Not to be confused with a certain US state, the former Soviet Republic of Georgia is as fascinating as it is beautiful. While the country is largely associated with its spectacular landscape -- forests occupy around 40% of the area and its mountains are top draw for adventure tourists -- Georgia is renowned for its hospitality. Here guests are considered sacred, and locals tend to go above and beyond to make them feel at home. Capital Tbilisi even boasts a monument, Mother of Georgia, that's an emblem for hospitality and friendship. The city is also home to the ancient district of Abanotubani, renowned for its Persian style thermal baths where sulfurous water bubbles up naturally from the ground. Big feasts, or "supras", are a huge part of Georgian culture, and a good opportunity to sample local specialties. Khachapuri, a local cheese bread, is a staple of Georgian cuisine, while Khinkhali dumplings, filled with spiced meat, are another favorite. Wine is also a big deal here -- the country's traditional winemaking method is UNESCO-listed. A trip to wine region Kakheti, located around two hours from Tbilisi, is an ideal way to discover more about Georgia's history with wine, which dates back around 8,000 years.