Attractions in Georgia

  • Monastery Gelati (1)

A monastic complex situated 12 km north-east of Kutaisi. It contains the Church of the Virgin Mary from the 11th century and 13th-century churches of St George and St Nicholas. The King of Georgia David the Builder is buried here. For many centuries it was one of the main cultural and intellectual centers in Georgia. It had an Academy which employed some of the most celebrated Georgian scientists, theologians and philosophers. The Gelati Academy used to be called „a new Hellas” and „a second Athens”. The monastery has preserved a great number of murals and manuscripts dating back to the 12th to 17th centuries. In 1994 it was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

  • Monastery Motzameta (2)

A monastery located 6km out of Kutaisi, set on a cliff top above a bend of the Tskhaltsitela River. It is named after two saints, brothers David and Constantine, who sacrified their lives to Georgia in the battle with Arabs. Locals believe that if you want your wish to come true, you simply have to crawl three times under their tomb without touching it. The monastery offers beautiful views of the river and the surrounding countryside.

  • Prometheus Cave (3)

Located 18 km from Kutaisi, was discovered in July 1983 by the members of Speleology expedition from Vakhushti Bagrationi State Geographical Institute. It is one of Georgia’s natural wonders. Visitors can go on a 1060 meter walking tour to see breathtaking examples of stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, petrified waterfalls, cave pearls, underground rivers, and lakes. The Prometheus Cave is closed on Mondays.

  • Dadiani Palace in Zugdidi (4)

The Dadiani Palaces History and Architecture Museum houses some exhibits of natural cultural heritage of Georgia.

The museum is one of the oldest museums in the Caucasian region. There are three palaces form the modern museum complex, parts of which are also Blackernae Virgin Church and Zugdidi Botanical Garden. It currently possesses more than 41 000 items ranging from the second millennium BCE to the end of the XIX century CE. It contains 50.000 items, archeological and ethnographic materials, private belongings of the last Prince of Samegrelo, documents which illustrate Georgia’s relations with other countries, unique patterns of goldsmith (icons. crosses, church utensils, patterns of original art). Among the Napoleonic items, there is death mask of the emperor dated 1833, a Napoleonic library of several hundred volumes, private letters, and Napoleonic silver and chinaware.

  • Enguri Dam (5)

World’s highest arch dam (completed 1980), located on the Enguri River in western Georgia near the point at which the river leaves the Caucasus Mountains on its way to the Black Sea. It is a huge 892-foot- (272-metre-) tall double-curvature arch dam with a crest length of 2,231 feet (680 m). The dam was built of interlocking stacks of concrete monoliths laid over reinforced limestone bedrock. The five-unit power plant associated with the dam has a planned power capacity of 1,300 megawatts.

  • Mestia – town and cable car (6)

It is the biggest town in Upper Svaneti province – a very traditional place with typical Svan fortified dwelling consisted of a tower, an adjacent house and some other household structures encircled by a defensive wall. It contains a number of medieval monuments – churches and forts – included in a list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s one of a few places which despite being attacked many time has never been conquered by other nations. Here you can try their typical, regional variation of Khachapuri called Kupdari.

To admire splendid views one has to take a ride on the cable car to the viewing platform.

  • Ushguli (7)

It’s a community of villages located next to the foot of Shkhara, one of the highest Caucasian summits. Located at altitude 2,410 metres is is considered to be the highest inhabited point in Europe. The Ushguli villages contain buildings that are part of the UNESCO Heritage site of Upper Svaneti. Typical Svanetian protective towers are found throughout the village. The Ushguli Chapel located on a hilltop near the village dates back to the 12th century.

  • Trekking to Chaladi Glacier (8)

The trekking leads to the approaches of the Chatini peak, up to the tongue of the Chalaadi glacier.
It route goes from Mestia through valleys, forest, wooden bridges over wild mountain streams.

  • Botanical Garden in Batumi (9)

Batumi Botanical Garden is located at the place called „Green cape” (Mtsvane Kontskhi). It has no analogue in the world as plant species from completely different climatic and landscape zones grow together in harmony, for example, the Canary Palm and Japanese Sakura (cherry tree). The garden features thousand species of astonishingly beautiful plants.The lower, upper and seaside parks are located on the main route of the garden. Currently, the garden consists of nine floristic sectors, those of Caucasian humid subtropics, East Asia, New Zealand, South America, the Himalayas, Mexico, Australia, and of the Mediterranean. The garden collection comprises 2.037 taxonomic units of ligneous plants, including 104 of Caucasian origin. The rests are the representatives of the other phytogeographic flora.

