Useful Information

/Useful Information
Useful Information 2019-10-12T02:01:35+01:00

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Georgia is located in the South Caucasus region. It has a land area of 69,700 sq.km. 1.660 km of borders and 310 km of coast. It adjoins Russia to the north, Turkey and Armenia to the south and Azerbaijan to the south-east. To the west it is bounded by the Black Sea.

The Black Sea has no more than 0.2 to 0.3 % salinity. In summer, water temperature often reaches 24°С.

There are 3 main ports on the Black Sea coast: Batumi, Poti and Sukhumi. Other ports include Kulevi, Kobuleti and Anaklia. Raw materials and necessary goods are imported and exported by sea.

The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range stretches for 700 km from north-west to south-east Georgia. It contains many beautiful snow-capped peaks, including the two highest peaks in Georgia, Mt. Shkhara (5193 m) and Mt. Kazbek (5033 m). Numerous passes, such as Jvari, Mamisoni, Kodori and Roki, connect the North and South Caucasus.

Water is an almost unlimited natural resource in Georgia. The country has over 800 gorgeous lakes, distinguished by their shapes, sizes and depths. Lakes Paravani, Paleastomiand Bazaleti are some of the best known.

Georgia also has several well-known reservoirs, such as the Enguri, Shaori, Tkibuli, Zhinvali, Tbilisi etc. Their water is used for irrigation, drinking and to power hydropower stations.

There are about 26,000 rivers in Georgia, differentiated like the lakes by length, flow and capacity. The rivers of West Georgia flow into the Black Sea, those of East Georgia into the Caspian Sea.

As you might expect, these lakes and rivers are rich with fish. Around 84 species of freshwater fish are found in Georgia, including trout, Colchis barbel, river perch, carp, etc.

Georgia is also especially famous for its abundance of mineral waters. Over 2000 springs have been identified, and the majority have still to be sufficiently studied and developed. However, the healing effects of mineral waters such as Borjomi, Likani, Sairme and Nabeghlavi are internationally known.

Recreational resorts such as Borjomi, Tskhaltubo, Sairme, Nunisi and Shovi are built near these mineral springs. There are 14 national nature reserves, 8 national parks, 12 protected areas, 14 natural monuments and 2 protected areas within Georgia.

Georgia is a multinational state. Ethnic Georgians form the majority of the population. Abkhazians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Greeks, Ossetians, Russians, Ukrainians and Yezidis are amongst the other peoples who live in Georgia.

The majority of the Georgian population practices Orthodox Christianity. However Roman Catholics, Muslims, Jews and followers of many other religions are also well established in Georgia.

Climate

Georgia’s climate is extremely varied, given the small size of the country. Eastern Georgia has a dry and continental climate, with relatively cold winters and hot summers. Western Georgia, and particularly the Black Sea coast, has a subtropical climate with high humidity and heavy precipitation.

The abundant rainfall, mild and warm winters and long summers have made the lowlands of Western Georgia a perfect place to grow tea, lemons, tangerines, oranges, feijoas, kiwi fruit etc. The dry climate of Eastern Georgia is good for growing grapes, and consequently this is a major wine producing region.

The mountainous regions of Georgia experience long, snowy winters and short, cool summers. The higher the mountains, the shorter the summers.

In the valleys the winter is rather cold. The warmest winters are found on the Black Sea coast. It rarely snows there, and in summer that region is rather warm and humid.

January is the coldest month of the year and August the hottest. The average January temperature ranges from +3°С in Western Georgia to – 2°С in Eastern Georgia. The average August temperature is between 23°C and 26°С.

The Shiraki Valley, located on the Iori Plateau, is the driest place in Georgia. It receives around 400 mm of precipitation per year.

Flora

Georgia has one of the richest supplies of flora found anywhere. Its dizzying array of plants is the legacy of its ecological situation, diversity of geographical and climatic zones, geological structure, geographical location, paleogeographic past and length of human habitation.

There are a lot of relict, endemic, wild and cultivated plants in Georgia. Endemic species comprise about 9% of Georgia’s flora. There are more 5000 species of higher plants in Georgia, including 400 distinct trees and bushes.

Forests cover nearly forty percent (38.6%) of Georgia’s land area, though most are found in the mountainous regions. The flora of the eastern and western parts of the country is quite different. Eastern Georgia is divided into six zones: semi-desert, forest, sub-alpine, alpine, sub-nival, and nival, whereas Western Georgia has four main zones: forest, sub-alpine, alpine and nival. In the mountainous region of South Georgia meadows and steppes are common, and these are also rich with vegetation.

Due to the quality and variety of flora, Georgia has been included in the list of 25 biodiversity “hot spots” and the list of ecoregions identified by the World Wildlife Fund.

Fauna

Georgia is located on the eastern shore of the Black Sea and borders the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Its location gives the country a diverse landscape that supports a multitude of wildlife.

Nestled within the Caucasus eco-region, the country is afforded relative isolation by the mountains and sea. However, it is also at the crossroads of three major bio-geographical regions (Europe, Asia and the Middle East), and has thus developed numerous unique and endemic species.

Georgia is home to many large carnivores: bears, wolves and even leopards. Given the traditional rural lifestyle of many of the population, these animals are primarily perceived as predators, threats to both humans and livestock.

Brush areas and forests make up more than 30 percent of the country’s landscape. Many rare trees and more common varieties of beech, fir, pear and linden, provide ideal homes for forest fauna.

