SVANETI- What to Do & See: Trekking, Bird watching, Climbing, Hiking, Photographing, Wildlife, Towers and Fortresses, Cultural Heritage, Ethnological tours

Surrounded by the gigantic, white-capped peaks of the Caucasus, Svaneti is one of the most remarkable regions of Georgia for its history and natural beauty. Most of the inhabited areas of the region are located at an elevation of 1,500-3000 m. above sea level, where the climate is humid and cold. Being a challenging spot for climbers, Svaneti boasts several 4000-5000 meter high peaks such as: Shkhara (5068m), Rustaveli (4960m), Tetnuldi (4851m) and Ushba (4700m). The region is remarkable for its trekking and bird-watching sites; a wide range of different trails is interesting for both amateur walkers and professional climbers/hikers. Svaneti is rich in architectural, UNESCO World Heritage and special interest sites, housing several historical-ethnographic museums, some of the oldest churches, unique frescos and engraved icons, manuscripts, a treasury, weapons, silverware, textiles, etc. The region is home to one of the highest permanently inhabited settlements in Europe (2000-2200m above the sea level) –the village of Ushguli (UNESCO World Heritage site). With its marvelous landscapes and wildlife, Svaneti provides sceneries for a photographer to make the best shots. 

KAKHETI- What to Do/See in Kakheti: wine and gourmet tours, hiking, bird watching, fishing, biking, horse riding; cultural, historical and archeological heritage.

Known almost exclusively for its vineyards and wineries, the region’s diverse landscapes include the snow-covered mountains of the Caucasian main range, fertile lowland, vine valleys and fields and semi-desert areas. Numerous national parks provide some of the best routes for hiking and biking here. Vashlovani arid step contains fascinating wildlife and unique sites such as takhti-Tepa mud volcanoes; area is also ideal for bird-watching. Housing several highest and spectacular waterfalls of Georgia, preserved forests, deep valleys and glacial lakes, Lagodekhi is a treasure for nature lovers. Kakheti is best destination for wine and gourmet tours, with its biggest amount of vineyards, wine cellars and factories, as well as opportunities to observe ancient and modern technologies of making wine, preparing dishes and sweets, which are unique for the region. Developed infrastructure of Kvareli and Lopota lakes offer best facilities for relaxing with the family or friends. Rich cultural heritage of the region includes middle centuries’ Academy of Georgia- Ikhalto, one of the biggest ancient cathedrals- Alaverdi, Kvelatsminda Church- the only double-domed church in Georgia and 6th century David Gareji cave monastery. Kakheti also houses number of museums worth of visiting.


 

ADJARA- What to Do & See: Botanical, Architectural, Archeological and Culinary Tours, Hiking, Fishing, Bird Watching, Ecotourism, Cultural Heritage, Leisure, Nightlife

Adjara - located in the southwestern part of Georgia on the Black Sea coast, has a particular diversity of plant and animal species. There are four protected areas with unique rainforest and coastal wetlands here. Horse-riding routes in the Kintrishi and Skhalta gorges are of special significance with their beauty; besides various plants and animals, one can also explore historical buildings and monuments during hikes.  Over 800,000 birds of prey pass over Batumi during the autumn migration, making it the biggest autumn migration watch point in Eurasia; also fishing is allowed at special fishing areas in the Black Sea. Adjara is home to numerous sea resorts, including Chakvi and Tsikhisdziri –perfect spot for enjoying wild beaches; Mtvane Kontskhi with its comfortable sanatoriums; Gonio, Kvariati and Sarpi, located at the merger of sea and mountain climate and Kobuleti and Batumi – the favorite destination for active holiday lovers. Significant cultural sites include the Batumi Botanical Garden, Gonio-Apsaros Fortress, the ancient historical city-fortress of Petra and number of ancient arched stone bridges located in wild nature. The region houses several notable museums such as the Batumi Archaeological and State Art Museums, representing unique samples of Georgian and foreign numismatic materials, golden jewelry, glassware, ceramics etc.

RACHA-LECHKHUMI- What to Do & See: Rafting, Bird watching, Hiking, Climbing, Wine and Gourmet Tours, Woodwork, Cultural Heritage

The region’s scenic landscape and bio-diversity make it possible to arrange a wide range of tours in mountains of average difficulty for climbers and hikers. Racha-Lechkhumi is very attractive for rafting and bird watching: its rivers are known for fast moving currents, sharp slopes, deep channels and canyons; the most attractive seasons for birdwatchers are spring, summer and autumn. Racha is known for its wood craftsmanship - watching and participating in the process of making traditional crafts is possible here. It is also interesting for wine and gourmet tours, with its traditions and customs of grape harvesting, wine pressing, traditional dishes and baking and other cuisine-related activities. Region houses numerous churches and monasteries dating back to the middle ages, notably Nikortsminda- incomparable in terms of its value in facade decorations, as well as local museums, notable for their archeological and historical collections.

