Georgia has set itself apart  with its relatively low number of reported cases and deaths from coronavirus.  Georgia was one of the first countries in the region to introduce various prohibitions and restrictions due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The restrictions began on January 29, when Georgia cut off flights to China, where the infection was already in full swing.  Then followed Iran and Italy, and on March 18 the borders of Georgia were completely closed to foreigners.

On March 2, when only three cases of coronavirus infection were detected in the country, schools and kindergartens were closed. Two days later, the educational process was stopped at universities.

Since March 16, when there were 33 cases in the country, the movement of public transport was limited, restaurants and cafes, shopping centers and other entertainment facilities were closed.

On March 21, when the reported number of cases reached 48, the country declared a state of emergency. Public transport and train railway travel both completely shut down, and the number of people allowed in a private car or taxi at one time was limited to three. Any gatherings of more than three people was prohibited.

The curfew is in effect from nine in the evening until six in the morning, which means that people are prohibited from going outside during this time.

Several cities and municipal regions have periodically been put on lockdown during the quarantine.

Many are pleased with the government’s work, as it successfully extended the containment period of the epidemic.

Georgian health workers have  earned applause from residents who are locked in their homes. Health experts, including critics of the government, believe that the first stage of the fight against the virus in the country went very well and that Georgia was able to prolong this period as much as possible, which is very important.

Specialists believe that there were three main factors involved in the success of the first stage:

  1. Georgia took the threat seriously from the very beginning and did not hold out hopes that this was just another “common flu.” The country immediately started taking measures to protect its citizens from the epidemic.
  2. Throughout the process, members of the government faded into the background, including Minister of Health. The government entrusted this process to epidemiologists and specialists from the Center for Disease Control.
  3. Very important factor is the Lugar Laboratory. The laboratory has demonstrated its importance in the field of public safety during the crisis.

This laboratory is where PCR testing for coronavirus is being carried out. The preparedness of the modern lab played a crucial role in prolonging the containment stage of the epidemic. Receiving and processing a sample takes only 4-5 hours, and the result is extremely accurate, with practically no chance of error.

“Georgia is a leader in terms of response, and I think that Georgians should be very proud of the fact that the Center for Disease Control and the Lugar Laboratory have been successful in making public health one of the top priorities. This is very impressive,” said Kelly Degnan, US ambassador to Georgia.


Dear Travelers, Colleagues and Partners

Due to the current situation in the world with the COVID-19 virus, we are forced to temporarily suspend our trips, but we assure you that as soon as the opportunity arises, we will resume our activities. Our company is forced to do this for the sake of general security.

We take all the precautions recommended by the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of the virus and not to put your health at risk while traveling. We hope for your understanding as this situation has affected everyone, and the whole world now lives in difficult conditions.

In order to resolve issues related to tour packages already purchased, our company will ensure the reissuance of gift vouchers, instead of those already issued. These vouchers will be valid for 1 year and will be issued to those who prefer to transfer – rather than cancel – booked tourist trips.

We return money for trips that failed because of the coronavirus and express confidence that you will always be with us, that the desire to travel, the desire to travel will not disappear among our tourists. and we, as before, delight you with traditional and new tours of Georgia.

We sincerely wish you good health and success.


With respect and best wishes

David Abuladze

Founder and Director

Georgia – cradle of wine

Georgian wine as the oldest in the world fell into the  Guinness Book. World Records. In 2017, the oldest wine vessels (Kvevri) were discovered, with the help of which scientists were able to prove that Georgia is the cradle of wine.

Chemical evidence of wine, dating back to 6000–5800 BC (the early Neolithic period), was obtained from residues of ancient pottery excavated in the archeological sites of Gadachrili Gora and Shulaveris Gora, about 50 km south of Tbilisi in Georgia. The residues were identified as wine since they contained tartaric acid, which only occurs in large amounts in the Eurasian grape (Vitis vinifera) in the Middle East and the wine made from it. The detection of other organic acids (malic, citric and succinic), also found in the Eurasian grape, provided confirmatory evidence.

The wine residues were recovered from large-capacity jars, which were probably used for fermentation, ageing and storage. Prior to this discovery, the oldest chemically identified wine from Hajji Firuz Tepe (Iran) dated back to about 5400–5000 BC. These new findings are from about 600–1,000 years earlier, and indicate that wine-making and possibly viticulture were already in place about 8,000 years ago.

The very words “Wine” . … “Vin” … “Wien” … have Georgian roots. The semantic connection with the Georgian name of the product is “Ghvino”, which comes from the word “guivili” – “fermentation”. It is noteworthy that although in Georgia there are more than 500 types of national cultivars of grapevines, wild vines are still common today.

