Imereti

Imereti Caves

There are numerous karst caves on the territory of Imerteti. In order to protect them and preserve natural environment, in 2007 Imereti Cave Preserve Territory was set up. It includes one preserve, one managed nature reserve and 18 natural monuments, including: Sataplia reserve 330 (ha), Tetra Mgvime, Prometheus, Khomli, Gliana, Satsurblia, Solkota, didgele, Melouri and Bgeri natural monuments of caves; Navenakhevi, Nagarevi, Iazon and Sakhashia natural monuments of caves; natural monuments of Tskaltsitela gorge; natural monument of Tsutskhvati cave.

Prometheus cave (Tskhaltubo district, village of Kumistavi) was discovered on June 15, 1984, by expedition of speleologists from Tbilisi Vakhushti Bagrationi institute of Geofgraphy. In 17 halls of the cave there ara  a lot of Beautiful cold lapped shapes of stalactities and stalagmites, helictites, pisolites, `waterfalls in stone`, `stone curtains`. There are a 1050-meter-long track in the cave. However, it is supposed that owerall length of the cave exceeds 20 000 m. climate of the cave is wholesome for people suffering from asthma.

`Sataplia` cave was discovered by the curator of Kutaisi museum, Petre Chabukiani, in 1925. Gigantic dinosaurs stationed in the managed national reserve of Sataplia around the cave millions of years ago. Sataplia was the first karst cave in Georgia where tourist infrastructure was arranged.

Tsqaltybo cave, nicknamed `Tetra`, is a karst cave in the environs of the village of Khomuli. High background of aerial ionization and natural radioactivity, ideal purity of air, existence of pathologenic microbes and allergens, stability of basic meteorologicakl elements (air temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure) create faroble conditions for treatment of chronic asthma and cardiovascular system diseases. Environment of the cave is also good for treatment of hypertensive, chronic pneumonia and neurosis diseases.

General length of the 4-hall karst cave in Terjola municipality, on the territory of the village of Navenakhevi, is 210 m, maximum height – 18 m, there are 120 stalagmites in the cave that exceed stalagmites available in caves of Sataplia and Akhali Atoni.

 

Resort area of Gordi

Location: Askhi mountain range, gorge of river Okatse, 20 km from Khoni

Distance: 13 km from from Khoni, 38 km from from Kutaisi, 273 km from Tbilisi

Sea level:800 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: subtropical, winter mild, summe warm, moderately humid, mean annual temperature 14 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation:1790 mm

Average comparative annual humidity:85%

Duration of annual sunny light:2000-2100 h.

Natural treatment factors: climate of lowland mountains

Types of therapy: climate therapy, walking.

Diseases for treatment: cardiovascular and nervous system.

Thanks to sound climate and wonderful scenery, in the last century Gordi was enlisted in the catalogue of Georgia′s resorts.

Khoni municipality is bordered by Lechkhumi (Tsageri) in North-West and Samegrelo (Martvili). This is exactly the line where one of the largest mountain summit massifs called Askhi (400km2) lies within the zone of limestone of Kavkasioni mountains. The height of its peak, Gadrekili, is 2520 m. there are more than eighty karst cavities with the area of more than 24 thousand sq. m. there are 42 caves, many brooks, rivers and lakes underground. Some caves are natural refrigerators, at the bottom of some of them flow torrents of underground waters forming the most beautiful waterfalls at the outlet. Caves are connected with each other by complex system of tunnels which have length of roughly more than 15 km. Stations of Stone Age humans, various tools and remnants of ancient animals were discovered in some karst caves of the range. In later periods natural a men-made caves played the role of shelters and fortresses. At present the range of Askhi is the tourist destination both for Imereti and Samegrelo provinces.

