Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti


Visit Guide to Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

Tropical summers, mild winters, exotic fruits, hot spicy dishes, and unforgettable hosts – Samegrelo is amazing. The region is kept warm and humid by the Black Sea and is home to the Megrelians, a distinctive sub-group of Georgians, having a unique language. The region’s administrative center is Zugdidi.

By Plane

Minibusses run regularly to Samegrelo from Tbilisi’s. There are three bus stations:

  • At 2 Sadguri Square;
  • “Didube” Bus Station (4, Karaleti str)
  • “Gldani”/”Sviri” Bus Station (10, Vasadzestr, near the Akhmeteli metro station).

Taxis can be hired from the city as well.

You can also take the train from Tbilisi Central Railway Station (Station Square) to Zugdidi.

You can try kayaking, trekking, biking, and bird watching, while visiting the Samegrelo.

Marked trails near the Martvili monastery allow you to explore the canyons of Balda, Gachedili gorge, the Motena and Toba caves, and cascade waterfalls.

Visitors can also join in a variety of wildlife tours in the Kolkheti National Park.

In ancient times, Samegrelo was a part of the Kingdom of Colchis. The myth of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece is related to Samegrelo as well.

The Romans conquered the area in the first century BC and ruled it for almost 400 years. In the XI century, western and eastern Georgia were united into one kingdom, which existed until the XI century. By the end of the XI century, the Odishi principality was created. It covered the whole territory of present-day Samegrelo.

From the middle of the XII century through the XIX century, Odishi was ruled by the Dadiani family’s representatives.

In 1803, Odishi became a protectorate of Russia. By this time the eastern Georgia was already under the Russian rule.

In 1918, Georgia declared independence, and Samegrelo became a part of the new democratic country. Today the territory of the principality of historic Samegrelo is part of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti administrative region.

Traveling Through Samegrelo, you’ll find not only rich Georgian culture but also the Greek legend of the mythical King Aeetes (the son of the Sun God Helios  who ruled the Kingdom of Colchis.) According to Greek history and mythology, this is the country where the Argonauts came to find the Golden Fleece.


The region’s unique identity is expressed by its cuisine;  Everyone deserves to taste Megrelian food at least once in their lifetime, especially those who admire the spicy food.

Ranging from the spicy to the exotic, visitors will discover many unique dishes. The Megrelian kitchen uses local varieties of cheese and vegetables in its regional dishes.  You can expect a warm and welcoming atmosphere at local restaurants and family-owned guesthouses.


Samegrelo is also rich in Folklore. The most famous Megrelian folk song is “Megrelian Nana”- the lullaby.

There are more than 500 sorts of wine cultivated in Georgia, and 60 belong to Samegrelo. The most prominent of these sorts are the Ojaleshi grapes, from which the best wine is produced; Ojaleshi is a semi-sweet red wine, characterized by a faint aroma of wild rose and bright red color.

Samegrelo is located in western Georgia’s central part, on the Kolkheti lowland, partly on the Caucasus Mountain line. The administrative center of the region is the city of Zugdidi.

Samegrelo is bordered by Svaneti and the Caucasus Ridge to the north; Racha to the north-east; Imereti to the east; Guria to the south; Abkhazia to the north-west; and the Black Sea to the west.

Samegrelo is located in the humid subtropical climate region along with the whole territory of western Georgia. The downhill of the Samegrelo and the hilly strip are distinguished by a humid, warm climate, snowless winters, and hot summers. Its medium and high mountain parts, characterized by a moderately cold and cold climate, with snowy winters and short summers. The average temperature in the lowlands is + 13-19 °C. In the north, with the rise of mountains height, the air temperature drops.

Samegrelo is rich with lowland and marshy soils, hills, and valleys.

The largest river in the region is Khobistskali, which is 150 km long. The highest mountain is Chitagvala (3226 m).

Samegrelo is highly dependent on agriculture., which is dominated by sub-tropical fruits, maize, and animal husbandry.

Tourism plays a significant role in the region’s economy.

A high percentage of the economy comes from Poti International Port, the biggest port in Georgia, connecting it with different countries in Europe and Asia.

Poti is an essential getaway for the shipment of goods in and from Georgia.