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This article will give you all of the information you need regarding COVID-19 in Georgia, including how to enter the country during the pandemic, how to receive treatment, and more.
Getting into Georgia
Last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic was raging globally, visitors to Georgia were required to present a document proving you had received a full set of COVID vaccinations. Those without the vaccine documentation needed to present a negative COVID test and self-isolate. However, since June 14th 2022, these restrictions are no longer in place for those entering the country through the air, land, or sea. Visitors no longer need vaccine proof, a PCR test, or an isolation period and are free to enter the country of Georgia.
If You Test Positive for COVID
If you believe you have symptoms associated with COVID-19, please follow the steps below.
Firstly, you will need to go into self-isolation, as there are no longer any functioning COVID quarantine hotels in Georgia.
Next you should go to the nearest medical establishment where you can get a rapid test (results in 20-30 minutes) or a PCR test (results in 24 hours). Since the free testing program is no longer in effect in Georgia, you will need to pay anywhere from 60 to 150 lari on average.
You can get a COVID test in many medical establishments in Tbilisi as well as regional hospitals throughout Georgia.
To find the nearest hospital or mobile medical center where you can get a test done, visit the following government-run site: stopcov.ge
At this link, you will find testing center addresses, contact numbers, and information about medical establishments where you can get a test done both in Tbilisi and in any other region of the country.
In addition to visiting a testing center, there are also services in Georgia where doctors can come and test you in the privacy of your home or hotel. If you cannot or do not wish to go to a medical establishment, you can contact one of these clinics and they will come to meet you at your desired time and location to do a test. The test will cost between 60 and 150 lari, and you will get the results within 24 hours.
If your test comes back positive for COVID-19, then you are required to go into self-isolation and immediately call the public safety center at 112 (which is a free call from any network) or fill out the registration form at the following website: er.moh.gov.ge
As soon as you have registered with 112, your information will be processed and sent to a general practitioner, who will contact you for a mandatory consultation or further testing.
1505 is the hotline number for the Ministry of Labor, Health, and Social Defense here in Georgia. You may can this number (which is also free) about any problems relating to health, including COVID-19, and qualified operators will give you all of the information you need.
If you need a document certifying you have recovered from COVID, the health hotline will also help you obtain this.
If a foreign national should decide to get vaccinated in Georgia, the government has set forth a category of beneficiaries who can take advantage of the state program of immunization against COVID-19.
Check the list below to see if you qualify for a vaccine:
Foreign nationals and stateless persons who legally reside in the territory of Georgia (and whose legal stay is documented by the appropriate visa, residence permit, or visa-free period), who have stayed in Georgia for at least 3 months since first entering the country
Foreign national students who are in Georgia for the purpose of receiving an education (and who have been unable to leave the country), and can provide proof of enrollment by a Georgian educational institution
Accredited diplomatic representatives, representatives of international organizations and consular institutions in Georgia, and personnel of such representatives and their family members
The populace of the occupied territories of Georgia, no matter their nationality, along with persons working in occupied territories financed by international donor organizations and diplomatic missions and their family members
Those currently in penitentiary facilities, with or without official identification or documentation
Foreign nationals, defined by Decree 164, whose family member (child, parent, spouse) is a Georgian citizen
144 – Unified Government hotline
1505 - Health Ministry hotline
1522 - Vaccination hotline
0800800909 - Georgian National Tourism Administration hotline
E-mail: [email protected]
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Georgia Travel Restrictions
Traveler's COVID-19 vaccination status
Traveling from the United States to Georgia
Open for vaccinated visitors
Not required for vaccinated visitors
Not required in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.
Georgia entry details and exceptions
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Can I travel to Georgia from the United States?
Most visitors from the United States, regardless of vaccination status, can enter Georgia.
Can I travel to Georgia if I am vaccinated?
Fully vaccinated visitors from the United States can enter Georgia without restrictions.
Can I travel to Georgia without being vaccinated?
Unvaccinated visitors from the United States can enter Georgia without restrictions.
Do I need a COVID test to enter Georgia?
Visitors from the United States are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or antigen result upon entering Georgia.
Can I travel to Georgia without quarantine?
Travelers from the United States are not required to quarantine.
Do I need to wear a mask in Georgia?
Mask usage in Georgia is not required in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.
Are the restaurants and bars open in Georgia?
Restaurants in Georgia are open. Bars in Georgia are .
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Georgia Travel Advisory
Travel advisory july 26, 2023, georgia - level 1: exercise normal precautions.
Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise normal precautions in Georgia. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do Not Travel To:
- The Russian-occupied Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia due to risk of crime, civil unrest, and landmines .
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Georgia.
If you decide to travel to Georgia:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter .
- Review the Country Security Report for Georgia.
- Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
South Ossetia and Abkhazia – Do Not Travel
Russian troops and border guards occupy both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The precise locations of administrative boundary lines are difficult to identify. Entering the occupied territories will likely result in your arrest, imprisonment, and/or a fine. Violent attacks and criminal incidents occur in the region. Landmines pose a danger to travelers near the boundary lines of both territories.
The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as U.S. government employees are restricted from traveling there.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas .
Travel Advisory Levels
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Georgia Coronavirus - Travel Advice
Last updated: March 31, 2023
Georgia Covid-19 Entry Requirements
Citizens of any foreign countries, traveling to Georgia via any route are no longer obliged to present either a Covid-vaccination certificate or PCR-examination negative result report from June 15, 2022.
Tbilisi and Kutaisi International Airports receive regular flights from Europe, Istanbul, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Amman, and Central Asian capitals. Land borders are open, and the Georgian Railway has resumed the daily Tbilisi-Yerevan-Tbilisi train to Armenia. The Tbilisi-Baku-Tbilisi route with Azerbaijan Railways will be reinstated as soon as Azerbaijan’s land border is reopened.
Georgia Quarantine Rules
Anyone who comes in contact with a COVID-infected person in Georgia can call the emergency response center (112) to receive necessary instructions on required self-isolation or testing procedures.
Please keep in mind that the current Georgia covid-19 travel restrictions are subject to change, and therefore we recommend that you double-check the details and latest Georgia travel advice before planning your trip.
PCR test in Georgia - Tbilisi
A first-timer's guide to Georgia, gateway to the Caucasus
Feb 17, 2022 • 9 min read
Georgia is a serene playground for hikers, but there's plenty here for city slickers too © Feng Wei Photography / Getty Images
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.
The South Caucasus region spans Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan – nations still marked by the shadows of past conflicts and the long reach of their vast Russian neighbor to the north. But 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.
Visa requirements for Georgia
Visiting Georgia is usually easy for travelers from most countries. Citizens of 98 nations – including the member states of the EU, Australia , New Zealand , USA , Canada , South Africa , Turkey , Russia and many nations in the Middle East, Central America and Central and Southeast Asia – can visit and stay in Georgia visa-free for 365 days. The Georgia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website has more details. Citizens of many other nations can apply for an e-visa before departure , which requires five working days to process. Check the latest Covid regulations before booking your trip.
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.
How to get to Georgia by plane
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 most frequent flights are from Turkey and the Gulf States.
The easiest place to fly into is Tbilisi International Airport , which receives regular flights from cities in Western Europe and the Middle East. 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.
How to get to Georgia by land and sea
Georgia has one land border with Russia, close to Stepantsminda (Kazbegi) , with road transport on to the Russian town of Vladikavkaz. Turkey and Georgia share three land borders, of which Sarpi–Hopa near Batumi is the most frequently used, with easy onward travel along the Black Sea coast to Trabzon . Frequent passenger and cargo ferries transport visitors to Georgia's main ports at Poti and Batumi from destinations around the Black Sea.
Borders to Armenia (Sadakhlo–Bagratashen) and Azerbaijan (Red Bridge–Shikhli) are within an hour's drive of Tbilisi, allowing easy onward travel deeper into the Caucasus by bus, marshrutka (minibus) or rail. Night trains run daily to Baku , while overnight sleepers to Yerevan run daily from June to September, then every second day for the rest of the year. A rail link from Tbilisi to Istanbul in Turkey is under development, but currently, the section between Kars and Batumi must be completed by bus.
Getting around in Georgia's cities
Georgia's major cities have relatively well-organized public transport systems, though not much in the way of integrated public transport. Tbilisi is the only city with a metro; in the rest of Georgia, the primary means of transportation are buses and Russian-style marshrutky (minibuses).
Tbilisi's metro has just two lines, making it very easy to navigate. To explore the city, buy a Metromoney card from a metro-station ticket office and use it to pay for metro trips, city buses and marshrutky . City buses run on schedules displayed on digital boards at the bus stops, but m arshrutky run more often than buses, making them a favored means of transport for locals.
Traveling around Georgia
As well as being the backbone of public transport in cities, marshrutky are the most-used form of transport when traveling around the country. Services between major hubs run approximately every hour, depending on the destination. However, minibuses are the least comfortable option, with little legroom or space for luggage. In Tbilisi, Didube Bus Station has marshrutky going west, while vehicles going east depart from Navtlughi Bus Station.
Georgia also has a fairly well-organized train system, run by Georgian Railway . However, the network is only slowly being upgraded from Soviet times, and trains take longer to get to their destinations than marshrutky or buses. The only moderately fast train runs on the Tbilisi–Batumi route; book well ahead on this line in summer.
Money tips for Georgia
ATMs are widely available, easy to access and safe to use in cities and small towns in Georgia. The majority of businesses accept card payments, including hotels, convenience shops, restaurants, and pharmacies. However, if you're heading into the mountains or remote villages, be sure to take cash with you. US dollars and euros are the most useful currencies to carry as backup cash.
Travel costs in Georgia
Depending on how you choose to travel, Georgia can be either expensive or very budget-friendly. There are comfortable international hotel chains for those willing to spend a little more, but Georgia also has plenty of small boutique hotels, inexpensive guesthouses and apartments for rent. Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi are particularly well stocked with accommodation. Renting a central apartment from Airbnb can cost as little as 100 GEL (US$35) a night, while a mid-range hotel room will cost from 40 GEL (US$15) upwards.
Georgia doesn't have any Michelin-star restaurants, but the national cuisine is feted as the best in the Caucasus, and there are plenty of opportunities to feast at all price ranges. For luxurious dinners, check out the best restaurants in Tbilisi or Batumi – dinner often comes with a spectacular panoramic city view. A meal in a high-end restaurant with a bottle of premium Georgian wine can set you back 100 GEL (US$35) or more, but eating at local restaurants will rarely set you back more than 20 GEL (US$7) for two courses.
The price of public transport in major cities can be as little as 1 GEL (US$0.34) for a local marshrutka ride. Tickets to travel around the country by marshrutka and bus vary depending on the destination; the ride between Tbilisi and Batumi costs around 30 GEL (US$10). Sightseeing is moderately priced as well – museum entry fees range from 3 GEL (US$1) to 15 GEL (US$5).
What to eat in Georgia
Georgian food is the original fusion cuisine , influenced by flavors from both Europe and Asia. The Georgian kitchen makes extensive use of local beef, lamb, pork and poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, many kinds of bread, walnuts, cheeses and various spices that show the influence of neighboring Turkey and Russia. Vegetarians will find plenty of plant-based meals as well, though vegans may struggle with the widespread use of cheese.
Khinkali , boiled meat dumplings, are one of the national dishes of Georgia and a firm favorite meal for locals and visitors. Another must-try treat is khachapuri , a pizza-like cheese pie that is similar to a Turkish pide ; every region has its own version. Another staple is mtsvadi – grilled pork or beef chunks on a skewer – which plays an obvious nod to Russian shashlik , Turkish shish kebabs and Greek souvlaki .
To lighten your lunch or dinner, order pkhali, a simple but healthy tomato and cucumber salad with a walnut and vegetable paste. Spinach, eggplant, beetroot leaves and cabbage are also common ingredients in pkhali . As a snack to munch while exploring, seek out churchkhela , nuts preserved in a chewy confection made from grape juice.
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, and it makes a nice break from the ubiquitous vodka. Last but not least, try Borjomi, a salty mineral water that was the beverage of choice for every Soviet leader from Lenin onwards.
Get to know Georgian culture
When traveling to a new country, it's always helpful to know a few words in the local language, and Georgia is no exception. The Georgian language has only around 4 million speakers, and knowing essential words such as gamarjoba (hello) and madloba (thank you) will get you a warm smile of appreciation from the locals.
Georgians are known for their hospitality. A guest for Georgians is "a gift from God," so don't be surprised if a stranger you met an hour ago invites you home for dinner with their family. If you choose to go, go hungry; the host will insist you eat every dish on the table and drink as much wine as you possibly can.
Georgia is still a traditional country when it comes to social mores. Very short skirts or dresses, off-the-shoulder tops, and skimpy or see-through clothes are likely to attract a stare. When entering churches, women should cover their heads and shoulders (some churches will provide scarves for this, but it's better to bring your own). Skirts and shorts (for men and women) should cover the knee. Men should also ensure shoulders are covered and ideally wear trousers rather than shorts.
You might also like: Tower-house trails: trekking in Georgia Tbilisi's top 10 experiences A guide to food in Georgia, the original fusion cuisine
This article was first published March 2020 and updated February 2022
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Georgia Entry and Travel Requirements
- Georgia e-Visa Application
- Entry Requirements
Georgia Entry Requirements defines the rules that all travelers arriving in Georgia must follow to access the country issues-free. These requirements include the necessary documents that must be arranged before the planned trip, including a valid passport and a visa.
The Georgia visa policy determines visa requirements for travelers of certain nationalities. Depending on the particular nationality, travelers can obtain a visa online, at the nearest embassy, or enter Georgia visa-free.
Citizens from over 90 different countries can travel to Georgia without a visa for a stay from 3 months up to 1 year depending on the traveler's nationality. Nationals of visa-free countries can enter Georgia with a valid passport, while some of them may travel simply with a valid national ID.
The Georgian Government has facilitated visa applications for nationals of over 100 countries who can apply for an electronic visa online. With eVisa, they can visit Georgia multiple times and stay up to 90 days within a 6-month validity period, or 30 days within every 3-month validity period. For all long-term stays in Georgia, it is mandatory to obtain a visa from the Georgian embassy in person. Moreover, nationals of around 50 countries need to obtain an embassy visa regardless of their travel purpose and planned length of stay. Currently, there are no visa bans for foreign citizens planning to travel to Georgia.
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, following the governments of other countries, the Georgian Government introduced some additional requirements to enter Georgia. The entry requirements are subject to change constantly amid the still-evolving coronavirus situation worldwide.
Important Update : As of June 15, 2022, all covid-related restrictions were lifted . All travelers arriving in Georgia via any route, i.e., by land, air, or sea, no longer need to show either Covid-19 vaccination proof or a negative test report.
Who can enter Georgia?
Georgia welcomes all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status. Depending on the nationality, you may need to obtain different documents to enter Georgia hassle-free.
Documents check-list for entering Georgia
- valid travel document (passport or ID - depending on the nationality)
- valid Georgia visa
- travel insurance
Testing, Vaccination, and Quarantine Requirements
Providing the negative report of the Covid-19 test is no longer necessary. Previously, unvaccinated travelers had to submit a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours before the scheduled flight to Georgia.
Georgian authorities no longer check the vaccination status of visitors coming to Georgia. Previously, holders of valid Covid-19 vaccination certificates could use them to omit testing and quarantine requirements.
Georgia lifted quarantine requirements in February 2022. Before that time, citizens with a travel history to one of the countries on the red list within 14 days before arrival in Georgia were subject to a 14-day isolation/quarantine in an approved quarantine facility. Ending the isolation period was followed by a PCR examination.
Traveling from Georgia
There are no specific restrictions for travel from Georgia . Nevertheless, all travelers are highly recommended to follow public health safety measures. They should also check the restrictions applicable in their home country or destination they plan to travel to from Georgia.
Traveling to Georgia
Traveling to Georgia now looks like before the Covid-19 pandemic. Travelers no longer need to meet additional entry requirements including testing, vaccination, and quarantine. Completing the pre-departure form is no longer mandatory either.
Foreign visitors to Georgia, however, must remember to prepare some travel documents that are still necessary for international travel. Every traveler should have a passport or ID card (depending on the nationality) and a valid visa for Georgia. Moreover, the Georgian Government requires all foreign citizens arriving in Georgia to have travel insurance.
Please note : Covid-19 restrictions were dropped in Georgia in mid-June 2022. All travelers should monitor the recent changes in entry rules before international travel. The rules are subject to change at short notice.
Entry Rules for Children
Lifting of covid-related entry requirements for all foreign national travelers applies also to children.
Children younger than 18 who will travel to Georgia alone or with one parent must hold copies of their passport and birth certificate. Parents or their legal guardians should also arrange a visa (if required) on their behalf.
