Georgia is quickly climbing the bucket list ranks for travellers looking to get off the beaten track.
Located at the eastern end of the Black Sea on the southern flanks of the main crest of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, Georgia welcomes between 9 and 11 million international tourists each year.
Georgia, a visa-free destination for travellers from South Africa, has a rich winemaking tradition, and is known for its charming blend of old and new. It boasts rural landscapes and traditional architecture as well as a thriving youth culture and techno music scene.
Nicknamed ‘The World’s Most Hospitable Nation’ because of its friendly population, Georgia has become so popular for travellers in recent times that it prompted global travel brand Contiki to create and launch its first ever trip to the destination, for 2023.
The 10-day excursion begins in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, and will visit the country’s most famous and exciting attractions from there.
Travellers will get to see 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the trip – including a traditional winery that makes wine using giant clay jars, Georgia’s 3000-year-old ancient capital city, and one of the highest permanently settled villages in Europe.
Natural beauty is also on offer, with visits to Martvili Canyon, the Caucasus and its glacier also included as part of the trip.
Kelly Jackson, Managing Director TTC Tour Brands EMEA, is excited to have this hidden gem added to Contiki’s destination list, with more destinations and new trips to be announced in the next year.
“We’re really excited about this trip launching. We’ve had Georgia in our sights for a while. As a destination, it’s clearly one of the rising stars on the global tourism scene – with unique history and heritage, and a nightlife scene that could rival Prague or Berlin. We found that more and more of our travellers were asking for it. So we delivered it,” says Jackson.
A crucial part of Contiki’s sustainability strategy – anchored to the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development – is to achieve a 20% increase in itineraries visiting developing regions by 2025.
“We know hidden gems like Georgia have so much to offer, and that tourism has a real power to support communities who live there. We can’t wait to showcase a truly fantastic holiday destination, hopefully to travellers from all over the world,” Jackson adds.