Georgia is a curious place crowned at the top by the Higher Caucasus Mountains to the north of the country. While cities like Tbilisi and Batumi are beginning to rake in the tourists as the country gradually gains popularity, to really get a true feel for Georgia, it’s best to visit its small towns and villages hidden up in remote (and some not so remote) regions in the mountains.
The Caucasian Challenge goes through a few of these mountain villages in Georgia, others not, but that only gives you more incentive to spend some extra time here once the rally is over.
Here are our top picks of Georgia’s best mountain villages!
Tucked up in Upper Svaneti, a region that has gained UNESCO recognition, this settlement can lay claim to the name of being Europe’s highest continually inhabited village. Ushguli is actually a village split up into four hamlets, and is famed for its crumbling defensive towers that are typically characteristic of Svan architecture. Travelling off the beaten track here feels like taking a step back into the past.
After Kim Kardashian’s recent visit to Armenia, the country has received considerable press lately. The Kardashian Klan certainly are the most written about and publically broadcast Armenian family out there, but it might surprise you to find that there are quite a few famous Armenians who make the list.
Born Cherylin Sarkessian, better known to the world as “Cher”, before Kim and the other Kardashians came along, she was by far the world’s most famous Armenian. Cher began her career in the duo Sonny and Cher, propelling her into pop stardom in the 1960s, but since she has had a successful solo career and a good acting one too! Cher is Armenian on her father’s side.
Love her or hate her, Kim Kardashian has certainly put Armenia on the map. Even though some local Armenians referred to Kim as “Armenia’s equivalent of Borat” on one of our last trips here, it seems that after the Kardashian clan has bought the small country tons of publicity, so we can see why Armenia has gone mad for Kim and company.
The Caucasian Challenge has been doing Armenia way before Kim even put it on her bucket list, but one thing that’s for sure is that as Kardashian mania sweeps through one of our favourite countries, all eyes are on Armenia at the moment. If you are in need for reasons to visit this South Caucasian country, regardless of what you think about Kim, then look no further than these reasons!
Thin with a slight spongy texture to it, lavash bread appears as a simple staple to accompany Armenian dishes, whether its used to mop up stews, wrap grilled meats or eat with smoky cheeses, you’d think at first it’s just like any local bread.
But lately, the humble lavash has hit the headlines for being one of UNESCO’s newest cultural additions, and the international backlash it received. (more…)
Southern Armenia tends to be set far from the tourist trail, which is a pity, since there is plenty to see here. Most of Armenia’s tourism is concentrated round day trips made from Yerevan to Lake Sevan and the vicinity, and one reason the south is often neglected mostly stems from a lack of time or accessibility.
We love driving in South Armenia and we make our journey to Yerevan skirting the Iranian border on the way back from Nagorno-Karabakh and then drive through the wild and remote landscapes of the south. This part of the country is rich with intricate monasteries, cave villages, petroglyphs and Neolithic sites. (more…)