Mtskheta-Mtianeti is the most recent administrative unit in Georgia, which makes it quite special. It unites part of the historical Kartli region and a considerable territory of Georgia′s eastern mountainous land. Today Mtskheta-Mtianeti is a blend of different Georgian ethnographic cultures, traditions and customs, providing a striking contrast: If you follow the road from ShidaKartli Lowlands to the north, in half an hour you will see the Gergeti Holy Trinity church, standing at 2200 meters above sea level. Returning back, you will witness how the roiling rivers flowing from high peaks become calmer, as if respecting lowlands that the history saw saturated with sites of bloody battles. Indeed, these places have seen a lot and many time as did the people living here have to seek refuge in the breathtaking mountains of Khevi, Mutso and Shatili.
In short, there is some connection, some kind of unity between the fragments of the past and the modern life, its natural diversity, traditions and the people′s character. This is exactly why our cameras tried to capture a large variety of peculiarities that are nevertheless tied together by one chain.
The region of Mtskheta-Mtianeti includes the historical and geographical provinces of ShidaKartli, Ertso-Tianeti, Pshavi, Khevsureti, Mtiuleti, Gudamakari and a part of Ksani Gorge. To the north, the region is bordered by autonomous republics of the Russian Federation – North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechya; to the east it is bordered by Kakheti, to the south by KvemoKartli and to the west – by ShidaKartli.
The main landmark of the region is, without doubt, the snow-covered Caucasus range, with 3500 and 5000 meter high peaks and passes, as well as beautiful ravines, lakes and alpine fields. Khevi and Khevsureti are particularly beautiful in this respect. Their steep cliffs go down to the Aragvi plain, creating an amazing landscape. There′s another place of unbelievable beauty – Jvari Pass, which is located on the Georgian Military Road and is one of many passes of Caucasus range.
The region is rich in water resources. The drainage network is created by rivers Mtkvari, Aragvi, Ksani, Tergi and their tributaries. Natural lakes and reservoirs should also be noted: Bazaleti Lake, Lisi Lake, Jvari Lake, ZhinvaliReservoire, Abudelauri Lakes…
There are numerous natural, architectural and cultural monuments in Mtskheta-Mtianeti; among the most notable are the sity-museum of Mtskheta itself, the monasteries of Ananuri, Zedazeni, Largvisi and Shiomgvime, as well as Shatili, Gergeti Trinity Church, etc.
The center of this region is Mtskheta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mtskheta-Mtianeti region is very interesting from the touristic point of view. Its history, culture, museums, churches and monasteries possess huge potential for the development of cultural and pilgrimage tourism. The main cultural monuments of this region are: Svetitskhoveli Cathedral – one of the holiest places of the Orthodox Christian world, as well as Jvari Monastery, Bodorni church, Shatili, Mutso, Chargali, the ancient town of Zlaleti, Ochani Fortress, Gergeti Church, Sioni, Sno Fortress, Dariali Fortress, the ancient town of Dzalisi, etc.
Location: extreme periphery to the North-West, border of the village of Mukhatgverdi in Mtskheta municipality; 550-600 m above sea level
Access road: from the military highway of Georgia a pathway leads to the monastery of Jonn the Baptist on the top of the rock. From the motor way the length of the path is 600 meters, distance from Mtskheta 12 km.
Name the Cheremi rocks, from the end of the neck of Mukhatgverdi in the segment of Mtkvari gorge (Upper Avchala) starts Tbilisi range (Ponichala) (length 21 km, width 7 km, level of the bottom of the basin hovers over 350-450 m; slopes attain sometimes 1500 m).
Bodorna rocky pillar
Location: Dusheti municipality, right bank of river Aragvi; 813 m above sea level
Access road: from the village of Bodorna to the natural monument leads a 3-km ground road; distance from Tbilisi 35 km, from Dusheti 10 km, from Mtsketa 20 km.
On the right side of Aragvi gorge, near the village of Bodorna, on the elevation of 70-80 meters from the road, is erected a 15-m high naturally cemented rocky pillar. Diameter of its foot is 4 meters getting narrower to the top.
