Samtskhe-Javakheti is an administrative region made of two historical provinces of Samtskhe and Javakheti. There are two ways to get there from Tbilisi, depending on which region you are going to. If you intend to go to Borjomi (Samtskhe), traveling through the cities of Gori and Khashuri along the Western Highway is the best option. If your destination is Vardzia, Ninotsminda, Akhalkalaki, or Akhaltsikhe, then the Southern Highway via Paravani Lake is the way to go.
Distance to the location by road from:
3 hr
3:15 hr
2:30 hr


The main attraction of this region is its natural beauty. The local resorts, both mountain, climatic and balneological, work in all four seasons and are popular year round.


The village of Bakuriani, is the best place in the region for both skiing and mountain sports, but it is also an ideal location for a relaxing vacation. Here, you’ll find ski runs of various difficulties, modern ski lifts, an international-level bike park, and a mixture of mid-range and high-class accommodation options.

Borjomi Resort Town

One of Georgia’s most well-known mineral waters has its roots in Borjomi. If you’ve ever dined in a Georgian restaurant, we’re sure you already know the name!

The town of Borjomi is enchanting. Set among mountains covered in pine forests, on both sides of the Mtkvari River, it is a quaint mountain town out of romantic fiction. 

In the picturesque Borjomi Central Park you can not only drink mineral water straight from a spring, but also find a variety of dining options, amusements, and quiet corners in which to relax. 

The resort Likani is here too, which, due to its therapeutic climate, was the summer residence of the Russian emperors in the 19th century.


This resort, at 1,340 meters above sea level, is the best place for treating multiple health conditions due to its air, climate, and sulfur-rich waters.

There is also an astronomical observatory in Abastumani, and the sky is clear for a majority of the year. The skies have been observed from this location for more than 80 years, and if you too wish to see the sky with your own eyes, there is a telescope for tourists in Abastumani.

The Sights of Samtskhe-Javakheti

There are many historical monuments in Samtskhe-Javakheti. Once you are in the region, try to visit at the least the main ones!

Akhaltsikhe Fortress (a.k.a. Rabati)

South of Borjomi, there is a beautiful road cutting through deep valleys that will take you to Akhaltsikhe. This city is famous for its core Rabati District and the ancient fortress-city, where, centuries ago, there was a church, a mosque, and a synagogue side-by-side in one small area. This unity best conveys the history of Akhaltsikhe, as well as its current character. 


Vardzia is a city and monastery carved into a cliffside, which is associated with the reign of Queen Tamar and Georgia’s Golden Age. In this medieval stronghold, you’ll find hundreds of cave dwellings, fifteen churches, wine cellars, bakeries, apothecaries, and even secret tunnels.

Khertvisi Fortress

Khertvisi Fortress is a 10th-century complex located in the village of Khertvisi. This monument, along with Vardzia, has been on the tentative list of World Heritage Sites since 2007, and it’s truly impressive!


One of the sights of Samtskhe-Javakheti is the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, with its untouched forests and rare species of plants and animals. There are several routes that require from one to three days. You can spend the night in the tourist shelters, and there are also picnic and camping areas throughout the park.

This place is also famous for its lakes. Samtskhe-Javakheti is the location of Georgia’s largest lake full of fish, Paravani Lake, as well as the lovely Bughdasheni, Kartsakhi, Saghamo, Khanchali, and Tabatskuri Lakes, in which you can hike or watch migratory birds from specially outfitted towers.

The highest peak in the region is Didi Abuli Mountain, from where you will have a view over all of Javakheti.

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