4-Day SUV Tour: Samtskhe-Javakheti - Adjara

On this memorable trip, you’re going to encounter the ancient fortresses and lakes of Samtskhe-Javakheti region, as well as Ajara’s stunning mountains and Black Sea coast.

Day 1 : Tbilisi - Vardzia

Depart from Tbilisi in the direction of Samtskhe-Javakheti region via the town of Tsalka. On the way, you will pass the Tsalka Reservoir (1,506 m above sea level), then Paravani Lake, which is the largest lake in Georgia, and then Saghamo Lake as you approach Ninotsminda town.

From Ninotsminda, you will pass through Akhalkalaki town and make your way to Khertvisi Castle, which dates back to the 4th century. The road follows the Paravani river until it flows into the Mtkvari nearby Khertvisi Fortress.

At the end of the day, you will arrive in Vardzia, where the unique rock-hewn complex is a must-visit.

For an overnight stay, there are several hotels and guesthouses in Vardzia. 

Day 2: Vardzia - Akhaltsikhe 

From Vardzia, head towards Akhaltsikhe. On the way, you will pass the village of Aspindza, as well as the village of Rustavi where, according to legend, the greatest Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli was born.

You will then arrive in Akhaltsikhe, famous for its sprawling Akhaltsikhe (Rabati) Castle. There are many places in its downtown to stay the night. 

Day 3: Akhaltsikhe - Beshumi 

From Akhaltsikhe, take the road west to mountainous Ajara, going through the Goderdzi Pass. 

On the way, in Adigeni municipality, in the village of Zarzma, you must stop at the 8th-century Zarzma Monastery, which is one of the best examples of Georgian architecture.

After climbing the Goderdzi Pass, it is recommended to check out the Green Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in Georgia.

From here, head in the direction of the village of Beshumi and visit the alpine botanical garden at an altitude of 1,960 meters above sea level, as well as the surrounding villages, which are only inhabited in summer, and absolutely riveting spots for those keen on ecotourism.

At the end of the day, you can spend the night both in Beshumi and in guesthouses and large hotels in the vicinity of the resort town of Goderdzi. You can also taste the sumptuous Ajarian cuisine there.

The best time to travel this route is from May to October. During the rest of the year, it is covered with snow and often impassable.

Day 4: Goderdzi Pass - Batumi 

From Goderdzi Pass, you continue in the direction of Batumi. There are many interesting and beautiful gorges and natural monuments on the way, including waterfalls and lakes, including the lovely Makhuntseti Waterfall.

At the end of the day, you arrive in Batumi

Useful Information

To travel on this route, a properly-equipped SUV or similar vehicle is needed.

Depending on the terrain and weather conditions, all-terrain or mud tires may be needed. You should also have a GPS device with you.

In case of an emergency, dial 112.

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