Ray Charles may have dedicated his song to an entirely different place, but if he had ever been to Georgia, the lovely Eurasian country, you bet he would’ve been blown away just like we were when we visited!

Georgia is proudly described as the balcony of Europe by the locals. It makes a fascinating destination replete with unspoiled natural beauty that is rivalled only by the genuine kindness and hospitality of its people. There you will find quaint villages and countryside towns scattered among rugged mountains, lush valleys, stunning lakes and clean rivers on one side and the bustling cities of Tbilisi, Batumi, and Borjomi on the other. Georgia is every bit as worthy as any of the top-ranked destinations in the world.

Here are the top five reasons why we are completely smitten by Georgia:

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1. Enchanting natural beauty

We’ve said it before and it is worth repeating that Georgia’s natural beauty is simply astounding. Did you know that the highest peak in Europe – Mount Elbrus, can be found here? Besides that, Georgia boasts the Tusheti National Park, a historic region located on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, which some people describe as more beautiful than the lush slopes of Scotland. Georgia’s mountains are perfect for hiking, trekking, and exploring at a leisurely pace.

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2. Wine is a way of life

Did you know that this country is home to 525 grape species and that recent archaeological finds have unearthed a 6000-year old Qvevri (large clay pots buried in the ground to make wine) with grape seeds in it, making it the oldest wine producing country in Europe? It’s said that almost every Georgian makes wine (or knows how to) and we’re pretty sure that your palate will approve. Kakheti is the ideal region for wine tasting in Georgia, although other regions boast their own specialty as well.

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3. Delicious and inexpensive food!

Georgian cuisine is a harmonic fusion of European and Middle Eastern influence. Khinkali (large dumplings filled with meat, cheese or mushrooms), Georgia’s national dish, is unforgettable! Other dishes to try out are Kachapuri (bread with stuffed cheese), Ojakhuri (a family style meal consisting of stewed pork, onions and potatoes) and Baje, a walnut sauce straight out of your culinary dreams.

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4. Awesome Architecture

If you are a fan of architecture or simply love admiring beautiful structures, then Georgia is the place for you. From modern architecture, Soviet style buildings, to typical old Georgian houses and apartment complexes, buildings made of glass, and historic statues can all be spotted in Old Tbilisi. As a predominantly Christian nation, Georgia has some of the most architecturally beautiful churches – and not to mention, a few castles too.

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5. One of the safest countries in the world

Georgians have a unique resilience in keeping their spirit and culture intact. In fact, Georgia has recently ranked high as one of the world’s safest places to visit list. As a traveler however, you should always exercise caution and common sense whichever destination you wish to visit.

Traveling to Georgia soon? Check out some of our partner hotels there – Rixos Hotel, Borjomi, Citrus Hotel in Tbilisi, and Ambassadori Kachreti in Kakheti region- and make this vibrant modern city the take-off point of your grand Georgian adventure! What’s more, QVI has plans to expand in the region with a possible hotel opening in Batumi, so stay tuned for more exciting news here!

SEE ALSO: Take Advantage Of Vacation Memberships with QVI Club And Its Amazing Benefits