Narikala Fortess in old Tbilisi

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 51

Narikala fortess-  also called the Mother Fortress of Tbilisi, Narikala is an ancient symbol of Tbilisi’s defence. The fortress was established in the 4th century, around the period when the city itself was founded. It was then known as Shuris-tsikhe (Invidious Fort). The name Narikala is said to derive from a Persian word for citadel, but another theory says was the name that Mongols used, meaning “little fortress”. It was expanded considerably by the Arabs during the 7th and 8th centuries. The Arabs built the Emir’s palace within its walls. King David further extended the Builder the fortress in th 11th century. Most of the existing fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827 it was damaged by an earthquake and was not resorted. St. Nikolos church, inside the fortress walls, dates from the 12th century. It was renovated in 1996. Narikala offers you some of the best panoramas of the city.

We’d also advise you to take a walk along the Narikala Tourist route, a 1500 metre trail that runs from the top of the ridge near the Mother Georgia statue, around the fortress and down into Old Town to near the entrance to the Botanical Gardens. It offers stunning views at every turn and is a particular delight at night when the city lights shine below.

 

source: www.inyourpocket.com

Dry Bridge Flea Market – Best Place For Unique Souvenir Shopping In Tbilisi

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 108

Located in Tbilisi’s historic old town, 20 minutes walk from Freedom Square, Dry Market is the place, where you can buy literally every souvenir you ever dreamed of.

Even more, alongside traditional, typical tourist trinkets you can encounter old military medals from WWII, old enamel, Soviet kitsch, handmade jewelry (sometimes very eye-catching and exquisite pieces), vintage cameras and many other stuff without much fuss.

Here You can find original eastern European, Soviet, Georgian and even Armenian or Azerbaijani souvenirs.

Many pins and badges are waiting for you to choose and take home.

There are many oil paintings and watercolors, usually full of amazing, bright colors and cheerful spirit.

You may spend several hours just wandering and exploring from one to another, because you will never know, what another surprise is waiting for you at the next one.

You can see old Samovars, cameras, books, family photos, postcards, eyeglasses, playing cards and many other.

Also, there are sometimes absolutely unexpected things.

So, next time in Tbilisi, you know where to go for shopping

 

Source: Georgia.travel; Megapass

Taste Of Georgia: Ajara, Samegrelo, Svaneti

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 102

Going to Georgia, travelers usually prepare themselves to enjoy khachapuri, lobio, khinkali and, of course, a variety of meat barbecues, which are called “mtsvadi” in Georgian. Advanced experts in Georgian cuisine leave some free space in the stomach for pkhali, eggplants in walnut sauce, chakhokhbili and kharcho. However, our compact country has such a rich variety of regional dishes, that even if you decide to try one new for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will need more than several weeks to explore the whole treasury.

Let’s take a little journey through the regions of Georgia and see what they can offer!

Starting with the West Coast… Well, Ajarian cuisine can really be described as “cheese rolling in butter”. Locals prepare very tasty and high-calorie meals. One of them is sinori, gentle rolls made of thin dough baked with matsoni/yoghurt and butter. Sinori can be eaten for breakfast – especially if you days is promising to be busy – or for a heavy family dinner.

Another calorie bomb from Ajara is called borano. It is made of Adjarian cheese melted in butter. Be prepared: it will be difficult to leave the table after you are finished!

Samegrelo, another Western Black Sea region of Georgia, is famous for the fact that its inhabitants prefer very spicy food. Megrelian adjika sauce is so sharp that Chuck Norris himself would probably cry, having tried it. If we talk about dishes, the most significant for the region are gebzhalia and elarji. Elarji is polenta brewed from corn flour  with suluguni cheese inside. This heavy delicious dish should served hot!

Gebzhalia is a starter, delicate rolls with fresh cheese and mint in matsoni/yogurt sauce. It just melts inside your mouth, and is contrasting to those extremely spicy dishes and sauces that are served after.