 

 

LOWER KARTLI- What to Do & See: Hiking, Fishing, Bird Watching, Canyoning, Cultural-Educational Tourism, Architectural and Archeological Sites, Wildlife

Housing several spectacular lakes and national reserves, the region offers a wide range of opportunities for archaeological, architectural, cultural-educational and other types of tours. Situated in a steppe landscape, Jandari Lake is a favorite site for fishermen; almost all European forest birds can be observed in the Gardabani floodplain forest. Wildlife and wild nature can be observed in Algeti National Park and Gardabani Managed Nature Reserve; rare animal/mammal species such as the Caucasian Red deer and lynx can be observed in the Saguramo Strict Nature Reserve. The Region has become one of the top destinations for archeological studies and tours since 2001, when a globally important discovery was made, revealing 1,8 million years old human fossils. Cultural sites worth of special interest include Bolnisi Sioni, Birtvisi Fortress and Dmanisi archeological site, representing remains of a settlement from the Bronze Age and the remains of prehistoric and extinct animals.

GURIA- What to Do & See: Culinary, Ecotourism, Bird Watching, Horseback Riding, Hunting, Fishing, Crafts, Folk, Ethnological, Health and Archeological Tours

The diverse nature of Guria, characterized by lowlands as well as mountains, with numerous swamps, lakes and the Kolkheti National Reservation, represents a rich territory for ecotourism and is unique due to a large diversity of birds. Horseback riding, fishing and hunting with falcons and hounds, are integral parts of the local lifestyle. Being a cradle of famous Georgian polyphonic songs, the region is the best destination for folk tourism, with opportunities to get to know local traditions, dances, join local singers and take part in a traditional group horse-riding game – Isindi. Locals are also uncommonly skilled at leatherwork and known for their comfortable saddles, baskets, and straw hats. Guria is a paradise for gourmets, famous for its incomparably delicious cuisine, as well as fruits, walnuts and hazelnuts. Famous Black Sea resorts of the region include Shekvetili, Grigoleti and Ureki, notable for its sandy beaches and sites of archaeological importance. Some of the best mountain resorts of Georgia, famous for mineral springs also here.

 
 

IMERETI- What to Do & See: Speleological, Archeological, Botanical, Ecological and Religious Tours, Cultural Heritage, National Reserves, Caves and Karsts

With its numerous caves and karsts, nature reserves and rich cultural heritage, the region has something for everyone. The Imereti Caves Protected Area, preserving over 200 dinosaur footprints, grottoes with gigantic halls of stalactites and stalagmites and a number of yet to be examined karsts, is best for speleological and paleontological tours. The Ajameti and Sataplia protected areas offer sites for bird watching, botanical, ecological and educational trips. Rich cultural heritage of the region includes sites such as Ubisa monastery, ancient Gelati Academy, Katshkis Sveti and Bagrati Cathedral which is on UNESCO World Heritage Site. Local museums and archeological sites preserve rich and unique collections of goldsmith and archeological artifacts dating back to the second and first millenniums B.C. The region is also interesting for ethnological and wine tours, housing the village of Shrosha – the ancient home of prominent Georgian pottery and the village of Koreti , famous for traditional viticulture.

SAMTSKHE-JAVAKHETI- What to Do & See: Horseback riding, Rafting, Paragliding, Hiking, Spa, Mineral Waters, Botanical sites, Winter Sports, Cultural Heritage

With its bio-diversity and rich flora and fauna, Samtskhe-Javakheti region is famous for mild climate conditions and wide range of different activities for culture and nature lovers. The surrounding mountains offer numerous possibilities for challenging and moderate mountain trips and horseback riding. Due to a favorable micro-climate for air sports, the region is one of the most attractive sites for paragliding; it also provides the best rafting possibilities for adrenaline lovers. The Bakuriani ski resort offers amazing facilities for all skiing and winter sports lovers. With one of the biggest national parks of Europe, a botanical garden, spa resorts and mineral spring water sources, the region is best destination for botanical, as well as balneological trips. Samtskhe-Javakheti is home to numerous cultural sites - an observatory of Georgia, well-preserved medieval fortresses, churches and a cave town from Georgia’s Golden Age.


