Imereti is a beautiful part of west Georgia. The capital of Imereti is Kutaisi, it is built on both banks of the river Rioni and for centuries was capital of the united Georgia and Imereti. Even now Kutaisi is considered as a second capital of the country. It is the city of Arietti and Medea; According to historical sources and myths, Kutaisi is about 3500 years old. Here are many cultural sites, such as
- Kutaisi state history museum where more than 150 000 exhibits are saved;
- Ancient castle Ukimerioni, where King Bagrat III (975-1014) built Sioni temple which, they call Bagrati Temple. It is rich with beautiful ornaments and paintings.
- Gelati Monastery built in a gorgeous valley of the river Tskaltsitela, 400 m. above sea level, and 11km. from Kutaisi. Gelati Monastery was built by King David the Builder (1089-1125). It was then when Gelati became educational center and the symbol of strength Georgia.
- Motsameta (Martyrs) located in 2 km from Gelati Monastery in a valley of river Tskaltsitela. Till 8th century it was called Annunciation Church of Mother Maria and was considered as a castle at the same time, it was destroyed by Arabs. Today’s temple was built by king Bagrat the IV in 11th century.
There are wonderful healing resorts in Imereti region as well:
Tskaltubo and Sairme – Tskaltubo is very close to Kutaisi, but Sairme is 25 km from Bagdadi, one of the cities of Kutaisi. They both are unique spa resorts and heal many illnesses. Besides that, Tskaltubo is distinguished with its architecture, beautiful gardens and location.
There is also Surami, another resort in west of Goergia, famous for its nature (it is full of pines) and climate that is good for respiratory illnesses.
West Georgia is also famous for Nature Reserve Sataflie. It is in Tskaltubo Region, north-west of Kutaisi, 500 m. above sea level. it has complex characteristics and contains geologic, paleontological, speleological and botanical heritages. Sataplia Nature reserve is mountainous; its great area is covered with the most beautiful and multifarious wood strain, Colchian type mixed forests. Here we see 5 karst caves which are famous for their beauty, size and scientists are taking it to a great consideration. The heights of the caverns are from 275 up to 405 mm and they are rich with flora and fauna. One of these karst cavern length is 900 m., the beauty of this cavern is a cupola-shaped hall, located in 100 m. from the entrance, where the size and beauty of stalactites and stalagmites astonishes visitors. At the end of the cavern flows a spring which goes into the well, after that the water goes on in narrow impassable clefts and finds its way out in the south slope of the Sataplia Mountain.
From Kutaisi you can go to mountain region Racha, enjoy its gorgeous nature and visit Nikortsminda, one of the famous temples of Georgia. It is located in village Nikortsminda. The temple is famous for its unique ornaments and frescos (paintings) that have no analogy among other temples. It was built by king Bagrat the III in 1010-1014. Today Nikortsminda is an active church and is Racha regional Episcopal Church.