Racha is a highland area in western Georgia, located in the upper Rioni river valley and hemmed in by the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Under Georgia’s current subdivision, Racha is included in the Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region as the municipalities of Oni and Ambrolauri.
Racha occupies 2,854 km2 in the north-eastern corner of western Georgia. Spurs of the Greater Caucasus crest separates Racha from the Georgian historical regions of Svaneti and Lechkhumi on the north-west and from Imereti on the south, while the main Caucasus ridge forms a boundary with Russia’s North Ossetia. On the east, Racha is bordered by breakaway South Ossetia, officially part of Georgia’s Shida Kartli region.
The capital is Oni, another main town is Ambrolauri.
Racha-Lechkhumi has a humid climate, with an elevation reaching up to 2000 meters above sea level. The winter is cold and long, while the summer is traditionally short and warm. The climate in the mountains is humid and is characterized by an absence of a real summer
Cultural monuments and strong traditions have been passed down through the generations in Racha-Lechkhumi. People are known for their dedication to work, love for wine, and singing skills. They still maintain ancient traditions of vineyards and winemaking.
In fact the region is famous for Georgia’s most popular wine - Khvanchkara.
Naturally semi-sweet red wine Khvanchkara, made from the Alexandria & Mudzhuretuli grape has a strong, harmonious taste with complex flavors of red fruit, dominated by Raspberry. The fertile valleys and exceptional climate of the region guarantees producing naturally semi-sweet pure wine that is considered as a national treasure of Georgia. It should be noted that in 1945, Khvanchkara was consumed at the Yalta conference by Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin.
Below we describe all the best highlights that should not be missed while in Racha.
ROUTE MAP (ONE WAY)
Total Length: 330 km, 5.5 hours without traffic