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GEORGIA : WINTER BREAK FROM DUBAI TO TBILISI

*UPDATE : The author, DocGelo has been receiving queries and comments regarding the recent increase in charges of Chacha tours, the tour operator based in Georgia that’s mentioned on this article. Kindly be informed that he is not in any way related with any travel agency or tour operator and, therefore has no obligation and control of any changes that may happen in the course of time, with regards to details mentioned on the blog articles he publishes on his site. Thank you for your understanding and support to this blog.

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It was not difficult for me to decide to travel to Georgia exactly 8 days after I came from Russia.

  • Visa-free for Filipinos with residence visa in UAE.
  • Short haul flight of less than 4 hours from Dubai to its capital city, Tbilisi.
  • Relatively affordable travel expenses (whether you avail of package tour or travel via D-I-Y-itineraries). It won’t cost you your arms and legs!
  • Road trips, cobblestone alleys, wine factories (we missed to go to these!), striking monuments, Orthodox churches, ancient cave towns, medieval castles and fortress, heritage sites, lakes and rivers, beaches, trains and cable cars.
  • Mountainous landscape filled with snow (that appears lush green in months of summer).
  • Interesting diversity in people, culture and food. An apparent fusion of east and west!
  • Khinkali and Khachapuri. Children, repeat after me. Say, KHINKALI. Say KHACHAPURI. (read through out the post and you’ll know it)!
  • And let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! I want snow!!!

Following my weeklong winter trip in Moscow and Saint Petersburg with 2 of my good friends, I booked another return tickets from Dubai last December 14 to 17, 2015 via Fly Dubai to Tbilisi for a 4-day-break in Georgia! 

Where’s Georgia? Is that in the U.S.?

Ugh..ah…

Nah!

*shakes head left to right*

Located at the junction of Eastern Europe and West Asia, Georgia, the country (and not the American state) south of Russia and north of Turkey and Armenia, is utterly irresistible and effortlessly seductive!

Can you enjoy it with just 4 days and 3 nights? Where to go to maximize short stay?

What about budget?

Surprisingly similar to how much I spent in Russia (blog feature to follow. I haven’t blogged about Kenya and Russia, I know!), I only had less than 2,500 AED (<680 USD), inclusive of return tickets, food, accommodation, transportation, souvenirs and all other expenses. Yet the sensory experiences are incomparable and ultimately priceless!

Here’s a long and chronological photo-essay of my short, yet memorable days in Tbilisi, Ananuri, Gudauri, Kazbegi, Uplistsikhe, Shio-Mgvime and Gori.

DAY 1 : Dubai to Tbilisi 

Flight was set at 12:30PM, Terminal 2 of Dubai International Airport. Arrival at 4PM in Tbilisi.

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Woke up to this view by my window seat on board Fly Dubai, after dozing off for 3 hours.

Airport and immigration proceedings in Dubai during departure and upon arrival in Tbilisi went smoothly. Luggage collected from the belt. Pocket money in few US Dollars exchanged into Georgian Lari in ForEx inside the terminal. Hailed taxi cab from the airport to our accommodation. Et voila! Welcome to Tbilisi, Georgia!

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Pre-booked hotel online; barely 6 months in operation, reasonably priced, decent and basic.

The timing of our arrival called for an early dinner and leather jackets! It’s winter and our stomachs were growling ,while we also wanted to start exploring. So we opted to take a taxi cab from the hotel, passed by the iconic Freedom Square at the heart of Tbilisi (I have no photo! I must return in summer!), that’s dressed with gorgeous Christmas lights; then shortly reached the Funicular – a place where an inclined funicular or cable car takes passengers uphill where few pocket-friendly to expensive restaurants are located. Other than food, it’s also one of the best spots to view Tbilisi in 360 degrees!
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Funicular 2-way ride for 2 GEL or 2 Georgian Lari! 
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The night view from front seat inside the funicular. Here we go!
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Restaurant option #1. Beautifully decorated for the holidays. Looks expensive though.
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Restaurant option #2. Almost similar with #1. Too complex and sophisticated for us.
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Restaurant option #3. Pizza, pastries, tea, hot soup and warm pies. We hit the jackpot! 
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Heavenly! In Saint Petersburg, Russia, it’s called Napoleon. In Tbilisi, Georgia…..I forgot!
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And ladies and gents, boys and girls, meet our very light dinner (no-rice!)! Yey!
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With my new found Chinese friend and travel buddy in Georgia, Sisi from Dubai. Aren’t we looked so coordinated despite we didn’t talk about what to wear? Like-minds think the same! She’s been to 40 plus countries, btw! Now, you know why we clicked in a blink! And we remain friends after the trip!
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Spectacular night view of Tbilisi from the Funicular.

