KUTAISI (ქუთაისი)

To our surprise, the weather luckily changed, and we got a lovely sunny afternoon in Kutaisi, a city in west-central Georgia. It lies along the Rioni River, where the latter emerges from the Caucasian foothills into a lowland. One of the oldest cities of Transcaucasia, it served at various periods as the capital of successive kingdoms in Georgia: Colchis, Iberia (Kartli), Abkhazia, and Imereti. After the Russian conquest, Kutaisi was made a provincial seat. It was sacked often in its turbulent history, notably by the Turks in 1691; the ruins of the 11th-century Cathedral of Kutaisi, built by the Bogratids, stand on a hill above the city center, which has narrow, winding streets. As a result, Kutaisi is today something of a charming backwater. It’s a lovely town that makes an excellent base for exploring the region of Imereti and has a smattering of worthwhile sights and restaurants to enjoy.

Parking location – Kutaisi: 42.261521N 42.712182E (🚻 – at train station)