A hiker balancing on a rock reflected in one of the Abudelauri Lakes in Georgia

Beautiful places to visit in Georgia

Maysie Dee

Contributing writer

The country of Georgia, blessed with natural beauty of the Caucasus Mountains, is the perfect place to explore the unknown and venture into wild and remote places. With a relatively small population and few major cities, it doesn’t take long to put civilization behind you and tour far-off regions. 

Ancient remains of the medieval Georgian kingdom, plus Turkish and Ottoman influences that conjure rich images of the past, will captivate your heart and imagination. Among the natural beauty, you’ll find many historical examples of Georgia’s Christian identity in its cathedrals, monasteries, and time-worn stone churches.

There are way too many beautiful places in Georgia to include in one list, but here are some of our favourite must-see spots to get you started on your Georgian adventure.

The beautiful Svetitskhoveli Monastery on the banks of a river in Mtskheta, Georgia

1. Mshketa and the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

This historically significant Georgian town is one of the region's first settlements, serving as the original capital of the antiquated Kingdom of Iberia.

Picturesquely set in the lowlands at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers, the town is famous for its religious monuments: the 4th-century Samtavro Monastery, the 6th-century Jvari Monastery, and the 11th-century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.

Mshketa is designated as a “Holy Place” by the head of the Georgian Orthodox Christian Church. The town’s wondrous Svetitskhoveli Cathedral provides sweeping panoramic views from the highest point in the area, and is acclaimed for its architectural beauty, historic frescoes and other works of art. 

A walkway through the fascinating rock formations in the Prometheus Cave, Georgia

2. Prometheus Cave

According to legend, themagical Prometheus Cave is where the Titan Prometheus was chained for stealing celestial fire. Located in Georgia’s Imereti region, it’s an enormous karst cave structure comprised of caverns, waterfalls, stone curtains, sinkholes, and the River Kumistavi.

The stunningly beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations are jaw-droppingly wonderful to behold. Of 22 known cave halls, six are open to visitors, who can explore the formations to a depth of 80 metres below ground, via guided walking and/or boat tours.

You can also visit on an organised day trip from Tbilisi, which combines the cave with Martvili Canyon (see below).

A boat floating between the huge walls of the Martvili Canyon in Georgia.

3. Martvili Canyon

Visiting this small but oh-so-beautiful lush green forested area and canyon is perfect for a day trip, especially if you love being surrounded by unspoiled nature. Cited as a national park and ecologically protected area, Martvili, located near Kutaisi in Georgia’s Samgrelo region, offers short walks, ancient limestone stepping stairs, natural bridges and viewing platforms for fully experiencing the canyon’s wonders.

An optional 20-minute boat ride puts you right atop the clear blue and emerald water of the Abasha River that flows through the moss-covered canyon walls.

Note: There’s an entrance fee to the park and a separate fee for the boat ride. (Don’t skip the boat ride!) The best time to visit is in the shoulder seasons, as summer is sweltering and winter is too cold to enjoy comfortably. You can also visit on an organised day tour from Tbilisi.

View of the Ushguli village at the foot of Mt. Shkhara in Georgia

4. Stone Towers of Svaneti

High in the Caucasus Mountains lies the area of Upper Svaneti, with Georgia’s highest peak, Mt Shkhara, looming above. Charmingly preserved (and still inhabited!) medieval-style villages dot the landscape, tucked between spectacular mountains and cliffs.

The area is distinguished by hundreds of ancient 6-storey stone defence towers that helped protect the area, as the mighty Svan warriors warded off Mongol hordes and other invaders during the 13th and 14th centuries.  

Today, Svaneti’s beautiful village of Ushguli is a favourite among tourists who want an authentic experience of old Georgia. The starting point for visiting the region is the city of Mestia, where you can organize hiking, horseback riding, or minivan tours of the area. 

If you stay locally, you’ll see the towers lit up for a breathtaking view against the night sky, and possibly join a traditional supra feast, complete with an impromptu Georgian polyphonic music performance.

A hiker balancing on a rock reflected in one of the Abudelauri Lakes in Georgia

5. Abudelauri Lakes

The colourful Abudelauri lakes are located in the high-altitude alpine terrain of the remote north-eastern Caucasus Mountain region of Khevsureti. It’s truly a marvel of nature that three lakes of distinct colours lie so close to each other. One is green, one blue and the third is pure white.

There are two ways to reach the lakes. The easiest point of access starts in Roshka Village, entering the lake area via the gorge pathway (about 7 km). The brilliant Abudelauri blue and green lakes are right next to each other, while the white lake is about 40 minutes further, nestled near the base of the Chiukhi Glacier.  

For a longer, moderately difficult trek of about eight hours, start in Juka in Kazbegi, and continue over the high Chiukhi pass. 

Traditional houses with lacy balconies in Telavi, Georgia

6. Telavi

Telavi, the cultural centre of Georgia’s Kakheti region, is the perfect place to stay when venturing into Georgia’s wine country.