  • Batumi – Dolfinarium, Boulevard, Dancing Fountains (10)

It is the capital city of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara. Its coastal location and sub-tropical climate make it a popular city for vacationers across the Caucasus. Batumi is distinguished by the abundance of diverse architectural buildings. It’s landmarks include: Alphabetic Tower (meter high iron construction embossed with 33 Georgian letters), Astronomical Clock located on a building of unique architecture, Batumi Boulevard which with bungalows, café-lounges, restaurants, children’s attractions, modern-design benches, sculptures and a dancing fountain and has become the most attractive place for city visitors. Another big Batumi attraction is dolfinarium – it’s show includes about 30 acts: three dances, playing with rings and balls, balancing on the tails, unforgettable Foot Push and many other new and old stunning moments.

  • Sarpi (11)

It is a border village on the coast of the Black Sea, on the border between Turkey and Georgia.

The setting is picturesque, with the beach and border crossing occupying a narrow strip of land before the topography of the village shoots directly upwards across jungle-covered green cliffs. Sarpi’s beach and clear water makes it a nice relaxing spot.

  • Gonio Fortress (12)

Located at the sea shore the ruins host stunning views and interesting architecture. The museum-reserve was founded in 1994. The area comprises Gonio-Apsaros fortress and its vicinities. Archaeological excavations on this territory discovered materials of Hellenistic period. Public buildings are found together with material items (pottery, bronze, silver, gold, Justinian I coins, etc.).

  • Sataplia Reservoir (13)

Located 6 km north-west of Kutaisi, is named after Sataplia Mountain, which got its name from the tradition of collecting honey from the bees that inhabit the mountain. The reserve was created in 1935 to protect geological, paleontological, speleological and botanical monuments. One can see over there dinosaur footprints, visit Sataplia Cave which is 900 m long, 10 m high and 12 m wide and admire stunning views of the nature reserve from a glass-bottomed viewing platform. The reserve is closed on Tuesdays.

  • Monastery Martvili 14)

Martvili-Chkondidi Cathedral was built late in the 7th century. It was considered a major educutional center. Some of the most famous Georgian Religious philosphers and educators worked and lived at the Martvili Monastery. It is the final resting place of King Bagrat IV, whose contributions to the cultural and educational development of Georgia are immense. Some of 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th century frescos are still preserved in the main Cathedral and they represent some of the highest quality craftsmaship in the Georgian history. Martvili Monasterial Complex has a strategic geographic location from where most of western Georgia can be seen.

  • Gachedili Canyon (15)

There is nothing like being able to cool off on a hot summer day. 50 km from Kutaisi in the municipalities of Martvili (Samegrelo province) there is a perfect place where you can swim in a nice cool river, enjoy the view and sounds of nearby waterfalls and take a pontoon boat ride in a canyon which is 2400m with the cut depth of 20-40m. Beside that the nearby meadow offers a delightful picnic spot.

  • Okatse Canyon (16)

Okatse Canyon is a cascade of three-step waterfalls falling from the eastern cliff of the Askhi limestone massif, located in the valley of the River Satsiskvilo. The height of the first waterfall is 25 meters whilst the height of the second one is 70 meters. After the stream joins the River Satsiskvilo, it creates a third, 35 meter-high step of the cascade. A 1km long walkway suspended along the edge of the canyon enables visitors to explore the natural wonder and its beautiful waterfalls.

  • Rabati Castle (17)

The recently restored Rabati Castle, built in the 13th century developed under the influence of different cultures over subsequent centuries and this is reflected in its architecture. Within the 7 hectares castle complex there is a Church, a Mosque, a Minaret and a Synagogue. In the 13th-16th centuries the castle and its town of Akhaltsikhe had been the residence of the Jakhely princes. During the following two centuries it was part of the Ottoman Empire and in 19th-20th centuries it became part of the Russian Empire. In the Soviet period the closure of the border with Turkey isolated the town and resulted in the decline of its importance. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the changed geopolitical situation has given a new stimulus to the development of the town. The restoration of the castle was undertaken over 15 months.

  • Khertvisi fortress (18)

It is one of the oldest fortresses in Georgia and was functional throughout the Georgian feudal period. The fortress was first build in the 2nd century BC, it’s church in 985 and the present walls build in 1354. It stands on a high hill at the confluence of the Mtkvari (Kura) and Paravani rivers.

