Georgia – a country for lovers of mountains and sea

Hospitable Georgia – mountains, canyons, reserves

Georgia is a country of majestic mountains, warm sea and the beauty of unspoiled nature. It is necessary to visit it at least once, especially now, when visa-free regime for Russians is in force. I will tell you which places you should visit while you are in Georgia.

The map shows all the main places described in the article.

Ananuri Fortress

Ananuri Fortress is the first castle that tourists encounter on the Georgian Military Road. It is impossible not to notice it. Ananuri castle was built in XIII century – as a fortress for defense and protection of Aragva regions. Around the fortress there are mountains and river Vedzatkhevi, which was turned into a huge reservoir in Jinvali.

The towers of the fortress offer a panoramic view of the surrounding area, so do not miss the opportunity to go up and take a couple of pictures against the background of mountains and serene water

The fortress is well preserved both outside and inside. You can even climb to the top of one of the towers, look at the interior decorations of several small temples in the territory and take a couple of pictures against the background of mountains and Zhinval Reservoir. Entrance to the fortress is free, and you can visit all the towers and temples for free.

Gergeti Monastery

The Gergeti church was built in the 14th century during the attacks of foreign invaders to store the values of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The complex consists of a two-story church and a bell tower.

Admission is free. But you can enter the territory only if you are dressed appropriately. Men – no shorts, women – a headscarf and long skirt (they give out in the courtyard of the monastery for a nominal fee).

To get to the church, first you need to go to the village Stepantsminda. From there is a road to the church. In a car the way will not be easy, but if you are not afraid of serpentine, it is quite possible to pass. Other options are to walk up about 5 kilometers or to ask local cab drivers, who know the peculiarities of the road and drive mostly off-road vehicles.

Jvari Monastery

Jvari Monastery is located in the city of Mtskheta, the first capital of Georgia. It is the oldest city in the country, which was founded in the V century BC.

The monastery is considered one of the oldest in Georgia. The exact year of its construction could not be established – somewhere between 604th and 642nd. The monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Despite the simplicity of its construction, it is annually visited by thousands of pilgrims from all over the world.

The architecture of the temple is ascetic: it looks like a cross, which is inscribed in a square. No decorations or rich finishes. Plain walls of solid stone and simple domes topped with a cross are all the exterior decoration.

It is this temple that Lermontov describes in the poem “Mtsyri”, for which the poet was erected a monument here.

The temple stands on an elevation, on its territory there are several platforms from which a panorama of the city of Mtskheta, a view of the mountains and the confluence of two different in color rivers – the Kura and the Aragvi – opens up.

To avoid crowds of tourists and couples with wedding photo shoots, it is better to come here before 9 am. Everyone is allowed inside. At the foot of the temple there are tents where you can buy souvenirs and national clothing accessories.

In winter, the color of the water in the rivers changes and the contrast between them is particularly noticeable. In summer, because of the rains in the mountains, the color of the rivers is almost the same.

Ali and Nino Monument

The monument to Ali and Nino was erected in 2011 by architect Tamara Kvesitadze and was named in honor of the novel of the same name about the love of Azerbaijani Muslim Ali and Georgian Christian Nino. The monument is a symbol of love between the two peoples, despite the uneasy relations between the states.

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The sculptures slowly move toward each other, merge into one, without touching, and then diverge to the maximum distance. The cycle takes twenty minutes, so it is better to settle down on one of the many benches around the sculptures and watch.

Nearby there are many cafes and souvenir shops, right behind the sculptures installed a large Ferris wheel and an observation deck, which offers a view of the sea, mountains, Batumi City and the entire embankment. In the evening there are musicians playing and there is a lot of life.

The Arch of Friendship of Peoples on the Cross Pass

The Arch of Friendship of Peoples is a famous landmark on the Military Georgian Road, which connects Vladikavkaz and Tbilisi. The Arch is located above a precipice at an altitude of 2384 meters.