Wild boars weighing up to 200 kilos roam free in the dense forests, scavenging for berries, nuts, roots and small reptiles and insects.

Brown bears are also found in Georgia’s forests, where they hunt smaller animals like wild hares and roe deer and supplement their diet with grass, tubers, berries and other foods they find on the land. Foxes and wolves are also common in the forests.

One of the most rare and elusive animals in Georgia’s forests is the lynx. This spotted member of the cat family reflects light with its eyes and can weigh up to 66 pounds.

The Eurasian lynx is the largest member of the species and is reported to meow and purr just like the common domestic cat. Its secretive behavior makes it difficult to spot in the wild, but its large paw prints can be found in many places.

Goats and antelopes rule the mountains, and bearded eagles, black grouse and turkeys can also be spotted along the Greater Caucasus mountain range. 11 species of amphibians, 330 species of bird, 160 aquatic species and 48 different kinds of reptiles add further diversity to Georgia’s fauna.

COUNTRIES WHOSE CITIZENS CAN ENTER GEORGIA WITHOUT A VISA

Below is provided a list of countries whose nationals may stay in Georgia without a visa for a visit of up to 90 days for tourism purposes or for other purposes. These countries are:
USA, countries of EU, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Norway, Israel, Andorra, San Marino, Iceland, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, South Korea, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Brunei, Singapore, Australia, Monaco New Zealand, The Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, the Seychelles, Botswana, Croatia, Chile, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Uruguay, Mauritius, Panama, Costa Rica, South Africa, Brazil, Thailand, Belize , Saudi Arabia.

Tourists who arrive in Georgian by ship and stay in the country for less than 72 hours, also don’t need a visa.

The detailed regulations for entry to Georgia, you may find on the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia: http://www.mfa.gov.ge

Air Transport

If you want to get from Tbilisi to Batumi or Kutaisi, or vice versa, the quickest way is by plane. Georgian Airways operates direct flights from Tbilisi to Batumi and Kutaisi which take about 35 minutes in both cases.

You can travel to Svaneti, a mountainous region of Georgia, by small plane but only in summer. These flights take approximately an hour. You can reach it in a day by car. Flights to and from Svaneti can be cancelled due to poor visibility, so in bad weather we’ll offer you an appropriate vehicle.

Railways

Train travel is widespread in Georgia, and the network extends from the capital to each region. You can take trains to Batumi, Kobuleti, Kutaisi, Zugdidi, Borjomi and Akhaltsikhe from Tbilisi, and to Telavi via Sagarejo and Gurjaani. From Borjomi a “kukushka train” will take you to Bakuriani, a famous ski resort. This train is especially popular in winter, when it serves plenty of tourists and winter sports fans.

Road Transport

Road transport is the most common form in Georgia. The country has 22,000 km of roads, the majority of which are surfaced and comply with international standards. Roads connect the capital with the regions. It is 700 km from one end of Georgia to the other, and this distance can be covered in a day. There is an autobahn from Tbilisi to Western Georgia.

A range of different vehicles: cars, 4×4 jeeps, buses, minibuses, minivans, etc., is available in every region. We will offer you the most appropriate and comfortable mode of transport for your itinerary and budget. Taxi travel is very common in Georgia. The majority of taxis belongs to private individuals, and their number is growing in both the capital and the regions. There are also companies which offer particular marques of car.

If you need a taxi you can ask the receptionist or order a taxi by phone. We’ll provide you with the phone numbers of the relevant companies. You can also hail a taxi in the street, and it will take you to the desired destination comfortably and safely.

Taxis are very affordable in Georgia. The majority of taxi drivers don’t know foreign languages, but you can ask hotel staff to write the destination in Georgian for you and show this note to the driver.

Metro

The Tbilisi metro is the only metro system in Georgia and is a popular and quick way of getting between the city center and the suburbs. The metro will help you avoid traffic jams in the city streets.

There are many established in Georgia, located in both Tbilisi and the regions. As a rule, banks are open from 9 am till 6 pm, but sometimes till 8 pm. Some branches of some banks are open 24/7.

You can exchange foreign currency in Georgian banks. Lari notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Lari, whilst coins are in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Tetri, 1 Lari and 2 Lari. ATM’s are available throughout major cities and towns.

Foreign currency can also be exchanged at special currency exchange offices in the streets of medium sized and large towns. The exchange rate offered in these facilities is generally better than that offered by the banks. Currency exchange offices work from 9 am till 8 pm, every day of the year.

List of phones numbers that you may need in Georgia

General Enquiries 118-09, 118-08
Fire 112
Police 112
Ambulance 112
Tbilisi Airport 231 03 41, 231 04 21
Tbilisi Railway Station 1331, 219 90 10
Public Defender of Georgia 223 44 99, 291 38 14
Tbilisi City Hall 272 22 22
Taxi 25-11

International Phone Operators:
Silknet 2 100 100
Akhali Kselebi 2 75 75 75
Infotel 10-19
Geonet 247 00 00
Global 1 10-18
Infotel 10-60
Caucasus Network 10-65
Caucasus Digital Network 10-66
Saktel 10-67

Mobile Operators
“Magti” – www.magtigsm.ge
“Geocell” – www.geocell.ge
“Beeline” – www.beeline.ge

Public Service Hall 2-405-405