Georgia is a small country hidden among the high peaks of the Caucasus. Due to its geographic position, it features diverse nature: here you can find high mountain ranges and alpine meadows, dense evergreen forests and plains, warm caressing sea and days full of sunshine.
Nowadays in Georgia, there are 16 protected areas which include national parks and nature reserves. If you want to unravel the best destinations for spending an unforgettable time at Georgia’s Nature Reserves then read on!
And if you want to have a tour around these amazing places listed below just contact any Georgian tour agency to have everything arranged in a great way.
Tusheti Protected Area
Lovers of untouched nature, especially fans of ecotourism, will probably appreciate visiting Tusheti National Park. Tusheti is situated about 205 km to the north-east from Tbilisi.
It is considered one of the most difficult parts of Georgia to access. But it is worth conquering, as once you get there, the nature will make you speechless.
Tusheti is surrounded by high mountains laced with numerous gorges. Here you can enjoy trekking and horse-riding through the untouched gorges, admire the beauty of authentic Georgian villages which have preserved its unique cultural heritage, traditions and ceremonies.
Villages in Tusheti region resemble those in Svaneti from an architectural point of view: houses here have towers, which serve either a religious or military purpose. The most popular villages are Dartlo, Shenako and Omalo. Only here you can taste the traditional beer and rare cheese, “dhambal hacho”, known for its spicy flavor. This technology of cheese-making is even included in the UNESCO list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Mtirala National Park
Mtirala National Reserve is situated in Adjara region, near the popular Black Sea resorts of Batumi and Kobuleti, right at the place where the Black Sea meets Adjara Mountains covered with luscious forests.
The park is named after the Mount Mtirala which in Georgian means «the crying mountain». Indeed, the level of humidity is extremely high here and the area is considered the rainiest part of Georgia.
Mtirala Park is home to unspoiled «Colchis» humid broad-leaved and mixed forests. Mtirala Park offers various activities for the lovers of eco-tourism: you can go hiking and boating along the swift clear waters of steep rivers; you can arrange horse-riding tours to the most picturesque waterfalls; take a dip in a cold mountain lake; and enjoy the breathtaking views.
Sataplia Cave and Nature Reserve
The Georgian analog of Jurassic Park is situated not far from Kutaisi town, in Sataplia Natural Reserve Park. The reserve was established in 1935 with the aim to protect geological, paleontological, speleological and botanical monuments.
Sataplia reserve is rich in “Colchian forests”. It is a valuable experience for fans of relic and endemic plants. You can expand the program and arrange a small trip through the “wild” part of the reserve.
Visiting Sataplia Natural Reserve will be great especially when traveling with children: they will be very excited to see the 120 million-year-old giant dinosaurs’ footprints! Another exciting part of the Sataplia reserve is the eponymous huge cave which is 900m in length, 10m in height and 12m wide. This is only the visible part of the cave: during the centuries it formed a system of caves resembling an underground kingdom.
Sataplia cave is open for visitors who can admire stalagmites and stalactites of eccentric shapes. The permitted territory for visitors is only open for 300m. Inside the cave is decorated with various lights: great shots are guaranteed!
Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park
The balneal resort of Borjomi with the world known mineral water has become one of the most illustrious trademarks of Georgia. It is considered the largest national park in Europe where you can see the high mountain peaks, dense forests, beautiful temples and fortresses.
You can get to Borjomi from Tbilisi any day from the central railway station or the bus station in Didube, taking a train or minibus to Borjomi. It goes without saying that the flora and fauna of the reserve is very diverse: it is home to bears, wolves, wild boars, deer, squirrels, martens.
Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park has the highest level of developed infrastructure. The lovers of trekking will appreciate the quality and quantity of trails. There are 11 hiking trails with varying degrees of complexity. The longest route is about 54 km, the shortest one, for the beginners is 3 km. In the information center of the park you can rent a tent, rucksacks and other equipment necessary for the traveler. The main entrance to the park is located in Borjomi, in the settlement of Likani.
Kazbegi National Park
Mount Kazbek is the third highest peak in Georgia and one of the most prominent in the Caucuses. The area surrounding the mount which is more than 9 thousand hectares is part of the Kazbegi National Park.
Kazbegi National Park is located in the highlands. 1/3 of the national park is covered with forest and the rest is occupied by alpine meadowlands or eternally snow-covered peaks and inaccessible rocks. The flora and fauna are rich with rare species such as east Caucasian mountain goat, chamois, brown bear, lynx. Here you can find a forest marten, a forest cat, a hare, a squirrel and others included in the “Red List” of Georgia.
The tourist infrastructure is actively developing, nevertheless, Mount Kazbek and the surrounding area is one of the main touristic destinations of the country. The main reason lies in the fact that Kazbek is technically easy for climbing and attracts a lot of amateur climbers and lovers of extreme sports. Walking tours and hiking, horseback riding, specialized educational tours to observe the representatives of the flora and fauna are held in the reserve.
As you have seen there are lots of unique corners in Georgia that are really worth visiting. It’s also worth combining your Georgian tour with the visit to Armenia – the other no less beautiful country of the South Caucasus. Its lush nature, majestic mountains and hospitable atmosphere will undoubtedly give you unforgettable memories. Armenia is also a great place for rural and extreme tourism.
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