Transit through Georgia
There are no travel restrictions for passengers in transit. Nevertheless, when planning a transit through Georgia you should remember that some airlines may have established their internal regulations. Check them before your flight for an issues-free journey.
Georgia visa requirements
Nationals of around 90 countries worldwide can travel to Georgia visa-free for different periods of time according to their nationality. To cross the Georgian borders, they simply need to present a valid passport.
Citizens of all EU countries, Ukraine, and Saudi Arabia are allowed to enter Georgia without a visa with just a valid national ID card. Nevertheless, Saudi foreign residents must hold the Original Iqama together with the certified English translation of the Saudi Resident ID Cards. These documents need to be provided at airline check-in to board a flight to Georgia.
Most nationalities, who can enter Georgia visa-free, are granted a visa-exempt stay of up to one year. However, citizens of Uruguay and Chile are allowed to stay in Georgia visa-free for up to 3 months.
Georgia's visa-exempt stays up to 30 days are also permitted in case of Georgian diaspora members who are nationals of countries that otherwise must hold a visa, holders of diplomatic/service/official passports of Egypt, Indonesia, China, Guyana, Iran, and Peru, as well as, refugee status holders in Georgia.
Moreover, holders of valid visas or residence permits of GCC/EFTA/EU countries, Canada, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, USA, South Korea, and overseas territories of EU countries, except Pitcairn, Anguilla, Saint Helena, Montserrat, Tristan da Cunha, and Ascension do not need to hold a visa to stay in Georgia up to 3 months within every 6-month period.
According to Georgia visa policy, nationals of around 50 different countries worldwide must get an embassy or consulate visa for Georgia regardless of their intended length of stay in the country.
Depending on the travel purpose, a Georgian embassy visa may be issued as a business visa, tourist visa, work visa, etc. The allowed period that a traveler can stay in Georgia depends on the particular travel reason as well as the traveler's nationality.
To apply for an embassy visa to Georgia, every applicant needs to book an appointment at the nearest Georgian embassy and prepare the required supporting documents. These documents may also vary depending on the applied visa. The application for a regular visa should be started well in advance of the planned trip to Georgia. The processing time may take even several weeks to receive the visa approval.
The full list of countries that must obtain an embassy visa for Georgia includes:
- Aland Islands
- American Samoa
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Christmas Island
- Cocos Islands
- Cook Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Guiana
- French Polynesia
- Isle of Man
- New Caledonia
- Norfolk Island
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Pitcairn Islands
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Helena
- Saint Martin
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Sint Maarten
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Svalbard and Jan Mayen
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United States Virgin Islands
- Wallis and Futuna
In February 2015, the Georgian Government introduced the electronic visa system to facilitate the visa application process for many international travelers. Georgia eVisa is an electronic visa permit enabling travelers from eligible countries to enter Georgia for tourism or business-related purposes.
Travelers from around 100 different countries can now apply for an electronic visa for Georgia without even leaving their homes. They just need to fill out the short and intuitive online application, pay the processing fee and receive the approved visa in their email inbox.
There are two options you may choose from electronic visas to Georgia, depending on your nationality:
- multiple-entry visa valid for a 3-month period: allows multiple visits to Georgia; every stay can last up to 30 days;
- multiple-entry visa valid for a 6-month period: allows numerous visits to Georgia; every stay can last up to 3 months.
Entry to Abkhazia and South Ossetia
The regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are territories in dispute in the Caucasus. These territories are recognized by Georgia and a significant part of the international community to be Russian-occupied territories. Due to these political reasons, there are some travel restrictions to access these regions from the territory of Georgia.
Currently, entering Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia is prohibited since there is no official border control. Entering these regions is only possible through border checkpoints situated in Gori Municipalities or the Zugdidi.
Georgia Passenger Locator Form
Until recently, travelers from most countries arriving in Georgia had to complete the pre-departure registration form. The form required providing some basic personal and contact details as well as information on the traveler's nationality, country of residence, port of departure, and accommodation address in Georgia.
Since the Georgian Government lifted all Covid-19 restrictions, filling out the pre-arrival form is no longer necessary to enter Georgia.
Travel insurance is a legal requirement to enter Georgia. While Georgia is a relatively safe destination, there are always potential risks during international travel. Travel insurance can help to protect you from financial losses in the event that something goes wrong on your trip. For example, if you need to cancel your trip due to illness or travel delays, you can expect reimbursement for non-refundable expenses. In addition, proper insurance can provide coverage for medical emergencies, including Covid-19 treatment costs, lost luggage, and other unforeseen mishaps.
If you are planning a mountain trip, having insurance is a must as well. And in Georgia, it's especially important to have an insurance policy that will cover the cost of mountain rescue operations. That's because there is no specialized mountain rescue service in Georgia, and Georgian services have a very limited possibility of using a helicopter during a rescue operation.
Legal Disclaimer: Evisa Express operates with no affiliation with any US governmental agencies or departments. Our consulting service fees do NOT include any government applications, medical examinations, filling, or biometric charges. Since Evisa Express is not a law firm and our customer service representatives are not lawyers, we do not provide legal advice. We operate as a private internet-based travel and immigration consultancy agency providing help to individuals traveling to the United States. Visa applications can be made directly at travel.state.gov or at uscis.gov.
Evisa Express has an affiliation with VisaPlace, the Canadian law firm specializing in legal services provision on immigration matters. Any legal advice, opinions, legal rights recommendations, explanations, remedies, defenses, options, form selections, or strategies can be provided only by licensed immigration professionals.
How To Enter Georgia During COVID-19
Do you qualify to enter the Republic of Georgia right now? If so, what is the easiest way to do it, and what is the proper procedure for entering?
With many restrictions because of COVID, passport holders from certain countries no longer have the same permission to enter as they did previously. In this article, we sum up your options and next steps.
BIG NEWS : Changes announced on 22nd Feb 2022 , indicate easing of many restrictions, starting from March 1st, though exact dates of changes will vary. A summary of those expected changes are listed here , though we have not yet reviewed the actual legislation, so this is a preliminary announcement.
The biggest change for entry to Georgia is that now ALL countries can enter Georgia from March 1st (providing they have the correct valid visa or qualify for visa free entry) so long as they are either PCR tested negative (within 72 hours) or are fully vaccinated.
Until all changes are implemented, the old rules are summarized below.
With the release of Ordinance 139 on Jan 29th, 2021 , new entry rules for the Republic of Georgia have come into force since February 1st, 2021 . The summary of these is listed below, including the numerous changes that have happened since that date.
CovidPass Green Status – Removed. The Green pass status that was introduced on Dec 1st 2021, was abolished in early February 2022. Though you no longer legally need green status to got to restaurants, hotels cinemas and other public places, some individual businesses still request and enforce it. Whether this is a personal preference or a misunderstanding of the law is impossible to know in all cases. The Covid Pass app is still active, even if checking of the status is no longer required in Georgia, it may still be used for international travel in the EU countries that recognize it.
Land, sea, and air borders are currently open . Entry restrictions are described below.
If you are from one of the accepted countries (according to the new rules as discussed below), you are normally required to fill out a form for pre-registration to enter Georgia . Read below for the exact details.
Article Below Last Updated 10th February 2022*
Health insurance which includes COVID cover is recommended for land border entry but not mandatory.
*NOTE: With regulations changing frequently, this article is for information only and we cannot guarantee day by day accuracy, though we are attempting to regularly update this resource as new information arises. The update date above refers to the date of the last minor updates; some details below may not have been updated at that time.
Arrival If You Have Been Vaccinated In Full Against COVID-19
Any person coming from a foreign country ( unless they are arriving from a high risk country, such as South Africa, as detailed below ), if they present a document at the border demonstrating that they have completed any full vaccination course (2 doses, or 1 dose in the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) shall, before entering the borders of Georgia, fill out a form indicating:
- Their travel history for the last 14 days.
- Their place of stay in Georgia (the address of your accommodation).
- Contact information and other administrative details.
(Note, following the original legislation, typically in practice, and according to the ministry , vaccinated people are generally not required to fill out an online form prior to arrival. However, some border guards do expect to see the completed form regardless of vaccination status, so it is advised that even those who are fully vaccinated try to fill out the form in advance. Filling it at the border, if requested, has also been reportedly accepted in most cases.)
Persons meeting this condition can travel freely in Georgia immediately upon arrival with no requirement to self isolate or quarantine, BUT PCR testing (within 72 hours prior to entry) is mandatory for land border entry as of June 1st, 2021 . Any official document proving vaccination should be accepted.
If traveling by air, although the Georgian border police are not legally required to request proof of a negative PCR test, the airlines you travel with may. Contact the airlines and any transit airports for your journey to confirm their specific requirements.
If you do not qualify for visa-free entry to Georgia , you must apply for a visa in advance of your arrival.
It should be noted that even though the law allows for vaccinated persons from any country to arrive to Georgia, it has certainly occurred in limited cases that those who are not on the approved countries’ list (see below) have occasionally been refused entry, especially at land borders. Though the law does not support these actions, border guards have discretion upon entry, and it is advised to be fully aware of the law and be able to show the actual legislation as described, so that you can argue your case effectively at the border. If in doubt, arrive by air for more consistent results.
Arrival If You Have Previously Recovered From COVID-19 AND Are Partially Vaccinated
NEW Rules now apply, as of August 14th, 2021. As well as some minor adjustments relating to those who are fully vaccinated (outlined above), new rules now give entry permissions to those who have both been partially vaccinated AND have recovered from COVID-19 – being that both are true of the individual, not one or the other.
The legislation is a little convoluted and we conjecture it will be misunderstood by border guards, as well as by those trying to enter Georgia. The summary of these new rules is thus:
- If arriving by air: entry is now permitted to citizens of any country who submit a document confirming that they: (1) have contracted a COVID-infection in the last 100 days (confirmed with a positive PCR test result), and (2) have had a single dose of any vaccine authorized by WHO, provided that 14 days or more have passed since the vaccination. (Note: it does not matter which was first, the infection or the vaccination.)
- If arriving by land/sea: entry is permitted under the same rules as by air directly above. Note: the law does not require a negative PCR test result in this case. Yet, in the case of being fully vaccinated, a PCR test is required. Our assumption here is that there is an omission in the new legislation, as it seems strange that the law is more stringent on those who are fully vaccinated, than those who are partially vaccinated. Until in-practice data is collected on how the border police treat visitors in this situation, it is likely best to assume that a PCR test is required.
If you do not meet any of the above criteria, those who are non-vaccinated may be able to enter following the rules in the next section.
Entry If Not Vaccinated: Arrival If You Are From The EU, USA, Or Other Countries Listed Below
Citizens of, and persons having a residence permit of:
- EU member states,
- United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland,
- State of Israel,
- Swiss Confederation,
- Kingdom of Norway,
- The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
- The State of Qatar,
- United Arab Emirates,
- The Kingdom of Bahrain,
- Turkey (Added Feb 4th, 2021),
- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus (From March 1st, 2021),
- Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan (Added in March 2021),
- Canada, Japan, Kuwait, China, South Korea, Moldova, and Oman (As of June 1st, 2021),
- San Marino, Monaco, Serbia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Andorra, Albania, North Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Added late June 2021),
- Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan (Added late July 2021).
If they are coming from the above-mentioned countries (either directly, or with a transit through third countries) including arriving having spent the prior 14 days ONLY within countries from the approved list, entrants shall:
- Before crossing the border of Georgia, fill out an online form indicating their travel history of the last 14 days, their place of stay in Georgia (Airbnb / hotel, etc.), their contact information, and other administrative details;
- Present a PCR test with a negative result (taken within the last 72 hours prior to entering Georgia);
- Take a PCR test upon the 3rd day after entering Georgia (at their own expense).
What is considered “transit”?
- The persons arriving to Georgia, should be citizens/residents of those countries.
- They should be coming from those countries. Either directly = They live there, or have been there for some time (>14 days, most likely, though not explicitly) and they are flying directly from there;
- OR indirectly = They live there, they have been there for some time, but they will first enter another country and then Georgia because, for example, there are no direct flights).
Note: A translation error in the English version (from google translate) of the legislation caused the USA to be omitted – which caused confusion in the international community. In the Georgian version, which is the legally binding document, აშშ-ის (USA) is definitely present.
Quarantine For Those Traveling from High Risk Areas – REMOVED
As of early Feb 2022, the restriction on entry under the below rules HAS BEEN REMOVED.
As of Sunday, 28th November, 2021, citizens of any country (including a citizen of Georgia) who have a travel history to the countries listed below during the 14 days prior to arrival at the Georgian border , are subject to 14-day mandatory isolation/quarantine in an approved quarantine facility upon entry to Georgia.
After completing the 14 days of isolation/quarantine, a person shall undergo a PCR examination.
These countries are:
- Republic of South Africa
- Republic of Botswana
- Republic of Zimbabwe
- Republic of Namibia
- Kingdom of Lesotho
- Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland)
- Republic of Mozambique
- Republic of Malawi
The Government of Georgia will cover all the costs related to isolation/quarantine as well as PCR testing for a citizen of Georgia. A foreign citizen shall have to cover the costs of his/her isolation/quarantine and PCR testing. Typical costs are described in our FAQs below, from anecdotes provided during the last time Georgia carried out mandatory COVID quarantine.
For Citizens Of India & Those Who Have Traveled There Within Prior 14 Days
Update as of October 2021: The restrictions for persons travelling from India are no longer in force. (However, Indian citizens do still need a visa to cross the Georgian border.)
For Citizens Of Georgia (And Their Family Members)
For air travel entry: Georgian nationals (passport holders and their family members) coming from a foreign country shall present evidence of full vaccination or a negative PCR test result (taken within 72 hours prior to entering Georgia).
For land entry: If the national was fully vaccinated in Georgia, no PCR test will be needed at land borders . If not, a PCR test is required.
Georgian nationals coming from a foreign country that are unable to present a negative PCR test result (taken within the last 72 hours prior to entering Georgia) shall be subject to mandatory self-isolation for a duration of 8 days. If self-isolation is not possible, they will be taken to quarantine zones. (Note: If they have visited African countries with the new strain, within the last 14 days, then a 14 day quarantine will likely apply, which will be paid for by the Georgian Government in most cases.)
*Note: Holding a Georgian residence permit is not sufficient to be considered a Georgian national. Entry rules for residence permit holders will be determined by your country of Citizenship (your passport) in all cases apart from those where you are a family member of a Georgian Citizen, in which case, proof of relationship (marriage certificate / birth certificate) will be required for entry.
Do I need to fill out an online form to apply to arrive in Georgia?
If you are from one of the countries listed above, and you are not fully vaccinated, then yes. There is a form which you should fill here .
If you are not fully vaccinated OR not from one of the countries listed above who can enter without being vaccinated, then you can read more about alternative entry procedures below.
Through which border can I enter?
From June 1st, 2021, land, sea, and air borders will be open to all travelers who qualify for entry based on the rules outlined above.
Do I have to take a PCR test?
Unless you are fully vaccinated, only Georgian citizens have a choice, as detailed above. All other citizens must have taken a PCR test prior to arrival (no more than 72 hours prior).
If you have proof of full vaccination , PCR testing is still mandatory as of June 1st, 2021 if arriving by land/sea, unless you are a citizen of Georgia. When arriving by air it is not mandatory for vaccinated persons, though your airline or transit airport may require it, so it is typically advisable to get the PCR test anyway. Fully vaccinated persons also do NOT have to get a PCR test 3 days after entering Georgia.
Keep up to date with changes to the visa rules and more:
Entry Rules For Countries Not Listed Above
If you do not qualify with the above regulations, you can apply for entry using the methods below, if applicable.
If you are not a citizen or legal resident of any of the countries listed in the previous sections, you may still be able to travel to Georgia if you are invited to visit by a Georgian business (legal entity) on the basis of essential business travel for purposes that cannot be carried out virtually.
As a business traveler you have the option to enter Georgia at airports as well as some land borders. You will undergo a PCR test upon arrival, at your own expense. Additional tests will be given every 72 hours for 8 days. If you test positive at any time, or show any potential signs of COVID or other risk factors, you will be quarantined.
The Application Form Is Here.
Some common FAQs on the business travel permit:
What must be included in the invitation letter from the inviting company?
The invitation must be drawn up on the official form of the organization (if any), be signed by an authorized person, and must include:
- Name & identification code of the organization;
- The position of the authorized person;
- Data of the invited person (name, surname, passport #, etc.);
- Information on the purpose, term, and duration of the visit;
- Justification of the importance of the visit.
The inviting organization must confirm in writing that:
- Together with the invited person, the organization is responsible for fulfilling the individual conditions and rules defined for the invited person during the border crossing and his / her stay in Georgia.
- The company will reimburse any costs associated with diagnostic testing, quarantine, and / or COVID-19 treatment, if required.
Can I Invite Myself?
