Samtskhe-Javakheti is a region, located in southern Georgia. It is comprised of the three historical provinces of Georgia – Samtskhe, Javakheti and Tori. The administrative center of the region is Akhaltsikhe, which is also the major town of Samtskhe province. There are 5 towns on the territory of Samtskhe-Javakheti region: Akhaltsikhe, Akhalkalaki, Borjomi, Vale and Ninotsminda. Samtskhe-Javakheti is surrounded by Adjara, Guria, Imereti and Kartli provinces. It also has borders with Armenia and Turkey.
Rabati Castle (built in the 9th century) is located in region’s administrative center Akhalkalaki. It used to be a defensive fort, and also served as a residence for the rulers of Akhaltsikhe. The place was restored in 2011-2012. There is a museum, church, mosque, and many other interesting sites in Rabati.
One of the most unique monuments of Georgian architecture – Vardzia is located 30 kilometers away from Aspindza. This is a cave monastic complex, carved in a rock, and built in the 12-13th centuries.
Samtskhe-Javakheti, especially Javakheti volcanic plateau, is rich in lakes. The largest lake of Georgia, Paravani Lake, is located in Ninotsminda municipality, at 2070 meters above sea level. Other notable lakes are: Saghamo, Kartsakhi, Khanchali, Madatapa, Tabatskuri.
There are two national parks in Samtskhe-Javakheti region, the largest national park of Georgia – Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, and Javakheti National Park. Major parts of the Borjom-Kharagauli Park are covered by forests and alpine meadows.
Samtskhe-Javakheti is also famous for its resorts. The most popular among them is Borjomi. Visitors can taste unique mineral water in Borjomi here.
Abastumani is another spa resort, which is situated in Adigeni Municipality. Abastumani springs have long been used in the treatment of tuberculosis. In addition, there is the Georgian National Astrophysical Observatory located in Abastumani.
Besides spa resorts, there is also a ski resort Bakuriani in Samtskhe-Javakheti region. It is situated at 1700 meters above sea level and considered one of the most popular ski resorts in the Caucasus region.
Several monasteries and fortresses are located in Samtskhe-Javakheti, such as Sapara Monastery (10th century), Zarzma Monastery (8th-9th centuries), Green Monastery (9th century), Tmogvi Fortress (10th century), Khertvisi Fortress (4th c. BC).