Getting to the Region:
There are three main roads to the SAMTSKHE-JAVAKHETI REGION from TBILISSI:
Public transport connects (minibus, bus, train, taxi) all large towns of Georgia with the region. Minibuses leave Tbilisi for Borjomi, Bakuriani, Aspindza, Akhaltsikhe, Vale, Akhalkalaki, Ninotsminda, Adigeni, and Abastumani every half hour.
Train leaves Tbilisi for Bordjomi twice per day.
Auto stations :
2 Tsotne Dadiani St., Tbilisi
Tel : (+995 32) 2 18 05 67
Didube Bus Station:
(4 Karaleti St., Tbilisi)
Tel: (+995 32) 2 34 49 24
First minibus departs at 08:00 AM
Fare – GEL 12-16 (depending on distance)
Tbilisi Central Railway Station/information bureau
2 Railway Station St.
Departure: every day
Tel: (+995 32) 2 19 95 95 /2 19 92 92
Ticket reservation : (+995 32) 2 19 90 10
24 hour passanger iformation center and hotline : (+995 32) 13 31
BACKGROUND OF THE SAMTSKHE-JAVAKHETI REGION
The Samtskhe-Javakheti region is located in Southern Georgia and includes territories of three historical provinces of Samtskhe, Javakheti, and Tori. It covers 6,421 km2, or 9.2% of the territory of Georgia. Its administrative centre is the city of Akhaltsikhe. Armenia and Turkey border the region to the south; the Georgian regions of Guria and Imereti to the south-east; the region of Shida Kartli to the north; Kvemo Kartli to the east; and Ajara to the west. The longest river in the South Caucasus, the Mtkvari (Kura River in Russian and other languages) runs through the region. It begins in Turkey and flows through Georgia to Azerbaijan, into the Caspian Sea.
The Samtskhe-Javakheti region consists of six administrative units: Akhaltsikhe, Adigeni, Aspindza, Akhalkalaki, Borjomi and Ninotsminda. There are 270 inhabited localities in the region, out of which five are classified as main towns: Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe, Borjomi, Vale and Ninotsminda; seven are small towns: Bakuriani, Bakurianis Andeziti, Tsagveri, Akhaldaba, Adigeni, Abastumani, Aspindza; and 258 are villages.
The Akhaltsikhe District borders those of Kharagauli and Baghdati in the north, Borjomi and Aspindza in the east, and Adigeni in the west. The southern border of the region coincides with the Georgia-Turkey border. The city of Akhaltsikhe is the administrative centre of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, and is built along the banks of the Potskhovi River.
Roads from the south and from Turkey cross the Akhaltsikhe District, which connects with the Autonomous Republic of Ajara by the Goderdzi Pass. Distances :
We have a pick of service, it costs 150 GEL one way.
The Adigeni District is bordered by the Autonomous Republic of Ajara in the west, by Chokhatauri, Vani, and Baghdati in the north, by Akhaltsikhe District in the east, and by the Republic of Turkey in the south. The administrative centre of the District is the township of Adigeni.
The District is linked with Batumi through the Goderdzi Pass (140 km) and with Kutaisi through the Zekari Pass (100 km). Owing to its importance the road going through the Zekari Pass could be found on ancient Roman maps. The distance from Adigeni to Tbilisi is 240 km.
The Adigeni District population totals 20,752. In 1944, following the deportation of Muslim Meskhetians (up to 28,000 people), groups from different regions of Georgia (Imereti, Racha, Ajara) were settled onto the territory of Adigeni. Local Meskhetians make up 32% of the total population today.
Getting to Adigeni district
Public transportation includes minibuses, buses, and taxi from any large town in Georgia. Minibuses leave from Tbilisi for Adigeni and Abastumani at approximately hour intervals.
Aspindza District borders Turkey to the south, the districts of Akhaltsikhe to the north-west, Borjomi to the north, and Akhalkalaki to the east. Its administrative centre is the town of Aspindza. The District’s population totals 13,010. Its total area makes 825 sq. km, 70% of which is cropland. Ethnic Georgians constitute 80% of the local population, Armenians, 19% and others such as Russians, Greeks, Ossetians – 1%
The Aspindza District is dissected by the River Mtkvari and surrounded by the Erusheti and Trialeti ridges. The main part of the district is located on the Javakheti Plateau. Due to the mountainous relief most towns and villages are found between 900 and 1700 m.
The distance from Tbilisi to Aspindza via Borjomi is 230 km, while via Tsalka it is 245 km. It is 200 km from Aspindza from Batumi via the Goderdzi Pass and 67 km from the Armenia border (Ninotsminda border crossing point) and 50 km from the Turkish border (Vale border crossing point).In November 2010, a second Georgia-Turkey border crossing point was opened at Kartsakhi village, 69 km from Aspindza.
Getting to Asondza district
Public transportation (minibuses, buses, taxi) leaves from larger towns of Georgia. Minibuses leave from Tbilisi for Akhaltsikhe every hour from morning to afternoon.
The district of Akhalkalaki is located on the Javakheti volcanic plateau located at an altitude of 1500-3305 m. The plateau is an undulating plain that includes the Didi Abuli Mount (3305 m), the highest point in Javakheti. This district borders Turkey to the south, the districts of Aspindza and Borjomi in the west and the north, and Ninotsminda to the southeast. The administrative centre is Akhalkalaki, Georgia’s highest city (1700 m), founded by the Georgian King Bagrat III (X_XI c).
The distance from Tbilisi to Akhalkalaki via Akhaltsikhe is 293 km, or 187 km via Tsalka. From Akhalkalaki to the regional centre, Akhaltsikhe, is 75 km and it is 50 km to the Armenian border crossing point of Gyumri. Ethnic groups include 90% Armenian, 8% Georgian and 2% Russian, Greek and Ossetian.
Getting to Akhalkalaki district
Travel to Akhalkalakhi is simple by public minibuses, buses, and taxi from any large town. Minibuses go several times a day from Tbilisi. The nearest train connection is through Akhaltsikhe (75 km from Akhalkalaki).
The Borjomi district covers the eastern and western slopes of the Meskheti and Trialeti ridges, the Tori depression, and the Borjomi Gorge or Valley. The Mtkvari River flows along the entire length of Borjomi Gorge. Borjomi borders on Imereti and Shida Kartli to the north, the districts of Akhaltsikhe, Akhalkalaki and Aspindza to the south and east. The administrative centre of the district is the town of Borjomi located on the Mtkvari River. Roads to Armenia and Turkey cross the Borjomi district. The distance to Tbilisi is 157 km, to the Turkish frontier Vale crossing point, 68 km and to Batumi, 270 km.
Most of the population lives at 800 to 2000 m in mountain areas. Of the region’s 1,190 km2, approximately 45% is used for cropland and 55% is covered in forests, mostly within the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. Most people living in Borjomi are ethnically Georgian (85%) while 11% are of Armenian descent and 2% Greek, Russian or Ossetian.
Getting to Borjomi district
Travel is possible by car, minibus, bus, railway, and taxi from large towns; minibuses leave Tbilisi for Borjomi and Bakuriani every hour.