 

Resort of Zekari

Location: Northern slope of Meskheti mountain range, gorge of the river Khanistskali

Distance: 25 km from Bagdadi, 55 km from Kutaisi, 255 km from Tbilisi

Sea level:750-780m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: humid, subtropical, winter mild, nearly without snow, mean temperature in January 10 degree centigrade; summer warm, moderately humid, mean temperature in August 21 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation:1800-1900 mm

Average comparative annual humidity:77%

Duration of annual sunny light:1300-1400h.

Natural treatment factors: climate of low mountain and slightly sulpuric-hidro-carbonate-cloride, sodium mineral waters with general mineralization of 1,5 g/dm3

Types of therapy: mineral water baths, inhalation and passive climate therapy.

Diseases for treatment: chronic arthritis, nephritis, neuralgia, radiculitis and functional diseases of nervous system, rheumatism.

Baghdadi municipality is located in the South of Imereti, in the gorge of river Khanistskali. This territory is predominantly mountainous and is covered with forests of oak, walnut, chesnut, fir, ash and other precious species of trees. From the South Baghdadi is accompanied by the (Adjara-Imereti) slope of a range of Lesser Kavkasioni mountaionous across which is running a road on the Zekari pass linking the area with Samtskhe-Javakheti, namely, Adigheni. This road was used from the times immemorial for caravan traffic. Not far from the pass is the outlet of river Kershaveti where in the gorge is located a spa resort of Zekari. Sulpuric thermal waters here are used primarily for curing rheumatic diseases. The resort has germane infrastructure: solid building, cottages and a dining room.

Baghdadi is wine-producing area. From grapes varieties of Imereti Krakhuna of Sviri, Tsolikauri of Obchuri and Tsitska of Kvaliti are well-known. Krakhuna is one of the noted Georgian varieties of grapes used in production of white wine. Irrespective of the fact that Krakhuna is distributed in Racha, Lechkhumi, Guria and Samegrelo, this variety displays the best of qualities in Imereti. The grapes of Krakhuna variety a s arule is used for production of table wine of Imeretian and classical Europian type.

A distinguished entrepreneur, Alexandr Ananov, lived in Baghdadi village of Vartsikhe, in the second half of XIX century, 20 hectares of his estate were used for cultivation of grapes. Ananov built a factory in Vartsikhe managed by specialists invited from France. Other than his own grapes, the entrepreneur processed at his factory also grapes, the bought from his neighbor peasants vineyards and prodused 200-300 lt. of wine, 30-40 thousand bottles of champagne and 60 thosand bottles of brandy.

Nowadays a juvenile camp is located in the estate of Ananov, while various types of products from Imereti grapes are prodused at Vartsikhe factory.

 

Resort of Zvare

Location:frontline of the Likhi (Surami) range

Distance: 25 km from Kharagauli, 805 km from Kutaisi, 205 km from Tbilisi

Sea level: 750-800 m

Landscape:mountaionous

Climate: subtropical, winter mild, nearly without snow, mean temperature in Jenuary 0,3 degrees centigrade, summer warm, moderately humid, mean temperature in August 21 degrees centigrade

Average annual prescipitation:1150-1200mm

Average comperative annual humidity:73%

Duration of annual sunny light:2200-2300 h.

Natural treatment factors: subtropical climate of low mountains, and nitrogen, methane, sulfide, silicon, chloride-hydro-carbonate, sodium mineral waters with general mineralization 0,2-0,4 g/dm3

Types of therapy: mineral water baths, passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: gall bladder and digestion system diseases (chronic gastritis, pancreatitis, stomach, chronic hepatitis and cholecystitis.

Municipality of Kharagauli is situated in the ultimate Eastern part of Imereti. Its mountainous territory hypsometrically lies on the height of 285-2642 m. historically Kharagauli was part of Argveti Saeristavo and ancient transit Great Silk Road. On the territory of dydays Kharagauli was discovered a place where caravans took a recess on rote to their destinations. During rest time big amounts of victuals were collected in the gorge. Sobriquet of `khoragauli` comes from this word which later changed its form and became Kharagauli`.

