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Georgia is an amazing country with generous nature, colossal cultural and historical heritage, excellent cuisine and, of course, friendly people who create the atmosphere of their home. To visit this country once means to leave a piece of your soul here and take an unforgettable experience with you. What is Georgia like? Your attention is a selection of the most beautiful, truly mesmerizing places.
The magic of unforgettable Georgia: top 9 most beautiful places
|The magic of unforgettable Georgia: top 9 most beautiful places||9||Racha Province||4.2|
This region is nothing more than Georgian Switzerland. It is indeed sometimes called that. To get to this place, you will have to overcome several mountain ranges at once, as if in a ring that enclosed this truly magical place. Racha mountains, like silent guards guarding the province, also deserve attention. By the way, they are very popular in Georgia, although for some reason foreign tourists are not familiar with them. Mostly Georgians of Rachin live here (a separate ethnographic group of Georgia), who practically do not speak Russian.
Those who have visited the province of Racha at least once will never forget it. This is a truly beautiful place. Although tourism is still not very developed here, the same abundance of wildlife and monuments with perfectly preserved stone carvings is difficult to find in any other region.
And, although some believe that the number of attractions here is not so great, in any case, seeing everything with your own eyes is not an easy task. Among the most impressive are the enchanting landscapes of the Shaori reservoir, the unique Orthodox church Nikortsminda, founded in the 10th century, one of the only monuments with such a fine and high-quality stone carving.
Racha is the only province in Western Georgia where great wine tours are organized. After all, it is in this place that the winery is located, which produces the world famous Khvanchkara – an original and surprisingly tasty wine.
The region is considered one of the most difficult to access in the country. It is located high in the mountains and can only be reached during the warm season, when the roads are not covered with snow. All settlements of Svaneti are located in the valleys and are often called tower cities: in the old days, almost every family built their own tower, used to protect territories and store food supplies.
Local residents – Svans – are quite warlike. Even today, there is some difference between the Georgians from the plains and those who live in the mountains: it seems that they are still ready to repel any enemy attack. Be that as it may, visiting Georgia and not seeing Svaneti with your own eyes is simply a sin, because this region is one of the most beautiful in the country.
Here are the highest and incredibly picturesque mountains of the Caucasus – a paradise for extreme climbers. In summer, many tourists storm the most difficult mountain of the entire Caucasian ridge – Ushba. Among the most significant and striking places in the region can be noted its center – the city of Mestia. Surrounded by rugged mountain ranges, it is nestled among dense coniferous forests and lush alpine meadows. Modern buildings here side by side with historical antiquities, and some of the roads are still paved with cobblestones.
Just a few tens of kilometers from Mestia is the so-called 'bear's corner' – the most remote and incredibly beautiful place – the Ushguli community. This settlement is considered the highest in Europe and it is authentic. People live here all year round, completely without contact with the outside world: even in winter, no one goes down to the valley. A trip to this community is a unique opportunity to see with your own eyes the life and peculiarities of local settlements, as well as admire the architectural ensembles that are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Although it is rumored as a monastery, David Gareji is a huge complex stretching for 20 kilometers along the Georgian-Azerbaijani border. Part of this beautiful complex is located in Azerbaijan. The construction of the monastery dates back to the 6th century, and today it is a Georgian landmark number 1.
The complex is considered the most important cultural monument of the region and one of the most revered Christian shrines. At one time, a pilgrimage to Gareji was equated with a trip to Jerusalem. Although today it is more a tourist attraction than a religious site.
In April 2019, the Azerbaijani border service once again closed access to part of the caves and churches located between the two countries. This caused a whole series of protests by Georgian activists and almost led to a conflict between the countries, although before that the situation around the border in this area was rather tense. For almost 25 years Tbilisi and Baku have not been able to agree on exactly where to draw the border and to whom, after all, the complex should belong.
The first capital of Georgia and, without a doubt, the heart of Georgian civilization. But you shouldn't compare it with the current capital – modern Tbilisi (which, by the way, is only 20 km away). Unlike him, Mtskheta literally breathes originality and incredible organicity. Georgians regard this city as a large village, and although a large-scale reconstruction was carried out here in 2010, the feeling of a deep province has not disappeared. Nevertheless, this fact does not detract from the charm of the old city.
Mtskheta is a sacred place for Georgian pilgrims, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country's most important tourist destinations. The city has an ancient and very rich history. It was founded in the 5th century BC. Meshhinami (presumably immigrants from Turkey). In the pre-Christian era, Mtskheta was considered the center of a pagan cult.
The city was the capital of Eastern Georgia for 700 years, until the then king Dacha announced the change of the capital, choosing Tbilisi for this. Today Mtskheta is considered its colorful suburb, an exclusive place with mesmerizing landscapes, a variety of historical and religious monuments, and a pleasant mild climate that can be enjoyed all year round.
Modern Adjara is associated with the majority of tourists visiting Georgia exclusively with a beach holiday, but in vain. Yes, of course, a sheer pleasure – to wallow on the local beaches and indulge in idleness. But there is also a downside. This ancient land, immersed in greenery, amazes with its natural beauty and originality.
In addition to luxurious beaches, there are many crystal waterfalls, dense velvet forests, harsh mountain ranges, stone gorges, crystal clear lakes – there is no counting. There are also resort towns, famous for their black sand beaches. And fans of urban beauty will be delighted by the ultramodern Batumi, striking with the splendor of its architecture, adjacent to Stalinist buildings, singing fountains and the famous 'living' sculptures – the country's hallmark.
