Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tours around Tbilisi (5): Saguramo Forest & Sioni Lake

Tbilisi offers a wide range of 1- day tours.
Georgian Tourism Association (GTA) has tested some of them.

Please note:
GTA does not sell tours, the service is for information only and we do not take responsibility for any inconvenience that people might encounter during the proposed tours.


Tour 5: Saguramo Nature Reserve & Sioni
Reservoir (Tianeti Region)

Enjoy the cool shade of a deep beech, maple and oak forest and/or swim in the clear waters of Sioni Reservoir. Ideal to escape the summer heat of Tbilisi.

The spectacular forest with 1000 year old trees of Saguramo Nature Reserve is enchanting. The most beautiful part of the forest you drive trough is located behind the village Tskhvarichamia. There are many hike options that need some sense of orientation but are not difficult.

The surroundings of the lake remind you of a lower alpine part of Switzerland. You’ll enjoy walking through the flower meadows in spring or bathing and relaxing on the lake shore.

From the forest it is around 30 min drive to reach the lake passing an impressive alley of poplar trees.

The Iori Valley streches far into the mountains above Tianeti, offering excellent walks in the mountains up to 2200-3000m, which were very popular during Soviet times and are yet to be rediscovered.

How to get there
The best way to reach Sioni reservoir is via Gldani (1.5 hours) as the road is curvy but good. No comparison with the off-road via Zhinvali and Tianeti and a lot better and more scenic than the road via village Saguramo.

Drive through Gldani into the valley leading north-east direction Tianeti, pass the ex-resort Tskhvarichamia still populated with refugees (IDPs) from Abkhazia and turn right when the road splits to Tianeti (left) and Sioni (right).

Find a suitable place at the lake.

With a bit of luck you can find an occasional Marshrutka to take you there if you don’t have a car.

Roundtrip option

If you continue the road from Sioni down the Iori valley (less good road!!!) you’ll reach the 6th century fortress Ujarma overlooking the beautiful valley (count 1.5 hours from Sioni).

From there it is another hour drive to reach Tbilisi via M5.


Unknown said...

I was looking at the pictures and information posted by you. I'm very eager to visit Martkopi Monastery, Karsani Ridge- Mzkheta and do Water Rafting on Aragvi River. I want to book hotel there. You said to contact GTA-MEMBER companies. Could you please help me out how to find them.

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