Georgia Travel Guide A Vagabond Life
Georgia Travel Guide
Explore Georgia with The Georgia Travel Guide. Georgia is a wonderful country in the Caucuses surrounded by Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. Georgia has a rich and diverse history which over time has been ruled by Mongols, the Persians, the Turks and then the Russians.
Archaeologists have discovered evidence of wine-making dating back to 6000 years making Georgia the oldest wine-producing country in the world. Food is important in the Georgian culture and Georgians like nothing more than sharing food and wine with visitors.
Table Of Contents
Georgia Travel Guides
Georgia Travel Guide
Five Quick Facts About Travelling In Georgia
- Most countries are visa exempt for up to 12 months (See Visa Tab)
- Georgia has a very good mini bus and bus network that will take you just about anywhere. TOP TIP Write down or do a screenshot of the name of the town you wish to go to. Buses will have the name of their destination on a sign at the front of the bus however it will always be in Georgian only and impossible to read (unless you read Georgian)
- Example Telavi is თელავი and თელავი is what will be on the bus…and do not expect any English to be spoken at the bus station.
- Georgian Drivers are crazy and if there are road rules they do not seem to apply.
- Beware of the Georgian white sheep dogs – some are wild and most semi wild. They are very vicious, attack without provocation and can kill. They can be found all over the Georgian countryside and in the mountains.
- Visitors cannot travel to the disputed regions of South Ossetia or Abkhazia.
Weather In Georgia
Georgia has very warm to hot summers and cold winters
Along the Black sea coast, from Abkhazia to the Turkish border, and in the region known as the Kolkhida lowlands inland from the coast, the dominant subtropical climate features high humidity and heavy precipitation. Several varieties of palm trees grow there. Midwinter average temperature here is 5c and the midsummer average is 22c.
The plains of eastern Georgia are shielded from the influence of the Black sea by mountains of Likhi that provide a more continental climate. Average temperature in summer here is 20-24c, in winter 2-4c. Humidity is lower.
Alpine and highland regions in the east and west, as well as semiarid region on the Iori plateau to the southeast have distinct microclimates. Alpine conditions start at 2,100 meters and above 3,600 meters year-round snow and ice is present.
The best suggestions for travelers would from late spring till early fall tours, in winter snow resorts in the Caucasus mountains.
Money In Georgia
The Georgian Currency is the Georgian Lari.
There are ATMs widely available in towns across Georgia although if travelling to small villages or into the mountains is is advisable to have cash on you.
Visas In Georgia
Nationals of the following countries and territories may visit Georgia without a visa for a year (unless otherwise noted)
|All citizens of the E.U||Canada||Liechtenstein||Seychelles|
|Albania||Chile (90 days per 180-day period)||Malaysia||Singapore|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Costa Rica||Mexico||South Korea|
|Bahrain||Iran (45 days)||Oman||United Arab Emirates|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Kazakhstan||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Uruguay (90 days)|
|Brazil||Kyrgyzstan||Saudi Arabia||Vatican City|
Holders of passports of the following countries and territories can obtain multiple-entry e-Visas online for a fee prior to arrival.
|90 days per 180-day period||31 days per 120-day period|
|Guatemala||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Burundi||Ethiopia|
|Marshall Islands||Samoa||Cape Verde||Guinea-Bissau|
|Micronesia||Central African Republic||Guyana|
** Disclaimer – This information is a guide only. Please do your own research.
What To Pack In Georgia
What to pack for Georgia is very dependent on when you will be travelling to the country and where you will be going. Summers are warm to hot but if travelling to the mountains a jacket or coat is advisable.
Winters are cold especially in the mountains so cold-weather gear will be needed.
It’s all about layering which allows you to add or loses clothing as needed
1 pair jeans – I know they are heavy and take ages to dry but I wear them constantly and find them comfortable
1 pair black travel type pants – Black pants are little smarter than jeans so good if going somewhere a little dressier. Mine is the lightweight fabric in the style of jean,
2 x pair of shorts. 1 denim and one lightweight travel fabric
2 x singlets – good for layering and sleeping in
4 x short sleeve cotton shirts, lightweight and breathable
1 x long sleeve sloppy joe.
