Headed towards western Georgia? Martvili Canyon is a natural wonder you won’t want to miss. This hidden canyon and beautiful waterfall used to be a place where the local noble family, the Dadiani, used to bathe. Today it is a popular tourist spot.
Having been rehabilitated for tourism, the canyon is well-maintained, and boat tours are offered. The canyon leads to a waterfall.
If you are looking for a bit more adventure, head towards the lower part of the canyon where the water creates a natural pool and take a dip in the cool water.
What to see:
- Nokalakevi – Once you have visited the Martvili Canyon, you can stop at the Nokalakevi fortress on the way to Zugdidi. Nokalakevi is a beautiful archeological site which dates back to the 4th-6th centuries. The area is a historically important and strategic area for guarding the Samegrelo region, overlooking the Tekhuri River. There is also a museum in which you can view local artifacts and learn about the extensive history of the region.
- Dadiani Palace (Zugdidi)– The Dadianis were an aristoratic family which had very close relations with Napolean Bonaparte. Many items stored in the palace museum connected with France, and more specifically Napoleon himself, such as his death mask, a private letter and other curios. The museum is home to more than 41,000 items, so can take quite a while to get around. One of the best parts of the museum is its botanical garden, which was created at the wish of Princess Dadiani during the 19th century and is home to many distinctive and rare plants.
Best Time to visit Martvili Canyon:
Open year-round, although warmer months are your best bet since boat tours are not arranged in snowy and rainy weather.
How to get to Martvili Canyon:
Although the distance from Zugdidi is not short, a trip to the Martivili Canyon can be done in a day. It will take about an hour and a half for one way.
You can take a bus from the Kutaisi bus station (behind McDonald’s) or a taxi.