Mtskheta-Mtianeti

Mtskheta-Mtianeti comprises territories of historical and geographic provinces – Khevi, Mtiuleti, Gudamakari, Phavi, Khevsureti, Ertso-Tianeti, Shida Kartli and Ksniskhevi. The region comprises five administrative municipalties: Akhalgori, Dusheti, Tianeti, Mtskheta and Kazbegi. Total area of the region is 6785 sq. km

The bulk of the region is mountainous and includes snowy mountains of main range of Kavkasioni with 3500 and 5000 m high peaks and passes, beautiful gorges, lakes and alpine valleys and meadows. Mtskheta-Mtianeti region is interesting from ethnological, intellectual and nutritious point of view. During the year a lot of religious feasts and popular festivals are conducted here: Lomisoba, Kopaloba, Lasharoba, Gergetoba, Atengenoba,. In the fall the whole Georgia celebrates a popular festival in the village of Chargali dedicated to the great Georgian poet, Vazha-Pshavela, called Vazhaoba. Guests of these festivities have an opportunity to taste Dambalkhacho (curds), Choban-Kaurma (stew made by highlander sheperds), Khavitsi (cooced from curds, aslt and oil), Ketseulebi (cheese-pies), and Pshavi Khinkali (meat dumplings).

According to official data, there are 5 resorts and 64 curing water springs regisreted on the territory of the region. From recreational zones the most famous is mountain ski resort of Gudauri.

 

Resort area of Bazaleti Lake

Location: front slope of western part of Trialeti range, foot of the Gudamakari and Lomisi range

Distance: 40 km away from Tbilisi, 5 km away from Dusheti

Sea level:  900 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: moderately humid subtropical climate, vinter moderately cold, mean temperature in January -1,5 degrees, summer warm, mean temperature in August 20,5 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 600-800 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 62%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2200 h

Natural treatment factors: low mountain climate

Types of treatment factors: passive climate therapy, baths in the lake

Diseases for treatment: dermatological and gynecological diseases, rheumatic and bone-and-joints pathologies.

Bazaleti climate is good for cardiovascular and ishemic diseases.

40 km away from Tbilisi, on the Bazaleti plateau is located a lake of the same name and volcanic origin. Not a single river flows into the lake and flows out of the lake. It takes its feed only from rainfalls and underground waters rich with minerals. That is why the lake water has curing properties. It has positive impact on the body and heals dermatological, gynecological, rheumatic and bone-and-joints diseases. The climate of the lake positively influences cardiovascular diseases. There are a lot of water plants, like water lilias and reed on the lakeside that also allegedly have curing effect.

Ultimate depth of the lake is 7 m, surface area – 1,22 sq.km. in January and February its surface freezes and thikness of the ice sometimes attains even 0,5 m. in summer water temperature reaches up to 25 degrees. There are important farming species of fish, like silver crucian carp, herring, roach, grass carp. Varicorhinus, common barbell and common carp are cultivated. Lake is the venue for sporting and consumer fishing.

 

Resort of Gudauri

Location: front mountain slopes of the western part of Trialeti range, foot of Gudamakari and Lomisi range

Distance: 120 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  2190-2200 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: moderately humid, winter cold, mean temperature in January -6 degrees, summer cool, mean temperature in August 13 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 1000 mm

Duration of annual sunny light:  2000 h

Natural treatment factors: middle mountain climate

Types of treatment factors: passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: bronchial asthma, bronchitis, iron deficit anemia.

Among resorts Georgia, the highest elevated above sea level skiing resort of Gudauri has been developed in the alpine zone on the Jvari pass, on the 120th km point of Georgian Military Road, on the slopes of Mount Kudebi (3006 m) and Mount Sadzele (3307 m). resort is 30 years old but in this small timespan it could gain big popularity among mountain skiing lovers.

In the 1980-ies it has decided to set up one more skiing resort in Georgia after Bakuriani. Gudauris natural conditions were considered suitable for winter resort. Like slopes with germane tilt for mountain skiing and lavish and long lasting snow cover.

Resort infrastructure typical for the mountain retreat has emerged in Gudauri since 1980. At first there was only mountain skiing school, but collapse of the Soviet Union facilitated solicitation of foreign, namely, Austrian, investments, and thanks to these investments the first hotel in Gudauri as well as cable road were built, and in 1988 resort was officially inaugurated.

In summer Gudauri is calm. Green environment, cool weather and clean air make a positive impact on the general health condition of people. In near distance there are many historical monuments. From mountain Sadzele remarkable scenery and views on glaciers and Chaukhi mountain in Khevsureti open up. For lovers of active holidays, walking tours in Trusso and Khada gorges, rafting on Aragvi river and parachute gliding from nearest peak is possible to arrange.

Gudauri is an ideal place for extreme sports lovers’ freeriding and heli-skiing. Deep and dry snow for freeriders is the most important factor. From European Resorts Heli-skiing is possible only in Georgia. Overall length of ski trails suitable for all levels of skiers is 57 km. there are four-type sporting lanes: for slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom and downhill. In 2012 was installed the longest gondola in the Caucasus.

