Samtskhe-javakheti

Region of Samtskhe-javakheti today is part of old meskheti and includes three historical provinces – Samtskhe, Javakheti and Tori. The total area of the region is 6421 sq. km. comprises 6 administrative units – municipalties of Borjomi, Adigeni, Aspindza, Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe and Ninotsminda. Region has favorable geopolitical location enabling it to develop commercial, economic and cultural relationships with neighbor countries. Baky-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, Transcaucasia gas pipeline as well as Marabda-Kartsakhi-Kars railway run across the region.

Samtskhe-javakheti is considered by the scholars as the cradle of Georgian grain and Georgian grapes. During excavations wine kvevri (clay vat) and wine cellars were uncovered even in such places where grapes does not grow for centuries.

Resorts of Borjomi group are one of the major and most important recreational resources of Smtskhe-Javakheti.

 

Resort of Abastumani

Location: southern slope of Meskheti range, gorge of river Otskhe

Distance: 25 km from Adigeni, 28 km from Akhaltsikhe, 240 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  1250-1450 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: middle mountain, winter cold, mean temperature in January -6, degrees, summer moderately warm, mean temperature in August 16 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 688 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 77%

Duration of annual sunny light:  1967 h

Natural treatment factor: mild climate and thermal, silicon acid, sulpuric-chloride, calcium-sodium mineral waters with general mineralization 0,6 g/dm3

Type of therapy: passive climate therapy, mineral water baths

Diseases for treatment: pulmonary TB in a phases of development, chronic and acute forms of pneumonopleuritis and lymphodenitis; bone and joints and peripheral nervous systems, as well as gynecological diseases.

On the Southern slopes of Meskheti range covered with coniferous forest is located a famous mountain climatic spa resort of Abastumani with the climate indispensable for prevention of pulmonary diseases. Spring season is especially wholesome when pine-trees start pollination. While breathing yellow dust gets into lungs and makes positive impact on them.

Besides major treatment factor of the resort – climate, Abastumani is also famous for it hyperthermal, slightly mineralized springs with total discharge of 1 million l/day. Mineral waters are used for treatment of numerous diseases.

Scientific research of thermal mineral waters started from 70s of the XIX century. In sync with this, foundation was laid in development of Abastumani as a pthisiology resort.

Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory is located on Mount Kanobili, 1650 m, 8 km away from Abastumani. Founded in 1932. It was the first Astrophysical Observatory in the former Soviet Union.

 

Resort of Aspindza

Location: slope of Trialeti range

Distance: 240 km away from Tbilisi, 230 km via Ninotsminda

Sea level:  1050-1060 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: middle mountain, winter moderately cold, mean temperature in January -2, degrees, summer warm and dry,  mean temperature in August 16 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 520 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 64%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2100 h

Natural treatment factor: climate of middle mountain lower belt and thermal, slightly sulfide, sulpuric-chloride, sodium-calcium mineral waters with silicon acid content and general mineralization 0,8-1,0 g/dm3

Diseases for treatment: musculoskeletal, skin and peripheral nervous system, as well as gynecological diseases.

 

Mountain side of Aspindza municipality is located in the Eastern part of Akhaltsikhe hollow surrounded by slopes of Trialeti and Erusheti mountains. `Aspindza` in Persian means `Hotel on the Highway`, `Station on the way`

Center of the municipality, townlet of Aspindza, is famous for its several type slightly mineralized, thermal waters having positive impact on musculoskeletal and perhiperal nervous systems. Therapeutic waters have many other outlets on the territory of the municipality. Nakalakevi (1100-1150 m) was a famous resort and its `Essentuki`-kind thermal (33 degrees) water was used for treatment of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and nervous system diseases as well as gynecological and skin pathologies. Vardzia is also rich with mineral waters though it is more famous for its unique complex of cave monastery dating to XII-XIII c.

In many places of Sothern Georgia, we can see monuments of rock cut architecture, like Tavkvetula, Vani (Vahani) Kvabebi, Oloda, Gelsunda, Baiebi… but of course, they have smaller profile.

 

Resort of Bakuriani

Location: northern slope of Trialeti range

Distance: 30 km away from Borjomi, 180 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  1700 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: middle mountain, winter cold, mean temperature in January -5,6 degrees, summer moderately warm,  mean temperature in August 14 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 800 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 77%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2000 h

Natural treatment factors: passive and active climate mountain

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

Diseases for treatment: lymphadenitis, non-TB respiratory tracts chronic diseases, blood deficiency.

Popular mounting skiing and health resort of Bakuriani is situated in Borjomi gorge, on the northern slope of Trialeti range, and is surrounded by unique fir-tree and pine-tree groves and alpine meadows.

In XIX century after Borjomi mineral water had gained high reputation for its unique therapeutic properties, a lot of people from Russia were in a hurry to visit the gorge.

In 1910 on the western slope of Kokhta-Gora mount Botanical garden was founded. The purpose of setting up Botanical Garden was introduction and acclimatization of high mountain vegetation.

In the 30-ies Bakuriani already had skiing base and several children’s sanatoria. In several years two 45 and 75-meter ski-jumps were erected, cable lifts constructed, and skiing trails for professionals and amateur skiers laid.