DAY 2 : Tbilisi to Ananuri, Gudauri, Panorama and Kazbegi.

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Good day, from Tbilisi! I should’ve woke up earlier to catch sunrise’s prettier hues.
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First order of priority : Buffet breakfast for free! (or at least included in the hotel rate).

Sisi and I agreed to avail a Day Tour Package from Chacha Tours, a local tour operator recommended by our Chinese colleague, Jason who went to Tbilisi before us. Actually, it was his incredible photos that compelled me to experience winter in Georgia too! And I can’t be thankful enough when he referred his tour agents generously! I immediately called, Temo of Chacha Tours after I confirmed my return tickets.

Chacha Tours, Tbilisi, Georgia

+995 558 19 27 47 (contact person and tour guide – Temo / or Nini)

Skype : chachatour2015

e-mail : chachatour2015@gmail.com

I highly suggest you ring them and ask for Temo to coordinate with your tours.

You’re welcome, btw!

Temo and the driver picked us up from the lobby of our hotel before 10AM. The entire day tour with our preferred itineraries cost us 250 GEL in total, excluding lunch (120 GEL for all of us) and the 70 GEL – the fee for the other van and driver that took us to Trinity Church in Kazbegi. Sisi and I split the expenses.

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First pit stop! Just wow, isn’t it? You can never go wrong with the beauty of Mother Nature!

Ananuri Castle

One of the ancient must-visit-sites off downtown Tbilisi is the Ananuri Fortress or Ananuri Castle. Dramatically located along the serene, Aragvi River, the castle was noted to witness feudal dynasty and several battles. Its architecture alone with Orthodox Church of the Assumption, plus the breathtaking surrounding view, must be enough reasons for you to thank yourself for deciding to travel to Georgia! You’ll feel you deserve a tap on your shoulders!

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Ananuri Fortress. And that Aragvi River is a killer! Such a beauty on its own!
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The Road to Gudauri Ski Resort

From Ananuri, we continued the road trip to Gudauri. The Asian kid-at-heart in me became so thrilled silently! Seated quietly inside the van and with headphones listening to my playlist, my mind wanders upon the sight of mountain range filled with immaculate snow! Excitement in me heightened when we stopped for a bladder break, and my thrill soared upon inhaling crisp mountain breeze! I tried my best to fill my lungs with freshest Gudauri air! The feeling was euphoric, the view was surreal! It was certainly a visual feast!
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Love at first sight.
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I was in awe! It looked magical!
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Have you ever drank from a frozen falls? I did! I did excitedly like a kid!

Gudauri Ski Resort

“Gudauri is a ski resort located on the southern slopes of The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range in Georgia. The resort is situated in the Stepantsminda District, along the Georgian Military Highway near the Cross Pass, at an elevation of 2,196 meters (7,200ft.) above sea level. Gudauri lies 120 km (75 miles) to the north of the capital Tbilisi.” -via info-tbilisi.com

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And then I was speechless. The view was breathtakingly beautiful!
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Unbelievable!
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I was so ecstatic as I did not expect it to be this pretty at all!
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Imagine how’s it like to stay at least a night in that cottage and wake up with this fantastic view!
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Then do nothing but frolic in the snow all day!
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Hope to try ski next time (yes, I hope to visit again!)
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You’re so pretty, Gudauri Ski Resort!

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Can’t believe I set foot in Gudauri! Ahhhhmaayzing!
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Even our local tour guide, Temo was fond of my travel buddy, @gelothebear! (check out his Instrgram account. His photos receive more likes and comments than mine, and I’m just a proud bear-Dad!)

Panorama

After an hour or so in Gudauri Ski Park, Temo and the driver took us to a special viewing deck called, Panorama.

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It’s not your typical balcony. It’s adorned by murals that depict Georgian tales and arts.DSCF1007-1DSCF1005-1DSCF1009-1DSCF1023-1
Can you spot that frozen lake?
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Then, they took us to this place by the road, where iron water flows. We drank it, tasted metallic, of course! Good thing, I didn’t have diarrhoea (you can be infected with protozoa and other microbes) when I sipped water from that frozen waterfalls, and mind you, lack or excess of iron is bad for our red blood cells. Don’t get me started with medical stuff. Just be cautious when traveling! Smile always! That’s a note to self.

