Mtskheta-Mtianeti is one of the most picturesque and diverse lands in Georgia. It hosts 3500 and 5000 m high snowy peaks of the Greater Caucasus and mountain passes, beautiful gorges, secluded lakes and alpine valleys. The Caucasus Mountains in Khevi and Khevsureti are particularly scenic. Steep slopes descending into the Aragvi valley are one of the most unmatched beauties encountered anywhere in the world. Jvari – one of the passes over the Caucasus range – is located on the picturesque Georgian military road and historically served to link Georgia with the North Caucasus.
Mtskheta the ancient capital of Georgia, is now the administrative center of Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region. Numerous historical monuments are scattered around this small picturesque settlement of about 10 thousand inhabitants, and have caused Mtskheta deserve its title as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and the most important travel destinations in Georgia. The Monastery of Djvari and the Cathedral of Svetitskhoveli makes amazing views of city and underlining its religion importance.
Djvari Monastery stands on the rocky mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the historical town of Mtskheta. According to traditional accounts, on this location in the early 4th century Saint Nino, a female evangelist, credited with converting King Mirian III of Iberia to Christianity, erected a large wooden cross on the site of a pagan temple. The cross was reportedly able to work miracles and therefore drew pilgrims from all over Caucasus. A small church was erected over the remnants of the wooden cross in 545 named the “Small Church of djvari”.
Svetitskhoveli – One of the most important churches in all the Georgia – Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is located in Mtskheta town, as it is the most religious town of Georgia, it is the place where Christianity in Georgia takes its origin. Svetitskhoveli is the second largest church building in the country, after the recently consecrated Tbilisi Sameba Cathedral, and is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other historical monuments of Mtskheta.
Ananuri – The fortified church complex of is undoubtedly one of the most attractive sights along the Georgian Military Highway. The mirrored surface of the Zhinvali reservoir and forested foothills of the mountains provide a picturesque backdrop for its handsome towers and battlements. The fortifications consist of two castles joined by a crenellated curtain wall. The upper fortification with a large square tower, known as Sheupovari, is well-preserved and is the location of the last defense of the Aragvi against the Shamshe. The lower fortification, with a round tower, is mostly in ruins.
Gudauri – Located on the southern slopes of the Great Caucasus Mountain Range is popular holiday destination for Georgians and foreigners alike. It is on 2000-2200m above sea level, already alpine zone disposing the beauty of the huge mountains. Unique geological terrain and climatic conditions is giving the chance to enjoy the sunshine all day long. The white winter landscape heals the mind and soul. The beautifully groomed ski tracks seem to have no end. The resort offers the skiers unlimited and high quality skiing from December till April.
Sno Gorge – Located in Khevi province Sno gorge is a popular place among hikers as it gives you the chance to enjoy breath-taking views, virgin nature and get to know the every-day life of locals. A little path through the gorge will take you to another attractive part of the Caucasus – Khevsureti region.
Truso gorge – The wonderful scenery is sure to make an unforgettable impression on you. You will see some remote villages with defensive towers as you travel alongside the Tergi River. The area is also rich in mineral springs that flow down the rocks and change their colour.
Juta –The second highest permanently inhabited settlement in Europe (2100m above sea level), enclosed by spectacular peaks. 6 months a year the village is cut off from the rest of the world by snow. This is one of the highlights in Georgia for trekking lovers. Here begins the ascent to the rocky slopes of Chaukhi mountain range (2580 m), visible all the way. You will enjoy the Rhododendron meadows and wonderful views of the surrounding mountains.
Gergeti – Gergety Trinity Church built in XIII-XIV c is the only cupola church in the Khevi region. Perched on the top of the Tsminda Sameba (Holly Trinity) hill at 2170 meters above sea level, it is something of a symbol of Georgia. The severe beauty of glaciers and austerity of local people are reflected in the construction of such a huge church on such a height. The trek up to the Gergety Trinity church starts at the village Gergety and passes through lush forests and alpine fields.
Mount Kazbegi – Georgian known as Mkinvartsveri (“Ice-Top”), this perpetually snow-covered giant is, at 5047m, one of the highest peaks in the Caucasus. Kazbegi is steeped in legend: the ancient Greeks believed that Prometheus was chained to the rocky flanks of the mountain as a punishment for stealing fire from the Gods and giving it to mortals, while Christian legend tells that the manger of Christ was brought to Kazbegi and is still hidden somewhere hereabouts. Whether you believe these tales or not, climbing the mountain is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
Dariali Gorge – The most spectacular gorges along the Tergi River stretching from the town of Kazbegi to the Georgian-Russian (North Ossetian) border. The name comes from the Persian ‘Dar-y-Alan’ meaning ‘Gate of the Alans’ as the gorge marked the beginning of the territory of the ancient Alans – ancestors of the present-day Ossetians.
Gveleti – Gveleti Waterfall located in the village of Gveleti. You must first drive through the stunning Dariali Gorge, from where there is a narrow path leading to the Gveleti Waterfall . There is short and easy trail that you need to walk to reach the waterfall. Beautiful untouched nature, lush wildflowers and crystal clear air are making the site certainly worth seeing.