Technically, you can invite yourself via your own business. Especially if you own a Georgian business and your presence is required for the ongoing success of that business. The sticking point will be if you are the sole authorized person within that business and your name is both the invitee and the authorized person. That could raise questions which might get the application rejected.
As an individual entrepreneur in Georgia, inviting yourself is most likely to fail. However, as the director of an LLC or a corporation where a second director or authorized person could sign the invitation letter, you might have a much higher chance.
If you attempt any of the above options and succeed or fail, please contact [email protected] with your story.
Additional details on specific conditions surrounding the above types of entry can be found on the official government website .
If you are a remote worker who earns more than $2,000 per month for the last 12 months, then you may qualify to enter Georgia on the basis of your profession. You must select a Tbilisi hotel in advance in order to be quarantined (8 days, at your own expense). Update: It’s not clear if quarantine will still be enforced, and instead a negative PCR test on entry may be sufficient.
Our full article on the requirements and how to apply is here .
The article also contains a growing FAQ section listing some of the most important information.
If you are enrolled in a course with a Georgian educational institution, you might qualify for entry under the student permit.
The form involves a lot of questions, so pay attention to which are *required* and which are not, as things like filling in your residence permit information are not actually required, since many students will not have one.
Note: Students are still expected to quarantine for 12 days, rather than the 8 days required of everyone else.
Don’t Qualify With The Above?
At this time the borders are closed unless you qualify through one of the above options.
COVID Green Pass – CANCELLED
The green pass requirement as described below was cancelled in early Feb 2022. However, the CovidPass app is still active and there is always the possibility they will bring the system back if a new covid variant changes the situation. So for now we are leaving this information here.
—– THE BELOW INFO IS NO LONGER IN FORCE —–
Getting green status will afford you a number of privileges in Georgia that are not available to those without the status, beginning from December 1st, 2021. With the new rules in place, the restriction on working hours of restaurants etc. (which previously had forced closure hours between 11pm and 5 am) have been lifted.
Which Activities Are Restricted Only To Those With Green Status?
- Food outlets (open and closed spaces of restaurants, cafes, bars, and shopping mall food courts)
- Cinemas, theaters, concert halls, entertainment facilities, gambling facilities, and the opera
- Spas & gyms
- Ski resort lifts/cable cars
- Hotels and other accommodation – partially affected (NOTE: The most recent amendment to the legislation appears to suggest that green status is not required to stay in a hotel room or private accommodation etc. However, for guests of a hotel to use facilities such as the spa, restaurant, bar etc. they would need green status, legally. How hotels will choose to apply the law is impossible to know)
These restrictions will apply only to persons over 18 years of age.
How To Qualify For Green Status
The relevance of green status is for activities within Georgia. The rules to cross the border to enter Georgia are explained above. To qualify for green status , you must:
- Be fully vaccinated;
- OR, have a 72-hour validity negative PCR test;
- OR, have a 24-hour validity negative antigen-fast test;
- OR, have had a documented Covid-19 infection during the past 6 months (proven by a positive PCR test. It is unclear at this time if documentation from outside Georgia will be accepted as proof).
Your green status will expire automatically after the relevant time period stated above has passed.
How Do You Prove You Have Green Status?
You will need a QR code from one of the following sources:
- QR code obtained by registration in the application “CovidPass” Georgia ( Apple | Android ) or E-health Georgia ( Apple | Android ).
- QR code obtained by registering on the website “covidpass.moh.gov.ge”.
- Documents printed in vaccination centers, clinics, and justice houses in Georgia.
- Documents (digital or printed) by the official agencies of EU member States and countries integrated to the “EU Digital COVID Certificate” system.
When you arrive at the border of Georgia, you will provide your vaccination certificate, or EU green status QR code, or a valid PCR test (taken within 72 hours prior), and the relevant information will be attached to your passport records so that your green status will be available in the Georgian CovidPass apps and website. If you have a valid green status QR code from the EU, that QR code should also be accepted within Georgia.
It is not yet clear if you will be required to install the CovidPass app at the border to check your status.
You must use the same passport number in the app as you presented at passport control.
Note the “CovidPass” app offers a QR scanner to check the status of others – useful if you are a business owner who needs to check the status of your customers. The “E-health” app does not have this function.
Issues With The App
Expats have reported a few issues with the app:
- For Android users, you may need to be on the Georgian play store on Android in order to download it. If you can’t find the app, this is likely the reason.
- If you were not vaccinated in Georgia, and you entered Georgia before 1st December 2021, your records may not be connected to the app (although for many they are).
- If it does not recognize your information when registering, one common issue is that the field for “first name” must actually include all of your legal first and middle names.
- Your name, especially if you are a Georgian resident, may be accepted in some cases only if written in Georgian characters instead of English, matching the Georgian characters on your resident ID card. Try English first though.
Join our community group of experts & expats on Facebook . Practical discussions on business, tax, relocation, real estate, and other expat issues. | Join Our Tbilisi Expat e-News . | Download Our Free eBook: The Georgia Expat Guide .
Managing Partner @ ExpatHub.GE | Expert on Tbilisi/Georgia re-location, visas/residency, business, food, wine and more. Previously from the UK, now a full time expat in Tbilisi.
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Best places to visit in georgia.
With big cities, iconic small towns, picturesque mountains and a prime spot along the Atlantic Ocean, Georgia is one of the most diverse vacation destinations in the South. To help you decide which Georgia locales are most worth your time and vacation dollars, U.S. News took into account the variety and uniqueness of attractions, availability of accommodations and opinions of everyday travelers to decide the best places to visit in Georgia. Vote for your favorite places below to help determine next year's list.
Tallulah Gorge State Park
Jekyll island, callaway gardens, amicalola falls state park, st. simons island, cumberland island national seashore, tybee island, marietta, ga, columbus, ga, arabia mountain national heritage area.
The charm of Savannah is undeniable. From the early 1800's architecture to the romantic Spanish moss-lined streets to the shops, eateries and party-hard reputation of River Street, Savannah gives a nod to the past while bringing its own personality into the present. Plus, the city offers a heavy dose of laid-back Southern hospitality to match, earning it its Hostess City of the South nickname. Spend your time meandering through Forsyth Park and Savannah's 22 squares, filling up on Lowcountry cuisine or spooking yourself on a ghost tour .
If you want to feel like you're in Europe without leaving the U.S., consider taking a trip to Helen . This small North Georgia town in the Blue Ridge Mountains is modeled after a Bavarian Alpine village, so you can expect to find lots of colorful architecture, authentic German fare and fun renditions of German festivals, including an annual Oktoberfest celebration. But beyond its charming atmosphere, Helen offers all kinds of amenities, including more than 200 stores and access to local wineries, plus proximity to Unicoi State Park & Lodge's lake and hiking and bike trails.
For a look at jaw-dropping natural wonders, venture to Tallulah Gorge State Park. Located just west of the Georgia-South Carolina border in the northern part of the state, the park is home to Tallulah Gorge, which measures 2 miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. Visitors can get a bird's-eye view of the gorge from its rim or obtain a free permit to see it from its floor. Tallulah Gorge State Park also features a suspension bridge that provides fantastic views of the park's five waterfalls, plus more than 20 miles of hiking and biking trails.
The southernmost of the Golden Isles, Jekyll Island beckons to travelers seeking a quiet beach getaway. The entire island is designated as a Georgia state park, meaning conservation and wildlife preservation are top priorities. Visitors can see sea turtles, alligators and other coastal animals at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and the 4-H Tidelands Nature Center, lounge on 10 miles of pristine beaches (Driftwood Beach is one of the most photogenic in Georgia) or meander through the historic district (also known as Millionaires' Village) to see homes that have belonged to some of America's richest families, including the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers and the Pulitzers.
A trip to Callaway Gardens is all about reconnecting with nature. Tucked away in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the small town of Pine Mountain, Callaway Gardens features 2,500 acres of gardens, a butterfly center with 1,000-plus butterflies and more than 10 miles of bike and nature trails, among other amenities. Additionally, visitors can head to Robin Lake Beach to swim, pedal boat, paddleboard or simply soak up some sun during the warmer months. Families can also take advantage of the beach's inflatable water playground called Aqua Island.
The Empire City of the South is a hub for business (Coca-Cola, CNN and Delta Air Lines are all headquartered here) and music (rappers have long made Georgia's capital city their home), as well as a family-friendly destination with world-renowned sights like the Georgia Aquarium and Lego Discovery Center Atlanta. Atlanta also houses several impressive historical attractions, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. What's more, the city is solidly on the foodie map thanks to the combination of cultures and traditions represented in its restaurant offerings.
Amicalola Falls State Park gets its name from the Cherokee word for "tumbling waters," so you can expect to see an impressive waterfall during your visit. The North Georgia park's namesake measures 729 feet tall, making it one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. Located in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Amicalola Falls State Park offers hiking trails to the base and rim of the falls, as well as the 8-mile Approach Trail, which connects to the southernmost point of the Appalachian Trail. If you're traveling with kids, consider staying at the on-site lodge, which offers activities like archery, animal encounters and guided hikes.
With its sandy beaches and laid-back lifestyle, the Golden Isles' largest island invites travelers to slow down and relax. Visitors can head to East Beach to enjoy activities like shelling and fishing or make their way to one of the island's golf courses to practice their swing. Plus, St. Simons offers more than 20 miles of bike paths, many of which lead to can't-miss attractions like the World War II Home Front Museum. While exploring, keep an eye out for tree spirits: These faces were carved into the island's oak trees in the '80s by American artist Keith Jennings.
The largest and southernmost of Georgia's barrier islands, Cumberland Island National Seashore offers both a rich history and a beautiful landscape. You'll have to catch a ferry from nearby St. Marys to get here, but the journey is well worth the effort. When you arrive, you'll discover nearly 10,000 acres of protected wilderness and 17-plus miles of secluded beaches. Cumberland Island National Seashore also features multiple historical sites, such as the Plum Orchard Mansion, the First African Baptist Church and the Dungeness Ruins, that tell the story of the Carnegie family, enslaved African Americans, Native Americans and others who once lived on the island.
Situated less than 20 miles southeast of Savannah, this small barrier island has been a popular family vacation destination for more than a century. Tybee Island's miles of sandy beaches and relatively warm weather most of the year make it a prime spot for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. Additionally, travelers can spend a few hours looking for the island's 200-plus bird species. Other Tybee must-dos include climbing up the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum, the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia, and participating in educational programs at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center.
A haven for historians, this Atlanta suburb, which sits about 20 miles northwest of the city, boasts five National Register Historic Districts and a historic town square. Must-see attractions include the William Root House, Brumby Hall (home to the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum) and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. And no trip would be complete without catching a show at the beautifully restored Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre. Beyond its historical draws, Marietta has an artsy side, with sleek galleries and a monthly art walk, as well as a burgeoning food scene, including a host of buzzworthy restaurants and the Marietta Square Market Food Hall.
Best known as the home of the University of Georgia, the country's first public institution of higher education, and as a bona fide music hub, Athens in northeast Georgia makes for a lively weekend getaway . The university campus is worth a visit, as it is home to the Georgia Museum of Natural History, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the Georgia Museum of Art (not to mention some spirited football games). Meanwhile, downtown Athens is the place to go for trendy eats, sweet boutiques and live music venues like the iconic Georgia Theatre.
Georgia might not come to mind when you think of wine destinations, but Dahlonega is worth consideration. This northern town is often labeled the Heart of Georgia Wine Country and features more than a dozen wine tasting rooms, wineries and locally owned and operated vineyards. For a festive atmosphere during your vacation, arrive in May when the annual Dahlonega Arts & Wine Festival takes place. Dahlonega is also where America's first gold rush occurred, so be sure to save time for a visit to the Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site and a former mine.
Activities in this city on the Georgia-Alabama border are centered around the Chattahoochee River. Thrill-seekers can raft down the longest urban whitewater course in the world or zip line across the river at Blue Heron Adventure Park. Meanwhile, those who enjoy more leisurely pursuits can stroll or bike along the 15-mile Chattahoochee RiverWalk, which winds past historical monuments and sites like the National Civil War Naval Museum and the experiential National Infantry Museum. Follow the path to Uptown Columbus to shop at local boutiques and bookstores, take in a show or go out for a night on the town.
Featuring more than 40,000 acres of surreal landscapes, Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area offers plenty of opportunities for adventure close to Atlanta. The park captivates visitors with its monadnocks (stone outcrops), which were formed over the course of 400 million years. Spend your time hiking through the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve or walking or biking the more than 30-mile Arabia Mountain PATH. The heritage area also boasts nearly 90 geocaches for travelers to find. For those who enjoy fishing, there are numerous waterways ideal for casting a line. But remember, fishing here requires purchasing a Georgia fishing license.
Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings
You may be interested in.
Best Beaches in Georgia
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Rough Draft Atlanta
Where and how to get a passport in Georgia
Posted: November 9, 2023 | Last updated: November 9, 2023
If you’re planning to travel internationally, one of the essential documents you’ll need is a passport. In Georgia, there are several options available for obtaining or renewing your passport.
Here’s a guide on where and how to get a passport in Georgia.
A few things to note:
- If you are applying for a U.S. passport for the first time, you will need to apply in person at a Passport Acceptance Facility near you or online.
- If you are renewing a U.S. passport, you can renew in person or by mail.
- Depending on your travel plans, you may also need to apply for a travel visa. You can review current visa requirements by country on the U.S. Department of State’s website.
1. Passport Acceptance Facilities
Many post offices, county clerk offices, and public libraries in Georgia serve as passport acceptance facilities. These locations can assist you with the application process, including verifying your documents and taking your passport photo. To find the nearest facility, check the official U.S. Department of State website .
To apply for a passport at a acceptance facility, you’ll need to bring the following documents:
- Proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate)
- Identification (such as a driver’s license or government-issued ID)
- Passport photos
- Payment method (check the current passport fees)
2. Regional Passport Agencies
If you require expedited passport services due to immediate travel plans, you can visit a regional passport agency. In Georgia, the Atlanta Passport Agency is the closest option. However, appointments are usually necessary, so make sure to call ahead and prepare all required documents.
To apply for a passport at a regional passport agency, you’ll need to bring the following documents:
- Proof of citizenship
- Proof of immediate travel (such as a flight itinerary)
3. Private Expedited Passport Services
If you need your passport quickly but can’t secure an appointment at a regional passport agency, private expedited passport services can be a viable option. These services specialize in expediting the application and renewal process, typically delivering the passport within a few business days. Research reputable private passport expediting companies and compare their processing times and fees.
When using private expedited passport services, make sure to:
- Choose a reputable and reliable company
- Gather all the required documents
- Follow their specific instructions for application submission
- Pay attention to their processing times and fees
Here are a list of nearby facilities you can visit:
Remember to plan ahead, gather all necessary documents, and choose the most convenient option for obtaining or renewing your passport. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth application or renewal experience. Bon voyage!
The post Where and how to get a passport in Georgia appeared first on Rough Draft Atlanta .
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Self-check-in kiosks installed at Tbilisi Int’l Airport to simplify flight registration
Currently only two airlines are available for the kiosk services, with more planned to be added to the novelty. Photo: TAV Georgia
Self-check-in kiosks have been installed at Tbilisi International Airport in the Georgian capital city to allow passengers to choose their seats, check in and print their boarding passes hours before departure, TAV Georgia, the company managing two of the largest airports in the country, said on Monday.
The company said the French-based EASIER company had provided two touchscreen devices for the purpose at the Airport.
TAV Georgia invested up to ₾150,000 ($55,769) in the project, which aims to simplify the registration process and create additional comfort for passengers”, the company added.
Currently only two airlines are available for the kiosk services, with more planned to be added to the novelty, it also said.
- RELATED NEWS
The Ultimate Georgia Itinerary: 1-4 Weeks in Georgia
The perfect Georgia itinerary for 1-4 weeks of travel in the Caucasus . Includes detailed transportation info, recommended things to do in Georgia, and up-to-date travel advice for 2023.
Oh Georgia. Where do I begin?
Georgia is a place that first captured my heart in 2017 and has been pulling me back ever since. I eventually gave in and moved to Tbilisi at the beginning of 2020.
I’ve been lucky enough to experience Georgia in every season from the perspective of both a tourist and an expat. Now that I’ve seen almost everything this country has to offer, I finally feel qualified to recommend the perfect Georgia itinerary for first-time visitors , with options for 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks of travel.
These itineraries aren’t copied out of a guidebook, and they certainly weren’t designed for me by a tour company. Each one is cobbled together from my various travels around Georgia and based on my personal experiences, mistakes and successes. I’ve personally visited each and every place mentioned here, and I’ve done everything I can to make sure these itineraries are both realistic and up-to-date.
I’ve tried to balance the must-sees and not-so-popular spots for a good mix of nature, culture, history and adventure. For each destination, you’ll find detailed transportation instructions, personal recommendations for where to stay, and my insider tips for making the most of your time.
