Samegrelo – one of the richest and most beautiful regions of Georgia. Various natural sites include river canyons, bird watching spots and even alpic zones to the North of region. Come to Samegrelo, visiting the ancient historical sites, enjoy the incredible nature, the hospitality of the local people, you will never forget this trip.
Day 1. Arrival
Arrival at the Tbilisi (Kutaisi) International Airport. Transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Tbilisi (Kutaisi)
Day 2. Tbilisi – Nokalakevi – Shkhepi fortess - Teklati Monastery –Abedati fortess - Martvili
Departure to Samegrelo region. Visiting the fortress city of Nokalakevi – the capital of Egrisi, the site of the legendary city of Aya, where, according to legend, the Argonauts sailed. A Georgian city has been located on this site since ancient times. Greek authors called it Archeopolis, but in older Georgian chronicles the city was known as Tsikhe – Goji. According to historical chronicles, the city was founded by the eristavi Egrisi Kuji in the 3rd century BC.
Shkhepi Fortress – considered to be a very ancient building. For the fortress, such a mountain was selected, from where the Colchis lowland is visible at a glance. Observation from here could be carried out over a vast territory, the castle directly controlled the main highway passing at the foot of the mountain. Now the central tower, the heavily damaged eastern tower and the foundation of the western part have remained from the fortress.
Teklat Monastery played an important role in the history of the cultural life of Samegrelo. At the monastery, a women’s school named after St. Nino and a printing house functioned. The monastery printed religious literature at its own expense and distributed it among the population. Since 1904, the icon of the Mother of God brought from Mount Athos, which is known as the “Fadeless Color”, has been kept in the temple. The thumb of the right hand of John the Baptist, placed in a silver chest, is also stored here.
Abedati Fortress – monument of the 4th century, located at an altitude of 130 m above sea level. This is an ancient city of the 6th century – Onogouris, which was mentioned by the Byzantine historian Agathia Skolastikosis. The “ War of Lazika” or “Great War” in Egrisi took place here between the Byzantine Empire and Sasanian Iran for control of the Lazika region in present-day western Georgia. The church built in the fortress dates back to the 9th century.
Overnight in Martvili
Day 3. Martvili – Martvili Canyon – Martvilia monastery – Salkhino - Martvili
Visiting the Martvili Museum. The museum stores about 55 thousand exhibits found in Martvili, Senaki, Abasha and Chkhorotsku geological, paleontological, archaeological and ethnographic collections. Most of them were found during the expedition conducted by the museum and as a result of the collection by the population of material accidentally found on the spot.
Martvili canyon – one of the most amazing places not only in Samegrelo, but in all of Georgia. White limestone cliffs, in which the stormy, then quite unhurried Abasha River made its way, appeared in the Mesozoic era. It was they who formed the modern Martvili Canyon, rising above the water in some places by 30-40 meters. At the bottom of the canyon, scientists discovered the fossilized remains of dinosaurs. The age of these finds is more than 75 million years.
Martvili Monastery. At the turn of the 6th-7th centuries, the first cruciform temple was built on this site, gradually supplemented by other buildings. In addition to the religious center, the Martvili Monastery also served as a cultural center. In 2007, monastic life resumed in Martvili. The men’s monastery was founded. St. Andrew the Primordial and the convent. them. Saint Nino.
Salkhino Palace – the summer palace of the Megrelian princes Dadiani, built in a secluded place in the 1830s. This is one of the few places in Samegrelo where Ojaleshi grapes are produced. The palace is located on the banks of the Tsachkhura River, which is famous for its excellent trout. The plan of the palace, with its oak pillars and beautifully decorated arch, fully justifies the name of the Salkhino Palace, which means “Feast”.
Overnight in Martvili
Day 4. Martvili – Balda – Kagu Waterfall - Motena Cave –Toba Waterfall - Oniore Waterfall - Martvili
Kagu waterfall, which has become another popular tourist attraction. located on the way to the Oniore and Toba waterfalls, in the gorge of the Abasha River, in the Balda Canyon. There is a road leading to the waterfall, where you can travel by car of any type. Kagu waterfall is a 15 meter jet of crystal clear water flowing down over green mossy rocks. The trees in the forest on the way to the waterfall are also covered with moss. Very often, water jets break up into drops, and in sunny weather, people can admire the rainbow.