From Samegrelo it is logical to climb higher into the mountains – to Upper Svaneti. This fabulously beautiful region with harsh living conditions is famous first of all for its special seasoning – Svan salt. Common salt is mixed with local spices in a special wooden mortar, and thus turns into slightly moist flavorful spice that can be used with salads, as well as with meat and fish.

Typical Svanetian pastry is kubdari, a tortilla stuffed with meat. In such difficult living conditions as there, meat filling is an excellent source of calories, and tortilla format is a convenient option for takeaway eating. The shepherds take kubdari as they travel to pastures, and eat them during a long time there.

Another traditional Svan pastry is chishdvari (down the mountains, in the rest of Georgia it is called “chvishtari”). It is made from corn flour, and keeps a piece of suluguni cheese inside. Chishdvari is especially tasty, as it’s taken just from a pan, and you eat it looking at the highest peaks of Georgia – let’s say, Shkhara – and breathe fresh air at an altitude of over 2,000 meters.

The first part of our culinary journey through the regions of Georgia is about to end now. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of interesting stuff for you! Stay tuned with Georgia and Travel!

 

Source: Georgia.travel

Heritage Sites

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 72

Cave Towns Among the few notable cave towns in the world, the Georgian ones are of very special interest. Uplistsikhe, David Gareji monastery, and the world-famous cave town of Vardzia are nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage list. Uplistsikhe, ‘the fortress of the Lord’, can be dated back to the early Iron Age, and is located on a high rocky escarpment overlooking the bank of the Mtkvari River. Cut from natural sandy stone, the 8 hectares of cave-town have survived millions of people, erosion, aging and even earthquakes, but it still remains a good example of the mixture of pagan & Christian architecture. David Gareji monastery was founded in the 6th century on the slopes of the Gareji hills by one of the thirteen Syrian Fathers, Father David (Garejeli). Those fathers were missionaries from Mesopotamia promoting and spreading Christianity, the respected founders of many monasteries and holy places around Georgia. The frescoes here are superb. Some of them date as far back as the 9th and 10th centuries. The Golden Age of Georgia is directly reflected in the incredible 11th – 13th century frescoes. The incredible cave town of Vardzia dates back to Queen Tamar’s reign, nearly a thousand years ago. Her father, King George III started the foundation of the complex, while Queen Tamar continued its construction. Many frescoes date back to the beginning of the XII century. The complex itself consists of small chapels, bell towers, secret tunnels, monks’ caves as well as a fully functioning monastery to this day. Set in the most serene and stunning countryside, its beautiful location captures your imagination and brings you back to the era of Queen Tamar’s reign. Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery(UNESCO WEB) The construction of Bagrati Cathedral, named after Bagrat III, the first king of united Georgia, started at the end of the 10th century and was completed in the early years of the 11th century. Although partly destroyed by the Turks in 1691, its ruins still lie in the centre of Kutaisi. The Gelati Monastery, whose main buildings were erected between the 12th and 17th centuries, is a well-preserved complex, with wonderful mosaics and wall paintings. The cathedral and monastery represent the flowering of medieval architecture in Georgia. Historical Monuments of Mtskheta(UNESCO WEB) The historic churches of Mtskheta, former capital of Georgia, are outstanding examples of medieval religious architecture in the Caucasus. They show the high artistic and cultural level attained by this ancient kingdom. Upper Svaneti(UNESCO WEB) Preserved by its long isolation, the Upper Svaneti region of the Caucasus is an exceptional example of mountain scenery with medieval-type villages and tower-houses. The village of Chazhashi still has more than 200 of these very unusual houses, which were used both as dwellings and as defence posts against the invaders who plagued the region.

Source: Georgia.travel

Top 10 Winter Experiences Of Georgia

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 68

We, Georgians, are the most welcoming people in the world! And we know how confusing it can be for you to plan your winter vacation in our country that has always been famous for its sea, sun, wine and mountains. That’s why we picked these ten experiences for you, so that you would make the most out of your holidays.

