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Georgia Travel Tips – Things to Know Before You Go

17 Feb 2022

At the boundary between Europe and Asia, Georgia has a growing reputation as the place to go for travelers who love exploring the fringes of the travel map. The oldest wine-producing nation in the world has a timeless quality that permeates its thriving cities, its bucolic mountain villages and its rugged mountain terrain.

Georgia is emerging as the most popular and most accessible gateway to the Caucusus, helped by the growing buzz surrounding its energetic capital city, Tbilisi.

To help ease you into this fascinating corner of Europe, here’s a guide for first-time visitors to Georgia.

The best time to visit Georgia

Despite its mountainous topography, Georgia is a year-round destination. Late spring and early autumn are ideal times to visit Georgia’s cities, the central plains and the low ridges of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south. Summer (July and August) can get uncomfortably hot and humid in the major cities but this is the peak holiday season on the Black Sea coast. With rising temperatures at higher elevations, summer is also the perfect time to visit the remote valleys and ridges of the Greater Caucasus Mountains in the north.

November to April is the low season in Georgia, with temperatures dropping to below freezing, particularly at higher elevations. However, the chilly weather can start as early as October and last until mid-March. The winter months see heavy snow, particularly in the north of the country, attracting both on-piste skiers and free-riders to the slopes of ski resorts such as Gudauri, a two-hour drive north from Tbilisi.

Visa requirements for Georgia

Visiting Georgia is usually easy for travelers from most countries.

Despite being on the fringes of Europe, Georgia is relatively accessible from most parts of the world. The international airports at Tbilisi,  Kutaisi and Batumi are served by numerous carriers – including the national airline, Georgian Airways.

The list of budget airlines serving Georgia changes regularly, but Tbilisi and Kutaisi are the main budget hubs. The seaside resort town of Batumi is served by a handful of airlines, with regular flights to Turkey, Ukraine and the Middle East.

Learn at least 2 words in Georgian

If I could have one superpower, it would be to speak and understand every language in the world. I truly believe language has the power to enhance your travels in a foreign country.  Any language efforts you make during your travels in Georgia will be much appreciated by locals on the receiving end of your attempts. Start with the two words you’ll be saying the most: Hello and thank you.

HELLO Sounds like gamarjoba THANK YOU Sounds like madloba.

Georgians really are the friendly

The rumors are true: Georgians are some of the most hospitable locals you’ll come across during your travels. 

For centuries, Georgians have developed a tradition and reputation as a friendly nation. The hospitality is seen at home, in the village and on the street. Georgians even have a national monument, Kartlis Deda (Mother of Georgia), that overlooks the capital and is a symbol of friendship and hospitality.

Food, Glorious food! with plenty of veggie options

Georgia is the kind of place where the humble heirloom tomato is transformed into a masterpiece with the simple addition of spices and salt, where walnuts and eggplants are ground, grilled and intertwined to create a melt-in-your-mouth symphony of flavours, and where an arm long boat of airy, slightly salted, oven-fresh bread is the perfect afternoon snack.

Whether you’re in a homestay in a remote corner of the mountains or in a top-notch restaurant in Tbilisi, you’re virtually guaranteed a filling and lip-smackingly good feed that will have you holding out your plate for more. Seriously, the food is fantastic!

In Georgia, meals are also often a communal affair. The supra – feast – is a huge part of the culture and it’s not uncommon to sit down to family dinners at homestays or find menus filled with smaller dishes that are designed to be shared amongst a group.

Enjoy fully with Cradle of Wine

Whether it’s red, white or amber, Georgia sure knows how to do wine.

Home to the oldest wine region in the world and with a reputation for excellent produce.

Georgian wine is famous across the region, and it’s well worth sampling local vintages from the Kakheti region when you come. Be sure to try Qvevri wines, which are generally organic and unfiltered and have a very distinctive taste. For something stronger, Chacha is a traditional Georgian spirit made from fermented grape skins.

Activities to do in Autumn in Georgia

  • Explore Tbilisi on foot
  • Attend "Rtveli" in Kakheti
  • Drive through the mountains
  • Enjoy velvet season on the black sea

Autumn in Tbilisi is short but pronounced. The trees along the riverside and in the city’s parks turn shades of bronze and chestnut, while the hills take on a honey-colored glow. This is the perfect time to get out and explore on foot.

In early fall, there are numerous outdoor events – markets, live music performances, and the like – happening almost every weekend. Add to that special festival, seasonal produce, and the Rtveli wine harvest, and there’s no doubt in my mind these are Tbilisi’s golden days.

Mountains are beautiful anytime, and we always remind you of multiple shades of green, as you travel there in summer, but autumn slowly brings more and more colors into this palette. Traditional purple and gold are just a few of them!

Batumi and the beaches along Georgia’s Black Sea coast reach peak levels in July and August, however, there is a short window where the crowds disperse and the conditions are still ideal for sunbathing and swimming. Locals call it the ‘Velvet Season’. 

The skies are blue and the water is warm in the middle and end of September. This is the most humid month of the year in western Georgia, so swimming is a welcome reprieve.

Autumn – grape harvesting season

Autumn in Georgia means one thing: Harvest time. Rtveli, AKA Georgia’s ‘fifth season, is the most festive, joyous time of the year in the country. Rtveli is a celebration in Georgia that celebrates the harvesting of wine and is considered one of the most critical events in the fall. It begins at the end of September and continues until around the middle of October.

Rtveli is a custom that dates back to ancient times and has been passed down through generations. This is when vintners reap the fruits of their labor and families head to their ancestral vineyards to collect grapes, top up their Qvevri, eat and toast, and enjoy the last days of summer sunshine.

Tbilisoba – the biggest event in Autumn

Tbilisoba is the biggest event on Georgia’s cultural calendar. This traditional ‘ day of’ festival is held in villages and mountain regions across the country throughout the summer months. In October, it’s Tbilisi’s turn!

Tbilisoba is a massive two-day event that celebrates the capital’s diversity and Georgian identity and heritage in general. People from the regions descend on Rike Park for a Gastronomic Festival, showcasing their best autumn produce, wine, and regional food specialties. Handicrafts such as feltwork and pottery are sold at pop-up markets.

Where to see autumn foliage in Georgia:

  • Sabaduri Forest & Tbilisi National Park
  • Ateni Gorge (near Gori)
  • Gombori Pass (between Tbilisi and Telavi)
  • Tsalka & Dashbashi Canyon (and the entire
  • Kvemo Kartli region)
  • Borjomi National Park (best from the end of October)
  • Shaori Lake & Racha (from the end of September in Upper Racha)
  • Bateti Lake
  • Lagodekhi National Park
  • Martvili & upper Samegrelo

Weather in Autumn in Georgia

A short answer to the question: “What is the weather like in Georgia country in autumn?” will be this: “Different”

Georgia is a small country, but extremely diverse in terms of relief and climate. In any season, especially in the off-season, the weather in one region differs dramatically from another one. It all depends on the relief, elevation, the presence of reservoirs in the area, wind, and dozens of other factors.

Also, don’t forget that Georgia is also a mountainous country. Although it is small, the climate varies greatly depending on where you are. The Caucasian ridge provides mild, comfortable weather throughout the country with often cold and snowy Novembers in the mountains.

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