Georgia

by Tim Burford

Georgia

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About this book

This new sixth edition of Bradt's Georgia, the only dedicated guide to the country, has been thoroughly updated throughout to include all the most recent developments, ranging from greatly expanded coverage of Batumi, Adjara and Svaneti to the addition of new maps for Tbilisi Old Town, Mestia and Telavi. Tourism is booming in Georgia: the number of guesthouses has mushroomed, Tbilisi airport has just opened a second terminal and a new terminal and rail link are under construction at Kutaisi airport. New low-cost flights are now available and visa-free travel is the norm for most.
With Bradt's Georgia discover both the old and the new. The capital, Tbilisi, has seen huge changes in the past decade with some conspicuous new projects such as the Peace Bridge, the Opera House and the Presidential Palace, as well as excellent new restaurants and bars. Much of the country can be reached in day-trips from the luxury hotels of Tbilisi and Batumi, and the remotest areas such as Svaneti and the Pankisi Valley can also now be visited. In addition, Mestia, the capital of Svaneti, now has an airport and two ski resorts.
Also new for this edition is expanded information on Tusheti and the Trans Caucasian Trail, a volunteer-led project to create two long-distance hiking routes, east-west and north-south, linking the Black Sea with the Caspian, the Greater Caucasus with the Lower Caucasus and Georgia with Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The Georgian wine industry is covered, with particular emphasis on natural qvevri wines, and so too are skiing, rugby, the World Heritage sites of Mtskheta and Gelati , Georgian food, fifth-century churches, cave cities, and Georgian polyphonic singing.
Bradt's unique guide to Georgia is the ideal companion for all travellers, from serious hikers to wine buffs, high-end culture lovers to backpackers of all ages.

About the author

Tim Burford started work as a guidebook writer in Romania in 1991 and saw the country transform into a relatively modern westernised nation; when he first went to Georgia at the end of the '90s it felt like a return to that simpler and more authentic world where hospitality was all-important, and nature was not being pillaged for profit. That situation has changed a bit, of course, but Georgia remains a fascinating destination. And for a vegetarian the food is wonderful! And maybe one day he'll manage some serious long-distance hiking in the High Caucasus.

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Contents

PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Natural history and conservation, History, Politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Culture
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit (and why), Tourist information, Tour operators, Red tape, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, What to take, Money and banking, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Media and communications, Other practicalities, Business, Cultural etiquette, Giving something back

PART 2 THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Tbilisi
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment, Other practicalities, Shopping, A day's tour of Tbilisi, What to see and do
Chapter 4 Shida (Inner) Kartli
Mtskheta, The road west from Mtskheta, Gori, Around Gori, West of Gori
Chapter 5 The Georgian Military Highway
North of Mtskheta, Stepantsminda (Kazbegi), North of Stepantsminda, Khevsureti
Chapter 6 Samtskhe-Javakheti
Nedsvi, Borjomi, Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Bakuriani, Southwest from Borjomi, Vardzia, Ninotsminda and beyond
Chapter 7 Imereti, Racha, Mingrelia and Guira
Imereti, Kutaisi, Racha, Mingrelia, Poti, Guria, Abkhazia
Chapter 8 Svaneti
Culture and history, Getting there and away, From Zugdidi to Mestia, Mestia, Ushguli, Backpacking and climbing in Svaneti
Chapter 9 Adjara
Kobuleti, Batumi
Chapter 10 Kakheti
Eastwards from Tbilisi, Ninotsminda and Tsinandali, Telavi, Tusheti, East of Telavi - from Gremi to Kvareli and Lagodekhi, Southeast of Telavi, Davit-Gareja
Chapter 11 Kvemo (Lower) Kartli
Marneuli and Bolnisi, Betania and Manglisi

Appendices
Language
Further Info
Index