First Charter Flight Vilnius-Batumi Carried Out
The first charter flight from Vilnius to Georgia’s seaside city of Batumi was carried out yesterday afternoon.
A solemn ceremony headed by the Chair of Ajara Tourism Department Tinatin Zoidze was held at the airport to host the guests from Lithuania.
A folk show and Georgian wine tasting were also held for the passengers at the airport.
180 tourists from Lithuania visited Batumi by the charter flight. The majority of them are planning a vacation in Batumi and Kobuleti.
Get Jet Airlines will be implementing Vilnius-Batumi charter flight on Mondays till the end of September.
Source: www.Georgiatoday.ge, By Ana Dumbadze. Photo source: www.Georgiatoday.ge
5 Reasons To Celebrate New Year In Georgia
Christmas and New Year holidays are approaching! If you are wondering where to spend them, we will try to convince you that Georgia is one of the best options. Here are the reasons:
- New Year’s table has never been so healthy and unhealthy at the same time! Georgian food is always very natural, the whole variety of spices and ingredients tastes fantastic, but there is always so much food at the Georgian feast! It is super easy to overeat here – though the way to this fullness is extremely delightful.
- Nowhere else you will hear so many beautiful and original toast speeches and wishes. People say that all the sincere wishes come true, if you make them on Christmas or New Year Eve? Imagine how much you feedback from Universe you will get here, in this blessed land, with so many wishes from the locals, who are famous for their kindness and hospitality!
- You will find a beautiful mixture of sun, winter cold and sincere love in your festive glass. Georgian wine made by traditional technology spends the whole winter fermenting in giant vessels buried under the ground. It stores the energy of summer, bittersweet flavor of autumn, and winter makes it stronger and stronger. As wine is one of the most important things for the Georgians, they put real love and effort in it.
- It is time to meet different Christmas traditions! Have you heard something about chichilaki? This version of Christmas tree is burned at the end of the holidays, and takes away all the possible hardships. Isn’t it great to get rid of everything bad and take a really fresh start
- Georgia’s compact size allows you to spend every day of your New Year’s holidays in different locations. Tbilisi and its museums, historic baths and modern bars. Batumi – coffee brewed on hot sand, winter sea and snow-capped mountains. Svaneti – Georgia’s highest restaurant at an altitude of 3200 meters, medieval towers, treasures hidden from the invaders, and breathtaking scenery. Monasteries, wine cellars and spa hotels in Kakheti. Mineral waters and curative air of Borjomi and Bakuriani. Georgia is always pleased to surprise and please its guests!
In short, if you want a relaxing holiday amidst beautiful scenery – come to Georgia. If you prefer a joyful company, delicious food and natural wine – come to Georgia. Active holiday in the mountains, cultural attractions or spa relaxation – we are sure that you will like it here!
Top 10 Winter Experiences Of Georgia
We, Georgians, are the most welcoming people in the world! And we know how confusing it can be for you to plan your winter vacation in our country that has always been famous for its sea, sun, wine and mountains. That’s why we picked these ten experiences for you, so that you would make the most out of your holidays.
1. Learning to ski (if you still couldn’t)
There are really good ski instructors and ski camps for adults and kids at our ski resorts. The biggest amount of them is in Gudauri and Bakuriani.
2. Trying heli-ski (if you tried everything possible before)
If you are experienced enough, and your seek for adrenaline, heli-ski is something you would really enjoy! Untouched snow, fabulous altitude and crazy landscapes are waiting for you in Gudauri, Kazbegi and Mestia.
3. Visiting sulfur baths in Tbilisi
Everyone has heard about them, but not everybody knows that it’s not your average touristic thing. We go there too, when we are tired and want to recover. Strong massage with immense amounts of soap and hot sulfuric water do their thing pretty well!
4. Raving in Bassiani
The most famous Georgian club is not a place where you can easily walk it, which makes it more appealing to the fans of high class electronic music. Only top DJs, only right people!
5. Treating yourself with healing waters
Book spa treatment in one of the hotels in Borjomi, Sairme or Likani, or simply jump into the natural steaming water in the Mineral Waters Park in the center of Borjomi. The pools are located in its very end.
6. Having a wine tour
Even if the harvest season (Rtveli) is over, the wineries are always happy to welcome the guests. Encounter with 8000-years-old tradition of winemaking and sample the most interesting Georgian wines, so rich on tannins, so flavourful, so unique!
