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Promotheus Caves, Georgia: All you need to know to DIY on a budget

Promotheus cave is a 30-40 minutes drive from the centre of Kutaisi, Georgia. It was founded in 1984 but the work started in 2007 and was completed in 2011. Georgia, being an ex Soviet Union country, suffered a lot after the demise of the Union. It was left to fend for itself and it’s geopolitical and economic situation was really poor and unstable. This is one of the reasons why it took so long for Promotheus cave to be opened for public in 2011.

How to Reach Promotheus caves from Tbilisi:

By tour package/private car: Day trips to Kutaisi by tour companies start from 80 GEL until 120 GEL per person. It includes transportation from Tbilisi to Promotheus caves in Tskaltubo and back. This, however, doesn’t include the price of the entrance ticket to the cave or the boat ride.

By public transportation: You can take a shared taxi outside Tbilisi Central Station’s upper floors for 10 GEL and it is faster than the train. If you choose the train, it will cost 9GEL but the time duration will be longer where it makes multiple stops and has no Air conditioning facilities.

I took the train and even though it was clean and spacious, both for me to sit and for storing lugagges, the speed of the train was a huge turn off for me. We departed at 9am and reached at 2.30pm. For the short distance, it was just too much! Shared taxi is certainly what I’d recommend.

Both options will drop you in Kutaisi centre and then you are presented with two more options to choose from to reach Promotheus caves which is another 20 kms away. Either take a taxi for 30-40 GEL for a return trip or go to the bus station and take the bus until Tskaltubo for 1 GEL. And then, a taxi from there to reach the place.

Method to reach the caves posted at the visitor centre’s entrance

Cave Timings: 10 AM – 6 PM during the months between May- September. Timings for other months are shown in the picture below.

Ticket price: 20 GEL for foreign adults and an extra 10 GEL if you wish to do the boat ride at the end.

Personally speaking, the boat ride isn’t fascinating at all and finishes in less than 5 minutes. The boat is overloaded with all the tourists and the water is less than pleasing. Skip the boat ride and just walk back to the bus which takes you the starting point.

Overcrowded boat ride!

Starting the tour:

The visitor’s centre has a reception area where you can purchase tickets after which you’d be asked to wait for 20-30 minutes depending on the amount of visitors at the time. You can utilize the waiting time by looking at the specimens of the cave in a little museum like set-up and read more about the history of the caves. Or, you could choose to sit outside on the benches amidst the greenery and breathe in humid fresh air.

The reception area for purchasing tickets
Finally got the tickets!

The tour cannot be done without a guide. Guides speak three languages: Georgian, Russian and English. Our guide, Christina explained the details first in Georgian language and then in English.

Flash photography isn’t allowed inside the cave so carrying a DSLR camera set on auto ISO and manual mode is a good idea. Phone cameras are good too and would do a decent job since there are a few colored lights near the formations to help you capture it.

Video shooting isn’t allowed so forget about carrying a tripod or a mic with you.

At the entrance of the cave

You will climb down the stairs which lead to the cave’s entrance. It gets semi dark once you step into the cave, obviously.

What to expect inside:

This is just the beginning! It gets much more beautiful as you go on walking

Huge, beautiful formations of stalactites, limestone and stalagmites welcome you for an hour’s worth of walk in the moist floor which is wet throughout. The formations look so glossy due to the water content on them and the underground light system with its colored lights make it more interesting to observe and click pictures.

Look at that! Simply beautiful 😍

The temperature is around 14-15 degree Celsius so it’s pretty chill in there. For those who are claustrophobic, fear not. It isn’t suffocating down there and has ample space to move around and accommodate big groups.

I decided to stop listening about its history and just marvel at the gigantic structures
The variety that Promotheus caves provide is outstanding.
Dripping water
A little more..
And some more…

Outside Promotheus caves:

You’d be walking down this path to exit the caves if you choose to opt out of the boat ride

Staying overnight is possible at the Promotheus villa although it’s better to head back to Kutaisi centre or go back to Tbilisi. I chose to spend the night at an Airbnb somewhere around Kutaisi area as it was more accessible than staying at the outskirts.

Souvenir shops, fruits and juice stalls are plenty and make for a good filling tummy before leaving the place.

Orange and pomegranate juice

Small glass: 5 GEL

Medium: 7 GEL

Large: 10 GEL

Difficulty level: Pretty easy. Just a walk in the park cave 😉

If you’re looking for something different to add to your Georgian trip itinerary, then adding Promotheus caves is a must.

Note: Its sister cave, Sataplia is also around the corner. However, locals say that it isn’t so amazing and is pretty dull and dry. If you are running short of time or cash, let go of Sataplia.

Total cost: Under 50 GEL inclusive of entry tickets no matter which budget method you choose to reach.

So, what do you think? Worth visiting Promotheus caves? 😉

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