FlyDubai to Georgia - Tbilisi

We started our Georgia journey by arriving in Tbilisi, so it's only natural that we end it in Tbilisi as well. After our day excursion in Kakheti, we headed to settle down in Tbilisi for the next 3 nights, explored around, and had all sorts of fun!

The capital of Georgia is a living breathing piece of history; having been destroyed and built over 29 times, it is layered with the old, the renovated, and the modern... And we got to see a beautiful overview of it from Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel where we were staying, as you can see below from the balcony of the hotel's restaurant, which overlooks Mtkvari river. 


Stepping out of the hotel, you get to one of the main streets where you can enjoy shopping from international brands, as well as local brands, artisan/souvenirs shops, and even a flea market full of traditional Georgian arts & crafts... All that in the midst of beautiful architecture, in avenues that are very European; but rest assured, the prices aren't too European, i.e. things aren't expensive, unless you're aiming for expensive things, so it's much like Saudi. For example, I bought comfy shoes that were only for 9 Georgian Laris = 20 SR (Thank you, China lol). In some stores such as Zara and Parfois, items were even cheaper than in Saudi.

If you do not visit Tbilisi for the shopping and architecture, then you might do so for the food and restaurants/cafes. Their cuisine is quite close to Mediterranean, with an apparent affinity to mushroom for some reason. There are a few halal restaurants in the city that you can enjoy with peace of mind, like the Iranian restaurant "Gruzbek", and the Lebanese restaurant "Amira". While in other places, like Tsiskvili, you can enjoy the food with the view (seen in my photo below), the atmosphere and a traditional local show with music (You can see that in my video here). 

But the coolest place to eat in Tbilisi, and also chill, is anywhere in the Old Town, known as Altstadt, which looks like a cozy version of Beirut Solidere/Souks, more like Jbeil Souk, and if you aren't familiar with either places in Lebanon, then it just means that it's a pretty nice branch of streets where you can walk around, or sit in cafes/restaurants. The Old Town is rich with historical churches, monuments, and traditional trades such as jewelry making, and I was lucky to come across ladies fixing and restoring old rugs in a business their family has owned for generations.

The city offers many attractions that are only a few minutes apart; making it ideal for a city walk, and when you want a break from walking, you can take the aerial tramway, across the Bridge of Peace, to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city from atop (which is the view you see in the first photo of this post. Neat, huh!). To truly explore the city, and take your time enjoying it, you'll need about 3 to 4 days, especially if you included a "hammam" in your excursion, and you should! 

And when you've had enough of city excursions, you can always take a trip outside the city, to the countryside, where you'll find stunning nature of mountains, rivers, and green fields. You'll also many historical sites to visit, monasteries on top of hills, that look like castles, where you can pretend to be in Game of Thrones :P haha

And if it's adventure and thrill you seek, then you won't be disappointed either... There are many thrilling activities to do around the country such as rafting and other various water sports, rock climbing, caving & cave diving, and paragliding... So I chose to end my amazing journey in Georgia by doing something I've wanted to do for so long and I finally had the chance to!

Thanks to FlyDubai, and their travel agent Voyager, I had an amazing time in Georgia packed with beauty and fun. I definitely would love to go back there again and perhaps explore the Black sea side of the country; I was told that Batumi is quite gorgeous! Have you been to Georgia or are you planning to go? Let me know in the comments below! And if you haven't seen it yet, here's the video recap of my trip in Georgia below... And you can check out photos of it on my Facebook.

FlyDubai to Georgia - Khareba and Sighnaghi

In just a few days, I went from knowing nothing about Georgia to seeing and appreciating much of its charm, thanks to FlyDubai and Voyager Travel Agency. After our much needed rest at the magical Lopota Lake Resort, we took off on our discovery journey in the country. 

The roads between towns are enveloped with green mountains, fields, and historical sites that unfortunately we didn't get much time to explore. Our first stop on the road was in the famous grape growing region of Kakheti, particularly Khareba, where we got to take part in making a traditional Georgian sweet called "Churchkela" and baking traditional Georgian bread (which you can see me make and eat in the trip video lol)

After our excursion in Khareba, we headed to another region in Kakheti, to one of Georgia's smallest towns, Sighnaghi, known as the "City of Love". As we pulled closer to it and saw the view from a distance, we knew it is going to be something special!