Kazbegi

“Gergeti Trinity Church (Georgian: წმინდა სამება – Tsminda Sameba) is a popular name for Holy Trinity Church near the village of Gergeti in Georgia. The church is situated on the right bank of the river Chkheri (the left tributary of the river Terek), at an elevation of 2170 meters, under Mount Kazbegi.” – via Wiki.

We transferred to another van with a new driver who happens to be a champion in off-road driving in Georgia, who took us with Temo, to Gergeti Trinity Church up the mountain!

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Past 4PM and almost zero visibility. And no one among us was complaining. We loved it!
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Temo leads the way to Gergeti Trinity Church. One of the most beautiful churches in the world according to Telegraph in the UK. I must see it in summer. If not his year, in the near future!
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Perched and isolated on a hill, Gergeti Orthodox Church is another must-visit place in Georgia!
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Our much needed late lunch. All local food! Yey!
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We ate at that popular restaurant at the foot of Kazbegi as per recommendation of our tour guide. And trusting them as local will not lead you wrong.

I found out I have high affinity with local breads. I loved Georgian bread the way I loved Bolivian, Arabic and so on.

And that thick beefy soup? To die for!

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Khachapuri. Georgian piping hot bread with melted cheese filling. Just wow!
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I am not alcoholic in any way (defensive!), however, I always try to sample local beer whenever I travel. Too bad, we didn’t go to local wineries that are a common tourist’s destinations too in this Eurasian country (craving for Georgian wines now!).
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Khinkali. Think of minced meat (lamb or beef and pork mixed), onions, chili pepper, salt cumin, parsley. Think of an extraordinary fusion and gigantic versions of Taiwanese Xiao Long Bao and typical dumpling. Khinkali or Georgian dumplings are juicy, meaty and everything nice! (Craving) Someone take me back to Georgian now! Right NOW! Hehehe!

Day 3 : Downtown Tbilisi, Stalin Museum in Gori, Uplistsikhe Cave Town, Shio Monastery

Sisi and I decided to take a different local tour operator by arranging it through our hotel to maximise our Day 3. Wrong move for us. We should’ve taken Chacha Tours again (don’t ask as I don’t want to rant and be negative). Let’s continue and conclude our day prior our flight back to Dubai.

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Downtown Tbilisi.

Gori, Eastern part of Georgia

If you’re interest lies in History of one man, then Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, a quiet town located at eastern part of Tbilisi is for you! If you must know, Joseph Stalin was the former dictator of Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) who was born in Gori, Georgia, hence an entire museum was dedicated to him.

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Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori, East of Tbilisi.

Late in the afternoon, we moved to a more interesting place. Uplistsikhe Cave Town.
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Mother Nature shows off within the Uplistsikhe Cave Town area.
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I can sit and stare in this area for hours! I kid you not!
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The short and uphill trek to Uplistsikhe Cave Town begins.
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Step up into this steep rocks.
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Welcome to Uplistikhe Cave Town! A place in queue to become one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
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Queen Tamar’s Hall.
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Christian stone basilica, dating from the 10th century.
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Remnants of previously pagan community within the Uplistsikhe Cave Town.
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Believe me, my photo doesn’t give it justice.
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Leaving Uplistsikhe.
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Mother Nature in Uplistsikhe bids goodbye!

Shio-Mgvime Monastery

“The Shio-Mgvime monastery (Georgian: შიომღვიმე, Shiomghvime, literally meaning “the cave of Shio”) is a medieval monastic complex in Georgia, near the town of Mtskheta. It is located in a narrow limestone canyon on the northern bank of the river Mtkvari (Kura), some 30 km from Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital.” – via Wiki.

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Sisi and I requested our local tour guide to drop us off at Old Town Tbilisi rather than our hotel. We opted to have our last dinner there (as we’re flying back to Dubai lunch time of the following day) and I wanted to buy my souvenirs – fridge magnets and a few keychains.

Last Dinner in Old Town Tbilisi

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Our last night in Tbilisi called for a feast! Must there be a reason to feast, anyway? Haha!

After dinner, we strolled our way to Bridge of Peace. 

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Madloba in Georgian language means, Thank you!

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Find your bliss, your passion, your joy. Hold onto hope and keep your faith.  Most of all, celebrate what keeps you alive! 

