Western Georgia's Tetra Cave reopens as health tourism destination, winemaking spot

  • The cave takes its name (Georgian for "white") from the hue given to its surfaces by chalk limestone. Screenshot from Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia video.

Agenda.ge, 5 Aug 2021 - 17:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Tetra Cave, a western Georgian location where ancient humans left their traces 30,000 years ago, is starting a new life today as both a wine production spot and a destination for health tourism, following a two-year renovation supported by the European Union and the Czech Development Agency.

Opened following an extensive work on restoring the formerly abandoned cava to its original look, and giving it fresh function for both visitors and locals, the spot, located in Tskaltubo Municipality, has a number of novelties to offer travellers.

The cave will serve as a spot for wine preparation, ageing and tasting, along with a dedicated space for events, the Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia announced. The new functions will be added to the known benefit of visiting the location - the positive effects of its air on lungs.

Renovated with financing from the EU and the Czech agency, the effort of giving a new life to the cave involved the Tskaltubo Local Action Group, with the location now set to also offer speleological tours.

Georgia is rich in the karstic caves possessing unique microclimatic and bioclimatic properties, but the Tetra Cave in Tskaltubo is really special with its stunning white interior and healing air

- Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia

In comments marking the reopening, Carl Hartzell, the EU Ambassador to Georgia, praised the renovation effort as a "tremendous job", while Dion Battersby, Director of People in Need Georgia, called the cave a "special location".

Located 140 metres above sea level, 1.6 km outside the resort town of Tskaltubo, the cave is part of the Sataplia-Tskaltubo karst massif formation and features chalk limestone giving its surfaces a white hue, leading to its name ("tetri" is Georgian for white).

Used for speleotherapy, a treatment benefiting those with bronchial asthma and hypertension, it is also an archaeological site where remains of animals including bison, wolf and cave bear have been unearthed. The 25 metre-long cave has a range of snails and insect faunae inhabiting it.