The town is beautifully secluded on top of a hill, and surrounded by fort walls from the 18th century. So if you want to have a peaceful vacation where you can pretend that you're in the old days of Europe, you do not want to miss Sighnaghi!

Due to our tight schedule, we spent only a few hours in the town, so we figured that the best way to see as much as possible of it is to take a tour on a motorbike with sidecar, which you'll find in the town center, along with ATVs and bikes for rent. If you're planning your own itinerary, I'd suggest staying about 2 days in the town, and just enjoy walking around town, and having delicious authentic Georgian food, surrounded by beautiful nature. 

To see more of Khareba and Sighnaghi, check out my Facebook album and feel free to share what you like. 

As the day ended, we headed to Tbilisi, where we stayed for 3 nights and got to see a great mixture of old and modern Georgia... Which you should not miss in my upcoming post! So subscribe to my blog, share my post if you like it, and leave me comments with any questions you might have.

FlyDubai to Georgia - Lopota Lake Resort

FlyDubai has recently launchednits Business Class and Lounge, as well as some new exciting travel destinations, including Georgia, which I was invited to experience and I gladly did. I had just been back a day from my thrilling, but exhausting, trip to Sri Lanka and I was definitely in need of some pampering and relaxation!

Before this trip, I had not really heard much about Georgia and I didn't know what to expect, but a true traveler is never reluctant to head into a new destination and a new adventure! In just 4 days, I learnt quite a lot about Georgian history and heritage, and got to see some of its beauty; you can see it in the video above, then read on to know more.

I started my trip on June 21st, from Dammam to Dubai for a connecting flight to Tbilisi (Georgia), on FlyDubai's newly launched Business Class. I was welcome with a drink, a complimentary snack meal, and the best part was getting the fast-track invitation that lets business class passengers speed their way through the airport by presenting the card at the immigration desk, on arrival at Dubai International's Terminal 2... Which is another reason I love FlyDubai, as their flights land in Terminal 2 that's smaller and less crowded than the other two terminals.

flydubai business class

flydubai business class

My connecting flight had an 8 hours layover at Dubai International Airport; if you have the option, then you can take that time to leave the airport and chill in Dubai for a few hours till it's time for departure to Tbilisi. I stayed at the airport in FlyDubai's Business Lounge, and I tell you, time flies by when you're sitting comfortably, with all the complimentary food you want, your laptop with one of your favorite shows, and free fast WIFI... What more would one need, right?!

The flight from Dubai to Tbilisi is around 3 hours and 20 minutes, taking off at 2 am and arriving at 5:20 am. Here's some important info: Tbilisi Airport has some currency exchange desks but they don't exchange Saudi Riyals, so make sure you exchange your money before getting to Georgia, preferably to USD, so you don't have to draw money from the ATM to get local currency, like I did, as the exchange/withdrawal rate is high through the ATM.

By the time I arrived to Tbilisi, I had been awake since I woke up at 7 am the day before, and our first destination in Georgia was about 2 hours away from airport... Basically, by the time I got to our destination, I hadn't slept for over 24 hours, so I was falling asleep while standing... But that all didn't matter as soon as I got to see where we are staying: Lopota Lake Resort

lopota lake resort, georgia.

lopota lake resort, georgia.

The resort is located around a serene lake surrounded by beautiful green mountains, known as Lopota Valley. It is a really a magical place, where you can just forget all of life's troubles, and forget that anywhere else exists. The resort has different types of hotels, the oldest and most popular is the one on the left bank... which looks exquisite in winter as it does in summer!

What makes the stay at this resort perfect is that it has so many activities that can keep you easily busy, yet relaxed, for as long as you like. At the resort, you can enjoy playing tennis or mini golf, swimming in the pools, fishing or boat-pedaling in the lake, cycling, and horse-riding and have a good time at their other facilities like the jacuzzi, entertainment room, and restaurant. You can even do some forest/mountain trekking.

Maha -Founder of Crystal Magazine, and other guest on this trip- and I had quite a nice time at the resort, boat-pedaling together, and having our own photoshoot in the middle of lake (See example below :P) but we both agreed that this was the kind of romantic getaway for couples, or even couples with kids who can get busy with the different fun activities while their parents relax.

We stayed only one night at the resort, and resting at such a quiet and gorgeous place was much needed and appreciated before we started our journey to explore other parts... Be sure to subscribe to my blog to not miss the upcoming posts about Georgia!