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*Although the blogger, Doc Gelo welcomes partnerships with travel sponsors, this is NOT a sponsored post. All words written in this feature were never influenced by anyone, and are honest opinion by the author. Photos are taken using the mirrorless and handy, Fuji AX2, with a few taken using Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

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97 Comments

  1. You covered a lot for a quickie 4-day trip to Georgia in the dead of winter! I’ll probably spend half that time comfortably bundled up in my hotel room nursing a bottle of booze while watching the LA Lakers on TV lose again LOL.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hahaha! You’re always funny, Bert! 😊
      Thanks for religiously following my blog through the years!

  2. Hi Doc, is it fine to book on the spot sa chacha tours? or does it require like a month before travelling to Georgia?

    *Kinikilig ako sa Georgia! excited.. Thank you doc 🙂

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello! I booked them via phone call 3 days before my flight. So possibly yes, but it also depends on the volume of tourists.

  3. Jason Jason

    Reading through this blog reminded me loads of my travel memories in Georgia, Grateful that you documented everything to be shared and cherished by others as well in the future!

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thanks for reading my blog post. Really appreciate it!

      • Jen Jen

        Glad I was able to stumbled upon ur blog before our winter trip to georgia on Feb 2017. I just wanted to ask if it was really cold in tbilisi. Should I be bring thermal suits? or a coat and jackets will suffice

        • docgelo docgelo

          Hello Jen,

          Thank you for reading my blog about Georgia. As for your query, Tbilisi isn’t that cold in winter. Thermals or at least layered clothing are a must when you go to Kazbegi and Gudauri Ski resort which I highly suggest for you to visit. Thanks again! 🙂

  4. Your photos made me include Georgia on my wanderlist. So gorgeous! ;))

    • docgelo docgelo

      I’ll take that as a huge compliment. Thanks you! 😊

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thanks! Georgia is indeed gorgeous and there’s more to explore and discover than what I’ve featured here!

      • Anne Anne

        Hello, I loved your blog! BTW, how much is your day tour for day 3 if you remember?

        Day 3 : Downtown Tbilisi, Stalin Museum in Gori, Uplistsikhe Cave Town, Shio Monastery

        • docgelo docgelo

          Thank you for reading my blog and I’m glad you liked it.
          We availed Day Tour package from our hotel for those mentioned itineraries for 400 Georgian Lari per day (for 2 of us) which was more expensive than what we had with Chacha Tours.

  5. The beef soup looks like goulash.

    Your base in UAE will enable you to reach more countries. Cheers to more travel opportunities this year.

    • docgelo docgelo

      I’m planning to go to two of your favorites in March; one of them is least traveled to.

  6. Jojo Jojo

    It was indeed an awesome blog while reading your Georgia escape. Now I know already that Georgia is such an amazing Country. For sure, I have to include it now it my bucket list. Superb! 👍👌

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you for reading my blog post about Georgia! I’d love to go back when I get a chance.

  7. Anne Anne

    Yes good thing i stumbled in your blog doc as we are also planning to visit georgia during big eid, buti na lang they ease up the visa atleast we can go there without visa now. I will base our itinerary with your trip atleast may idea na kami where to go. Big thanks and keep blogging.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Anne,
      Maraming salamat for reading my blog.
      I wish you’ll have a great time in Georgia soon!

  8. Tata Tata

    Hello Docgelo,

    I was just reading your blog about Dubai and I saw your post about Georgia also. I was proud while reading the post, as I’m from Georgia (but live in Dubai). U need to visit Georgia again, there are lot things to see.
    Best of luck,
    Tata

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Tata,

      Your country is beautiful; you have to be prouder!
      I fell in love with it instantly!
      I’m planning to go back if not this year, perhaps in the coming years.
      Thank you for reading my blog; really appreciate it!

  9. Ruth Ruth

    Awesome blog, Doc Gelo. Stumbled on this while researching on Georgia which we plan to visit as a side trip from DXB after our Holy Land tour. I plan to contact Chacha tours as you suggested. Thanks for the helpful tips. Enjoyed reading about your travels as well as your IG posts.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thanks, Ruth!
      I really appreciate you found time to read my blog and follow my Instagram!
      Hope you enjoy your trip to Dubai, Georgia and Holy Land!
      I’ll be in Italy for 14 days from Wednesday this week. Hope you follow my posts! Thanks again!

  10. Filipina Cequena Filipina Cequena

    i enjoyed your blog Docgelo. very informative and helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    • docgelo docgelo

      My pleasure! I appreciate all my readerstuff and followers! Thank you too! 🙂

  11. pink bullet pink bullet

    hi there, i am currently researching about travel guides to tbilisi and i found this.

