The Timeless Beauty of Kulbaki Lakes: Nature’s Hidden Gem in Lechkhumi, Georgia
Nestled within the lush, undulating landscapes of Lechkhumi, Georgia, the Kulbaki Lakes beckon the weary traveler and the adventurous soul alike. Comprising two stunning water bodies—Green (Mtsvane) Lake and Babushkino Lake—separated by a mere 500 meters, this natural haven has a unique allure, deeply interwoven with the essence of the land and its people.
The Waters that Bind
Perched at elevations of 955 and 990 meters respectively, these lakes stand as silent guardians of the forested mountains that cradle them. Green Lake, true to its name, mirrors the rich foliage that surrounds it. Babushkino Lake, a little higher, completes this duo with its own serene beauty. The air here is a blend of pine, earth, and freedom; a scent so invigorating, it seems almost a disservice to label it merely 'fresh.'
Journey to the Lakes
Though seemingly removed from the bustling world, Kulbaki Lakes are astonishingly accessible. One can venture by car through winding roads framed by towering trees, or opt for a more immersive experience by trekking through routes like the village of Zubi to the Askhi massif, and finally to Kulbaki. Each step on the trail holds the promise of an untold story, a hidden secret, and the unmistakable call of nature.
A Trekker’s Paradise
The Kulbaki area is not just about the lakes; it serves as a hub for various trekking routes that offer something for every level of adventurer. Trails lead to the Akhalchala resort, the Lebarde alpine lakes in Samegrelo, and the Askhi massif. The gorge's cooler climate provides respite from the summer heat, making it an idyllic resting spot.
A Heartbeat Away from Akhalchala
Accessible by a challenging dirt trail that is a rite of passage for many, the abandoned resort of Akhalchala stands as a testament to nature’s untamed majesty. A symbol for locals, it offers vistas that make the arduous journey worth every step. From here, the daring can climb Mt.Tsikuri and eventually descend into Kulbaki village.
A Homage to Culture
In the ethereal tranquility that embraces the area, one can almost hear the verses of the local great poet urging visitors to remember simpler times—the taste of cold springs (or Binuli in Lechkhumi dialect), fishing in the Tskhenistskali river, and the unbridled joy of youth.
The Culinary and Spiritual Sojourn
And when the trek has reached its finale, the lakes have one more gift to offer—trout, freshly caught and fried to perfection at Green Lake. Swims in the Jonouli River wash away the aches of the journey, as the water embraces you with its icy caress, and perhaps, just perhaps, you’ll feel as if time has folded back upon itself, even if just for a moment.
- How to get to Lechkhumi: The best way to experience Lechkhumi and its lakes is by arranging a car from Kutaisi, although public transport options are available.
- Recommended Trip Duration: Plan for at least 3 days to fully embrace what this area has to offer. Take water supplies and consider resting in Akhalchala for at least a full day.
For a more detailed guide to other trekking routes, you can visit Lebarde Lakes Guide.
Kulbaki Lakes remain an eternal testament to the Georgian spirit, an embodiment of nature’s poetry, and an invitation to rediscover the simple joys that seem to elude us in the complexity of modern life. Whether you come for the trek, the tranquility, or the promise of timeless beauty, one thing is certain: you will leave with a part of Kulbaki etched forever in your soul.