Racha region is located in the north-east part of the western Georgia. It includes the upper gorge of the river Rioni and is divided in two parts: upper Racha (Oni district) and lower Racha (Ambrolauri district). The village of Tsesi which is located on the banks of the river Rioni is at the border of upper and lower Racha.
Racha has been populated since the Paleolithic Era, a Mesolithic settlement was also found in the region. In the villages of Gona and Ghebi bronze production was highly developed.
In the Middle Ages Racha, along with the historical Georgian province of Takveri formed a Saeristavo which was the local administrative territorial unit and was part of the historical Egrisi Kingdom. The Middle Ages were an era of rapid cultural development of the region, in the period between Xth and the XIII centuries b.c., many historical monuments were built such as Patara Oni, St. George church in Mravaldzali, churches in the village of Krikhi and one of the most famous sacral monuments, Nikortsminda Church.
In the Late Middle Ages the Racha Saeristavo was part of the Imereti Kingdom until 1810 when Imereti was occupied by the Russian empire. In 1921 when Georgia became part of the Soviet Union, Racha was divided in three parts: Ambrolauri, Oni and Chrebalo.
Today Racha is one of 9 regions of Georgia with Ambrolauri as the administrative centre of the region.
The people of Racha, called Rachveli are known for their loyalty and pace of life – they never hurry! Its vast highlands with rapid rivers and charming villages scattered on the hills attract hikers, anglers, alpinists and nature lovers. Called a giant outdoor playground, it is perfect for those looking for a true countryside break.