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7 must-do experiences in Georgia

From hiking through spectacular alpine valleys and cycling along the Mtkvari River to staying with a local Georgian family and tucking into delicious home-cooked meals, here are some of the best experiences that you won’t want to miss on your trip to Georgia.
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Ride to Vardzia

Jump in the saddle and meander up the craggy hills of the Mtkvari valley by bike. Pedal through the undulating terrain, snaking along the shimmering river, and stop to explore Georgia’s oldest fort, Khertvisi. As we make our final turn around the hillside, the spectacular cave town of Vardiza comes into view. Timeworn caverns housing churches, wine cellars and halls are etched into the soaring cliff face. Step back in time as you duck and dive through the labyrinth of arched tunnels and explore a vast network of ancient cave dwellings.
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Trek to Shkhara Glacier

Don your walking boots to uncover the mighty Shkhara glacier at the foot of Georgia’s highest mountain.  Follow the winding path of the Enereti River and take in far-reaching views of grassy meadows draped over rugged hillsides. As you trek further into the valley and scramble up the last rocky path to the glacier, snow-capped crests soar into the cobalt-blue skies, and the vast expanse of cascading ice emerges on the steep cliff face. Ice crystals glisten in the sunshine against a wall of lofty peaks, and ice-cold water flows along the river bed below. 
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Stay with a Georgian family

Get under the skin of Georgian culture during an overnight stay with a local family. Feast on traditional home-cooked food as your hosts bring a variety of different dishes to the table including lobio, a kidney-bean stew, a gooey cheese-bread called khachapuri and delicious sulguni cheese. Fresh and full of flavour, most of the ingredients are home-grown or sourced near-by, and the locally produced Georgian wine compliments the dishes beautifully.
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Savour the local wine

Join a local wine master in the countryside town of Telavi to learn about the production of Georgian wine. Wine from the Kakheti region is created using a unique method dating back over 8,000 years. See how the locally grown grapes are pressed and sealed in qvevri, large egg-shaped clay caskets, which are stored underground while the wine ferments. Sip the delicious red, white and amber wines that are harvested in these verdant valleys and dare to try the potent chacha brandy made from the residual grape pomace.  
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Tuck into khachapuri in Tbilisi

A trip to Georgia wouldn’t be complete without trying the local khachapuri, traditional wood fire-baked bread filled with gooey melted cheese. Variations include a boat-shaped dough with a baked egg or a triangular wedge topped with a slice of sulguni cheese. Wander through the narrow cobbled lanes of Tbilisi and dive into a street-side cafe to savour this delicious savoury treat. Relax and watch the world go by as you rip off the doughy crust and dip it into the mouth-watering cheesy centre - simply delicious!
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Visit the farmers’ market at Kutaisi

Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the farmers’ market in Kutaisi, once Georgia’s capital city. Meander around piles of local cheese and fill your basket with a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables grown in the nearby countryside. Take your pick from an array of aromatic spices and herbs, and be sure to try the local delicacy, churchkhela; colourful strings of tasty caramel-coated walnuts hanging above the market stalls like dripping candles.
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Explore the cave town of Vardzia

Uncover an underground network of hidden churches, halls, refectories and wine cellars in the ancient cave town of Vardiza. Cut into a towering cliff, the labyrinth of hand-carved caves was commissioned by Tamar the Great in defence of Mongol attacks. Duck your head as you wander along the timeworn stone tunnels and learn about how an entire population survived in these remote mountain settlements.
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