Nestled in a valley in south-central Georgia, Borjomi is surrounded by the majestic Caucasus Mountains and coniferous forests. The small town is known for its thermal and mineral springs. which provide Georgia with its biggest worldwide export.

Borjomi became a resort destination after the mineral springs were discovered by Russian soldiers in the 1800s. Famous members of the Russian aristocracy flocked to the town for their holidays, including the brother of Tsar Alexander II who built a palace nearby in 1890. Archaeological excavations in the area have discovered stone baths which indicate the mineral water has been used since ancient times. Known for its curative powers, these springs are still a destination for those with health ailments who visit the many spas in the area to relax and rejuvenate.

The source of this healing water is the Borjomula River, which flows through the town’s Central Park. The recreational area has hot springs for swimming and fountains for bottling the mineral water. Sip wine at one of the restaurants while taking in the stunning environs. A cable car ride to the top of the gorge provides stunning views and the ferris wheel up top gives an even taller glimpse of the endless peaks in the distance.

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is one of the largest in Georgia, and in Europe. Spot deer, brown bears, wild cats, hares, and foxes during a hike or horseback ride through the thick forest, taking in the fresh mountain air and the sounds of bubbling rivers in this protected area.

The forests are dotted with many historical sites like the medieval Peter’s Castle, which was once the administrative center for the Ottomans. Located at the top of a mountain, the site includes ruins of a fortress wall and wine cellar. Ancient churches and monasteries are nestled in the thick foliage of the Borjomi forests and feature mural paintings from as far back as the eighth century.