1. Learning to ski (if you still couldn’t)

There are really good ski instructors and ski camps for adults and kids at our ski resorts. The biggest amount of them is in Gudauri and Bakuriani.

2. Trying heli-ski (if you tried everything possible before)

If you are experienced enough, and your seek for adrenaline, heli-ski is something you would really enjoy! Untouched snow, fabulous altitude and crazy landscapes are waiting for you in Gudauri, Kazbegi and Mestia.

3. Visiting sulfur baths in Tbilisi

Everyone has heard about them, but not everybody knows that it’s not your average touristic thing. We go there too, when we are tired and want to recover. Strong massage with immense amounts of soap and hot sulfuric water do their thing pretty well!

4. Raving in Bassiani

The most famous Georgian club is not a place where you can easily walk it, which makes it more appealing to the fans of high class electronic music. Only top DJs, only right people!

5. Treating yourself with healing waters

Book spa treatment in one of the hotels in Borjomi, Sairme or Likani, or simply jump into the natural steaming water in the Mineral Waters Park in the center of Borjomi. The pools are located in its very end.

6. Having a wine tour

Even if the harvest season (Rtveli) is over, the wineries are always happy to welcome the guests. Encounter with 8000-years-old tradition of winemaking and sample the most interesting Georgian wines, so rich on tannins, so flavourful, so unique!

7. Visiting mysterious caves

Not far from Kutaisi, there are two caves that are accessible for the travelers – Sataplia and Prometheus are the names. Both of them are very impressive! The first one preserves the fossilized footprints of the dinosaurs, the second one is a bit bigger and offers a boat trip along the underground river in the end. Be aware of the fact that both are closed on Mondays!

8. Tracing different civilizations and cultures

Georgia was always in the middle of regional events, that’s why many cultures have influenced us. Visit the cave town Uplistsikhe to see how humans made the whole town out of rock several thousands years ago. A visit to the archaeological sites Dmanisi and Samshvilde will showcase the life of ancient people, and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, David Gareji cave monastery, Nekresi Monastery hidden in the forest on the mount will show you the different aspects of early Christianity in Georgia.

9. Enjoy subtropical nature

Going to the West gives you a refreshing experience of seeing green plants in winter. For example, Batumi Botanical Garden is simply fantastic!

10. Shop Georgian!

Clothes made by the Georgian designers as well as food and spices made in Georgia are always on the shopping list of a person who wants to bring home something special. We are sure that you will find the best and most interesting accessories, clothes and jewelry for you and your friends and family!

 

Source: Georgia.travel

Winter In Georgia: Skiing And Spa

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 81

Georgia is getting more prominence as a ski destination – first of all, due to its long season (snowfalls in the mountains in April are something normal for Gudauri and Svaneti) and affordable prices for ski passes. The other reason is that it is still quite exotic for those who used to go skiing in Alps, Tatra or Carpathians.

We want to bring our country closer to you, so here are our options for those who like to combine skiing and spa treatment.

BAKURIANI

Number one choice in this case will be Bakuriani. This resort is located in central Georgia, climate is mild, and the local waters make good impact on health. They are softly mineralized, contain potassium, calcium, sodium and magnesium. The springs are located in the townlet Tsagveri and Mitarbi area, and you will also find bottled still water branded as “Bakuriani” in every Georgian shop.

The ski resort itself is the oldest one in Georgia, which means that the infrastructure has existed here for around 50 years, and recently it is getting updated and expanded. The new hotels and apartments grow there every year.

The most convenient area to stay for skiers is around Didveli Ski Lift or Mitarbi Ski Lift – you will have the direct access to the skiing area, and in the evening going to the cozy center of the resort with local restaurants, bars, ski rink, park and little cinema won’t be a problem. Just get a number of taxi driver in advance or ask for it in your hotel.

