Georgia is filled with some of the world’s most beautiful lakes. Many like Lisi Lake near Tbilisi, Kvareli Lake, Ilia Lake, Bazaleti Lake are easy to notice when traveling. However, some unknown lakes in Georgia are hidden away from the many popular tourist areas:

1. The Tobavarchkhili Lakes

Tobavarchkhili, Lakes in Georgia

Tobavarchkhili Lake
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  • Difficulty: Hard

How to get there: from Zugdidi you can take a marshutka to Mukhuri costing approximately 2 USD or you can hire a jeep to take you as far as possible. Doing so can cut your hike down to less than 4 days.

These lakes are located in Samegrelo within the Egrisi Mountains. There are several small lakes surrounding the main one and all of them are beautiful in their own right. The nearest settlement is Mukhuri, where you can hire a jeep or start your trek out on foot. Your trek will take you close to the highest mountains of Caucasus at 2650 m (8694 ft). You will enjoy Egrisi’s high passes with great views, diverse lakes, vast valleys, and waterfalls. Beware, there are no settlements here and the road is pretty hard if you haven’t equipped enough stamina and patience. Be careful and slow down your pace even more in heavy rains as the inclimate weather can make everything worse.

2. Tabatskuri

Tabatskuri, lakes in georgia

Tabatskuri Lake
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  • Difficulty: Easy as it gets

How To get There: As to the any other popular destination, marshrutkas to Bakuriani can be taken every day from Tbilisi Okriba station. Fares are normally no more than 15 USD and vary depending on the season. From Bakuriani to Tabatskuri, look at hiring a jeep.

If you are not into hiking long distances, this option is for you! Tabatskuri is for those interested in a more relaxed hike. Reachable by vehicle, Tabatskuri Lake is located between Borjomi and Akhalkalaki districts in Samtskhe-Javakheti Region. The lake’s village is populated by ethnic Armenians and Georgians who make their living farming and fishing. You can setup camp on the shore or stay at a local’s house and experience a bit of Georgia’s fabled hospitality. We recommend you visit the lake from the start of June till the end of October, when the surrounding inactive volcanos are covered with snow and the valleys are still green. There are also natural hot springs in Tsikhisjvari Village to soak in and relax in if you’ve felt like you’ve been walking a bit too much.  

3. Kelitsadi Lake

Kelitsadi, lakes in Georgia

Kelitsadi Lake
Photo Source: Irina Paichadze

  • Difficulty: Hard. The area is remote and you have to cross two mountain passes to reach your destination.

How To get There:  Take a marshrutka from Tbilisi (10-15 USD). Ask your marshrutka driver to drop you at the entrance to Truso Valley and walk the remaining distance.

This glacial lake’s trail starts in picturesque Truso valley. It is a very remote area and very close to the contested region of [cite here]. The government doesn’t allow for just anyone to go so you will have to apply for a permit. Also, be sure to take a GPS tracker. Unmarked trails are tough  and considering the geopolitical situation, these are even harder; it’s easy to get lost and wind up in a dangerous situation. Be sure to visit Khorisari Peak as well if you have any time and energy left.

4. Lake of Shavi Kldeebi  (Lake of Black Rocks)

Lakes in Georgia

Lake of Black Rocks
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  • Difficulty: Thankfully, the border post is half an hour, at most, from the lake. Located on the height of 2,780 m (9, 120 ft) it serves as a natural border between Georgia and Dagestan, which is part of the Russian Federation.

How To get There: Keep in mind that due to proximity to the border the the surrounding alpine lakes are off limits to visitors.

Lagodekhi National Park is located in Kakheti, bordering Azerbaijan and Dagestan. The first nature preserve in Georgia, it features waterfalls, untouched forests, glacial lakes, and a wide variety of wildlife. Currently the national park offers 5 separate trails with one of them taking you to the immensely beautiful lake of the Black Rocks.  This is one of the most interesting trails in all of Georgia. The route starts from the visitors center and is well-marked. There’s (almost) absolutely no chance you can get lost. On the first day of your trek, be prepared for the long ascent of around 1.5 km (4, 921 ft) to the tourist shelter at Meteo. The second day you will walk through an alpine valley and register at the border guards post as a visitor, requiting your ID/passport that you have brought with you.

A permit from the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs is needed to enter the area. You should file for a travel permit through the Department of Border Control with the Ministry of Internal Affairs located on Tashkenti Str. in Tbilisi. Your request should contain copies of your travel party’s passports and dates of journey and bring your original documents with you. Issuance takes approximately 10 days.

5. Lake Udziro

Lakes in Georgia

Udziro Lake
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  • Difficulty: Moderate difficulty for most hikers.

How To get There: You can catch a Marshrutka to Oni from Didube (around 15 USD). From Oni you will need to hire a car to Glola or Shovi or hitchhike.

Udzitro is a small alpine lake and its name literally translates to “bottomless”. It is located near the Shovi Resort in Racha, on the slope of Mt. Katitsvera, at an altitude of 2,800m. It takes 2 days to reach the camping site at the lake. You can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Tetnuldi (4,852 m/15, 918 ft), Shkhara (5,200 m/17, 060 ft) and Ushba (4,700 m/15,419 ft) and many other summits of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range as you hike along Mt. Katitsvera’s trails. You can reach the lake from the Shovi Resort, but an alternative and relatively easier route starts in the nearby village of Glola, a settlement not far from Oni.

