Kutaisi is a perfect base to explore the Imereti region and actually the whole of Western Georgia. Everything from Batumi to the remote villages in the Caucasus is actually within a day-trip radius. Some of the places we have enjoyed the most ourselves:
1. Renegade Tea Estate - of course, firstly we invite you to visit our tea plantations! It's less than 15km from the centre of Kutaisi. Come and see how it looks when a tea plantation has been abandoned for 25 years and learn what we have done to make them productive again. And of course, we can show around in our tea factory, explain how tea is made and taste it as well. Learn more about the visit from here.
Tea plucking at Renegade Estate
2. Tskaltubo - a small town just 15km from Kutaisi and once famous thermal spa destination. There are many abandoned huge resorts scattered around the centre of the city and waiting to be restored. There are also few working ones and another few in the construction phase. Emotions are maybe mixed, but you are going to remember the place for sure.
Abandoned Spa's in Tskaltubo
3. Tkibuli - big mining centre during the Soviet years. Mining has mostly stopped, and the city is struggling economically, but it is worth a visit. If you have time, take the train, that travels very slowly, but provides a real scenic route experience with unforgettable views.
In case you go with a car and have more time to spare, you might combine Tkibuli with a follow-up trip to Ambrolauri in Racha, which is one of the most scenic regions in Georgia and one of the centres for wine-making.
Train to Tkbuli
4. Okatse and Martivili Canyons. While they are somewhat different, both are worth to visit and provide some amazing views you will be keen to put up in Instagram feed :)
View from Okatse canyon
5. Sairme - a mountain resort some 50 km from Kutaisi. Fresh mountain air, amazing nature, mineral water pouring from the ground and some of the longest zip-lines in Georgia. Several modern hotels and restaurants have opened in recent years, making sure you will not leave the place hungry.
Zip-line in Sairme
6. Khvamli - we see the towering 2000m huge limestone rock every day. No matter if we are at the Mandikori plantation or sitting in front of our factory, the Khavmli is there, observing majestically. So, one day we decided to climb on top of it. Just about 2 hours drive from Kutaisi, you can now go almost the whole way with car, after the road going up was fixed this summer. The last 2 kilometers hike between the rocks and through the forests is the cherry on the cake. So, take the hiking shoes and camera with you, on a clear day you can see almost all of Imereti in one go :)
View from Kvamli mountain
Read what to do in Kutaisi from here.
Written by Hannes.