Martvili is located in Samegrelo region of Western Georgia, 280km from Tbilisi. On its highest hill there is a Monastery. The site upon the hill where the monastery stands today was used in ancient times as a pagan cultural center and was a sacred site.
Story of Martvili
There once stood an ancient and enormous oak tree that was worshipped as an idol of fertility and prosperity. Infants were once sacrificed here as well. After the conversion of the native population to Christianity, the ancient tree was cut down so as not to worship it anymore.
A church was originally constructed in the late 7th century upon the roots of the old oak tree and was named in honor of Saint Andrew who preached Christianity and converted the pagans across the Samegrelo region.
The main Martvili-Chkondidi Cathedral (Mingrelian: Chkoni translates to “oak”) was reconstructed in the 10th century after invasions that destroyed the prior church. Preserved in the church are frescoes of the 14th to 17th centuries.
Martvili canyons used to be a bath place for Dadiani family. Now people visit it to enjoy the scenery, its waterfalls and take a boat trip in the river with deep green color.
-Entrance fees and boat ride fees please see on the link. There are walking routes in the canyon (around 300-500m) and boat trip including stoppage time lasts around 15-20 minutes. Walking routes are must and not less impressive than boat trip.
-Balda canyon is located nearby. For more about places to visit near Balda:
-Work hours: from 10 am to 6pm For more info: (+995) 579 80 28 42 ;
Salkhino – Dadiani Palace
Salkino used to be Dadiani summer residence and rest place. The palace is one of the most important sights of Samegrelo and is very popular. Dadiani Summer Residence is especially famous for its beautiful garden and beautiful, long alley. A cozy, shady courtyard with lounge chairs and a park is perfect for a quiet stroll and unwind.
If you visit Tsachkhuri St Archangels church you can walk to beautiful Tsachkhuri waterfall nearby which is great place if you want cool and refreshing atmosphere in the hot weather.
Martvili Monastery is 7th century monument distinguished by its historical significance. Georgian writers and educators worked here, who made a great contribution to the history of Georgia.
The path to the monastery goes uphill, winding and narrow. You can also get to Martvili Monastery from the town by cable car.
Please see the map of Martvili Canyons and Salkhino here:
From Martvili you can do great dayhike to real trekking to Askhi massif, Mt Migaria massif, also resort Lebarde and its alpine lakes.