    Thank you

    if i may ask, how important is the travel insurance in tbilisi aiport, did you have one? have they checked it?

    appreciate your help/answer.

    bullet

    • docgelo docgelo

      hello bullet,

      i was never asked of travel insurance at the point of entry at tbilisi.
      i used to travel with travel insurance particularly to schengen countries, but with georgia, i didn’t have one since I’m on a limited day-trip only.

  12. I am planning to go to Georgia next year thinkng kng summer or winter. I think it will be more fun if summer since nirarayuma ako pag winter. haha. Kidding aside, awesome blog. will follow you from now on! 🙂
    Im a newbie sa blogging. if you can check it out po. Thanks!

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Jamaica,

      Thank you if you’ll follow my blog!
      Really appreciate it.
      Enjoy Georgia!

  13. Sajan Sajan

    Great blog doc…I was particularly searching for a review about Georgia in winter since we plan to go there this New Year. And we are settled in Dubai as well. Our family of 4 will be on a 8 day trip and would like to include Batumi as well as a couple of days of skiing at Guduari. From your experience there, do you think we could handle it if we rent a car on our own??

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Sajan,

      Thank you for reading my blog; I really appreciate it!
      Yes, you may rent a car from the airport in Tbilisi and I think it would be more practical for you since you’re traveling with your family, unless you’re not that familiar with the place, however there’s GPS and Google Maps to depend on.

      Have a safe travel to Georgia this new year!

  14. Lala Lala

    Thank you doc for this wonderful blog! I was researching about Georgia trip and your post came in,indeed the most helpful one, i must say! Sobra na po ako excited for my trip 🙂 Thank you again and now i am your follower!

    • docgelo docgelo

      hi lala,

      thank you for your good words and for following my blog. hope you’ll have a safe and fun trip in Georgia!

  15. Miloni Miloni

    Hi, absolutely loved your blog and immediately booked for Tbilisi for this winter. Will let you know how that goes. Ah and definitely calling Cha Cha tours. Could you share tentative costs. Would make bookings a bit swifter.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello, Miloni,

      Thank you for reading my blog; really appreciate it! Kindly call Temo of Cha-Cha Tours and inquire of their rates. They’re dependable with best rates in Tbilisi. Last year it was like 250 Georgian Lari or roughly 107 USD per day inclusive of driver, pick up and drop off. However you need to feed them for lunch which is quite reasonable and food isn’t expensive in Georgia.

      • Miloni Miloni

        Thank you docgelo. Will let you know how it goes.

  16. Ricardooper Ricardooper

    Hi Doc Gelo,

    Good thing i found your website and saw this post. This makes me more excited for our upcoming trip.

    I just have a quick question,
    We are planning to go there from Dec 16 till 22 with my wife and 19 months old son, how was the weather? Will it be ok for my baby? We are also planninh to visit Gadauri..

    Thanks from Doha…

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Ricardooper,

      Thank you for reading my blog and leaving a query.
      I went to Georgia December last year and weather was fine for winter.
      Of course, expect snow and chunks and mountain range of in and near Gudauri Ski Resort.
      Your baby will be ok just clothe him in layers and mittens and socks, and sun will be out on the sun – just perfect, in my opinion.

      May you enjoy Georgia as much as I did. Have fun and travel safely!

  17. Nett Nett

    Hi,
    Is it safe for a girl to travel alone to Georgia, ?

    Nett

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Nett,

      I believe so. When I was there, Tbilisi was safe, even at night.

  18. Oakland Raiders Jersey Oakland Raiders Jersey

    Great blog you have got here.. It�s hard to find quality writing like
    yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate people like you!
    Take care!!

  19. Marissa Nicole Vergara Marissa Nicole Vergara

    This is one of the best blog I’ve ever read about Georgia, Thanks for this Doc. You made me really more excited to visit there. You have a perfect photos. 😉

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Marissa! Thank you for reading my blog; I always appreciate time spend of my readers browsing my website.

      Thank you for your kind words regarding my photos.

      Georgia is so pretty! You will enjoy it surely.

      Travel safely!

  20. Wheng Wheng

    Thanks for this blog. It helps me a lot. Been in Georgia during summer and will visit again this coming January 2017 for a winter experience. On your summer visit, don’t miss Vardzia.

    • docgelo docgelo

      You’re most welcome!
      And thanks too for reading my blog.

  21. giane giane

    now in my list… travellin solo this december.. nice blog doc gelo! kudos to u!

