Nearly every country in the world has created some splendid National Parks, situated in the most beautiful and biodiverse regions. Georgia, a European nation of the former Soviet Block, may be a surprisingly small country for the huge number of stunning NPs it contains. Hikers, mountain hikers, thrill seekers, runners, campers, and packers all love these gorgeous National Parks in Georgia. Each comes highly recommended by travelers and locals around the web who think “their” park should win the title.
Enjoy the stunning beauty, glorious peaks, and hidden trails in the best National Parks in Georgia. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet some of the amazing wildlife on your adventures.
Tbilisi National Park
For folks traveling through Georgia for only a brief time, the Tbilisi National Park makes for a great choice. The park lies just an hour’s drive from the capital city and happens to be a favorite among travelers and Georgians alike. Established in 1973, Tbilisi became the first national park in Georgia.
The park rests on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, stretching from the Iori River to the Mtkvari River. The park offers three bike trails of varying challenge levels, with lush, untouched forest scenery snow-capped mountain views, and incredible, unforgettable hiking experiences. See red foxes, brown bears, and many other wild animals as you make your way through the park. For the best experience, though, take a guided trip through the lush Sabaduri forest comprising the park and surrounding areas.
Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park
Three popular trails in the Borjomi-Kharanguali National Park offer visitors incredible views and distinctive sights. The trails range from 1.5 hours to 3 days. Established in 1995, the park has earned its reputation as one of the best-developed national parks in all of Georgia. The clear, well-maintained trails, facilities, and meeting of international standards all assist with this reputation.
The park offers 12 trails, including the most popular Footprint Trail (6 hours), Nikoloz Romanov Trail (3 days), and National Park Information Trail (1.5 hours). Numerous camping sites, picnic shelters, rest spots, restrooms, are available for visitors to enjoy. Experience the blossoming plants, migratory birds, and more in the beautiful meadows, forestlands, and alpine woods. The park welcomes horseback riders and bicycles as well. For the incredible, semi-famous Caucasian Rhododendron blooms, visit between May and June.
Machakhela National Park
Situated in the Adjara region, about 15.5 miles from Batumi, Machakhela National Park rests. Here, you’ll find beautiful forests filled with beech, spruce, oak, and chestnut trees. The national park was established in 2013 to help preserve the Colchic forests of the region. Within the park, you’ll find three specific hiking trails, which are accessible by vehicle, making it one of the more accessible parks in Georgia.
Within park boundaries, you’ll find evidence of the long history of gunsmithing of the area, including via a local workshop for demonstrations of traditional methodology. You’ll also find cultural and historical monuments and museums within, including two fortresses, Gvara and Chkhutuneti, arch bridges, wine presses, and an ethnographic museum inside a wooden mosque. You may also find cabin accommodations within the park’s villages and, of course, incredible views from the Mtavar Angelozi Mountain of the Batumi River and Machakhela Gorge and delta. Experts say the best time to visit lies between May to June or September to October for the best weather and avoiding the worst crowds in the summertime.
Mtirala National Park
Enter Mritala National Park in Georgia and witness the dream of unending beauty you always imagined could exist somewhere. Resting along the Black Sea coast, just a short drive from Batumi, Mtirala contains Colchic rainforests and wetlands. The UNESCO World Heritage Site contains two main hiking trails. The shorter Tsablnari Trail runs 4.35 miles, while the Tsitskaro Trail carries hikers for two days.
Enjoy these beautiful tracks or go ziplining through the mountains, swing in the rope park (adults and children alike), or watch birds and wildlife along the way.
The nearly 40,000 acres welcome visitors to its pools for swimming, hiking trails, Visitor Center, a beautiful gorge, stunning lakes, cascading waterfalls, and glorious lakes. You’ll also find the village of Chaqvistavi within the park near the Visitor Center.
The park is open year-round, but best visited in spring, summer, and autumn due to more comfortable weather.
Vashlovani National Park
Perhaps one of the most unusual national parks in Georgia, Vashlovani National Park was first protected in 1935. The nature reserve, national park, and three natural monuments roll into one here. The Eagle Gorge, Takhti-Tepa Mud Volcanoes, and Kaklisyure floodplain forest all draw attention with their unique beauty and habitat.
4×4 trails, hiking trails, and scenic drives allow visitors to move through the park with ease. Many folks hire a tour guide, though, for the historical and intriguing information you won’t find online. Interestingly, this semi-desert region’s name “Vashlovani” means apple garden. This is because the pistachio trees that resemble apple trees in bloom.
Picnicking, hiking, camping, fire pit use, and overnight bungalows are all available within the park. Be sure to check in at the Visitor’s Center for permits and information.
Kolkheti National Park
Take a kayak, pontoon, or motorized boat ride through Lake Paliastomi and the Pichori River. Watch for the unique Kolkhi pheasant. Breathe deep the clean, fresh air of the Kolkheti National Park and hike your way through. The park lies between Tikori and Supsa rivers, filled with natural wetlands and beautiful waterways. The park doesn’t offer the exhilarating mountain hikes of some other National Parks in Georgia, but it does offer some of the most tranquil moments around.
Keep an eye out for the 194 or so bird species from the bird-watching tower, try sport fishing in the lakes, or enjoy a picnic.
The park is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with opportunities for camping, boating, hiking, and more. Rent binoculars or a tent from the Visitor Center or head out on a boat tour based on your preferred route and party size. Be sure to head to the coastline of the Black Sea for some of the most incredible views in the park.
Tusheti National Park
Contained with the Tusheti Protected Areas, three parks lie: Tusheti National Park, within the municipality of Akhmeta, Tusheti Strict Nature Reserve, and Tusheti Protected Landscape. The areas contain 11 trails winding their way through them. The trails welcome hikers of varying fitness and skill levels and offer splendid views of incredible terrain and landscapes.
