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Europe > Caucasus > Georgia (country) > Rioni Region > Ambrolauri

Ambrolauri

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Ambrolauri is a town in Racha, Rioni.

Understand[edit]

Ambrolauri is the capital and gateway to the Racha region. While there isn't much to see or do in the town, there are many sights to see just a short drive away. Combined with its central location in the valley and availability of various services it is a perfect base for daytrips. Ambrolauri is also known for its Khvanchkara red semi-sweet wine which is popular throughout Georgia. Don't leave town without at least a bottle or two in your suitcase!

1 Tourist Information Office (intersection of Racha Highway and Kostava St). Small building just over the bridge out of town, the staff speaks English and has a lot of info about the region.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

Marshrutkas are the most popular form of public transport in Georgia and also the cheapest way into Ambrolauri. There are regular departures from Kutaisi (10 lari), and a few from Tbilisi's Didube station.

By car[edit]

The main road into Ambrolauri and the Racha region runs north from the main Tbilisi-Kutaisi motorway, exit near Terjola and up via Tkibuli and along Shaori Lake. The road has been resurfaced and it's a smooth ride all the way.

By plane[edit]

2 Ambrolauri airport. A very modern and small airport opened in January 2017. Vanilla Sky operates twice weekly flights to/from Natakhtari Airfield for 50 lari per person including 15 kg baggage and transfer to the centre of Tbilisi. The flight takes about 30 minutes in a small 18-seater airplane and is quite scenic.

Get around[edit]

The town is quite small and is easily covered on foot. Even the airport is only a 20-minute walk from the centre. Taxis are also available at the roundabout near the bridge to take you to your guesthouse or any other place in Racha.

See[edit]

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Supermarket (corner of Makhaldiani and Kostava Street). The biggest shop in Ambrolauri and the closest thing to a western supermarket, it has all the basics covered. Right across the entrance is a small shop selling fruit and local vegetables.

Eat[edit]

  • 1 1 lari bakery, Kostava street. Try the lobiani, it's a traditional round bread with bean-filling, which originates from this region. Just one lari and probably the best one you'll have in all of Georgia.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  • 1 Guesthouse Racha, 33 Agmashenebeli Street, +995 555678010. Affordable guesthouse with a very kind host. Modern bathroom and comfy beds. Call shortly ahead of arrival. 40 lari twin/double.

Connect[edit]

  • 3 Magti Office, 2 Kostava Street (across the pharmacy, look for red/white logo). M-F 09:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-17:00. Mobile operator which has the best coverage in the region. Prepaid SIM card packages with internet available.
  • 4 Liberty Bank ATM & Office, 18 Aghmashenebeli Street. ATM accepts all major cards. Wifi hotspot available.
  • 5 Georgian Post, 24 Kostava Street. M-F 09:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-14:00. For all your postcard and package needs.

Nearby[edit]

Nikortsminda[edit]

6 Nikortsminda Cathedral. A thousand-year old cathedral with some interesting frescoes from the 17th century. Free. Nikortsminda Cathedral on Wikipedia Nikortsminda Cathedral (Q1802388) on Wikidata

7 Ice Cave. More of a chasm than a cave, and without any ice due to warming, it's still a cool place to see. There are signs part of the way, after you exit the village keep left and stick to the path. Free.

Tsesi[edit]

8 Barakoni Cathedral. Beautiful 18th-century church in medieval style, situated at the confluence of the Rioni and Lukhini river. Free. Barakoni on Wikipedia Barakoni (Q807239) on Wikidata

9 Mindatsikhe Ruins. 11th-century fortress ruins, a very short walk from Barakoni.

Go next[edit]

  • Go deeper into Racha to Oni or discover Lower Svaneti in Lentekhi.
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