1 x zip-up shell jacket
1 x lightweight raincoat – packable version that packs down into a small bag.
5 x socks
5 x underpants
2 x bras
1 x pair walking or hiking shoes.
1 x pair slip on flats
1 x pair flip flops (great for hostel showers)
Shampoo & Conditioner
Bar of Soap
Brush / Comb
1 x Earbud headphones.Light and small,
1 x IPad
1 x 6S iPhone
Charging leads for above
2 x USB
1 x power bank
1 x Cable organiser which keeps everything tidy
1 x 14” laptop – we run a business so this is essential for us.
This year I have left behind my DSLR and lenses to travel only with a GoPro and a LUMIX TZ80. At the end of the day it came down to weight when travelling a long way and having to carry a pack – so let’s see how we go….
1 x GoPro Hero 5
2 x Spare GoPro Batteries
1 x LUMIX TZ80
Spare micro SD Cards
1 x padlock
1 x headlight or torch
1 x Swiss knife
1 x medical kit
Georgia Border Crossings
Azerbaijan – Georgia Border Crossing
Balakan – Lagodekhi: Connecting Sheki and Telavi this is a beautiful drive through pretty countryside. This crossing is a relatively quiet border crossing. Money exchange and an ATM are available on the Georgian side of the border.
Mini-buses run from Sheki to Balakan daily, then take a taxi the remaining 16km to the border. Once you have crossed the border and are in Georgia take a taxi to the Lagodeki bus stop where you can pick up a mini-bus to destinations such as Tbilisi and Telavi.
Shikhli/Sixli – Tsiteli/Red Bridge
This is the main and busiest border crossing between Azerbaijan and Georgia, connecting Rustavi (GEO) with Qazax (AZ).
Public transport is easily available on both sides of the border as are exchange places.
If catching the train between Baku and Tbilisi this is the border you will cross at.
Georgia – Armenia Border Crossing
Bagratashen – Sadakhlo: This border crossing is on the main road between Tbilisi and Yerevan and therefore the most popular. There is lots of transport between Tbilisi and Yerevan.
Gogavan – Guguti: This border is open for international travelers however the last 12 kms are on a mud track.
Bavra – Ninotsminda: This border is open for international travelers and straight forward to cross at.
Georgia – Turkey
Hopa – Sarp: The busiest and easiest border crossing although queues can be long it can take time to clear customs. There is plenty of public transport going between Hopa and Batumi or Tblisi going across the border. From the border you can also take a bus to the center of Batumi or Hopa.
There is no bank or ATM at this crossing.
Posof – Vale: A quiet border crossing with limited public transport options so unless you have your own car it can be difficult to cross at this border.
If you are game you can make your way from Tbilisi to Akhaltsikhe and then get a taxi to the border. Once over the border and into Turkey you can get a taxi from the border to Posof and then a mini bus to Kars (2.5hrs). There are money changing facilities at the border.
Aktas-Kartsakhi/Cildir: This border crossing was closed from 1995 to 2015. In Georgia make your way to Kartsakhi and then get a taxi or minivan (which run infrequently) to the border. Once in Turkey you can get a minivan to Cildir (20kms) and then on from there.
Georgia – Russia
Kazbegi/Dariali – Verkhny / Lars border crossing.
Open to International travellers although with continued Georgian – Russian tensions it is best to watch watch the situation carefully. During winter snow falls can be heavy making it slow and difficult going.
From Georgia to Russia: A bus departs daily at 5 am from Tbilisi to Vladikavkaz or you can take a taxi the same route.
Russia to Georgia: Buses and minibuses leave from the bus station 1 on Arkhonskoye Highway in Vladikavkaz, Be warned they fill quickly so book ahead or get there early. Taxis are also available and leave from the same place.
South Ossetia – Georgia border crossing: Artsevi: Officially, South Ossetia can only visited from Russia.
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