The discovery was made by Prof. Patrick McGovern, a molecular archaeologist from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and lead author of the study “Early Neolithic Wine of Georgia in the South Caucasus”, published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on 13 November 2017, and scientists from institutions in Georgia, France, Italy, Israel, Canada, Denmark and the USA, who participated in the joint “Research Project for the Study of Georgian Grapes and Wine Culture”.

In Georgia, more than 500 types of vines have been preserved. The oldest Georgian traditional method of preparing wine in large clay jugs – “Kvevri” in December 2013 was included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list.

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Dear Travelers

The tourist company “Georgia Voyage”, our whole team, wishes you a happy 2020 year and a Merry Christmas!

During this new year, we wish you to travel even more often, further and more interesting, wish many positive emotions, so that they are sufficient for the whole year.

May this year bring you lots of happiness, good luck, smiles, warmth and light. May all your dreams of adventure always match your abilities.

Thank you for choosing our company for the organization of your holidays in 2019.

We also congratulate our colleagues on New Year and Christmas!

We thank you for your trust and your cooperation.

We wish you successful sales, stability in the tourism market and financial growth.

Happy new year !

Respectfully and cordially, the staff of the tourist company “Georgia Voyage”

New Year and Christmas are special celebrations in Georgia that are marked with great preparation and equal enthusiasm.

First New Year is celebrated in Georgia on December 31st and then it is followed by Christmas that is marked on January 7th. The preparation process for the New Year starts around 2 weeks earlier, the city is decorated and illuminated with Christmas lights, special fairs are organized at various places in the cities, while citizens flock to the shopping centers and market to buy presents for the loved ones and get all the necessary products to lay the New Year table in accordance to the traditions.

Monuments of material culture and written sources indicate that the roots of Georgian folklore go back more than 8 millennium BC. The Georgian people showed their artistic gift especially in the creation of stunning dances and songwriting, which is expressed in labor, camp and round dance songs.

Antiquities also include songs of greatness, appeals to the sun, the spirits of ancestors and many others, reflecting remnants of the ancient pagan musical culture and bearing traces of agrarian and ritual functions.

Folk music grew on the basis of spiritual chants, like church music, was transmitted from generation to generation directly through a living singing tradition and traditionally accompanied work, hunting, weddings, funerals, historical or heroic events, military campaigns, popular entertainment and dances.

Georgian traditional musical culture, both folk and spiritual, is primarily a singing art of amazing beauty. Its peculiarity is a complexly organized combination of many voices in a single sound stream that excites everyone who has ever plunged into it.

Each ethnic group has its own dialect and recognizable musical style with certain forms, structure and manner of performance. Folklore folklore contains a number of dialects – Khevsurian, Tushetian, Pshavian, Mokhevian, Mtiulian, Kartlian, Kakhetian, Rachian, Svan, Megrelian, Imeretian, Gurian, Adjarian, Lazian.

At the same time, polyphony is characteristic of all regions of Georgia, while solo singing is less common. It is the polyphonic singing, the multi-component musical structures and the diversity of local styles that distinguish Georgian folklore from the main monody styles of neighboring states.

At the celebrations called – “Supra”, songs and toasts in honor of the fatherland, love, friendship and traditional solemn songs — for many years — often sound. “Mravaljamieri” is an example of such a hymn which is saturated with unusual, tart harmonies and the melody of a solo duet against the background of other voices with its flight and freedom reminds of the inspiring nature of the Caucasus, broken mountainous reliefs.

In a modest and much rarer solo repertoire, three categories can be distinguished: male solo songs – labor, female solo songs, mostly lullabies, as well as lyrical, historical, heroic and comic songs performed by both men and women accompanied by various instruments.

Georgian song and dance music invariably arouses admiration among the listeners, it is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, and it still hides many beauties for researchers and true connoisseurs. In 1976, the American space agency NASA, on the Voyager 1 space probe, sent the Georgian folk song “Chakrulo” into space as an example of the musical abilities of mankind.

In songs and dances, the soul of the people is best revealed. Everyone knows the rich traditions of the Georgian people and their love of dancing. Georgian dances are famous all over the world. Their grandeur and beauty do not leave anyone indifferent.

The tradition of Georgian folklore dance goes into hoary antiquity. The Greek historian Xenophon, who lived in the 4th century BC, says that among the peoples who inhabited the territory of modern Georgia, it was customary to go into battle with songs and dances. These ritual melodies, originating in both pagan and Christian traditions, have been preserved in Georgian folklore to this day.