Fascinated by location and scenery of the resort, guests called Bakuriani `Capital of Soviet skiing sport` and `Soviet Davos`.

 

Resort of Borjomi

Location: between slopes of Meskheti and Trialeti ranges

distance: 155 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  800-1000 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: low mountain forest area of subtropical zone, winter moderately cold, mean temperature in January -2,1 degrees, summer warm, mean temperature in August 20,1 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 653 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 77%

Duration of annual sunny light:  1800-1900 h

Natural treatment factors: climate of low mountain, carbohydrate, hydro-carbonate, sodium mineral waters with general mineralization of 5,0-7,5 g/dm3

Types of treatment factors: passive climate therapy, mineral water application (drinking), mineral water baths gastric lavages and inhalations

Diseases for treatment: chronic gastritis, stomach and duodenium ulcer diseases, colitis and entercolitis, pancreas, diabetes mellitus.

 

The best known and popular Georgian resort of Borjomi is placed in the magnificent gorge, between Meskheti and Trialeti ranges. River Mtkvari which has two tributaries on the territory of the town – Borjomula and Gujaretistskali – divides Borjomi in two parts.

The major wealth of the town is mineral water in the whole word with its therapheutic properties.

In 1844 new Viceroy of the Caucasus, Mikhaeil Vorontsov, worked out a project of Borjomi development according to which Administration of mineral waters was established in the town, bath houses, hotels were built, and a new park developed.  Soon Borjomi became the first-class health center which provided the same quality health services as its European counterparts. In 1894 Mikhail Romanov built water bottling shop in the mineral water park. Since 1900 mineral water has been exported to Russia and in a very short time Borjomi became very popular. In the 1980-ies sales of Borjomi mineral water reached 400 million bottles. Today its export area comprises 30 countries.

 

Resort of Likani

Location: Borjomi

distance: 160 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  1300 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: subtropical, winter moderately mild, snowy, mean temperature in January -2 degrees, summer very warm, mean temperature in August 16 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 800 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 65-70%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2200 h

Natural treatment factors: climate of middle mountain, carbohydrate, hydro-carbonate, calcium-sodium mineral waters containing silicon acid with general mineralization of 3,5-4,5 g/dm3

Types of treatment factors: climate therapy, mineral water application (drinking), balneotherapy procedures (baths, showers, inhalation)

Diseases for treatment: diseases of alimentary tract system, pulmonary TB (active form).

 

There are three operational sections of mineral water in Borjomi: central (within boundaries of the town), Likani (on the territory of Likani) and Vashlovani-Kvibisi (on the territory of Vashlovani and Kvibisi). There are 9 operative springs in sections that are 1200-1500 m depth. Mineral water Likani is a special combination of hydro-carbonates, magnesium and calcium, and large quantities of natural carbonic acid gas providing water flowing from 1500 m depth with unmatched mild taste.

Park in Likani was laid out in the end of XIX century. Area 45 ha, forest covers 16 ha and garden – 3 ha and the rest of the space is occupied by decorative plants and support buildings. One of them is Palace of the Russian Viceroy.

 

Resort area of Mitarbi

Location: Borjomi gorge, bank of river Mitarbula, includes two villages (Didi and Patara Mitarbi)

Distance: 25 km away from Borjomi, 175 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  1300-1480 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: middle mountain, winter cold, snowy, mean temperature in January -2,9 degrees, summer moderately warm, dry, mean temperature in August 18 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 800 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 77%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2050-2100 h

Natural treatment factors: climate of middle mountain, carbohydrate, calcium-sodium mineral waters with general mineralization 3,8-4,2 g/dm3

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

Diseases for treatment: alimentary tract diseases, including chronic gastritis, stomach and duodenum ulcer, colitis and entercolitis.

 

Gujareti – gorge of river Gujarula – is a historical region in Georgia. Mitarbula is a left tributary of river Gujaretistskali. Resort of Mitarbi belonging to the Borjomi group of health resorts is located on the northern slope of Trialeti range, on the riverside, in highland village 25 km away from Borjomi, resort infrastructure is nearly none extent, but mineral water springs available there are known and popular. Mineral water has peculiar taste and therapheutic properties. Mitarbi water has been distributed to Tsagveri by water mains where it had been bottled for commerce since 1970-ies of the last century.

 

Resort of Abastumani

Location: slope of Trialeti range, gorge of river Uraveli

Distance: 18 km from Akhaltsikhe, 215 km from Tbilisi

Sea level:  1250 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: middle mountain, winter cold, mean temperature in January -4, degrees, summer moderately warm,  mean temperature in August 17 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 520 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 73%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2000 h

Natural treatment factor: climate of middle mountain and carbohydrate, hydro-carbonate, sodium-calcium-magnesium mineral waters with general mineralization 3 g/dm3, biologically active silicon acid and bivalent iron

Type of therapy: mineral water baths and application (drinking), passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: alimentary tract organs, musculoskeletal and peripheral nervous system diseases.

