Kartsakhi is a cross-border lake, as the northeastern part is within Georgia, while the southwestern part lies in Turkey.
The lake is a part of Javakheti Protected Areas and before going to the lake it’s a good idea to pay a visit to the visitor center of the protected areas located in the city of Akhalkalaki. There you can rent a tent, a sleeping bag, a bike, a horse, and snowshoes and also get directions and a map.
Visiting and hiking around the lake is a good idea at any time of the year, but the best time to travel here is summer since from September temperature drops significantly. Low temperatures are typical for this area and because of extremely freezing winters, locals often refer to it as Georgian Antarctica.
Lake Kartsakhi, like the entire region of Javakheti, is a paradise for bird watching. Here you can find about 60 species of birds. It is the only place in Georgia where the Dalmatian pelican, a nationally endangered species, makes its nests. In spring and summer, here you can see entire colonies of pelicans and watch them from specially equipped, bird-watching towers.
From December the lake is covered with ice for four months, which is a great period for snowshoeing.