 

Resort area of Saguramo

Location: gorge of river Aragvi, slopes of Saguramo range

Distance: 8 km from Mtskheta, 20 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  600 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: low mountain climate, winter mild, mean temperature in January -1 degrees, summer warm, mean temperature in August 22 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 700 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 74%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2200 h

Natural treatment factors: passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: cardiovascular and respiratory system diseases and nervous system

In 1946, was founded Saguramo Preserve (5300 ha) to the North-East of Mtskheta, on the Saguramo slope, aiming at protection, research and reproduction of multifarious Colchis-type plants distributed on the territory of the municipality (beech, oak, elm, maple, pear and others). Such rare spesies of fauna as Caucasus deer, roe deer and lynx have made their habitant here. In 2007 Saguramo Preserve became part of Tbilisi National Park.

Preserve is important recreational zone. There are several resort areas on the contiguous territory, including Saguramo, Karsani, Zedazeni, Tsitsamuri, Tserovani… Proximity to the Preserve, natural and geographic conditions and climate parameters are the reason of high curing and preventive properties of this resort area. Taking into consideration close touch of municipality with Tbilisi, for the residents of the capital each and every of this settlement is a convenient dacha hideout

Shiomgvime – medieval monastic complex located in the Saguramo Preserve.

 

Resort area of Sioni

Location: Iori gorge

Distance: 45 km from Tbilisi, 32 km away from Tianeti

Sea level:  1000 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: moderately humid climate with cold winter and lasting cool summer, annual temperature 12-14 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 790-880 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 78%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2100-2200 h

Tianeti municipality spreads on the slopes of Kartli, Kakheti and Gombori, between Tianeti and Ertso cavities. Main hydrological resource of the municipality – river Iori is used for irrigation of surrounding territories. In 1963 aiming at regulation of water take, Sioni reservoir was created in Iori gorge, between settlement of Sioni and village of Lelovani. Reservoir regulates outlay of river water and is used for water supply to a small capacity hydroelectric plant. Reservoir area is 12, 8 sq. km, maximum depth – 67 m. slopes of the hollow are covered with oac and hornbeam groves.

Sioni reservoir gets its feed basically from river Iori. Iori is a river rich with fish. There is a lot of fish in Sioni reservoir as well sazan, common carp, silver carp. There are several fishing farms near the reservoir. Health resort of Tskhvarichamia is located to the north of Tbilisi, a route to the Sioni reservoir, on the Sabaduri slope. Today Tskhvarichamia and Sabaduri forest are favorite places for off-road racers who frequently visit them.

 

Resort of Stepantsminda

Location: right bank of river Tergis upper flow, central part of Greater Kavkasioni, foothill of mountain Kazbegi

Distance: 150 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  1880 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: middle mountain, winter cold, dry, mean temperature in January -5,2 degrees, summer cool, mean temperature in August 14,4 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 786 mm

Duration of annual sunny light:  2232 h

Natural treatment factors: middle mountain climate and carbohydrate, chloride-hydro-carbonate, calcium-sodium mineral waters with general mineralization 1,5-2 g/dm3

Types of treatment factors: passive climate therapy, mineral water drinking

Diseases for treatment: cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous system diseases, iron-deficit anemia

Georgian Military Road runs between Tbilisi and Vladikavkaz via main range of Kavkasioni (gorge of river Darial). The road stretches some 208 km and today is one of the segments of European expressway 117.

Darial road was known from the times immemorial. By means of this road Georgia established political, economic and cultural relationships with its Northern neighbors. In different times Georgian Military Road was the source of inspiration for Pushkin, Lermontov, Griboediv, Mayakovski and other outstanding figures.

The biggest part of the Georgian segment of the road crosses the territory of Kazbegi municipality. Its administrative center, settlement of Stepantsminda, ancient town and the most important center of Georgia’s historical and geographic region – Khevi, is located in the foot of mountain Mkinvartsveri (5033 m) known under sobriquet `Khevi Bride`.

Mkinvartsveri is traditionally the first important peak for the Georgian mountain climbers. On the mountain, from the side of Gergeti glacier, on the altitude of 3680 m, is located meteorological station where mountaineers enjoy a shelter. A visitor is amazed to see an artificial Bethlehem cave inside 80 m rocky wall on the altitude of 4199 m that was used as a site of warship for centuries as well as a vault for safe-keeping sacred religious items and treasures.

There are numerous mineral water springs on the territory of municipality. There are many sports with Narzan-type mineral water outlets in the gorges of rivers Bidari, Truso and Ukhati. Stepantsminda itself also belongs to the resort areas.

In 1976, aiming at protection and distribution of flora and fauna of Khevi, Kazbegi Preserve was founded.

Preserve nearly stripped of forests is a natural habitat of rare species, like East-Caucasus goat, antelope, wild goat, brown bear and others. On the territory of Preserve are distributed also birds from the `Red List` of Georgia: gyps, Caucasus black cock, Caucasus snowcock, bearded vulture, mountain eagle and others.