It was built by the famous sculptor Zurab Tsereteli as a symbol of friendship between the Georgian and Russian people. The arch is decorated with a huge mosaic panel depicting the history of relations between the two states.

Through the balconies, which overhang directly over the abyss, there is a view of the valley and a small artificial lake. Gliders are circling among the mountains – there are many instructors in the vicinity of the Arch of Friendship of Peoples, who offer to fly between the mountains.

There is an asphalt road that leads from the main highway to the arch, and there is a convenient parking lot in front of the attraction. Nearby are a few souvenir stalls that sell mountain honey, wine, chacha and other Georgian souvenirs.

The main thing is to keep an eye on the weather before your trip. During rain, snowfall, or strong winds, the pass can be dangerous. In winter there is especially a lot of snow, so it is better to go to the arch in a warm season. Keep in mind that even on a hot day it will be cool and windy.

If you go around the arch, you will get to the flat open area in front of the ledge. From there you can take beautiful pictures with the mountains as a backdrop. But don’t get too close to the edge!

Tsminda Sameba

Tsminda Sameba, or Holy Trinity Cathedral, is the main Orthodox church in Georgia. It is located in Tbilisi on St. Elijah’s Hill and can be seen from many points in the capital. Especially beautiful sight in the evening when the cathedral is illuminated by numerous searchlights.

The cathedral was opened in 2004 and almost immediately moved here pulpit of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Inside the cathedral are cultural and historical values of Georgia. For example, the cross from the main temple of the first capital of the country, the icon “Hope of Georgia” and other significant church relics.

From the cathedral you can get to the courtyard – there are several small chapels and a bell tower, around which there is a large park with alleys and lawns. There is also a theological seminary, a small hotel and a cafe.

The architecture of the cathedral is in the classical style of the Georgian Orthodox Church – severity and simplicity. The height is more than 100 meters, and there is an underground level for another 40 meters.

The church cafe sells famous drinks “Lagidze Water. It was the Lagidze Lemonade that Stalin sent to American President Truman in response to a shipment of Coca-Cola in 1952.

Okatse Canyon

Okatse Canyon is located in western Georgia in Imeretia, 50 kilometers from the major city of Kutaisi. The canyon is divided into upper and lower areas. In the upper area there are many high waterfalls, and in the lower area for tourists was built extreme entertainment – a suspension bridge over the canyon at a height of 140 meters above the precipice.

Near the village of Zeda-Gordi and Dadiani Park is the visitor’s center – the main entrance to the canyon. Opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (all days except Mondays). There they also sell tickets to the suspension bridge – 7 GEL (about 190 ₽) for an adult and 4 GEL (110 ₽) for a child. Children under 10 years old are not allowed on the suspension bridge.

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From the Visitor Center to the canyon leads a paved road of 2.5 kilometers. The terrain is mountainous, so you have to go up and down, but along the way there are often benches, you can rest and take a breath. Along the way there are signs and signs with information in several languages, so you will not get lost.

Before entering the suspension bridge you will be asked to show your receipt, so keep it. The suspension bridge is 780 meters long and ends with an observation deck above the abyss.

If you don’t have the energy to walk back to the visitor’s center, you can take a cab for 35 GEL (950 ₽). Local cab drivers often stand at the checkpoint in front of the suspension bridge.

You should wear comfortable clothes and athletic shoes to the canyon, and be sure to take water and something to eat.

Martville Canyon

Martvil Canyon is one of the main attractions of Georgia. He is located in the central part of the country, 160 kilometers from Batumi and 280 kilometers from Tbilisi. This is a very picturesque place. Due to its special climate the walls of the canyon are covered in moss, there is a lot of greenery everywhere, lianas descend directly to the water, there are small streams and waterfalls of different heights. The turquoise water reflects the greenery of trees and white rocks, which rise to 20-40 meters. The water is so clear that you can see the bottom and even small fish.

The length of the canyon is just over two kilometers, but you can walk here for a long time, exploring the unusual places created by nature. Here they even organize tours for a few days.

