Regions of Georgia
Georgia: country where the magic lives
Whether you are an experienced traveler who has traveled all over the world, or a person who first decided to discover the world, Georgia will always have something which surprises you.
It is a country full of mystery, in other words it is a dream country. This is the country in which the day flies by as a moment, and the moment can turn into infinity. It always depends on what you expect from your trip.
Most likely, it is from the capital of Georgia, you want to begin acquaintance with this country. And it is not a mistake! Here, antiquity harmoniously combines with modernity, which creates a special atmosphere.
As an example, Old Tbilisi will greet you with the magnificence of the fortress of Narikala, a fortification complex that has been built and perfected over centirues. And visiting the Metekhi area, located on a high cliff, you will feel the sinking of the heart: from here opens a breathtaking view of Kura river and the feeling of freedom and flight seems to be in the air.
Mtatsminda Mountain with its Pantheon deserves special attention - the burial place of cultural, religious and political figures of the past.
In addition, all mentioned above are close to modern museums, theaters and developed infrastructure. Consequently, Tbilisi will be your gateway to Georgia, which you did not know yet.
Batumi, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, needs no introduction. This particular resort has attracted connoisseurs of relaxation on the seaside for more than one century. But those who travel to see the world, there is also something to discover.
What a magnificent Botanical Garden! The unique climate of Adjara allows you to grow plants in the garden, which otherwise you could see only by visiting Africa, South America or the Himalayas. And the Mtirala National Park will amaze you with waterfalls, mountain lakes flickering in the riot of greenery, besides with trees covered with moss and lichen. Feel yourself like a hero of Spielberg's films, exploring these amazing "Lost Worlds".
Samegrelo Zemo Svaneti
Samegrelo (სამეგრელო) is otherwise called "Megrelia" or "Mingrelia". This is an area in western Georgia with a population of 466,000. It consists of three parts: densely built plains, less densely built foothills and mountains not built at all. Now for the convenience of Samegrelo they have attributed the Svaneti region, which historically has nothing to do with Megrelia (well, almost none). In the future, under the concept of Megrelia I will mean only Megrelia proper, without Svaneti.
Here is the port city of Poti.
The regional center is the city of Zugdidi.
Samegrelo differs from other regions of Georgia in that it is denser populated, the infrastructure is better here, the standard of living is higher. On the other hand, there are more heavily plowed plains and urban areas. And the trouble is with wine.
Samegrelo - Georgian periphery. Everything new comes here last. In Zugdidi, there is still no tourist information office and almost no decent hotels.
Mtskheta-Mtianeti is a very large region, with a population of about 100,000 people, consisting of various parts. Geographically, these are plains and mountains, ethnically - Georgians and highlanders. The proximity to the capital makes this area frequently visited. At the same time, the district’s civilization is very different - from the rapidly building Mtskheta to the completely abandoned Tianeti.
The administrative center of the region is the city of Mtskheta.
The Akhalgori district formally belongs to Mtskheta-Mtianeti, in fact, since 2008 it has been occupied by Russian-Ossetian troops and does not have a clear border.
In the south, the territory includes a large piece of the Trialeti Range. Here at the time the famous Didgori battle took place. To the north of Mtskheta is the large Mukhran valley, interesting for two fortresses, several temples and living Assyrians.
In the region there are approximately 34 Christian buildings (temples and monasteries) of historical significance, and several more buildings of secondary importance. The most famous are the Shio Mgvime monastery, Svetitskhoveli temple, Jvari and the high-mountain Trinity Temple in Gergeti. Separately, it is necessary to mention the little-known Lomissky temple of St. George near Pasanauri, where the annual Lomisoba festival takes place.
A particularly attractive thing in the region is Mount Kazbek, where tourists travel in droves in summer to take pictures and climb. And in general, the best and most extensive mountains, the best trekking - it is here. In winter, these places are good for skiing and freeriding: they go to the resort of Gudauri and its surroundings for this.
The most famous of fortifications are the castle in Ananuri and the Khevsur villages of Shatili and Mutso. There are Sno fortresses and the virtual Arsha fortress near Stepantsminda, and Bochorma fortress in a distant and inaccessible corner of the region, on the Iori River.
The most valuable archaeological sites are Armazi, Mtskheta (with adjacent sites) and Jalisi.
There are two ethnographic museums in the region (in Dusheti and Tianeti), an unverified museum in Odzisi, the forever closed Mtskheta museum, the famous Vazha Pshavela museum in Chargali, the Alexander Kazbegi museum in Stefantsminda and the pretty Chavchavadze Museum in Saguramo.
And about the lakes. In the region there is the largest reservoir of the country - Zhinvalsky, for the sake of which at one time the ancient and not completely excavated city of Zhinvali with all its churches was flooded. This is the best bathing place near Tbilisi, but there are no civilized beaches here. But there are just pebble beaches and good clearings, so it is convenient to come here with tents. If the heat tormented you, then you are here. The second is Lake Bazaleti. It is located on the Dushetsky plateau and is relatively cool here. It is not far from Tbilisi and there is some civilization, so often come here in the summer. The third is the Zion Reservoir, pretty, but deaf. Fourth - the high mountain Abudelaur lakes, where swimming does not work, but as a natural attraction they are good. There are also Kiel lakes - but this is very high and scary.
Kakheti - in the past an independent kingdom and today the region with the capital in the city of Telavi. The modern Kakheti region includes not only the historical region of Kakheti, but also the areas of Heretia and Kiziku.
Kakheti is famous for wine and Tushino mountains. More recently, it was a kind of Georgian Siberia, a region that has been marginally forgotten by the world. But from 2011 to 2013, Kakheti has changed a lot. The region is full of shops, cafés and guesthouses.
Kakheti had no luck in the 20th century. There is no sea, no major roads, the climate is dry and in some places almost deserted. Natural disasters occurred in Kakheti. A special catastrophe was the Soviet leadership in the person of a famous woman, who held power until 2004 and systematically ruined this region. As a result, there is not a shop in every village.
Why go to Kakheti? Usually for wine. There is a lot of it and it is good. All famous kakheti wineries are here. Part of the tourist traffic goes to Tusheti, where you can see the mountains and Tushino towers, but the bad road is still preventing a mass flow. For animal lovers, there is the Shirak steppe, where interesting snakes can be found. Many go to the David Gareji Monastery Complex, which is included in foreign leaders in the country's top three attractions. Lovers of 20th-century history can visit the idiotic Pankisi Gorge, where you can watch live Wahhabis and ride horses. Fans of geology can call the city of Gurjaani and touch the mud volcanoes in the park of Akhtala. Of course, in the north of the region, there are the Lagodekhi National Park and the Vashlovani Steppe National Park as well as many wild, uncultivated forests.
The Georgian stamp in the passport allows you to visit Abkhazia and Ossetia and return back.
If you entered Abkhazia from Russia, you can only enter Georgia from there illegally. This fact has been known for a long time and still over and over again, citizens of Russia or Ukraine are trying to openly implement this, and are very surprised when they are arrested. In part, just such cases generated rumors of mass arrests of Russian citizens in Georgia.
Departure in the opposite direction in theory is possible (the most surprising is that it is not even forbidden strictly by the letter of the law), but in the end you are left without a Georgian exit stamp, which closes your further entry into Georgia, and does not decorate your passport at all.