Admit it. The first thing that comes to your mind upon hearing the word Georgia is the state. You should know that there is a country named Georgia and it is more than 10,000 kilometers away from the United States. Knowing about Georgia, the country, is an important lesson in geography; getting to Georgia, on the other hand, is one unforgettable holiday.
Located in the Caucasus Mountains between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, this Eurasian country is dubbed as a natural paradise. To best describe it, legends say that when God was distributing portions of land to different races, he gave to the Georgians that part of the planet that he originally reserved for himself. The sights and landscape are truly heavenly. Below are some travel tips on how to get there.
Major international airlines regularly fly to Georgia, bringing in tourists from several major countries around the world such as New York, Vienna, Paris, Frankfurt, Cologne, Tel Aviv, Kiev, Munich, Athens, Istanbul, and Ankara. There are two international airports when getting to Georgia by air: the one in the capital city of Tbilisi and the other in Batumi, which many consider as the country’s second capital.
Batumi is the capital city of Adjara, an autonomous republic situated in southwest Georgia. All Georgian major cities and destinations are accessible from here, although it is still recommended to get in through Tbilisi. The Tbilisi International Airport is about 18 kilometers from the heart of the city.
Meanwhile, getting to Georgia by land is possible when coming from Armenia, Azerbaijan or Turkey. There is a way to and from Russia but it is not open to foreigners.
Georgia is surrounded by Russia to the north and east, Turkey to the southwest, Azerbaijan to the southeast, Armenia to the south, and the Black Sea to the west. (Coordinates: latitude: 42º00´N, longitude: 43º30’E.) There are several buses traveling from these CIS nations to Tbilisi and other Georgian cities. Some bus companies come all the way from Iran. The ride from Istanbul, Turkey to the border city of Trabzon is about 18 hours, while those that go straight to Tbilisi take 30 hours, not counting delays or border stops along the way.
There are also trains that connect Tbilisi and Kutaisi (the second largest Georgian city) to Istanbul, Baku (Azerbaijan) and Yerevan (Armenia). The overnight train ride on board Trans Caucasian Railway travels every day from Baku to Tbilisi and back; trips from Yerevan depart only on even days and return on odd days.
Finally, if you wish to get romantic, you can take a ferry ride from Ukraine, Bulgaria or Novorosiysk (Russia) to the ports of Batumi and Poti. When getting to Georgia by sea, howver, you might still need to take a domestic flight to the capital city since the port city of Poti is more than 300 kilometers away.
But before packing your bags and getting to Georgia, keep in mind just one thing. Try to avoid talking about Russia and the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The country is not in good diplomatic relations with them and any talk could be considered disrespectful to the Georgian government. But not to worry as Georgians are generally very friendly, hospitable, and accommodating.