Official name: Georgia
Name in Georgian: Sakartvelo
Area: 69,700 square kilometers
The population density is 77 per square kilometer
Capital: Tbilisi, 1118300
Biggest cities: Kutaisi, Batumi, Rustavi, Telavi, Zugdidi, Gori, Sukhumi, Poti
Time zone: UTC / GMT +4: 00
Country Code: GEO
Telephone code: +995 (+995 32 - Tbilisi)
Internet domain: .ge
Neighboring countries: Russia to the north, Turkey to the south-west, Armenia to the south, Azerbaijan in the south-east
Political structure: Democratic Republic
Georgia is located in the region, called the Caucasus, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Georgia is a small country; the area is about 69,700 square kilometers - about the size of West Virginia or Switzerland.
From the north for a distance of 723 km Georgia is bounded by Russia - the North Caucasus, to the south-east (border length - 332 km) by Azerbaijan, to the south (164 km) by Armenia and to the south-west (252 km) by Turkey.
Georgia is a mountainous country. Likhi Range divides the country into eastern and western parts. Historically, the western part of Georgia was known as Colchis, the eastern - Iberia.
The northern part of the country is bordered by the Greater Caucasus mountain range. The mountains of the Main Caucasian ridge is little higher than mountains of the Lesser Caucasus - the peak is at an altitude of 5000 meters above sea level.
The highest peak of Georgia is Shkhara Mountain (5201 m). Other famous peaks are in Kazbegi (Kazbek), located at an altitude of 5047 m, Tetnuldi (4974 m), Ushba (4710 m).
There are many scenic landscapes in Georgia: mainly determined by the Caucasus Mountains, the country's northern border with Russia overlaps with the Main Caucasian ridge. Lesser Caucasus mountain range stretches along the borders with Turkey and Armenia, Surami and Imereti ranges, which connect the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, create natural boundaries, which to some extent is determined by cultural and linguistic differences between regions.
The largest river in the country is Mtkvari. The largest river in western Georgia - Rioni - originates in the mountains of the Greater Caucasus and flows into the Black Sea near the town of Poti.
Hardly any other country had experienced a number of such invasions and still managed to survive and preserve own identity and inherent traits. A large number of churches and fortresses certify the rich historical past of Georgia.
The historical past of Georgia is more than 3000 years old. Recently in Dmanisi we found traces of hominid, which indicates the first resettlement of people in Europe, 1.8 million years ago. After the Stone Age people began to settle in the territory of Georgia more intensively. Since these ancient times, people have always lived on Georgian land.
Georgian language is one of the oldest living languages in the world, it exists more than 2000 years and has its own special alphabet. Georgian writing is dated from the 5th century. The first written sources of Georgia include the inscriptions in the Georgian monastery of the Holy Cross in Palestine, in the desert of Bethlehem, as well as the Sioni Church in Bolnisi, in the south of Tbilisi.
Georgia has historically located on the border of the great empires - the territory of the country was always aspirational for the great Asian empires, from the Arabs to Tamerlane, from the Mongols to the Ottoman Empire since the first century BC and until the 18th century. Despite the large number of invasions and wars Georgia managed to maintain unity in the X-XIII centuries by David Agmashenebeli (David the Builder, 1089-1125) - the great Georgian King - united Georgia in the XI century. This period - the golden era of Georgia, as well as during the reign of the Queen Tamar (1184-1213) - was an era of cultural renaissance, building monasteries, creating murals and ornaments. The richly decorated churches were the source of unification of the nation - even in the mountains.
During 200 years of histroy Georgia was a part of the Russian Empire, first as the province and then as a Soviet republic. And even in this period, Georgia has managed to preserve own language, culture and identity.
In 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union. In 1992, Georgia became the 179th member of the UN and other international and regional organizations.
In Georgia the climate is warm and pleasant. The climate is mostly driven by the Greater Caucasus mountain range that protects Georgia from cold northern winds and the Black Sea. Winter is short and mild.
The climate of Georgia is very diverse, despite the fact that the area is relatively small. In general, there are two main climatic zones, separating the Eastern and Western parts of the country. Main Caucasus Range plays an important role in shaping the climate of Georgia, preventing penetration of cold air masses. For its part, Lesser Caucasus mountain range partially protects the region from the effects of dry and hot air masses from the south.
Most of the West Georgia is located in the northern part of the humid subtropical climate zone, the annual sediment in the region amounts to 1000-4000 mm. The climate of the region varies significantly with increasing altitude above sea level: in the lowlands of western Georgia throughout the year is relatively warm weather in the foothills and mountain areas (including mountains of the Greater and Lesser Caucasus) - colder climate with wet summers and snowy winters (height of snow in many areas is often more than 2 m).
Adjara is the wettest region of the Caucasus. The annual rainfall is about 4500 mm. The average temperature in winter is 50C and in the summer - 220C.
