Kutaissi – A historical gem in Georgia07.09.2016
Getting there / Airport
On 23 September 2016, Wizz Air will commence a new flight link between Berlin and Kutaissi. This city in Georgia will be served twice a week from Berlin Schönefeld. Flights depart Mondays and Fridays. Kopitnari Airport is 14 kilometres west of Kutaissi, 200 kilometres from Tbilisi and 120 kilometres from Batumi on the Black Sea. Kutaissi city centre is served by bus (Georgian Bus) and taxi. German nationals can enter Georgia without a visa and stay there for up to one year on a valid passport.
Out and about in Georgia – good to know
You can easily get by with German or English in Georgia as many locals speak one or both of these languages. Practically all Georgians speak Russian but the language is not popular. Georgia has its own language and culture which have however been influenced by many different countries such as Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan. Georgia is regarded as the most western and most European country among those countries in the Caucasus. Europeans and Germans are very welcome here. The Georgians are renowned for their hospitality: the saying “guests are sent by God” is one by which the Georgians live.
Tbilisi – the Georgian capital
When in Georgia, a visit to its capital, Tbilisi, is a must. The city has a million inhabitants but is relatively small and easy to explore on foot. Its most important sights can be visited in no time at all: the old quarter, Freedom Square, Rustawelis Gamsiri Avenue, Rike city park and Sameba Cathedral. Tbilisi means “warm springs” which refer to the hot springs on the north-eastern slopes of the city. These sulphur springs have been used for centuries. There are several bathing houses in Tbilisi’s bathing quarter. The best-known baths are the Royal Bath House, the Orbeliani Baths built in 1893 and the Irakli Baths, the oldest baths in Tbilisi. The waters are said to have a particularly curative effect.
Kutaissi – an ancient city
The medieval cityscape of Kutaissi is still well-preserved with the impressive Bagrati Cathedral built in the 11th century and meanwhile a UNESCO World Heritage site worth seeing. The ruins of the city fortress and royal palace can be visited not far from the church. Another UNESCO World Heritage site is represented by the Gelati Convent on the city outskirts which is regarded as one of the most important buildings of Georgian art and the burial site for Georgia’s most famous kings. The Sataplia forest conservation area is only a few kilometres outside Kutaissi where visitors can visit an underground karst cave and hike through the nature park with its diverse subtropical vegetation.
Batumi on the Black Sea – a whiff of Las Vegas
As an antithesis to the remoteness of Svaneti, visitors can head for Georgia's most popular seaside resort: Batumi on the Black Sea. Modern, glittering skyscrapers beside old socialist prefabricated high-rises lend the city a whiff of Las Vegas. The port city and capital of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara in southwest Georgia attracts many domestic tourists in the summer. The city is particularly popular on account of its good climate, its beaches and the great variety of restaurants and entertainment it has to offer. Accordingly, the promenade features one hotel and restaurant after another.
Georgia has not really established a reputation as a travel destination. But this is a perfect reason for discovering the interesting and particularly varied country along the lines where Europe and Asia meet. Kutaissi, Georgia's second-largest city, can be reached by direct flight with Wizz Air from Berlin Schönefeld. Kutaissi is the regional capital of Imereti in western Georgia. And it is a perfect starting point for exploring the country between the Caucasus and the Black Sea. It has everything from seaside resorts through remote mountain regions to deserts. More than 4,000 historic monuments can be found in this small country. Georgia is one of the oldest countries in the world. As a country bordering the Orient and Occident, it is regarded as the cradle of ancient civilisation.
The Georgian Caucasus – a highlight for mountain hikers
The Caucasus is definitely a must for mountain climbers and hikers. The mountain region in the north of the country offers infinite possibilities for days of trekking tours, round trips or just daytrips. The best-known region in the Georgian Caucasus is Svaneti where those who enjoy visiting remote areas far away from civilisation will find just what they are looking for. Instead of comfort and luxury, it offers a simple life and unspoilt landscapes in the heart of the splendid Caucasus mountains. The fairy-tale mountain village of Ushguli is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ushguli is 2,200 metres above sea level and is regarded as the highest permanently inhabited human settlement in Europe. More than 100 nationalities and languages have settled in the Caucasus over the centuries. Not least due to its religious and national tolerance, the Caucasus is also referred to as a “hive of peoples”.