Imereti is a Georgian region situated along the Rioni River. Imereti is divided into 2 parts Upper (zemo) Imereti and Lower (kvemo) Imereti. Imereti is surrounded by the Likhi Mountain Range to the east, Tskhenistskali River to the west, the Caucasus Mountains to the north and Meskheti Mountains to the south. The main city of this region is Kutaisi. The main considerable towns are Samtredia, Chiatura, Tkibuli, Zestafoni, Vani, Khoni and Sachkhere. Imeretians speak a Georgian dialect. The lowlands of Imereti are mostly covered with Colchis low brush, forests, oaks, groves, and meadows. The mountainous parts of Imereti are mainly Colchis deciduous forests. The forests of Imereti are rich with animals and birds. The climate of Lower Imereti is sub-tropical. It has mild winter and very hot summer. In Upper Imereti there is humid sub-tropical climate with colder winters. Imereti is distinguished with its agricultural development, where mulberries and grapes are produced.
Imereti has an interesting long-time history. Back in the times, this region was considered as a separate kingdom, within the Kingdom of Georgia. From 1918–1921, Imereti was part of the independent Democratic Republic of Georgia. Since Georgian independence in 1991, Imereti has been a region of Georgia with Kutaisi as the regional capital.
The culture and traditions of Imereti are very vivid and interesting to explore. The religion and spiritual life is in the first place in Imereti and is highly respected. People in Imereti are very optimistic and with a big sense of humor. Also, Imereti is considered to be one of the most hospitable regions in Georgia. Guests in Imereti are always welcomed and served with “supras” that is an essential part of their everyday life, where you can find just endless variety of many different dishes. Some of the special dishes of Imereti are khachapuri (baked cheese bread), satsivi (chicken or turkey in a spiced walnut sauce), gomi (Georgian grits), matsoni (fresh yogurt), and pkhali (ground spinach mixed with herbs and spices). The area of Imereti is the most favorable place for agricultural activity. The winemaking is highly developed here, dating back to ancient times. The ancient part of the village still has over a dozen very old wine cellars covered with roof tiles, with presses for grapes, bread bakeries, wine jars and other inventory for wine-making. Feasting and celebrating some special days are one of the essential parts of their life. Folk polyphonic, lyric and joyful songs are originated in Imereti and are performed even nowadays.
While being Imereti you should indisputably visit the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park that is one of the largest in Europe. It was established in 1995 and officially opened in 2001. It combines more than 76,000 hectares of native forest and sub-alpine and alpine meadows. Here you can also find the rare species of flora and fauna that is quite diverse in this park. In this National park, you can also encounter different types of animals and rare species of birds, such as the golden eagle, griffon vulture, black vulture, and Caucasian black grouse. Merit to interesting ethnographical diversity visitors can observe different amazing parts of the park that will make you totally impressed.
One more place worthy to visit is the Sataplia Reservation that is located close to Kutaisi. The area covers 354 hectares that have mountains and hills almost fully covered by the Colchis Forest. To the north of Sataplia cave, there is a flowering meadow on the cliff with a number of bee colonies. This was the reason for naming this area Sataplia (“the place of honey”).
There is also Ajameti Protected Area that is situated in Baghdati district, near to Kutaisi. The total area of this Managed Nature Reserve is 4848 ha, the main part of which is fully covered with forest. Ajameti forest is distinguished with its unique subtropical mixed forests that have been preserved in the original conditions.
As you have noticed, Imereti has plenty of things to offer you. Starting with its hospitality and the most delicious cuisine and wine in Georgia it has also a lot of places to see and get impressed with its incorporable beauty.