Everyone who loves nature will be fascinated by Imereti which surprises with its diversity. It offers landscapes from different climate zones, starting from deciduous forests of the Colchis Lowlands and tropical plants up to alpine meadows located in high mountains. This variety comes from specific geographical location of Imereti, which lowest point is located at about 20 m.a.s.l. and the highest peak is at 2850 m.a.s.l. Within an hour drive from Kutaisi it is possible to go hiking in the mountains, rest by the river, visit a cave, go for a walk along a canyon, swim under a waterfall or relax in pools with hot springs.
It is without a doubt, that one of the biggest natural resources of Imereti are springs, streams and rivers. There are over 6500 of them, and since many have healing powers, a lot of health resorts were built in the region. The most popular are Tskaltubo and Sairme. Sometimes, (i.e. in Terjola or Vani) pools with hot springs are located by the roadsides and are available to everyone.
During summertime three rivers: Tskaltsitela, Chishura and Tkhenisthkalui, which are located close to Kutaisi, are frequently visited by local people who want to escape the heat. On a hot day it is worth to get off the main road to rest on a green meadow and enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the beautiful rivers. Moreover those who like the adrenaline rush should definitely try rafting on the Rioni River, the major river in the region.
Abundance of water and mountainous terrain caused the formation of numerous waterfalls which can be seen every now and again while travelling around Imereti. With no doubt one of the most interesting natural places in the region is Kinchkha waterfall – it is 88 meters high and it is one of the highest waterfalls in Georgia. On the way there it is worth to stop in Gordi Village to take a walk on a platform built along an impressive Okatse Canyon.
Big part of Imereti is covered with forests, groves and meadows. There are two protected areas in the region: Ajameti Protected Areas, located in Baghdati district and Imereti Caves Protected Area within 10 kilometres from Kutaisi. The total area of the second one amounts to over 504 hectares. It includes several Nature Reserves and 17 Natural Monuments, among them are Sataplia Nature Reserve and Prometheus Cave Natural Monument, which welcome throngs of tourists each year. It should be mentioned that there are hundreds of non-commercial caves in the region, and many of them still have not been explored properly. Beside Prometheus and Sataplia it is also possible to visit other caves like: Navenakhevi, Tsutskhvati or Dzevri.
Mountains are an integral part of the landscape in Imereti. Visible almost constantly while travelling through the region they provide beautiful views. They amaze with a sudden change of nature from dense forests to endless meadows and many still little-known trails make you feel like a discoverer. An expedition in the mountains located on the boarder of two districts: Terjola and Tkibuli, offer amazing views on Colchis Valley, Khvamli Mountain, peaks of Racha and Svaneti ranges, Caucasus Mountains and Tkibuli Lake with its little islands. Heading towards Southern Georgia it is worth to go on a picturesque road which leads through Lesser Caucasus Mountains and Zekari Pass situated at the elevation of 2226 m.a.s.l. Also sportsmen will not get bored in the mountains of Imereti as they are a perfect place for horseback riding, trekking, climbing and mountain bike.
Beautiful nature, still wild and undiscovered in many places, is one of the reasons why Imereti becomes more and more popular among Georgians and international guests. With no doubt it’s a place for both those who want to relax and also for lovers of active rest.