Within Tusheti, you’ll find UNESCO World Heritage-listed villages and see medieval defense towers. The areas were established in 2003 to offer protection of the habitats and historical sites. During the past 20 years, Tusheti has become one of the most sought-after remote destinations in the nation. The parks may only be reached via passing through the Abano Pass on a high-altitude mountain road. Not many people make it there because of it, but if you’re able, it is well worth the trek.
Hiking trails throughout the parks may range from a long day to six days. Take a horseback riding trek or guided tour for the best experience possible. Be sure to make it to the Omalo Visitor Center for tours, rental equipment, and information for the potentially dangerous journey. The remote location has a unique culture, and the customs and history should be studied to some extent if you intend to visit.
Here, tourism season begins in June and finishes at the end of September, because the rest of the year, the road is closed thanks to snow.
Vashlovani Nature Reserve
For those yearning for encounters with untouched nature, the Vashlovani Nature Reserve is one of the best national parks in Georgia. The badlands, sheer cliffs, incredible wildlife, and bodies of water all make the adventure worth it, any time of year.
Vashlovani contains some of the most unique landscapes in the entire country, with breathtaking views of the Alazani River, hiking trails, and boating as the main focuses within the park. Visit the Alazani Floodplain Forest Natural Monument along the river to observe naturally occurring lianas along the route. Hike to the Artsivi Gorge National Monument for the views of the limestone canyon and adjacent forests and Khornabuji fortress. Mud craters fill the Takhati-Tepha Natural Monument for unique terrain and landscapes in the desert park.
Be sure to head to the Visitors Center before heading out, where you’ll find rental equipment for all your exploratory needs.
Javakheti National Park
Covering 35,089 acres of unique landscape, the Javakheti Protected Areas encompass Javakheti National Park, and the Sulda, Khanchali, Kartsakhi, Bugdasheni, and Madatapa Managed Reserves. Much of the terrain herein includes dry, woodless areas, extinct volcanoes, and lakes, including the massive Lake Paravani. Throughout the protected areas, you’ll find numerous hiking trails of all difficulty levels.
To explore the park, you’ll need a vehicle, both for arrival and exploration, due to the distance from town and size of the park. Within the park, though, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for fly fishing, birding, wildlife viewing, hiking, cycling, trail running, and more. Within the park, you may spot beautiful birds and animals, including the surprising possibility of flamingos. Over 140 species of birds make their way through the park.
Visit Javakheti Protected Areas any time but winter for easier exploration. For wintertime activities, though, snowshoeing and cross country may be enjoyed in this coldest part of Georgia. Tour the park during warmer months for easier access to the full rock-cut monasteries, like Vardzia, and medieval fortresses as you hike.
Algeti & Trialeti National Parks in Georgia
While the Algeti and Trialeti National Parks are open year-round, visiting between May and September is your best bet. This warm season in the parks established in 1965 provides the clearest views and best weather for your hiking. The parks lie roughly 37 miles from Tblisi National Park, within the historic area of Kvemo Kartli on the southern slopes of the Trialeti Mountains.
Mountainous terrain, dense forests of beech, fir, and pine, canyons, and other terrain welcome visitors to the incredible parks. Hike the trails, like the Sanepo Ridge tourist trail, which begins at the cathedral, and make your way through to picnicking areas, gorgeous overlooks, and campsites.
You’ll have opportunities for birding and wildlife viewing and flora inspection, including over 250 species of mushrooms, mammals, large predators, reptiles, amphibians, and numerous birds.
The park is a favorite choice for day trips from the nation’s capital, with stunning views and hiking trails, a rope park for kids and adults, and plenty of other outdoor activities.
Kobuleti Protected Areas
Just 28 miles from Batumi, the Kobuleti Protected Areas gained protected status in 1998. The unique area contains a distinctive habitat, the Ispani Sphagnum Peatlands. This sphagnum dome provides one of the best examples of this incredible habitat in the world, earning it security in the RAMSAR Convention List of Wetlands of International Importance.
When visiting the protected areas, you’ll find just a few short hiking trails in favor of attractions for ecologists and birders. You’ll find raised boardwalks with viewing platforms around the marshes. These protect the unique wildlife found within and keep your feet from getting soggy. If you want to get adventurous, rent specialized skis from the administration office to walk out on the sphagnum moss.
It’s best to visit the unique Kobuleti Protected Areas during spring or autumn for bird migrations.
Lagodekhi Protected Areas
First protected in 1912, Lagodekhi Protected Areas are the oldest nature reserve in the nation of Georgia. The park rests near the borders or Azerbaijan and Daghestan, filled with mountains and lakes. The park is considered one of the most biodiverse regions in all of Georgia.
Horseback riding and hiking are among the most popular activities in the reserve situated deep within the Kakgeti region. Five amazing trails wind their way through the park, ranging from the short 0.37 mile Nature Interpretation Path to the three-day trek known as Black Rock Trail. Many folks love the long trail for a horseback adventure. Most of the other trails are short, as well, but tend to be steep and challenging.
The best time to visit this incredible park is between June and September, though technically you’re able to visit any time between May and October. Avoid visiting during particularly rainy days as the rocks are slippery.
Kazbegi National Park
Picture soaring mountains, vividly colorful valleys, and historical treasures nestled into one national park. When you do, visions of the glorious Kazbegi National Park may dance before your eyes. Hike the trails, ride a 4×4, ski, run, or bike your way through this incredible park. You’ll find alpine meadows, panoramas beyond words of the Caucasian Mountains, the Garbani church, the Sioni basilica, and the Sameba temple mingled here. Sip local wine and dine on excellent food while spotting stunning birds and wildlife like golden eagles and the East Caucasian tur.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Le one/Shutterstock.com
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