Georgia - General Information
The Republic of Georgia is located to the east of the Black Sea and to the south of Great Caucasus Mountain Range. In the 41-43 latitude and 40-46 longitude. This region is known as the “South Caucasus” or " Transcaucasia" currently in Western languages. It shares borders with the Russian federation in the north, Turkey and Armenia in the south and Azerbaijan in the east.
Area: 69.700 km 2
Government: Republic. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Population: 5,399,000 (1999), 56% residential, 44% rural
Capital: Tbilisi, population - 1.253.000
Georgians - 70%, Armenians - 8%, Azeris - 6%, Russians 5%, Greeks - 2%.
Principal towns: Kutaisi - (233.100), Rustavi- (150.000), Batumi- (130.100), Gori - (68.000), Poti - (50.900).
Head of State and Government: President Mikheil Saakashvili since 2004.
Language: The official language is Georgian, the only language in the Ibera Caucasian family written in ancient script, with its own unique alphabet. Russian, Ossetian, Mingrelian, Armenian, Azeri and Abkhazian are also spoken.
Religion: Christian majority, mainly Greek Orthodoxy, other confessional groups include Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Armenian Gregorian, Catholics, Baptists, Judaists
Geography: Georgia is a mountainous country bordered by the Black Sea in the west, which forms a 315km (205 mile long) coastline. The state is crossed by the ranges of the Greater Caucasus (highest peaks: Mt. Shkhara, 5068m, Mt. Kazbek, 5047m /16,554ft). The inter mountain depression to the south of the Greater Caucasus encompasses the Kolkheti lowland, Inner Kartli, Lower Kartli and the Alazani Plains. Still further to the south the Minor Caucasian ranges rise to the medium height (Meskheti, Shavsheti and other ranges), reaching 2850 m. The southernmost area of the country is covered by the volcanic South Georgian Upland (Mt. Didi Abuli, 3301 m, its highest peak). The Greater Caucasus and the South Georgian Upland join with the Likhi Range, which at the same time divides Georgia into two contrasting climatic zones:
Western and Eastern Georgia. Enclosed high valleys, wide basins, health spas with famous mineral waters, caves and waterfalls combine in this land of varied landscapes and striking beauty.
Climate: There are quite a wide range of climates in Georgia, from the warm, humid, subtropical Bleak Sea cost, via the colder wet alpine climate of the High Caucasus, to the arid steppes of the east. The Greater Caucasus and the South Georgian Upland join with the Likhi Range divides Georgia into two contrasting climatic zones: Western and Eastern Georgia. At the same time The Greater Caucasus range moderates local climate by serving as a barrier against cold air from the north. Temperatures in the mountains range from an average of 5.7 oC. In high mountains the winter lasts for eight months, with an average temperature of -15oC. It gets even colder on the high Javakheti plateau. On the cost of Adjara, temperatures range from 5.8 oC in January to 23.8 oC in August. In eastern Georgia temperatures range from 0.5 oC in January to 23 oC in august.
Kakheti (East Georgia) - is considerably hot part of Georgia . In summer temperature varies from + 30 - +40 C, in winter -8 - +5 C. The best suggestions for travelers would from late spring till early fall tours, in winter snow resorts in Caucasus Mountain .
Main Rivers: Mtkvari (Kura) - 1515km (351km in Georgia), Alazani - 407km (390km in Georgia), Rioni (333km).
Main Lakes: Paravani (38 sq.km, depth - 3.3m, 2073m above sea-level), Tabatskuri (14 sq.km, depth - 40m, 2000m above sea-level), Keli (1,3 sq.km. depth - 63m, 2900m above sea-level), Ritsa (1,5 sq.km. depth - 101m, 880m above sea-level).
Time: GMT + 3.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-type, two-pin plugs are used.
Telephone: IDD is available. Country code: 995. Outgoing international codes: 8-07 or 8-10, 8-18
Mobile telephone: GSM 900 and 1800 networks. Main operators include Geocell Ltd (www.geocell.com.ge) and Magti Com (www.magtigsm.com). Coverage extends nearly all over the country, except a few lowland areas and some high mountain regions.
TBS Airport: 20 km from Tbilisi center