Since 1872 Kharagauli became one of the stations on Poti-Tbilisi railway line. In the course of railway track construction works a lot of structures were built. Among them was railway tunnel Tsipi and a bridge across river Zvarula.

24 km away from Kharagauli, on the border of villages of Zvare and Chrdili, is located climatic and spa resort of Zvare. Discovery of muineral water is linked with an animal. Residents also got interested and in the 30-ies of the XX century research works were conducted which proved that Zvare water had medicinal properties. In 1980, at the Olimpic Games held in Moskow, it was given status of an official drink for the sportsmen.

 

Resort of Nunisi

Location:frontline of the Likhi (Surami) range

Distance: 30 km from Kharagauli, 85 km from Kutaisi, 210 km from Tbilisi

Sea level: mountaionous

Climate: subtropical, winter mild, nearly without snow, mean temperature in Jenuary 0,3 degrees centigrade, summer warm, moderately humid, mean temperature in August 21 degrees centigrade

Average comperative annual humidity:73%

Average annual prescipitation:1150-1200mm

Duration of annual sunny light:2200-2300 H.

Natural treatment factors:subtropical climate of low mountains,, and nitrogen, methane, sulfide, silicon, chloride-hydro-carbonate, sodium  mineral waters with general mineralization 0,2-0,4 g/dm3

Types of therapy: mineral water baths, passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: psoriasis, neurodermatitis, eczema, neuralgia, neuritis, radiculitis and others.

On the territory of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, in the gorge of river Nunisistskali, is situated climatic spa resort of Nunusi, 27 km away from Kharagauli. The name of the village is connected with therapeutic water curing skin disease of itching.

Unique microclimate of Nunisi is shaped up by mingied, deciduous and coniferous forest. Natural treatment factors – climate and highly moisturized water – are especially good for those who suffer from skin and nervous disorders. Water deeply penetrates tissues and facilitates dissolution of affected layers of skin.

According to the popular hearsay, applicationof Nunisi water for therapeutic purposes was started many times ago, back in the first half of IX century. When people noticed that domestic animals with the help of mineral water were cured from itching, thwy tried to use it themselves and were successful. Step by step curing qualities of Nunisi water became known in the whole country of Georgia and hamlet of Nunisi and Nunisi water were mentioned by Vakhushti Batonishvili as very pleasing and useful.

There is also a legend about discovery of Nunisi water linked with great Georgian king, David Agmashenebeli (the builder). As the rumor goes, David was returning from battle. Horses were tried after marching and their skin was stripped off and covered with ulcers. When they plunged into Nunisi waters their skin was healed. The king was happy and he made donation to the local church of the village. Even today the Church of St. Mary dating to IX-X cc. in Nunisi is operating.

 

Resort of Sairme

Location: northen slope of Meskheti mountain range, gorge of the river Tsablistskali

Distance: 25 km from Bagdadi, 55 km from Tbilisi

Sea level:1100m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: forest zone middle mountain subtropical belt climate, winter moderately cold, with little snow, mean temperature in January 3 degree centigrade; summer moderately warm, moderately humid, mean temperature in August 17,8 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation:1000-1100 mm

Average comparative annual humidity:80%

Duration of annual sunny light:1273-1459h.

Natural treatment factors: climate of midlle mountain belt; carbonate silicon, boric, ferrous mineral waters with general mineralization of 3,7-9,9 g/dm3, and carbonate hydro-carbon, calcium-magnezium, boric, ferrous mineral waters with general mineralization of 1,4-3,3g/dm3

Types of therapy: mineral water baths, inhalation and application (drinking), passive climate therapy.

Diseases for treatment: diseases gynecological and urological profile, diseases of kidneys, alimentary tract and liver, chronic and inflammatory disease of liver and bile tract of different etiology, hepatitis, cholecystitis, diseases of metabolism.