 

 

INNER KARTLI- What to Do & See: Cultural, Religious, Educational, Architectural, Historical Tours, Cultural Heritage

Mostly well-known for its cultural sites, the region represents some gems of linguistic, historical and architectural importance, including Gori fortress and town, mentioned by Strabo as early as in the 1st c B.C., Ateni Sioni Church with its precious inscriptions, Kintsvisi monastery notable for its unique fresco of an Archangel, and Uplistsikhe, where the Great Silk Road used to pass and which is now one of the country's most significant tourist attractions. The region also houses the well-known resort Surami, famous for its healthy lower alpine climate and mineral springs. A cultural site of particular interest is the Joseph Stalin museum complex, including the memorial house where he was born, Stalin's personal train carriage in which he visited the Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam conferences and a museum building saving Stalin's personal belongings.

SAMEGRELO- What to Do & See: Bird Watching, Trekking, Hunting, Horseback Riding, Speleological and Archeological Sites, Cultural Heritage

Rich with natural lakes and the National Park of Kolkheti, Samegrelo is famous throughout the Caucasus for its abundant bird life and unique scenery. Trekking, camping and horseback riding are possible in the forests here; bird watching is available from special observation posts; hunting is also allowed in the territory of the Kolkheti National Park, with special permission from the administration. The region represents a real paradise for speleologists and sportsmen, with its numerous, already identified and yet to be explored karst caves, though those sites lack tourist infrastructure. Samegrelo is also rich in ancient churches and cultural sites, notably the Nokalakevi Archaeological Museum-Reserve and the Dadiani Palace with court church, a botanic garden and an exhibition of Napoleon Bonaparthe’s death mask, goldsmith works, archaeological materials etc.


 

 

TBILISI- What to Do/See in Tbilisi: cultural, architectural, historical and religious sights, entertainment, leisure, shopping, gambling, ethnological tours.

Political, cultural, economical and social hub of Georgia- Tbilisi represent modern city with ancient history. Oldest parts of capital city Tbilisi keep rich cultural heritage saved at one spot: oldest churches, synagogue, mosque, famous sulfur baths, wooden multi-colored balconies, caravanserais, oriental alleys, avenues and modern buildings. City is interesting spot for exploring diversity of architectural styles, ranging from baroque to contemporary styles, including famous buildings of National Theatre, State Opera, Parliament and Pioneers’ Palace. State Museum and National gallery exhibit interesting historical artifacts and artworks. Turtle Lake and Mtatsminda amusement park- both overlooking the city, are perfect spots to spend time with family and friends. Horseback riding is available at hippodrome of Lisi Lake. Tbilisi is perfect for MICE tourism, with its favorable geographic location, developed business environment and facilities. The city also hosts numerous traditional cultural events and international festivals. Numerous casinos and night clubs offer possibilities for entertainment; short cruise on river Mtkvari is also available. Tbilisi offers wide range of places to eat with traditional Georgian, as well as European, Asian and Oriental cuisine and style; also numerous accommodation facilities of high class, average and budget hotels/hostels.

MTSKHETA-MTIANETI- What to Do/See in Mtskheta-Mtianeti: Botanical, geological, ethnographic, architectural tours; hiking, trekking, camping, bird watching, horseback riding, rafting, fishing, photographing, cultural heritage, folk and crafts.

This part of Caucasus, comprising three areas- Khevsureti, Tusheti and Pshavi, mostly represents national parks embracing alpine meadows, glaciers, rivers, well-preserved pine forests and ever-snowy mountain summits. One of the most ecologically unspoiled regions in the Caucasus, it offers some of the best mountain-trekking routes.  National Park of Kazbegi is rich in Fauna and many of Georgia’s Red List species can be found here. Slopes of the Dariali gorge are perfect for studying local geology and Gveleti waterfalls and Sno gorge offer some of the most adventurous hikes to mount peaks and lakes with spectacular views. Georgia’s most developed skiing resort of Gudauri is also located in this region; notable for its mild climate, avalanche-safe areas, heliskiing opportunities and developed facilities, resort if perfect for extreme sports, free riders and all skiing lovers. Khevsureti’s main site is Shatili - fortress village, located next to the Chechen border. Visitors of ruined fortress village of Mutso, located on a rocky outcrop at 1880 m above sea level, have the chance to stay in one of the towers. Tusheti, with its unique cultural heritage location is perfect destination for ethnological tours, trekking and camping. The villages of Dartlo and Omalo are home to nomadic tribes that still practice a unique religion and inaccessible cliffs of Tusheti are home for wide variety of animal, bird, reptile and fish species. With highly developed sheep-breeding and folk handcraft industry, Tusheti is famous for its carpets and socks. The region is also rich in cultural monuments such as Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Jvari monastery (UNESCO World Heritage), Ananuri architectural complex, Gergety Trinity church at an elevation of 2170 m., and fortress villages of Tusheti dating back to Middle Ages.