It takes 6 hours to hike through the beautiful woods to reach the first camping site; be prepared for a tough ascend. As soon as you enter the alpine zone, you can make camp by a small river that flows near your path. The rest of the route takes you 3,068m (10,065 ft), after which you descend to the lake. There is spring and small field in front of the lake, right under Takitsvera mountain, and is a perfect place to set up the night’s camp. The water in the lake is very cold and only for the most brave (or crazy) dare to swim in it.

6. The Colorful Lakes of Abudelauri

Abudelauri Lakes
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  • Difficulty: easy

How To get There: There is a Barisakho Bus (4 USD) which leaves From Didube station in Tbilisi at 5pm every day. You could also hire a car and drive from Tbilisi to Roshka.

It takes 7km (4.3 mi) to hike from the village of Roshka to Abudelauri’s first two lakes and then extra half an hour to reach White Lake. You can cover the whole trek in one day (from Roshka and back), but we recommend you to relax and take your time.

You will first reach Blue Lake along the path then find Green Lake a bit later. Setup camp at Green Lake before proceeding to White Lake and then return to your camp for the night. The best season to see these lakes is in Summer and early Autumn.

7. Koruldi Lakes

Koruldi, Lakes in Georgia

Koruldi Lakes
Photo Credit: Ilona Margalitadze

  • Difficulty: Moderate

How To get There: Marshrutkas to Mestia leave from Tbilisi every day. Trip takes around 10 hours. The price is usually 15 USD per person. Alternative ways include flying from Natakhtari to Mestia. A one way ticket costs 30 USD and takes at most 1 hour to get to Mestia.

A hike of 16 km (9.9 mi) on paved road at an elevation of 1400 m (4, 593 ft.) should take you to a group of alpine lakes lying at the foot of Mt. Ushba. The view of surrounding mountains is superb. The route starts at Mestia’s main, newly reconstructed Seti Square. Start walking from there to the east and when you see Liberty Bank on the left side of the street, turn left and take the street heading directly towards a cross on a hill. Soon you will pass under an old stone arch; watch for its distinctive orange/white markings. After you leave the village you will reach the spot where the main trail sharply turns to the right. Follow the it to the east and after some 30 minutes you will emerge on two-track pathway. From there you will find the cross mentioned above.

The whole walk from Mestia to the cross takes up to 2 hours  and will need another 2 hours to reach the lakes. Fortunately, the road is well marked with wooden poles. For some people, these lakes are little bit disappointing because they are a bit muddy and not much fun to swim in. But their beautiful reflections of the surrounding mountains is a much better trade-off.

8. Bateti Lake

Bateti, Lakes in Georgia

Bateti Lakes
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  • Difficulty: Easy

How To get There: You can take a marshrutka to Gori or Kareli for no more than 5 USD. After that you can hike or hire a local to take you closer to your destination.

If you turn left at the sign of Tbeti Monastery, you can find your way to a small and beautiful Bateti Lake, located near the village of Kodmani (a village in Kareli District, Shida Kartli). It will require 1 hour to ascend on the muddy road to reach the lake. The best time to visit is during fall, as surrounding area is rich with colors. Camping is possible during Summer and early Autumn.

Bateti Lake has become a popular destination for weekend getaways, so you have high chances of meeting other people. Longer and interesting hiking routes can be arranged in Dzama Gorge as well. Bateti Lake can also be reached from the village of Levitana in Gori.

9. Zhinvali Reservoir

Zhinvali reservoir, Lakes in Georgia

Zhinvali Reservoir
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  • Difficulty: Easy

How To get There: The best option is by taxi or marshrutka. Marshrutkas leave from Okriba station in Didube, which cost 3-4 USD, taxi can be hired at a costlier 15-20 USD. Or try hitchhiking on the cheap; ask the driver to drop you off at Ananuri Fortress.

The Zhinvali Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Aragvi River in Zhinvali, Georgia in the Caucasus Mountains. Despite its obviously artificial origins, reservoir blends in with the surrounding environment perfectly and delights visitors with its Turquoise waters. Enjoy the view of the reservoir from Ananuri Fortress, which is a popular tourist sight and for its stunning, panoramic views. Descending to the shores of reservoir you will notice ruins of church, belonged to an older settlement that was relocated out of the flooding area of the dam.

During the winter, when the water levels are low, some of the other ruins can be seen. Swimming and sunbathing here is commonplace for many holidaymakers, but avoid swimming across the reservoir as there are many swamps along the shoreline which may make your trip impassable and unnecessarily dangerous. Swimming under the Ananuri complex, however, is completely safe.

10. Oreti Lake

Oreti, Lakes in Georgia

Oreti Lake
Photo Source: Davit Buachidze

  • Difficulty: Hard

How To get There: Unfortunately there is no public transport directly to Tusheti. First you must get to Telavi, like via marshrutka from the Ortachala Bus Station in Tbilisi. Ask for a driver who is willing to take you to Omalo. Trip usually costs around 100 USD. If you are hiking, ask driver to take you to the bridge over Alazani river.

This walk takes you from Lower Omalo through the region Tusheti, where you will find great panoramic views of one of the most remote regions in Georgia. The ideal period to visit is the early summer as water levels fall after mid August and you may find only a large, muddy puddle.

To make the trip a bit easier, you could have a horseback ride. You can hire one in Omalo.