Martvili (Georg.: მართვილი) is a district town of 4,400 people (2014) in the Mingrelia region of Northwestern Georgia. It is know for its extensive monastery complex, and for the nearby gorges, which are ideal for canyoning and rafting.
Since the Middle Ages, the town of Martvili has been a religious centre of western Georgia. Until 1936 the place was called Chkondidi (ჭყონდიდი) because of the nearby Chkondidi Cathedral. The city was called Gegechkori (გეგეჭკორი, named after Sascha Gegechkori) from 1936 to 1990. In 1990, Martvili received the current name.
After 1990, as in many regions of Georgia, the already modest industrial production almost completely collapsed, and the population now lives largely from subsistence agriculture.
With minibuses (marshrutkas) from Kutaisi , Samtredia or Senaki .
From the ს 1 from Abasha via the regional road შ 4. Alternatively from Zugdidi or Mestia via the regional roads via Tschchorozku and from Kutaisi via Choni.
Marshrutkas go to most places in the region. The monastery is within walking distance from the centre. Taxis can also be chartered locally.
- 1 Martvili Chkondidi Cathedral (მარტვილის მონასტერი). The cathedral sits on a hill above the city centre. It was built in the late 7th century on the roots of an oak tree (according to legend). According to this legend, there was a church on this site as early as the 1st century CE. The apostle Andreas is said to have converted local people to Christianity under the said oak tree. The oak is also the namesake of this monastery, Tschkoni (Georgian "oak") and didi (Georgian "big") = "big oak". Today's complex consists of the main church, which was built in the 10th century. It contains frescoes from the 14th-17th centuries. Adjacent is a small side church and a free-standing bell tower, both of which are more recent. The monastery complex is surrounded by a wall.
- 2 Martvili Canyon (Gachedili, გაჭედილი). A place of waterfalls, where you could swim, and the footprints of dinosaurs. But else just a sight of 20 min. 17.25 lari (parking 2 lari), boat 28 lari pp.
- 3 Dadiani summer palace, Salkhino (near Martvili).
- There is a local museum in the town centre.
- 4 Nokalakevi Archaeopoliss (Tsikhegodgi fortress).
- Canyoning and hiking in Dadiani Forest Park and Okaze Gorge: near Kinchcha village 15 km north of Martvili. There is a waterfall (near Kintschcha), a church (near Seda Gori) and two campsites (near Kintschcha and Rondisi). From Kutaisi, take a minibus from the bus station on Chavchavadze Street to the village of Gordi, 1 hour, 4 GEL.
- Visitor centre, ☏ +995 577 101806 (Zaal Kvantaliani), +995 577 907272 (Lika Kalmakhelidze), email@example.com. or firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1 Nokalakevi Geothermal Park (Hot Springs) (catch a marshrutka to Nokalakevi village from Senaki or Martvili). A hidden gem in the middle of nowhere. Sulphur fountains, white cascades, and hot river pools. It is not frequented by many tourist, mostly by locals. But in 5 years time expect a paid car park and 10 lari entrance—promised! Bring a towel, and a shovel if you want to help. The great thing is the clean river nearby, which cools down the body after having had a hot bath or tested your strength under the boiling shower.
In the city there is a fruit and vegetable market, a supermarket and numerous smaller mini markets.
There are about ten accommodations in the village.
- Canyon Hotel, 12 Chavchavadze st, ☏ +995 577 50 80 90. Georgian good middle class with large double rooms.
- Guest House Boboti, District Boboti.
- Camping stand. Meadow near the waterfall, on the way to the canyon. Next door two guesthouses: Nana (on the main road) and Dali (a little way to the river).