With historic buildings, such as the Batonis-Tsikhe Fortress and the Batonis Castle, plus museums, bazaars, and a friendly small-city vibe, it’s no wonder locals, and visitors alike, adore Telavi. Wander the lovely walkable city, stand in the shade of Telavi’s 46-metre high, 900-year-old plane tree, and enjoy delicious regional cuisine.

If you’re planning to visit wineries and do wine samplings throughout the region, Telavi is the best home base. Here you can rest in a historic guesthouse or boutique hotel, and hire a guide or get local advice for the best wine tastings in the area.

Mountain lakes on the Black Rock Lake Trail in Lagodekhi National Park, Georgia

7. Lagodekhi National Park (Black Rock Lake)

The Lagodekhi Protected Areas, in the far northeast of Georgia’s Kakheti region bordering Azerbaijan, contain a wealth of natural eco-sytems to explore. From dense beech forests to lush flowering meadows, the park’s diversity holds many wonders, including waterfalls, glacial lakes and over 126 different varieties of wildlife. (Tip: Visit in autumn for brilliant autumn foliage!)

Enjoy your choice of several leisurely day hikes, or choose to undertake a strenuous (hard level) 3-day trek to the elusive, magical Black Rock Lake (and a dip in the icy cold water!) at over 3,000 metres elevation. At every turn, Lagodekhi will share its charms with you. 

Hiking huts along designated trails make it easy to take in the full park experience, plus there’s a friendly tourist information center and several educational programs on offer.

The exterior of the Vardzia Cave City on the edge of a cliff in Georgia.

8. Vardzia Cave City

The Vardzia Cavesin southern Georgia is one of the country's three cave "cities". These ancient wonders, carved into the rock faces of limestone mountains, are fascinating, not only for the feats of labour necessary to construct them in the past, but because they each served very different functions

Vardziawas originally built as an underground fortress to protect Georgia’s famous Queen Tamar, who faced the onslaught of Mongol hordes in the 11th century. The intricate 13-level citadel housed an imposing church, royal quarters and throne room, plus thousands of apartments. 

Although the stronghold successfully warded off attacks, it was devastated by a colossal earthquake in 1283, which destroyed most of the complex and exposed the remainder to the elements, a truly astounding sight to behold.  

The view from the Georgian Military Road in Spring.

9. The Georgian Military Road (Highway)

You might raise your eyebrows at the idea that a highway could be a beautiful place, but a drive over this 208km roadway connecting Tbilisi, Georgia with Vladikavkaz, Russia, takes you through many Georgian scenic marvels. The road meanders, curves and switches back through some of Georgia’s most colossal mountain peaks, and travellers who undertake the drive regularly extol it as the most fabulously beautiful part of their trip. 

Said to be an ancient trade route, the road was rebuilt by Russia in the 18th century, and is considered one of the most panoramic mountain roads in the world.

If you aim to stay in Georgia, your final destination on the road would be Kazbegi, Georgia (next on our list).

The best time to take to the road is between May-October, although it is also awesome in winter (check ahead for weather closures). If you like road-tripping, and if you’re confidant driving on tricky mountain roads, the best way to see the sights is to drive yourself. 

For a very reasonable rate, you can hire a car, make your own itinerary of stops, and let someone else navigate while you take in the glorious surroundings.

Just a few don’t-miss highlights along the road are:

  • Ananuri Fortress/Zhinvali Reservoir Viewpoint

  • High-altitude Javari pass

  • Tsminda Sameba Church (via 1-hour hike)

  • Pasanauri village, great lunch spot - the birthplace of khinkali dumplings, one of the favorite Georgian foods

  • Juta Valley/Sno village  

  • Russia-Georgia Friendship Monument – panoramic views, colourful mosaic stone monument

Gergeti Trinity Church in the mountains of Kazbegi National Park, Georgia.

10. Kazbegi National Park (Gergeti Trinity Church)

If you follow the Military Road, you’ll inevitably reach Kazbegi,placed in one of the most picturesquesettings imaginable. Kazbegi Village, also known as Stepantsminda, sits in the high Caucasus Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, with majestic snow-capped Mt. Kazbeg standing as sentinel, overlooking the town. 

With alpine mountain meadows and hiking trails in the very heart of nature, Kazbegi is one of the most iconic places in Georgia. 

The jewel in the crown of Kazbegi is the lovely 14th-century Gergeti Trinity Church, perched on a hilltop directly facing Mt. Kazbeg, on the banks of the Chkheri River. 

The national park itself offers several natural sights, such as the Truso Gorge, Dariali Gorge and the Khdi Gorge, with breathtaking lakes, waterfalls, and travertine rock formations to enjoy. 

Tip: Summer, from May to September, is the best time to visit, but allow more than one night in the area if you can, especially if you aim to catch a clear view of Mt. Kazbeg in all its glory. As with other high altitude mountain peaks across the world, the sometimes elusive summit might be shrouded by fog on any particular day, so give yourself more than one chance to glimpse it. 

