First of all: Our offers are adressed equally to women and men, as well as at skiers and snowboarders. We have specialized in (small) groups. We ask for your understanding that we do not put groups together ourselves, experience has shown that this does not work. So motivate friends and like-minded people to come along. We look forward to your inquiries! (here)!
Georgia, a safe destination "off the beaten track"
Georgia, located on the threshold between Europe and Asia, is a small, sparsely populated country with around 4 million inhabitants on 57,000 square kilometers. The former Soviet republic is located on the Black Sea. In the south, Georgia borders on Turkey and Armenia, in the east on Azerbaijan and in the north, the high Caucasus mountains tower up like a natural border towoards Russia.
Georgia was already a popular travel destination in Soviet times. Not only known as the birthplace of Stalin, but also, due to its geographical location on the Black Sea, always a longing destination for many Russians. Today, Georgia is a country that is developing rapidly. In particular young Georgians see the country's future in the European Union rather than under the protective hand of Russia. Since 2003, restrictive and highly successful action has been taken against corruption. In the corruption index published annually by Transparency International, 15 years ago Georgia was still behind countries like Uganda, in 2018 it was already well ahead of Italy, Croatia or Hungary. Georgia is now regarded worldwide as a role model in the fight against corruption. Crime is practically non-existent! Georgians are proud that their country is safe. The police are well equipped and on the road a lot. From my personal experience, I can say that there are no arbitrary or unjustified penalties on the part of the executive. As an example, Fines cannot be paid in cash to the police on the road, but only by bank transfer.
Georgia is also on the right track economically. The Baltic States serve as a role model here. Georgia is business-friendly and the degree of digitization is sometimes much higher than in Austria. Dealing with the Georgian authorities is efficient most of the time fast, transparent and mainly digital.
Good to know:
Money and prices
The Georgian currency is Lari (GEL = Georgian Lari). 1 euro is currently (November 2022) about 2.70€. The price level is low compared to Central Europe. An excellent traditional Georgian meal in a nice restaurant costs between 10 and 20 lari. Drinks are very cheap, tea for 3 lari and a cold beer for 6 lari. In general, most everyday things in Georgia are quite cheap by Central European standards. This is not the case for the Georgians themselves. Half of Georgians work in agriculture, but generate only 10% of the gross domestic product. Most of the farmers farm for subsistence and sell what is left at local markets or trade products with people in the village. So it is not surprising that the average income in Georgia is around US$ 400 and thus behind countries like Syria or Mongolia.
Citizens of the European Union and Swiss citizens do NOT need a visa to enter Georgia.
Eat and drink
Georgian food is hearty and far from low in calories. Meat features prominently on the country's menus. Beef, Veal, lamb, pork, everything stewed and grilled. Fish is also popular in Georgia and can be found on almost every menu. Vegetarians will love the salads and the many different types of dough filled with cheese, potatoes and vegetables. The national dish in Georgia is khinkhali, dumplings, similar to our Carinthian noodles, filled with minced meat, cheese or a cheese/potato mix.
Georgians claim to have invented the wine making. The tradition goes back over 8,000 years. The oldest seeds of cultivated grapevines were found in Georgia and dated to 6000 BC. dated. Of 4,000 grape varieties worldwide, 500 come from Georgia. 60 - 70% of the acreage is reserved for red wines. The Georgian way of making wine has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013. The grapes are trampled with feet or pressed with roller mills. The juice is stored together with the mash in large clay vessels (kwewri) buried in the ground, where it matures. The wine can be stored for up to 50 years in the clay jars, which can hold up to 1000 liters, without being damaged.
Beer is also brewed in Georgia and is a popular drink. Most breweries are quite young and sell their varieties in the region. But the national drink in Georgia is chacha. Originally, the schnaps was a by-product of wine making and is made from pomace. Virtually everyone who has a piece of land at their disposal distills their own chacha. Each has its own recipe and tangerines, raspberries and other fruits are added during production. After the distillation process, the schnaps has about 70 percent Alkohol by volume and is then diluted with water, more or less (usually less...).
Toasts are inextricably linked to Georgian culture. Depending on the region, but also on special traditions in the family, there are toasts to God, friends, peace, family, the mountains and much more. The head of the family recites them, then they toast and drink together. You will often be invited to a glass of wine or chatcha, especially outside of the larger cities. People are very warm and easily offended if you don't follow their invitations. But be careful: schnaps in Georgia rarely has the usual 40%, mostly it is between 50 and 60%.