Balneological resort of Sairme, rich with curing mineral water springs, is surrounded by coniferous and deciduous forests sprawling to many hectares where there are numerous species of pines, fir, beech, lime and chestnut centennial trees.

As the legend wide-spread among the people circulates Sairme Springs were discovered by hunters chasing wounded deer. In the place where deer herds often gathered, spring water was flowing on the stones red with rust while around the place everything was white with salt. Within the distance of approximately 5 km. from deer spring, sheperds noticed one more unusual place were grass was always green, snow melted very fast while ground after rain quickly dried. The reason for this miracle was thermal, nitrogen-methane, slightly sulpuric mineral water that geologists discovered in 1920-ies and called the venue Udabno.

First written data on Sairme can be found in the historical sources of 90-ies in the XIX century while the first scientific attempt to review all the materials belongs to doctor Kelenjeradze. Back in 1912 while still a student, Kelenjeradze carried specimens taken in Sairme to St. Petersburg for research. It turned out that this water by its curing effect was not inferior to then already well-known other mineral waters. In 30-ies of the XX century Sairme was officially assigned the status of a resort. Health centers were constructed and resort infrastructure put in order, automobile road made which linked the resort with Baghdadi. In this period (1945) started bottling of Sairme water in the factory.

 

Resort of Samtredia

Location: Imereti lowlands, between rivers Rioni and Tskhenistskali

Distance: 30 km from Kutaisi, 250 km from Tbilisi

Sea level:25 m

Landscape: plain, lowland

Climate: sea humid subtropical, winter mild, without snow, mean temperature in January 4,3 degree centigrade; summer hot, moderately humid, mean temperature in August 23 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation:1530 mm

Average comparative annual humidity:85%

Duration of annual sunny light:2000-2100 h.

Natural treatment factors: hyper thermal, sulpuric-cloride-sodium-calcium mineral waters with general mineralization of 2,5 -3 g/dm3

Types of therapy: mineral water baths.

Diseases for treatment: musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular peripheral nervous system, skin and gynecolological profile diseases.

The town of Samtredia was developed to the west of Kutaisi, on the right bank of river Rioni. Due to convenient geographic location it became too largest transit hub in Western Georgia and one of the most important joints in the Europe-Asia transit passageway. Transit torrent starting in the east of the nation is divided here and proceeds in the direction of Poti, Zugdidi, Batumi or Sukhumi. The origin of the town is linked to the construction of the first railway backbone in Georgia.

The spring of Samtredia hyper-thermal mineral water was accidentally discovered by geologists who had expected to find here oil deposits. During drilling works from the depts. Of 1450 meters, thermal sulpuric water gushed out. Waters were studied and it was decided that a resort should be built here. Today the resort operates with smaller capacity.

Hyper-thermal waters everywhere in the world belong to fuel and energy resources. In Georgia Hyper-thermal waters except Samtredia, are also available in Abkhazia, Samegrelo, Tbilisi and are used primarily in balneology and in a restricted amount.

 

Resort of Sulori

Location: South-Eastern part of the Kolkheti lowland

Distance: 30 km from Kutaisi, 250 km from Tbilisi

Sea level:180-200m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: humid, subtropical, winter mild, without snow, mean temperature in January 5 degree centigrade; summer very hot, moderately humid, mean temperature in August 23 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation:1350 mm

Average comparative annual humidity:74%

Duration of annual sunny light:2000-2100h.

Natural treatment factors: nitrogen, sulfide, silicon, sulfado-hydro-carbonate sodium mineral waters with general mineralization of 0,3-0,6 g/dm3, and carbonate hydro-carbon, calcium-magnezium, boric, ferrous mineral waters with general mineralization of 1,4-3,3g/dm3

Types of therapy: mineral water baths.

Diseases for treatment: musculoskeletal system, pheriperial nervous system, cardiovascular, skin and gynecological profile diseases, diseases of metabolism.

