When in Georgia…Top 10 Tourist Spots You Just Cant Miss!
Georgia is a unique country for various reasons. It combines an incredibly rich history (since it was a former member of the Soviet Union) with beautiful warm beaches, snowy mountains, and lush valleys. The Caucasian mountain range, which runs through Georgia, is obviously one of the main attractions. But what are the specific spots that you should visit? Read on to find out!
We have tried to collate a list that can please the nature lovers as well as the history lovers. And of course, how could I forget the adventure sports lovers who want to paraglide and ski across the frozen mountains of the Caucasus?
Top Attractions of Georgia
1. Gergeti Trinity Church
This church is the perfect spot for nature and history lovers both. This is because you can only reach this church after a 1.5 hour mountain trek.
The Gergeti Trinity Church dates back to the 14th Century. During the Soviet rule, worship was prohibited here but this remained a popular tourist destination for the tourists. This was mostly because of its splendid architecture.
However, if you want to avoid the trek- there’s good news for you, as well. You can take a car right up to the church because the road up to it has been paved now.
Even if you are not interested in the church itself, you must go for the view. So, make sure you aren’t going there on a foggy day.
2. Dariali Gorge
The Dariali Gorge forms a part of the border between Russia and Georgia. It is one of the two passes across the two countries over the Caucasian mountain. The lush green mountains are obviously the main draw here.
Dariali is an incredibly important historical location because it was fortified as far back as the second century BC. The Dariali Castle, thus, is an ancient piece of architecture.
The Dariali Gorge is also referred to as the “Caspian Gate” through which the Huns attacked. Make sure you take a peek at the rich history of this region before you visit.
3. Stalin Museum
Irrespective of your opinions about Stalin, this place is a must-visit for lovers of political history. This museum was originally created in the Soviet era. Therefore, this museum was meant to, quite obviously, glorify Stalin’s image. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the museum was shut down.
However, much like Gergeti Trinity Church, this was a location where tourists wanted to visit despite the monument not living up to its intentions. Interestingly enough, with the South Ossetia War in 2008, the Georgian Minister of Culture renamed it “The Museum of Russian Aggression.” The banner was removed and the name was forgotten, but this museum itself bears the weight of the heavy socio-political history between the two countries.
4. Military Cemetery
Military cemeteries are common all across this Eastern European region. This one, which is located on the military highway near the Jvari pass is not a place that you need to visit separately. This is just a spot where you can stop your car if you are driving by.
This cemetery is filled with the graves of the German war prisoners who built that very military highway that you had been driving on. This is a spot that is mostly visited by people who either have a loved one buried here or are interested in World War history.
The reason why we are including this in the list is that its existence is highly known and it is a tragically neglected spot for a location so significant.
5. Paragliding in Guadari
Let’s change it up a bit. This one is for adventure sports lovers. There are various spots in Guadari where you can paraglide. You can either witness the verdant, lush hills during the summer, and autumn. Or you can target winter or spring for the snowy Caucasian views.
The best part about paragliding is that you don’t really need any experience to do it. There are various paragliding companies that you can contact for this purpose. The views are breathtaking if you can get over the initial fear.
Paragliding is possible in Guadari all year round. But professionals in the business recommend summer because the winds are less risky and the temperature is more tolerable.
6. Russian Georgian Friendship Monument
This monument was created in 1983 in celebration of the bicentennial anniversary of the Treaty of Georgievsk. Though the political history of this Russo-Georgian monument is controversial, this is a treat for nature lovers as well. The views are brilliant and the monument itself is an architectural wonder.
You might also encounter various local hawkers and vendors in this area. Fun fact, the stunning valley that you can witness from this friendship monument is known as the “Devil’s Valley.”
7. Ski Resorts in Guadari
This is the main reason why anyone visits Georgia during winter. For skiing. There are multiple ski resorts in Guadari. And most of these remain jam-packed during the winter season.
We are going to give you two life hacks to solve this issue:
First, book your lodgings at a property that is nearby multiple ski lifts. This way you can choose one in place of the other in case the ski lift of your choice is too crowded.
Second, go during the early spring months instead of the winter months. Skiing season goes on till April in Georgia. If you want to avoid the crowds, skip the December buzz and settle for a later date.
One hotel that perfectly suits your need for skiing is Hotel Qumli in Guadari. If you want an early booking, just head over to their site and book your rooms! Hotel Qumli recently automated most of their processes through Stayflexi. So, you can be sure that you’ll get a comfortable and tension-free stay.
8. Juta Village
Juta valley is famous for its hiking trails. Juta village, being one of the highest Alpine villages in Georgia, should ideally be visited during summer or autumn.
You can either go horse riding in the valleys or you can just walk around. Exploring the Juta valley can take multiple days. But the Juta village itself is a vibrant cultural site of Georgia. Most people who come to Juta prefer to stay overnight so that they can properly immerse themselves in the experience. There is also a sauna that you can indulge in if you are in the mood for it.
9. Bodbe Convent
The Bodbe Convent was built in honor of St. Nino, the one who was responsible for the conversions of native Georgians to Christianity. The monastery, which is ancient, was actually restored in the 17th Century and again in the 19th Century. This is exactly what gives the Bodbe Convent its nouveau vintage look.
Much like the Gergeti Trinity Church, worship stopped at the Bodbe Convent under Soviet rule. This is when it was turned into a hospital. However, now it has resumed its functions as a convent and you can actually talk to some of the nuns if you visit this place.
And just in case you aren’t the least bit interested in the history of architecture of the place, we must inform you that the views it offers are breathtaking.
10. Helicopter Ride at Kazbegi
Though there are many other adventurous activities I could have included, this is an activity that is tempting for regular natural lovers as well.
The helicopter tour that starts at Kazbegi is a must for all those who want a bird’s eye view of the topography of Georgia. The lush green fields and valleys are mostly what is covered in this tour.
We suggest you save this activity for the very end of your trip so that you can enjoy this as a summation of the rest of your Georgian journey.
To pair adventure sports with a love of nature, make sure you visit Hotel Qumli of Guadari. This is a property that is surrounded by ski lifts. Just make sure you get an early booking before the Christmas buzz settles in. You can visit all of these aforementioned spots from Hotel Qumli.
Which spot/activity did you like the most? Let us know in the comments below. And if you have been to any of these aforementioned locations before, don’t forget to leave a review!