Samtskhe-Javakheti is a region in a southern part of Georgia. It is bordered by Adjara to the west, Guria and Imereti to the north, Shida Kartli and Kvemo Kartli to the north-east and by Armenia and Turkey to the south and southwest. This region is divided into 6 administrative districts: Akhaltsikhe that is capital, Adigeni, Aspindza, Borjomi, Akhalkalaki, and Ninotsminda. There are 5 town, 6 townlets, 67 community and village sakrebulos (assemblies), and 268 villages in the region.
Samtskhe-Javakheti was traditionally known as Mestekhi, for its Meskhi Georgian tribes. The region was formed in 1995. This region was established by merging 2 areas: Samtskhe and Javakheti. The region is very dry and it has diverse landscapes and natural resources including mountainous terrain, several highland volcanic plateaus, mountain steppes, alpine and sub – alpine vegetation, canyons, rivers, large and small lakes, as well as wetland marshes.
The region is popular with its big and interesting historical heritage. Here are plenty of places which are visited by tourists. One of them is cave city Vardzia. The caves extend along the cliff for at least 500 meters, and go up to 19 layers, here you can walk through the mountain road to see an old historical building that is Sapara Monastery. The construction was ordered by Queen Tamara in the twelfth century. It contained apartments dug out of the rock and outside terraces for cultivation. Since 1985 here formed Historical-Architectural Museum-Reserve, which comprises 46 architectural sites, 12 archeological sites and 21 sites of monumental art. On the way to Vardzia you can also see other interesting places such as Shoreti and Saro in Aspindza.
Akhaltsikhe that is an administrative center of Samtskhe-Javakheti is separated into 2 parts: the old and the new city by the river Potskhovi. This is a small city literally translated as the “new castle” is one of the most attracted places by tourists. It has Rabati Castle located in the old part of Akhaltsikhe that is an excellent discovery for tourists fond of ancient architecture. The Castle was built in the 9th century, and initially, it was called Lomisa. Later it was rebuilt by the Ottomans, using the fortress as a defensive edifice. It has been destroyed many times and has often been under attack, which has left the traces of different cultures and religions within the walls. Nowadays, it is the most visited sites by tourists. The fortress is surrounded by various labyrinths, churches of the different denomination, an amphitheater, citadel, wedding house, cafes, and restaurants.
Another very attracted place by visitors is Borjomi. It is easy to get there as it is located very close to the main highway between Kutaisi and Tbilisi. It is a famous mineral resort, where you can see Russian Romanov’s summer residence and only here you have a unique chance to encounter Europe’s one of the most impressive pine forests in the national park of Borjomi-Kharagauli. It is also a perfect place to make hiking activity on a mountain with the best hiking routes. The mineral water of this part of Georgia is bottled and became very popular around the world that has curative power.
Here in Samtskhe-Javakheti you can fully enjoy with sightseeing, explore new things for you, such as the incredible architecture of ancient time with colossal cultural heritage and overview the most exquisite landscapes with incredible natural sources.