Georgia is transforming into a vibrant tourist hub but there are many who still don’t know about Georgia’s tourist potential. Georgia teems with charm, beauty, history and hospitality. Located cozily in the midst of the majestic Caucasus Mountains, the country falls between Europe and Asia. It’s a small country, but it packs a lot of interest. There are ancient cities, snowy mountains, lush landscapes, delicious wines and many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you haven’t visited Georgia yet, here are some truly intriguing facts about this country. We hope you feel inspired to visit this gorgeous country soon.
1. Georgia Has The World’s Deepest Cave!
If you’re a caver, head out to Georgia immediately. This country has the world’s deepest cave – the Krubera Cave, which is hidden amongst the mountains. The almost vertical Krubera Cave is 7,200 ft. deep and it takes about 27 days for a caver to reach the cave’s bottom. Krubera Cave is located in the Arabika Massif of the Western Caucasus’s Gagra Range, in the Gagra district of Abkhazia. The largest pit in the cave is named the Big Cascade; it plunges to a depth of 152 meters (499 feet). The Krubera Cave is one of the best Georgia country facts that we know!
2. The Very First Europeans Actually Originated From Georgia
The Caucasus Mountains yielded the oldest human skulls during an archeological expedition in Dmanisi. Research on the 1.8 million-year-old skulls indicates that the early man traveled from Africa to Europe through Georgia. So apparently, Georgia is the cradle of the European civilization.
3. Wine Making Began In Georgia
Georgian wines have been in production since at least 8,000 years; that makes Georgia the birthplace of wines. Apparently, the production of the wine was purely accidental at first. Apparently, 8000 years ago, grape juice was poured by accident into a shallow pit and a rock was placed on top to prevent people from falling into the pit. The grape juice in the pit turned into wine slowly and the Georgians have been making wine since. The traditional Georgian winemaking method in a clay jar called a Qvevri is listed by UNESCO on its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. This is one of the most interesting facts about Georgia, the country.
4. Only The Georgians Speak Georgian – No One Else
Georgian is among 14 unique global languages that have their own alphabet. Georgian script was drawn from three different languages– Nuskhuri, Asomtaruli, and Mkhedruli. The present day script is that of Mkhedruli, with 33 letters. The Georgian script is influenced by Greek and Iranian languages. You can notice the Greek influence in the way the letters are ordered, and the Iranian influence in the cursive shapes.
5. The Country’s Actual Name Is Not Georgia At All!
We call it Georgia, but the residents of the country call it Sakartvelo. The country does not have an English name by default, but we now known it as Georgia. There’s a theory as to Georgia’s name, though. St. George is Georgia’s patron saint and it’s believed that the Christian reformers in the Middle Ages might have coined the name Georgia.
6. Georgia Has Mindblowing Ecological Diversity
Georgia is an ecologist’s dream come true, with 12 different climate zones (ranging all the way from subtropical semi-desert to alpine), and literally 49 types of soil. The country’s dense forests house fabulous creatures like lynxes, bears and leopards in huge numbers. From every respect, Georgia is very ecologically diverse and offers many exciting changes to the watchful eye.
7. A Georgian Folk Song Is Actually Floating Around In Space
A Georgian folk named ‘Chakrulo’ that is sung during festivals was actually recorded and sent into space on the spacecraft Voyager as part of the Golden Record. The Golden Record is similar to a message in a bottle, just in case there are aliens out there and they want to know who we are.
8. Two Ancient Cities Exist Within Georgia
Europe has 16 old cities that go back to 2,000 to 5,000 years. Of these are the two former Georgian capitals, Mtskheta and Kutaisi. Kutaisi was the capital of the Kingdom of Colchis, a region in the southern Caucasus which was inhabited during the second millennium BC. Mtskheta was founded about 3,000 years ago.
9. Georgia Has One Of The Oldest Traditional Jewish Communities
The Georgian Jews have lived in Georgia for more than 2600 years, while the Ashkenazi Jews only arrived in Georgia in the 19th century. The Georgian Jews are the oldest Jewish community in the world. This community is tradition and still practices the oldest form of Judaism.
10. Georgia’s Newly-discovered Heli-Ski Destination!
Georgia’s ski resort Gudauri is a fabulous destination for lovers of freeriding and heli-skiers. Consider this – abundant crisp snowy powder, wide open slopes and magnificent views – why wouldn’t you sign up for heli-skiing over here? You can ski and snowboard here as well, if you’re not into heli-skiing. No wonder Georgia is quickly developing into Europe’s hottest winter destinations.
11. The Word Tbilisi Comes From The Georgian Word For Warmth
The Georgian word ‘tbili’ in Georgian represents warm or warmth. The word ‘Tbilisi’ translates to ‘warm location.’ This is how the name was derived – during the 5th century AD, King Vakhtang went on a hunt with his team in the general area of the present-day Tbilisi. The king’s team discovered the wonderful natural hot springs in the area during the hunt, and they were so delighted that they named the entire city a warm location!
12. Georgia’s Folk Music Is UNESCO Listed!
Georgia’s choral folk music is uniquely polyphonic, and has been listed in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list in 2008 by UNESCO. The music involves three kinds of polyphony:
• A musical dialogue in the complex Svaneti dialect
• An East Georgian polyphonic dialogue sung over the background of a bass beat
• Three sung parts that are partially improvised as the music goes on.
This unique polyphony is strangely harmonious and pleasant to listen to.
Georgia has it all for travelers – great food, culture, history, music and dance and wine. For adventurers, there’s climbing, trekking, caving, horse riding, heli-skiing, winter sports and much more. There is any number of reasons to visit Georgia. Consider this – Georgia has some of the cheapest ski resorts in all of Europe! If you’re a culture vulture, you’ll love to explore Georgia’s medieval architecture and its wonderful music and dances.