Renowned for its mineral water springs, Borjomi is a small resort town located in Georgia. This resort served as the most popular destination for people with health issues during Soviet times. Today, the town boasts renovated infrastructure and new high-class hotels and is gradually retaining the height of popularity it enjoyed once.
How to Get to Borjomi
There are different ways that you can use for traveling to Borjomi, including a car, train and minibus. If you are looking for the fastest yet cheapest option, the best choice is minibus. If you are traveling from to Borjomi from Tbilisi, you can take a bus at 8:00 a.m., 8:40 a.m. and every forty minutes from 10:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. on a daily basis. It takes approximately two hours to reach there. The final bus leaves at 5:45 p.m. The ticket costs around 7 to 8 GEL one way.
You can also take the train from Tbilisi to Borjomi, which costs about 2 GEL and leaves at 6:40 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. every day. Tickets can be bought at the Tbilisi Central Railway Station. You get to travel in old, Soviet trains, which are not fancy and quite slow, but they offer an adventurous and nice experience.
History of Borjomi
The beautiful resort town lies on the magnificent gorge that has slopes covered with pine and deciduous forests. The mineral water is the main wealth of this town, which has a volcanic origin and is well-known for its therapeutic properties. In the Middle Ages, Georgia became the target of numerous invasions and so people living in the Borjomi gorge fled to different parts of the country, leaving the town deserted. It was at the end of 1820s when Borjomi’s heyday began as the Grenadier Regiment from Kherson was placed in the suburbs.
A sour water spring was discovered by soldiers on the bank of the river and they informed their commander who was suffering from a stomach ulcer. The Borjomi water helped in reducing the pain and so he ordered the construction of a bathhouse. The stories of the miraculous sour water spread far and wide and reached Yevgeni Golovin, the Viceroy of the Caucasus, who had an ill daughter. The water cured her.
Mikhail Vorontsov, the new Viceroy of the Caucasus, decided to develop Borjomi in 1844. This included setting up the administration of Borjomi mineral waters, as well as new hotels, bathhouses and a park. This led to a tourism boom from all over Georgia, as well as nearby countries. In 1862, Vorontsov was replaced by Mikhai Romanov and he decided to turn the town an estate of crown prince. It didn’t take long for Borjomi to become a first-class health center providing top notch quality health services.
Best Things to Do in Borjomi
Stroll down the streets
As Borjomi is not a very big town, you can simply walk around its central park within an hour or two. You can admire the Soviet mosaics covering parks and buildings and the construction of some old buildings is also worth noting. You can also go to see the Borjomi Park along the river, which has number of souvenir stalls and restaurants. In fact, some locals also sell jams, honey and other handmade goodies. Just before you reach the park, you will also see the Tulip Hotel, which is a magnificent Turquoise building. It was built in 1892 and served as the summer residence of Iranian consul Riza-Mirza-Khan.
Walk around Borjomi Central Park
This is the primary attraction of the town as it is relatively newly renovated. The main water source is also located in the park. You can watch people, relax and there are also some amusement rides to enjoy.
Drink the Borjomi water directly from the source
There is a gazebo-like structure in the park, which is turquoise in color, and it is the primary source of the miraculous Borjomi water. The water tastes a bit like Sulfur and is quite warm. You can also fill it up in a bottle and take it with you.
Enjoy the views
You can go back to the entrance of the park and take a Borjomi cable ride to see the panoramic views of the town and the surrounding pine-covered forests.