The 50 km-long Ateni Valley in the vicinity of the Uplitsikhe cave complex outside Gori, has an altitude varying from 600 - 2200 m, which results in a diversity of ecosystems, from semi-arid to sub-alpine. This naturally allows for an equal diversity of flora and fauna. On a visit you may spot any of 20 mammals, 5 amphibians, 15 reptiles and up to 100 bird species, not to mention the butterflies and dragonflies that will buzz around you in warmer weather. If you're out of luck on the fauna-spotting, you'll at the very least get plenty of flora- 27 endemic Georgian plant species and 76 Caucasus endemic plants- some of which feature on the red-list of endangered species.

Ateni Valley makes a great spot to picnic, bird-watch, mountain-bike, horse-ride and trek in. For those who are fearless and/or super active, there are the 20m rock faces Velebi and Karibche, amogst others, ripe for climbing. The "Kinuli" (ice) Waterfall in the Tkhilnara Gorge near Biisi becomes a 60m wall of ice to climb in winter, used annually in the national ice-climbing competition.

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