7. Visiting mysterious caves
Not far from Kutaisi, there are two caves that are accessible for the travelers – Sataplia and Prometheus are the names. Both of them are very impressive! The first one preserves the fossilized footprints of the dinosaurs, the second one is a bit bigger and offers a boat trip along the underground river in the end. Be aware of the fact that both are closed on Mondays!
8. Tracing different civilizations and cultures
Georgia was always in the middle of regional events, that’s why many cultures have influenced us. Visit the cave town Uplistsikhe to see how humans made the whole town out of rock several thousands years ago. A visit to the archaeological sites Dmanisi and Samshvilde will showcase the life of ancient people, and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, David Gareji cave monastery, Nekresi Monastery hidden in the forest on the mount will show you the different aspects of early Christianity in Georgia.
9. Enjoy subtropical nature
Going to the West gives you a refreshing experience of seeing green plants in winter. For example, Batumi Botanical Garden is simply fantastic!
10. Shop Georgian!
Clothes made by the Georgian designers as well as food and spices made in Georgia are always on the shopping list of a person who wants to bring home something special. We are sure that you will find the best and most interesting accessories, clothes and jewelry for you and your friends and family!
Winter In Georgia: Skiing And Spa
Georgia is getting more prominence as a ski destination – first of all, due to its long season (snowfalls in the mountains in April are something normal for Gudauri and Svaneti) and affordable prices for ski passes. The other reason is that it is still quite exotic for those who used to go skiing in Alps, Tatra or Carpathians.
We want to bring our country closer to you, so here are our options for those who like to combine skiing and spa treatment.
Number one choice in this case will be Bakuriani. This resort is located in central Georgia, climate is mild, and the local waters make good impact on health. They are softly mineralized, contain potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium. The springs are located in the townlet Tsagveri and Mitarbi area, and you will also find bottled still water branded as “Bakuriani” in every Georgian shop.
The ski resort itself is the oldest one in Georgia, which means that the infrastructure has existed here for around 50 years, and recently it is getting updated and expanded. The new hotels and apartments grow there every year.
The most convenient area to stay for skiers is around Didveli Ski Lift or Mitarbi Ski Lift – you will have the direct access to the skiing area, and in the evening going to the cozy center of the resort with local restaurants, bars, ski rink, park and little cinema won’t be a problem. Just get a number of taxi driver in advance or ask for it in your hotel.
Talking about on site spa facilities – Orbi Palace, Crystal Bakuriani and Hotel Mgzavrebi are those hotels who have them. Indoor swimming pool and saunas are something you will definitely need after an active day on the slopes!
If you want a leisure break during your skiing vacation, consider Borjomi at least for a day or two. This mineral resort is one of the oldest in Georgia – the spring was discovered in 1841, and with the time a beautiful park grew around.
The most relaxing option is to stay in one of four spa hotels in the town – Borjomi Palace, Crowne Plaza, Golden Tulip or Rixos Borjomi. Swimming pool and saunas are usually included in the room rate. Besides it, each hotel provides a wide range of healing and relaxing procedures, massages and cosmetology services.
The more budget-friendly option is to stay in one of the guesthouses that are many, and spend hilarious 5 lari for the chance to bath in the thermal spring in the end of the Mineral Waters Park. The spring is clean, and there are changing rooms on site too. The entrance to the park is 2 lari.
A walk toward the spring might take 30-40 minutes, and you will truly enjoy it: fresh air, sound of river Borjomi streaming towards river Mtkvari through the park, and the pleasant contrast of air and water temperature!
The biggest and the most popular among freeriders, this resort is located in only 2.5 hours drive from Tbilisi. Seven ski-lifts (3 three-chair, 2 four-chair, 1 six-chair, 1 gondola), total altitude difference of 1258 meters, pistes from blue to black, breathtaking panoramas – simply awesome for a weekend break or a longer holiday!
For the guests that want to get decent spa and relaxation time, there are several places that offer it: Marco Polo Gudauri, Hotel Club 2100, Gudauri Hut Hotel, Carpe Diem Hotel, GoodAura Hotel and Tsar Bani Resort. New Gudauri Aparthotel also has a spa part – you should request this service before booking an apartment or hotel room there!
