A legend says that God has given Georgia his very favorite piece of Earth. Here’s the story: When God began the creation, he asked all the nations to stand in a line and wait for their turn to receive a piece of land. People started rushing, and fighting, and barging since everyone wanted to get the best parts of the globe. The peaceful Georgians, who dislike wranglers and rivalry, decided to stay away from the fuss and enjoy their time instead of getting into arguments. They just sat behind a tree, started singing, dancing, drinking wine and making toasts.
When God had already shared all the treasures among people, he noticed the group of joyful Georgians. He felt sorry they received nothing, but then remembered something and smiled. The God called Georgians and announced they were about to get the very best part of Earth, one he created in the end and was planning to keep for himself as a place to rest. Touched by the Georgian joy and spirit, he made a decision they are the ones who should have it.
Situated in Caucasus, between Asia and Europe, Georgia is a unique piece of land indeed. The relatively small area is full of gems: fantastic mountains, green valleys, magnificent coast, sleepy villages and bustling cities. The rich culture and history are still alive in Georgia. The grand new has been making its way to this unknown country, technology, architecture, and minds of the locals have been changing a lot in the recent years. The old is still there: the ancient ruins, customs, and hospitality. It’s a country you can fall in love with from the first sight and here is a list of 7 reasons why you need to visit Georgia.
The most welcoming people
Georgians are utterly charming and welcoming; they love guests, appreciate and respect them. There’s a proverb in some languages that says “a guest at home is like God at home,: ” and no one takes it more seriously than Georgians. Someone who crosses their door is for Georgians an important figure they feel obliged to take care of. They’ll share everything they have, no matter whether it’s plenty or almost nothing. They’re curious, like to ask questions and learn about how’s the life elsewhere.
Georgian feasts are long, well-organized and splendid. Wedding parties last a couple of days! That’s how they like to party and celebrate, especially in a good company. There’s a magic trick you will notice while partying or dining at a Georgian house – your glass will always be full of wine. Always! And when you say a couple of compliments and thank appropriately, another piece of magic will happen a lovely Georgian smile.
As for the wine, yes, that’s another reason to visit Georgia. Especially the home-made version of it can be very delicious. Georgians make delicious wines, they also gladly share it, so if you have a chance, don’t hesitate to try. You’ll see they even beat some of the best, world-renowned brands. Beware of one thing: toasts are an important custom. They’re long, ornate and often charmingly pompous. It might take hours before people around the table will start the actual eating and talking, but that’s just another part of the unique Georgian culture.
Mountainous landscapes in the Svaneti region
Remote and enigmatic, Svaneti offers scenes composed of snow-covered peaks, little villages, and impressive stone watchtowers. It’s a high mountain region of north-western Georgia and a UNESCO world heritage site. No wonder UNESCO included the whole area on their list. Svaneti has both beautiful nature and well-preserved traditions. Trekking is fabulous: you can walk through flowery meadows, picturesque villages, waterfalls, lakes, and occasional mountain churches until you climb high enough to see some spectacular panoramas. As for the culture, Svaneti is a home of Svans, an ethnic subgroup of the Georgians, who have their own language and customs. They reside in these little villages and live mostly from farming, although in the past year’s tourism has become their second source of income. The complex polyphonic singing and mysterious dances performed by Svans are one of the greatest and most known parts of their culture.
The Black Sea coast and lovely Batumi
Georgia has quite some gorgeous beaches on the Black Sea Coast. The sub-tropical climate and beautiful vistas make them a popular destination for vacationers and beach enthusiasts. Batumi is the summer capital of Georgia, attracting the biggest number of holiday-makers. It’s mellow and charming, because of the presence of chilled out tourists, but also its general look and vibe. Several years ago the administration decided to make a proper tourist town out of Batumi, and the goal was accomplished. The worn-out buildings got renovated, a couple of new constructions joined the city landscape, including hotels and restaurants. From time to time though you can still see what’s left of the old Batumi. An old, destroyed house standing across a ridiculously modern building made of steel and glass, or a vintage lantern lighting up a renovated park. Nevertheless, Batumi is lovely. It’s elegant in its way, beautiful and relaxing.
Tbilisi, the bustling capital
Tbilisi is the place you just can’t miss on your travels around Georgia. Not long ago the city was facing serious trouble. But after years of struggling and stagnation, it’s become a lively, modern capital, full of charm and attractions. The city lies scenically on the banks of the Mtkvari River, and its buildings are based both amongst and on the hillsides. It’s enough to make it beautiful, but as you take a closer look, you’ll discover there’s much more than the dramatic setting. Tbilisi has loads of historical treasures, beautiful churches, and old houses with large balconies, cozy bars, and cafés. Its nightlife is vibrant and whether you prefer crazy clubs, bars with live music or quiet pubs, you’ll have no problem finding something suitable.
Georgian cuisine is one of a kind phenomenon. A variety of herbs and spices willingly (and brilliantly) used by Georgian chefs (both the professionals and the amateurs) makes it unique and somewhat magical. Most of the dishes taste and smell as if they came straight from a mysterious kitchen of a witch. Coriander, blue fenugreek, dried Berberis berries, marigold, ground caraway seeds, parsley, basil, garlic and hot paper, these are only a few of the most popular enchanting ingredients.
Georgian cuisine includes plenty of meat dishes, but there’s also a wide range of vegetarian delights, mostly because of the Orthodox fasting that requires the religious people to stay away from meat. Try khachapuri, traditional cheese-filled bread, and you’ll want to eat it every day, till the end of your life, not even bothering about all the fat it contains. Or lobiani, a yummy dish made of beans. Or try khinkali, a Georgian kind of dumplings. Whatever you try, it’s most likely going to be delicious. Wash it down with some wine, and you’ll feel like you’ve just moved to heavens.
Georgians love singing just as much as they love guests. What’s intriguing, most of them really can do it. Their voices are clear and convincing, sounding professional even if they didn’t spend years training. Actually, in a way, all of them practice since they were children, even if they didn’t take real lessons. Music is an important part of daily life, Georgians just can’t stop singing. Folk songs play a significant role in family and religious celebrations. Even walking around the towns and villages, you can occasionally hear someone humming.
Georgian folk music is rich and consistently vibrant, probably being the earliest polyphonic tradition in the whole Christian world. Many Georgian artists work in world-renowned opera troupes and concert stages. Contemporary popular music is doing great as well. Young Georgians like to have fun, and one of their favorite forms entertainment are karaoke parties. Tbilisi has a bustling live music scene, from jazz and rock to choral singing and classical music.
And there you have it. These were the seven reasons why you need to visit Georgia. What do you think? Are you ready to visit Georgia or have you already been there? Let us know and leave a comment and don’t forget to share this article with your friends.