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thanks, Giane!
      I’m sure you’ll enjoy Georgia as much as I did!

  22. […] Things to Do: Based on the official Georgia Tourism & Travel Site, you must visit the capital Tbilisi to admire the rich cultural heritages of the Georgian capital or go to Gudauri Ski Resort. You can also check out Lonely Planet, a reliable travel site which we used for years to find the top attractions advised by expert travelers. Additional: Here’s a blogpost by one of our Filipino Blogger in Dubai, Gelo of DocGelo.com about his trip to Tblisi, Georgia: Georgia: Winter Break from Dubai to Tblisi | DocGelo.com […]

  23. McLennan McLennan

    I came across your blog since me and my gf are planning to visit there next year. Very informative blog 🙂 Our purpose is to see snow, of course, so we will research more until which month is the snow there. Also, we would like to get more information about the budget, low as possible :-p Thank you for your wonderful blog.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello McLennan,

      Thank you for reading my blog; I really appreciate it!
      I’m not associated with them however, I can highly recommend Chacha Tours if you’re visiting Georgia! They’re the ones who toured me around when I was there, and the same people I’ve recommended to cousins and friends who went there too, and eventually were satisfied too. They can custom-made your tour based on your preferred itineraries. If you’re into chasing snow as I am (until now, as next week I will travel to Nordic-Arctic Circle!), you may ask them to take you to Gudauri and Kazbegi! Those places in Georgia as seen on my photos are awesome! Budget-wise, very affordable! I only spent about 2500 AED (UAE dirhams) in my entire trip, inclusive of flights, hotel, food and fees for Chacha tours. You may contact Chacha tours on the contact details mentioned on the blog post above; or via their fb page. Please don’t forget to say that you read about them on my blog! Thank you and have fun and travel safely!

      • McLennan McLennan

        Thank you for the reply. If I may ask, how much did you pay for the tour with your hotel on the 3rd day? I believe it was not mentioned here, was it? What do you think of this tour package – https://www.holiday-factory.com/crazy-deals/georgia.jsp ? Any idea how much it would cost to try snow activities in Gudauri? Sorry for so many questions.

        • docgelo docgelo

          Hello! Our trip to Gori, Uplistsikhe Cave Town etc, that we availed from the hotel we stayed in cost around 400 Georgian Lari per day (not per person). And to be honest, we regret that we didn’t go with ChaCha Tours on that trip. You may contact them and inquire all other queries concerning your trip to Georgia through the details I shared on the article above. I’m sorry I cannot comment about the travel agency offer you mention because I haven’t availed any tour packages from them.

      • Mc Lennan Mc Lennan

        Hi, it’s me again 🙂 As you know, I am very excited that I keep on reading blogs. Let me just tell you that we already booked our Georgia trip on March 4. However, I am kinda worried of one thing, travel insurance. Do you know if it’s mandatory? I understand you travel with it, so what do you recommend and how do we get one? In addition, would a bank statement or something like to prove your capacity to travel a need to show in Georgia Immigration? Thank you.

        • docgelo docgelo

          Hi Mc Lennan,

          Thank you for reading my blog.
          I can only mention about requirements for UAE residents who are Philippine passport holders to travel to Georgia based on my experience and I don’t have idea for other nationalities.

          For us, it’s visa free and no other requirements are posted to enter Georgia from UAE.

          You may contact the proper offices for your queries if the above don’t apply to you. Thanks!

  24. Kavitha Kavitha

    Your blog was so helpful & very informative as am travelling with family &friends in Dec from Dubai.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hi Kavitha,

      I so appreciate you reading my blog post and writing good words about it. May you travel safely and enjoy Georgia!

  25. Jess Jess

    Hi,
    We are travelling to Georgia on the 23rd of Dec for 3 days. I saw the pics of ur last night feast. They looked yummy. Could u tell me which restaurant that is? Also, could u suggest a few places where i can find good local cuisine?

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Jess,
      Thank you for reading my blog.
      That restaurant that you’re referring to is located at Tbilisi Downtown. You won’t miss it as it’s right behind the “I LOVE TBILISI” sign. It’s easy to find local eateries there, I suggest you discover it yourself; that will be more fun! 🙂

  26. Janice Janice

    Hello,

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I am booked to travel to Tbilisi on 11-14 January 2017. I will do all your itinerary + the Kakheti-wine. I have also contacted chacha tours as you have recommended.

    This is my first time to see the snow. I am so excited.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • docgelo docgelo

      I should be getting commission from Chacha tours as I’ve a lot of readers who also got them for their tours. Just Kidding!

