Highlights of Sakartvelo – Best Things to Do in Georgia

HIGHLIGHTS OF SAKARTVELO - BEST THINGS TO DO IN GEORGIA

After spending 3 months in Georgia, I wanted to share the highlights of my trip and create a bucket list with best things to do in Georgia.

Georgia is one of the best countries that I have ever visited and am sure that you will fall in love with this country as well after ticking off most of these things. In this article we will cover food, wine, landscapes, main attractions, must do experiences, mountains, hidden gems, sea, relaxation, extreme activities and, of course, monasteries.

Join me on this journey and lets discover the best things to do in Georgia together!

Best things to do in Georgia

Experience Georgian hospitality at Toma’s Wine Cellar

Toma's Wine Cellar, Kutaisi, Georgia

Supra is a traditional Georgian feast and big thing in every Georgian house. Toma’s Wine Cellar offers you to try this experience. They open their family home and cook traditional supra for you, share their traditions and introduce you to Georgian food.

It is not a restaurant, don’t expect to see the menu or say no to chacha before you start your meal, but I can guarantee that you will leave this experience satisfied, full and with beautiful memories with your new Georgian friends.

Toma’s Wine Cellar is located 40 minutes walk away from Kutaisi centre. However, the easiest way to arrive is using Bolt and it will cost you no more than couple of euros.

Price per person is 50GEL (15EUR). This includes multiple starters, local khachapuri, 2 hot dishes, sweet and unlimited wine.

Also, make sure you book this experience via Facebook or Instagram.

I always heard about Georgian hospitality and I found it at Toma’s Wine Cellar. This is certainly one of the best things to do in Georgia and it is not negotiable. You must do it!

Hike in Juta

Hike in Juta, Georgia

Do you have a passion for mountains and epic views? Even if you don’t, you should still do the hike in Juta to find one of the most peaceful places in Georgia. Also known as Georgian Dolomites.

I believe after seeing the photo, you are ready to plan your hike in Juta, so let’s talk about practical stuff.

To arrive to Juta you will need a 4×4 car, because it is a country road. In fact, in winter the road is closed, so make sure you follow the forecast and visit it before snow season. First option, you can rent your own car and drive to Juta.

Second option, rent a driver via gotrip and this is my personal favourite, because it is completely stress free. You can also take marshrutka from Tbilisi to Stepantsminda and then catch another marshrutka or bus (seasonal) to Juta. Last option is budget friendly, but complicated and not reliable.

I’m not experienced hiker and I didn’t even have proper shoes, but I easily managed the hike in Juta. It takes around 30-50 minutes of hike and from there the path is easy. In total we spend 5 hours for this hike with taking a lot of breaks for photos, but we didn’t arrive until the end of hike.

Also, there is a hotel and bar at the top, but we visited this place in November and everything was already closed, so make sure you bring some water and some food with you. We waited for a sunny day and weather was fantastic, even in November.

Go on a wine experience at Mestvireni

Wine tasting in Kakheti, Georgia

Another Georgian treasure is their wine. Georgia is the oldest wine producing country and their traditions last 8000 years – this is something that every Georgian will mention at least once during the conversation.

Wine making process here is completely different. It is called qvevri making method and it is part of UNESCO Cultural Heritage List.

You will see a lot of wine tasting experiences around big cities and wine tours to the countryside, but Kakheti is the most important Georgian winemaking region. Also, in Kakheti you will see many famous wineries, but that is not my style. I want to take you to family owned winery – Mestvireni.

Mestvireni is also a traditional Georgian villa, so you can sleep here during your visit to Kakheti. See my review of Mestvireni.

Wine experience includes trying more that 5 different wines (some straight from qvevri), learning about Georgian famous chacha, understanding Georgian wine making traditions and spending a wonderful time with a local who works with wine for many years and has a big passion for what he does.  Price is 40 GEL (11 EUR).

See the impossible of nature – Katskhi Column

Katskhi Column, Georgia

I think we all can agree that Georgian landscapes are very pleasant for our eyes, but I found something special. I bet you are looking at the photo and thinking that it is photoshop or some weird perspective, but no, it is Katskhi Column and it looks exactly the same in real life. Maybe even more impressive, because it simply seems impossible.. yet nature never disappoints.

At the top the column is a church, a burial chamber, a wine cellar, a curtain wall and three hermit cells. However, local monks are now the only people on the planet who are allowed to take the 20-minute climb up the steel ladder on the side of the column to the very top.

Today, the pillar is still celebrated for being one of the most sacred landmarks on Earth, so that is something that you don’t want to miss. The best views are from the highway or parking that takes you to the Column.

It is not far from Kutaisi, but you will need a car to reach it, so make sure you rent a car or use gotrip again. This can be combined with other things around Kutaisi.

Reach Gergeti Trinity Church with Kazbegi peak in the back

Gergeti Trinity Church with Kazbegi peak in the back

I have to say that Gergeti Trinity Church looks like a typical monastery of Georgia and it is not particularly impressive inside, but location makes it so unique. First of all, it is not easy to reach but mountain view in the back makes it spectacular.. And not just for the perfect photo, but also for breathtaking views.

Keep in mind that you can’t just drive up to Gergeti Trinity Church. The road is in a horrible condition, so you will need a special 4×4 car. Once you arrive to Stepantsminda, you will see Delta taxi and round trip will cost you 4EUR per person. You can also hike up without the taxi in case you have some extra time.

Discover different kind of Georgia at Martvili Canyon

Martvili Canyon, Georgia

I remember the first time I saw the photo of Martvili Canyon and I couldn’t believe it was in Georgia. Something so unique must be visited, right? Located near Kutaisi, you can combine this trip with White Cave and Katskhi Column. Similar to these places, you will need a car to reach it, so make sure you rent a car or a driver.

People visit Martvili Canyon to enjoy the scenery, its waterfalls and take a boat trip in the river with deep green colour. I personally think that boat ride is the highlight of this place, so make sure you choose that option. Also, I was a bit worried to bring my camera equipment, but water is very still and boat is stable. There are no boats during the rain, so make sure you check the forecast and plan accordingly.

Canyon is not big and you don’t need more than 1 hour to visit it, but it is certainly worth it. Entrance fee is 17.25 GEL (5EUR) per person and boat ride will cost you additional 15GEL (4.30EUR) per person. I visited during low season and didn’t see any lines, but from the reviews I can see that it gets busy during summer, so try to avoid weekends and peak hours.

Try wine tasting in the White Cave

White Cave, Tetra Cave, Georgia

I know that we covered wine before, but there is another unique place that you should visit and that is White Cave (or Tetra Cave) and yes, they offer wine tasting inside the cave.

White Cave has 30,000 years of history, can you believe that? Yet it was found by mistake by a geography teacher who visited the area with a group of students. They were playing with the ball and it landed inside the cave, so that’s how the place was discovered.

White Cave was recently renovated and now is popular destination for health tourism (because of many health benefits that this cave offers) and wine experiences. You can come for a simple visit as well and don’t have to do the wine degustation.

The price was 25GEL (7EUR) per person with wine tasting. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice how much was a simple tour, but you can contact our guide via Instagram for more details. Once again, easy day trip option from Kutaisi.

Visit tallest Orthodox Church in Georgia

Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi

Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi is located in Tbilisi and you will see the golden roof from most of the viewpoints of Tbilisi. It really stands out and it is massive compared to the other churches that I have seen. The construction of the church was proclaimed as a “symbol of the Georgian national and spiritual revival” and was sponsored mostly by anonymous donations from several businessmen and common citizens.

I highly suggest that you visit this church inside even if you are not religious. Entrance is for free and that was the moment when I realised how massive it actually is. In fact, the height of the cathedral from the ground to the top of the cross is 87.1 metres

Best way to reach Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi? Bolt. Or you can take the metro to Avlabari Metro Station and walk up to the cathedral for 20 minutes.

Try the best rated Adjarian khachapuri

Adjarian khachapuri, Batumi, Georgia

You cannot visit Georgia without trying their famous khachapuri. Adjarian khachapuri comes from Batumi area and you have to try the best rated Adjarian khachapuri in entire world – in Porto Franco.

Acharuli Khachapuri is a Georgian bread stuffed with cheese and baked in the oven until molten and sizzling hot. An egg yolk is added during the last minutes of cooking, and the whole delicious mess is topped with a pat of butter. I bet your mouth is watering right now, but wait until you visit Porto Franco in Batumi.

Prices vary from 7-14GEL (2-4EUR) and depends on the size. Keep in mind, that normally you eat this Khachapuri with your hands. You break the bread from the sides and dip it in the cheese – make sure you mash it with egg and butter. Like a real Georgian.

Visit the most isolated town in Georgia – Tusheti

Tusheti in Georgia

Tusheti – hidden in the Caucasus Mountains is the treasure of Georgia. The mysterious part is different from all the other sides of Georgia, its nature is diverse and enchants tourists.

Also, it is the most isolated place in Georgia, because you can visit only 4 months per year and you need to take the road of death. In fact, most of the Georgians are not brave enough to take this road. You can use marshrutka or drive there yourself, but keep in mind that 70km drive will take you 4 hours.

There are no shops in Tusheti, so locals live from the products that they make & grow. But there is a guest house that will welcome you and make you wonderful Georgian dinner for only 20EUR. They don’t communicate in English or Russian, but they find their way to speak with their guests. There is not much information online, but you wont get lost in this tiny village.

Explore old capital of Georgia and visit Jvari Monastery

Jvari Monastery, Georgia

Jvari Monastery is one of the most iconic in Georgia. The name of the church is translated from Georgian as ‘’the cross’’ and has its own history. According to the legend the cross of St.Nino, one of the most revered saints who converted Georgia to Christianity, is kept here.

Make sure you visit Mtskheta and have lunch in House of Beans. We went with a tour guide, but I can’t recommend him, but there are many ways how you can reach Jvari Monastery – many tours available from Tbilisi. Or even use a taxi.

Experience sulfur baths in Tbilisi

sulfur baths in Tbilisi

Sulfur bath is another must have experience when visiting Tbilisi. In fact he name “Tbilisi” means warm place and the widely taught myth of the city’s founding involves these natural hot springs.

The legend states that in medieval times, King Vakhtang went hunting with his falcon in a heavily wooded region in central Georgia. The falcon caught a pheasant and during the struggle, both birds fell into the hot spring and died from their injuries. The king was so impressed with the hot water that he decided to clear the forest and build a city around this natural wonder.

I have to mention that it comes with a particular smell that is not pleasant, but it is part of the magic. Sulfur bath has a lot of benefits for your skin and it consists of two baths – hot and cold. Kisa is scrubbing procedure that you must add to the experience as well.

I booked Chreli-Abano / Sulfur Bath & Spa and I choose option with sauna. The price was around 30EUR per hour and Kisa will cost you another 5EUR per person for 20 minutes of scrubbing.

Visit Black Sea in Batumi

Batumi, Georgia

Batumi is quite unlike any other city in Georgia and it is most certainly worth visiting. It offers a fascinating contrast to other, more traditional, destinations in the country and keeps another treasure of the country – Black Sea. It gets particularly busy during the summer, because not only Georgians come here, but tourists also love this sunny destination.

You already have to come to Batumi to try Adjarian Khachapuri, so add Black Sea to your list as well. The coastline is long and available in the heart of Batumi, however, it is covered with rocks, so the best way to enjoy it, is to rent a sun bed. It will cost you around 1EUR. Or you can take a ride and visit Green Cape or Sarpi.

You can also visit Black Sea with a boat and get a wonderful view over Batumi. Once you arrive to Ali & Nino Statue, you will find many boat rentals for every budget. We negotiated 30 minutes on a private boat for 100GEL (28EUR).

Discover romantic town of Georgia – Sighnaghi

romantic town of Georgia - Sighnaghi

The Georgian town of Sighnaghi is located in the eastern part of Kakheti, and is known as the City of Love. The town sits atop a bluff overlooking the Alazani Valley, which is one of Georgia’s most famous wine-producing regions.

There aren’t any main attractions in Sighnaghi, but make sure you get lost in tiny streets and discover charm of Georgia. Visit Sighnaghi’s city walls that are five kilometers long and incorporate 23 towers.

Also, visit Bodbe Monastery that is on your way to Sighnaghi and have lunch in Amo, Signagi – you will have a beautiful view on the town.

Overall Sighnaghi is less than 2 hours away from Tbilisi and there are many ways to reach this magical town, so make sure you use that chance.

Go Paragliding over The Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument

The Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument

A cylinder monument with a spectacular vista commemorates a friendship that some say never existed. 

Inside the cylinder monument, a vibrantly colored mural depicts heavily stylized scenes from Georgian and Russian histories. Stone archways open up to Devil’s Valley, and offer an idyllic view for visitors.

Interesting attraction to visit, but I want to make it more exciting for you, so why don’t you try paragliding over the monument? Once you arrive to this attraction, you will meet many people offering this experience.

There are many companies, but the experience lasts from 15-45 minutes and you do it with experienced instructors that will make paragliding exciting yet safe. Prices vary from 80EUR up to 200EUR.

Ski at Svaneti resort in winter

Svaneti starts to be the major Georgian magnet for mountain lovers not only in summer, but also in winter. 

Surrounded by the highest mountain peaks, covered with legends and myths about hallowed local traditions, Mestia is the heart of the region. From here, routes to further destinations in Svaneti begin. Mestia is also convenient point to stop for overnights and move towards ski lifts, equipment rentals, marked pistes, and virgin slopes. 

I personally didn’t try this experience, but I heard wonderful things from locals. This is basically like Switzerland, just way more affordable.

Main slopes are Hatsvali & Tetnuldi and they are open from December until April.

Bake your own Khachapuri and make khinkali

COOK EXPERIENCE IN TBILISI, GEORGIA

We talked about Adjarian Khachapuri before, but you should try regular khachapuri and khinkali as well. It is hard to tell where is the best place to do it, so I advise you to book a masterclass and make it yourself. This means that you can bring the recipe back home and cook it for your friends and family. It’s a souvenir that you will never loose.

There are many options, but I personally booked this experience in Tbilisi and I can’t recommend it enough. Comes with starters and wine, so make sure you skip lunch or dinner. The price is 18EUR per person.

Learn the history of this magical country at Chronicle of Georgia

Chronicle of Georgia

Chronicle of Georgia consists of 16 massive pillars that show the history of Georgia and its rulers as well as the scenes from the life of Jesus.

When I saw this place on Instagram, I wasn’t impressed, but it is another things when you are standing next to this massive monument.

Chronicle of Georgia are located 9km away from Tbilisi centre, so the best way to visit is Bolt or Yandex. Price is around 3.50EUR, but it is going to be hard to book you way from Chronicle to Tbilisi, so try to negotiate with the driver to way you. I paid another 3EUR for 1 hour waiting time and another 3.50EUR to go back to centre of Tbilisi.

Actually 1 hour was way too much time, mostly because of the strong wind. It is open air, so no entrance fee.

Further reading for the best things to do in Georgia

Or read more about: Tbilisi | Batumi | Georgia

Other useful tips for visiting Georgia

🏠 Need a place to stay? Browse Booking or Agoda
💃 How about fun experiences? GetYourGuide, Viator, and Klook have it all
🚗 Considering renting a car in Georgia? Use Rentalcars
🚂 If you need transfers, bus or train tickets, check 12Go
🔒 Don’t forget about travel insurance from HeyMondo

In conclusion..

Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia was my dream destination for so many years and I can say that it didn’t disappoint. I want to share how I fell in love with this country, so you can follow this guide and do the same!

I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.

Pin it for later and make sure you know the best things to do in Georgia!

HIGHLIGHTS OF SAKARTVELO - BEST THINGS TO DO IN GEORGIA

HIGHLIGHTS OF SAKARTVELO - BEST THINGS TO DO IN GEORGIA

42 Comments

  1. Georgia is on my bucket list, but after seeing your stunning photos I want to visit the country as soon as possible.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Sounds like a perfect plan!! Thank you!

  2. Georgia is on my bucket list and after reading this article, I really need to start planning my trip.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yesss!! And hopefully this article can help you do that 😍

  3. Oh this looks amazing! I love Georgian food and wanted to visit Georgia this year, we’ll see!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I really hope you get a chance to visit, I’m sure you will love this country ❤️

  4. I always hear about how great Georgia is, and now I see why! I have to go here!! & these pics are gorgeous

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thanks! This is your final sign that you need to discover Georgia asap haha!

  5. Georgia looks fascinating! It’s been creeping up on my list of places to get to – the food is so alluring and I love the scenery, architecture and history!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Hehe maybe this article is your sign to plan your trip to Georgia? I’m sure you won’t be disappointed 🙂

  6. I’m trying to decide whether the hike, food or architecture in Georgia look the most appealing! Looks like an amazing place to visit.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Right?! Luckily you can enjoy it all when visiting Georgia ❤️

  7. The food., the wine, the gorgeous scenery! Georgia looks like paradise on earth and I’ve heard it’s very affordable too. You really sold me.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      You are right, Georgia is very affordable compared to Europe and America 🙂 So there are many reasons to visit this beautiful country!

