Georgia – a multiethnic country with the richest history, beautiful monuments of architecture and picturesque nature, located between the ghats of the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains. There are about 300 mountain, coastal climatic, balneological and mud resorts in a country.
Location: Black Sea Coast
Area: 69,700 sq km
Population: 4.72 million
Official language: Georgian
Time: +4 GMT
Electricity: 220 V, 50 A
Internet Zone: .ge
International dialing code: +995
Currency: Lari (GEL)
Georgia is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe and occupies the central and western part of Transcaucasia. It is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southeast by Azerbaijan, to the south by Turkey and Armenia.Territory of Georgia is mostly mountainous, more than one third cover the dense forests. In the north of the border with Russia is on the main ridge of the Caucasus Mountains, where and are the highest point of the country, the highest of which Shkhara Mountain (5068 m). Lesser Caucasus mountain range runs along the South Georgia, the highest points do not exceed 3,000 meters.
The climate of Georgia depends on the region. In the west, the climate is subtropical, and in the east goes across from subtropical to temperate. In spite of the fact that large influence on the climate of country is rendered by mountains the warm air from the Black Sea reaches the remotest areas of Georgia. The average temperature in January is kept in the range from +3 to +9 C in the Colchis Lowland in Adjara, and does not go down below -2 C in the Iberian Basin. However, in mountainous areas, temperatures can fall up to -16-20 C. During the long summer, the weather is mainly hot, and the average temperature in August is +23 C +26 C for almost the entire territory of Georgia. The maximum precipitation level is in autumn and winter. Snow falls mainly in the mountainous areas in November and does not melt until the late spring. The climate of Georgia is favorable for year-round recreation and treatment, there is a constant abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Orthodox Christianity (Georgia – one of the first countries to adopt Christianity as state religion in 337 AD). The wide variety of peoples inhabiting Georgia has meant a correspondingly rich array of active religions. La Géorgie a une longue histoire d’harmonie religieuse dans ses frontières en dépit des conflits historiques avec les nations environnantes. De différentes minorités religieuses ont vécu en Géorgie depuis des milliers d’années et la discrimination religieuse est inconnue pratiquement dans le pays.
Today most of the population in Georgia practices Orthodox Christianity, primarily in the Georgian Orthodox Church whose faithful make up 82.4% of the population. Around 1% belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, while about 2.9% of the population follow the Armenian Apostolic Church, almost all of which are ethnic Armenians. Adherents of Islam make up 10.7% of the population and are mainly found in the Adjara and Kvemo Kartli regions and as a sizeable minority in Tbilisi. Catholics of the Armenian and Latin churches make up around 0.8% of the population and are mainly found in the south of Georgia and a small number in Tbilisi. There is also a sizeable Jewish community in Tbilisi served by two synagogues.
The only official language in Georgia is Georgian. To communicate with foreigners English language is accepted. Majority of the population understands Russian well. Georgian is the literary language for all regional subgroups of Georgians, including those who speak other Kartvelian languages: Svans, Mingrelians and the Laz.
Georgian has been written in a variety of scripts over its history. Currently the Mkhedruli or “Military” script is almost completely dominant. the others are used mostly in religious documents and architecture. According to the traditional account written down by Leonti Mroveli in the 11th century, the first Georgian script was created by the first ruler of the Kingdom of Iberia, Pharnavaz, in the 3rd century BC. However, the first examples of a Georgian script date from the 5th century AD.
On the territory of the Republic of Georgia the national currency “Lari” is adopted (GEL). One Lari is equivalent to 100 tetri. The currency was issued in 1995. There are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 Lari banknotes in circulation.
Exchange rate is not constant, so if you decide to visit Georgia, please ensure that you accurately calculate the ratio of currency of your country to the Georgian lari. You can exchange money at airports, train stations, banks, large shopping malls, hotels and exchange offices, which are located at almost every corner. In all the large stores, restaurants and hotels credit cards are accepted.
Georgia has a lot of banks. Many of the Georgian banking operations are conducted from 9:00 to 19:00. The U.S. dollars are widely used in Georgia (especially in the private sector). Therefore the exchange rates are very topical. Many banks offer this service. In many cities, in addition to banks, there are special exchange offices. In the capital of Georgia – Tbilisi, in addition to U.S. dollars and GEL, credit cards such as VISA, Eurocard, Mastercard, Cirrus and Maestro are used too. Basically, they can be used in some luxury hotels, large shops and banks. In other places you will have to pay by cash.
Import of foreign currency is not limited, but import of national – not more than 25,000 GEL. The export of imported foreign currency during the year from the date of entry is permitted, the export of national – not more than 3000 GEL.
Has the right to import free of duty: 200 cigarettes; 3 liters of wine; 10 liters of beer; Personal items weighing less than 100 kg; Imported goods weighing more than 20 kg will be taxed in GEL per kilogram.
Prohibited: Illegal drugs; Weapons, explosives and ammunition – only allowed with the permission;
Knives and other deadly weapons; Objects of national importance – only allowed with the permission.
Restricted: Any animals – veterinary certificate is required; All personal medication must be accompanied by a doctor’s appointment not to be detained by the customs authorities; Cats, dogs and other domestic animals – health certificate is required; Works of art, imported or exported from the country – picture of the object and an authorization signed by the Ministry of Culture is required; Weapons for hunting can be imported into the country, if the tourist has got a valid Georgian hunting license.
- January 1 – New Year
- January 7 – Orthodox Christmas
- January 19 – Epiphany
- March 3 – Mother’s Day
- March 8 – International Women’s Day
- April – Easter
- May 9 – Victory Day
- May 26 – Independence Day
- August 28 – Assumption of the Virgin
- October 14 – The Georgian Orthodox holiday Svetitskhovloba
- November 23 – St George’s Day