The canyon consists of two parts – the upper and lower, separated by a small bank. At the top of the canyon hire inflatable boats for rafting in the canyon, rental costs from 13 lari (350 ₽). The rental is open every day from 10:00 to 17:00, except Mondays. Don’t spare any money, it’s really worth it.

There are plenty of places to walk and swim at the bottom of the canyon. There are paths, viewing platforms and benches. Walking here is easy and safe, even with children, but do not forget about comfortable shoes and water.

The entrance to the canyon costs 15 lari (400 ₽), you can take a guide for an extra fee.

Botanical Garden of Batumi

The largest botanical garden of Georgia is situated nine kilometers from Batumi and has an area of 113 hectares. This is one of the main attractions of Batumi. There are many well-equipped places for rest and picnics, equipped with free Wi-Fi zones and routes for self-guided visits. You can rent an electric car and rent a room at a local hotel, choose a guide and go on an excursion.

Batumi Botanical Garden has a collection of 1,800 plants. It is divided into nine geographical departments by origin: Himalayan, Australian, Mexican, Mediterranean, departments of East Asia, New Zealand, North, South America and the department of humid subtropics of the Caucasus.

Tourists are eager to see camellias and roses, which feel particularly well in the local subtropical climate: in winter it is warm and humid, like in the Mediterranean resorts.

The entire park is divided into three zones: upper, lower and the G. Gabrichidze Seaside Park. You can enter the garden from either side, there are ticket offices at the entrances. In the upper park are mostly evergreen plants, in summer hydrangeas and abelias bloom here.

In the lower park are woody plants. Here you can see oaks, hornbeams, magnolias, dracenas, strawberry trees. In spring, Japanese camellias bloom. In this part of the park there are many panoramic platforms with views of the entire garden and the sea.

The Seaside Park has many plants brought from Mediterranean countries – dozens of species of palms, feijoa, rare species of magnolia and other ornamental plants.

Near the exit to the beach are picnic areas, camping, several cafes and bars.

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The entrance ticket costs 15 GEL (about 400 ₽), an hour and a half tour is 50 GEL (1320 ₽), a tour by electric car will cost 30 GEL (800 ₽).

There are many tangerine trees in the park. You can’t pick the fruit – it’s forbidden by park rules. But if tangerines have fallen from the tree, you can pick them up and eat them.

Gveleta Waterfall

Gvelet waterfall is located in Stepantsminda, in one of the gorges of the Kazbek. Water from the mountain river Gveletistskali falls from a height of 25 meters – the flow of water is so strong that it was able to make a notch in the rock.

Next to the Great Gweletza waterfall is another one – the Small one. It is easier to get to it, but experienced tourists usually go to the Big one. The way is not easy, through the rocks, lush brushwood, boulders and steep slopes. The route is not landscaped uphill, there are no wide paths, benches and rescue points, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes, do not go alone and hold the hand of children.

Along the way you can admire the views around, so beautiful nature in this place, but be careful, especially near the waterfall. Because of the high humidity, the rocks are very slippery.

The route begins in the village of Gveleti. You can get here by car and leave it in the parking lot. Then go to the coordinates N42 ° 42 “17″, E44 ° 36 “51″ – you will get to the trail, which leads directly to the waterfall. It will take about 20 minutes to walk 1500 meters. You can ask the locals for directions, and they are often willing to take you directly to the waterfalls. For a fee, of course.

It is better to take warm clothes and a raincoat to the falls. Strong wind spreads spray in all directions, so you can quickly get wet through and freeze.

Tips for hikers

1. Do not hesitate to bargain when you pay beyond the bill, especially with cab drivers and at the market.

2. In Georgia there are no policies of OSAGO and Casco, so if you travel in Georgia by car, it is better to get to the nearest point of any insurance company and buy a local policy. 3.

3. You can rent a car from the local rental services, it’s a common service here.

4. The official language in Georgia is Georgian, but almost everyone speaks Russian. You can always switch to English, they know it here too, though at a basic level.

