Famous throughout the former Soviet Union for its salty-sour, love-it-or-hate-it fizzy mineral water, Borjomi is a likeable little resort town in the very green valley of the swift Mtkvari River, 850m above sea level. The town dates from 1829, when some soldiers discovered a health-giving mineral spring here. A Russian governor of the Caucasus, Count Vorontsov, developed Borjomi as a resort, one that became particularly fashionable after Duke Mikhail Romanov (brother of Tsar Alexander II) took a liking to it. In the 1890s Duke Mikhail built a summer residence, the Likani Palace, 2km west of Borjomi’s centre. It’s now a Georgian presidential residence.
After the USSR collapsed, Borjomi’s flow of visitors slowed to a trickle, but things have looked up since the town’s facilities were smartened up a few years ago. It’s popular with Georgians coming to imbibe the waters and with people visiting the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, right on Borjomi’s doorstep. Borjomi is also a good jumping-off point for Vardzia.
The main street, Rustaveli, runs along the northern bank of the Mtkvari. Just before you reach the heart of town (coming from the Tbilisi direction), a white suspension bridge crosses the river to the southern half of town, where Borjomi Park train station and the mineral water park are. Rustaveli becomes Meskheti 300m west of the bridge, continuing 300m more to the bus station and then a further 1km to the national park visitors centre. How to get in Samtskhe – Javakheti Region.
|Languages spoken||Georgian, English, Russian|