The village of Nikortsminda is located on the northern slopes of the Racha part of the Caucasus Mountains, north of the Shaori Reservoir, at an altitude of 1,180 meters above sea level. The village is 16 kilometers from the region’s municipal center of Ambrolauri.
A masterpiece of national architecture, Nikortsminda Cathedral was built in 1010-1014. Since then, it has not changed substantially, as even the dome has preserved its original appearance.
In the Middle Ages, Nikortsminda Cathedral was the episcopal center of Nikortsminda, meaning there are many valuable manuscripts, pieces, and objects here.
A number of travelers and historians have written about Nikortsminda. In 2012, the church was rehabilitated and, as a result, previously-unknown frescoes were discovered as well.
If you follow the forest, you will come across the so-called “Freezer Cave” - a cave formed as a rocky arch that will take you into another fantastic world. After walking 130 meters, you reach the heart of the mountain. Here, you will find beautiful cave forms and ice pillars. The water dropping from the rocks freezes inside the cave and last all year around.
Nearby Nikortsminda, you should also visit the transparent, underground Shareula River, which flows directly from the rocks.
Meanwhile, if you follow the Kharistvala road, you will find yourself in a broad-leaved humid forest, which runs along Shaori Lake. It's always cool here, and perfect for camping, or having a picnic.
Georgia is of course full of hospitality, and you will have a good meal anywhere. The famous Aleksandrouli and Khvanchkara wine, lobiani (bean pie), and Rachan ham (Rachuli lori) will definitely be offered to you in Racha.