5. It is prohibited to change money from hand to hand.

6. The best souvenirs from Georgia will be cheeses, especially Mingrelian suluguni, rare varieties of spices and a bottle of good wine. For example, Khvanchkara or Saperavi. For tasty treats you should go to the market and look for homemade products.

Georgia

Georgia is such a close and at the same time exotic country. We all know that it is washed by the warm waters of the Black Sea, that the locals are hospitable and mostly understand Russian, and that nature is delightful and versatile. But we do not know much about Georgian real estate and investment opportunities… And yet it is in these areas that some truly fantastic changes have taken place in recent years.

Georgia can rightfully be called a “country-planet. On its territory there are seven climatic zones – from subtropics to snow-capped mountain peaks. Accordingly, there are resorts – seaside, ski and balneological resorts.

In January-June 2022, 247,100 Russian citizens visited Georgia, 463.7% more than in the first half of 2021, and 64.3% less than in 2019, according to a report on the website of the National Tourism Administration. According to the agency, the number of international travelers’ visits to Georgia in January-June 2022 increased by 234.5% compared to the same period last year. Georgia has welcomed 1.6 million international visitors in the six months since the beginning of the year, down 57.9 percent from before the 2019 pandemic.

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Why Georgia.

The Russians’ choice of this beautiful southern country is not accidental: a favorable climate, magnificent landscape – sea and mountains, but also relatively low cost of living, low taxes for business, easy procedures of interaction with government agencies and, of course, the hospitality of locals, most of whom speak Russian or English. Georgia consists of a number of beautiful cities and unique places with fascinating history and culture.

Tbilisi is a beautiful and atmospheric city. In the capital of Georgia is beautiful, tasty and inexpensive. You can take tens of thousands of steps through its small streets and wide avenues to see a very different Tbilisi, where Soviet architecture neighbors with fading 19th century mansions, carved verandas and modern buildings of glass and iron.

Mtskheta is the ancient capital of Georgia and perhaps the holiest place for Georgians. In a tiny town, 20 km from the center of the modern capital there are three UNESCO World Heritage sites – Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, St. Nino Monastery and a tiny picturesque monastery Dzhvari on a high cliff at the confluence of the Kura and the Aragvi.

In Kakheti, it is definitely worth visiting Sighnaghi, a lovely town with smart houses, funny monuments and a wonderful view of the Alazani Valley. If time permits, visit capital of the region Telavi, majestic Alaverdi cathedral and ancient cave monastery David Gareja near Azerbaijan border

Uplistsikhe – perhaps the oldest cave city in Georgia. The labyrinths of tunnels and caves, the river under the rock, a lonely church – the place is so fantastic that it looks more like a theme park than a historical site. But you can walk everywhere and touch everything with your hands, which is exactly what kids will appreciate. You can go to Uplistsikhe via Gori, where you can see Stalin Museum and the ruins of Goristikhe fortress.

Svaneti is the best place in Georgia for lovers of nature and beautiful landscapes. This remote corner of the country, little known to the Georgians themselves, is entirely included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and in recent years is becoming the star of tourism in Georgia. People come to Svaneti to admire the towers of Svaneti against the background of snowy peaks and mountain rivers, to go hiking, horseback riding and mountain climbing (the legendary Soviet mountain climber Mikhail Khergiani was born in this region).

Batumi is a tourist and industrial city. The Autonomous Republic of Adjara is a beautiful picturesque place in southwestern Georgia. Currently Batumi breathes with modernity, although it has preserved the ancient monuments of culture and architecture. Rest in Batumi is not just interesting, it is attractive from all sides. The tourist city is not only the center of entertainment and nightlife, but also perfect for family vacations.

And, of course, we cannot ignore the Georgian Military Road, one of the most picturesque routes in the post-Soviet space, which runs from Tbilisi to the foot of Mount Kazbek. Apart from the stunning mountain scenery on the way you can see medieval fortress and temple on the banks of Ananuri water reservoir, dramatic gorge near Gudauri, and the Cross Pass.

