Askhi Massif

Askhi Massif

In western Georgia, thirty-eight kilometres from Kutaisi, stands an extremely broad and tall karst massif. A place of caves, waterfalls, and pine forests, it is a truly breathtaking sight.

What Should You Know about Askhi Massif?

The highest point of the Askhi Massif is Gadrekili Peak at a height of 2,520 metres above sea level. While the lower slopes are covered by pine forest, everything above 1,800 metres spends most of the year buried under snow. It is only in the summer months that these upper reaches are able to be used as pastoral land.

Askhi Massif is an excellent place for hiking, offering extraordinary views and a unique landscape. The most popular hiking trail connects Zubu and Kulbaki villages.

What Makes Askhi Massif Unique?

Askhi Mountain is unique from a geological perspective due to the presence of more than eighty karst caves, within which you’ll find beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, as well as natural caves within glaciers. The latter produces some truly beautiful waterfalls as melting ice floods out to create breathtaking cascades.

Many of these caves are connected by a complex system of tunnels more than fifteen kilometres in length.

The Karst Caves of Askhi Massif

In some of the karst caves, you will find evidence of human inhabitation dating back to the Stone Age, along with ancient animal remains. 

More recently - although still in what we would consider the distant past - the caves were used as shelters and hiding places during invasions.

The massif also acts as the source of the Okatse River, and creates the highest and most beautiful waterfall in Imereti, at 70 meters, which falls into the Kinchkhi Hollow.

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