  • Vardzia (19)

It is a cave monastery site, excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Mtkvari River. It forms a part of the Vardzia Historical–Architectural Museum-Reserve. The construction started during the reign of Giorgi III, and continued under his daughter queen Tamar and later ruler.

The caves stretch along the cliff for some five hundred metres and in up to nineteen tiers. In the complex you will find Church of the Dormition from the 12th century famous for its wall paintings. The paintings were created during the reign of queen Tamar, probably shortly after her father’s death. The church measures 8.2 metres by 14.5 metres.

  • Borjomi (20)

It is a town famous for its mineral water industry, the Romanov summer palace in Likani, and the World Wide Fund for Nature-site Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. The main landmark of the town is the city park which stretches along the Borjomula river. It contains the source of Borjomi mineral water and in the first part of the park you will find the most extensive ecologically-themed amusement park in the Caucasus.

  • Katskhi pillar (21)

It is an impressive natural limestone Pillar, 40 meters tall. On the top surface there is a monastery which is accessible through an iron ladder.

The Katskhi pillar complex currently consists of a church dedicated to Maximus the Confessor, a crypt (burial vault), three hermit cells, a wine cellar, and a curtain wall on the uneven top surface of the column. At the base of the pillar are the newly built church of Simeon Stylites and ruins of an old wall and belfry.

  • Tabakini Breeding farm for Caucasian shepherd dogs (22)

Caucasian Sheepdog is the rarest pedigree, which is characterized by original features. The sheepdog is distinguished with its ability to easily adapt to severe climate. It is characterized by thick bone, attractive long hair, and massive structure. The Dog breeding „Tabakini” nursery founded in 1992. During in this time we achieve a lot of. They have connect the famous dog breeding nursery of Russia and Georgia. It’s task is to increase all over the world Caucasian Sheepdog.

  • Kutaisi bazzar (23)

Food market in Kutaisi is a place where you can get the real vibe of the city. One can pick up here not only fresh fruit, vegetables and meat but also all the regional treasures like local cheese, traditional Georgian sweets and even home made wine. While strolling between the stalls you have a chance to taste delicious food offered by welcoming and chatty vendors. It is a must-visit place for every tourist.

  • Botanical Garden in Kutaisi (24)

The Kutaisi Botanical Garden originated in the mid 19-th century and after the Tbilisi National Botanical Garden it is the second of the earliest botanic gardens in the country.

The Garden’s dendroflora is represented by about 700 plant species of trees and shrubs from all the floristic regions of the world. The flora here is of 210 genera belonging to 80 botanical families.

  • Kutaisi (25)

Kutaisi is Georgia’s second largest city and the capital of the western region of Imereti. It is one of the oldest cities around the world therefore it has a rich, remarkable history. During the ancient times, Kutaisi was the capital of the Kingdom of Colchis, as the archaeological findings indicates, it was in the the second millennium B.C. In the Ancient times, till 122 C.E., Kutaisi was the capital of the United Kingdom of Georgia and from the 15th century until 1810, it was the capital of the Imeretian Kingdom.

Exploring Kutaisi on foot is the best way to get to know this 3000 year old city. To feel the vibe of the place walk around the old district Mtsvanekvavila, enjoy the view of Kutaisi from Bagrati Cathedral, visit the Jewish district and its old Synagogue, take a picture on the White Bridge with a kid holding two hats, talk to the local vendors at the bazzar and when tired sit on a bench in the city park and watch the world go by.

  • Tbilisi (26)

The capital city of Georgia and lies on the banks of the Mtkvari River and in the foothills of the Trialeti mountain range. Although the city has been destroyed and rebuilt some 29 times, the layout of the Old Town is largely intact with narrow alleys and big crooked houses built around courtyards. Tbilisi’s varied history is reflected in its architecture, which is a mix of medieval, classical, and Soviet structures. Notable tourist destinations include cathedrals like Sameba and Sioni, classical Freedom Square and Rustaveli Avenue, medieval Narikala Fortress, pseudo-Moorish Opera Theater, and the Georgian National Museum. One of the most distinctive pleasures is walking through the Old City, with its old-style balconies, ancient churches, winding streets, and charming shops.