Also, famous Rooms Hotel Kazbegi has swimming pool with great view and good choice of extra procedures. Kazbegi (Stepantsminda village) is located in 30-40 minute drive from Gudauri, so you might go for a day trip there.
The choice is yours, and we are sure that you will have a great time in Georgia!
First Georgian restaurant opened in Switzerland
Georgian food is popular. Not only in Georgia but also abroad. In many cities, there are a lot of Georgian restaurants. Take Cracow for example. According to Tripadviser there are five Georgian restaurants in the Polish city, in Berlin there are four. Thus, it might surprise you that in Switzerland, there have been none so far. Until three weeks ago Tereza Haveri opened her Georgian restaurant called Pré-Fleuri in the very heart of Lausanne on Lake Geneva.
expectations so far. People are coming for lunch and dinner, – says Haveri happily. Some guest drove as far as 200 kilometers just to dine at Pré-Fleuri. People are coming from all over Switzerland as there is no other Georgian restaurant in the country.
A mother’s dream is finally coming true
A Georgian restaurant was always my dream, – says Haveri. Or rather the dream of her late mother, who died a year ago and haven’t lived to see the opening. Haveri explains that her mother had always encouraged her in this project.
However, it wasn’t only her, but also her friends, who had motivated Haveri. Each time she invited them for dinner and cooked traditional Georgian dishes, they were thrilled with the food and told her to open a restaurant.
Tereza Haveri was born in Tbilisi, but 20 years ago, she and her Ezidi family had to leave the country due to their ethnicity. They had to start a new life in Central Europe. However, they took with them the Georgian cuisine. My mother taught me everything about it, – says Haveri. Thanks to her, but also to her brother and children, who help her run the restaurant, her dream is coming true.
Dry Bridge Flea Market – Best Place For Unique Souvenir Shopping In Tbilisi
Located in Tbilisi’s historic old town, 20 minutes walk from Freedom Square, Dry Market is the place, where you can buy literally every souvenir you ever dreamed of.
Even more, alongside traditional, typical tourist trinkets you can encounter old military medals from WWII, old enamel, Soviet kitsch, handmade jewelry (sometimes very eye-catching and exquisite pieces), vintage cameras and many other stuff without much fuss.
Here You can find original eastern European, Soviet, Georgian and even Armenian or Azerbaijani souvenirs.
Many pins and badges are waiting for you to choose and take home.
There are many oil paintings and watercolors, usually full of amazing, bright colors and cheerful spirit.
You may spend several hours just wandering and exploring from one to another, because you will never know, what another surprise is waiting for you at the next one.
You can see old Samovars, cameras, books, family photos, postcards, eyeglasses, playing cards and many other.
Also, there are sometimes absolutely unexpected things.
So, next time in Tbilisi, you know where to go for shopping
Source: Georgia.travel; Megapass
Cave Towns Among the few notable cave towns in the world, the Georgian ones are of very special interest. Uplistsikhe, David Gareji monastery, and the world-famous cave town of Vardzia are nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage list. Uplistsikhe, ‘the fortress of the Lord’, can be dated back to the early Iron Age, and is located on a high rocky escarpment overlooking the bank of the Mtkvari River. Cut from natural sandy stone, the 8 hectares of cave-town have survived millions of people, erosion, aging and even earthquakes, but it still remains a good example of the mixture of pagan & Christian architecture. David Gareji monastery was founded in the 6th century on the slopes of the Gareji hills by one of the thirteen Syrian Fathers, Father David (Garejeli). Those fathers were missionaries from Mesopotamia promoting and spreading Christianity, the respected founders of many monasteries and holy places around Georgia. The frescoes here are superb. Some of them date as far back as the 9th and 10th centuries. The Golden Age of Georgia is directly reflected in the incredible 11th – 13th century frescoes. The incredible cave town of Vardzia dates back to Queen Tamar’s reign, nearly a thousand years ago. Her father, King George III started the foundation of the complex, while Queen Tamar continued its construction. Many frescoes date back to the beginning of the XII century. The complex itself consists of small chapels, bell towers, secret tunnels, monks’ caves as well as a fully functioning monastery to this day. Set in the most serene and stunning countryside, its beautiful location captures your imagination and brings you back to the era of Queen Tamar’s reign. Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery(UNESCO WEB) The construction of Bagrati Cathedral, named after Bagrat III, the first king of united Georgia, started at the end of the 10th century and was completed in the early years of the 11th century. Although partly destroyed by the Turks in 1691, its ruins still lie in the centre of Kutaisi. The Gelati Monastery, whose main buildings were erected between the 12th and 17th centuries, is a well-preserved complex, with wonderful mosaics and wall paintings. The cathedral and monastery represent the flowering of medieval architecture in Georgia. Historical Monuments of Mtskheta(UNESCO WEB) The historic churches of Mtskheta, former capital of Georgia, are outstanding examples of medieval religious architecture in the Caucasus. They show the high artistic and cultural level attained by this ancient kingdom. Upper Svaneti(UNESCO WEB) Preserved by its long isolation, the Upper Svaneti region of the Caucasus is an exceptional example of mountain scenery with medieval-type villages and tower-houses. The village of Chazhashi still has more than 200 of these very unusual houses, which were used both as dwellings and as defence posts against the invaders who plagued the region.
