Facts about Borjomi
The many springs in the region were already known when Borjomi (first mentioned in the 7th century under the name «Tori») did not even exist. This is proven by the ruins of a bathhouse discovered by archaeologists. The city was devastated twice in the course of its history: once by the Arabs and once by the Mongols. The Ottomans went even further at the end of the 16th century and resettled the entire population in the East Georgian region of Kartli. At the beginning of the 19th century, the city then became part of Russia, which gave it its present name Borjomi.
Twenty years later, in the 50s of the century before last, spa tourism began to develop. While in the first years, the guests consisted primarily of the Russian upper class, later the rich and beautiful also came from Persia, Azerbaijan and other countries. Borjomi flourished: splendid villas, spa hotels and parks were built. When Georgia belonged to the Soviet Union, it was one of the most popular holiday destinations for comrades. Josef Stalin recovered in Borjomi just like Lawrenti Beria, the head of the Soviet secret services.
The gate to Borjomi-Karagauli National Park
Borjomi is the starting point for visiting the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. The nature reserve covers an area of 65,000 hectares and stretches from 400 metres up to an altitude of 2,642 metres. The park is home to a wide variety of animals including brown bears, wolves, lynxes, deer, roe deer, chamois and golden eagles. Numerous hiking trails lead through the park, which are accessible from May to October. There are also guided, one-day and multi-day hikes. The highest mountains in the park are the Sametshvario (2,642 metres) and the Shavimta (2,511 metres).
Sights in and around Borjomi
In Borjomi itself, the spa park, renovated in 2006, is one of the main attractions. The complex is home to various mineral water springs, which can be used as you wish. There are also sulphur baths, amusement stands and a cable car up to a viewpoint. The entrance fee to the park is 2 GEL, for the sulphur baths 5 GEL.
In the surroundings of Borjomi there are several monasteries and churches worth seeing
- Tadsrisi Monastery from the 9th century
- Timothes Ubani Monastery from the 12th and 13th centuries
- the Church of Sadgeni from the 14th and 15th centuries and a castle from the 18th century
- the fortress Zichisdschwari (it withstood a Mongolian siege in 1261)
- the Kviriketi and Nedswi monasteries (founded in the 9th century)
- Nedsvi Monastery
How to get to Borjomi
The 160 km from Tbilisi to Borjomi take a bit more than 2 hours. From Kutaisi (130 km) the duration is approximately the same.
There are regular Marschrutka connections from Tbilisi. The minibuses depart from the Didube metro station. You pay 8 GEL for the 4-hour trip.
There is no airport in Borjomi. The nearest airports are those in Kutaisi and Tbilisi.
There is a train connection between Tbilisi and Borjomi. The journey takes about 4 hours.