Pristine Mountain Paradise
Georgia has evolved from an absolute insider tip to a favourite destination for climbers, culture lovers and aficionados alike. There are many reasons to visit this highly-contrasting country located in the Caucasus Mountains: unspoiled mountainous regions and shimmering mountain lakes are mixed together with traditional mountain villages and captivating cities. The alpine world of Caucasus offers a truly special experience of nature via both Tbilisi and Kutaisi, the two Georgian flight destinations available from Berlin. They are perfect starting points for winter athletes and hikers. Those looking for an alternative to ski-holidays in the Alps or those who would like to discover an almost untouched mountain paradise should not pass up on Georgia!
Skiing in Guduari: A winter adventure up in the clouds
The Georgian ski resort Gudauri is not found far from the capital Tbilisi in Greater Caucasus, and is one of the highest-altitude ski resorts in Georgia. With 15 pistes totalling a length of 50 kilometres, there’s something for everyone, whether beginner or pro. Adventurers come at their own cost to the partly-undiscovered alpine world, where helicopters bring travellers to deep-snow slopes above the tree line. People are enticed here by the snow, up to four metres in depth; the perfect conditions on untouched terrain for experienced winter athletes. From December until March, the fine powder snow, lots of sunshine, and not all that low temperatures are sure to guarantee winter fun.
Tom and Anne offer a glimpse into skiing in Gudauri in their travel blog:
You should absolutely plan a stay in Tbilisi. Georgia’s charming capital is for the most part accessible by foot. The most important sights are the scenic old town with its bright houses and slightly skewed clock tower (the Tower of Pisa sends its regards!) and the 3rd century Narikala Fortress, enthroned over the city and reachable by cable car. A stay in one of the city’s famous sulphur baths is sure to be wholesome and relaxing. After all, the name Tbilisi itself means “hot spring”. And of course, you shouldn’t miss out on the diverse Georgian cuisine offered in the many local restaurants.
Kelly’s travel report contains some more tips on what to do in Tbilisi:
Hiker’s paradise Svaneti: Wild and wonderful
North of Kutaisi you’ll find Svaneti, by far the most beautiful region in Georgia. A trip to the highest altitude area in all of Caucasus is a truly unique experience: the Svaneti alpine world is one of the most majestic in Europe, and still remains completely untouched by mass tourism today. Spectacular mountain peaks up to 5,200 metres high encircle the high valley, which until just a few years ago was almost impossible to access. Centuries old keeps, called Koschkis, line the mountain range, and are some of the region’s tourist attractions. For centuries, the high valleys of northern Georgia were so isolated that they developed their own culture and languages, which are still being maintained today. The region opens itself up with its countless hiking trails. The multi-day trekking tour from Mestia to Ushguli is a particular favourite. The tour takes you through traditional Svaneti mountain villages and the Caucasus Mountains’ unique nature. The tranquil Ushguli, with its distinctive tower house built in the 10th century to protect against natural disasters, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Erika shares her excitement about Svaneti and some hiking tips in her travel blog:
Eat like a king in Georgia
It’s not a proper travel recommendation if Georgia’s cuisine isn’t being sung about from the treetops. It’s one of the oldest and most diverse cuisines in the world, once thought to be Haute Cuisine in the Soviet Union. Since then, its reputation has spread outside of Eurasia. It can be distinguished by its subtlety and particular diversity.
A “Supra” refers to a Georgian feast, and shouldn’t be missed out on by travellers by any means. Things aren’t done in half measures here. Dishes in every size possible are stacked in the middle of the table, and everyone takes what they please. Typical Georgian dishes include Chatschapuri, put simply THE national dish, pita bread filled with cheese and egg, served with every meal, aubergines filled with walnuts (Badrischani), dumplings filled for example with mince, cheese or mushrooms (Chinkali), Georgian shashlik (Mzwadi) and chicken in walnut sauce (Saziwi).
Just as famous as the food is the wine: Georgia is one of the originating countries of viticulture; the country’s climate is perfect for it. Wine is a fundamental part of everyday culture in Georgia, and – by European standards – is drunk in huge quantities. To round off the usually very hefty and rich food, digestion is helped along with a Tschatscha, a traditional pomace brandy made from grapes. Gaumarjos!
If you are still not licking your lips at the thought, then this truly appetizing report on Georgian cuisine is sure to do the job:
Nonstop from Berlin to Georgia
Georgian Airways flies up to three times a week from Schönefeld directly to the capital Tbilisi, and Wizz Air flies up to three times a week to Kutaisi, Georgia’s third largest city on the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains.