What have you heard about Georgia, the country at the intersection of Asia and Europe? Smart Lemur went there, and has some advice for you. The culture, landscapes, food, wine, people - it all might be a little overwhelming. So perhaps you should think carefully before going. To help you make your decision, they have selected seven reasons why you shouldn’t visit Georgia.
1. Its cuisine will make you feel bad…
… about overeating so much. Traditional dishes such as khinkali, khachapuri or pschali are made from locally sourced ingredients and usually cooked in wood-fired ovens. You will soon notice that Georgians enjoy long feast-like dinners and are happy to share them with visitors to their country.
2. The landscapes are a bit too much
Georgian landscapes may cause you problems when you’re describing to your friends back home what you’ve seen during your trip. In an area smaller than 70,000 sq km, you’ll see terrains of all kinds: snowy mountains, sandy beaches, desert-like flatlands, rocky hills and lush forests.
3. Georgians won’t let you relax…
...or get lost. Due to its long history of conflict, Georgians can be seen as a little hot tempered, yet this comes with extreme hospitality. Once you enter Georgia, you’ll feel as if you’re visiting your old friends: locals will greet you, make you feel at home and shower you with travel recommendations. You don’t need to worry about getting lost in the country either - and even if you do end up lost on your road trip, you’ll eventually find yourself having dinner with Georgian families in the countryside. Of course, if you prefer to get stressed on your vacation and don’t want to make new friends, you shouldn’t go to Georgia.
4. The weather
If you’re planning to take a trip around Georgia, you’ll have to prepare for surprises. In one journey, you can visit the Red Sea coast and spend the whole day sunbathing, the next day climb the snowy peak of Kazbek, and later return to sunny Tbilisi or head for a refreshing stay in Borjomi. On the other hand, if you‘re a fan of dull, rainy afternoons, Georgia might not be the place for you.
Sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t find French wine in Georgia. That’s because Georgians take pride in their vineyards that are some of the oldest in the world. Georgian winemaking traditions that date back to neolithic period are internationally recognised and appreciated: the Georgian winemaking method using clay pots is even included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
6. Urban culture
You’re probably visiting Georgia for its amazing nature, right? If you are not into art scene and are not a fan of discovering peculiar cultural things, don’t go to Tbilisi. But we believe it’s almost impossible to skip the country’s capital with a population over 1 million of people and a forward-looking scene of arts and culture. Visit Bassiani club, Fabrika or Tbilisi flea market, and you will soon notice that the city is much more than its beautiful architecture and fancy restaurants.
7. Georgia is unpredictable
Things you don’t expect to see while visiting Georgia: a waterfall in the middle of Tbilisi old town, the remains of Soviet military bases, a funicular in the inner yard of a building on one of the main streets of the capital, a monastery on a tall rock (The Katskhi Pillar monastery in Chiatura), moving statues (on the boulevard in Batumi)… but you’re most likely to see most of these and even more.
For more travel advice, please visit the Smart Lemur site.