Interesting fact. It is believed that it was from Adjara that the mass Christianization of Georgia began – after the arrival of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called. But everything changed after Turkey, which dominated these lands for 300 years, actively imposed Islam. As a result, Muslims make up about 30% of the inhabitants of modern Adjara. This is practically the entire rural population, which to this day is restoring mosques. In Adjara there is even one acting one.
The second capital of Georgia and one of its most picturesque cities. The name of the city is translated from ancient Georgian as 'rocky', which is quite logical, because Kutaisi is located in a rocky steep area. The resort is considered to be very cozy, calm, abounding with numerous historical artifacts and magnificent natural landscapes.
Kutaisi is one of the oldest cities in the world. The first traces of its existence appeared in the 6th century BC. In ancient times, most of the city's territory was occupied by dense picturesque forests. And although there are fewer of them, the local landscapes are simply mesmerizing: the city is literally replete with bright green spaces that organically fit into the local architecture, numerous squares, quiet boulevards, cozy streets.
The local river Rioni actually divides Kutaisi in half. But the division is not only symbolic. The right-bank, historical part of the city is a real storehouse of architectural masterpieces and all kinds of cultural and historical monuments, including the famous Okros Chardakhi (the former residence of the Imeretian kings, more precisely, only one of its buildings).
The remains of the fortress wall still exist here, with which the city was surrounded in the 19th century. In this part of the city, the Georgian parliament is located, which is why it is considered the unofficial capital of the country. The building is a unique architectural object made of glass in the shape of a hemisphere.
The left-bank part of Kutaisi is a modern city that lives a rich life and stands out for its many skyscrapers. The right bank and the left bank are interconnected by many bridges thrown across the river. Standing on any of them, you can fully enjoy the splendor of Kutaisi.
10 km from the city is the Sataplia Nature Reserve, known for its karst caves and plateau with surviving dinosaur tracks.
Located at the foot of the ancient fortress of Rabat, the city has always been considered one of the most culturally developed in Georgia, and after a colossal reconstruction in 2012 it became unrecognizable. It is not only a delightfully beautiful place, but also an important transportation hub for travelers. Two major highways pass here: one of them in the direction of Batumi-Tbilisi, the other – to Turkey.
The outskirts of the city are full of sights, and from here begins the path to the tourist mecca of Georgia – Vardzia – the famous cave city, an outstanding monument of ancient Georgian architecture. Although Akhaltsikhe itself has something to boast about: the historical pearl of the city is the Turkish fortress Rabat with a total area of 7 hectares. This is a living echo of the times of the Turkish conquerors, when the city was the center of the Akhaltsikhe Pashalyk (an administrative unit in the Ottoman Empire).
In 2012, the fortress, like the city itself, underwent reconstruction and became its hallmark. There is also a museum, a liquor store, a hotel and even a Wedding House. It is noteworthy that the restoration of the historical site was partially financed by Turkey, which is interested in preserving the cultural heritage of the Ottomans.
In the late Middle Ages, the Mingrelians were independent: in the period from the 16th to the 19th century on the territory of the modern province, there was a sovereign principality of Megrelia with its own princely dynasty Dadiani. In 1803, the ruler of Megrelia entered into Russian citizenship, and 54 years later, Russian administration was introduced. After another 10 years, the principality was abolished, entering into the empire as the Kutaisi province. It is noteworthy that the princes of the family subsequently became part of the Russian nobility.
Modern Megrelia is quite different from the rest of the Georgian provinces, not least due to the high population density and developed infrastructure. It is noteworthy that Megrelia is considered a deep province, despite the fact that the standard of living here is much higher than in most other regions of Georgia.
The province boasts incredibly beautiful natural monuments, breathtaking: Martvili canyon with crystal clear waterfall, Dadiani princes park, local mountain plateau, Okatse canyon with unusual bridges and staircases, and much more. But the beauty of Megrelia lies not only in the magnificent landscapes: even experienced travelers should take a look at the local historical buildings and see with their own eyes the remains of the ancient Colchis kingdom, where, according to legend, the Argonauts went for the Golden Fleece.
In ancient times it was a separate kingdom, and now it is one of the most famous resort regions of Georgia. The tourist center of the region is the fortress city of Sighnaghi, built on one of the many hills of the Alazani Valley. Locals call it the city of love. Why? There are many versions and everyone chooses the one that suits their liking. According to one of them, Sighnaghi received such an unofficial name because of the local wedding palace, where you can get married without prior submission of documents at any time of the day.
But the second version is more romantic: it is about the incredible act of the Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani, who suffered from unrequited love for the French actress Margarita de Sevres and paved her way with flowers. This scene was reflected in one of the most famous songs of Alla Pugacheva – 'A Million Scarlet Roses'. True, the authenticity of this fact is in doubt.
It is impossible not to mention the fact that Kakheti is the undisputed center of wine tourism in Georgia. There is a huge variety of wines, and one thing is invariable – their high quality. Among the most famous tourist sites are the Tsinandali estate with impressive wine cellars and the Kindzmarauli factory, where each visitor is told in detail about the secrets of Kakhetian wines and the technology of their production.
There are many other noteworthy tourist sites here: Telavi Fortress, Nidikvari Park, Irakli II Castle with an observation deck from where you can enjoy an excellent picture of the Alazani Valley. And what are the Tushinsky mountains! True, only a very persistent traveler can reach them, because the roads here are not the best. But the effort will be worth it: the view from the mountain peaks is truly magnificent.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.