This guide includes:
5 things to consider when planning a Georgia itinerary
- Detailed 1-week itinerary for Georgia
- Detailed 2-week itinerary for Georgia
- Detailed 3-week itinerary for Georgia
- Detailed 4-week itinerary for Georgia
More places to visit in Georgia
First time in Georgia? Read my 23 Practical Georgia Travel Tips . Want to see more of the Caucasus? Check out my epic Georgia Armenia Azerbaijan itinerary for the perfect route through all three countries. Hiring a car? See my alternative adventurous Georgia road trip itinerary and tips for self-driving . Questions? My Georgia Travel Guide has more FAQ, tips and advice. Want more Georgia travel goodness? Please consider subscribing to my e-newsletter for regular updates from Georgia.
There are a couple of crucial things to consider in the early planning stages that will affect how your Georgia itinerary comes together. To give you a heads up – and to put my own itineraries into context – I’m going to briefly touch on just five.
If you’re all over the logistics and you want to get straight to the fun stuff, click here to skip to my Georgia itinerary .
Remember you can find tons more valuable information about trip planning here in my Georgia Travel Guide .
1. How long should you spend in Georgia?
Many people start planning a short trip to Georgia thinking they can see the whole country in a couple of days. But it’s important to understand that moving around chews up a lot of time.
Anything less than one full week and you’ll just want to base yourself in Tbilisi and stick to day trips (possibly with an overnight stay in Sighnaghi or Kazbegi). It’s possible to see a decent amount of the country in 2-4 weeks – but even then, you’ll be travelling at quite a fast pace and with several long travel days back to back.
The itineraries I’ve created don’t include specialty activities such as multi-day treks. If this is of interest, you’ll have to carve a few days out of your itinerary to fit it in. (I’ve included a couple of key multi-day hikes and where to do them below.)
If you have extra days, I recommend using them to slow down your overall pace and spend a bit longer in each place rather than trying to squeeze more in.
2. When to visit Georgia
There is no ‘bad’ time to visit Georgia – every season offers something different. Spring is nice for mild weather, wildflowers and Orthodox Easter celebrations, fall for the rtveli wine harvest and festivals, summer for hiking and outdoor activities, and winter for experiencing Tbilisi’s cosy side and Christmas festivities plus skiing/snowboarding .
The only time I suggest avoiding is peak summer – July/August – as it’s very warm in the cities and many places (including Tbilisi and Batumi) are overcrowded. My absolute favourite time to visit Georgia is late spring (late April/May) or fall (late September/October) . If you want to hike or visit remote mountain regions, avoid the colder months as many roads snow over and are impassable.
My itineraries are specifically designed to be trans-seasonal. The only exceptions are Ushguli and the Goderdzi Pass, which may be inaccessible in the middle of winter.
For more insights, see my month-by-month guide to the seasons in Georgia .
3. Where to start your Georgia itinerary
If you’re flying into Georgia, you have a choice between starting your itinerary in either Tbilisi or Kutaisi. Both cities have international airports with regular connections to Europe, Turkey and the Middle East. Budget travellers usually choose Kutaisi, which is serviced by WizzAir. Tbilisi, meanwhile, has regular connections from Istanbul, the UAE and Qatar .
I love Kutaisi, but I generally recommend starting your trip in Tbilisi , the capital. The itineraries I’ve designed all start and end in Tbilisi. If you’re flying into Kutaisi, I recommend heading straight to the capital by coach. Georgian Bus runs buses direct from the airport that are timed to leave when planes land. The trip takes around 4 hours and tickets cost 20 GEL. See here for more info.
Do NOT take a taxi from Tbilisi Airport to your accommodation. Refer to my Airport Guide for information about using the airport bus and organising a reliable transfer.
4. How to get around Georgia
Intercity transport is something you want to consider well in advance as it will impact how long you need to spend in Georgia to see everything you want to see.
That’s because Georgia is small, but transportation is quite basic – it can take a long time to get from place to place if you’re using ‘public’ transport. Marshrutka vans are affordable, but schedules are flexible. Road safety is a concern in Georgia , so I strongly suggest you only travel by road during daylight hours and avoid using marshrtuka vans for long journeys or dangerous mountain roads.
Unless you hire a car (recommended for maximum flexibility, but only if you’re a confident driver), you’ll probably end up using a combination of marshrutka vans and trains, with a few transfers for more complex journeys.
- Hire a car from a local agent using Local Rent (the average price is $32/day)
- Read up on the basics of marshrutka travel in Georgia
- For reliable and budget-friendly private transfers, I always use GoTrip
If you do plan on self-driving in Georgia, you can broaden your itinerary even more. Here is my suggested road trip itinerary for 10 days in Georgia , focusing on harder-to-reach corners and hidden gems.
Organised day trips are very affordable in Georgia. They’re a good way to make the most of your time, and to get access to harder-to-reach areas without self-driving. Even if you’re not a tour person, I suggest you at least consider an organised day trip from Tbilisi.
I recommend booking day trips through Get Your Guide , as vendors are vetted and more likely to observe good road safety practices. The platform also has a generous refund policy. There isn’t a huge variety on offer currently but more itineraries are added every month.
Friendly.ge is my preferred day tour operator in Tbilisi. Their itineraries are top-notch, as are the expert guides. Browse their private and small group tours here , and use the code wanderlush at checkout to get 10% off when you book direct.
I’ve sprinkled some specific day trips throughout these itineraries – or you can browse all Georgia day tours using the links below.
- View all Tbilisi day trips on Get Your Guide
- View all Kutaisi day trips on Get Your Guide
Most cities and towns in Georgia have a local bus system that is cheap and easy to use. I highly recommend downloading a taxi app (Grab works in most major cities) rather than hailing taxis on the street – they’re unmetered and can be difficult to navigate if you don’t speak the language. See my taxi tips here .
5. Budgeting, insurance, visas & other logistics
Georgia offers visa-free travel for passport holders from 95-plus countries (including Australia, the US and all EU citizens) – and you can stay for up to one year .
Passport holders from most countries in Asia and Africa are required to obtain either an e-visa or a visa in advance. I recommend using iVisa to check if you need a visa for Georgia and to apply for an expedited visa if you do.
You might like to bookmark these helpful guides for future reference:
- Budgeting for a trip to Georgia
- My tips for staying safe in Georgia
- My guide to buying travel insurance for Georgia
- Georgia packing guide & tips on how to dress in Georgia
- Where to store luggage in Tbilisi
Recommended pre-trip reading – How to get from Tbilisi airport to the city – How to buy and activate a Georgian sim card – 12 things I wish I knew before I visited the Caucasus
Georgia itineraries for 1-4 weeks of travel
Here is a brief outline of the four itinerary options included in this guide.
Under each section, you’ll find a day-by-day breakdown including things to do, recommended accommodations, and detailed transportation instructions for travelling from place to place.
One week in Georgia [Click here to jump to the full itinerary] • Days 1 & 2: Tbilisi • Day 3: Day trip to Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe • Days 4 & 5: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region • Days 6 & 7: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi
Two weeks in Georgia [Click here to jump to the full itinerary] • Days 1 & 2: Tbilisi • Day 3: Day trip to David Gareja • Day 4: Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe • Days 5 & 6: Kutaisi, Chiatura & Tskaltubo • Days 7, 8 & 9: Mestia & Ushguli • Day 10: Zugdidi • Days 11 & 12: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region • Days 13 & 14: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi
Three weeks in Georgia [Click here to jump to the full itinerary] • Days 1, 2 & 3: Tbilisi • Day 4: Day trip to David Gareja & Udabno • Day 5: Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe • Days 6 & 7: Kutaisi, Chiatura & Tskaltubo • Days 8, 9 & 10: Mestia & Ushguli • Day 11: Zugdidi • Days 12 & 13: Batumi • Days 14 & 15: Khulo & Upper Adjara • Day 16: Akhaltsikhe & Vardzia • Day 17: Borjomi • Days 18 & 19: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region • Days 20 & 21: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi
One month in Georgia [Click here to jump to the full itinerary] • Days 1, 2 & 3 : Tbilisi • Day 4: Day trip to David Gareja & Udabno • Day 5: Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe • Days 6 & 7: Kutaisi, Chiatura & Tskaltubo • Day 8: Martvili • Days 9, 10 & 11: Mestia & Ushguli • Day 12: Zugdidi • Days 13 & 14: Guria • Days 15, 16 & 17: Batumi & the Black Sea Coast • Days 18 & 19: Khulo & Upper Adjara • Day 20: Akhaltsikhe & Vardzia • Day 21: Borjomi • Day 22: Tsalka & Javakheti • Days 23 & 24: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region • Day 25: Telavi • Days 26 & 27: Pankisi Valley • Days 28, 29 & 30: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi
Georgia itinerary map
Click here to open an interactive map of my Georgia itinerary in a new tab. Each of the four different options is included as a separate layer.
One week in Georgia itinerary
This itinerary for one week in Georgia offers a good introduction to the country. It’s perfect for first-time visitors who want to see the highlights and get a good feel for Georgian culture, food and wine.
If you only have 7 days in Georgia, don’t worry about trying to squeeze too much in – you will almost certainly be back!
Tbilisi – [Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe] – Sighnaghi & Kakheti –Kazbegi – Tbilisi
- Days 1 & 2: Tbilisi – overnight in Tbilisi
- Day 3: Day trip to Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe – overnight in Tbilisi
- Days 4 & 5: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region – overnight in Sighnaghi
- Days 6 & 7: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi – overnight in Kazbegi
Days 1 & 2: Tbilisi
Tbilisi – the coolest city in the Caucasus and one of Europe’s most talked about up-and-comers – is the logical place to begin your Georgia itinerary. This is where you’ll find some of the country’s best museums , restaurants and wine bars .
It might be the capital, but Tbilisi has an intimate feel – especially around Sololaki , the oldest neighbourhood, and in the historic Old Town proper. Tbilisi is a layer cake of different histories and influences collected over a lifetime spent sitting at the nexus of East and West , Asia and Europe.
Ottoman-Persian style bathhouses fed by sulfur springs and an urban waterfall , opulent mansion homes built by Armenian merchants and beautiful Orthodox churches sit side by side with Zoroastrian fire temples , grand synagogues and leftovers from Georgia’s Soviet period. The cherry on top – the thing that gives the Tbilisi of today its unmistakable character – is a slew of quirky additions to the city’s skyline in the form of ultra-modern architecture .
Scaling the walls at Narikala Fortress , watching the sunset at Mtatsminda , and rummaging the Dry Bridge Market for the perfect souvenir are all must-dos. Spend some time in the trendy Vera neighbourhood visiting coffee shops and cocktail bars , and pop over the river to Chugureti , the old German district, for unique architecture and the Fabrika creative space.
Two full days is the perfect amount of time to revel in the contrasts between old and new Tbilisi. For a full list of things to do in Tbilisi – including alternative attractions and local favourites – refer to my Tbilisi city guide .
Recommended reading – 51 unique things to do in Tbilisi – 35+ best Georgian restaurants in Tbilisi – Recommended Tbilisi walking tours – Best day trips from Tbilisi
If you’re not a huge fan of cities and two full days in Tbilisi feels like too much, you might choose to do a day trip on day 2, or dedicate another day to Kakheti or Kazbegi later in your itinerary.
Where to stay in Tbilisi
There is no shortage of accommodation options to choose from in Tbilisi, ranging from boutique hotels to budget-friendly hostels . My Tbilisi neighbourhood guide explores the different districts and accommodation options in details. Here are a few of my favourites.
Budget hostel: Fabrika Hostel & Suites is Tbilisi’s most popular hostel and hangout. The space, a converted Soviet sewing factory, houses a cafe/bar/co-working area, boutiques and restaurants, and hosts regular events. Accommodation options include hotel dorms and private doubles.
Click here to check rates & availability on Booking.com or read my full review of Fabrika.
Mid-range hotel: Le Caucase is well-positioned in the Old Town close to Freedom Square. It’s a good all-round option if you want to stay central. Rooms are tastefully decorated and breakfast comes included.
Click here to check rates & availability on Booking.com.
Boutique hotel: Located opposite the Dry Bridge Market, Museum Hotel Orbeliani offers modern and minimal suites inside a refurbished royal home. Heritage details – such as the peacock floor mosaic in the lobby – give this place a real sense of old-world glamour. The rooftop cocktail bar overlooking the river and cellar restaurant are both excellent.
Click here to check rates & availability on Booking.com or read my full review of Museum Hotel Orbeliani.
Self-contained apartment: Airbnb is hugely popular in Tbilisi and you can find dozens of well-priced studios and one or two-bedroom apartments in the Old Town and beyond. This gorgeous sun-lit apartment in a traditional building with a typical Tbilisi courtyard behind Rustaveli Metro Station is one of my favourites. I actually stayed in this place for a month myself.
View my shortlist of the city’s best Airbnbs .
Day 3: Day trip to Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe
Georgia’s capital city from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD, Mtskheta is home to the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site , the Monuments of Mtskheta. This is one of the most important places to visit in Georgia in terms of both religion and culture. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral , one of the oldest and most important Orthodox churches, and the stunning Jvari Monastery that overlooks the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, are both located here.
Mtskheta is a short 45-minute drive from Tbilisi, so to make it a full day trip, it’s usually paired with a visit to Gori and Uplistsikhe. Gori is a small city famously known for being the birthplace of Joseph Stalin , who is remembered in an oh-so-Soviet museum dedicated to his life. Uplistsikhe is Georgia’s oldest cave city and an impressive introduction to the country’s medieval history and the legacy of the much-beloved Queen (King) Tamar.
Recommended reading – 10 best things to do in Mtskheta – 15 excellent things to do in Gori – What to expect when you visit the Stalin Museum – Tips for visiting Uplistsikhe
→ If this day trip doesn’t take your fancy, there are plenty of other options to choose from. See my guide for the 15 best day trips from Tbilisi for more ideas .
How to do a Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe day trip from Tbilisi
You have three options here: Join an organised day tour from Tbilisi, hire a private driver, or go DIY by marshrutka.
An organised tour is the most time-efficient option, but you don’t get much flexibility. In Gori, guides tend to focus almost exclusively on the Stalin Museum, so you won’t get to see any of the city beyond that. Still, having a guide and guaranteed comfortable transport is the best option for some travellers. I recommend either this budget-friendly 10-hour group tour or this flexible-start, 10-hour private tour . Both visit Mtskheta (including Jvari), Gori and Uplistsikhe, with a stop for lunch in either a local home or restaurant.
Doing this trip DIY by marshrutka is possible, but it will be very rushed. I would recommend eliminating Mtskheta and focusing just on Gori and Uplistsikhe (or vice versa). If you want to try this day trip DIY, jump to full transport instructions in the 2-week itinerary here .
The better option in my opinion is to hire a car and driver for the day through GoTrip . You won’t have a guide, but you will have a lot more flexibility to depart Tbilisi when you want, explore Gori at your own pace, and make extra stops whenever you like.
This example itinerary I designed for Mtskheta, Gori and Uplistsikhe starts from a very affordable $38 per car , inclusive of transfers to and from your front door in Tbilisi. You can design your own route with different stops using the GoTrip platform.
Days 4 & 5: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region
Now that you’ve experienced the best of the capital and surrounds, it’s time to escape Tbilisi and head east to Kakheti , the country’s most productive wine region . The Alazani Valley is a stunning landscape of vineyards and mountain-top churches .
You could easily spend a week or more travelling the tributaries of Kakheti’s Wine Route , visiting the different family-run maranis (cellars) that still make wine the old-fashioned way in clay qvevri and the many larger European-style vineyards. With two full days, you can see a good selection of the region’s most important churches and indulge in a healthy number of wine tastings .
Sighnaghi , the most charming town in the wine region, or Telavi , the biggest city and transport hub, are both ideal places to stay. There are plenty of guesthouses that specialise in good old-fashioned hospitality (and home cooking), so you have that to look forward to on your first night outside the capital.
In Sighnaghi, climb the City Walls , visit the local museum to see the exhibit of Pirosmani paintings (Georgia’s favourite artist was born in this region), walk to the exquisite Bodbe Monastery , and drink in the panoramic mountain views from any of the restaurants and wine bars in town. On a clear day you can see across the valley all the way out to the Greater Caucasus .
Recommended reading – Suggested itinerary for Kakheti – Telavi City Guide – Kakheti accommodation guide
Where to stay in Sighnaghi
For this itinerary, I recommend staying in Sighnaghi rather than Telavi. Sighnaghi is the more ‘atmospheric’ of the two major hubs in Kakheti and has a good range of comfortable guesthouses.
Telavi has more boutique hotel offerings so if that’s more your style, you might consider staying there instead. Seventeen Rooms and Communal Hotel are my personal favourites.