 

Georgia’s historical and geological region of Samtskhe, nowadays represented by Akhaltsikhe municipality, is stretching in the gorges of rivers Mtkvari and Potskhovi, in the hollow of Akhatsikhe. In the South it is bordered by the Georgian-Turkey state border.

Akhaltsikhe, a hub on the crossroads and linking roads of Kartli, Javakheti, Ajara-Imereti and Tao-Klarjeti was always distinguished by its multi-national population. Here always lived Georgians, Armenians, Greeks and Jews as next-door neighbors.

Today Akhaltsikhe retains the function of a transit hub: here merge roads coming from neighboring nations – Armenia and Turkey, Georgia’s backbone expressways – ს-8 (E691, Khashuri-Borjomi-Akhaltsikhe-Vale, last Point-Turkish border) and ს-11 (E691 Akhaltsikhe-Akhalkalaki-Ninotsminda, last point –Turkish border), freeway of internal state importance Akhaltsikhe-Batumi (შ-1) and Khashuri-Vale. Many tourist routes cross the territory of municipality. One of them follows river Uraveli gorge located in the ultimate Southern part of municipality. The gorge is noted for scores of historical monuments and mineral water springs. Here are outlets of therapeutic mineral water used for treatment of many diseases. Sub-thermal (38 degrees) mineral water spring is also available in Akhaltsikhe.

 

Resort of Tsemi

Location: northern slope of Trialeti range

Distance: 15 km from Borjomi, 170 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  1120 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: middle mountain, winter cold, snowy, mean temperature in January -4,5 degrees, summer moderately warm, dry, mean temperature in August 18 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 555 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 77%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2200 h

Natural treatment factors: climate of middle mountain

Types of treatment factors: passive climate therapy

Diseases for treatment: cardiovascular system pathologies, bronchial asthma, functional and other diseases of nervous system.

Tsemi and Patara Tsemi are resorts of Borjomi group. Both are situated on the left side of river Bakurianistskali. One is 15 km away from Borjomi, another – 21 km. both settlements are health resorts of middle mountains with coniferous forests distributed around them. Therefore, the best therapeutic effect is May when pine-trees and spruce have period of florescence and a lot of plant dust is up in the air making positive impact on respiratory tract diseases.

The first health improvement corner in Tsemi – chidrens recreational sanatorium was opened in 1904. today only one, `Mziuri`, is operated but to holiday makers in Tsemi, as visitors are offered family hotels creating secluded environment and comfort.

 

Resort of Tsagveri

Location: northern slope of Trialeti range

Distance: 20 km from Borjomi, 170 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  1020-1050 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: middle mountain, winter cold, snowy, mean temperature in January -3,5 degrees, summer  moderately warm, dry, mean temperature in August 18,3 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 585 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 77%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2000 h

Natural treatment factors: middle mountain climate, carbohydrate, hydro-carbonate, magnesium-calcium-sodium mineral waters containing iron with general mineralization of 3,5-4,5 g/dm3

Types of treatment factors: passive and active climate therapy, mineral water application (drinking)

Diseases for treatment: diseases of respiratory and cardiovascular systems, chronic gastritis, stomach, colitis and enterocolitis, diabetes mellitus, iron deficit anemia.

 

Townlet of Tsagveri is situated 20 km from Borjomi in the South-Eastern direction, on the northen slope of Trialeti range, at the confluence of rivers Gujaretistskali (Gujarula) and Bakuriani. Lika highland, moderately humid clean air permeated by coniferouis aroma, and therapeutic waters either villages of the community – Daba, Timotesubani and Mzetamze – Tsagveri has the status of health resort, its natural treatment factors are as follows: transitional climate between lowland and rich with various minerals.

Tsagveri is a resort for children. In 1933 mother-and-children boarding house `khechkhobi started its operation in Daba. Sanatorium is operable even today and hosts vacationers in all four seasons around the year.

 

Javakheti National Park

Location: Javakheti highland

Distance: 180 km away from Tbilisi

Sea level:  1980 m

Landscape: mountainous

Climate: continental of moderate belt, winter cold, mean temperature in January -5 -10 degrees, summer cool,  annual mean temperature 16 degrees centigrade

Average annual precipitation: 700-750 mm

Average comparative annual humidity: 77%

Duration of annual sunny light:  2200 h

 

Today’s administrative and territorial divide puts Javakheti in the region of Samtskhe-Javakheti which includes territories of Akhalkalaki, Ninotsminda, partly Aspindza and Borjomi municipalities. landscape of Javakheti highland consists of volcanic mountains and hills and slopes. In the cavities between them there are up to 80 big and small lakes. There are Georgias biggest lake Paravani (2073 m above sea level). In winter most of the lakes freeze for a long time lakes and rivers are habitat for many species: trout, chub, Khramula, common carp, Mtkvari barbell and others. It is fishing that is the main business activity of the local population.

In 2011 Javakheti National Park was founded. Its total area is 14, 200 ha. The park includes part of Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda municipality territories and several Managed Preserved Territories. Nowadays National Park is under refurbishment.

There are numerous underground waters on the Javakheti highland. Village of Dilipi in the Ninotsminda municipality, to the west from Khanchali Lake, is famous for crystal-clear springs and among them there are several mineral water outlets.