Eastern Georgia is characterized with transitional climate from humid subtropical to continental. On the weather in the region affects warm masses of air of the Central Asia / Caspian Sea from the east and the humid masses of the Black Sea from the west. Penetration of humid air masses from the Black Sea is often hindered by mountain ranges (Likhi and Meskheti) dividing strip between the eastern and western parts of the country. The annual rainfall in eastern Georgia is less than in western regions and varies between 400-1600 mm.
The most humid time of the year comes here in spring and autumn, at the time, as the winter and summer months are drier. In most part of eastern Georgia is the hot summer (especially in low-lying areas) and relatively cold winters. In western part of the country, the higher in the mountain weather is changed - at a level of more than 1500 meters the climate is cold. In areas located at an altitude of over 2000 meters, even in summer frosts are occured. The average temperature during winter months is 2-40C, and in summer - 20-240C.
How to get a visa
Simplification of visa conditions allows tourists from various countries to visit Georgia without obstacles. A prerequisite for crossing the border is the passport valid for at least 6 months. The nationals of the following countries can stay in the country without a visa for one year:
European Union, United States, Russia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Israel, Vatican, The Principality of Andorra, The Republic of San Marino
United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, South Korea, The Kingdom of Bahrain, Oman, Turkey.
Representatives of the countries that require a visa for entry to Georgia, may apply on an electronic visa portal of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia: www.evisa.gov.ge/GeoVisa/#" www.evisa.gov.ge/GeoVisa / # at the Georgian consulate in the territory of their country, or in land-based checkpoints and airports. Ground checkpoints are in Sarpi and Vale (the border with Turkey), on the Red Bridge (border with Azerbaijan), in Sadakhlo (border with Armenia) and Lars (border with Russia).
Warning: at the moment Abkhazia and South Ossetia are not subordinated to the central authorities. Travel to these areas is not recommended in the absence of appropriate conditions of security. Entry into the territory of Georgia with the so-called Abkhazian and South Ossetian "visa" is prohibited.
Detailed information on visas in Georgia is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia www.georgia.travel/travel/www.mfa.gov.ge" www.mfa.gov.ge
Due to its geographical position, it’s easy to get in Georgia by any kind of transport - by land, by air and sea. Plane journey from Central Europe will take only 3-4 hours.
SEA AND LAND
Travelling by bus
Everyday buses go to Tbilisi from Baku, Istanbul, Ankara, Trabzon and Yerevan.
Buses from Athens carry out their flights several times a week.
Buses depart from the central bus station of the above cities, where you can also get detailed information about the timetable.
Additional information can be found at: www.info-tbilisi.com/usefulinfos/railway/
Travelling by car
You can get in Georgia by car from Europe and Asia. The famous Silk Road passes through the country.
The highways connect Georgia with Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey.
Crossing the border of the three countries is free.
Journey by sea
One of the opportunities of a trip to Georgia is a journey by sea. The main ports of the Black Sea - Odessa, Kherson and Sevastopol in Ukraine, Poti and Batumi in Georgia, Constanta in Romania, Burgas and Varna in Bulgaria, Eregli, Samsun, Sinop and Trabzon in Turkey.
Poti port is accessed by ferry from the Ukrainian ports Ilyichevsk and Odessa. Ferries are equipped with comfortable cabins for passengers. Departure is performed every Tuesday. The journey takes only a few hours. www.batumiport.com www.batumiport.com www.potiseaport.com www.potiseaport.com
Emergency services - ESS: the police; the fire brigade; emergency medical - 112
Railway Station: (+995 32) 56 62 53; (+995 32) 56 47 60
Airport: International Arrivals: +995 32 231 03 41 International Departure: +995 32 231 04 21. Transit: +995 32 231 03 41, +995 32 231 04 21
National monetary unit of Georgia is Lari or GEL, which consists of 100 tetri. The national currency of Georgia was introduced in 1995. There are notes 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 GEL. Coins are used in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 tetri. All payments can be made in cash or by credit card. Almost all the restaurants, shops and hotels accept credit cards. Lari or GEL can be easily exchanged into the world currencies.
Visitors to the country can buy the currency at banks and exchange offices.
For more information on the website www.nbg.ge/index.php?m=446&lng=eng www.nbg.gov.ge
Internet service providers have been operating in recent years. There are several and they offer a variety of packages in different price categories.
Today, in almost every city of Georgia, has access to the Internet.
There is also WI-FI zone in many hotels, cafes and parks of Tbilisi and Batumi, which allow visitors enjoy free internet.
Internet cafes can be found in all districts and cities of Georgia.
Mobile operators are Geocell Georgia, MagtiCom and Beeline.
They cover almost the entire country.
Country Code, Tbilisi and Tskaltubo:
Country Code 995
Code of Tbilisi 32
Code of Tskaltubo - 436