There is a certain kind of traveler who will revel in the unpredictability of Georgia. Exploring this magnificent little country bounded by the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea can be awe-inspiring, frustrating, baffling and exhilarating, but it is rarely boring. International-level service has not fully taken hold in Georgia, which means that one guide might arrive in a smart white shirt and black trousers, while another might proudly show you stains on his T-shirt acquired at a birthday party the night before, during which his girlfriend apparently broke a rib. In a world that is increasingly globalized and standardized, Georgia has not yet been polished smooth, a quality I found refreshing and grew to love.
An ideal itinerary of 12 to 14 days would include time in the chic, crumbling capital of Tbilisi, the world-class wine region of Kakheti and the breathtaking Caucasus Mountains in Kazbegi. I found stylish hotels in each of these locations, and combined together, they make for a compelling itinerary in a country little known to Americans. But do not expect to have major sights to yourself; Russian, Chinese and European tourists are everywhere in the high season. The best months for a visit are May, June, September and October.