Borjomi Gorge is famous for hikes in wonderful forests of Boromi-Kharagauli National Park, but its also perfect destination for road trips or jeep tours. The area has mixed forests (pine forests and regular forests) so its very beautiful especially in the transitional seasons (May 2nd half- June, October first half) because of fresh colors but could be a great escape from summer heat in summer.
Borjomi Mineral Water Park
The most famous and most touristic destination. To walk in the mineral water park is quite different from hike in Borjomi National park which is paradise for hikers who want to hike in forested areas. In the min water park:
- You can try famous Borjomi spring which is warm and doesnt taste like bottled Borjomi.
- Have a relaxing 3km walk and then swim in mineral water pool. Walk is in a classical Borjomi atmosphere – river, forest, flat terrain – all sounds of nature.
- Ride cable cars to the plateau where you can enjoy nice views. You can walk/ride car to Sadgeri monasteries from there. One of those – Named after Russian saint Serapim Sarov lies in a beautiful forest, could be interested for those who love nature or are interested in Russian spirituality.
- Visit historical blue house named “Firuza” (located near the entrance of the park) with persian ornaments which belonged to the Council of Iran Mirza Riza Khan. You could stay in The best hotels of Borjomi Crownie Plaza near The park and Borjomi likani palace near Romanov’s old palace and another park (or at least dine in the restaurant of that hotel to see that park and Palace).
The most impressive thing to do in Borjomi is arguably jeep tour to Tabatskuri lake. You can view my article on Tabatskuri and photos here. Visiting the lake you pass Bakuriani ski resort, make it on the ridge with views on Borjomi gorge and descend to the another world. You can buy Tabatskuri cheese on Tskhratskaro pass shepherds huts, do fishing/or buy local fish and fry on fire on the shore of the lake while you are camping.
There is another – Kakhisi Lake with more forested area than Tabatskuri. Find out more about Kakhisi Lake and Chobiskhevi ancient settlements and its jeep and horseriding routes on this blog:
Kakhisi Lake Horse Riding and Chobiskhevi Ancient Settlement Jeep Routes in Borjomi
Green Monastery in Borjomi
Green Monastery (9th century) could a stop (unless you are in a hurry) on the way between Akhaltsikhe and Borjomi. Again, river, trees, moss which makes area all time greener and only 1km from main road. Green Monastery is not really my recommendation if you want a place for longer stop or for Camping near the river. Then you can look for a spot 2-3km beyond Borjomi-Kharagauli NP Kvabiskhevi entrance.
The area around there can be quite beautiful, cool and refreshing in hot days of summer. Kvabiskhevi area is great for horseriding and picnic and relaxation in the nature, for setting up camp, playing games and networking events in the nature. On the way from Borjomi to Akhaltsikhe you can explore historical and exotic village Atskuri with so many sights and different touch.
However, my favorite place in all Borjomi gorge is Gujriskhevi chapel ruins, check the blog for more information.
Interesting jeeptour destinations on the way to Borjomi
- Nedzvi Monastery ruins in Nedzvi managed reserve which can be nice spot for camping (nothing special to see but interesting area). It can be accessed from Akhaldaba village
- On the hill from Akhaldaba village you can make it to Potoleti Monastery which has beautiful views over river gorge.
- Views can be even better from Mtatsminda monastery accessible from Kvishkheti via 4wd+ hike;
- You can hike from Zanavi to Nunisi (Borjomi-Kharagauli NP untouched forest trial) or from Bulbulistsikhe (fortress near Kviskheti) to Nunisi via historical road.
- Besides, You can hike from Koditskaro lake to Ghorinamkali mountain (can be an idea for training before ascending some serious elevations or summit). This area has a lot to offer for tourists looking for non-touristic places and beautiful forests. Nearby there is great hotel in Kviskheti called Mtserlebi (writers) which I recommend to stay and explore Mtatsminda monastery nearby.