Shovi is, although quite old, but still perhaps the fastest growing balneological resort in the country. It stands on a plain surrounded by amazing coniferous forests, picturesque alpine meadows, high mountains with glacier-covered peaks. People come here to breathe in the healing air filled with intoxicating aromas, enjoy peace and quiet – there is no permanent population in Shovi, and the nearest settlement is an hour away – and cleanse the body with local miraculous mineral water. If after the wellness procedures a second wind has opened up, you can use the services of local guides and take a hike through the surrounding forests and mountains.
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How to get to Shovi
Shovi is located in the Chanchakhi valley, 30 km from the more or less large settlement of Oni, 147 km from Kutaisi and 380 km from Tbilisi. As a rule, most tourists come here by private vehicle. There are options to get to Shovi by minibuses. You can get from Tbilisi airport to the center of Tbilisi for 0.5 GEL, or take a taxi to the Samgori metro station. By metro you need to get to the Didube station, there is a bus station, from where minibuses go to the western part of Georgia. A bus runs from Tbilisi via Kutaisi to the village of Oni (about 22 GEL), and from there you can already get to Shovi by taxi or minibus. The prices on the page are for September 2021.
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The main asset of Shovi is dense pine air, constantly refreshed by moderate mountain and valley streams. The mild climate and numerous springs located in the valleys of the Buba and Chanchakhi rivers have a healing effect. This water is used in all nearby sanatoriums.
The Shovinsky resort has its own creator – Dr. Shamshe Lezhava, who at a young age was interested in organizing resort activities. At the beginning of the 19th century, while studying at the University of Vienna, he traveled to European cities: Davos, Wildungen, Baden, Karlovy Vary. Thus, the idea was born to equip a resort of the same level in their native lands. Returning to Georgia, he began looking for a suitable place. As a result, the choice fell on Shovi. The improvement of the valley started in the 1920s. of the last century, and already in 1928 the first vacationers arrived here.
Shovi springs are a storehouse of several types of medicinal water at once. For example, “Darasuni” is a light calcium bicarbonate water with low mineralization, suitable for regular use. Water “Sairme-Tersinki” is bicarbonate sodium-calcium and bicarbonate calcium-sodium boric. It can only be drunk with a doctor’s prescription. “Borjomi-Utsera” is the most saturated with minerals and is also drunk exclusively for medical reasons.
Local mineral waters help cure diseases of the respiratory tract, nervous and digestive systems.
What to watch
After treatment procedures, you can go for a walk in the surroundings. Excursions are offered by the local tourist information center. The most popular attractions are Mount Mamison (4360 m), on which a ski complex is currently under construction, and Lake Ujiro, popularly called “bottomless”.
Shovi is located in the alpine zone of typical mountain subtropics. Relative humidity rarely drops below 80% and annual rainfall is 1100 mm. Winters are quite cold here. The temperature in December-February is +10…+13 °C. Summer cannot be called hot. In its warmest time, July and August, the temperature fluctuates between +16…+20 °C. But there is enough sun here: on average, it shines 8 hours a day.
Even 10 years ago, Shovi was an unremarkable vacation spot: unpretentious service, standard hotels and boarding houses. But in recent years, the village has experienced a real tourist boom – it has become more pleasant to relax here, although more expensive.
Based on the size of the resort, we can say that there are many accommodation options in Shovi. Public and private hotels, holiday homes, sanatoriums and family-type boarding houses – a large selection of housing has led to relatively low prices for accommodation.
The largest hotel on the territory of Shovi is the four-star Sunset Shovi Hotel, which consists of a large main building and 6 cottages. All rooms are equipped with a private bathroom with hot water. There is a canteen next to the main building.