Motena Caves consists of two large halls connected by a narrow gap. The length of the first hall is 30 m, the height is 24-25 m. The total length of the cave is 75 m. Stalactites and stalagmites, travertine cascades, etc. are found from chemical deposits. There is also a historical building, which was used as a fortress in the Middle Ages . It should be noted that the inspection of the cave is not associated with any difficulties.
Toba waterfall is a cascading waterfall and therefore there are several waterfalls called Toba. Toba 1, Toba 2 and so on up to five. The main part of the waterfall flows out of the cave, the total length of which is 1300 m. Several karst halls of the cave are named by different names. One of the most outstanding stalagmites reaches 7 meters in height. The water flow in the cave forms four underground lakes and, finally, leaving the cave, a cascade of Toba waterfalls is formed with a height of 234 meters.
Oniore Wterfall is actually a hanging stream, the origin of which is associated with the tectonic features of the area. Groundwater seeps into the Abasha River basin after passing underground for some distance, underground streams come out into daylight in the form of spectacular waterfalls, the exit of which opens right on a steep slope of a 300-meter cliff.
Overnight in Martvili
Day 5. Martvili – Akhuti – Shurubumu – Lugela – Gvalashara – Otsindale - Tsalendjikha
Visiting the village of Akhuti. The village is located to the east of the city of Chkhorotsku, between the Zana and Otskarie valleys. Several historical churches have been preserved in the village: “Dokhoroye”, church “Legersame” and “Gogoletis sakatsio” Here are the remains of the castle “Salipartio”. The village also preserved monuments of folk architecture.
Shurubumu Canyon is famous for its rich and beautiful cascades of waterfalls and caves. Among the caves of the Mingaria mountain range, the Shurubumu karst cave is remarkable. The cave is decorated with almost all kinds of molten forms – stalactites and helicites. The walls are decorated with “stone waterfalls”. A stream of water passes through the cave. The local population used the cave to treat asthma, and dwellings of primitive hominids were found in the caves of Kaliconi and Letzurtsume.
Lugela resort, another popular place in Chkhorotsku, is also located in the village of Mukhuri. Here the mountain air, saturated with ozone, mixes with the sea, which makes it truly healing. Lugela is famous for its calcium chloride waters, which heal ailments of the skeletal system and joints, allergies, nephritis, stomatitis, bleeding, etc. Nearby is a cave used since ancient times for the treatment of diseases of the respiratory system.
Gwalashara Canyon attracts many lovers of wildlife, diversity and adventure. The canyon is located near the village of Mukhuri, in the municipality of Chkhorotsku, in the gorge of the Gvalashara River. There are 4 waterfalls in the Guwashara Canyon, the maximum height of the waterfall is 10 meters. Especially often the canyon of Gualashara is visited by lovers of canyoning. These places with their beauty make an indelible impression on visitors.
Otsidale Monastery stands on a magnificent panoramic hill, overlooking the entire Samegrelo Region, the Gurian Mountains and the Black Sea area of Abkhazia. The church was built in the 11th century. The solar disk on the ceiling and the nearby “phallus stone” are evidence of pre-Christian rites. The complex also combines a tower built in the 8th century.
Overnight in Tsalenjikha
Day 6. Tsalendjikha - Enguri dam - Zugdidi
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was built in the XII-XIV centuries by the order of the rulers of Samegrelo Dadiani. In the northwestern part of the wall that surrounds the church, there is a two-story bell tower. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Tsalenjikha is known for its unique Renaissance frescoes, which were made by an artist hired from Constantinople, Manuel Evgenikos, as evidenced by the inscription on one of the pillars of the temple.
The Enguri hydroelectric power station is the largest hydroelectric power station in the Caucasus and the largest arch dam in the world. It is located on the Inguri River near the city of Jvari. The observation deck offers a beautiful panorama of the reservoir and mountains. It’s not just a dam, it’s something more. The length of the reservoir reaches 27 km, and the water in it is as blue as the sky. The place makes you admire the incredible size and beautiful landscapes.
