Guest post by: Anya Sapharova

We are used to seeing stunning nature beauty and emerald green forests on documentaries and National Geographic Channel as if keeping in mind that deep forests and unknown places must be thousands kilometers away from civilization. Somehow urbanization has created a big wall that separates humans from the peacefulness of big and rough mountains creating an unattainable representation of wild nature. Georgia, as always, has made its mark in terms of providing perfect conditions for those who are spoiling for natural seclusion.  

Mtirala National Park has always attracted lots of tourists starting from the beginning of the 20th century and during the Soviet Era it was called the ‘bladder if the Union’ due to it was acknowledged as the most humid place all over the gigantic territory of the former Republic.

You get the vibes of adventure when you get to the National Park and wander in the subtropical jungles of Mtirala Mountain vicinity. You can find various natural treasures in the representation of numerous rivers, waterfalls, charming bridges and gorges. Though, there is no threat of being chased by a predator and you do not risk getting bitten by poisonous bugs. That’s why lots of tourists choose Mtirala National Park as their recreational destination in order to get the feeling of living in the wild subtropical forest. It might be the perfect place for artists and those who cherish liberal arts because the Park inspires and harmonizes one’s soul.

The first thought that comes to your mind is that it is really humid in Mtirala National Park. You adore the swift rivers, huge rocks and decuman trees covered with emerald moss, fresh air and overall calmness.

Despite being natural treasure Mtirala National Park is not that frequently visited as long as it is situated close to Batumi and people prefer to spend carefree days on the sunny beaches. Still, one should not miss the opportunity to travel to the National Park that is full of natural wonders.

The Park itself is situated on the mountain with the altitude of 1761 meters. The place is unique in many ways as it is a combination of different climatic zones. It is not only the most humid place in Georgia but in the whole Europe as well. The name of the Park ‘Mtirala’ means ‘The Crying Mountain”.  What will really astonish you are the terrains with their own microclimate and small universes created by the different climatic zones.

The abundance of rare animals and plants will strike you. It is very common to see squirrels and hovering over the gorges hawks. The Kolkhidian Forests are full of natural beauties and secrets. In order to embrace the whole beauty of the place it is better to make your route longer and more diverse.

It is much advisable to start your journey from the Chakvistskhali settlement. There is a mountainous eco-trail trail that goes up to the pinnacle. You will go pass many forests including Kolkhidian Forest, Chestnut Forest, Deciduous Forest, and Boxwood Groves. Feel yourself in the midst of the history as many of threes are more than hundreds of years old! The air is fresh and crystal clear. No wonder that lots of long-livers can be found in the village of Chakvistskhali. The secret of such miracle is simple – people eat healthy food and drink mineral water from the springs.

Gastronomic tours are also present in such wild and alienated places – Adjarian Cuisine with its most famous boat-shape Adjarian khachapuri will make the journey more cheerful. You will have to spend lots of energy so that is why it is crucial to have a nice meal.

The route is really very pleasant despite being mountainous. It is well-equipped with all the needed trail marks, benches and tourists recreational zones that include camping areas.

Another option how to get to Mtirala National Park exists as well. If you are having fun in Batumi and spontaneously decided to visit the Mountain you can take a bus to Chakvi. Form that destination you can hire a taxi that will take you right to the entrance of the park. You might have to walk 7 km in case you do not take up the transport and those who are not well-equipped or do not like hiking in the mountains will not enjoy the walking tour. The taxi-driver may ask you for about 40 GEL but don’t be afraid to bargain. The price may seem a little bit high but, well, the road is not very nice and at some point the concrete laying disappears at all making it hard for a car to move forward. You can feel bumps and all the stones under the wheels while traveling to the entrance of the National Park.

Lots of people confess that they expect terrific conditions in the hostels and shelters of the National Park but to their surprise, especially after having spent some time on the road to Mtirala, they were pleasantly amazed. The rooms are well-equipped and the staff is very helpful as well.

After getting some rest push yourself into the greenery and start observing and exploring. The place is a real treasure for those who dream of jungles and green landscape. The gradation of green takes place everywhere! The only thing you have to remember is the humidity – it is at the maximum there. Don’t forget to take raincoats and spare T-shirts. Clothes get wet very easily and at some point you start thinking that it is hard to breathe. The main thing is not to stop on your way in order not to catch cold.

After visiting the waterfalls and looking around it will be such a relief to have a hot shower! The feeling of facilitation will pursue you till the end of the day.

Interesting fact is that when there are harsh storms in Batumi, Mtirala National Park seems not to be affected by the weather at all, though the calamity may be represented in the face of the hail.

What you should remember about your trip to Mtirala Park is that do not overload your bags as long as the shelters offer great menus with reasonable prices. Also try to spend two days there and do not rush to another destination – you will just spend lots of time to get to the Mountain and out of there. Moreover, raincoats are the most crucial equipment attributes as long as the humidity level is very high there. The most important thing is to enjoy your stay there and merge with nature!