'One of the world's last great adventures' – beautiful drone photography reveals the wonders of Georgia

Sheep stream into the morning sunlight after being released from their corral near Omalo. Livestock are returned to captivity every evening as protection against wolves. - Amos Chapple/RFE/RL

In an age of low-cost flights and high-speed rail, few European countries remain enigmatic to British travellers. Georgia is one.

It’s visited by just 2,000 Britons each year, according to the ONS – that’s fewer than the Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, French Polynesia and the Faroe Islands.

At a glance | The 25 countries visited by the fewest Britons

What are we missing? Plenty. Sat at the crossroads of 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. And alongside the Orthodox Christian cathedrals and timewarped villages there’s even a surprising counterculture of gourmet coffee, clubbing and casinos.

The 10 places you must visit, by Levison Wood (including Georgia)

One man who knows it better than most is Amos Chapple. The Kiwi photographer, known for his pioneering use of drones, has been a regular visitor for the last seven years.

“I first went in 2010 and instantly fell in love with the country,” he told Telegraph Travel. “It’s such a beautiful and mysterious place – heaven for photographers – and with much of the Islamic world becoming more dangerous to visit, it feels like Georgia represents one of the last great adventures in travel.”

The images shown here were taken by Chapple in the summer. It was a bittersweet journey for the New Zealander. For the last few years Georgia has been one of the few countries with virtually no restrictions on drones. Since September 1, however, new laws have limited their use. “It’s the end of an era,” lamented Chapple. Photos like these are now far harder to come by – so enjoy them while you can. 

A break in the clouds during a stormy morning in Juta village, high in the mountains of Mtskheta-Mtianeti Credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL
Clouds flow around a tiny church in the vicinity of Gulebi, a town in the southwestern Ajara Autonomous Republic Credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL
The Kartlis Deda monument, informally known as "Mother Georgia," looking out over the capital, Tbilisi Credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL
The Katskhi Pillar, where an elderly Georgian monk has lived for the past 24 years in order to be "closer to God." The monk has his food winched up by volunteers from the monastery below Credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL
Batumi has gone all out to attract tourism with casinos and high-rise buildings. Credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL
The Jvari monastery glowing in the first light of day. Beneath the monastery lies the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. In the background is Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. Credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL
The job of shearing sheep (and one calf!) is almost complete at this shepherd settlement on plains in central Georgia Credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL
Georgia’s parliament building in Kutaisi. The controversial structure was built on the site of a Word War II memorial Credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL
The wind-battered cross atop the Abano Pass. The 2,826-metre pass, with its free wifi hotspot, is a favored rest stop for travellers on the treacherous road from Kakheti up into the Tusheti region Credit: Amos Chapple/RFE/RL