Budget-friendly guesthouse: Zandarashvili Guest House is a typical family-run guesthouse that’s been welcoming tourists for years. Rooms set over the family’s three-level home are all comfortably decorated and spotlessly clean. Mum cooks, dad drives (you can hire him for the day to take you around Kakheti), and son David plays the role of toastmaster at their nightly supras .
Boutique hotel: Boutique Hotel BelleVue is centrally located and has a huge balcony with sweeping views over the Alazani Valley. Some of the larger rooms have private balconies too.
Ranch: If you don’t mind staying a little further from the centre of Sighnaghi, Lost Ridge Inn is one of the coolest accommodations in Kakheti. Rooms are thoughtfully decorated and all have a garden-facing balcony. There’s a restaurant and even a brewery onsite – and they can organise horseback riding tours around the valley. You’ll need a taxi to get here from the centre of town because the ranch is located behind Bodbe Monastery.
Click here to check rates & availability on Booking.com or read my full review of Lost Ridge .
→ Find plenty more options in my Kakheti Accommodation Guide .
How to get to Sighnaghi from Tbilisi
Sighnaghi and Kakheti Region in general is very easy to get to from Tbilisi with either a marshrutka or shared taxi. Vans depart throughout the day (roughly every 60-90 minutes) from the bus station near Samgori Metro. Shared taxis leave on demand from behind Isani Metro Station.
One thing to be aware of is that there are two possible routes drivers may take. It’s faster to take the Kakheti Highway rather than the Gombori Pass through Telavi, so try to make sure your driver is heading this way.
The first marshrutka is scheduled to leave Tbilisi at approximately 8am. Tickets cost around 10 GEL , and the journey takes 2-2.5 hours via the Kakheti Highway.
A seat in a shared taxi from Isani Metro Station costs around 15 GEL per person. Travel time is slightly faster, and the driver will drop you off closer to your accommodation in Sighnaghi rather than at the bus station .
→ For schedules and fares, see my full guide to travelling between Tbilisi and Kakheti.
How to get around Kakheti & travel the Wine Route
The wineries and churches around Sighnaghi are spread out across the valley so you really need your own car to explore the area properly.
The easiest option is to organise a driver for the day through your guesthouse, which you can either do in advance or during your stay. This should cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of 30-40 GEL per person for a full day depending on the number of people you have and how far afield you’re going. It’s cheaper if you pool with other travellers, so you might want to wait until the day and see who else is up for a road trip.
Normally your host will recommend a standard route, but you can always make special requests if there’s a particular winery or monastery you want to see (or skip).
Days 6 & 7: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi
It wouldn’t be a trip to Georgia without an up-close look at the Greater Caucasus mountains . Just three hours by road from Tbilisi, the town of Kazbegi (Stepantsminda) is the most convenient place to immerse yourself in picturesque scenery and do a day trek or two. The Alps without the crowds (or the price tag), this is one of the most beautiful and underrated mountain regions in Europe .
Gergeti Trinity – arguably Georgia’s most iconic Orthodox church – is perched in the hills above town against the snowy peak of Mount Kazbegi. End your Georgia itinerary on a high (literally) by hiking up to the church from town (just make sure you follow the right trail – directions here ). This is one of my absolute favourite things to do in Georgia, especially when you treat yourself to lunch at Rooms Kazbegi afterwards.
The road that links Tbilisi and Kazbegi (and continues up into Russia) is an attraction in and of itself. There are a dozen or so places to stop along the Georgian Military Highway , ranging from Soviet mosaic monuments to scenic viewpoints, important medieval churches, and even a small village that many believe is the birthplace of khinkali!
You really want to take your time on this route so set aside a full day to make the most of it. Hire a car and driver (details below) so that you can make as many stops as possible.
Recommended reading – 21 things to know before you visit Kazbegi – Where to stay in Kazbegi , the best accommodations for every budget – Guide to the Georgian Military Highway – Essential guide to the Gergeti Trinity Church hike (must read!)
How to travel the Georgian Military Highway to Kazbegi
This is the one route I definitely recommend hiring a car and driver for . There are lots of places to see along the Georgian Military Highway, and if you’re travelling by marshrutka, you simply won’t get to stop. Even if you take the special ‘tourist’ van from Tbilisi that stops in Ananuri and Gudauri, you’ll still feel rushed.
GoTrip is the most convenient way to book a car. If you’re coming from Sighnaghi, you should organise for your driver to pick you up from your guesthouse as early as possible. Take the (mostly sealed) backroad through Tianeti, stopping off at the cyan-domed Kvetera Fortress Church on the way. All up, the journey up to Kazbegi takes the better part of 4 hours without stops.
A flexible transfer with GoTrip from Sighnaghi to Kazbegi via the GMH – with as many stops along the way as you like – starts from $70 per car . Customise your own itinerary and book here.
Where to stay in Kazbegi
Budget guesthouse: Red Stone Guest House is a lovely little family-run place near the trailhead to Gergeti Trinity. The home-cooked breakfast here is one of the best I’ve had anywhere in Georgia – I’ll never forget sitting in the tiny kitchen while the owner cooked us a magnificent meal on her tiny gas stove. If you’re doing the hike, she simply won’t let you leave without a stash of khachapuri to take with you.
Mid-range hotel: Hotel Stancia offers minimalist Scandi-style rooms in a very convenient location opposite the bus station in the centre of town. The onsite restaurant is really good. Think of it as a budget version of Rooms.
Boutique hotel: Rooms Kazbegi is probably Georgia’s most iconic accommodation and is definitely worth the splurge if you can afford it. Set inside a renovated sanatorium, every little detail is on-point – right down to the outdoor hot tubs. The wide verandah offers one of the best views of Kazbegi. The only downside is that it’s a bit of a walk from the centre of town. Even if you don’t stay here, it’s worth visiting for a meal at the restaurant.
If A-frame is more your style, there are some stunning luxury mountain cabins and bungalows in and around Kazbegi. Here are my favourite mountain cabins in Georgia .
→ Find plenty more accommodation recommendations in my guide on where to stay in Kazbegi .
When it’s time to say farewell to Georgia, head back to Tbilisi by marshrutka or taxi. If your flight leaves from Kutaisi, take a Georgian Bus directly to Kutaisi Airport.
Two weeks in Georgia itinerary
Two weeks is enough time to explore both Eastern and Western Georgia in some detail. You won’t see everything, but you will get a small taste for the regions.
For this itinerary, I’ve switched things around to visit Kakheti towards the end of the trip because it makes more sense logistically. If you prefer to visit the wine region on day 3 as in the previous itinerary, you can easily adjust this.
I’ve also chosen to leave out Batumi as you need a full day to get to the Black Sea. I personally love Batumi and Adjara region, but I don’t consider it a must-see if you only have 14 days in Georgia. If you really want to, you could trim a day off Kutaisi and swap out Zugdidi for 2 days in Batumi instead.
This route builds on the previous 7-day itinerary. Additions are bolded:
Tbilisi – [David Gareja & Udabno] – Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe – Kutaisi, Chiatura & Tskaltubo – Mestia & Ushguli – Zugdidi – Sighnaghi & Kakheti – Kazbegi – Tbilisi
- Day 3: Day trip to David Gareja & Udabno – overnight in Tbilisi
- Day 4: Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe – overnight in Gori
- Days 5 & 6: Kutaisi, Chiatura & Tskaltubo – overnight in Kutaisi
- Days 7, 8 & 9: Mestia & Ushguli – overnight in Mestia
- Day 10: Zugdidi – overnight train to Tbilisi
- Days 11 & 12: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region – overnight in Sighnaghi
- Days 13 & 14: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi – overnight in Kazbegi
Refer to days 1 & 2 of the one-week itinerary above.
Day 3: Day trip to David Gareja & Udabno
David Gareja and Udabno is probably my favourite day trip from Tbilisi. The David Gareja cave monasteries are a set of religious sanctuaries composed of chambers and cloisters hewn from rock . The most famous, Udabno Monastery and Lavra Monastery , straddle the border between Georgia and Azerbaijan, and also house a collection of important religious frescoes painted directly onto rock.
As of 2023, the complex is partially closed due to an ongoing border dispute – but it’s still worth visiting.
The semi-desert around Udabno is absolutely unreal. Unmarked hiking routes can be found in the rainbow hills , a wild landscape of multi-coloured striations created by mineral deposits. It’s best to avoid visiting this area in summer as venomous snakes are common.
Recommended reading – Guide to visiting David Gareja (with up-to-date information about closures)
How to do a David Gareja day trip from Tbilisi
In the absence of a marshrutka service, there are two ways to get to David Gareja from Tbilisi: Either by joining an organised day trip, or by using the Gareji Line transfer.
Gareji Line is the best option for budget travellers or anyone who is content with just visiting the main monastery. It’s essentially a transfer van that runs between Tbilisi and David Gareja, with a stop for dinner on the way back at the Oasis Club. Vans run every day during high season (starting from May 1) and on demand in shoulder/low season. The cost is 40 GEL per person. More details can be found on their Facebook Page .
If you want to visit the monasteries with a guide and explore more of Udabno, including the rainbow hills, you’ll need to either hire a car and/or driver, or more conveniently, join an organised day tour from Tbilisi.
There are several different itineraries offered through Get Your Guide that combine a visit to David Gareja with either hiking in Udabno or a wine tasting in Sighnaghi. My top choice is the off-road tour with Friendly.ge .
Day 4: Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe
Since Gori is located between Tbilisi and Kutaisi, I suggest spending a night here as you transit from east to west rather than visiting as a day trip like I recommended for the one-week itinerary.
The easiest option is to book a one-way transfer with GoTrip (Tbilisi-Mtskheta-Uplistsikhe-Gori) so that you can leave your bags in the car while you explore Mtskheta and Uplistsikhe. This itinerary I created starts from $50/car and includes Zedazeni , another spectacular monastery near Mtskheta that you can only reach by car.
Once in Gori, use your extra time to explore the city beyond the Stalin Museum , starting with the impressive Gori Castle , the unexpected old town , and the Great Patriotic War Museum , which chronicles the city’s experience of the South Ossetian conflict in 2008.
Where to stay in Gori
Nitsia Guest House , run by the lovely Lia, embodies everything I love about Georgian homestays: Bucketloads of hospitality, homemade wine and jam on tap, and extremely comfortable and clean rooms. She really is one of the sweetest hosts I’ve stayed with. During our most recent visit, we stayed up late drinking and dancing with her and her school friends, and I know other guests who’ve been invited back to join in the family wine harvest.
How to get to Mtskheta from Tbilisi
If travelling by public transport: Marshrutka vans pass through Mtskheta on the way to Gori. This is one of the most popular routes from Tbilisi, so vans depart frequently – at least every 30 minutes – throughout the day from Didube Station. Travel time to Mtskheta is 45 minutes and tickets cost 2 GEL .
How to get to Gori from Mtskheta
To travel onwards to Gori, it’s simply a matter of jumping back on a west-bound van. You can easily flag a marshrutka on the roadside. Travel time is roughly an hour , and tickets cost around 2 GEL .
When you arrive in Gori, jump off near the park and Stalin Museum. If the marshrtuka terminates at the bus station in Gori, you’ll need to take a taxi into the centre of town.
How to get to Uplistsikhe from Gori
Uplistsikhe is located 14km (around 20 minutes by road) from the centre of Gori. To get there, you can take a local bus from Gori’s Central Bus Station (see location here ) to Uplistsikhe village ( 1 GEL ) and then walk 700m to the cave entry point.
Or you can take a taxi from Gori, which should cost around 35-45 GEL round-trip including wait time. Taxis wait behind the Stalin Museum near Chinebuli restaurant. Your guesthouse owner can usually organise a reliable driver for you.
Days 5 & 6: Kutaisi, Chiatura & Tskaltubo
Kutaisi is Georgia’s fourth-biggest city and the main hub in the country’s west. It has a completely different vibe to the capital – it’s much quieter, and the lush forests of Imereti give it a unique backdrop.
I love Kutaisi , not least of all because there are so many cute restaurants and wine bars around town. UNESCO-Listed Gelati Monastery and Motsameta Monastery, linked by a forest walking trail, are both must-sees – as is watching the sunset from the grounds of Bagrati Cathedral .
In the city centre, the sparkling Colchis Fountain pays tribute to the ancient kingdom that once enveloped Kutaisi, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in Europe . The synagogues, cable car and bustling undercover market are just a few more of my favourite spots.
Tskaltubo is located 20 minutes by road from Kutaisi and is an ideal side trip. A popular summer retreat during Soviet times , it’s home to a collection of sanatoriums that were used for state-mandated health treatments. Many of these sanatoriums and bathhouses now lay abandoned – a real playground for urbexers and photographers . You can even visit Stalin’s dacha, his former suite at the old Military Sanatorium and Stalin’s personal bath , which is located inside one of the spas that remains open.
Some of the larger buildings were converted into temporary accommodation for IDPs who fled Abkhazia in the 1990s. When exploring Tskaltubo, be a responsible traveller and keep in mind that many families still live here and that some buildings are off-limits (it’s fairly obvious which ones to avoid).
While you’re in Kutaisi, I also suggest taking a full-day trip to Chiatura and Katskhi Column . Chiatura is a small mining city that flourished in Soviet times but has since gone into decline. In the 1950s, the state erected a network of 17 cable cars across Chiatura to ferry workers to and from the manganese mines.
Some of the original cars were still running up until just a few years ago (I was lucky enough to ride on ‘Stalin’s Rope Roads’ back in 2017), but in 2021, they were replaced with a new set of gondolas. If you’re interested in Soviet nostalgia and brutalist concrete architecture, this is the perfect day trip for you.
On the way to Chiatura, stop off at Katskhi Column, a striking monastery that sits atop a tall limestone stalactite .
Recommended reading – Things to do in Kutaisi – Best Kutaisi restaurants – Detailed guide to Tskaltubo – How to do a Chiatura day trip from Kutaisi
Where to stay in Kutaisi
Budget hostel: Black Tomato Kutaisi offers bright and airy dorms and private rooms in the heart of the city. Street art-style murals and antique furnishings give this place a unique feel. The kitchen is particularly lovely, as are the outdoor balconies and terraces.
Click here to check rates & availability on Hostel World .
Budget-friendly guesthouse: Artists House is a fine option for an affordable, comfortable private room. The location is a short walk from the centre of the city, and the views from the balcony are wonderful.
Click here to check rates & availability on Booking.com .
Boutique hotel: Hotel Memoire is a new hotel on Newport Street, footsteps from the Colchis Fountain and Kutaisi’s historic Jewish Quarter. Rooms are beautifully styled in an ‘old-world Kutaisi’ theme.
Up-scale hotel: Set on the riverside at the end of the White Bridge, the best thing about Best Western Kutaisi is the rooftop bar with superb city views. Rooms are modern, sparse and reliable – what you’d expect from a chain.
How to get to Kutaisi from Gori
There are regular marshrutka minivans and shared taxis departing Gori bus station for Kutaisi throughout the day, starting from as early as 8am. Travel time is around 2.5-3 hours , and the fare costs approximately 12 GEL .
Kutaisi’s main bus station where most vans terminate is located next to the McDonalds, around 4km from the centre (see location here ). City bus #1 will take you from the bus station to the Colchis Fountain for 60 tetri.
How to visit Tskaltubo from Kutaisi
Vans to Tskaltubo depart from the end of Rustaveli Bridge (near Kutaisi Tourism Info) every 15-20 minutes between 8am and 7pm. Travel time is 25 minutes , and the fare is 1.20 GEL . When you arrive in Tskaltubo, jump out at the park. Alternatively, a taxi to Tskaltubo costs around 15 GEL when booked through Bolt .
To get back to Kutaisi, just flag down a van travelling the opposite way. The fare is the same.
How to visit Katskhi Column & Chiatura from Kutaisi
There are a dozen daily vans to Chiatura from Kutaisi’s main bus station starting from 7am and departing every 40-60 minutes until 5pm. Drivers normally make a short stop in Zestafoni on the way, and they can drop you off on the highway at the trailhead for Katskhi Column on request. Travel time is 1.5 hours to Chiatura or just over an hour to Katskhi Column. Tickets cost around 8 GEL .
After you’ve visited Katskhi, you can just jump back in a van to continue to Chiatura. See my detailed instructions for visiting Katskhi and Chiatura from Kutaisi for more tips and important information about getting back to Kutaisi at the end of the day.
Top tip: Visit Kutaisi is one of the more proactive regional tourism offices in Georgia. Staff at the Tourism Center office near Rustaveli Bridge (see location here ) are exceedingly helpful.
Days 7, 8 & 9: Mestia & Ushguli
Remote Svaneti Region is one of the most ruggedly beautiful corners of Georgia. Located in the country’s far north-west, the stunning scenery here is matched by a fascinating cultural mix that comes from the diverse ethnic groups who have lived in the mountains and valleys for eons. Svaneti offers the best mountain hiking in Georgia. You won’t have enough time for the multi-day Mestia to Ushguli trek on this itinerary, but there are a range of alternative day hikes available.
