Mountainous regions of Georgia are both challenging and relaxing place, where you can distract yourself from your daily routine and discover the new edge of self. It’s not just a nice sentence each media uses for description of a travel destination. It is real: even though our highlands are not that well groomed and broadly advertised as Alps or Himalayas, they offer you great authentic experiences of simplicity and hardship of local life.
Recently Georgians from rural regions and mountains started re-making their homes to guest houses, so the accommodation market is growing. Some rural areas like Kazbegi or Mestia can even offer a luxury stay in an incredibly pure environment. It depends on you, what kind of retreat you prefer: spa hotel with a view, a room in a little wooden house or a tent in the middle of nowhere.
Let’s talk about the destinations now. In Georgia, there are several main destinations for mountain tourism: Kazbegi, Svaneti, Tusheti, Racha, Borjomi-Bakuriani area, mountainous Ajara. For above mentioned classy holiday you might choose hotels like Rooms Kazbegi, Tetnuldi or Banguriani in Mestia, Svaneti. Those are the biggest ones in their respective locations. Bakuriani is a mountainous resort, so in winter it is full of skiers, and in summer families and those who want to improve their health come here to feel the influence of curative air and mineral waters. The other regions as Tusheti, Khevsureti and Racha are rather for seekers of authentic experiences. They are not chic, but extremely picturesque!
So what are the exact places to go for a retreat? Where the pristine nature takes you away from rush and stress? We list the most unknown ones, but keep in mind, that there are much more!
This small resort village can not offer you a stay in a big hotel, but the air, which is mixing the smell of pines with sea breeze, the dense forests and views of Lesser Caucasus are calming you down. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, peaceful nature and lack of mass tourism will help you tranquil your mind, and fresh dairy products and local mineral waters rich with calcium will please your body.
The best time to travel there is from late July till mid-September. It is in 120 km from Kutaisi and 340 km from Tbilisi, so you can take a car or a minibus to reach the place.
Mtirala National Park
This protected area is the most humid point of the country! “Mtirala” means “the crying one”, and that’s all because of level of humidity and amount of rains. Jungle as it is! Can you imagine this in 1.5 – 2 hours drive from vibrant Batumi, the heart of seaside entertainment of Georgia? Told you: our nature can surprise anyone!
If you want to hide from civilization in a green place, which keeps a couple of impressive medieval arch-shaped bridges, meditate in the Georgian jungle and hike a bit, go to Mtirala. All protected areas of Georgia usually have some accommodation units – cottages and tents for rent. This is not an exception. You can stay there overnight and explore all the routes in 2-3 days.
A lot of people know Kazbegi mount and village Stepantsminda at its foot. How about exploring some other interesting places in the region? The village Juta is a cool place to start a hike to 5 sharp peaks Chaukhi range or to make a shorter trip to a lake and to picnic, do some yoga or just camp there.
There are guesthouses and a great camping facility called Zeta Camp. Getting information about the available routes, swinging in a hammock and enjoying a cup of Georgian tea never felt so pleasant!
This is the place where the time stopped and keeps standing still and observing the newcomers. Shatili, a village in historical province Khevsureti, looks like a bunch of swallow nests between green mountains. It is inhabited just in summer that lasts from June till mid-September, that’s why we advise you to take your chance to explore it. Green mountains and valleys, mighty river streams, pristine nature and silence – that’s what will balance your soul and body pretty well.
In the area nearby there are abandoned fortresses, which have experienced dramatic fights from the far past.
Stargazing, radon springs, pines and calmness. This all is about Abastumani, the resort village in the mountains of Southern Georgia, which used to be one of the favorite resorts of the Russian royal family. Best air for those who suffer from respiratory diseases or have any problems with lungs, healing baths for those who want to improve the musculoskeletal system, and old Soviet observatory for those who are interested in spying the open space.
Getting to Abastumani from Tbilisi or Batumi takes about 3.5 – 4 hours. Guesthouses are the main type of accommodation there. On the way you will enjoy some very picturesque views, and we are sure that the nature will mesmerize you.
So if you decide to clean up your mind and practice any exercise and admire the nature, we will be happy to see you in our mountains!