Caving, canyoning, kayaking, trekking, biking, bird watching and boating are all activities that can be enjoyed while visiting the Samegrelo region. In the Kolkheti National Park visitors can also join in a variety of wildlife tours.
The Mythical Land
Travelling through thi region you’ll find not only rich Georgian culture, but also the Greek legend of the mythical King Aeetes – the son of the Fun God Helios, who ruled the Kingdom of Colchis. The pre-Christian Kingdom of Colchis was the first Georgian state mentioned in Greek history and mythology, as the county where the Argonauts came to find the Golden Fleece.
The region’s unique identity is its cuisine, and everyone should taste Megrelian food at least once in the lifetime. Ranging from the spicy to the exotic.
Visitors can expect a warm and welcoming atmosphere at local restaurants and family owned guesthouses.
Things to do in Samegrelo
The Natioonal Park is located in Western Georgia. It covers the eastern zone of the Black Sea coast and the basin of the Paliastomi Lake. The park was established to protect and ensure the survival of the wetland ecosystem.
The Kolkheti National Park and Paliastomi Lake are famous thought the Caucasus for their abundant birdlife and unique scenery.
Resorts in Samegrelo Region
The mineral water of Lugale come from the gorge of the Khobistkali River, located in the upper part of the Samegrelo range. The water here is clear with a naturally high mineral content, and has a unique property that this water does not freeze – even at -25 C
With a season lasting from June to October, Lebarde is a thermal spa resort located on the Egrisimountain. The mountain air and health restoring properties of the mineral waters are good for locals and visitors alike.
Menji, a thermal spa resort in Senakimunicipality , is situated in the Tsivi River gorge. The resort is open all year round and boasts a special mineral water that is said to help cure many diseases and conditions.
What to see in Samegrelo Region
Poti, or “Phasis” is mentioned as far back as 8th century BC. It was one of the world’s busiest ports and the bustling activity in the city has not changed for centuries. It is still the main port and trade centre in Georgia.
Anaklia is a rapidly developing Black Sea resort. Many of its sun-worshipping visitors come to see the ruins of the old fortress, which dates back to 1703. Today Anaklia’s beauty attracts much interest from international and local visitors.
Samegerlo is rich in karst caves and many of them are located in the Migaria mountain system. They include Zesnakhe, Poroltsvena or “Fall of the leaves”, and the Velvet Caves which are the most well-known. The caves are a paradise for cave enthusiasts due to the numerous explored and unexplored caverns. The glacier lake Tobavarchkhili (2,643) is worth a special mention, as it is only possible to reach this glacier lake after 20km hike from Chkorotsku.
Nokalakeli, is a truly fascinating place. Literally meaning “the place where a town was”, Nokalakevi was called Tsikhegoji.
Archeological excavations have found several different layers of civilization in the Nokalakevi territory. The oldest layer dates back to the 8th-7th century BC.
The Martvili Monastery
In the 7th century the monastery named in honour of the Saint Andrew was built in the village of Martvili. Its foundation is a huge oak tree that for centuries served as a pagan idol. People used to worship this tree as a God of fertility, fruitfulness and prosperity. In the 1st century one of Christ’s Apostles- Andrew the First called, converted the natives to Christianity who then cut the oak tree and in its place built a church. The church is cross-domed, and paintings on the walls date back to the 6th-7th century. A two-storey cathedral was built next to the church in the 10th century. In the Middle Ages the Martvili monastery was a centre of culture and education, attraction many writers, translators and philosophers.
The Rukhi Castle
The Rukhi Castle is located in the village of Rukhi, on the left bank of the Enguri River. It was built in 17th century by the duke of the Samegrelo. The castle consists of a citadel and an inner courtyard with two impressive towers.
The Dadiani Palace
The Dadiani Palace, located in Zugdidi, belonged to the forme Dukes of Samegrelo. NikoDadiani’s Palace contains the largest ballroom in all of Georgia and the palace garden is planted with unique trees and bushes from all over the world. On the same territory there’s a museum, which contains more than 50,000 rare exhibits.
The Tsaishi Cathedral
The Tsaishi Cathedral Church of St. Mary is administered by the Zugdidi and Tsaishi Eparchy of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
The Tsalenjikha Cathedral
The Tsalenjikha Cathedral Church (10th century) stands on a hill outside Tsalenjikha.
The Khobi Church
The Khobi Church is located 4 kilometers from the city Khobi, in the village of Nojikhevi. In Old times its was was called The khobi Monastery.
The Khobi Monastery is an architectural complex consisting of a church, a palace, a bell tower and the ruins of buildings.
The Kortskheli Church
The Kortskheli Church stands on a hill eight kilometres North-East of Zugdidi. From there visitors can see the mountains of Svaneti and Abkhazia, Samegrelo, the lowland of Kolketi and the Black Sea.
The Zugdidi Church
This church was built especially for an icon of the Virgin Mary of Vlakerni. The icon was taken to Russia and given to Alexander I with the hope that the Emperor would one day return this relic to Georgia. Later, the Emperor did return the icon along with the finances for building a church to LevanDadiani.
The Pori Cathedral
The Guria-Samegrelo eparchy church was established in Poti during the 19th century. In 1932 the communist governors of Poti turned the church into a theatre. It was given back to the patriarchy in 2005 and it has now returned to its original function.