Mestia is the main hub for Svaneti and has a good selection of guesthouses and restaurants, along with frequent transport connections. This is the place to indulge in hearty mountain fare ( kubdari beef pie and spiced Svanetian salt are two regional specialties that you must try), and learn about the legendary Svans at the wonderful Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography .
Ushguli is just a day trip away from Mestia. One of the highest inhabited villages in Europe (by some measures), it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognised for its iconic medieval stone fortified towers . In the village of Chazhashi, more than 200 towers still stand proud today.
Where to stay in Mestia
Budget-friendly guesthouse: Manoni’s Guesthouse is one of the longest-running in Mestia, and the family really know how to treat their guests. Rooms are very comfortable, especially the private doubles with ensuite. Meals are served in a cosy dining room. They can organise anything and everything on your behalf, including shared vans to Ushguli.
Boutique hotel: Hotel Lahili is a 5-minute walk from the museum, with modern and stylish rooms, comfortable common spaces and a generous breakfast.
Cabin: If you’re looking for something more secluded, Bude Mestia Cottages offer gorgeous self-contained A-frame cabins set in the forest 3km from the main square.
How to get to Mestia from Kutaisi
Kutaisi to Mestia is quite the journey so be prepared for a long and winding day of travel. I highly recommend booking a shared transfer with Budget Georgia . It’s a safer and more comfortable option – and it’s only a few GEL more than a marshrutka fare (from 60 GEL per person in summer).
If you opt for public transport, then depending on the time of year, you might have to change vans in Zugdidi as direct marshrutky only tend to run in the high season. This is nothing to worry about though – mention your final destination to your first driver in Kutaisi and they will phone ahead to another driver and ensure you make the transfer.
Travel time by marshrutka to Mestia from Kutaisi is approximately 5-7 hours . There is one direct van from Kutaisi Central Bus Station at 9am, and the fare is around 30 GEL . Alternatively, take a van to Zugdidi (hourly; 10 GEL ) and change to a Mestia van from there.
This road was recently upgraded, but it’s still a nail-biter. If you prefer to go with a driver (not a bad idea, especially in winter), a private transfer with GoTrip starts from 420 GEL.
How to visit Ushguli from Mestia
Ushguli is located 50km east of Mestia deeper in the mountains. Unless you’re trekking, you can travel between the two by road in around 2 hours . Most people visit Ushguli as a day trip. It’s possible to stay overnight (there are plenty of guesthouses) but in my opinion, a day is enough.
Tourist vans ply this route and there are always a couple of daily departures leaving Mestia at around 9am and returning before nightfall. The going rate for a seat is around 40-60 GEL per person, and itineraries usually include lunch and a few scenic pit stops on the way to Ushguli. Your guesthouse owner should be able to phone ahead and save you a seat the day before – or you can try your luck by approaching a driver near the main square (there are usually 4WDs waiting here as well if you prefer to go in a private car).
This road has improved considerably in recent years, but about 10km is still unpaved. Note that if snow is particularly heavy or there’s a landslide, the road to Ushguli may be closed for several days or more.
Day 10: Zugdidi
Zugdidi is a convenient place to stop for a few hours on the way down from Svaneti before you cross back into Eastern Georgia. I have a soft spot for the biggest city in Samegrelo Region , a part of Georgia that’s very culturally distinct from the rest of the country. It also happens to be home to my favourite regional cuisine . Mingrelian specialty restaurants such as Diaroni serve up kharcho (beef stew with walnuts) and elarji (cheesy cornmeal), or you can opt for a home-cooked meal at Folk House .
The biggest attraction in Zugdidi (apart from the food) is the Dadiani Palace , a former royal residence-turned-museum that holds a rare Napoleon death mask in its collection (weird, I know). Zugdidi Botanical Garden , the former palace grounds, is now a beautiful public park. The city’s aristocratic heritage and connection to the French royal family is quite fascinating.
If you have time, take a 20-minute bus ride to Rukhi Castle for a view of Abkhazia before boarding the train back to Tbilisi .
Recommended reading – 15 things to do in Zugdidi – Visiting a traditional Mingrelian pottery workshop in Zugdidi – The perfect day trip around Samegrelo region (coming soon!)
How to get to Zugdidi from Mestia
There are at least three direct vans from Mestia to Zugdidi daily departing from the bus station off Seti Square (see location here ). Check times when you arrive in Mestia – the owner of your guesthouse should know. Travel time to Zugdidi is around 4 hours with a stop at Enguri Dam, and the fare is around 35 GEL .
Taking the sleeper train from Zugdidi to Tbilisi
The rest of this two week Georgia itinerary is based in the east of the country. You’ll need to transfer through Tbilisi to get to Kakheti, so I recommend taking advantage of the late train to get back to the capital from Zugdidi. This will save you a full day on the road.
As of 2023, the night sleeper train between Tbilisi and Zugdidi is no longer running and there are no plans to restart it. You might opt for a night coach instead, operated by OmniBus .
Otherwise, the last train departs Zugdidi at around 5.30pm and arrives in Tbilisi just before midnight. Tickets can be purchased online in advance on the TKT.GE website or in-person at the station in Zugdidi.
Spend a night in Tbilisi then on day 11, take a metro or taxi to Samgori/Isani to catch a marshrutka/taxi straight to Kakheti (the first van of the day is scheduled for 8am). You’ll arrive bright and early in Sighnaghi, so you can afford to have a rest morning to recover from the long journey. Make sure you organise an early check-in with your guesthouse in advance.
Days 11 & 12: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region
Refer to days 4 & 5 of the one-week itinerary above.
Days 13 & 14: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi
Refer to days 6 & 7 of the one-week itinerary above.
Three weeks in Georgia itinerary
Three weeks in Georgia is ideal for travelling at a slightly slower pace. You’ll have more time up your sleeve for specialty activities such as hiking, and you’ll be able to visit a few of the more remote corners of the country that take longer to reach by road.
This route builds on the previous 2-week Georgia itinerary. Additions are bolded:
Tbilisi – [David Gareja & Udabno] – Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe – Kutaisi, Chiatura & Tskaltubo – Mestia & Ushguli – Zugdidi – Batumi – Khulo & Upper Adjara – Akhaltsikhe & Vardzia – Borjomi – Sighnaghi & Kakheti – Kazbegi – Tbilisi
- Days 1, 2 & 3: Tbilisi & day trips – overnight in Tbilisi
- Day 4: Day trip to David Gareja & Udabno – overnight in Tbilisi
- Day 5: Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe – overnight in Gori
- Days 6 & 7: Kutaisi, Chiatura & Tskaltubo – overnight in Kutaisi
- Days 8, 9 & 10: Mestia & Ushguli – overnight in Mestia
- Day 11: Zugdidi – overnight in Zugdidi
- Days 12 & 13: Batumi – overnight in Batumi
- Days 14 & 15: Khulo & Upper Adjara – overnight in Khulo
- Day 16: Akhaltsikhe & Vardzia – overnight in Akhaltsikhe
- Day 17: Borjomi – overnight in Tbilisi
- Days 18 & 19: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region – overnight in Sighnaghi
- Days 20 & 21: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi – overnight in Kazbegi
Days 1, 2 & 3: Tbilisi & day trips
For things to do in Tbilisi, refer to days 1 & 2 of the one-week itinerary above.
This itinerary allows for an extra day in Tbilisi. You might choose to spend it visiting the Chronicles of Georgia and Tbilisi Sea , exploring the outdoor market at Navtlugi and visiting the Stalin Printing House Museum , or by venturing up to the Open Air Ethnography Museum, Turtle Lake , and one of my favourite restaurants in Tbilisi , Rachis Ubani.
Or you might choose to add on an extra Tbilisi day trip instead.
Day 4: Day trip to David Gareja & Udabno
Refer to day 3 of the two-week itinerary above.
Day 5: Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe
Refer to day 3 of the one-week itinerary above.
Days 6 & 7: Kutaisi, Chiatura & Tskaltubo
Refer to days 5 & 6 of the two-week itinerary above.
Days 8, 9 & 10: Mestia & Ushguli
Refer to days 7, 8 & 9 of the two-week itinerary above.
Day 11: Zugdidi
For things to do in Zugdidi , refer to day 10 of the two-week itinerary above.
For this itinerary, I recommend spending the night in Zugdidi before you continue down the coast to Batumi.
Where to stay in Zugdidi
Guesthouse: Casa de Khasia is a gorgeous boutique guesthouse that’s run by a local couple who are extremely active in advancing the rights of Abkhaz IDPs and promoting Zugdidi as a tourist destination. Rooms are large and beautifully furnished, and the outdoor common spaces are delightful. Breakfast is included.
Days 12 & 13: Batumi
Batumi is Georgia’s biggest Black Sea resort city . I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (it wasn’t mine either at first) – but with three weeks in Georgia, it would be a shame not to visit the Black Sea region, which is very important to Georgian culture.
Adjara (the region Batumi is part of) is another culturally distinct pocket of the country with a strong Turkish influence , a distinct language, and yet another scrumptious local cuisine to its name. Adjaruli Khachapuri – that iconic boat-shaped bread oozing with molten cheese, butter and a gooey egg – was born in Adjara.
Batumi revolves around the stony beachfront and Batumi Boulevard, a scenic park that traces the sealine and has been a fixture of the city since 1881. Hire a bike and cycle along the foreshore – all the way to Sarpi and the Turkish border if you’re game.
Batumi Botanical Garden was the largest in the Soviet Union and is a must-visit for easy hiking and sea views. Eat lunch at the Fish Market , walk the old town , then take a bus down the coast to Gonio Fortress or north to Petra Fortress , Seaside Shukura at Tsikhisdziri Hidden Beach and the magnetic black sand beaches around Ureki.
Some of Georgia’s best national parks (and the country’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands), are a day trip away . Go hiking in Mtirala National Park or take a boat ride at Kolkheti National Park .
Admire Batumi’s street art and imaginative architecture , then finish your day with sunset drinks at high-rise Kartuli . As long as you’re visiting outside of peak summer season, you’ll no doubt find plenty of reasons to love Batumi.
Recommended reading – 35 things to do in Batumi – 10 excellent day trips from Batumi – Guide to visiting Batumi Botanical Garden – Where to find Batumi’s best street art – Cycling to Sarpi and the Turkish border from Batumi – Guide to the best short hike near Batumi
Where to stay in Batumi
Kartuli Hotel is my top choice of accommodation in Batumi for any budget. Rooms range from very affordable doubles all the way to luxury suites. The location on the 37th floor of Orbi Tower is mind-blowingly good – the sea views, especially at sunset, are insane. Every little design detail is on-point and the breakfast is also top notch.
Click here to check rates & availability on Booking.com or read my full review of Kartuli.
How to get to Batumi from Zugdidi
There are at least eight daily vans to Batumi departing from the bus depot near Zugdidi Railway Station (see location here ). Travel time is 3 hours and the fare is around 15 GEL . If there’s no van available when you arrive at the station, you can always transfer through Poti ( a charming city in its own right ).
The journey down the Black Sea Coast is a real treat. Grab a seat on the righthand side of the van for the best views.
Days 14 & 15: Khulo & Upper Adjara
Upper Adjara is the mountainous region east of Batumi. Majority Muslim, it’s known for its opulent painted mosques . In summer, shepherds come here to pasture their flocks. In winter, picturesque mountain towns dotted with sweet cabins transform into ski slopes.
Khulo is the biggest city in Upper Adjara and offers a good selection of accommodation and food options. They do things a bit differently here – one of the ways to get around town is using a cable car to travel across the valley.
Where to stay in Khulo
I have never stayed overnight in Khulo myself (I’ve only visited as a day trip), but there are a few simple guesthouses in town to choose from. Guest House Karati is good value for money and has great reviews from other travellers. The mountain views are a big plus.
For something different, Upper Adjara has a few ‘glamping’ luxury tents and geodesic domes . Glamping Tago is located in the small village on the opposite side of the valley and can be reached via cable car from Khulo. The spectacular mountaintop location makes it one of the most memorable accommodations in Georgia.
How to get to Khulo from Batumi
Marshrutka vans bound for Khulo and the villages in Upper Adjara leave every 30-60 minutes from Batumi’s old bus station (see location here ). Travel time is around 2.5 hours and tickets cost approximately 7 GEL .
The road into the mountains is windy and a bit rough, so if you suffer from motion sickness remember to have your medication on-hand.
Day 16: Akhaltsikhe & Vardzia
Akhaltsikhe is a small city in Georgia’s Samtskhe–Javakheti region , a culturally diverse part of the country that’s loaded with historical monuments and archaeological sites . The most famous of them all is of course Vardzia , Georgia’s biggest cave city , which lies just east of Akhaltsikhe.
Composed of more than 4,000 individual cells and chambers hewn from a sheer rock wall , it cuts an impressive figure. It’s enthralling to explore on foot, especially when you have a guide to point out the copper pipes, bread ovens and clay qvevris – ancient amenities that once supported a large community of resident monks .
Recommended reading – Things to do in Akhaltsikhe (city guide) – 10 things to do in Samtskhe-Javakheti off the tourist trail – My tips for visiting Vardzia
The biggest attraction in Akhaltsikhe city is Rabati Castle , a massive fortification that was originally built in the 9th century. Some say the recent renovations went a step too far and left the castle feeling like a theme park . I still think it’s quite beautiful , despite not being able to tell where history ends and fantasy begins! I’ll let you be the judge.
Where to stay in Akhaltsikhe
Located on the steep street that leads to the castle, Old Street offers a handful of large and very comfortably furnished rooms, all with ensuite bathrooms. The family live onsite and are very helpful with organising drivers, transport and the like. A fulsome breakfast is included in the nightly rate. We had to wake up at dawn to catch a van when we stayed here and they very kindly prepared breakfast for us the night before so that we wouldn’t miss out.
How to get to Akhaltsikhe from Khulo
The road between Khulo and Akhaltsikhe is still unpaved in sections and quite slow-going as a result. A vehicle with high clearance is required, and it’s not recommended to travel after heavy rain. If in doubt, call the Roads department hotline (+995 322 313 076) to check conditions.
There is only one daily direct marshrutka van during summer that I’m aware of – check times locally – or else you can travel by shared or private taxi. The trip takes around 3.5-4.5 hours via a beautifully scenic stretch of mountain road that passes by Goderdzi ski resort.
Note that the high pass is normally closed in winter, so some forward planning is required for this journey.
How to visit Vardzia from Akhaltsikhe
Vardzia is 30km east of Akhaltsikhe and can be reached in around 60 minutes by road. There are infrequent marshrutka vans to Vardzia from Akhaltsikhe’s bus station (see location here ) for around 7 GEL one-way, but the more convenient way to travel is by hiring a car and driver to take you there and back. This should cost around 60 GEL including wait time, and your guesthouse in Akhaltsikhe will be able to organise it for you.
For times and fares, see this guide on how to get to Vardzia .
Day 17: Borjomi
In Georgia and across the former USSR , Borjomi is associated with one thing: Mineral water. Natural carbonate springs were ‘discovered’ here in the 1850s, but archaeological evidence suggests the waters have been used for health purposes since at least the 7th century BC. Today you can visit the original spring inside Borjomi Central Park – a leafy slice of parkland with walking trails, a cable car and open-air thermal baths – and fill up a bottle with water straight from the source.
Borjomi has traditionally been a place for rest and respite, so it’s a good place to pause for a day. There isn’t a whole lot to do here, but there is lots to see on the outskirts of the city. From Borjomi, you can ride Georgia’s only scenic railway , the Kukushka train, to the mountain resort of Bakuriani where you’ll find beautiful resorts and skiing in winter. (Please note, the train is currently not running).
The stunning Romanov Palace in nearby Likani (currently closed for renovations) is worth visiting, and outdoor enthusiasts can find easy hiking trails in Borjomi National Park . In Borjomi, don’t miss eating Meskhetian cuisine at Pesvebi , one of my favourite restaurants in all of Georgia.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Borjomi, Abastumani is another old spa resort around 40 minutes north of Akhaltsikhe in the mountains. It has hot springs, Romanov palaces, heritage architecture and a Soviet-era mountain observatory , where you take a tour of the restored telescopes or book in for an evening stargazing session. See my Abastumani guide for more information, transport tips and accommodations.
Where to stay in Borjomi
Self-contained apartment: Borjomi Cottages (formerly called Guest House on Erekle) is a terrific choice for singles or couples. They offer several self-contained studio apartments set inside little cabins, complete with a kitchenette and modern bathroom. It’s walking distance from the train station and Central Park, and Pesvebi – which happens to be run by the guest house owner’s sister – is just footsteps away.
