If you ever meet Rachvelians… Don’t make them rush as they are a very slow motion people. Maybe because they live in harmony as god blessed them with the most beautiful place such as Racha Region. Just 4 hours drive from Tbilisi and you are there. I say the word “just” because the time that you spend to reach Racha is totally worth it.
This region is located in the west side of Georgia. It is separated from Russia with the Caucasus Mountains from the north side. Racha is colorful during all four seasons especially in autumn when you feel yourself in a fairy-tale.
Exploring Racha starts with visiting the Tskhrajvari Mountain which is quite challenging to reach. You have to hike around 3 kilometers of rocky road to reach the top of the mountain. It has many visitors since people believe that once they are able to overcome these difficulties and reach the peak of mountain, they will be able to face all their life problems easily in the future.
When you reach the top of the mountain you will see there nine crosses and breathtaking view of nature all around you. People have a feeling that they are standing on the clouds and watching the whole world from there.
Now listen to the legend of the Tskhrajvari Mountain: this is a story of nine brothers which were very brave and the whole village was proud of them. After they went to the war, their father prayed every day for his sons. He made a promise that he would make a sacrifice if they returned home safely. After a while, all of his sons returned healthy so this man erected nine crosses on the peak of the Tkibuli Mountain. The name was later changed to Tskhra Jvari which means “nine crosses”. So to see this miracle you have to climb up to 1565 meters above the sea level and discover this place by yourself.
The next destination you don’t want to miss is the largest lake of the region. Shaori is a very beautiful lake reflecting the colorful nature all around it. This is a great place if you want to make a picnic and spend some time with your friends. After this place, just in 10 minutes you can reach the village Nikortsminda where you can find a great temple dated back to 10th century.
Ambrolauri is a small town which is an administrative center of the region. You will have a pleasure to see interesting sights and architecture of the city. In order to really look in the heart of the region, I recommend you to visit the Museum of Fine Arts that keeps more than 500 paintings of famous Georgian artists. On the other hand, if you are more interested in history you can visit city called Oni which is 30 km away from Ambrolauri. Here you can see more than 15,000 archeological artifacts and ethnographic objects such as coins, painting books and etc.
And at last but not least, don’t forget to taste their local dishes such as Lobiani, smoked pork and the most famous semi-sweet wine Khvanchkara while visiting Racha.
Now all you need is to plan this trip and get unforgettable experience by inspiring yourself with this amazing place.
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