      Thank you for reading me blog and I’m happy you left a comment. Hope my humble article helps in its own little way. I’m sure you’ll enjoy Georgia! Have fun on the snow!

    • she she

      thank you docgelo for this blog! 😉
      hi janice! may i know if you have someone to travel to? 🙂 email me please sheila_1816@yahoo.com
      thank you

      • docgelo docgelo

        It’s a pleasure sharing my travel stories. Glad you liked it. Have fun and travel safely to Georgia!

  27. Juvelle Juvelle

    Love your blog! Informative, neat, straight forward but very inspiring! Thanks for sharing all these info and your amazing photography skills. Excited for our own Georgia trip next year.

    Continue to inspire more wanderers 🙂

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you so much for reading my blog, Juvelle! Have fun on your Georgia trip!

  28. Engel Taylo Engel Taylo

    Thank you DocGelo for this very helpful blog. I must say that this is one of the best blogs i have ever read. Me and my friend will be travelling to Tbilisi this coming Jan 5-9, 2017 and im sure that your story will play a very important role on our trip. I have also emailed Chacha tours and just waiting for their response. Your blog is such a big help to many. Thanks a lot!

    • docgelo docgelo

      You’re most welcome, Engel and thank you too for reading my blog! I appreciate it so much! Here’s wishing you a fun filled getaway and safe travel to Georgia!

  29. Serevana Serevana

    Hi Docgelo,

    It indeed is a great blog. A big thanks from my side as well as i am also planning to travel in week of 15 January 2017.

    I’m planning for a 5 days / 4 nights trip. Since I’ll be having one more day and night to enjoy Georgia, do you think any of other must visit place (which you missed) I should add to my itinerary? Or do you think it would be better to spare more time for any of the locations like Kazbegi/Gaduri. I heard that Kazbegi is worth spending a night. Please guide. Thanks

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you, Serevana for reading my blog!

      I missed going to wineries so whether you’re drinking wine or not, I thinks it’s fascinating to know how Georgians ferment their wines so you might as well check that out.

      Have fun and travel safely!

  30. Kristine Padernal Kristine Padernal

    Hi, magandang gabi po.

    MAg tatravel po ako sa georgia for some soul searching s Georgia this jan29 until feb 5. First time ko po and i would like to know what to bring and how much?
    Ill contact your tour guide. Thank you po.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello po! Maraming salamat for reading my blog! Mura at affordable po sa Georgia, kung pocket money Lang po pwede na po kahit 500 dirhams sa 4 days Kung free breakfast naman sa hotel nyo at may package tour na kayo. Hope this helps.

  31. rehlene rehlene

    hi docgelo!

    i was searching the net about georgia bcoz wer planning to go their in 2nd week of feb. ur blog is very helpful!
    i just want to ask about what clothes to wear during winter?and also shoes! do u recommend wearing boots for female?wer planning to go to tbilisi and to bakuriani as well.
    thanks so much! 😘

    • docgelo docgelo

      Thank you! Winter clothes is a must particularly if you’ll go to Kazbegu and Gudauri. If you can buy snow boots that’ll be better however not necessary if you’ll only be in Tbilisi.

  32. Everlyn Everlyn

    Hi…
    Nkakainspire po ang blog nyo.. im planning to visit georgia with my son. Next month po sana .We are base here in UAE but are residence visa will expire this coming April. Is it possible po ba na mg travel next month (feb) .
    Thank you po inadvance 😊

  33. Everlyn Everlyn

    Hi…
    Nkakainspire po ang blog nyo.. im planning to visit georgia with my son. Next month po sana .We are base here in UAE but our residence visa will expire this coming April. Is it possible po ba na mg travel next month (feb) .
    Thank you po inadvance 😊

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello po. I think you can still travel and come back to UAE although I am not in the position to comment about visa po. May you and your son enjoy Georgia as much as I did.

  34. Shi Rose Shi Rose

    Good day po Doc. Ask ko lang san po kyo ngpapalit ng Dirhams to Lari? Or better magdala po ng USD? Shukran Doc.

    • docgelo docgelo

      I changed my USD to Georgian lari at the ForEx in Tbilisi Airport.

      Hope this helps.
      Thanks!

