Racha (რაჭა) is a region that you don’t hear much about, comparatively speaking. Kakheti has wine, Samegrelo has spicy food, Adjara has great beaches. But Racha? More off the beaten path.  But I have been intrigued for years, mostly – and I admit this is quite silly of me – because my favorite traditional dance comes from Racha.

Feel free to play this video of the Racha song and dance (with a modern twist, although I will say exposed midriffs are incredibly rare here) as you scroll through some of my favorite scenes from our trip there last week.

One of our first stops, Shaori Lake, was stunning, with the clear blue water, vibrant green trees and bright blue sky.
We walked around the lake for a long time; this was taken from the path circling the lake.
We were so happy here that we wanted to frolic. So we did.
The 11th century Nikortsminda Cathderal was covered in frescos, some original! I didn’t feel it was appropriate to take pictures inside so you will have to take my word for it.
We spent more than two hours on a rough road to visit Shovi and drink its naturally bubbly mineral water.
The drive to Shovi was beautiful. The town itself was sadly deserted. While the town does get some summer visitors, it is incredibly hard to reach since the 2008 war. Most people came via South Ossetia, making it a few hours’ trip from Tbilisi. Now that area is controlled by Russian border gaurds and the town – and many would say, Racha as a whole – has suffered.
Since there was literally no food for purchase to and from Shovi, this might have been our favorite sight of the day – shkmeruli, or roasted chicken with milk and lots of garlic – since we were famished by the time we came down the mountain.


24 thoughts on “Racha

    1. McKinze @ Kargi Gogo

      We did love it! It poured on us but we had ponchos. Haven’t been able to watch the video since we are away from fast internet – we will! Thanks! 😊


  1. Yeah, I really recommend you to watch it! 🙂 The beach is very special because there are not so many visitors there. They should ”dig up” more beaches like that near the Mtsvane Kontskhi.
    It would be very cool if sand would be imported to Batumi/Kvariati beaches. Saakashvili was planning on doing it in 2012 I think, but it didn’t work out :l


    1. McKinze @ Kargi Gogo

      We did not go to the beach because t was pouring rain, sadly. We were drenched but enjoyed the botanical gardens in our ponchos!


  2. Just to make sure when I wrote Mtsvane Kontskhi I meant the beach in the Botanical garden Mtsvane Kontskhi 🙂 Botanical Garden must be beautiful as well.
    And when you were in Adjaria, have you had the chance to try Adjarian dishes such as borano, Adjarian cheese(the technique of preparing it is kind of similar to tenili kveli and it looks like it in a way), kaimagi-კაიმაღი(prepared from diary products), malakhto-მალახტო, and iakhni იახნი? It’s probably best to visit some family in Adjarian village which would prepare the tastes Adjarian dishes 🙂 Here is the list of tastiest Adjarian dishes according to this website: http://gobatumi.com/ge/discover-ajara/top-facts/top-10-delicious-food-you-have-to-try-in-ajara/166 🙂


  3. NJKDHs

    Thank you so much for replying me! When you’ll travel Svaneti don’t forget to try their various dishes too! 🙂 The taste in Svaneti villages is out of this world… Try their potatoes!!
    They have a dish like elarji but only with Svanetian potatoes… It’s called tashmijabi and there is written shorty in wikipedia about it here: *https://ka.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E1%83%97%E1%83%90%E1%83%A8%E1%83%9B%E1%83%98%E1%83%AF%E1%83%90%E1%83%91%E1%83%98( , fish kubdari is also common in Svanetia.
    There are many Svanetian dishes just that there isn’t much info about it English :/ If you are able to read in Georgian you can more about Svanetian dishes here : http://agrokavkaz.ge/carmoeba/svanuri-samzareulo-kubdari-tchishtvari-letsvmari-lukne-qnashi.html There are like 10 disheshnamed there. If you don’t understand it then please reply me that and I can translate for you some parts 🙂


  4. NJKDHs

    I promise that this is the last comment today! 😛 I found one more Svanetian dish! It’s a nettle soup and the name of it is Merkheli, but I’m unfortunately not able to tell you how popular it’s there since it’s the first time I hear about it too… Here is the link of it: http://www.imedi.ge/index.php?pg=nws&id=52044 There are several links I found about it so it must be ”known” to some degree 🙂


    1. McKinze @ Kargi Gogo

      We just returned from Svaneti, however we mostly stayed in Mestia and therefore it was somewhat touristy. We did have some fantastic kubdari, but weren’t able to dig into other local dishes in the villages. We will keep our eyes open for these…and I suppose it’s a reason to go back! 😊


  5. Pingback: Gaqinuli – Kargi Gogo in Georgia

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