Borjomi Kharagauli National Park
The Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is located in central Georgia and is part of the lesser Caucasus. The park is one of the largest in Europe - it covers more than 76,000 hectares of native forest and sub-alpine and alpine meadows, home to rare species of flora and fauna.
A network of trails invite visitors to experience the stunning variety of blossoming plants, breathtaking views and a magical atmosphere.
This is one of the few places where infrastructure is well developed including small huts in the far mountains, water and places for Shashlik. Besides the park offeres the possibility of renting horses which in Georgia is very cheap as compared to Europe
and just recently I found this link on utube - definitely a piceless piece of info for someone who contemplates visiting the park:
In a narrow part of the Borjomi valley there used to be a fort in the way. Nowadays, the village of Atskuri lies peacefully next to the ruins of Atskuris Tsikhe, which are only interesting for a small outing.
This fortrss was built in early medieval centuries. By first historical notes about Atskuri it was built in 5-6th centuries by Georgian king Vakhtang Gorgasali. In 9-10th centuries, fortress was widden and became a town. In 16th century in Atskuri was Turks garnizone and until 1829 they owned it. Atskuri is one of the strongest fortress in Georgia. It stands on the high, rocky mountain and by that it was very easy to defence it from enemies.
Khertvisi fortress is situated in Southern Georgia, in Meskheti region. It was built in early medieval period. As the legend says, Khertvisi was destroyed by Alexander the Macedonian. In the 10-11th centuries it was the center of Meskheti region. During the 12th century it became a town. In the 13th century Mongols destroyed it and until the 15th century it lost its power. In the 15th century it was owned by Meskheti landlords from Jakeli family. In the 16th century the southern region of Georgia was invaded by Turks. During next 3 centuries they have owned Khertvisi too. At the end of the 19th century Georgian and Russian army returned the lost teritories and Khertvisi became the military base for Russian and Georgian troops. Khertvisi fortress is situated on the high rocky hill in the narrow canyon of river Mtkvari. Nowadays it needs restoration.
Vardzia in my opinion is one of the must sees in Georgia. The negative side of visiting Vardzia is its distant location.
The rock-hewn monastery is located on the left bank of the Mtkvari River, 30km away from Aspindza, in southern Georgia. It is cut in steep cliff along thirteen tiers. The monastery has preserved around 250 caves. The royal complex was founded in the reign of Queen Tamar, between 1184 and 1213. The monastery is distinguished for its main church adorned with the portraits of Giorgi III and Queen Tamar. The complex includes cells, a stable, a refectory, chapels, a bell-tower, tunnels and shelter rooms. The monastery used to be supplied with water.
One can visit Vardzia by taking a private car either from Borjomi (Likani) or Akhaltsikhe. From Borjomi it takes around 2-3 hours to get there. The road is poor after Akhaltsikhe
Zarzma Monastery, nested among the green hills of the Kvabliani Gorge, used to be a significant cultural and educational centre throughout the centuries. A large church and a bell-tower were built in the early 14th century. The facade of a domed, inscribed-cross church are richly adorned with ornaments. The church is furnished with a south stoa-porch. The walls display the portraits of historical persons. The bell-tower of the monastery is one of the largest and best preserved in Georgia.