  8. The food looks delicious and €15 is a good price for all the food you get. Would love to visit Georgia after this. Martvili Canyon looks breathtakingly beautiful!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      That’s true! But in general, food is very cheap (and delicious) in Georgia. It’s rare to spend more than 15€ per person in a restaurant! Sounds like someone needs a trip to Georgia haha.

  9. Wow! Imagine living in Tusheti which is only accessible to visitors for four months of the year. That is fascinating. Your photos are wonderful and the Acharuli Khachapuri looks mouth-wateringly delicious. You have convinced me to put Georgia on the bucket list!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Right? Life of locals is so different there… and so many tasty dishes to try! Makes me so happy to read this… I really hope you get a chance to visit!

  10. I am obsessed with this as I am going to Georgia in July!! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous and now I am even more excited to visit.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Aww thanks! I’m so jealous, want to go already haha! I’m sure you will have a wonderful trip❤️

  11. I don’t know much about Georgia so greatly appreciate your bucket list highlights. So beautiful! I would love to visit. The landscape is stunning!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I’m glad to see that I already convinced you to visit Georgia ☺️ thank you!

  12. Wow! Georgia looks so, so beautiful and your photos are absolutely stunning! I would love to hike in Juta and also visit Martvili Canyon, both look like such amazing places to visit for the scenery.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Kate! Georgia is truly wonderful… and there are even more hiking options if that’s your thing ❤️

  13. What an adventure that must have been. You have a great photographer to follow you around! I loved the Katskhi Column. You definitely wouldn’t want to be a sleep walker if you resided there!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yes, indeed, we do this together 😌 Will show your comment to him! Haha, great point!

  14. What a wonderful experience! That food looks amazing, all of the architecture looks beautiful and your photos are absolutely stunning. Some of the scenery looks like a painting almost – just wow! I’d love to visit Georgia one day, and I will definitely be referring back to your post when I do. Thanks for sharing! Xx Sara

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Thank you so much, Sara! I see I have convinced you to visit Georgia… but it wasn’t hard since it’s an amazing country 😀

  15. Love that you wrote an article on Georgia. I think it is one of those neglected destinations that deserves more attention. Also amazing photos!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I couldn’t agree more and I think Georgia deserves more tourists 🤞🏻 Thank you ❤️

  16. Georgia is still on my bucket list – your photos are amazing! How do you take such sharp photos in dimmer lighting conditions?

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I hope you get to visit one day, because you won’t be disappointed! I use lenses with small f stop (1.4 for example) and my camera can handle ISO pretty well.. I use Nikon D850 😌

  17. Squeeee this all looks incredible Lasma!! My friends visited Georgia a couple of years ago and came back raving about the food and wine (and I LOVE all the Georgian food I’ve tried in London…) But then you mentioned the hikes. Oh my goodness that scenery (especially in Juta) look like hiking heaven! Ah-mazing!

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Georgia has a bit of everything – food, wine, culture, beautiful architecture, welcoming people and breathtaking nature. Did I mention food? 😀 Thank you!

  18. Georgia has been on our bucket list forever. I’m saving this guide for when we go.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Yay! Hope you get a chance to visit soon, because Georgia is amazing!

  19. The hike at Juta looks incredible! Good to know that it’s not too difficult or takes too long.

    1. lasma.plone says:

      It really was! And views were so worth it 👌

  20. Luoghi e paesaggi caratteristici dentro una cornice fotografica che rinchiude colori e posti tra realtà e soggestione i piatti tipici spiegati in maniera naturale e semplice danno vita ai luoghi…… Il tutto descritto e fotografato con grande maestria e professionalità… La modella incanta

    1. lasma.plone says:

      Che carina! Grazie mille, Rita ❤️ Un bacio

  21. It’s hard to pick a favorite place or experience in Georgia! but wine and khachapuri probably are my top things! I am so impatient to eat again a tasty Khachapuri 🥰

    1. lasma.plone says:

      I agree, hard choice! But food in Georgia never disappoints 😍

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