Zugdidi and the jewels that the region of Samegrelo hides

Zugdidi

Zugdidi is the capital of Samegrelo. The city serves as a shuttle for the increasing traffic of travelers going to Svaneti and the few adventurers who enter the territory of Abkhazia. It is the closest city to the secessionist province and it took many of the Georgian refugees who fled the war in the nineties.

Although it is not a very tourist friendly city, the surroundings hide many treasures that attract people to it. The best way to discover them is through the excursions organized by the owners of the old Hostel Zugdidi.

History

The province of Samegrelo was one of the most important territories that made up the old Kingdom of Colchis and it has an overwhelming cultural and natural legacy.

Its inhabitants form a distinct subgroup of Georgians who speak a different language: Megrelian. In Georgia, Mingrelians have the reputation of being good traders and they have great negotiating skills. Zugdidi is 65 miles from Kutaisi, 211 miles from Tbilisi and 86 miles from Batumi.

The climate is humid and the temperatures much milder than in the east of the country. It usually rains a lot, so do not forget to bring your umbrella in just in case you need it.

What see in Zugdidi?

 

Dadiani Palace Museum

  • Address: 2 Zviad Gamsakhurdia Street.
  • Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Price: 2/5GEL.

    It is a museum that occupies the former residence of the most important family of Samegrelo: The Dadiani. The palace was built in the 19th century by architect Edvick Rise and it has a collection of objects from the dynasty governing the province since the 11th century such as paintings, weapons, antique books, French-style furniture or lamps.

    They were related to Napoleon and the most important piece is one of the three bronze effigies that existed in the world of the Emperor.

The hidden gems of Samegrelo

The agricultural market in Senaki

The agricultural market in Senaki really liked us. The humid and warm climate of Samegrelo makes it a real garden and all its delicatessen are gathered in the bazaar of this town. Getting lost in their place is a visual spectacle, with its perfectly ordered multicolored fruits, homemade wine, aromatic herbs, and its famous Sulguni cheese.

Sulphurous springs of Nokalakevi

You cannot miss the sulfurous springs of Nokalakevi. The water streams at high temperatures and the smell of sulfur invade everything in an environment dominated by forests and the Tekhura River. A short distance from here is the ruins of the Nokalakevi Fortress, one of the oldest and the most powerful cities of the ancient Kingdom of Colchis, which occupies about 20 hectares.

Nokalakevi Fortress

One of the spiritual centers of Western Georgia is the Martvili-Chkhondidi Monastery (7th century). Its interior is full of murals and they say that the place was already sacred in the pre-Christian era. As they say, there was an old oak tree that was venerated by the locals as a symbol of fertility a long time ago. With the arrival of the doctrine of Jesus, it was cut down and they built a new temple on its roots.

The Rachkha Canyon

The Rachkha Canyon is an ideal place that little by little is becoming more fashionable among the Georgians. It is surrounded by vegetation, waterfalls and a narrow gorge through which a river of crystalline waters is making its way.

Salkhino Monastery

It rises to a spectacular region are marked by a visit to the Salkhino Monastery. Here are the patriarch’s residence and they say that one of the best Georgian wines is produced in the traditional way. The sanctuary is surrounded by vineyards and mountains. Hopefully, the religious people will invite you to their 18th-century winery where they will give you to taste some of their sacred elixirs. By the way, they are not for sale.

Practical information

Train

  • Zugdidi-Tbilisi. 9:55 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • Zugdidi-Kutaisi. 7:40 a.m

Marshrutkas

They leave the bus station, just outside the train station.

  • Zugdidi-Tbilisi: every hour and twenty minutes from 7:00 a.m. to 7:40 p.m. Price: 15 GEL.
  • Zugdidi-Kutaisi: 7:15, 7:45, 8:10, 8:30, 9:00, 9:15, 9:30, 9:45, 10:20, 10:40 a.m. Price: 7 GEL
  • Zugdidi-Batumi. 6:50, 9:00, 10:00, 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, 4:30, 5:30 p.m. Price: 12 GEL.
  • Zugdidi-Poti. 8:45, 9:00, 9:45, 11:00, 11:40, 12:15, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. Price: 6 GEL.
  • Zugdidi-Borjomi: at 10:00 a.m. Price: 15 GEL.
  • Zugdidi-Jvari: every thirty minutes from 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Price: 2 GEL.
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