Budget-friendly guesthouse: Guest House Besarioni is another solid choice in Borjomi. Private rooms are set inside a family home on the hill above town, accessed via a flight of stairs from the main street. Rooms are comfortable, there’s a washing machine, and the owner is extremely friendly and helpful. There are a number of short hiking trails in the hills above the guesthouse too.
Boutique hotel: Set in one of the most beautiful old buildings in Borjomi – a house built for the Iranian Consul – Golden Tulip Borjomi is steps from Central Park. Rooms are furnished in the same opulent style as the exterior. The upstairs breakfast terrace affords lovely views.
How to get to Borjomi from Akhaltsikhe
Borjomi is 50km (around an hour by road) from Akhaltsikhe. There are minivan connections from the bus station in Akhaltsikhe throughout the day. The fare is around 5 GEL .
Days 18 & 19: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region
Days 20 & 21: georgian military highway & kazbegi, one month in georgia itinerary.
If you’re able to budget four whole weeks for Georgia, you’re setting yourself up for a really wonderful trip. I call this the ‘Ultimate’ Georgia itinerary because it touches on all the major cities, historical and cultural sites and landscapes. It includes 21 cities and towns, 9 out of the 12 regions, and all 4 UNESCO Sites (plus 8 of the 15 Tentative sites).
This itinerary follows the same format as previous routes but with more stops included. Additions are bolded:
Tbilisi – [David Gareja & Udabno] – Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe – Kutaisi, Chiatura & Tskaltubo – Martvili – Mestia & Ushguli – Zugdidi – Guria – Batumi – Khulo & Upper Adjara – Akhaltsikhe & Vardzia – Borjomi – Tsalka & Javakheti – Sighnaghi & Kakheti – Telavi – Pankisi Valley – Kazbegi – Tbilisi
- Day 8: Martvili – overnight in Martvili
- Days 9, 10 & 11: Mestia & Ushguli – overnight in Mestia
- Day 12: Zugdidi – overnight in Zugdidi
- Days 13 & 14: Guria – overnight in Ozurgeti
- Days 15, 16 & 17: Batumi & the Black Sea Coast – overnight in Batumi
- Days 18 & 19: Khulo & Upper Adjara – overnight in Khulo
- Day 20: Akhaltsikhe & Vardzia – overnight in Akhaltsikhe
- Day 21: Borjomi – overnight in Borjomi
- Day 22: Tsalka & Javakheti – overnight in Tbilisi
- Days 23 & 24: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region – overnight in Sighnaghi
- Day 25: Telavi – overnight in Telavi
- Days 26 & 27: Pankisi Valley – overnight in Jokolo
- Days 28, 29 & 30: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi – overnight in Kazbegi
Days 1, 2 & 3: Tbilisi
Refer to days 1, 2 & 3 of the three-week itinerary above.
Refer to day 4 of the three-week itinerary above.
Refer to day 4 of the two-week itinerary above.
Day 8: Martvili
This one month Georgia itinerary is full to the brim, so I recommend enjoying a bit of downtime whenever you can. Martvili, a small town in Samegrelo region, is the perfect place to pause between Kutaisi and Svaneti, giving you a chance for some much-needed rest between long drives. If you want to power through, you can easily travel directly from Kutaisi to Mestia and enjoy an extra day in the mountains.
There are a couple of noteworthy attractions in and around Martvili, including Martvili Monastery and two popular canyons, Martvili and Okatse . I’m not a huge fan of the canyons (or the nearby Kinchkha Waterfall ) – all of these sites are overdeveloped in my opinion and charge a hefty entrance fee.
Personally I would suggest using your time in Martvili to relax at Karma Hostel , visit lesser-known canyons such as Balda and perhaps the hot springs at Nokalakevi , enjoy a meal at Oda Family Marani , and maybe visit the Martvili tea fields instead. Don’t miss the monastery and if you happen to be in town on a Friday, be sure to attend the weekly farmers’ market .
Where to stay in Martvili
Karma Hostel offers dorms and a private room for two on the outskirts of Martvili. This is an excellent place to chill out for a day or two, drink wine on the verandah and eat meals made with fresh produce from the neighbour’s garden.
Click here to check rates & availability on Booking.com or read my full review of Karma Hostel.
How to get to Martvili from Kutaisi
There a dozen daily vans to Martvili from Kutaisi starting from around 8am and departing every hour until 6pm. The trip takes around an hour , and the fare is approximately 5 GEL . In Martvili, vans terminate in the centre of town. If you’re staying at Karma Hostel, you’ll want to jump off early at or near this gas station .
Days 9, 10 & 11: Mestia & Ushguli
Day 12: zugdidi.
Refer to day 11 of the three-week itinerary above.
Days 13 & 14: Guria
Western Georgia’s Guria Region is well and truly off the beaten track . I didn’t know anything about this part of Georgia before I visited this summer, but it quickly became one of my favourite places. I’ve been back several times since. The train station in Ozurgeti has passenger connections to Batumi and Tbilisi, making it relatively easy to get in and out.
As soon as you arrive in Guria, you immediately notice the change in climate. This part of the country is very warm and humid, perfect conditions for growing hazelnuts and tea , the two crops this area is famous for. Georgia’s little-documented tea heritage is absolutely fascinating and it all begins in Guria, where massive plantations and factories were built to furnish the entire Soviet Union with provisions for their daily cuppa.
There isn’t a whole lot of infrastructure in Guria, so I recommend staying centrally in or near Ozurgeti, the region’s small capital. It’s worth coming this way just to spend a few nights at Komli , a family run guesthouse and tea farm 10 minutes from Ozurgeti.
To explore further afield – such as the tea fields in Anaseuli , the Soviet mosaics around Meria and the incredible Soviet architecture in the village of Shroma – you’ll need to organise a car and driver. Don’t miss visiting either Gomismta or Bakhmaro , Guria’s twin mountain-top summer resorts that both offer stunning views (roads open in the warmer months only, unless you want to travel by snowmobile!).
Recommended reading – Things to do in Ozurgeti & Guria
Where to stay in Guria
Komli is one of the best accommodations in all of Georgia. Hosts Mariam, Lika and Mary – three generations of women – are personal friends of ours. There are just two guest rooms set inside their wooden home outside Ozurgeti, or you can sleep inside a giant wine barrel in the yard that’s been fitted out with a double bed.
The family has an intimate relationship with the tea industry and they keep a small field on the property where they harvest leaves. The only thing better than the tea is the home-cooked Gurian fare, served up in plentiful quantities on the outdoor deck.
How to get to Guria from Zugdidi
Ozurgeti, Guria’s biggest city and main transport hub, is 100km south of Zugdidi via Poti and the Black Sea Coast. Travel time by marshrutka is around 2.5 hours . Check times and fares at the bus station in Zugdidi.
Days 15, 16 & 17: Batumi & the Black Sea Coast
For things to do in Batumi , refer to days 9 & 10 of the two-week itinerary above.
This itinerary allows for an extra day on Black Sea Coast, which you can use to explore another of Adjara’s national parks. My personal favourite is the Machakhela Protected Areas , a magical landscape of primary Colchic forest along the Turkish border.
Recommended reading – 10 day trips around Adjara (with transport instructions) – How to visit the Machakhela Protected Areas
How to get to Batumi from Ozurgeti
To get from Ozurgeti to Batumi, I recommend taking a direct marshrutka van ( 2.5 hours ) or marshrutka via Ureki.
Days 18 & 19: Khulo & Upper Adjara
Refer to days 14 & 15 of the three-week itinerary above.
Day 20: Akhaltsikhe & Vardzia
Refer to day 16 of the three-week itinerary above.
Day 21: Borjomi
Refer to day 17 of the three-week itinerary above.
Day 22: Tsalka & Javakheti
Another of Georgia’s lesser-visited areas, the Javakheti Protected Areas is a high-altitude plateau of volcanic lakes and endless plains . This is one of Georgia’s most majestic landscapes – a complete contrast to the lush west and mountainous north – and absolutely worth the detour if you have time. You can see a lot in the space of a day if you hire a car and driver to take you through Javakheti on your way from Borjomi back to Tbilisi.
This area is known as the ‘Georgian Arctic’ because of the unforgiving climate. The landscape is covered with deep snow for much of the year, so make sure you have the right gear if you’re travelling in the colder months. In late summer and fall it becomes one of the region’s most important nesting grounds for endemic and migratory birds .
Each of the lakes has a bird watching tower and short hiking routes nearby. If you only have time for a couple of lakes , I suggest visiting Bughdasheni Managed Reserve and the nearby Doukhobor village of Gorelovka , plus Paravani Lake and Poka St. Nino Monastery (don’t miss the convent shop that sells delicious preserves and skincare products made from local beeswax and botanicals). If there’s time, stop off in the city of Tsalka for lunch at Restaurant Pontia before visiting Dashbashi Canyon and the petroglyphs in Trialeti. Birtvisi Canyon and Samshvilde Canyon are two alternatives.
If you have time, drop by the historic German villages of Asureti and Trialeti in Kvemo Kartli region , and make a stop at Manglisi Cathedral the spectacular Didgori Battle Memorial before arriving back in Tbilisi.
If the lakes district doesn’t interest you, you can always head straight back to Tbilisi from Borjomi by marshrutka or train and spend an extra day in the capital instead.
Recommended reading – Things to do in Tsalka and Javakheti
How to get to Tsalka & Javakheti from Borjomi
To travel between Borjomi and Tbilisi via Tsalka and Kvemo Kartli, you’ll need a car. I recommend hiring a driver for the day through GoTrip for this route so that you can make as many stops along the way as you please.
Prices for Borjomi-Tsalka-Asureti-Didgori-Tbilisi start from $70 per car. Customise your itinerary and book a driver here .
Days 23 & 24: Sighnaghi & Kakheti wine region
Day 25: telavi.
This extended Georgia itinerary allows for an extra day in the wine region. I recommend you spend it in Telavi, Kakheti’s biggest city. You can find dozens more wineries in and around town for tours and tastings (Akido and Togonidze’s Wine Cellar are two of my favourites). If you skipped it on your first days, the historic Tsinandali Estate outside Telavi is a must-visit.
Telavi city itself is a very pleasant place to spend an afternoon. Wander beneath the balconies of the old town , visit the Giant Plane Tree – Telavi’s pride and joy – and explore the mammoth undercover market .
Where to stay in Telavi
Budget-friendly guesthouse: Guesthouse Lilia is a simple, warm and spotlessly clean family guesthouse in the centre of the city. The back garden and onsite wine cellar are a treat. Owner Lilia is very hospitable and can help with organising a car and driver to take you around for the day.
Mid-range hotel: Hestia Hotel, Wine and View offers the best of all three. Rooms are neat and stylish, and the panorama from the rooftop restaurant/bar is stunning.
Boutique hotel: Seventeen Rooms offers stylish modern rooms, an outdoor pool and delightful common areas, including a comfortable lounge with an open fireplace in winter. Some rooms have balconies overlooking the city. A generous breakfast is available, while lunch, dinner and local wines are served at the onsite restaurant.
Luxury hotel: The Radisson Tsinandali on the grounds of the Tsinandali Estate is a little bit pricey, but it’s worth every penny. Rooms are amazing, as is the buffet breakfast, and guests get unfettered access to the estate gardens. If you’re going to splurge on one hotel in Georgia, this is a great choice.
Click here to check rates & availability on Booking.com or read my review of the Radisson Tsinandali .
How to get to Telavi from Sighnaghi
There are only a handful of marshrutka services from Sighnaghi to Telavi – and the journey is quite slow as they stop frequently to pick up passengers from the villages along the highway.
It’s much more convenient to take a taxi between the two towns. This should take around 1.5 hours and cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of 60 GEL for a car. In Sighnaghi, taxis wait at the top of the park and down the road in front of the large building near the donkey statue.
If you’re already travelling the Wine Route , it might make more sense to throw your bags in the back of the car and ask your driver to drop you off in Telavi at the end of the day.
Days 26 & 27: Pankisi Valley
Visiting Pankisi Valley is one of the most memorable and enriching experiences you can have in Georgia. Located in the north-eastern corner of Kakheti, the valley is defined by a series of small villages inhabited by families from the Kist community , whose ancestors migrated to Georgia from Chechnya 200 years ago. The area only opened to tourism relatively recently – it’s a real privilege and an honour to be able to observe the Kists’ rich and beautiful culture as a guest of the community.
Nazy’s Guest House in the village of Jokolo is the leading accommodation provider here. As well as offering comfortable rooms, Nazy can organise activities around the valley including guided cultural walks . If you’re visiting on a Friday, you can attend the women’s zikr , a fascinating Sufi ritual that takes place every week. Eat copious amounts of delicious Kist food , and visit some of the many watchtowers, mosques and other historical monuments that dot the landscape.
Pankisi lies in the shadow of the Tusheti Protected Areas and is right on the doorstep of some immaculate nature. Marked hiking trails , guided mountain biking and horse trekking are all available.
Recommended reading – 20 things to do in Pankisi Valley – What to expect when visiting Nazy’s Guest House
Where to stay in Pankisi
Nazy’s Guest House in Jokolo is the place to stay in Pankisi. Nazy has spearheaded tourism in the region and her family guesthouse is one of the longest-operating. Rooms are comfortably furnished, home-cooked meals are available, and Nazy can help organise everything from culinary classes to walking tours and guided horseback riding.
How to get to Pankisi from Telavi
Pankisi Valley is located less than an hour’s drive from Telavi. Marshrutka vans to Jokolo and Akhmeta, the nearest city to Pankisi, depart frequently from Telavi’s new bus station (see location here ). The fare should cost around 7 GEL .
Alternatively, there are plenty of taxi drivers that know this route and will take you to Jokolo for around 30 GEL . They tend to wait near the bus station – just ask around and you will find someone.
Days 28, 29 & 30: Georgian Military Highway & Kazbegi
For things to do in Kazbegi, refer to days 6 & 7 of the one-week itinerary above.
This one month itinerary allows for an extra day in Kazbegi which you can either use for an additional day hike or for relaxing in town at Rooms. For alternative hiking routes, Juta and Truso are both popular choices and easy to reach from Stepantsminda (see more in the next section below).
How to travel the Georgian Military Highway to Kazbegi from Pankisi
It’s possible to get onto the Georgian Military Highway from Pankisi without having to double-back through Tbilisi. Since I recommend using GoTrip for this route even if you are travelling from Tbilisi, you can simply organise for a driver to pick you up from Jokolo instead.
They will likely cut through to Tianeti , a very scenic drive with a few places to stop along the way (including Kvetera Fortress’s Church). When I last travelled this road there were a few unpaved sections – but it’s currently being sealed, so my guess is that the road will be completely finished by the time you get there.
From Tianeti, the road continues to the base of Zhinvali Reservoir and the start of the Georgian Military Highway, which you can then follow all the way up to Kazbegi with all the stops mentioned previously.
Total travel time from Jokolo to Kazbegi is just under 4 hours without stops. A car and driver for the day starts from $65 when booked through GoTrip .
These itineraries hit on all the major highlights – but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. If you have more time in Georgia (or you’re already planning your return trip), there are lots more places that are worthy of your time.
Here is a small handful. I’ve also included suggestions for where to slot these into your Georgia itinerary so as to avoid backtracking.
Tusheti – add 4-5 days
The Tusheti Protected Areas is located in far north-east Georgia along the border with Russia. It’s extremely remote – and extremely beautiful – but you need a good amount of time and an experienced driver to get there.
Tusheti is all about dramatic peaks and valleys, clusters of stone tower houses and massive herds of sheep, all shrouded in mist because of the high altitude. Remote villages are only inhabited during summer and offer basic guesthouses, but infrastructure is overall pretty limited. This of course is part of the appeal. The main things to do in Tusheti are hike, horseback ride and enjoy the mountain hospitality.
The road up to Tusheti is only open in the warmer months, meaning you only have a small window to visit. The season changes year to year depending on the weather but it’s usually from early June until October.
You must go with an experienced local driver who knows the roads and has a good car. Shared and private cars can be arranged from Telavi, thus it makes the most sense to visit Tusheti after Kakheti wine region. See here for transport instructions . Adventurers can travel up by horseback from Pankisi Valley.
Khevsureti – add 3-4 days
Similar to Tusheti, Khevsureti is a remote region of the Greater Caucasus in Georgia’s north-east. It’s sandwiched between Kazbegi and Tusheti.
The main attraction here is the village of Shatili, home to yet more stone tower houses. It takes at least 5 hours to reach Shatili from Tbilisi by road via Roshka, so it’s recommended to spend at least 2 nights in a local guesthouse to make the most of it.
Racha-Lechkhumi – add 2-3 days
Racha is a mountainous region in Western Georgia between Svaneti and South Ossetia. It’s very popular with locals but doesn’t attract many foreign visitors, mainly because it was always a bit trickier to get to without a car. That changed in 2021 when a new road opened from Sachkhere in Upper Imereti, making it possible to reach Oni in under 4 hours from Tbilisi .
