With just under four million inhabitants, Georgia is a small but mighty country attractive to a wide range of travelers and even remote workers. There’s something for everyone here — beach enthusiasts, wine lovers, foodies, and mountaineers can all travel here and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience. If you happen to fall in love with the country along the way and want to stay longer, it’s very easy to do that. Georgia has a unique visa which allows foreigners to stay for up to a year which makes the country extremely attractive to remote workers.
From the striking landscape to abundant food and wine scene, here’s why you’ll want to visit Georgia — to stay a little or a while.
Tbilisi: Georgia’s Capital Attracts Tourists and Long-Term Workers
One in four Georgians lives in Tbilisi, and the bustling capital also attracts tourists from around the globe year-long. Tbilisi is a city of contrasts and a place where you’ll find centuries-old buildings next to brand-new futuristic structures. There are several positively head-turning landmarks in the city, for example, the Public Service Hall (pictured) which resembles a mushroom forest or Ministry of Internal Affairs which is a giant glass structure seemingly floating on a huge pool of water.
As for hotels, Stamba is a unique option which merges old and new. Previously a soviet publishing house, it’s now a Tbilisi hot spot with sprawling rooms and lively social spaces. If you plan a stay, book one of their Aviator rooms which come with extra high ceilings, shelves filled to the brim with books and cool industrial touches throughout.
With a relatively low cost of living, reliable Wi-Fi, comprehensive public transportation, and affordable dining options, Tbilisi has also become extremely popular with remote workers especially with a year-long visa option for remote work. “As of now, up to 3000 people (have applied for the year-long visa) and more than 1000 applicants visited our country,” says Mariam Kvrivishvili, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. This has positively impacted the country’s economy and tourism sector, as many foreign workers go on to further explore Georgia.
Georgia’s Great Outdoors
Tbilisi is a beautiful and interesting city, but you would really miss out if you didn’t visit more remote parts of Georgia. It’s a highly biodiverse country with mountains and beaches surprisingly close to each other. “Georgia is the only place in Europe, where you can swim at a tropical beach in Anaklia and ski two hours later or even 25 minutes later if you take a helicopter flight,” says Kartlos Chabashvili, CEO and founder of Inter Georgia Travel.
If you love the mountains, you have to visit Ushguli (2200m) in Svaneti which is one of Europe’s highest permanently inhabited settlements. Part of the Upper Svaneti UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ushguli is famous for its defense tower houses which date back to the 12th century and its striking surrounding landscape. Only around 200 people live in this extremely remote area which is covered in snow for almost half the year. Its almost inaccessible location has preserved the historical beauty of this village and traveling here feels like taking a trip into the past.
Another interesting region of Georgia is Racha, which has rolling green hills, great historical sites and interesting options for accommodations. If you’re looking for a true adventure, check into Shaori Chalet, a tiny home located in the middle of a lake. It is completely encompassed by water and you will be transported there and back by boat. Another interesting option, although less insular, is Georgia Glamping which offers dome-shape glamping tents, decked out with a movie screen and tents overlooking the verdant landscape. At night you will hear coyotes howling, so you’re truly in nature here.
Food and Wine
Eating and drinking is a huge part of Georgian culture and you will taste an array of dishes that are both suitable for meat-eaters and vegetarians here. “Each historical province of the country has its own distinct culinary tradition that have been refined for centuries,” says Chabashvili. “Especially distinguished and unique are Imeretian, Megrelian and Kakhetian cuisines.” Khachapuri, Georgian cheese bread, is one of the most famous Georgian dishes and there are different types of this “Georgian pizza” in each region. Other must-try dishes are Khinkali (giant dumplings), Chichirtma (Chicken soup), Kubdari (Georgian flatbread stuffed with meat and cheese) and Georgian salad which is made with cucumbers, tomato and walnut paste.
Wine is Georgia’s national treasure, rooted in 8000 years of winemaking traditions. “Wine is everything here, everyone loves it,” says Chabashvili. “Every family will treat you to their own wine with great pleasure and pride. A country with a population around 3.8 million, yearly produces approximately 150 million liters of wine.”
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, food and wine lover or history buff, Georgia will entice you in one way or another. Best of all, if you want to stay a little longer (up to a year) you have the option to do so and have an endless array of day and weekend trips to keep exploring.