Javakheti is a region of southern Georgia. It was part of historical Meskheti. Currently, it is an administrative-territorial unit of Samtskhe-Javakheti.
Samtskhe, historical Tori and Kvemo Kartli are located correspondingly to the west, north, and east of Javakheti. The region is bordered to the south by Turkey and Armenia.
Javakheti includes the following municipalities: Akhalkalaki, Ninotsminda, and Aspindza. Historically the region was divided into Zemo (upper) and Kvemo (lower) Javakheti. Akhalkalaki was the center of Zemo Javakheti, and Kvemo Javakheti’s center was Tmogvi. As for today, Akhalkalaki (town) is the center of the region.
The Javakheti Plateau is volcanic plateau with many alpine lakes, wetlands, and canyon valleys of the rivers. It is the coldest place among Georgia’s settlements – even the lakes freeze for a long time in winter. There are five managed reserves (Bughdasheni, Khanchali, Madatapa, Sulda, Kartsakhi) and Javakheti National Park on the Javakheti Plateau. There are only artificial forests in the region. Although, here, you will find volcanic mountains and broad plains, alpine, and sub-alpine meadows.
Land cultivation and livestock breeding are widespread in Javakheti. Accordingly, they mostly use grain, dairy products, and meat in their dishes. As for drinks, the distinguished one is vodka made from barley. Local khinkali is made with Apokhti (dried meat), the flesh of crane or goose, and it is smaller than khinkali from eastern Georgia’s highlands. The distinctive Javakhish dish Tutmaji is made with roasted and boiled slices of dough mixed with onion and matsoni (Georgian yogurt). It is served with juice; as for Makarlama, it is Tutmaji without juice. Delicacy Tenili cheese has a status of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity; it has a soft consistency and looks like a long, thin thread. The techniques of making it is quite hard.
There are special attractions for lovers of architectural monuments and lakes in Javakheti. You can visit many historical monuments in Aspindza Municipality: the ancient cave city of Vardzia (the rock-cut monastery complex), Vanis Kvabebi – a cave monastery, the ruined fortress city of Tmogvi, the Khertvisi Fortress, Saro village and its megaliths. Megalithic structures are made from the big stones without the use of mortar or concrete, but sometimes mortar is used in Cyclopean masonry. Similar cultural monuments are widespread throughout the world. In this case, Javakheti is a special region of Georgia, as there are many megaliths. The fortress of Shaori in Akhalkalaki Municipality and the Abuli cyclopean fortress (located on the slope of Mount Patara (little) Abuli) in Ninotsminda Municipality are distinguished megaliths of our country.
The highest point of the region Mount Didi (great) Abuli is located in Akhalkalaki Municipality. Must see places here are: the remains of the Akhalkalaki fortress, Akhalkalaki Local Museum, the rock-cut monastery in Samsari village, the monastery in Kumurdo village, and Khozapini(Kartsakhi) Lake – the half of it is situated outside the border of Georgia and belongs to Turkey.
The local lakes are distinguished with an abundance of fish and migratory birds. There are specially arranged towers for lovers of bird watching in Javakheti Protected Areas. Also, here are incredible possibilities for amateur fishing. Most of the lakes are located in Ninotsminda Municipality. Here is an incomplete list of lakes that you can visit here: Bughdasheni, Madatapa, Saghamo, Khanchali, Paravani. Paravani Lake is the largest lake in Georgia via the surface area. Poka village is situated near it, where are monasteries named after St. Nino. Horse-riding, hiking and mountain-biking tours can be arranged near the lakes through the beautiful trails. Also, do not forget to visit Dukhobor Ethnographic Museum in Gorelovka village.
There are many guesthouses in Akhalkalaki, Ninotsminda, and Aspindza. Hotels are also available. The local relief is convenient for staying at night in tents.
The trip on the Javakheti Plateau is distinguished among the hiking trails of Javakheti. There are many extinct volcanoes and little volcanic lakes on the plateau. The chief sight of the route is Levani Lake and Mount Didi Abuli, that are located on the Abul-Samsari Range (part of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains). Mount Didi Abuli is an extinct volcano.
მწვანე ზებრა არის ტურისტული კომპანია, რომელიც ფუნქციონირებს 2015 წლიდან საქართველოს ბაზარზე.