  • David Gareja (27)

It is a rock-hewn Georgian Orthodox monastery complex located in the Kakheti region on the half-desert slopes of Mount Gareja. Part of the complex is located in the Agstafa rayon of Azerbaijan and has become subject to a border dispute between Georgia and Azerbaijan. The complex includes hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living quarters hollowed out of the rock face. The area is also home to protected animal species and evidence of some of the oldest human habitations in the region.

  • Monastery Bodbe (28)

It is a Georgian Orthodox monastic complex. Originally built in the 9th century, it has been significantly remodelled, especially in the 17th century. The monastery now functions as a nunnery and is one of the major pilgrimage sites in Georgia, due to its association with St. Nino, the 4th-century female evangelist of Georgians, whose relics are shrined there. The Bodbe Monastery is nested among tall Cypress trees on a steep hillside overlooking the Alazani Valley, where it commands views of the Greater Caucasus mountains.

  • Sighnaghi (29)

Sighnaghi is one of the country’s smallest towns. It has recently undergone a fundamental reconstruction program and has become an important centre of Georgia’s tourist industry. Sighnaghi and its environs are home to several historical and cultural monuments and has been specifically protected by the State since 1975. The town is walled with the remnants of 18th-century fortifications. There are two Georgian Orthodox churches in the town itself – one dedicated to St. George and the other to St. Stephen. The venerated Bodbe Monastery is located 2 kilometres from Sighnaghi and is a place of pilgrimage due to its association with St. Nino, the 4th-century apostle of Georgia. Sighnaghi is known as a „Love City” in Georgia.

  • Jvari Monastery (30)

It is Georgian Orthodox monastery of the 6th century. Jvari Monastery stands on the rocky mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the town of Mtskheta, which was formerly the capital of the Kingdom of Iberia. It was listed together with other monuments of Mtskheta in 1994 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Jvari church is an early example of a „four-apsed church with four niches” domed tetraconch. It had a great impact on the further development of Georgian architecture and served as a model for many other churches.

  • Ananuri Fortress (31)

It is a castle complex on the Aragvi River. Ananuri was a castle and seat of the Dukes of Aragvi, a feudal dynasty which ruled the area from the 13th century. The castle was the scene of numerous battles. The fortifications consist of two castles joined by a crenellated curtain wall. The upper fortification with a large square tower, known as Sheupovari, is well preserved and is the location of the last defence of the Aragvi against the Shamshe. The lower fortification, with a round tower, is mostly in ruins.

Within the complex, amongst other buildings, are two churches: the Church of the Virgin from the first half of the 17th century and the Church of the Assumption built in 1689.

  • Stepantsminda (32)

A town in the north of Georgia, is known for its scenic location in the Greater Caucasus mountains, and is a centre for trekkers and mountain climbing. Local attractions include the Kazbegi Museum and Ethnographic Museum in town, and the Gergeti Trinity Church outside of town, as well as Mount Kazbegi itself and the alpine meadows and forests of the surrounding Kazbegi Nature Reserve.

  • Gergeti Trinity Church (33)

The church is also known as Tsminda Samebis Church. It is situated on the right bank of the river Chkheri, at an elevation of 2170 meters, under Mount Kazbegi. The church was built in the 14th century, and is the only cross-cupola church in Khevi province. The separate bell tower dates from the same period as the church itself. Its isolated location on top of a steep mountain surrounded by the vastness of nature has made it a symbol for Georgia. It is a popular way point for trekkers in the area, and can be reached by a steep 3 hour climb up the mountain, or around 30 minutes by Jeep up a rough mountain trail.

  • Mtskheta (34)

It is an ancient town of extraordinary importance to the Georgian nation. It was the capital of the eastern Georgian kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. It was the site of Georgia’s adoption of Christianity in 334 and remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Due to its historical significance and numerous ancient monuments, the „Historical Monuments of Mtskheta” became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The main landmark of the city is Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, known as the burial site of Christ’s mantle, and it remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day.

  • Gori (35)

It i s a city in the Shida Kartli region most famous for being the birthplace of Joseph Vissarionovich Jughashvili, better known as Stalin. The principal attractions within the city are monuments to Stalin and they are all located on or nearby the main square along Stalin Avenue. There is also Stalin Museum where behind its faux-Venetian façade is an impressive museum filled with paraphernalia and media documenting the life and careers of Stalin.

Gori is also located a short drive from Uplistsikhe, an ancient Silk Road cave city and former regional centre of pagan worship.