TripPlanner - Travelling Samegrelo: canyon, waterfall, and ancient tropical woods

Travelling Samegrelo: canyon, waterfall, and ancient tropical woods

12 August, 2019

Previously we talked about basic history and culture of attractions of Samegrelo, but most of the tourists come here not for this. The only major attraction of the region – is a Martvili canyon. It arose thanks to river Abasha, which cut its way in the soft limestone, and in the end made itself into very picturesque place.

A canyon with two parts is Standing – upper part and lower part. In order to see the upper part, you will have to take the paddle in your hands. You can only see it only through a not-so-long trip on the boat. But do not be afraid, there will be no rafting or turbulent flows. The Abasha River is very calm. In addition, the sailing areas are fully equipped and completely safe. Having paid the ticket at the entrance, you will receive a special card, according to which the instructor will later hand over the life jacket. The boats that ride visitors are inflatable. They accommodate up to six people and an instructor. Some, of course, with a vest, will also have to get a paddle. But rowing is not difficult. Its Rather fun.

Well, the landscapes that appear before your eyes will be simply amazing - green thickets, turquoise water, white limestone, stormy, albeit low waterfalls ... Such a place can be easily imagined somewhere in Southeast Asia, or in the wilds of the Amazon, but still this beauty is in Georgia.

After a boat ride along the Upper Canyon, go to admire the Lower Falls. Neither a boat nor a life jacket are needed here. The lower canyon is entwined with a web of paths and bridges, walking along which you can see all its numerous waterfalls and, of course, take magnificent photos.

It is especially beautiful in the Martvili Canyon in the summer. It is Beautiful, cool and crowded. At this time, vacationers from the Black Sea coast rush here for excursions. So be prepared for the queues. And remember that on Mondays the canyon has a day off and everything is closed.

Not far from Martvili Canyon there is the eponymous monastery, better known as Chkondidi Monastery. “Chkondidi” in Mengrelian means “big oak”. It is said that this place was sacred in pre-Christian times. The monastery itself was founded in the 7th century and was of great importance in the Middle Ages. It was a spiritual center, and an episcopal residence, and an important educational center, and the tomb of local kings, and later the princes of Dadiani. Despite such great importance, its size is very, very modest. But it‘s still worth a visit here, if only for the magnificent views of the small town of Martvili, which gave the name to the canyon and everything around.

By the way, you can get to the monastery from the city center by cable way. It is interesting that it was built in Soviet times, but was abandoned for a long time. And only in 2017 it was restored and launched again. But the cabins were left the same. They have a “classic Soviet“ look. These days they don’t do this anymore, which adds a peculiar flavor to the trip by cable way.

On this, of course, the sights of Samegrelo do not end there. There are many more interesting fortresses and ancient monasteries. It’s not easy to get to some of them, such as, for example, to the well-preserved Chakvindzhi fortress on the Chaniskatskali river. But for lovers of independent travel and non-simple attractions, this fact is more likely to add attractiveness. We did not mention the rather large Kolkheti National Park, on the territory of which you can see sections of the rainforest. It formed in the Cenozoic era and millions of years ago covered the whole of Europe. Therefore, do not hesitate for a long time and hit the road quickly! Samegrelo has something to surprise even the most demanding traveler.

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