Real Estate Market

Georgia has been actively developing over the past few years. The key cities are Tbilisi and Batumi. Georgia prior to the pandemic in 2020 showed a boom in tourism, and part of that triggered a construction boom as well. Russians have always had a noticeable share of local property buyers. Traditionally, foreigners buy real estate in Georgia with different purposes: as an investment in order to get rental income, for relocation/immigration and long-term residence, or as a personal resort accommodation.

If you consider buying property in Georgia as an investment, it is worth bearing in mind that here is a constantly growing demand for long-term rentals, as more and more foreigners, especially citizens of CIS countries, are moving here for a long time or for “winter”. In recent months there has been a real surge in demand for apartments for rent, and with it a jump in prices for long-term rentals. It is also necessary to note the attractive cost of real estate in Georgia. A studio of 30-35 sq.m. in a new modern residential complex in Batumi on the first or second coast line can be bought for $35,000-50,000. For comparison, the minimum budget for buying similar housing in the Greater Sochi area – from 8-9 million rubles. According to the experts of the Georgian market, the economy-segment lots are already sold out like pies. Prices haven’t yet responded to the growing demand, although the preconditions for an increase in the cost of square meters are obvious.

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In summary: Real estate in Georgia is not yet overpriced and certainly has investment potential. The cost of buying a home, aside from the principal amount, is minimal. The procedure of registration of the transaction is quite simple. All this speaks in favor of choosing the country – home of fine food and wine – both to move and to invest in square meters. In the first case, you should note that in order to get a residence permit, the cost of the purchased property must be more than $100,000.

Business in Georgia

Over the past 10 years Georgia has become an attractive investment destination. It is not only millionaires who can open a business in Georgia in 2022, but also people with very modest financial resources. Micro and small businesses will enjoy preferential tax treatment in 2022. Thus, micro-businesses will not be subject to income tax at all, and small businesses in Georgia will be taxed under a preferential regime. The status of a business is defined as follows:

Microbusiness . The holder is an individual engaged in independent economic activity, with an annual income not exceeding 30 thousand GEL; A businessman with “micro” status pays no taxes and is exempt from the need to use a cash register.

Small Business . Small business status is assigned to an individual whose economic activity during the current calendar year has brought an income approaching GEL 100 thousand. Small business income tax is 5% per year. However, if a businessman submits documents proving that 60% of his profit was spent on business improvement, the tax is reduced to 3% per year.

Residence Permit in Georgia

  • Residence permit status gives you access to electronic government documents, such as the website of public services, as well as the process of performing many legally significant actions (for example, with the help of (Skype). Considering that the e-government system in Georgia is well-developed, it allows minimizing material, time and, most importantly, nerve costs.
  • There is no need to leave at the end of the visa-free entry period, which is quite relevant in our turbulent times. Residence permit status is confirmed and prolonged in Georgia.
  • The convenience of obtaining visas to Schengen countries and the UK, it can be done in Georgia without leaving your country.
  • After 10 years of residence and having a residence permit status you can obtain citizenship of the country, for family reunification and some other cases after 5 years.
  • Residence permit status is an important additional tool for proving tax residency
  • Facilitation of inviting relatives and granting them residence permit status.
  • Some other rights, such as the right to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Main types of residence permits or residence permits in Georgia with initial periods of validity

  • Permanent – issued to those aliens and their relatives who have lived in Georgia for more than 6 years. Period of validity is unlimited.
  • Perpetual – issued to large investors, if they invest more than $300,000 in the Georgian economy and meet the requirements on business turnover. Period of validity without any restrictions.
  • Investment – for investors, investing in the economy of the country. Validity period 5 years.
  • Temporary – available to those for whom the status of domestic violence is established, as well as victims of human trafficking. Period of validity from 6 to 12 months.
  • Labor, education, family reunification. Period of validity from 6 to 12 months.
  • Short-term – for owners of real estate in Georgia under certain conditions. Validity period of one year.

The most popular types of residence permits in Georgia and their features

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