Oni is a magical town with a stunning old synagogue. Shovi , an old Soviet summer retreat, is home to ‘Stalin’s Dacha’, and the more remote villages such as Ghebi offer hiking and homestays where you can eat ‘real’ Rachan cuisine and sip famous Khvanchkara wine pressed from grapes that only grow in Lower Racha.
It’s possible to get to Racha by marshrutka van from Kutaisi to Ambrolauri or Oni. But once you’re there, it will be difficult to get around. The wonderful Guest House Gallery in Oni can organise day transport but it’s much better to go up with your own car.
Adjacent Lechkhumi has magnificent rock karst formations and high-altitude villages. This is where you’ll find the Instagram-famous Lailashi Secret Pool .
→ Read my full guide to Racha-Lechkhumi .
Vashlovani – add 3-4 days
The far south-eastern corner of Kakheti region, approaching the border with Azerbaijan, is a wicked landscape of savannah plains and mud volcanoes. Vashlovani Nature Reserve is definitely an off-the-beaten track destination and only for the adventurous. You need your own 4WD to make the most of it.
I’m yet to visit Vashlovani myself. This guide tells you everything you need to know about planning a trip.
Lagodekhi – add 2-3 days
Also in the eastern corner of Kakheti, Lagodekhi Nature Reserve is a lush forested landscape with plenty of hiking trails. One of the most popular routes is Black Rock Lake, a 2-day hike to the border with Azerbaijan and Russia. Duende Hotels offers delightful A-frame cabins on the edge of the park and is a great place to base your stay.
If you’re travelling to Azerbaijan next, you’ll pass right through Lagodekhi on your way to the border . Otherwise you can easily get to the villages around the park from Tbilisi or Telavi by marshrutka.
Juta or Truso – add 1-2 days
If you’re looking for more hiking opportunities in the Greater Caucasus, Juta is an easy addition to your Georgia itinerary after Kazbegi. Fifth Season is a popular cabin accommodation in Juta and a good place to pair up with hiking buddies to tackle the trails around the valley.
Mountain Freaks organises transfers to Juta and Truso from Kazbegi throughout the trekking season.
Here are the websites and services I personally use and recommend for Georgia. Check out my full list of travel resources for more tips.
FLIGHTS: Search for affordable flights to Tbilisi, Batumi or Kutaisi on Skyscanner .
TRAVEL INSURANCE: Insure your trip with HeyMondo , my preferred provider for single-trip and annual travel insurance (get 5% off when you book with my link).
SIM CARD: Magti is my preferred provider, with prices starting from 9 GEL/week for unlimited data. See this guide for all the details about buying a Georgian SIM card .
AIRPORT TRANSFERS: Most flights into Georgia arrive in the early hours. For ease, pre-book a private transfer from Tbilisi Airport to your hotel (from $17) or from Kutaisi Airport to Tbilisi (from $90) with my partners at GoTrip.ge.
ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is the most widely used platform in Georgia. Use it to find family guesthouses, private apartments, hostels and hotels around the country.
CAR HIRE: Find a great deal on a rental car in Georgia – use the Local Rent website to book through a local agent (prices start from $20/day).
DAY TRIPS & CITY TOURS: Use Viator or Get Your Guide to browse a range of day trips and city tours. For off-beat programs, I recommend Friendly.ge (use the promocode wanderlush for 10% off). For in-depth day trips to Georgia’s wine regions, I recommend Eat This! Tours (use the promo code wanderlush for 5% off).
PRIVATE TRANSFERS: GoTrip.ge is a terrific service for booking a private professional driver and car for the day. Use it for A-to-B transfers, a customised round-trip itinerary, or a multi-day trip. You can stop wherever you like for as long as you like without the fixed price going up.
NEED SOME HELP?: Need feedback on your itinerary or personalised travel tips? I offer a one-on-one consultation call service for Tbilisi and Georgia. More information and bookings here .
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Hi Emily – thanks a ton for this blog! We’re planning or trip for a few weeks from now and this has been the most helpful resource we’ve found.
Somehting that would help us firm up dates and get our accomodations booked whould be to know what to prioritized on weekends vs weekdays. Should we aim to be at wineries on the weekend for a better experience with the hosts? Are Sundays usually quiet? Should we avoid being in Stepantsminda on the weekends due to crowds?
In general, we’re going to be roughly following your one week itinerary in Tbilisi, Sighnaghi and Stepantsminda but over about 10 days. We’ll spend the first weekend in Tbilisi for sure, but your opinions on the timing of the others would be great!
Hi AJ, sounds like a great plan! As it’s school holidays now there is not a huge difference between weekdays vs weekends. Some very small wineries might prefer to not have guests on a Sunday, but they would open for you regardless. I think Stepantsminda will be quite crowded every day throughout August (it was already in May!) so my biggest tip there is to get up to the church nice and early ahead of the groups.
Thanks Emily – appreciate your insight!
Thank you so much for this post. Exactly what I was looking for. Question: I know I shouldn’t compare but since I’ll be in Armenia before arriving in Georgia, should I skip Dilijan? Svaneti and Kazbegi regions look more impressive than Dilijan.
Hi Lee – in my opinion, yes. Dilijan is a nice base for hiking but the town itself is not that great in my opinion. Svaneti and Kazbegi have the Greater Caucasus mountains of course, and that’s very hard to beat!
Hi Emily, we are planning our 16 day trip through Georgia and so we are following your two week itinerary. We will land in Kutaisi. You recommend to always start in Tibilisi first. We wonder what the reason for that is. We also noticed that you drive from the east to the west and back to the east. For us even more, because we are leaving from Kutaisi again. We wonder if this is necessary or why you don’t do all the destinations in the east at once and then go to the west afterwards.
Thank you for your reply
Hi Julia – most of my readers fly into Tbilisi. Of course you can simply reverse the route.
H! We are just finishing a two week tour of Georgia, and we heavily used your blog, so thank you!
Random question: most of the houses we see have an outside staircase that goes to the second floor. We couldn’t figure out why. Any thoughts? What is the layout of a “typical” Georgian house? Thanks!
Hi Jenna, so happy to hear that!
Yes you’re right, a lot of houses have an external staircase (including mine!). I think there are a couple of possible reasons depending on the vintage of the home… Maybe upstairs was living quarters while downstairs was set aside for guest rooms, so there were two separate entrances. Or perhaps the house was divided up during the Soviet period between several different families, each of whom wanted their own entrance (so the stairs were tacked on later – this is often the case in Tbilisi especially). I have also been told that during the Soviet period it was not permitted to build a 2-storey dwelling, so some houses had a bottom level with a low ceiling height set aside as ‘storage space’.
As for a typical Georgian house – there are variations between regions and of course it depends when it was built. But I would say that many houses have conjoined rooms with multiple doorways and no hallways, plus at least one balcony.
Hello Emily, I intend visiting Georgia next September and I found your site which is very informative. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. I am sure I will have a great time. I intend travelling for one month, unfortunately it will be in July and it will be warm. I will also try to hire a small car. And off I go on an adventure! I am a bit worried about the political situation with Russia so this is why I want to do it soon. Thanks again! Michele
Hi Emily, I’ve been reading your blogs and taking notes for some days now Very useful information indeed so first I wanna thank you Secondly, I need your help. My itinerary includes Tbilisi, Telavi, Kazbegi, Mestia and Batumi. I'm planning to spend a few nights in each destination and have day trips to Sighnaghi, Ushguli, etc. Can you please help me put the main 5 destinations in a smooth order I'd really like to get around Georgia without wasting time and I'm helpless mostly because of Mestia and Batumi. They are quite far.
Hi Beatrice, great to hear that! How many days will you spend in Georgia? The most logical order is Tbilisi – Mestia – Batumi – Tbilisi – Telavi – Kazbegi – Tbilisi (or the reverse).
Hi Emily, today my boyfriend and I came back from our 2 week trip to Georgia. It was a postponed 2020 holiday, so we were very much looking forward to it. In 2020 already and again these past months I have binged your blog and I want to thank you a lot for your extensive and clear blogs!! So many highlights are coming from your tips, for example dinner at Iasamani in Tbilisi (we also had our very last dinner there yesterday as a goodbye), the “secret” trail up to Gergeti Trinity, or visiting Tskaltubo, to mention some. Our only negative experience was with our rental car from Local rent. The car was definitely not in good shape and after 3 days we were forced to return to Tbilisi and we decided to rent a car from a more expensive company. The experience with the guy we rented the car from was really unpleasant. That aside, Georgia is a beautiful country and we would not have been able to enjoy it to the fullest without your help and commitment to this blog. Thank you so much! It will be weird to close off all the tabs with your posts I have been reading the past time haha. Good luck and perhaps we’ll read another one of your blogs for one of our coming holidays. Cheers from the Netherlands.
Hi Lily! Thanks so much for your comment, I’m so happy you finally made it to Georgia! It sounds like you had some wonderful experiences!
Sorry to hear about the car – I haven’t heard of anyone having such an experience before, but I know they are working on some enhanced quality control measures this year (ratings and so forth). Please write them and give them feedback on the agent if you haven’t already. I hope that didn’t disrupt your plans too much.
Thank you again for the comment and for reading, it means a lot! Hope to see you back in Georgia some time soon!
Thanks Emily. My partner booked us flights to georgia without consulting me and your site helped me to warm up a lot to the idea.
It is a great resource but I am left wondering about the following things – Are shops open on weekeneds? (I assume major attractions are, but maybe worth asking about that as well). Can totally live without shopping for two days, but if supermarkets are closed it is something that needs some planning. – Credit card acceptance and ATM availability, can we trust being able to pay with CC at resturants? We are going to land in kutaisi and spend few days there, and while I am sure CC usage is not a problem in tbilsi and batumi, not sure about kutaisi and even smaller towns. Guess another way to ask it is should we bring cash with us. – Personal safety. Stuff may happen in the safest places in the world, so this is about relative safety, are there places/activities in the cities which smart tourists should just try to avoid in the first place? – How bad is the humidity in the summer (june is what I care about realy) saw that you do not recommended comming to tbilsi at that time of the year, and I am sure people that are not used to heat+humidity will not enjoy the experiance, but can you compare it to some other generally humid places? And sub question, do places in general have AC, or do we need to be prepared to change cloths several times a day when walking around the city :)?
Hi Mark, glad to hear that!
I do go through a lot of these topics in depth in other guides…
Everything is open on weekends except banks and some Magti mobile phone shops, which are closed on Sundays. Shops, malls, restaurants all trade on weekends.
CC is widely accepted in all cities including Kutaisi, but you should carry cash for small towns/rural areas. Do not bring cash though, just use an ATM. See here for tips: https://wander-lush.org/georgia-travel-budget-costs/
Georgia is extremely safe by world standards. Specific safety advice here: https://wander-lush.org/is-georgia-safe-country-europe/
Humidity/heat – it depends where you’re going, the climate is vastly different from place to place. August is the warmest month, usually June is not too bad. AC is ubiquitous. See here: https://wander-lush.org/best-time-to-visit-georgia-country/
Hope this helps!
cool, thanks alot.
Thank you for all the incredible guides Emily, they are proving so useful in planning as I go.
I’m disappointed to read your note about the Kukushka train being suspended, as it was definitely on my list. I wondered if you are able to confirm whether this is still the case, or is there any way to check the status of it? Thank you
Hi John, thanks! Yes unfortunately the train is still not working. I hope it will start up again soon.
WOW Emily, I love all articles. I am planning for two weeks and most probably will follow your guidelines. Thanks alot Hugs from UAE
Thanks Ahmed! Very happy to hear that. Have a wonderful time in Georgia!
Hi Emily. I’m as Georgian very glad that such talented person choose to live here. You wrote very good travel guide, and the site itself is very good. I’m glad that came across it. You are doing great job to encourage people travel to Georgia.
Thank you Rusudan!
Hi Emily, Do you think staying in Shekhvetili and touring batumi is possible? or would be a long journey? As we liked the paragraph hotel but its showing 50 mins away from the batumi city? Below is our itinerary for Georgia trip; Tbilisi (2 nights – city & borjomi & bakuarini train journey) – Kazbegi (2 nights – trinity church & gudauri ski) – Shekhvetili (4 nights – Batumi, Kutaisi) – Tbilisi (2 nights – city tour) Please advice us your suggestion and if any changes needed on this itinerary. Appreciate your help.
Best to stay in Batumi and Kutaisi to explore those cities. I would do one night in Kutaisi, one in Shekvetili and two in Batumi. Also note that the train in Borjomi/Bakuriani isn’t running at the moment – hopefully it will start up again soon but it’s been closed for a long while now.
Hi Emily, thank you very much for your detailed guide for Georgia. With reading it I just become more sure that I must visit this beautiful country. I need one advice from your side. We (me and my husband) would like to visit Georgia for 2 weeks in April/May next year. But we don’t want too often to change the base cities where we stay. So we would prefer for 2 weeks to have base in only 2 cities. Are Tbilisi and Kutaisi good enough as base. Or could you suggest some other. Thanks again. All the best, Zlata
Tbilisi and Kutaisi are both good bases – from Tbilisi you can do Kakheti and Kazbegi, and from Kutaisi the west and south of Georgia. If you want to explore the coast as well, I would recommend a few days in Batumi. Just know it’s quite rainy on the coast during spring!
First of all, thank you for your great effort on the extremely detail blog.
I have almost finish reading your blog and planning to visit Georgia on either 14~27 Oct OR 27 Sep~10 Oct (hire car). May I have your advise on which is the best time if I wish to see the better autumn foliage color? I’m a bit confuse on the timing as I saw Svaneti region have earlier foliage than lower region.
My flow will be basically (stay: means places with overnight stay): Tbilisi (stay)- Tsalka-Paravani Lake- Vardzia (stay)- Akhaltsikhe- Kutaisi(stay)- Martvili(stay)- Mestia+Ushguli (stay)- Zugdidi- Baghdadi (Baia’s Wine-stay)- Chiatura- Gori (stay)- Kazbegi (stay) – Sighnaghi (stay) – Tbilisi (flight) It seems Svaneti will have earlier foliage than other region?
Hello Aeneas, thank you for the kind words! Your itinerary sounds absolutely wonderful, great job putting it together.
I’m not super familiar with Svaneti, long overdue for another visit, but I would say the earlier time slot would be safer. You’re right that fall does get an early start up there and since it’s near the middle of your itinerary, it may already be too cold if you go in late October.
You might even catch some post-wine harvest activity in Kakheti on your way out!
I really hope this helps! Have a fantastic trip and don’t hesitate to ask if there’s anything else I can assist with.
Your Georgia section is phenomenal. I am planning a trip there for next year, and your articles gave me everything I needed in order to decide where to go.
I hope I’ll be able to spend those 20 says there soon, the country looks incredible for photography
Hi Luca – thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I’m really glad to hear you’re planning a trip to Georgia! And even happier that my posts have been helpful. 20 days is a nice amount of time. I can’t wait to see your photos of the country!
Don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything at all I might be able to help with. Enjoy your trip planning!
20 days should be enough for a first visit, but I plan to visit many more times as the places to explore are a lot. Also, I much prefer to visit less cities, spending more time in each one, rather than rushing through the country.
I actually have something to ask you; In my itinerary draft I put Sighnaghi right after Akhaltsikhe, and I was wondering about the best way to get from point a to b. Should I take a van/taxi to Tbilisi and then follow your instructions to get to Sighnaghi from there? I can’t find any precise information about a direct Akhaltsikhe to Tbilisi van.
Hi Luca, that’s what I tell everyone – don’t try to fit too much into your first visit because there’s a 99% chance you’ll be back!
There is no direct transport from Akhaltsikhe to Kakheti, so yes you should take a van to Tbilisi first then continue by van/taxi to Sighnaghi. Marshrutka vans from Akhaltsikhe to Tb should be fairly frequent, I don’t have the update times on me but I’d guess there are at least 6/day. Best to check times when you arrive – Akhaltsikhe has a small bus station on the main highway with times posted.
I hope this helps!
Fantastic detailed guide. Wish I had that on my first visit. It would have saved us hours and days of research and planning. I have been to Tushsto twice now. It doesn’t take that much time, count on half day up and half day down. The road is spectacular, pot holed and hair raising but a good local driver with a decent car/van can make it safely. There are now a handful of nicer bed and breakfasts. You can ask the driver bringing you up to take you by car to one or two side valleys. A special experience is horse back riding in the area, though most of the time you will rode on dirt roads as it is hard to go bybjorse into the woods and mountains. Happy to provide some recommendations if interested.
Thanks so much for your comment Ksenija, I’m really glad you found the itinerary helpful!
Tusheti is at the top of my list for this summer. I’ve planned it so many times but always miss the window. This year it’s going to happen! Would love to hear you recommendations for driver and guesthouse.
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