Helpful Information

Country and City

Georgia is a small country with an ancient history and rich cultural heritage. It is situated on crossroads of Europe and Asia where east meets west, between the Black and Caspian Sea, to the south of the Great Caucasus Range. It shares borders with the Russian Federation to the north, Turkey and Armenia in the south and Azerbaijan in the east. Georgia has a population of 4.6 million and occupies an area of 69.7 thousand sq/km, which is distinguished by diverse climates and geography.

Svaneti

Svaneti or Svanetia  is a historic province in Georgia (with population of  26 000 people), in the northwestern part of the country (4,389 km2). It is inhabited by the Svans. Village Ushguli is situated in Svaneti which is the highest population place in Europe (at 2200 meters above sea level). Svans have their own spoken language.
Main town of  Upper Svaneti is Mestia (formerly known as Seti). Historically and ethnographically, Mestia has always been regarded a chief community of  Upper Svaneti province.  the distance from Tbilisi to Mestia is 490 km. 7-8 hours Travel.
The climate of Svaneti is humid and is influenced by the air masses coming in from the Black Sea throughout the year. Average temperatures and precipitation vary considerably with elevation.

Cuisine:
Svaneti is the best place to find and taste really old, traditional dishes.
The most famous dishes are :  Sulguni – kind of cheese, Khachapuri – baked cheese in wheat bread, Chishvdar – cheese baked in corn bread, Kubdari – stewed beef baked in wheat bread, Tashmijab – cream of potatoes and cheese mixed with corn flour.

Climate

Climatic zones range from the heat of the subtropics to the eternal snow peaks of the mountains, from a moderately humid Mediterranean-type climate to a dry continental climate. In the lowlands, the summers are hot and winters are moderate. The most comfortable times to visit Georgia are spring and autumn. However, summer is the best time to travel to the mountainous highlands since roads are often closed from early autumn until late spring.


Time zone:

GMT + 4:00

Language

The official language is Georgian, which has its own alphabet. The Georgian alphabet is one of the 14 existing alphabets in the world. All signs and makers along the main road are written in both Georgian and Latin letters.

Religion

The majority of Georgians belong to the Georgian Orthodox Church: Georgia was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity, which was spread already in the 1st century AD, but became the official religion in the 4st century AD. However the country is also known for its tolerance for other religions; other faiths practiced in Georgia include Roman Catholicism, Armenian Gregorian, Protestantism, Judaism and Islam.

Currency:

On the territory of Georgia payment can only be made in Georgian Lari (GEL).

1 Lari (GEL) = 100 tetri. Most payments are made in cash. Foreign currency can be changed at currency exchange points available only in large cities.


Power Supply

220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-type, two-pin plugs are used.

Communication

When calling Georgia, the country code is 995; area code for Tbilisi is 32.

Many hotels/guesthouses provide international communication facilities. However, if you would like to utilize one of the public phones located at the airport, post offices, city center or on the main streets, you should purchase telephone cards.

Mobile telephone: GSM 900 and 1800 network. Coverage extends throughout most of the country, with the notable exception of some high mountain regions.

Useful telephone numbers: Ambulance and Police 112; Information service 118 09.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in most areas. The spring water in the mountains is even safer. Bottled carbonated mineral water “Borjomi”, “Nabeglavi”, “Likani” or still water is a good alternative to tap water, and is widely available in cities and small towns.