  35. Maribel Corral Maribel Corral

    Hello Doc Gelo!
    Thank you for sharing your travel experience in Georgia! It is very informative. We are planning to visit the place in March and because of your positive feedback we will avail the service Cha Cha Tours.
    More power and blogs!

    your Kabayan,
    Bel

    • docgelo docgelo

      Maraming salamat po for reading my blog!
      Hope you enjoy your trip to Georgia!
      Please give my regards to the team of ChaCha tours.

    • Maribel Corral Maribel Corral

      By the way, is it possible if we can explore old Tbilisi and Mtskheta on our own without the help of tour operator? Im tailoring out itinerary, just want to have a hint what’s best to make our stay worthwhile. Thanks in advance!

      • docgelo docgelo

        Hi Maribel,
        Tbilisi can explore Tbilisi on your own. However with other places, you need either to hire a taxi cab, a tour package which I highly suggest as it’s cost saving for Georgia, or drive your (rent) car with gps.

        Hope this helps.

  36. Maribel Corral Maribel Corral

    Thank you very much for your travel advise!! It is a big help for sure!

    • docgelo docgelo

      You’re most welcome!

  37. Aijay Aijay

    Hi,

    Can I ask for your Ananuri-Gudauri etc tour, how many hours did you stay in gudauri did you able to explore do skiing or you just went for sightseeing then go to your next destination? thank you.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello! Thank you for reading my blog!
      As mentioned in the article, I went with Chacha tours in Georgia. They suggested itineraries and my friend and I agreed. They can custom-made itineraries based on your preferences. We had almost one hour in Ananuri then on Gudauri, we opted for sight seeing only and not to ski or take cable cars but if you wish, you may do so.

  38. Meyries Meyries

    Hello! I came across your blog and i must say it is very informative and detailed! My girlfriends (2) and I will be traveling to Georgia next month (Feb15-18). We plan to tour the city on our own on the first day, snow experience (Gudauri) on the second day and on the 3rd day we plan to avail a day tour. Is it safe to go with male tour guides? Thank you in advance!

    MG

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Meyries,

      Thank you for reading my blog post!
      Georgian people are friendly, courteous and religious so based on experience, you’ll be in safe hands regardless if you’ll have a male or female tour guide.

      Enjoy and travel safely!

  39. Meyries Meyries

    Thank you for your response docgelo! 🙂
    I forgot to ask, is there a Hop on Hop off bus in Tbilisi? Because based on some Georgian website, there is, but one of my friends friend said there is none and they were not able to find it there Thank you! 🙂

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Meyries,

      I did not see hop on hop off buses in Georgia.

  40. Hi Doc,

    The 250 GEL + 70 GEL is per head or that’s the total then divide by 2? Thank you for the tips in this blog 🙂

    • docgelo docgelo

      That was the total cost before of our day tour, not per pax. Kindly contact them on details mentioned on the post above for clarification of the current rates. thank you so much!

  41. Milka Milka

    Good day Sir. Thanks for this very informative blog on Georgia. I just want to inquire regarding regarding the validity of emirates ID. Will I be allowed to travel September if my ID expires on December? And regarding insurance, are travelers required to get insurance prior to travel period?

    Thanks so much. I hope you read this.

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Milka,

      I’m not in the position to mention about Emirates ID; please ask proper officers about it.

      With regards to travel insurance, I usually don’t travel without it but it’s not required to enter Georgia.

  42. Mai Mai

    Thanks for sharing this very informative post. I love the photos! amazing views. Planned a trip on May for 5 days, hope we will have great time as well.

    • docgelo docgelo

      My pleasure! Thank you for reading my blog. May you have safe travel to Georgia!

  43. arjie arjie

    hi doc,

    just saw your blog. all pictures are so beautiful po. planning to visit this month pero not sure kung okay po yung offer ng cha cha tours. we are 2adults and 2 kids
    day 1 city tour – 120usd
    day 2 kakheti tour- 160usd
    day3 mtskheta tour- 140usd
    day 4 gudauri tour – 140usd

    and while your eating lunch or dinner po with the tour guide and driver. are you paying for them?
    #kuripotproblem hehe

    • docgelo docgelo

      Hello Arjie,

      I really appreciate your time and effort in reading my blog and leaving comment and query. While I mentioned that i availed Chacha tours as my tour operator for a day in Georgia during my visit, I take no control and responsibilities of whatever changes they impose as to their charges that could change over time. I have no idea of their management as I was also a paying customer before. Please read my update and disclosure that I just wrote at the beginning of this blog post.

      Yes, I and my companion paid for the tour guide and driver’s lunch in Kazbegi.

      I hope this helps.

      Thanks and may you enjoy your time in Georgia as I did.

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