 

Resort of Pasanauri

Location: Dusheti municipality, gorge of the river Tetri Aragvi

Distance: 90 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  1050 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: middle mountainous, winter cold, mean temperature in January -4,1 degrees, summer warm, mean temperature in August 18,6 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 1000 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 72%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2100 h

Natural treatment factors: middle mountain climate and carbohydrate, chloride-hydro-carbonate, sodium (Essentuki-type) mineral waters with general mineralization of 3-15 g/dm3

Types of treatment factors: passive climate therapy, baths and drinking

Diseases for treatment: cardiovascular, respiratory and digestion system diseases.

Historical and geographic region of Georgia, Mtiuleti, includes the gorge of Tetri (Mtiuleti) A ragvi. Its principal center, settlement of Pasanauri, is located near the confluence of Tetri and Shavi (Gudamakari) Aragvi, in the gorge surrounded by magnificent mountains of Kavkasioni. Foundation and development of this settlement was facilitated by construction of the Georgian Military Road and setting up of the military outpost here because of its geographically and strategically favorable location. Incoming and outgoing travelers were charged with customs fees, or `pasi` (`price` in Georgian) at the checkpoint, that is why the moniker `Pasanauri` is linked to the word `pasi`.

Pasanauri is a popular health and spa resort. On the outskirts of the town, in the gorge of Aragvi, there are several springs of mineral waters used for prevention of alimentary tract diseases. Middle mountain climate facilitates general health improvement of the body. As the locals believe, the water of river Tetri Aragvi has also therapeutic properties. It has positive impact on musculoskeletal system diseases.

In Soviet period rest-houses were operated in Pasanauri. Today only hotel `Aragvi` survives. Most of the vacationers stay at family-type hotels

 

Resort of Vazhas Tskaro

Location: middle zone of Greater Kavkasioni, near settlement of Chargali

Distance: 80 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  980 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: low mountain climate, winter cold and rather snowy, mean temperature in Jenuary -4,7 degrees, summer warm, mean temperature in August 18,6 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 1000 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 72%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2100 h

Natural treatment factors: low mountain climate and carbohydrate, silicon boron, chloride-hydro-carbonate, sodium-iron mineral waters with general mineralization of 2,5-11,8 g/dm3

Types of treatment factors: mineral water bath and drinking, passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: muskulosceletal and alimentary tract system disease

Pshav-Kevsureti situated on the border of Kartli-Kakheti, Pshavi is settled on the elevation of 1000-3218 m above sea level. Moniker `Khevsureti` was given to the region for mountainous terrain with many gorges (Khevi in Georgian means gorge). Khevsureti is a borderline region:from the North it is bordered by Chechnya and Ingushetia.

The largest village of Pirikita Khevsureti and principal settlement of the region is Shatili which date back to earlier periods – 2000 years ago.

Every year, in the beginning of August, popular festival `Shatiloba` is held in Shatili. Hamlet of Mutso (1800 m above sea level) situated 12-15 km away from Shatili. In 2014, the government of Georgia issued a resolution stipulating foundation of Pshav-Khevsureti Preserved Territory which will facilitate protection of numerous monuments of cultural heritage (unique towers and houses) as well as unique ethnology and culture of the region. In 1956, on the bank of river Pshavis Aragvi, near the village of Chargali, geologists looking for mineral water springs made 26 gushers to the depth of 40-250 meters. Six springs were given the category of drinking water, as to the rest of springwaters, their curing properties were revealed. In 1967 spa center was opened near Chargali. In 1961 water bottling factory was built where production of mineral water labled `Vazha’s Tskaro` started.

 

Resort of Kanchaveti

Location: gorge of river Kanchariskhevi

Distance: 65 km away from Tbilisi, 7 km away from Akhalgori

Sea level:  950-1000 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: moderately dry of low mountain, winter moderately cold, with little snow, mean temperature in January -3,0 degrees, summer moderately warm, mean temperature in August 18 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 700 mm

Duration of annual sunny light:  2200 h

Natural treatment factors: low mountain climate and sulfide, hydro-carbonate-chloride, sodium mineral waters with general mineralization 1,5-2,0 g/dm3

Types of treatment factors: mineral water bath, passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: cardiovascular, respiratory, bone and joints and nervous system diseases, cystitis and chronic prostatitis, gynecological diseases

Akhalgori municipality is surrounded by Kaspi, Gori, Java and Kazbegi municipalities. Its high-mountain landscapes are crossed by river Ksani which flows from Keli Lake on the Southern slope of Magran-Dvaleti Kavkasioni, crosses Mukhrani plain and in 84 km from its source, near village of Ksani, merges with the main river of Georgia – Mtkvari. Akhalgori is located in the middle of the body of river Ksani, in the central part of the gorge. Given treasure (it is known under the label of `Akhalgori Treasure`) discovered in the rich burials in Sadeguri, near Akhalgori, it can be assumed that in IV-III CC. BC highly developed culture existed here. Nearly all medieval centuries Ksani gorge was ruled by Ksani Eristavi with the residence in Akhalgori. Vakhusti Bagrationi mentions Akhalgori as a `townlet`.

In the southern front line of Kharuli range, on the banks of river Kanchauriskhevi (right tributary of river Ksani), 6 km away from Akhalgori, is situated spa and health resort of Kanchaveti.