The sea view from Batumi Botanical Gardens in Georgia.

11. Batumi Botanical Gardens and Green Cape 

Georgia’s Adjara district on the Black Sea, is home to one of the world’s largest botanical gardens, a three level, 111-hectare park. You’ll pass through eye-catching displays of plant varieties from nine different phytogeographic regions around the world, including entire gardens of fruits, roses, ancient camellia trees, fragrant exotic Osmanthus trees, citrus, plus decorative herbaceous plants. 

The lush green wonderland also contains towering bamboo gardens, Japanese Gardens, and evergreen Sequoias. While a secluded hush pervades the gardens, you’ll emerge at various points to breathtaking panoramic views of the seaside below, with the impressive Batumi city skyline in the distance.

When you make your way to the sea, don’t miss the alluring Green Cape seaside resort area right within the park acreage, where you can enjoy clear sapphire waters and some beachside fun.

Tip: The park is 9 km from Batumi. The best way to experience it all is to start off at the top and work your way down, so ask your taxi to drop you at the park’s top level. When you’re finished, order a return taxi before leaving the park, as the price could be better. There is a 7 USD park fee per person; allow 4-5 hours to thoroughly enjoy all the park has to offer, including some beach time at the Green Cape.

Looking down at the Sairme Pillars in Georgia

12. Sairme Pillars and Lailashi Secret Pool 

For amazing high mountain views and unique volcanic stone formations not seen elsewhere in Georgia, head to Lechkhumi (Racha municipality) in the far northwestern part of the country.  

To view Sairme Pillars, a series of unique stone monuments naturally formed over eons, you’ll drive via 4x4 up the mountains, then hike through a rich evergreen forest. Further uphill trekking brings you to the mountain peak, from which you’ll have a spectacular view of the pillars.

Nearby you can visitLailashi Secret Pool, a cold spring water-fed pool. The expansive and thrilling views from the edge of the reservoir will make you feel as if you’re on top of the world. 

Hint: Summer is the best time to visit for stunning photos and a dip in the frigid water.

An aerial view of Motsameta Monastery in Autumn

13. Gelati Monastery and Motsameta Monastery

The Gelati Monastery, situated a short ride from Kutaisi city, is a shining example of medieval architecture, and is the best remaining example of Georgia’s “Golden Age” period of history in the 12th century. 

The building is well-preserved, with the original architecture largely intact. The natural environment of the complex also remains much as it was in times of old. The interior of the monastery houses beautifully intricate mosaics and colourful Byzantine paintings. 

A short walk from Gelati, amid greenery in spring/summer or vivid autumn foliage, is the enchanting Motsameta Monastery. On the clifftop overlooking the Tskaltsitela River, the dramatic views from Gelati are breathtaking, and the building itself is charming.

The modest monastery was built in the 11th century to hold the remains of two brother princes who martyred themselves in the name of Christianity after capture by Islamic forces. A mystical place, the legendary belief holds that if you walk three times under the arches, the princes will honour your wish, whatever it may be…

Reminder: There are dress codes when visiting monasteries in Georgia: covered knees, shoulders, and heads for women; and trousers instead of shorts for men.

Gudauri village and ski resort in winter.

14. Gudauri

If you’re looking for a winter getaway and you love skiing, Gudauri is one of the most beautiful places to spend a snow-filled vacation. The ski area is becoming well known for its prime ski slopes, spa resorts, excellent bars and restaurants, and gorgeous alpine vista.

With amazingly reasonable prices and great customer service, Gudauri also offers ski and snowboarding lessons, plus freeriding, paragliding and snowmobiling.

And if you tire of those options, take a winter sightseeing tour in the area for close-up looks at the wildlife, dazzling mountain scenery and ruins, such as the Sabaduri Forest and the Ananuri Fortress.

A village in Tusheti National Park, Georgia

15. Tusheti

You’ll have to brave the elements, but if you’re into adventure, you’ll be greatly rewarded when you visit the wild Tusheti region, in the far northeastern part of Georgia. Summer is the best time to go, as it’s impossible to get there during winter, early spring or late autumn.

To reach the remote, unspoiled area, you’ll have to navigate the hair-raising road to the elevated Albano pass at 2826 metres – best done with care on a clear day, a good 4x4 vehicle and an intrepid spirit (or a qualified driver!).

The villages of Tusheti, particularly Upper and Lower Omalo, with their looming watchtowers and fortress ruins, offer numerous hikes and jaw-dropping, unparalleled views. Several guesthouses in the area, including those in the charming town of Dartlo, on the Didikhevi River, provide comfy accommodation and honest home-cooked regional meals.

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Maysie Dee

Author - Maysie Dee

Maysie Dee is a freelance writer, content editor, and recipe creator. She and her husband have travelled across the world for decades as natural product consultants, collecting stories along the way.

Last Updated 11 April 2024

Colourful buildings and churches in Tbilisi, Georgia


Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Georgia offers a diverse and stunning natural landscape, intriguing history and good food and wine.