Talking about on site spa facilities – Orbi Palace, Crystal Bakuriani and Hotel Mgzavrebi are those hotels who have them. Indoor swimming pool and saunas are something you will definitely need after an active day on the slopes!

BORJOMI

If you want a leisure break during your skiing vacation, consider Borjomi at least for a day or two. This mineral resort is one of the oldest in Georgia – the spring was discovered in 1841, and with the time a beautiful park grew around.

The most relaxing option is to stay in one of four spa hotels in the town – Borjomi Palace, Crowne Plaza, Golden Tulip or Rixos Borjomi. Swimming pool and saunas are usually included in the room rate. Besides it, each hotel provides a wide range of healing and relaxing procedures, massages and cosmetology services.

The more budget-friendly option is to stay in one of the guesthouses that are many, and spend hilarious 5 lari for the chance to bath in the thermal spring in the end of the Mineral Waters Park. The spring is clean, and there are changing rooms on site too. The entrance to the park is 2 lari.

A walk toward the spring might take 30-40 minutes, and you will truly enjoy it: fresh air, sound of river Borjomi streaming towards river Mtkvari through the park, and the pleasant contrast of air and water temperature!

GUDAURI

The biggest and the most popular among freeriders, this resort is located in only 2.5 hours drive from Tbilisi. Seven ski-lifts (3 three-chair, 2 four-chair, 1 six-chair, 1 gondola), total altitude difference of 1258 meters, pistes from blue to black, breathtaking panoramas – simply awesome for a weekend break or a longer holiday!

For the guests that want to get decent spa and relaxation time, there are several places that offer it: Marco Polo Gudauri, Hotel Club 2100, Gudauri Hut Hotel, Carpe Diem Hotel, GoodAura Hotel and Tsar Bani Resort. New Gudauri Aparthotel also has a spa part – you should request this service before booking an apartment or hotel room there!

Also, famous Rooms Hotel Kazbegi has swimming pool with great view and good choice of extra procedures. Kazbegi (Stepantsminda village) is located in 30-40 minute drive from Gudauri, so you might go for a day trip there.

The choice is yours, and we are sure that you will have a great time in Georgia!

 

Source: Georgia.travel

Mtirala: Georgian nature at its purest

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 76

It is pure, unblemished nature…

Yet the Mtirala National Park can be found just 40 kilometres from Batumi, the capital city of Georgia’s autonomous republic of Adjara.

“We’re lucky to have the sunshine: this Adjarian national park, Mtirala, is considered Georgia’s rainiest spot of land,” said Euronews reporter Denis Loctier, as he explored the region.

In this high humidity, the air is fresh and fragrant with blooming flowers and herbs.

It’s a protected site for the region’s flora and fauna, including rare and endangered endemic species.

“Mtirala translates as ‘a weeping mountain’. This place is often clouded in mist and drizzle. That’s where the name comes from,” explained park guide, Zia Kontselidze.

At 1,500 metres above sea level, Mtirala’s trails are perfect for hiking, bird watching and adventure tours.

 

Source: Euronews.com

Vardzia: ‘The Cave Town’

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 102

It is called the cave town.

Vardzia is a spectacular site in southern Georgia, dug out of the Erusheti Mountain in 1185.

It had special significance for Georgians because it was associated with King Tamar – such a charismatic woman that she was crowned King instead of Queen!

“Among all the architectural jewels of Georgia, the Vardzia complex is the most precious,” said ‘Postcards’ reporter Claudio Rosmino.

“In this city, carved into the rock, there were houses, shops, libraries and even a water network. In total, 6,000 rooms, spread out over 13 levels”

In 1283, just a century after its construction, a devastating earthquake destroyed a huge part of the site. What we see today is less than a third of its original size.

“Vardzia cave complex was built for approximately 48 years by hand and was designed to host 50,000 people for defence purposes,” explained museum guide Tina Zedginidze.

