According to legend, Khvamli Mountain is one of the places that the fabled Argonauts and Heracles traveled to. In the stories, this is also the mountain where Zeus had Prometheus chained as punishment for sharing the gift of fire with humanity!
Another fascinating story is the tale that the treasures of the Georgian kings are hidden within the caves that honeycomb the mountain. During the Soviet Era, Stalin ordered a famous mountain climber Aliosha Japaridze to climb the mountain in hopes of finding the purported treasure, but he returned empty-handed.
The secrets of Khvamli Mountain interested even the famous French author Jules Verne. In his adventure novel Kéraban the Inflexible he wrote, “the rock of Khomli, overlooking Koutais, to which Prometheus was bound, and where the vultures eternally feed upon his entrails as a punishment for having stolen the bolts of heaven.”
While evidence of some of the more far-fetched tales has not been found, archaeologists have nonetheless made several astonishing discoveries in the caves, including a map of the heavenly bodies depicting the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis mounted on horseback, as well as the gods of water and fertility. According to experts, the map represents 5,604 stars.
For those wanting to explore the mountain themselves (and maybe find its legendary treasure in the process), Khvamli can be reached within a 4-hour drive from Batumi, 1.5-hour drive or a 5-hour drive from Tbilisi, after which you’ll have to hike to the top for 30-40 minutes. It’s an easy and pleasant hike that rewards you with lovely panoramas.