The ranges of the Lesser Caucasus in southern Georgia are less well known and much lower than the Great Caucasus, but they still contain some very beautiful and wild country. Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park provides the perfect chance to get out into this landscape. The park spreads over 851 sq km of forested hills and alpine meadows up to 2642m high.
The park is crisscrossed by 11 marked walking trails of various lengths, some suitable for horses as well as hikers. Trail marking is mostly by paint marks on trees. Most trails are accessible from May to October or November.
All visitors must obtain a permit beforehand from one of the two visitors centres: Borjomi National Park Visitors Centre and Kharagauli National Park Visitors Centre. These are also very helpful for information and equipment rental. Several trails start at the Likani ranger station, 5km from the Borjomi National Park Visitors Centre (about 6 GEL by taxi from Borjomi town). A good day-hike of 13km, with an ascent and descent of 800m, is Trail 6, which comes out on the Akhaltsikhe road at Qvabiskhevi. Trail 1 (Likani ranger station to Marelisi ranger station) is a 43km, three-day route crossing the park from south to north via Mt Lomis Mta (2198m). The longest and hardest route is Trail 2 (Atskuri to Marelisi), a 54km north–south route taking three or four days.
Four basic wooden tourist shelters provide accommodation inside the park. They have spring water, but you need to carry a sleeping bag, food and cooking gear. You can also sleep at one of 10 ranger stations (per person 10 GEL; though they have no water), and there are 10 camp sites (per person 5 GEL).
Some villages around the park's fringes have guesthouses, convenient for the beginning or end of some trails. They include Marelisi Guesthouse at Marelisi on the north side of the park, and Nick & George Guesthouse at Atskuri.
Marshrutky running between Borjomi and Akhaltsikhe will drop you off or pick you up at Likani, Qvabiskhevi or Atskuri, near where several trails begin or end.