Journey into the green zone of Samtskhe-Javakheti

It is a region of Georgia with a population of 208,000 inhabitants and the capital of Akhaltsikhe. The area homes a cavern city Vardzia, the symbolic heart of Georgia.

National Park Borjomi – Kharagauli – protected area and covers about 8% of the entire superficies of Georgia. It is amongst the greatest natural parks in Europe. A large variety of species preserved in its pristine territories.

Vardzia is a cultural sign that takes a particular place in the hearts of Georgians. Cave city, carved into the rock once contained 30,000 caves with 50,000 inhabitants, was founded during the reign of Queen Tamara – the great ruler of the twelfth century.

Varzia has an amazing structure with the Temple of the Assumption in the center. Dwellings carved into the rock completely linked long tunnel made manually more than 800 years ago.

Fortress Khertvisi of X century is disposed at the interflow of the Mtkvari and Paravani rivers, having a strategic occurrence; the castle played a substantial role in protecting the surrounding area. Built on a rocky promontory, its bastions and clandestine tunnel attracts many visitors.

Ski resort Bakuriani is placed at an elevation of 1800 m. Favorable clime and fir and pine forests make Bakuriani popular holiday destination. In addition there botanical gardens extending to 17 hectares and contains more than 800 species of plants. An enjoyable stroll to the mountain Kokhta (2100m), makes it possible to see most of the highest peaks of the Greater Caucasus: Elbrus – 5642, Shkhara – 5068 m, Kazbegi – 5047, Ushba – 4700.

Borjomi is in great request for its valuable mineral waters, which is one of the principle export products of Georgia. Due to its healing properties, the water that abounds in the region is also the source of spa tourism.

Since the 40s of the XIX century Borjomi mineral water is used for medicinal purposes. Curative factor here is also a great climate.

From the town in the south-eastern part of the circuit are balneology resorts as Tsagveri, Tsemi, Likani, Bakuriani, Tsihisdzhvari and others.

Winter is mostly windless and sunny; snow cover is 50 cm and is a regular from December to April.

In the winter Bakuriani became the capital of sport. Of particular interest to tourists in this period are mountain – ski slopes, cable cars, sports and therapeutic recreation centers.

In addition to the extraordinary natural wealth, the region is also rich in cultural monuments.

In the Borjomi valley are more than 200 historical monuments. Among the most interesting monasteries are Tadzrisi, Nedzvi, Kviriketi, Timotesubani, Kvabiskhevi, Likani and Chitahevi. And the fortress of Petra, Gogia, Akhaldaba and the former village of Tori plateau and more.

From the point of view of natural monuments the places of enormous interest is the forest – parks and lakes Tabatskura Plateau, Kahisi, Tsero and others.