Bodorna pillar has been entered into the Red Book of list of Georgia’s unique non-organic natural monuments. In approximately 150-200 m from Bodorna pillar is erected Bodorna dome church of St. Mary.
Location: Dusheti municipality, the village of Roshka and its surroundings; 2050 m above sea level
Access road: it is possible to reach Roshka using 8 km road which separates from Zhinvali-Shatili motor way higher than Barishakho. Distance until the center of territorial governance – the village of Barisakho is 17 km; distance from Tbilisi – 105 km, from Dusheti – 75 km, from Mtskheta – 90 km.
Roshka gorge is is a good preserver of traces dating back to ancient icing period. In the geological past the length of the glacier exceed 11 km. two Cyclopean boulders brought from Chaukhebi by Abudelauri glacier to Roshka today are among the world’s biggest known meandering boulders. Their sizes are 19x5x7 and 22x13x10 (length, width, height). Boulders consist of magma sediment, dolerite.
Location: Dusheti municipality, southern slope of Tusheti-Khevsureti segment of Greater Caucasus mountains, right affluent of river Roshkistskali – Abudelauri source; 2812 m above sea level.
Access road: from the village of Roshka leads walking route, distance from Tbilisi – 111 km, from Dusheti – 83 km, from Mskheta – 96 km.
Thanks to Abudelauri glacier action, in the Abudelauri lowland are located three lakes different from each other: Green, Blue and White.
The first is Green Lake. The maximal depth of the lake is 3,8 m, water basin – 45 500 cubic meters. Quite long time (6 months) it is covered with ice and it throws it off only in the end of May.
To the north of the Green Lake, in 200 meters, in the hollow, we come across the Blue Lake.
To the north-west from the Blue Lake, in nearly 1 km distance, there is the White Lake which was formed several decades ago in place of the ending of Abudelauri glacier.
Location: Kazbegi municipality, gorge of river Bidari, surrounding territory of Kobi-Gudauri motor way; 2197 m above sea level.
Access road: the biggest populated settlement near the natural monument is the townlet Gudauri. From Tbilisi Gudauri is distanced on 121 km; from the town let Gudauri to Bidari travertine is 10 km; distance from Tbilisi – 131 km; from Mtskheta 116 km, from settlement of Stepantsminda – 19 km.
A travelelrs eyesight on the road segment of Gudauri-Kobi will be surely captured by the amazing travertine slope. Bidari travertine have also been awarded the status of Natural monument. On of the most important and breathtaking location is situated on the left bank on the river, near the automobile tunnel.
Famous Narzan mineral springs are located in the lower body of river Bidari gorge.
Georgian Military Road passes along the Bidari travertine which starts in Tbilisi and stretches up to the city of Vladikavkaz. Its length is 206 km.
In the alpine zone on the Jvari pass has been developed the highest elevated above sea level skiing resort of Gudauri. Resort is an ideal place for extreme sports lovers – Freeriding and Heli-skiing. From European resorts Heli-skiing is possible only in Georgia.
Khorisari lava downpour
Location: Kazbegi municipality, council of the community of Kobi, right side of Truso gorge; 2100-3200 m above sea level.
Access road: from Kobi to the village of Abano leads a rocky road, distance – 5 km; distance from Tbilisi – 14o km, from Mtskheta – 125 km, from settlement of Stepantsminda – 22 km.
Plateau is rich with lakes of volcanic and glacier origin. During 8-9 months lakes are covered with ice. Height on of the lakes is 3358 m above sea level.
Lake Archvebi is one of the highest positioned lake in Georgia, Kazbegi municipality, 3078 m above sea level.
Lake Kelitsadi is a lake dammed up by Java torrent. It is located in Kazbegi Municipality, on the elevation of 3062 m above sea level.
Lake keli lies in in Akhalgori municipality, 2194 m above sea level. River Ksani flows out of the lake.
