Kintrishi Protected Areas
The best season to visit is summer, the month-August.
Kintrishi Protected Areas are located in the breathtaking gorge of Kintrishi, Kobuleti district, between the Black Sea and mountain system of Adjara-Imereti at a distance of 60 km from Batumi. The site covers Kintrishi Strict Nature Reserve (10.703 ha) established in 1959 and Kintrishi Protected Landscape (3.190 ha) established in 2007. Lower border of Kintrishi Protected Areas stretches at 300 m above sea level, and the upper one borders on Alpine pastures 2,500 m.
Kintrishi Protected Areas protect relict forest and endemic species characterized by complex and diverse relief. Impressive mountains, gorges picturesque valleys cover most of the territory. Distinctive high humidity determines unique floristic diversity here. Local flora and fauna is represented by numerous Caucasian, Georgian and Adjarian local endemic and relict species of a tertiary period-the age of formation of mountain massifs, that took place 67 million years ago and lasted for 42 million years. Present-day Kintrishi territory was formed at that time, as well.
Approximately 80% of Kintrishi Protected Areas are covered with forest, making it the largest forested protected area in Georgia. These include unique Colchis relict forests, Pontic Oak and Colchic Boxwood – some of which are believed to be over thousand years old, chestnut and hornbeam forests, yew trees.
Local fauna is represented by red-listed animals like Ursus arctos, 28 species of endemic small mammals, chamois, the notable Tetraogallus caspius, wolf, jackal, squirrel, bearlynx, badger, roe, marten, various birds of prey, etc. Much of Kintrishi’s biodiversity is concentrated in its rivers, streams, and includes the Caucasian salamander, trout, tree-frog, Asia Minor newt, carp and shemaya.
Kintrishi Protected Area has relatively well-established tourist infrastructure. They offer tourist trails, both for hiking and horse riding, sites of historical and cultural importance. The best season to visit is summer, the month-August. If you decide to explore the Kintrishi, it takes two days to cover the entire route. Hiking is the best way to discover biodiversity of the area. An elegant stone arch of the medieval Queen Tamar Bridge, set against green foliage along the banks of Kintrishi River, is one of the most impressive sites in the region.
There are two main trails: One day trail “Tamara arch bridge” and Two days trail “Yew and Lake Tbikeli”, located 300-2,000 meters above sea level. Picnic and camping places, including fire spots are arranged along trails.
Route 1: One day trail “Tamara arch bridge” -1,200 km, 1.5 hr, pedestrian, difficulty: easy
Main sightseeing: arched bridge, Tskhemvani St. Giorgi Church, box-tree stands
The trail begins at the arched stone bridge - Tamari Bridge (11-12 centuries) on the Kintrishi River in the village of Tskhemvani and continues to the visitor shelter, where visitors get full information about the trail, learn about safety rules and get a trail map. The shelter has a hotel where visitors can have a rest, overnight or rent a horse.
The area is covered by mixed forest (chestnut, beech, hornbeam). Visitors can use camp and picnic spots.
Afterwards head to St, Giorgi church, which started functioning in 2005 as a Fathers’ Monastery, but since 2010 it has been transformed into a Maternal Monastery. Liturgy is often held there.
The trail continues to old box-tree stands, with a height of 10-12 m and diameter of 16-21 cm.; the forest is more than 300 years. Rushavi River flows along the box-tree stands, at the end of the trail you will hear sound of waterfall. Total length of the path from the arched bridge is approximately 600 m (total – 1,200 m).
Route 2: Two days trail “Yew and Lake Tbikeli” - 37 km, 2 days, pedestrian/horse riding, difficulty: average /
Main sightseeing: old yew trees, Khinotsminda church ruins, Lake Tbikeli
The route starts from Tskhemvani Visitor Shelter and heads to the village of Khino through village Didvake, where you come across old giant yew stands- one of the relict species of the tertiary period included in the Georgian Red List.
Next stop at the ruins of Ninotsminda Church in village Khino, which belongs to the 8-9th centuries with its distinguished construction techniques and masonry formation. Visitors can have a rest there and use the picnic spot.
After some break, continue to Lake Tbikeli through untouchable chestnut and beech forest, which is located at an altitude of 1900-2000 meters. The oval-shape lake has a depth of 7-8 meters and is fed by atmospheric precipitation, fused snow and ground waters. In winter the lake is covered by snow and ice and is inhabited by Caucasian Newt, which are included in the Red List. The trail length from the ruins of the church to the lake is 12 km.
The tourist shelter on the protected area includes 6 beds.
To book private tour from Batumi or Kobuleti, please, contact us here