Even though Georgia is a relatively small country, the attractions here are vast – starting from ancient cities and ending with hiking in some of the most rural parts of the country. Visiting just the capital of Tbilisi is never enough if you’re looking to experience the whole country’s customs and traditions. So, here’s the best two-week itinerary in Georgia to help you plan out your trip.
Wine, dine and step back in time on TRIPS by Culture Trip’s epic nine-day adventure in rural Georgia.
Day 1-3: Kutaisi
Kutaisi is one of the ancient cities of Georgia and its former capital. The reason for you to start a trip here is simple: the city has a great central location. Here, the number of things to see and do is vast. Here, you can visit centuries-old caves, see dinosaur footprints, wander through the city and visit the Unesco World Heritage Sites of Gelati Monastery and Bagrati Cathedral.
Day 4-6: Batumi
The coastal city of Batumi is just a three-hour drive from Kutaisi. The bustling summer destination of the locals boasts modern architecture, an excellent dining scene, international hotels and a busy nightlife during the high season.
Day 7: Zugdidi
Zugdidi is a central town of the Samegrelo region and is home to the beautiful façades and captivating architectural exhibits at the Dadiani Palace. The city doesn’t have so many attractions to keep you around for more than a day, but once you get hungry, head towards any restaurant and try some staples of Megrelian cuisine – such as ghomi and elarji, cornmeal dishes with sulguni cheese, gebjalia and megruli khachapuri to name a few.
Day 8-10: Mestia and Ushguli
From Zugdidi, drive to Mestia for approximately three hours to experience one of the rural, mountainous parts of Georgia: Svaneti. Enjoy the picturesque views of Tetnulti Mountain – the 10th highest peak of the Caucasus – and visit the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography to learn more about the region’s culture and traditions. Oh, and be sure to try some of the local cuisines.
The next day, drive to Ushguli, another small town considered the highest settlement in Europe at an elevation of 2,200m (7,217ft) above sea level – and another Unesco World Heritage Site of the country. Here you can enjoy the breathtaking view of Shkhara, the highest mountain in Georgia.
Day 10-11: Mtskheta and Tbilisi
On your way to the capital of Georgia, make a small detour to visit another ancient town of the country, Mtskheta – where you’ll only need an hour or two to explore this city. The main attraction of Mtskheta is the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, an excellent example of medieval Georgian religious architecture.
Tbilisi is the city of diversity, where old and new and Europe and Asia co-exist harmoniously. Explore the town, its narrow cobblestone lanes of Abanotubani, rejuvenate in sulfur baths, learn the culture at the Museum of Georgia and enjoy the panoramic views over the city from the Funicular.
Day 12-14: Sighnaghi and David Gareja
After you have explored the capital, head towards the eastern part of the country in Kakheti and visit Sighnaghi and David Gareja. The latter is another cave monastery complex located in the desert bordering Azerbaijan. Besides the beautiful complex of the monastery, the area offers picturesque views over the colourful canyons.
Sighnaghi is a newly-renovated city that former president Saakashvili called the “city of love”. There’s no explanation why, but the theory is that the city has a civil ceremony centre for weddings that’s open 24/7.
However, this is not what Sighnaghi is actually famous for – it has much long and rich history seen in every cobblestone street of the town. Explore the centuries-old defence wall, try some traditional wine and soak up the views over the Alazani Valley.
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