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Georgia is very rich in landscapes, marvelous nature or centuries - old cultural monuments, and in this diversity, Samegrelo truly takes an honorable place. Ancient settlements, unique temples, and fortresses tell wonderful stories or myths, and the limit between legend and reality disappears. This side is a true oasis with beautiful valleys, waterfalls, lowlands or alpine lakes and many fascinating caves.
Tobavarchkhili, which is tucked into the rocks creates an unforgettable impression for all visitors.
Samegrelo also has an endemic species of Kolkheti National Reserve.
It is impossible not to be surprised by the multitone rock called Kuakantsalia, because a simple touch is enough to make this rock shake.
As you can see, people of different tastes can find their own little paradise in this area.
Events and News
Martvili Canyon – Nature Monument
Chkondidoba is celebrated in Martvili in autumn. This day is devoted to public processions, during which the images and fragments depicting various times of life and public activities of great churchman and the court minister Giorgi Chkondideli are screened. The church service and mass for remembering the great Kolkh is held at the Martvili Cathedral.
The Khachapuri / Gastronomy Festival is a one-day festive entertaining event to be held every year in the village of Rukhi close to Zugdidi. It is organized by Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Destination Management Organization (DMO), with the support of USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia, Georgian National Tourism Administration and Rukhi Trade Center, Gastronomic Association of Georgia and local government, the festival aims to support regional tourism through new product development. Not only does the festival promote the internal part of Georgia’s legendary traditional cuisine, but it also marks new destinations and attractions on the international touristic map. Additionally, it also raises quality standards within the tourism sector.
The Khachapuri / Gastronomy Festival comprises of workshops of nationally acclaimed chefs and local cook masters, providing free masterclasses to the visitors - this should especially be interesting to the local entrepreneurs, guesthouses and café-restaurant managers and cooks.
Tetnuldi Ski Resort
Lamproba is a mystical tradition in Svaneti, celebrated in the month of February. At dawn, the Svans come out with bundles of lit lanterns. The leader pleads to the Goddess of the harvest to bring a good year. In other versions, by lighting the lanterns, the Svans are warming the souls of the deceased. This night is worth seeing, with all of Svaneti illuminated by the fire of the lanterns being particularly enigmatic and mysterious!
Dadiani Palace Zugdidi
Zugdidi, a beautiful European town in Samegrelo, celebrates the Vlakernoba public feast on July, 15. On this day, Orthodox pilgrims from all around the world gather in Zugdidi in order to worship one of the great Christian relics, the Virgin Mary’s Holy Robe, currently preserved in the Historic-Architectural Museum in the Dadiani Palaces. Once a year, on this day, the pilgrims take the robe from the Museum and carry it in the central boulevard of the town in a litany procession.
In Zugdidi, a grandiose temple after Iveria’s Virgin Mary is being built, which will host the relic of the Virgin Mary’s Holy Robe, allowing everyone to worship it, similar to the Shroud of Turin.
Dadiani Palace Zugdidi
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Every second summer, the Megrelian Folklore International Festival gathers Megrelian ethno music and dance lovers. This day brings together the folklore grand masters from Samegrelo and all other regions of Georgia. If you want to better understand Kolkhic spirit and character, you must attend this festival!
Every year, in the last week of October, Jaralua is celebrated in Tsalenjikha! The popular public feast consists of a beautiful festive celebration with elements of folk traditions and customs. Sporting events and culinary competitions are also held on this occasion.
Hike to the Kvira Mountain
This little-visited hiking route climbs onto the 2000 meters high Mt. Kvira, the first major mountain rising from the lowlands of Samegrelo. From the top, you can admire panoramic views of the plains to the south and "real mountains" to the north - however, the views during the climb are limited. To compensate for that, you will visit several landmarks of Samegrelo such as the Intsra waterfall, the water spring hidden in the karst cave or Kuakantsalia - "The Swinging Stone".
Duration: 2 days
The basic variant with departure from Chkvaleri and return to Skuri takes almost two days.
The descent from Kvira mountain is unmarked and a bit problematic, but not enough to grant this trek a Hard difficulty.
How to get to Chkvaleri:
Since there is no direct bus between Zugdidi and Chkvaleri, I would just take a taxi - the price should be up to 40-50 GEL. You could also take a marshrutka to Jvari (all buses going through Mestia are going through there) and take a taxi from there for some 20 GEL - could save you a few lari if you are traveling alone or as a couple.
The last, cheapest option is to take a marshrutka to Jvari and walk to Chkvaleri from there, but I can´t recommend it. It doesn't look far on the map but the road is narrow, surprisingly busy and constantly goes up and down.
How to leave Skuri:
Well, it won´t be easy. From the last hiking pointer, you may have to hike another 5 km until you reach the main road. We hitchhiked, asked everybody we met about a taxi and eventually got a number of a driver willing to drive us to Zugdidi (he asked 40 GEL). To make it easier, while passing through Zugdidi (you will probably pass through here before your trek starts), hang around taxi drivers and ask a few of them for their phone numbers. You will really appreciate these numbers once the trek ends and you get stuck at a place such as Skuri.Read More
Tour: To Mountainous Samegrelo – Lakada
Lakada is a pearl of Samegrelo. Here in the villages built at the foot of the Egrisi Range, you can discover magical nature, the unique life of locals, and true Megrelian character. The tour starts at Martvili Canyon and follows the north path to the foothills of Samegrelo. The total length of the road is 100 km. It consists of two sections connected to each other: Section I - From Martvili Canyons to Mukhuri Village and section II fromMukuri Village to Enguri Dam.
Tour includes following 10 locations:
Dadiani Summer Residence in Salkhino (1)
Tsachkhuri Monastery (2)
Ochkhomuri Waterfall (3)
The Waterfalls of the River Khobistkskali (7)
Resort Skuri (8)
Intsra Valley (9)
Enguri Dam (10)Read More
Tour: On the Dadiani Heels
The Dadiani were feudal lords that ruled Samegrelo, on the most prominent regions in Georgia, from the 12th century to the 19th century. During parts of this period, they also held the territories of current Abkhazia, Imereti, Guria, and Svaneti. The Dadiani were one of the strongest dynasties in Georgia and during their reign, they built many palaces, castles and monasteries, which today represent the historical and cultural heritage of Samegrelo.
The current tour, includes 15 of the most important monuments from the Dadiani era still present in Samegrelo. All of these locations are easily accessible and ready for discovery!
15 historical locations are included in this tour:
Zugdidi Dadiani Palace (1)
Zugdidi Botanical Garden Glanted by the Dadiani (2)
Tsaishi Monastery – Ancestral Tomb of Dadiani (3)
Khobi Monastery - the Story of Tsotne Dadiani’s Heroism
Shkhepi Castle - Dadiani Fortress with Exceptional Technical Foresight (5)
Levan II Dadiani Church in Dzveli Senaki (6)
Dadiani Residence at Ancient Nokalakevi (7)
Martvili Monastery - the Most Important Christian Monument Renovated by the Dadiani (8)
Dadiani Items Preserved at the Martvili Museum (9)
Bath for the Dadiani family at Martvili Canyon (10)
Summer Residence of Dadiani in Salkhino (11)
Chakvinji Fortress – Birthplace of the Last Ruler of Samegrelo (12)
Tsalenjikha Monastery – Chapel of Levan II Dadiani (13)
Kortskheli Temple – the European Policy of the Dadiani (14)
Dadiani’s Family Hunting Residence (15)