Guria is located in the Colchian Lowlands of western Georgia, where it has a 22-kilometre shoreline on the Black Sea.
The interesting blend of coastal lowlands and the surrounding mountainous areas makes for a unique climate, perfect for resorts, relaxing vacations, and hiking.
Guria is most famed for its climatic resorts.
In the mountains, Bakhmaro and Gomismta are popular, with Bakhmaro being the more well-developed, but Gomismta having a more rugged charm. Both resorts are open from winter through until spring, with pure mountain air, healing mineral springs, hiking trails, and fresh, untouched snow
The seaside resorts of Guria - Ureki, Shekvetili, and Grigoleti – are especially popular because of their magnetic sand. This is a widespread layer of volcanic sand, carried down from Bakhmaro Mountain to the shores of the Black Sea by the Supsa River. These resorts boast a variety of modern conveniences and attractions to entertain young and old alike.
Guria also has its own little Amazon, the Pichori River, which flows through the untouched nature of the Colchian Lowlands and then joins Lake Paliastomi.
Guria is rich in mineral waters, the most well-known of which is Nabeghlavi. This mineral water is sold in many countries around the world, but at Nabeghlavi Resort you can drink it straight from the source, and as much as you want.
In Guria, as in all of west Georgia, you’ll see a lot of Oda houses - they are made of planks, with long wooden balconies.
Because of the humid climate, the house’s foundation is elevated above the ground on poles made of hewn stone. This allows the lower part of the house to breathe.
The locals will tell you that living in an Oda house is a different experience. You will be able to experience this for yourself if you spend even a couple of nights in a family hotel set up in an Oda house.
Old Gurian Oda houses preserve long histories. Nothing beats spending an evening on the wooden balcony of an Oda house and drinking aromatic Gurian cha (“tea”), which is a perfect match for stories told with Gurian humor.
Kalanda is the Gurians’ favourite holiday. This is the local New Year’s, which takes place on the 14th of January. The main symbol of Kalanda is a chichilaki (a small Christmas tree) made of twigs from a nut tree.The preparations for the holiday start in the morning, and special Gurian cheese and egg pies in the shape of the crescent moon are baked. On the 15th of January each family is visited by mekvle – a person who is supposed to bring happiness to the house.
It is interesting to note that Kalandoba has its roots in the pre-Christian period.
Gurian cuisine stands out for the diversity of its plant-based dishes. Mkhali, vegetables and meadow plants boiled and seasoned with special spices, is very popular in Guria, as are walnut dishes. Gurian beans with mchadi (cornbread) baked on a ketsi (an iron pot) are very delicious too.
Gurian Chkhaveri, Jani, Skhilatubani and Tsolikouri wines as well as so-called candle vodka with its amazing flavor of honey, are the perfect accompaniment to any Gurian meal.
Gurian folk song is the main hallmark of the region. Gurians sing everywhere and all the time, young and old, in happiness and in sadness. One leading example of Gurian polyphony is Krimanchuli, which is often compared to skatting or yodeling.
For Gurians, polyphony is much more than just a song. It expresses their character – every voice has its own thing to say, but together they make an amazing harmony.