There are some parts of the world that are still virtually unknown to the wide mass of travelers and the tourism industry is yet to break through their veil of authenticity and mystery. Somewhere in the Caucasus Mountains, between Russia, Turkey and the Black Sea, a rather small country has more to offer than first meets the eye, with one of the richest historical heritages in the region, a wealth of fascinating things to see and experience, a veritable original heaven for those that are looking for magical places–The Republic of Georgia.

The Bridge of Peace unites the old and modern parts of Tbilisi.  Photo:  George Mel

The Republic of Georgia is a former Soviet Union state, although it has its own unique history, culture and individuality, different from other nations in the region. Even the Georgian language is completely different from neighboring countries, being a veritable battlefield for world powers and empires through the centuries. Despite all these, the Georgian people managed to maintain their authentic culture and identity. The territory of Georgia has been inhabited for millennia and there are magnificent historical traces all over the country.  Some of Georgia’s historical lineage include it’s legacy of wine producing–the oldest in the world.  Georgia was also the second country to adopt Christianity right from the 1st century.

The town of Mtskheta.  Photo:  Andrzej Wojtowicz

Traveling through Georgia, there are few words which can describe its immense beauty, combining the high mountain peaks with beautiful beaches along the Black Sea shores, ancient and medieval fortresses, as well as charming cities and authentic villages.  The unique and tantalizing Georgian cuisine and the incredible sense of hospitality of its people to all these, makes Georgia one of the most enticing travel destinations. Describing all of these natural marvels and hidden cultural treasures in this small country would take a full-time tourist guide, but there are some places that should not missed during a trip to the Republic of Georgia including the capital of Tbilisi–a very charming city that dates back as far as the 5th century. Although destroyed and affected by wars and other disasters, Tbilisi is still a wonderful place with a beautiful historical centre and unique atmosphere. The main attraction comes from walking around the old town area, admiring the winding narrow streets and the old houses around charming courtyards. Tbilisi also offers other attractions including old churches, interesting museums and other monuments. The rest of the country is equally, if not even more appealing, with the ancient city of Kutaisi, the enticing Kakheti Wineries, Mount Kazbeg and its unbelievable Tsminda Sameba monastery, the highlands of Upper Svaneti, the historical and religious town of Mtskheta are just a few examples. Then there is also the fascinating culture of Georgia, with traditional cuisine, dances, songs, festivals and everything in between that provide hundreds of reasons to visit.