The pleasant city of Kutaisi has a long and venerable history. The region has been inhabited for at least three millennia, and the city may well have been the capital of Colchis itself. More recently, Kutaisi spent a century and a half as the capital of Georgia and is today the second largest city in the country.
Imereti Region is located in West Georgia. The region has been inhabited for at least three millennia. The main town is the pleasant city of Kutaisi having a long and venerable history. This city may well have been the capital of Colchis itself. Kutaisi spent a century and a half as the capital of Georgia and is today the second largest city in the country.
Racha Region is a beautiful mountainous region in West Georgia. It is situated on the southern slopes of the Great Caucasus Mountain Range. The range from the north divides Racha from Russia. The administrative centre of the region is a small town of Ambrolauri. Attractive beauty of the region, slopes of the Great Caucasus, coniferous forests, gashing rivers and lovely streams together with welcoming Rachvelians make unforgettable impression on the travelers.
Bagrati Cathedral (11th century) was the tallest church in Georgia (57m) until an explosion in the 17th century reduced it to picturesque ruins. Even in its ruined state, you can’t help but admire the stately grandeur of this lofty cathedral as it gazes down upon the city of Kutaisi.
Gelati was founded in the 12th century as a monastery and academy by Georgia’s greatest king – David the Builder. In Middle Ages it was the most famous centre of enlightenment and was called “New Athos” and “New Jerusalem”. King David is buried in the monastery, not far from the great Cathedral of the Virgin Mary, whose stunning altar mosaic is one of the undoubted masterpieces of sacred art in Georgia.
Motsameta Monastery (11th century) – Located on a cliff above the gorge, the isolated “Church of the Martyrs” offers breath-taking views of the surroundings. It is named after the two brothers killed by Arabs in the 8th century. To make your dearest wish come true, simply crawl three times under the tomb of the martyrs. Locals say that it never fails!
Kutaisi Historical Museum
Kutaisi Historical Museum houses magnificent collections from all around western Georgia. Among over 160’000 artifacts you discover the Treasury section with a marvelous exhibition of icons and crosses in precious metals and jewels, miracle-working icon from the Bagrati Cathedral, a famous 7th-century BC androgynous fertility god figurine, medieval weaponry, historical art, manuscripts and even the first telephone used in Kutaisi.
A visit to this modest single-nave basilica (9th century) will reward you with a sight of some of the best frescoes in Georgia. They were painted in the 14th century and reveal the Byzantine influence, although they were executed by the Georgian artist Damiane. The complex also encloses a four-storey dwelling tower added in the 12th century.
Promete (Prometheus) Grotto is one of the richest caves of Europe and one of the most popular destinations in the region. You can enjoy the variety of beautiful underground rivers and lakes, wondrous stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, petrified waterfalls, cave pearls and breathtaking landscapes. Here you also have a chance to take a boat tour in underground lake.
Sataplia Nature Reserve
Sataplia is one of Georgia’s finest nature reserves, known also for its fabulous cave formations and the prehistoric dinosaur footprints preserved here.
40 meters limestone rock pillar that has been venerated by locals as the Pillar of Life, symbolizing the True Cross. The location of Katskhi Pillar is not characteristic for churches in Georgia and researchers believe that it was the home of hermit monks who came from the Middle East. The complex includes a modern restoration of a ruined medieval church, a burial vault, three hermit cells, a wine cellar, and a curtain wall.
Okatse Canyon with newly built tourist infrastructure has recently become one of the main attractions for the tourists. They can explore this natural wonder with its spectacular waterfalls, breathtaking views for a path hanging on a cliff and amazing untouched nature.
The antique city of Vani
The antique city of Vani (7th-1st centuries BC) is again coming to light thanks to the work of archaeologists. Temples and sacrificial altars from the period before the birth of Christ have yielded up beautiful examples of gold and silver jewellery and coins, all of which are now on display at the Georgian State Museum in Tbilisi.
Nikortsminda Cathedral was founded in XI century and is one of the highlights of Georgian medieval architecture. Cathedral is remarkable for its magnificent exterior decorations including multiple-figured story-telling reliefs representing different evangelic episodes, figures of the Saints and real and fantastic beasts.
Naturally semi-sweet red wine Khvanchkara , made from the Alexandria & Mudzhuretuli grape varieties is cultivated in the Khvanchkara vineyards in Racha. The wine has a strong, harmonious taste with complex flavors of red fruit, dominated by Raspberry. The fertile valleys and exceptional climate of the region guarantees producing naturally semi-sweet pure wine that is considered as a national treasure of Georgia. It should be noted that in 1945, Khvanchkara was consumed at the Yalta conference by Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin.
Sairme Spa Resort
Health resort Sairme is located 950 meters above the sea level. This place has the unique location – subtropical mountainous area, healing springs, ecologically clean environment and beautiful nature. During several decades it was a major resort zone. Known from 19th century, it has newly been rehabilitated. Sairme mineral waters and thermal baths are used to treat the diseases of bones and muscles, problems with a stomach and kidneys, gynecologic and urological diseases etc.
Tskaltubo Spa Resort
Tskaltubo was one of the most popular resorts in the Soviet era. Its thermal waters that are used to treat about 70 diseases are incomparable for its medicinal qualities. Natural water temperature is as warm as the human body and can be applied without preliminary heating. This unique water can cure cardiovascular system disease, locomotor system disorder, nervous system disorder, gynecological disorders, skin & endocrine diseases, disturbance of metabolism etc.
Located on 1600 meters over the sea level, surrounded by high mountains of the Caucasus, Shovi is one of the famous mountain climatic and health resort in Georgia. It is known for its forests that occupy over 25 thousand hectares, various wild birds and animals and springs of mineral waters with diverse composition of minerals that are used for medication of several deceases.