Travel to Georgia » Country overview

Country overview

Georgia is located to the south of Great Caucasus Mountain Range and to the east of the Black Sea, at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. This region is known as the “South Caucasus” or “Transcaucasia” currently in Western languages. It is bordered by the Russian federation in the north, Turkey and Armenia in the south and Azerbaijan in the east. The Capital of Georgia is Tbilisi.

Capital
(and largest city)
Tbilisi, population – 1,480,000
 Official language Georgian language is the official language of Georgians. It has more than 10 dialects. Russian, Ossetian, Mingrelian, Armenian, Azeri and Abkhazian are also spoken.
 Religion Christian majority, mainly Greek Orthodoxy, other confessional groups include Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Armenian Gregorian, Catholics, Baptists, Judaists
Government Presidential republic
Area 69.700 km2
Population Georgians – 70%, Armenians – 8%, Azeri – 6%, Russians 5%, Greeks – 2%.
Government Republic. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Geography Georgia is located in wrinkled Alpine zone, in the mountain region known as the Caucasus or Caucasia. It is bordered by the Black Sea in the west, which forms a 315km (205 mile long) coastline. The north of the country is occupied by the Greater Caucasus chain (highest point – Mt. Shkhara, 5068 m), which includes the Great Caucasian Range (the main watershed) and Gagra, Bzipi, Kodori, Svaneti, Egrisi, Racha, Lomisi, Kartli and other ranges. The Greater Caucasus and the South Georgian Upland join with the Likhi Range, which at the same time divides Georgia into two contrasting climatic zones: Western and Eastern Georgia. Georgia enclosed wide basins, high valleys, caves and waterfalls combine in this land of varied landscapes and striking beauty, health spas with famous mineral waters.
Climate The Greater Caucasus range moderates local climate by serving as a barrier against cold air from the north. The Caucasus and the South Georgian Upland join with the Likhi Range divides Georgia into two contrasting climatic zones: Western and Eastern Georgia. Georgia territory is divided into 8 agro-climatic districts. In Georgia you will meet almost all types of climate: starts from the frosty climate coming from the main Caucasian permanently snowy rock, glaciers and ending with coastal humid subtopic climate coming from the Black Sea and continental climate of east Georgian valleys. In Georgia Summer temperatures average 20° C to 24° C, winter temperatures 2° C to 4° C. The best period for travellers would be from late spring till early fall tours, in winter snow resorts in Caucasus Mountain.
  Currency Georgian National currency is Lari (GEL). 1 Lari = 100 Tetri. All payments are made in Lari on the territory of Georgia. Among foreign currencies the most spread are USD, EUR.
  Time zone GMT + 4
  Main rivers Mtkvari (Kura) – 1515km (351km in Georgia), Alazani – 407km (390km in Georgia), Rioni (333km).
  Main lakes Paravani (38 km2, depth – 3.3m, 2073m above sea-level), Tabatskuri (14 km2, depth – 40m, 2000m above sea-level), Keli (1,3 km2, depth – 63m, 2900m above sea-level), Ritsa (1,5 km2, depth – 101m, 880m above sea-level).
   Public holidays
January, 1 New Year’s Day
January, 7 Orthodox Christmas
January, 19 Epiphany
March, 3 Mother’s Day
April, 9 Memorial Day
May, 5-6 Orthodox Easter
May, 26 Independence Day
August, 24 Constitution Day
August, 28 Mariamoba
October, 14 Svetitskhovloba
November, 23 Giorgoba – St. George’s Day
  Calling code +995