“But later it became a Royal monastery with educational functions”

A small group of monks is still living there. Some 300 apartments can be visited and in some tunnels the old irrigation pipes still bring drinkable water.

 

Source: Euronews.com

Evidence of ancient wine found in Georgia a vintage quaffed some 6,000 years BC

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 78

Archaeologists are hard at work sifting through the dirt at a dig in Imiri, south-eastern Georgia.

The scientists believe that the site contains artefacts that could once and for all prove that Georgia is the oldest wine producing country in the world.

Eight thousand years ago, during the neolithic era, farming and agriculture were flourishing in the three villages that now make up the Shulaveri – Shumitepe Cultural ruins in Marneuli Valley.

And one of the products being grown and harvested proved to be grapes to make wine.

Stephen Batiuk is from the University of Toronto: “What is significant about this site is that it produced some of the earliest examples of domesticated grapes, which we believe were involved in the earliest production of wine. We know that a wine vessel was discovered in Shulaveri, which also provides evidence of early wine production. But here (Imiri site) wine could be produced even earlier taking wine production in Georgia all the way back to 6,000 BC.”

David Lordkipanidze, is director of Georgia’s National Museum:
“The aim of this project is to look at the history of agriculture. It’s not just only the question of the earliest wine and we have found here traces of very old wine making, but as well to look at the domestication of the weeds, of the different agricultural products, which shows that Caucasus and Georgia were part of this big geographical territory, the so called Fertile Crescent, where the earliest agriculture was appearing and first civilisations were spreading.”

The Fertile Crescent is a swathe of land stretching from upper Egypt to Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq, Kuwait and northeast Syria.

 

Source: Euronews.com

Tourists speak about Georgian wine at the Georgian Wine Festival 2018

Posted By : Georgian Tour/ 74

Georgian Wine Festival 2018 has been going on for several hours already on the Shardeni Street in Tbilisi. Locals and tourists attend the event and are tasting products represented there.

What tourists say about Georgia

Tourists say that Georgian wine is distinguished with its diverse taste and is one of the best gifts they will take to their countries.
“I guess it is a wine holiday. I like Georgian wine very much and due to diverse taste of it, anyone can find their favourite wine. My favourite wine is Kindzmarauli. I have tried Kisi for the first time here and enjoyed it very much. All of my friends in Russia wait that I will take there a bottle of wine on the way back. I think wine is the best Georgian gift” – says one of the Russian tourists Irina Slavyeva.

“I turned up here accidentally and I am excited. I have tried Kindzmarauli, Saperavi and Mukuzani. My favourite one is Kindzmarauli for now. Today we fly back to Moscow and we have already defined weight of our luggage, but I will by several bottles though. In Moscow they enjoy Georgian wine very much. All of my friends asked me to take some wine for them” – says another Russian tourist Iulia Bistretskaya.
One of the guests Violeta Sharvashidze says that this kind of festival is very important in terms of tourism.

“I knew Wine Festival would be hold here so I arrived with my friends and all of us are very satisfied. I have tried different types of wine, but enjoyed Mtsvane Manavi by Batono Company very much. Generally, wines represented at the festival are very tasty. Ensembles sing perfectly well. We are staying here for the whole day and let’s see what else will be performed. Such festivals are very pleasant to the locals” – says Violeta Sharvashidze.
Actors from the Motion Theatre hold costume performance at the moment.

Georgian Wine Festival 2018 was opened by minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia Levan Davitashvili. Festival will finish at 7 pm today.
Partners of the event are Motion Theatre, The Folklore State Centre of Georgia and ART Shok Company.
Media supporters of the event are TV PalitraNews, Palitra Radio, ambebi.ge, events.ambebi.ge, ipn.ge, kvirispalitra, georgianjournal.ge, allnews.ge, reitingi.ge.
Source: Georgianjournal.ge