Where can we go to enjoy fresh mountain air, hike in a national forest and enjoy some peaceful and snow-covered scenery? For sure, you must visit Sairme & Abastumani. 

1.SAIRME

Sairme (meaning, a place for the deer) is located south of Kutaisi, in the Baghdadi municipality near the village of a famous poet, Mayakovski.

The climate is unique in Sairme – it is in the mountains, in a subtropical zone. Sairme is a popular destination, not only for the climate but also for a number of mineral water springs that help prevent and treat different ailments. The resort is right by the river and mountains.

Noteworthy, that Sairme primarily functions as a health resort. I personally enjoy walking in the forest and dipping into the mineral water pools. But I have seen seriously wellness-oriented people, in their workout pants and hoodies, drinking mineral water, strictly as the doctor ordered. You will find plenty of doctors at the polyclinics on the territory. The food is light and diet-conscious. In general, the whole place is perfect for a peaceful and healthy vacation, long walks and a spa treatment.

You can drive to Sairme by taking the road that leads to Western Georgia and turning in the direction of the Baghdadi municipality.

2.ABASTUMANI

So, there is the Abastumani village and also the Abastumani Spa, right after the village. There is moderately dry mountain climate. In Abastumani, you can find three hot mineral springs and a pine forest, bursting with oxygen. Due to the fresh air and climatic conditions, this place is famous for tuberculosis treatment since the 19th century.

It was the summer residence of the Russian Imperial Family as well since Grand Duke George Alexandrovich of Russia suffered from lung problems and used to visit this spa town on a regular basis. He was finally cured only to die from a motorcycle accident on the picturesque, although dangerous, mountain trails in the national park nearby.

There you can find the visible influence of the Russian Empire. The town is full of cute, little historical houses, still not renovated and thus very authentic. An architect was German from St. Petersburg – Adolf Remmert.

In addition, there you can find the New Zarzma church of St. Alexander Nevsky. It is a 19th-century cathedral, built by the Tbilisi-based architect, Otto Jacob Simons, between 1899 and 1902. Its interior was frescoed by the Russian painter, Mikhail Nesterov.

You may also take a scenic drive to the Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory. It operates since 1932 and used to be the first alpine astrophysical observatory in the former Soviet Union. The observatory provides tours, you may book a peek through the telescope at night if the weather permits.

In conclusion, this little town is a gem of architecture, science and history-lovers. Visit this place in the winter and you will witness pines and historical buildings all covered in immaculate snow. Air here very fresh, therefore it will clean your lungs for the whole year to come. You can drive up to Abastumani by taking the road that leads to Akhaltsikhe and continuing up to the mountains.

For a comfortable drive on snow road, get a car like Suzuki Jimny