Mtskheta-Mtianeti is an eastern region of Georgia, where a regional capital town and administrative center is Mtskheta. It represents one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. From the north it is bordered by Russian Federation Republics of North Ossetia, Ingushetia, and Chechnya; from the south, it is bordered by Kakheti and Shida Kartli. The region is divided into 5 municipalities: Akhalgori, Dusheti, Tianeti, Mtskheta, and Kazbegi. The total area of this region is 6.8 thousands sq. kilometers, with 125 thousand inhabitants. It is quite close to the capital city of Georgia, just 20km that takes 15 min to drive. The climate in the lowlands of Mtskheta- Mtianeti Region is humid; winters here are mildly cold and long, summers are warm. In the highlands of this regions, the climate is also humid, with no summer in such places as Kazbegi that is located at 2600-3600 meters above the sea level that has never experienced a summer; and winters are predominately snowy in all of the regions.
The main economic activity of the region is cattle breeding and agricultural industry, even in the recent decade developed also the field of tourism and becoming one of the main incomes of the region. It is interesting to consider that Mtskheta-Mtianeti region is one of the oldest cities of Eastern Georgia and the former capital of the Kingdom Iberia. The merit of its perfect location on the hub of international trade routes alongside Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers it gave opportunities to facilitate the development of the town. Mtskheta was not only the political center of the country, but it was regarded as the religious heart of the Georgian lands until 12th c AD. Mtskheta was declared as the Holy City in 2014 by Georgian Orthodox Church. Mtskheta is full of numerous historical monuments and cultural heritage. The Historical Monuments of Mtskheta became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.
It’s a combination of different Georgian ethnographic cultures. Here, you can find unity between the fragments of the past and modern life, natural diversity, and traditions. Moreover, Mtskheta is known as one of the most picturesque lands in Georgia with a diversity of landscapes and uniqueness. Here you can find The Caucasus Mountains with snowy peaks, beautiful gorges, lakes, and alpine valleys. In Khevi and Khevsureti, you can encounter one of the best views on The Caucasus Mountains.
Mtskheta that is a former capital city in Georgia is one of the most visited places. The whole city is like a museum, where you can overview the history of this city back to the centuries, with its unbelievable architecture, old buildings, and monuments. Don’t miss to visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral that is a monument of the 11th century, which is important for being the burial place of Christ’s mantle. It is considered as the fourth greatest Cathedral in the country. Afterward, visit the Jvari Monastery, a 6th-century masterpiece built on the eastern side of Mtskheta. Enjoy the beautiful view of the ancient city and the confluence of two rivers.
Another considerable spot to see here is Ananuri Fortress that dates back to feudal times of the 16th-18th centuries, representing one of the most notable architectural examples of ancient Georgia. It the unity of religious, temporal and military monuments represented by the fortresses lower and upper parts. In the Upper part, you can encounter the Church of Holy Godmother, Khevsurian tower, the Mkirnali Church, the Church of the Deity, a water reservoir, a bell tower, and monk’s cells.
One more prominent place to explore is the medieval castle town Shatili that is the best example of Georgian unique architecture. This Khevsurian settlement is presenting a synthesis of amazing nature and incomparable architecture. It is built in order to protect from the enemy invasions with strong stocky houses built very close to each other. The village is constructed on a cliff that made a home for its inhabitants and defending Georgian lowlands and makes possible to communicate with the outer area, without leaving it.
For those ones who are interested in getting rest in the resort, Gudauri is the most suitable place here. It is located on the main Caucasus Range on a Georgian military road near the Cross Mountain Pass. Gudauri is one of the most modern winter destinations in Georgia. That is both large and high ski resort. It has all types of routes, which are suitable as for experienced riders as well as for beginners, it has 22 routes in total. Besides winter sports activities you can visit Gudauri in summer, as well. In this period of the year, you can be occupied with summer mountain tourism that involves rock-climbing, camping, jeep tours, biking, fishery, rafting and helicopter tours.
Visiting this truly wonderful region will make your trip enjoyable and unforgettable in many different ways. Here in Mtskheta-Mtianeti, you can stay impressed with its long-time historical heritage and cultural sites with best examples of architecture and with its picturesque landscapes and divine nature.