Each dance is unique and shows different events: weddings, wars, life of mountain peoples and city life. It combines love, courage, competition and beauty. Dance is the life of the Georgian region in which it originated. So the dances of the highlanders are significantly different from the dances of the flat inhabitants. For each dance, special costumes are used that combine history and art.


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In the world, only 14 peoples have their own written language. One of them is Georgian. The Georgian language has a unique alphabetic system, one of the few that is used by thousands of the world’s most diverse languages.

Georgian writing  is considered one of the oldest alphabets in the world. He had three stages of development: in the third century BC. BC, the first Georgian alphabet “Mrgvlovani” or “Asomtavruli” was created in  III century AD J. – C. – the alphabet “Nuskhuri” and in the XIth century – the Georgian writing again, now in its last, was replaced by the writing of “Mkhedruli”. “Mkhedruli” proved to be the most perfect among all other types of Georgian writing, it acquired its final appearance in the 15 th century AD. The letters of these three alphabets, which designate the same sounds, are very different from each other.

As we have already noted, the creation of the Georgian alphabet, the Georgian historical tradition associated in the name of King Farnavaz ( III century BC), but the scientifically confirmed sensational discovery of archaeologists in Georgia, who discovered the country’s oldest inscription in 2016, has completely transformed the history of Georgian writing.

The inscriptions on the altar were discovered during excavations on Mount Grakliani, near Igoeti village, 40 kilometers from Tbilisi. At first, the age of inscription would have been estimated at 7 or 8 centuries BC. The date is set as precisely as possible. An American laboratory confirmed that the inscription was made in the late 11th and early 10th century BC.

This means that in fact, the writing appeared on the territory of Georgia three thousand years ago. The inscription has not been deciphered yet, but experts suggest that since it was made on the altar base, it is related to religion. The meaning of such messages at that time belonged only to priests. If it is proved that the inscription made in Grakliani  is an alphabet, it turns out that the ancient inhabitants of Grakliani began to write 200 years earlier than the Phoenicians.

The modern Georgian alphabet is based on a strict phonological principle: each phoneme corresponds to a single strictly defined grapheme. In modern Georgian script, 33 letters are used. In the 19th century, during the spelling reform, these letters were removed from the alphabet for which, according to the reformers, there was no more sound match in Georgian. 8 letters were seized, 5 of which belonged to the former Georgian and 3 were borrowed later.

Georgians view the Georgian alphabetic system as a unique national treasure and an integral part of national self-identification. All three types of Georgian script – “Mrgvlovani”, “Nuskhuri” and the modern “Mkhedruli” – are on UNESCO  Intangible Cultural Heritage List. (2016)


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Rtveli is an annual autumn grape harvest festival in Georgia. Georgia has always had a special relationship with wine and winemaking. Not surprisingly, the Rtveli grape harvest is one of the most important events for every citizen of the country.

The holiday of Rtveli is traditionally family and community. On Rtveli, the whole big family is going to the house, all the relatives. Friends and neighbors come. And everyone will find work. After all, grapes need to be harvested very quickly – when the berries have already gained the right amount of sugar, but the rains have not yet begun. People enjoy the grape harvest together and make new wine.

The time of  Rtveli depends on the date of harvest in specific areas of Georgia. There is no single time for it: although Georgia is a small country, the climate in its different parts varies significantly. For example, in Eastern Georgia, Rtveli takes place earlier than in Western Georgia, as a rule, in September, as early frosts can strike, and the grapes will disappear. But in the West they sometimes celebrate in the middle, and even at the end of October. In addition, the date depends on how the summer was: if it’s very dry and hot, then the celebration happens earlier, if it’s cool, then the winemakers wait until the last harvest.

The main motive of Rtveli is harvesting. Similar autumn holidays exist in almost every culture in which the role of agriculture is great. And everywhere this holiday is unique. Rtveli also has his own flavor, which makes him not just a tradition, but an occasion for thousands of people to come to Georgia every year to take part in this beautiful celebration.

They pick berries from morning to evening. Juice is poured into huge ceramic jugs buried in the ground – they are called “Qvevri” and left to roam. Rtveli lasts several days, and every evening ends with feasts with the performance of folk songs and dances. Not only wine is made from grapes harvested during the Rtveli period. Chacha is made from grape pulp. And from the juice – “Pelamushi” and “Churchkhela”, natural Georgian sweets.

Of course, it is no coincidence that the harvest festival in Georgia is dedicated specifically to grapes. Georgia is considered the birthplace of cultural viticulture. Viticulture and winemaking is one of the areas where Georgians, among the few, have the right to claim the role of pioneers. Aeschylus and Herodotus, Xenophon and Strabo wrote about the developed winemaking in the territory of modern Georgia. Their testimonies are confirmed by ancient Assyrian sources. It was on the territory of Georgia that traces of the vine were discovered, numbering … 15 million (!) years.