Spa resort of Sulori is located in the Vani municipality, 11 km away from the center, on the banks of river Sulori. This small rivr of 15 km has only two tributaries wherefrom comes its name – `Sul Ori` (only two in Georgian). The resort has the same name as the river.

The legend of Sulori mineral waters discovery came to us by means of a popular hearsay. It turns out that in wintertime when the surroundings here are covered with snow some hunters noticed vapor in a distance from the bank of the river. When they came closer they saw that at the toe of the rock, brook of warm water was flowing out. In spring they took to this place incapacitated young man and put him into the warm water. After several baths sick man could stand on his feet. The story of a miraculous healing engulfed the whole village.

In Soviet times Sulori was considered the resort of local importance that hosted hundreds of holiday makers each season. Even today healthcare hotel here is still under operation.

Near the venue of confluence of river Sulori with river Roini is located one of the most important monuments of ancient epoch – remnants of Vani settlement. In VIII-I centuries BC the town of Vani had close commercial and economic and cultural ties with the Greek world. On the first stage of existence Vani was the center and residence of the ruling circle of the Colchis kingdoms administrative entity. In the second stage (III-I cc. BC) it was a large temple center. As a result of archeological excavations religious and domestic structures, wall of the temple, round temple, seven-step altar, cult figurines, local and Greek ceramics, rich burials with unique specimens of goldsmith works were unearthed. Namely: diadems, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, heraldic images and cups;

Nowadays on the territory of ancient settlement ruins Vani Archeological Museum-Preserve is located. The territory includes approximately 8,5 hectares of land.

 

Resort of Tsqaltubo

Location: banks of river Tsqaltubo

Distance: 15 km from Kutaisi

Sea level:95-120m

Landscape: plain

Climate: subtropical, winter soft, without snow, mean temperature in January 5,3 degree centigrade; summer very warm, moderately humid, mean temperature in August 23,8 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation:1700-1800 mm

Average comparative annual humidity:73%

Duration of annual sunny light:2000-2050h.

Natural treatment factors: slightly radioactive, radon, nitrogen, chloride-hydro-carbonate-sulphuric, sodium-calcium-magnezium mineral waters with general mineralization of 0,7-0,9 g/dm2, temperature 35-37 degrees centigrade, karst caves. Water discharge;20 mil. 1/day

Types of therapy: mineral water baths, inhalation and speleotherapy.

Diseases for treatment: musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular and gynecological diseases and endocrine system pathologies, etc.

One of the Georgia′s most popular spa – resorts – Tsqaltubo – is located in the central part of Western Georgia, 15 km away from Kutaisi. Active recreational season here coincides with summer period. However, natural therapeutic factors enable holiday makers to enjoy relevant services all around the year.

The spa resort′s thermal-radon mineral springs have unique therapeutic properties – they cure up to sixty diseases. Mild, transparent odorless water is naturally warm (33-35 degrees), therefore its usage is possible without preliminary heating. Treatment here is conducted in complexity: patients, as needed are prescribed mineral water baths, treatment work-outs, classical curing and underwater (hidro) massage, physiotherapy, electric therapy and other procedures. Tsqaltubo water is also beneficial for children suffering from rheumatism, poliomyelitis, cerebral paralysis.

Tsqaltubo as a venue for therapy was known back in XII –XIII centuries. In the 1245-1250 Deed of Gelati Monastery it was mentioned as `Bathouse located near Maglaki`. First information in European media on Tsqaltubo was published in 1782 in the digest of the works of Natural Science Society. Starting from the XIX century materials about miraculous mineral waters are intensively published in the media on Tsqaltubo is compared with famous Europian spa resorts of Wildbad (Germany) and Toeplitz (Czech Republic). In 1920 it became a state property and was officially awarded the status of a spa resort.

In course of the years many famous individuals spent time here. Among them are Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser (July, 1968); Soviet Leader, Joseph Stalin, had a personal room in Tsqaltubo, which he visited in 1931 and 1951.