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, 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, 5th-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
A guidebook writer and hiking guide for close to three decades, Tim Burford has written guides to countries as widely spread as Romania, Alaska and Chile, while also leading hiking groups in Britain, Patagonia and above all the Alps. He first went to Georgia in the late 1990s and found it had the authentic charm that Romania still had in 1991 but soon began to lose. Happily, it’s still there, preserved in many ways by a passionate national commitment to their food, drink and customs. These are exactly the things that Tim enjoys discovering when he travels, as much at home as abroad – any excuse to get on a bike and explore. Brought up in the west of Cornwall, Tim has lived in Cambridge for twenty years, mainly for its cultural opportunities and easy access to Eurostar trains and other travel options; it’s also easy to lead a car-free life there. He’s heavily involved with the local cycling campaign, but hasn’t yet taken a bike to Georgia, alas.
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Natural history and conservation, History, Economy, People, Language,
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tourist information, Tour operators and travel agents, Red tape, Getting there and away, Health, Safety 69, Women in Georgia 70, LGBT travellers, What to take, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Shopping, Media and communications, Other practicalities, Business, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
PART TWO THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Tbilisi
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information3, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Entertainment and nightlife, Activities, Other practicalities, Shopping, A day’s tour of Tbilisi, What to see and do
Chapter 4 Shida (Inner) Kartli
Mtskheta, Around Mtskheta, The roads 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 Guria
Imereti, Kutaisi, Around Kutaisi, Racha, Mingrelia, Poti, Guria, Abkhazia
Chapter 8 Svaneti
Culture and history, Getting there and away, Mestia, Ushguli
Chapter 9 Adjara
Kobuleti, Batumi, To Gonio and the Turkish border, Mountainous Adjara
Chapter 10 Kakheti
Getting there and away, Eastwards from Tbilisi, Ninotsminda and Tsinandali, Telavi, West of
Telavi, Tusheti, East of Telavi: from Gremi to Kvareli and Lagodekhi, Sighnaghi and beyond,
Chapter 11 Kvemo (Lower) Kartli
Marneuli and Bolnisi, Betania and Manglisi
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Further Information
The Sunday Times
The Daily Telegraph
'This book provides vital information not elsewhere available… it is good on travelling, eating and accommodation.'
Times Literary Supplement
‘To understand modern Georgia you’ll need a copy of Tim Burford’s guide to Georgia’
The Daily Telegraph