The attitude towards the cultivation of grapes and the production of wine is especially reverent. No wonder they say that sweat should pour over the vineyard – then the harvest will be truly worthy. Grape cultivation is the oldest layer of the general culture of the nation, which has absorbed mores, traditions, tastes, rules of behavior. It is no accident that it is generally accepted that many features of the national spirit are reflected in wine.

It is no coincidence that connoisseurs make choices not only from factory wines, but also wines from households. Each family in the village has its own secret of making wine. This is a whole art that is passed down from generation to generation. One of the traditional ways of making wine is aging – Qvevri clay jug, according to the decision of UNESCO, since 2013, Qvevri  included in the list of untouchable cultural heritage of mankind.

Today, when interest in Georgia is extremely high, many options for tours to this country are offered. It’s practically impossible to get to the Rtveli holiday “from the side” without a travel agency, for this you need to have friends who want to invite travelers to a family celebration. Anyone who wants to visit the wine-growing regions and feel the special flavor of the Georgian feast should have a rest in Georgia in September-early October in order to get to the colorful and cheerful holiday – Rtveli.


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Every tourist before making a trip to a foreign country is firstly planning in details not only his route and the upcoming tour, but also takes care of the financial matters. Today we will tell you in detail what currency it is optimal to take when traveling to Georgia, as well as help you to orient correctly in searching for the main currency exchange offices and banks operating in Tbilisi.

Georgian National Currency

Like in most Soviet republics, Georgia before the collapse of the Soviet Union and restoration of the independence used the Soviet ruble. However, in October 1995, with the establishment of an independent republic, the National Bank of Georgia put into circulation the Georgian national currency called “lari”. Since then lari has become the sole legal tender currency in the whole Georgia. The word “lari”, selected for the monetary unit of Georgian national currency is an old Georgian word meaning “treasure” or “property”. 1 lari consists of 100 “tetri” – another old Georgian monetary term used from the 13th century.

On the international currency market lari is referred to as GEL. Nowadays in circulation are banknotes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 GEL, as well as coins in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 tetri, and 1, 2 and 10 GEL.

The Georgian national currency is designed with an emphasis on the cultural heritage of the country. For example, on the front side of 1 GEL banknotes is portrayed Nico Pirosmanishvili notorious Georgian artist, amidst beautiful scenery. The portrait of Ivane Javakhishvili, a prominent Georgian academician, is depicted on 5 GEL banknotes. 10 GEL banknotes are issued with a portrait of Akaki Tsereteli, a prominent Georgian poet and a noticeable member of the new Georgian literature. 200 GEL banknotes featuring the image of Abkhazia and the inscriptions in the Georgian, Russian and Abkhaz languages are also interesting.

As mentioned above, in accordance with the Georgian legislation, all goods and services must be paid in local currency (GEL). Keep in mind that for the payment of foreign currency due penalty of 500 GEL. Therefore, to avoid problems, be sure to pay for goods and services in local currency. Keep in mind that in case of any payment in foreign currencies is owed a penalty of 500 GEL. Therefore, to avoid problems, be sure to pay for goods and services in the local currency.

Useful Tips for Tourists

In Georgia, like in any civilized country, problems with currency exchange will not occur. The most common currency in Georgia are US dollars, euros and rubles. Among less common currencies can be listed the Armenian dram, the Turkish lira, the Ukrainian hryvna, which can be exchanged in the main banks in the capital. You can exchange foreign currencies in many banks and specialized exchange offices, which are scattered all over Tbilisi. Currency exchange offices are mainly located near the metro stations (branches of Bank of Georgia), nearby hotels, large shopping malls and stores.

Currency exchange is available in the specialized exchange offices and banks. Banks are usually open on weekdays from 9: 00 to 17: 30-18: 00, and from 09:00-14:00 on Saturdays. Exchange offices are usually open until late evening. When exchanging money in banks be sure to bring ID card, whereas in the specialized exchange offices the presentation of ID is not necessary. Some of exchange office owners are putting high rates on signs, but often it does not correspond to reality. If you want to exchange currency in the exchange office instead of bank, it would be prudent to ask about the final sum in advance, and only then make the operation.

In Tbilisi and other major cities ATMs accepting foreign cards are widespread, but almost most of them when converting currency into GEL charge a commission of about 2% -3%, which is extremely disadvantageous. In the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, you can use VISA, EuroCard, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro credit cards in major hotels and supermarkets, again the fees are applied, which is not profitable from a financial point of view. Large banks accept traveler’s checks.

