Imereti Region is an important cultural hub, with plenty of important treasures from thousands of years ago being discovered by archaeologists. The city of Kutaisi was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Colchis and remains an important city in Georgia to this day. Besides that, many brilliant Georgian artists come from Imereti - Akaki Tsereteli, Paolo Iashvili, Galaktion Tabidze, Otia Ioseliani, and Rezo Gabriadze, to name a few.
Kutaisi was the capital until the Middle Ages, which is why many important places and artifacts were discovered within its vicinity. Mythology speaks of the tales of Jason and the Argonauts exploring this region, and you’ll feel like you’re part of those legends as you wander the ruins of Vani, touch dinosaurs’ footprints at Tskaltubo, and visit many other thousands-years-old monuments that dot the region.
If you love hiking, Imereti is a true paradise. Popular walking routes include Kinchkha Waterfall, and Okatse Canyon.
Okatse Canyon will amaze you with its natural stone bridge and caves, and adventure lovers will particularly enjoy the suspended wooden walkway high above the canyon floor. At the end of the hike, you can even take a memorable souvenir photo at the smart selfie station.
After visiting the canyon you can stop at Kinchkha Village, where there is a towering waterfall.
Some of the other natural wonders worth seeing in Imereti are Prometheus, Sataplia, Tetra and Navenakhevi Cave, the Lomina and Khani Waterfalls, the Kvasakdara Pillars, and Mukhura Waterfall.
Ubisi Monastery, built in the 9th century by the spiritual leader Grigol Khandzteli, boasts truly outstanding frescoes. The opes depicting the Last Supper and Saint George are especially remarkable. The temple was built in the 14th century, and the site also contains a four-story tower built in 1141.
In the ruined ancient city of Vani and its museum, you’ll see the archaeological evidence of the legendary Colchis’ existence, as well as the proof of the active contacts between Colchis and the Hellenic world.
Another popular destination in the region is the monumental Katskhi Pillar. Where else in the world will you find a church built atop a 40-meter pillar of natural stone?
Once you’re in Imereti, you might want to visit Motsameta Monastery. This 8th-century complex lies 6 kilometers away from Kutaisi. A short walking path will lead you to the beautiful monastery, hidden in the greenery. As you approach the end of the path you will notice the mountains bathed in different colors depending on the season, and the red-running river with a colorful name, Tskaltsitela, meaning Redwater.
Finally, in Kutaisi, you can see the Bagrati Cathedral, a symbol of the country’s unity built in 1003. You’ll also want to see Gelati Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, whose academy, founded in the Middle Ages, was called “The Second Jerusalem of the East”.
There are so many things to do and see in Imereti, you could spend weeks exploring and still not see it all.
Imereti is a forested region with two major rivers, the Rioni and the Kvirila, running through it. The climate in Imereti is humid with cold winters and dry, hot summers.
Imeretian cuisine is amongst the most famous in all of Georgia. The most popular and widely-known dish is Imeretian Khachapuri, which you can find in almost any restaurant in the country. The region is also well-known for its variety of vegetarian options, including plant-and-walnut-based appetizer pkhali, Imeretian lobio (bean stew), and more. Of course, Imeretians also love their meat dishes, and Imeretian chicken satsivi is a popular dish on New Year’s Eve.
Imereti is also well-known for its hospitality, and in Georgia, a country that is already famous for how it treats guests, that is saying something! Don’t be surprised if locals offer you to share a meal or a glass of wine just out of blue.