Caucasus mountains, ancient Gergeti Trinity church Tsminda Sameba against the glacier near mount Kazbek, landmark of Georgia; Shutterstock ID 1085185121; Job: CNN Travel; Producer: Haiyun Jiang

Georgia

Not to be confused with a certain US state, the former Soviet Republic of Georgia is as fascinating as it is beautiful. While the country is largely associated with its spectacular landscape -- forests occupy around 40% of the area and its mountains are top draw for adventure tourists -- Georgia is renowned for its hospitality. Here guests are considered sacred, and locals tend to go above and beyond to make them feel at home. Capital Tbilisi even boasts a monument, Mother of Georgia, that's an emblem for hospitality and friendship. The city is also home to the ancient district of Abanotubani, renowned for its Persian style thermal baths where sulfurous water bubbles up naturally from the ground. Big feasts, or "supras", are a huge part of Georgian culture, and a good opportunity to sample local specialties. Khachapuri, a local cheese bread, is a staple of Georgian cuisine, while Khinkhali dumplings, filled with spiced meat, are another favorite. Wine is also a big deal here -- the country's traditional winemaking method is UNESCO-listed. A trip to wine region Kakheti, located around two hours from Tbilisi, is an ideal way to discover more about Georgia's history with wine, which dates back around 8,000 years.
Trending Guides
New York
It’s the most happening of cities, a place where over 200 languages are spoken and millions flock each year to see its world-famous sights. New York draws visitors in like nowhere else. The crowded streets of Manhattan are the stuff of legend. First timers will want to head to the top of the Empire State Building and stand beneath the glare of the lights of Times Square. But there’s so much more to see and do, whether it’s catching an Off-Broadway play, checking out world class art at MoMA or shopping the streets of SoHo. Brooklyn’s hip neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Fort Greene offer a more relaxed vibe, while the food in Queens’ Chinatown is worth the long subway ride.