In private shops, hotels, and especially in provincial areas this type of payment is almost impossible. Therefore, going beyond the capital or major cities, you should better have a supply of local money in cash.

US dollars in Georgia have the advantage. Thus, the most profitable way from the financial point of view to come to Georgia is having the US dollars in cash. If you come from the CIS countries (Russia, Armenia, Ukraine, Belarus etc.) we recommend first to exchange the local currency at your home country into dollars or euros, and only then exchange USD or EUR into GEL in Georgia.  Georgian currency is heavily dependent on the world currency leaders, the rates can vary significantly even during the day.

Banks in Georgia

Virtually any currency can be exchanged in banks. In addition, you can learn about the current rates in Georgia in advance without leaving your home. We present a list of central banks and their websites. The information about the numerous branches and their addresses you can find on the official websites presented below. The websites of the banks also provide information about the current GEL rate in relation to foreign currencies. It’s also possible to convert money online using exchange calculators.


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Nowadays, in light of recent tragic events, when the global security and peace is at risk of terrorist attacks affecting and depriving thousands of human lives, it is very important to make the right choice not only between numerous resorts, hotels and excursions, but also to take into consideration the level of security of the country you are going to spend your holidays. We want to draw your attention towards more detailed information and some interesting statistics concerning Georgia’s security level.


Georgia is a country where the tourist security level is so high that you can easily take a stroll through the streets of the beautiful city of Tbilisi, or travel across the country, even if it’s long after midnight.
Official sources also confirm this fact: according to the results of a sociological survey conducted by one of the most reputable companies in the world – GALLUP World, Georgia has taken one of the leading places on the level of security in the country according to the residents of the country, gaining 91.5 points. It is also interesting that the indices are equal both among men and among the representatives of the beautiful half of humanity: to 93% of men and 90% women walking late at night is absolutely safe! Comparing with Europe, where an average of this index was equal to 65 points, there is no doubt left any longer.

Despite the fact that Georgia is famous for its amazing wines it is forbidden to consume alcoholic beverages on the streets and in the parks. Smoking in public places is prohibited as well, which also contributes to raising the overall level of safety in the country.

Undoubtedly, the Georgians are renowned for centuries for their hospitality and cherished treat towards their guests. In the country tourist security is protected at the state level. The National Tourism Administration of Georgia established free “hotline” for tourists – 0 800 800 909. Immediately after crossing the border each tourist is given the number through which you can get all the necessary information about hotels, food courts and restaurants , attractions, museums , transport, upcoming festivals and events. Professional operators provide information in English, Russian and French.

According to the results of another survey conducted by the experts of the European Union, Georgia has won the title of one of the safest countries in Europe, along with such countries as Singapore, Austria, Denmark and Norway.

Another symbol of security in the country are unique in their kind transparent police stations made of glass. Police cars are patrolling the city day-and-night, and if you have come across any problems, you can safely turn to friendly and, most importantly, non-corrupt police officers: they will show you the right way and may even give you a lift. Never try to bribe a policeman: the fight against corruption is conducted at the state level and is considered a criminal offense.

Of course, as in any other country no one is immune from petty pickpockets and robbers that’s why you should not neglect the standard safety rules, namely it is worth keeping large amounts of cash on your credit card, avoid wearing eye-catching jewellery or other expensive beauty accessories while visiting overcrowded places. Important documents or other valuable items you can always leave in special safes, which most hotels offer either free or for a small fee.

Roads and Transport

Driving in the country is right hand. In towns, the speed limit is 60 km/h, in other parts – 80 km/h. There is a policy of zero tolerance for driving under the influence. In Georgia, wearing seat belts is mandatory. Since Georgia is situated in 4 climate zones simultaneously, intense rains and heavy snowfalls at higher altitudes can often make it difficult to travel. If you are traveling outside of Tbilisi, make sure that your vehicle is equipped accordingly.

The country has a well-developed infrastructure and transport links between settlements and major tourist centers. If you are <a free and independent tourist>, you can easily organize your trip across the country by minibuses, buses, trains and even airplanes.

Food and Water

The generous nature of Georgia gave her an abundance of herbs and spices, juicy fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and soft cheeses. Simple and at the same time exquisite gastronomy is one of the reasons why tourists love the country so much.

You can also completely forget about the problems associated with drinking water: there is an abundance of healthy mineral water. However, for the sake of safety, before drinking the water from the tap it is better to boil.

Hotlines in Georgia

Unified phone of emergency services -112


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