spectacularly underrated destination, those who have been to Georgia are probably keen for it to stay that way – it simply wouldn’t do to let the masses come along and spoil it.

Sat at the crossroads between Asia and Europe, this plucky nation packs a lot in: from snowy mountains to sandy shores, via rolling vineyards, ancient cities and Unesco-listed monasteries. Today marks the 99th anniversary of independence from what was then the Russian Empire and to celebrate here are some things you may not know about this Eurasian beauty.

Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan.

The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its population is almost 4.7 million. Georgia is a unitary, semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy.

During the classical era, independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia. The kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia adopted Christianity in the early 4th century. A unified Georgia reached the peak of its political and economic strength during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar in the 11th–12th centuries. At the beginning of the 19th century, Georgia was annexed by the Russian Empire. After a brief period of independence following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia was occupied by Soviet Russia in 1921, becoming the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic and part of the Soviet Union. After independence in 1991, post-communist Georgia suffered from civil unrest and economic crisis for most of the 1990s. This lasted until the Rose Revolution of 2003, after which the new government introduced democratic and economic reforms.

Georgia is a member of the Council of Europe and the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. It contains two de facto independent regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which gained limited international recognition after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia considers the regions to be part of its sovereign territory under Russian military occupation. Download and view Georgia at a Glance.

Find the cheapest flights to Georgia on JustFly (great fares) or Momondo (best for Business Class tickets) for the best deals on the internet.

I really didn’t know what to think about going to Georgia in the beginning but honestly this country absolutely blew my mind. It was literally something that I was waiting to discover. You have this dream about going somewhere and you just think “Yes that’s the perfect place to be”.

It’s like the perfect match and everything you do just amazes you even more. “What’s so magical about it?” you’re probably asking right now. It’s a mix of everything I reckon. The warm-hearted people, the stunning countryside, Tbilisi’s nightlife, maybe something else… It’s hard to describe but I guess it’s the mix of everything.

Technically Georgia is located in Eurasia, but its own people describe it in a very lovely way, it’s the balcony of Europe. Yes I think that is true. Balconies are usually my favorite part of an apartment and I fully agree. I arrived with very little expectation but Georgia took me on a journey, taught me how to appreciate nature and showed me what influence people can have on your soul.

A journey into humanity and kindness. A gem between Europe and Asia and a place you will not regret visiting. This is all based on my personal experience and to date if someone asks me this very, very difficult question about the best country I have ever visited, well…. my answer hasn’t changed in years and I still say it is Georgia, the country that has left a massive impact on my life as a traveller.