Location: river tergi gorge on the northern slope of Greater Caucasus mountains, between main watershed ridge and Khokhi range of Caucasus mountains, from Truso pass to the village of Kobi; altitude of the lowest point of the gorge above sea level – 2000 meters.
Access road: the Georgian Military Road continues around the village of Kobi in ground trail passable only by off-roader vehicles. Village of Abano is distanced from Kobi by 13 km; distance from Tbilisi – 148 km, from Stepantsminda – 30 km.
Truso gorge is located near the northern border of Georgia. It is one of the most fascinating regions in Georgia with beautiful mountains and mineral waters.
Travertine of Truso lies at Kobi Sakrebulo (assambly), 2100-2400 meters above sea level. Growth of travertine in Truso can be seen also down Kasriskhevi, near the village of Okrokana (2050 meters above sea level).
Another monument of nature – Abano Lake – is located on the left bank of river Tergi, to the east village Abano, on 2300 meters above sea level. The surface of the lake is sky-blue. It is possible to reach lake by car from the village of Kobi (distance – 13 km).
Keterisi mineral source is located in the village of Keterisi, on 2300 meters above sea level, in the bottom of the main range of Greater Caucasus mountains. The source emits 25-30 mil. Litres of hydro-carbonate-calcium water. Distance from the village of Kobi is 10 km.
Tkarsheti lava stream
Location: Kazbegi municipality, Goristsikhe and Sioni sakrebulo (community assembly), 1820 m above sea level.
Access road: from township Stepantsminda by motor road till lava stream is 10 km distance, then goes a trail of 0,5 km; distance from Tbilisi – 140 km, from Mtskheta – 125 km, from township Stepantsminda – 10 km.
Mount Tkarsheti, 3425 meters above sea level. Tkarsheti lava stream has well preserved, convoluted surface. Its end is cat by river Tergi erosion canyon.
Pillars of Sahizari rock
Location: on top of the village of Sioni, left bank of river Terkhena; 1950 m above sea level
Access road: the closest to the natural monument residential point is the village of Sioni. Distance from Tbilisi to Sioni is 144 km; from the township of Stepantsminda to Sioni is 8,5 km, from Sioni up to the natural monument Sahizari rock – 3 m.
Population calls this palace `Poles of Sahizari rock`.
Mount Kabarjina is an old extinct volcano (3141 meters above sea level). Its western slope borders with river Tergi.
Volcanic cave of Gamura
Location: Kazbegi municipality, Stepantsminda township assembly, 1850 meters above sea level
Access road: distance from Tbilisi – 155 km, from Mtskheta – 140 km, from township of Stepantsminda – 3 km. it takes 2 hours to walk to Gamura cave from Stepanstminda, to see it and to return back.
Popular among tourists, Volkanic Cave of Gamura is located in 3 km the north from Stepantsminda. Gamura cave is located in Dariali gorge. In Dariali gorge, near the village of Gveleti, in 7 km from the township of Stepantsminda, is located Gveleti waterfall.
In dariali gorge, on the high mountain on the left bank of river Tergi, northern and eastern sides of which are unaapproacheble, while to the west the mount neck is covered by walls, is situated a monument of Georgian architecture – Dariali Fortress. Georgian historic tradition ascribed construction of this fortress to Vakhtang Gorgasali (V century A.D.).
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Tratitional Tushetian dishes are: Khinkali, Gourdila (dough boiled in water), Kaghi (smoked meat), Kaurma, Kotori (very thin Khachapuri with cottage cheese stuffing). Pride of Tushetian cuisine is Guda cheese, which is made both from sheep and cow milk. This sort of cheese stand out thanks to its specific smell and yellowish color. Traditionally, in Pshav-Khevsureti, like Tusheti, they make Khinkaliwith mashed potatoes, cottage cheese or meat stuffing.
One more traditional dish of this hillside region is Khacho-Erbo, which is made of cottage cheese dried in a special box – Dzobani. Khavtisi is made of butter, flour and sugar. It is often used as stuffing for Kada. Here, they drink homemade beer and vodka – Zhipitauri.