Georgia, being established as small states more than 3000 years ago, is one of the oldest and one of the first Christian countries in the world. It is bordered by the high mountains of the Great Caucasus in the north, that separates the country from Russia, and the subtropical, palm-fringed shores of the Black Sea in the west, making it one of the most geographically diverse countries. From the southeast, it has a border with Azerbaijan and from the south – with Armenia and Turkey. Georgia is filled with enigmatic castles and centuries-old stone fortresses, all hidden in nature untouched by human technology. One of the most important features of Georgia is that all of its sightseeing sites are a few hours away from each other. Total area of the country is 69,700 square kilometres with a population of 3,716,858. Despite the small territory, there are approximately 26,060 rivers and over 40 nature reserves located in Georgia – a fact which is quite impressive.
The official language of the country is Georgian, which is written in its own unique writing system. The country is made up of about 87% of ethnic Georgians, 6% of Azerbaijani, 5% of Armenians and 2% of other groups like Greeks, Russians, etc.
Georgia was one of the first countries to convert to Christianity in the IV century AD. Nowadays, the majority of the population is Christian Orthodox, but we can also come across several catholic churches, mosques and synagogues as well. You can find historic as well as new Christian churches all around the country. Some of them are listed as UNESCO world heritage sites.
Georgia’s culture is as rich and diverse as its geography. It has evolved over the centuries-long history providing a strong sense of national identity that has helped to preserve Georgian distinctiveness among the other countries in the region. Amidst the most important cultural achievements are Georgian folk dances – full of action and emotions, and the polyphonic songs unique in the world. This music has developed independently of Europe and Russia, has its own music system and its own pitches. Since 2001, Georgian polyphonic music has been included in UNESCO’s world intangible cultural heritage list.
Georgian hospitality is the main pillar of its culture and prehistoric traditions that are maintained to this day. An average Georgian family follows the idea of a famous Georgian proverb: “Every guest is a gift from God”. Georgian feast called “Supra” is a good example of Georgian hospitality, where celebrating with the guests and serving them with Georgian wine and cuisine is considered to be a great honor. The main element of “Supra” is “Tamada”, a person who is appointed to lead the feast and offer toasts.
Georgia has one of the oldest and finest wine-making traditions that go back as far as 300 BC. Kvevri wine-making method was included in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list in 2013. In Georgia, there are more than 500 different endemic species of grape. The most popular and unique wines are: Saperavi, Kindzmarauli, Rkatsiteli, Tsitska-Tsolikauri, Khvanchkara, Usakhelauri, Ojaleshi, etc.
Georgian cuisine is rich, diverse and extremely famous among all visitors of the country. Georgian cuisine does not only consist of meat but also offers a variety of vegetarian dishes. Every region has its own unique dish that makes it more attractive for tourists. Beautifully balanced spices make the food delicious and unforgettable. The most popular and must-try dishes are: Khinkali, Khachapuri, Mtsvadi (barbeque), Pkhaleuli with Mchadi, Satsivi, Churchkhela, etc.