The country’s national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites have placed Georgia among top nature tourism destinations
Travellers can discover Georgia’s rich natural diversity by visiting its numerous national parks, reserves and protected areas.
The country boasts 14 strict nature reserves, 14 national parks, 26 managed reserves, 40 nature monuments, 5 protected landscapes and one multipurpose area. All together, these represent around 13% of the country’s surface.
Georgia’s National Parks are home to 89 trails, which meet international standards and stretch over 1,900 kilometres. These can be explored by foot, horseback, bicycle or driving. Here is a selection of some of Georgia’s most spectacular parks:
Kazbegi National Park
Kazbegi National Park is a popular tourist destination due to Mount Kazbegi, Georgia’s highest mountain at 5,054 meters, offering some of the most remarkable panoramic views of the Gergeti Trinity and Mount Kazbegi, with Alpine meadows, moraines and snowy peaks.
Okatse Canyon and Waterfall
For more extreme adventures, Okatse Canyon is home to Georgia’s first hanging trail, which passes through Dadiani historical forests, offering 360° views of the natural landscape. Another impressive feature which visitors can look forward to is the three-step Okatse (Kinchkha) Waterfall.
Kolkheti, Kobuleti and Mtirala National Parks
Kobuleti National Park, Kolkheti National Park and Mtirala National Park have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands. Kolkheti Lowlands and Kobuleti are both home to thousands of migrating birds and rare plants, especially in late spring and early autumn. Nature lovers can explore Mtirala National Park on foot or ride a zip line through the canopy.
Lagodekhi National Park
The Lagodekhi Protected Area is characterised by its uniquely humid subtropical climate. A softer adventure, Lagodekhi is known for its biodiversity with beautiful cliffs, many waterfalls and the Black Rock Lake, as well as the Machi Fortress dating back to the medieval period.
Vashlovani National Park
Vashlovani National Park differs from other protected areas in Georgia with its semi-desert ecosystem and landscape, surrounded by snow-capped Caucasus mountains. It is a favourite among hikers and bird-watchers as it is home to many unique species.
Kintrishi National Park
Kintrishi National Park is close to the famous sea resort of Kobuleti. Here, visitors have the chance to see the Tamari Arch Bridge and ruins of Khinotsminda Church which date back to the 12th century, as well as the Saint George Monastery, Utkhovari and Lake Tbikeli.
Chachuna National Park
Chachuna National Park, located in Historical part Kiziki, Dedoplistskaro Municipality, Kakheti, on the boarder of Georgia and Azerbaijan, offers a myriad of landscapes including steppes, arid clear forests, semi-deserts and wetlands.
Javakheti National Park
At Javakheti National Park, birdwatchers can observe 140 species of nesting or migrating birds. It is the only place in Georgia where visitors have a chance to see flamingos in the wild.
The Tsalka Canyon, a deep mountain gorge situated 100 kilometres west of Tbilisi, gives visitors the chance to enjoy a zip bike 240 meters off the ground. The canyon is also home to the Diamond Bridge, a glass bridge over the stunning landscape.
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Tasting a wine aged in Tetra Cave
Tetra Cave is the first eco-tourism area in Georgia, where visitors can taste aged wine in one of the country’s most beautiful and ancient caves. The Tetra Cave allows wine to age at the same constant temperature under natural conditions. It is also possible to conduct speleology sessions in the cave. These take place surrounded by one of nature’s true masterpieces – stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is located in the immediate vicinity of the world-class resort of Tskaltubo, well-known for balneotherapy in the Imereti region in West Georgia.