Tsaishi Cathedral. The monastery was one of the main places for the spread of education, since a school functioned under it. At present, in addition to the cathedral, a bell tower, a fence and a gate have been preserved. It is worth paying attention to the very beautiful stone carving on the apse of the temple, which has a very considerable historical value. Behind the temple fence you can see a garden with palm trees. a huge linden grows in the courtyard of the church, its age is estimated at 600 years.
Tsaishi is known for its hyperthermal and hypothermal mineral waters, the healing properties of which were described by ancient historians. They mention Tsaishi as a place where, in addition to magnificent nature, there is an ancient source of healing water. At the place where the source flowed, a pool lined with hewn stone was found on the surface of the earth. Near the springs there are 25 meter trees, whose age reaches 500 years. Such a plant is Dzelkva, which has survived only in Japan and Georgia.
Visit to the Dadiani Museum – one of the treasures of Georgia. This family nest serves as an indisputable proof of the former greatness of the city. The surname Dadiani belongs to an ancient aristocratic family, known for its relationship with Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon’s nephew Askil Murat was married to one of the princesses of Dadiani). In this regard, the princes of Dadiani got a large number of relics, one way or another connected with Napoleon. Among them are pieces of furniture, personal items, even one of the three death masks of the emperor.
Zugdidi Botanical Garden – built in the last century near the Dadiani Palace, as a decorative garden of the residence. To create it, the ruler of Samegrelo, the princess, had to invite the most eminent gardeners of the 19th century from Europe. On the basis of this garden, a botanical garden was formed with a total area of 26.4 hectares. Some trees in the garden are 200 years old and are the only specimens on the entire Eurasian continent.
Overnight in Zugdidi
Day 7. Zugdidi - Anaklia - Poti - Tbilisi
Departure to Anaklia. This is a young, rapidly developing resort on the Black Sea coast of Georgia. For outdoor enthusiasts, in addition to beach activities, you can choose to visit tennis courts, a stadium, take a trip on a boat or yacht. Thrill-seekers should go diving, rafting, parachuting or make a throw to the mountain peaks.
Departure to Poti – port city located on the Black Sea coast. The city has all the conditions to become a pretty resort town: there is a sea, a river, a large lake and almost a tropical forest. At the beginning of the VI century. BC the city was a Greek colony and was called Phasis.
Walk through the National Reserve of Kolkheti. Most of the area is swampy and is a migration route for Eurasian and African birds. It is here that you can see about 194 species of various birds. In addition, there is an amazing flora and fauna, rich in rare species. For example. endangered species of otters, newts, nutrias live in the Kolkheti National Park.
Water tourism, diving, boating and horseback riding have been developed in the park. The influx of tourists does not disturb the tranquility of nature and animals. Optionally, a boat trip along the Rioni River (on which the Argonauts sailed in order to get to Kutaia (Kutaisi)) and along Lake Paliastomi. Under the waters of the lake, underwater archaeologists discovered part of a settlement inhabited at least since the 2nd century BC.
Overnight in Tbilisi
Day 8. Departure
Transfer to the airport of Tbilisi (Kutaisi).
The price per person $ US Dollars
Price Includes: Transfers, Transport throughout all round, Accommodation in Tbilisi (2 nights), Martvili (3), Tsalendjikha(1), Zugdidi (1). Breakfast in the hotel (7) , Services of the guide, Insurance.
Not included: Air Tickets. Meals and Drinks not mentioned in the program.
*The tour programs are based on our experience and the opinions of our completely different customers. These are semi-finished circuits, whose programs can be easily redone. Add or subtract the number of excursion days. Sort or redo the excursion day, change the sequence, the duration, prices …
Every day excursion is a stand-alone destination. It is the separate route with the calculation of the distance and the comfortable movement between the excursion points. Each tour and each itinerary is examined at the time of the request. Also, at the desire of the tourists, they can change the already booked and paid program.