Georgia has long formed a strategic cultural and geographic bridge connecting Europe and Asia. It’s part of a network of trade routes known as the Silk Road that travellers and traders have been using for centuries – Patara Dminisi for example, was once a major caravan stop and is the site of the oldest human remains found outside Africa.
The Silk Road evokes a romantic era associated with caravans of camels tackling difficult journeys through wild landscapes. Nowadays, Georgia still offers myth-laden journeys through a staggeringly beautiful land – but getting to and around Georgia is much easier.
There are entry points by road, sea and air. There are international airports at Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi. There are direct flights to Tbilisi from many cities in Europe, the Middle East and Russia, and from a few Central Asian cities. A few international flights also go to Batumi and Kutaisi. Batumi serves Georgia’s western regions while the airport at the capital, Tbilisi provides the main gateway to eastern Georgia. Georgian Airways is the country’s privately owned flag carrier.
Several Turkish bus companies connect Turkey to Georgia, running from Istanbul, Ankara, Trabzon and other Turkish cities to Batumi, Kutaisi and Tbilisi.
For those travellers looking for something a little different, ferry trips may be possible to the ports of Batumi or Poti from some countries in the Black Sea region.
However you arrive, you’ll never forget your first approach into Georgia. The Caucasus, the country’s granite backbone spread their majestic peaks against the sky like an ancient spine. In their shadows, spread out before you are crumpled velvet hills peppered with hilltop monasteries and a patchwork of woods, orchards and crops. The beauty of this place is intoxicating and the potential adventure it offers, thrilling.
When you get to Georgia, there are options for travelling around by air, rail, public bus or minibus, taxi and rental car. Tbilisi also has a cheap, easy to use metro system. Travel is simple between the main towns and cities but getting further out into the remote villages can require some planning.
A special legal regime applies to the two occupied regions of Georgia – the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia and the territory of the Tskhinvali region (the former South Ossetia Autonomous District) – including restricted points of entry. Before considering travels to these areas and to elsewhere in Georgia it is recommended that you check current information on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.