Racha is one more spectacular mountains region located in Greater Caucasus, it is situated on the southern slopes. Racha occupies 2.854 km2 in the north-eastern corner of western Georgia and the range from the north divides Racha from Russia on the north-west from Svaneti and Lechkhumi and from Imereti on the south. On the east, Racha is bordered by breakaway South Ossetia, officially part of Georgia’s Shida Kartli region. It is a historical region of Svaneti and Lechkhumi, which had been a part of Colhis and Caucasian Iberia since ancient times. The administrative region of Racha is a small town Ambrolauri.
Racha is distinguished with contrast to the western Georgian with their calmness and friendliness. It is interesting to mention that Racha’s traditional cuisine is known world-widely. The cuisine is full of baked bread and delicious plates. Cultural monuments and strong traditions had been passed through the generations. The people of Racha are always dedicated to their work, appreciate their culture that includes their own singing style, hospitality and ancient tradition of winemaking with their own most popular wine Khvanchkara. This is a semi-sweet red wine which has a strong harmonious taste with complex flavors of red fruits.
Despite the fact that Racha is a really divine place of wonderful nature mountains and landscapes this region is the least popular and under-estimated region. Even though, it is not well-known among travelers it cannot be said that it is a less attractive place than Svaneti, Gudauri or Bakuriani. Here you can find a wide diversity of nature’s magnificence. Unlike other areas, it lacks major tourist attractions and offers “only” unspoiled mountains and forests, mineral springs, caves, lakes.
The first place where you can explore the beauty Racha is Shaori Reservoir, where in any season of the year you can find the most incredible landscapes and views. For those ones who are fond of fishing, there is lake that is a perfect fishing destination. Beside of natural beauty right here in Nikortsminda you can overview the 11th-century cathedral a big heritage of Georgian medieval architecture. The Cathedral is magnificently decorated with a different evangelic episode.
One more interesting places are villages Utsera and Shovi , Located on 1500-1600 meters above sea level, surrounded by high mountains of the Caucasus, which are famous mountain climatic and health resorts in Georgia. They are surrounded by forests that occupy over 25 thousand hectares and snowcapped mountains. Also interesting various wild birds and animals and springs of mineral waters with a diversity of minerals.
Ambrolauri is a small town with a population of 2,000 people located 550 m above sea level. Interesting sights in this town include the Museum of Fine Arts and Brakoni, a Georgian Orthodox church.
Oni is 30 km northeast of Ambrolauri and is the municipal center of Racha. According to the legend, the city was founded in the 2nd century BCE though it’s probably much older as it has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. Visit Oni’s Local Museum founded in 1937. It houses 15,000 archaeological artifacts, architectural elements, and ethnographic objects such as textiles, coins, and painting books.
The climate of Racha is also pleasantly favorable, here is a humid climate. The winter is cold and long, what about summer it is short but warm. The climate of mountains is humid and is characterized by an absence of real summer.
Racha is really a worthy place to visit in a season of the year, don’t miss this opportunity to make your holiday even better being in Georgia.