Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti

Boulders of Glola

Location: Oni municipality, Southern slope of the main Greater Caucasus mountain watershed range; bank of river Chanchakhi, confluence of Bokostskali; 1280 meters above sea level.

Access road: distance from Tbilisi – 320 km, from Kutaisi – 130 km, from Ambrolauri – 60 km, from Oni – 30 km.

In the village of Glola, in the gorge of river Chanchakhi, comes across a miracle created by the nature – cyclopean granite boulders rolled down from peaks of Greater Caucasus mountain by glaciers during icing period. The size one of them is 11x13x12 meters, the size of the second is 18x10x12 meters.

To the north-east from the Glola glacier boulder, in 2 km, is situated climatic and balneological resort of Shovi with treatment factors like mountain climate and carbohydrate-hydrocarbonate sodium-calcium mineral water of local springs. Resort season lasts here from June to Oktober.

 

Usholta cave

Location: Oni municipality; 1700 m above sea level

Access road: distance from Tbilisi – 295 km, from Ambrolauri – 35 km, from Oni – 20 km

It is exactly the basin of river Kheori where noted Usholta cave  made its home. 2150 m-long natural cavity is rich with chemical blurs and blots. Entrance to the cave is square. There is an opening on the bottom wherefrom starts underground gorge of river Bneletura.

Not so easily accessible is an awesome Kheori canyon. Under it, in the so called `blind` gorge, for the distance of 1 km flows river Kheori.

 

Mravaldzali lake

Location: Oni municipality; environs of the village of Mravaldzali, 1840 m above sea level

Access road: distance from Tbilisi – 290 km, from Ambrolauri – 30 km, from Oni – 20 km; from motor road Oni-Ambrolauri towards the village of Mravaldzali runs a rocky road. From the turn of the road to Mravaldzali is the distance from Mravaldzali to the lake is 3 km.

The locals name it Lake of Love. From this spot, along with the lake, opens up a wonderful scenery of the village of Mravaldzali and Racha mountains. `Mravaldzali` means in Georgian `multi-powerful`. This name was given also to the village. To the west from the Mravaldzali lake, near the end of Gholevi rock, is located `glass` lake.

 

Shkvava well-freezer

Location: Northern slope of Racha range, river Krikhuli gorge; 1350 meters above sea level

Access road: from the village of Shua Shkvavi a road runs to the south, then in the direction of a well-freezer leads a pathway; distance from  Skhvavi – 5 km, distance from Tbilisi – 285 km, from Kutaisi – 95 km, from Ambrolauri –2 km.

This is a deep cave intruding the rock, a natural well the bottom of which is full of snow. In any season of the years the temperature here is lowe than zero degree. Its length is 54 metres, width – 20 meters.

Cave-freezer is easy to pass. Water flowing from crevasses gives birth to ice stalactites, curtains, stalagmites and frozen waterfalls.in the village of Shkvava, district of Kvatadze family, is situated a fortress dating back to XI century named `Kvaratsikhe` (in Georgian, `kvara` – splinter, `tsikhe` – fortress).

 

Shareula gorge

Location:  Ambrolauri municipality, villages Nikorstminda, Zeda Shavra, Tkhmori, Kveda Gvardia

Access road: from motor way Kutaisi- Oni-Mamisoni there is a fork with a rocky road leading toward the village of Kveda Gvardia and, past it, to the direction of the gorge. Distance from the fork till the entrance of canyon-like gorge of Shareula is 1 km, from Tbilisi – 290 km, from Kutaisi – 64 km, from Ambrolauri – 29 km.

The left arm of river Rioni – Shareula – is a river of 22 km.

Shaori water basin is located at the outset of the river.  Its length is 7,1 km, the widest segment – 2,7 km.

In the shareula river gorge it is possible to arrange tours for extreme tourist groups: rafting, equestrian tours, off-roader tours and cultural tours in the breath-taking nature. A comfortable hotel and cottages can serve tourists in Shareula gorge.

There is also Shaori reservoir. Here is the habitat of: common carp, grass carp, silver carp, vimba, chub, trout, barbell, crucian carp, roach.

Around the Shaori cavity (area 180 sq. km) there are many karst tunnels and wells with the depth hovering from 5-15 m, as well as karst caves with until now unexplored underground halls. From the dam of the reservoir to the village of Nikortsminda there is an underground karst lake.

 

Sairme rocks

Location: Tsageri municipality, environs of the village of Zeda Sairme, 900 meters above sea level

Access road: Distance from Tbilisi – 290 km, from Tsageri – 30 km, from Kutaisi – 47 km, from Ambrolauri – 30 km; on the motor road Kutaisi-Alpana-Mamisoni there is a fork of a rocky road running to the  village of Zeda Sairme and leads to the rocky landslide, distance from the fork is 1 km.

Lechkhumi is historical and geographic region of Western Georgia. It is located in the south of Kavkasioni range, on the spot of Lechkhumi, Egrisi and Racha slope and includes territory of Tsageri municipality. The name of `lechkhumi` seems to have been derived from Megrelian `Chkhomi` (fish). The rocks have the shapes of triangular towers and horns. Their comparative height is several tens of meters. Rocks, other than being an interesting tourist destination, can be used also for training of rock climbers.

To the North of Sairme Udabno, between mountains, is laid out the village of Sairme. In the middle, in 2 km, in the mountains there are surviving ruins.

From the viewing point of Sairme landslides to the North-East, within 3 km, there is an architectural monument Labechina dating back to Middle Ages, a hall church.

 

Khvamli massif

Location: Tsageri and Tskaltubo municipalities, maximal height above sea level – 2002 meters

Access road: from otor way Kutaisi-Oni there is a fork with a rocky road leading towards the village of Lakhepa and leads to Khvamli; Distance from Tbilisi – 280 km, from Tsageri (via Okureshi) – 34 km, from Kutaisi – 50 km, from Ambrolauri – 45 km;

Khomli, or Khvamli, rocky massif is situated in the historical province of Lechkhumi, between gorges of river Rioni and Tskhenistskhali. Length of the massif is 10,5 km, width – 7 km.

On the elevation of 1700 meters in the massif, there is a `Freezer Overpass` where even in summer heat wave ice lollies are made up. At the top of river Lakhepisgele there is a lake on the height of 1456 meters above sea level. Environs of the lake are the best place for camping.

A unique natural wonder of this massif is also a 16 meter-deep karst well (1620 meters above sea level. ) From the Khvamli massif starts river Nikordziri which creates a 30-meter waterfall in the lower stream.

 

Zeskho

Location: Lentekhi municipality, basin of the river Tskhenistskali

Access road: Distance from Tbilisi – 380 km, from Lfrom Tsageri (via Okureshi) – 34 km, from Kutaisi – 50 km, from Ambrolauri – 45 km;

River Zeskho flows across Lentekhi municipality. It starts on the elevation of 3180 meters. Its length is 19 km. Zeskho which in the local Svan means `blood` or `stifled blood`. Nowadays the village on the elevation of 1800 meters above sea level.. for the lovers of extreme and active holidays, the camp situated on the height of 1850 meters above sea level is attractive drawcard even today. The camp is surrounded by scores of 3000 to 5000 meters high summits. Using a walking path, it is possible to pass on to the foot of the mount Pasis (3786 m) at the source of river Tskenistskali. In several km from Zeskho, on the Southern slope of Svaneti range, a climatic and balheological resort Muashi, noted for its mineral waters, made its home. Svaneti range is also crossed by several passes linking Upper and Lower Svaneti: Lasili, Atkveri, also called Zagari and Latpari.