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After we had our first snow here in Tbilisi a few days ago and then chatting with a Japanese friend online I started to wonder...

I know Georgia has no shortage of mountains or natural mineral water springs or snow, but I don't know if some of them are hot with outdoor facilities in the mountains.

What I really want is an outdoor hotspring in a natural setting, preferably in the mountains, which will be operating in the winter with snow all around, like is possible to find in Japan.

Here's a Japanese onsen in the snow - are there Georgian equivalents? Japanese onsen in the snow

Bonus points for mixed baths where male and female are not separated, and extra bonus points if there is wildlife around, like Japan's snow monkeys!

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Hmm, Wikipedia seems to indicate that the answer may be in the affirmative: "Prominent features of the area include the Javakheti Volcanic Plateau, lakes, including Tabatskuri and Paravani, as well as mineral water and hot springs." –  nibot Nov 7 '11 at 16:48
    
King Vakhtang became so impressed with the hot springs that he decided to cut down the forest and build a city on the location. The name Tbilisi derives from the Old Georgian word "Tpili" (თბილი), meaning warm. The name 'Tbili' or 'Tbilisi' ('warm location') was therefore given to the city because of the area's numerous sulphuric hot springs that came out of the ground. So the question remains, whether any of them are in a natural, open-air setting. –  nibot Nov 7 '11 at 16:50
    
Yes indeed Tbilisi was founded on a natural spring! It's a beautiful setting but not so natural anymore. I asked the guys in my hostel who recommended Borjomi, but so far I haven't been able to find any winter photos of the actual spring/baths there to see how it matches my wants. –  hippietrail Nov 7 '11 at 17:14

2 Answers 2

First of all, there are some hot springs in Georgia. But it seems to be difficult to find the hot springs. I found the following three cities that have at least hot springs in spas, but I'm not sure if there are also open-air hot springs. But at least those cities are a good starting point:

Tsqaltubo some hot springs, but couldn't find out if they are open-air. But also in Tsqaltubo there are some very interesting caves like for example this one:

enter image description here

Borjomi has also some hot springs and is located in a National Park. Judging from Google Image Search there is something like an open-air location there:

enter image description here

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All we're missing is how to get to the hot springs in Borjomi! –  hippietrail Jun 24 '12 at 10:10
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Borjomi might seem to be the closest to the places I described in Japan.

A friend of a friend just went there and provided a snowy winter photo:

Snowy winter photo of outdoor hotspring bath at Borjomi, Georgia
Thanks to my friend's friends for permission to use this photo.

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hahaaa! this is f***n one of greatest place in georgia! –  user1927 Feb 18 '12 at 14:11
    
All we're missing is how to get to the hot springs in Borjomi! –  hippietrail Jun 24 '12 at 10:10

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