monastery located at the edge of the natural border of Georgia and Azerbaijan, important with its frescos from 9th up to 14th centuries. Do not miss the John the Baptist monastery which is a part of David Gareja complex as well. The place is simply amazing at sunset. If you like to experience exotic beauty, semi desert landscape and ancient culture Davit Gareji is a place to visit.
  5. Vardzia– is a remarkable cave monastery located in southern part of Georgia, dug out of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Mtkvari river in Samtskhe-Javakheti region. It is a multi-storied complex with streets, tunnels and stairs leading to monasteries, dwelling houses, baths and etc. The caves stretch along the cliff for about five hundred meters consisting of nineteen tiers. The construction of the complex started in 12th century during the rule of George III and his daughter Queen Tamar for the purpose of protection of the southern borders of Georgia. Today the place is maintained by a small group of monks and about three hundred apartments and halls are open to visitors.  En route to Vardzia don’t miss a chance to try world famous Borjomi mineral waters and visit Rabati Castle as well. Built in the 13th century this medieval complex have been developed under the influence of different cultures over centuries which is reflected in its architecture. There is a Church, a Mosque, a Minaret and a Synagogue within the 7 hectare complex.
  6. Kazbegi (Stepantsminda)– The surroundings of Kazbegi are a wealth of natural beauty and makes for some of the most startlingly sublime views anywhere in Georgia. The Holy Trinity Church is a leisurely 1.5-hike from the center of the village which is a good blend of nature and history. Dariali Gorge and Truso Valley are also lovely spots near Kazbegi for a leisurely stroll with a camera. After all of your wandering, you’ll work up quite an appetite, so be sure to try Khinkali, one of the delicacies of Kazbegi. If you are someone who likes to experience nature in all its glory firsthand, then a trip to Kazbegi will be the perfect addition to your trip to Georgia. On the way to Kazbegi, Anauri is a sprawling fortress complex dating back 400 years that makes for a lovely stop on your way into the mountains.
  7. Ushguli – Are you an adventurous type? Then Svaneti region is a must visit place in Georgia. If you want to see the highest inhabited point in all of Europe, then you will have to visit Ushguli village, UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a Svan village with some of the most stunning views found in the entire country. En route to Ushguli, you’ll visit Svaneti’s regional center-Mestia -a quaint town approximately 1,500 meters above sea level. Despite its small size, it is packed with historically significant architecture and buildings, including forts and churches that date back to the medieval period of Georgia’s history. As you approach this scenic townlet, you will immediately notice the large stone towers dotting the landscape. These towers are traditional Svan dwellings that consist of a defensive stone tower with an attached house and various other residential dwellings circled by a stone tower. You can see some of these priceless artifacts at the Mestia Historical-Ethnographic Museum, including an ancient version of the New Testament written in Georgian. However if history isn’t your favorite part of a trip, perhaps some adventurous skiing at the Hatsvali Ski Resort will be closer to your ideal activity. Hiking is another favorite pastime for many people who visit this region, particularly since there are dozens of marked trails that can take you on scenic routes to the glaciers, lakes, and mountain vistas in the region. After your long hike, enjoy the local dish, Kubdari, a leavened bread dish of pork, mutton, onions, and local spices. Because of Svaneti’s unbelievably rich history as well as remarkable scenic views puts it near the top of the list for any journey to Georgia.
  8. Katskhi Pillar is a natural rock formation located in the village of Katskhi in western Georgian region of Imereti. It is around 40 meters (130 ft) high, and overlooks the small river valley. People called it a Pillar of Life. According to some scientific research the first “building” on the top dated back to 5th century. Right now there is a small church of St. Maximus the Confessor on the cliff which used to be a hermitage- built around the 9th century. It was probably built by the Stylites, who were early Christian ascetics who stood on top of pillars when preaching and praying. Today visitors get to the top by climbing a 130 foot ladder but no one knows for sure how the monks got to the top of the pillar or how they carried the building materials up thousands of years ago. Bear in mind that women are not allowed to climb to the top. This might sounds like an unusually distant and inhospitable destination but the residents of the village are welcoming and are eager to share their fascinating and unlikely history as well as Imeretian delicious food with anyone who makes their way to this rare and beautiful place of Georgia.
  9. Martvili Canyon is located in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Region near the small town Martvili. It is truly one of the most beautiful places in Georgia – combining unique natural environment with historical monuments. It is a place with lots of waterfalls and green, sky blue water. Take a boat to an unforgettable ride between high rocks in canyon. Also there is a possibility for water peddling, swimming, rock climbing there as well as the spectacular waterfalls to enjoy and caves to explore. However if you like to keep yourself dry, you can follow one of the hiking trails along the Abasha gorge to enjoy the breathtaking views around. Don’t forget to have a look at Salkhino Palace which used to be royal Dadiani family’s summer residence. Hence its name Salkhino(Festive). It offers wonderful atmosphere with its beautiful alley, an eye-catching garden, a huge wine cellar of 18th century and an old church.
  10. Batumi with its charm of a southern city is the Black Sea resort of Georgia which is framed by exotic subtropical flora and distinguished architecture. Batumi with its crowded beaches, luxury hotels, restaurants with great food, great nightlife, a modern dolphinarium and beautiful Boulevard is a famous destination for locals and foreigners alike. The old part of the city is especially interesting, most of the houses were built in XIX century. The architecture of Batumi features the combination of European and Asian styles that’s why it remains the city where European and Asian cultures meet. Within 9 km from Batumi find yourself strolling around the unique Batumi Botanical Garden located in the vicinities of Green Cape Resort. The vast territory of the garden (more than 110 hectares) hosts the collection of more than two thousand tree species and over five thousand plants of various kinds and shapes. Overlooking the Black Sea, Batumi Botanical garden is one the largest and richest botanical gardens in the world. The Garden is must visit place all year round but it is specially beautiful in spring when the trees are in flower.
  11. Everywhere Else -Georgia has a lot more to offer. Don’t let us limit you with our suggested options. Come and find your own path in Georgia!

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