Ninotsminda Municipality is a very interesting and a must go place for many different reasons. However, this time we will introduce you to just a few lakes that will make your travel plans even more diverse due to their unique landscape and the living world there.
It is probably not surprising that Georgia is distinguished by interesting and diverse places, but the Samtskhe-Javakheti region is always surprising with its unique landscape, history and culture. Among many other aspects, it is one of the most ethnically diverse regions, has a very distinguished and is known for its unique vine varieties.
Ninotsminda municipality is part of Samtskhe-Javakheti, which is located in the eastern part of the region. The south-western border of the municipality coincides with the Georgian-Turkish border, while the southern part borders Armenia.
The flora of Ninotsminda Municipality is typical for alpine zones. Much of the area is without any forest and covered with mountain and meadow-valley vegetation, while above 2200 m subalpine and alpine meadows begin.
Ninotsminda is also special for the abundance of lakes, which are an ideal place for many species of fish and birds. Wetland vegetation is common in swampy ponds around lakes.
This lake of volcanic origin is located in the south-eastern part of Ninotsminda municipality on the Javakheti plateau. Bugdasheni lake is rich in fish, including oriental frittata and carp. The south-eastern part of the lake is a small rocky island, which is a particularly important place in terms of bird breeding and nesting, including for several endangered birds.
If you decide to go for a walk around the lake, you can choose a 2-kilometer hike that starts from the village of Gorelovka and takes you to a picnic area and bird watching tower. In 2020, Lake Bugdashen and its surroundings were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Lake Madatapa is located in the south-eastern part of the Javakheti volcanic highlands. The water temperature reaches 17-18 ° C in summer, and in winter the lake freezes almost to the bottom.
There are no fish in the lake. However it is one of the best places to observe the birds.
Saghamo (Evening) Lake
Saghamo lake is located in the eastern part of the Javakheti volcanic highlands. The lake occupies a flattened part of a triangular-shaped basin bounded on all sides by volcanic soil. The Paravani river flows into the lake, through which the Saghamo lake is connected to lake Paravani. In July, the surface water temperature of the lake is 14.4ºC, and in winter it freezes for 4-5 months.
The area around the lake is interesting from a cultural point of view as well. In the village you can see four medieval (X-XV centuries) basilicas with particularly interesting ornaments.
Paravani is the lake with the largest surface in Georgia (37.5 square meters) and is located in the northeastern part of the Javakheti volcanic mountain range. It is said that there are still unexplored items and ruins of ancient origin on the bottom of the lake.
This volcanic-tectonic lake is frozen in winter, and the thickness of the ice is between 47-73 cm. Villages around Lake Paravani are: Poka, Vladimirovka, Tambovka, Rodionovka and Asfara. On the shores of Lake Paravani is also the monastery of the Phocian Fathers.
Levani glacial lake is located on the Samsari ridge, on the south-western slope of Mount Godor. The clear and transparent water of lake Levan is light blue. The water is relatively poor in living organisms and is nourished by snow, rain and groundwater and is poorly mineralized.
Khanchali lake is located in the central part of the Javakheti volcanic highlands. Khanchali lake is characterized by the lowest depths among lakes of Javakheti. The lake is joined to the south and southeast by up to ten small springs, they decreases in summer but do not dry up.
The lake is almost completely covered with aquatic plants. Many endangered birds use this lake to nest during the breeding season or during migration.