Meet your hominid ancestors in Georgia
Over 500 Paleolithic sites have been discovered in Georgia, which is considered a crossroad of cultures due to its location in the South Caucusus. Dmanisi, southeast of the capital Tbilisi, is considered one of the most significant sites.
“Exactly twenty five years ago we found a human jaw in Dmanisi – this was big sensation. It was impossible to imagine that you could have 1.8 million year-old fossils out of Africa. Since this discovery we have discovered another fossil. Now we have five skulls, four with jaws, different anatomical elements as well as animal bones and stone tools. Now, we could say that we have the best collection in the world of the early Homo out of Africa,” explains David Lordkipanidze, general director of the Georgian National Museum,
The Dmanisi skull is the most complete ancient hominid skull found to date. Known as Skull 5, it was discovered alongside the remains of four other early human ancestors, animal fossils and stone tools – all believed to be from the same time period – which makes the find truly unique.
“It’s the first evidence of humans moving out of Africa – very simple stone tools, brains literally a third of size of modern humans, but nonetheless they were able to exist in an environment with large saber-tooth cats and hyenas and other dangerous animals. It’s quite incredible,” says Nicholas Toth, co-director of the Stone Age Institute in Indiana.
The finding has forced scientists to rethink the story of early human evolution, as it could mean that rather than several Homo species, only a single-species – able to cope with a variety of ecosystems – emerged from the African continent.
‘Stone Age Georgia’ runs at the Georgian National Museum until September 2017.
Vardzia: ‘The Cave Town’
It is called the cave town.
Vardzia is a spectacular site in southern Georgia, dug out of the Erusheti Mountain in 1185.
It had special significance for Georgians because it was associated with King Tamar – such a charismatic woman that she was crowned King instead of Queen!
“Among all the architectural jewels of Georgia, the Vardzia complex is the most precious,” said ‘Postcards’ reporter Claudio Rosmino.
“In this city, carved into the rock, there were houses, shops, libraries and even a water network. In total, 6,000 rooms, spread out over 13 levels”
In 1283, just a century after its construction, a devastating earthquake destroyed a huge part of the site. What we see today is less than a third of its original size.
“Vardzia cave complex was built for approximately 48 years by hand and was designed to host 50,000 people for defence purposes,” explained museum guide Tina Zedginidze.
“But later it became a Royal monastery with educational functions”
A small group of monks is still living there. Some 300 apartments can be visited and in some tunnels the old irrigation pipes still bring drinkable water.
Tbilisi’s old town: a bridge between ancient and modern times
In Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi modernity and ancient history are separated by just a few meters. Walking through the city centre is an experience made of contrasts and beautiful discoveries in a town which has been at the crossroads of Europe and Asia for centuries.
The cohabitation between history and modernity is perhaps best illustrated by the Peace Bridge that connects the newer parts of the capital to the ancient ones.
According to legend, in the fifth century, King Vakhtang Gorgasalince founded the future capital of united Georgia during a horse hunt. Abanotubani is the place where the royal falcon fell, leading to the discovery of hot springs that nowadays are public bathhouses that use the sulphurous waters.
« It is exactly in this place that king Vaktang found his falcon boiled in a hot spring. He put his hand into the water and discovered it was warm and he said: ‘I will found a city here and we will name it Tbilisi, which means the warm city,» explains Vlasi Vatsadze a local tourist guide.
Much of the Old town was restored in 2009. The “New Life for Old Tbilisi” project has rehabilitated the historical district with its pastel-coloured houses and monuments.