From stunning landscapes to sites of historical and cultural importance, monasteries provide a wealth of interest for the avid traveller. Here is our selection of the six best monasteries in Europe.Read more...
Georgia - At a glance
Gelati is one of the the country's most famous monasteries © joyfull, Shutterstock
Georgia at a glance
Location Transcaucasia, between the Black and Caspian seas, bordering the Russian Federation, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Tbilisi, the capital, is (by rail) 3,214km from Moscow, 374km from Yerevan and 549km from Baku; 350km from the Black Sea; and 4½ hours’ flight from London
Population 3.74 million, of whom roughly 84% are ethnically Georgian, 6% Armenian, 6% Azeri, 1.5% Russian and 2.5% other groups
Government Presidential-parliamentary republic
Administrative divisions Two autonomous republics (Abkhazia and Adjara), ten regions or mkhare (Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli – containing the former autonomous region of South Ossetia – Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Samtskhe- Javakheti, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi, Samegrelo, Zemo Svaneti and Guria). Of these, Abkhazia and South Ossetia have seceded.
Currency Lari (abbreviated GEL), divided into 100 tetri (for up-to-date rates, go to the XE website)
Language Georgian, a member of the Caucasian group of languages; Russian widely spoken
Alphabet Georgian, devised in the 4th or 5th century
Religion 70% Georgian Orthodox; Muslims, Jews and other Christian sects also present
Weights and measures Metric system
Electricity 220V 50Hz (in theory), with two-prong European-standard plugs
National flag Saint George’s cross (red on white), with a red cross in each quarter