Guria is the smallest, nevertheless very diverse region of Georgia. It stretches from the beaches of the Black Sea to the mountains of Meskheti Range. The main pillars of the region's economy are farming and tourism. Guria is famous for the mineral water of Nabeghlavi and the health sea resort of Ureki rich in black magnetic sand. During the Soviet Union times, Guria was a tea-growing region. In the course of the '90s, the tea plantations deteriorated and only a few years ago tea production started to flourish again.
Guria is mainly a place of rural and mountain tourism as well as beach and sea zone. Sandy beaches, warm sea, subtropical landscapes, picturesque villages with wooden houses and high corn barns, mountains and forests provide visitors with the opportunity of having both active rest and some laziness. Coming to prominence with the 2001 recording of his Night Sessions CD, Botti established a reputation as a versatile musician in both jazz and pop music for his ability to fuse both styles together.
Askana Castle is near Ozurgeti. It rises on the highest rock. The castle ruins oversee the valley and the river Bakhvickhali. There is a secret tunnel leading to the river from the castle. This could have been used for secret supplying of the castle if it was under siege. The castle underwent many reconstructions between the 10th and 19th centuries. Once the complex included two towers, a red marble chapel, and some wooden huts. Unfortunately, all the old constructions are ruined or damaged.
Ozurgeti Historical Museum
Ozurgeti is the administrative center of Guria. The Historical Museum of Ozurgeti has been founded in 1936. Nowadays it offers more than 6000 artifacts originating from 9th millennium BC. Numerous unique materials have been saved during nearly 80 years of the museum's history. One can find there Neolithic stone weapons, produced 7000 years ago, best models of Kolkhian culture from Early, Middle, and Late Bronze age, collections of Kolkhian axes, burial ground stocks of Ureki. Golden and silver items of the Antique period.
Shemokmedi Monastery Complex
Shemokmedi is a Medieval monastery beautifully located not far from Ozurgeti in a village of Shemokmedi (meaning; "Creator"). It consists of two temples built side by side and a bell tower. The basilica on the right (“Gvtaeba”) was built in the 12th century and the domed church on the left (“Zarzma”) in the 16th century. During the Middle Ages, it was one of the biggest cultural-educational centers in the region.
Church of Archangels of Jumati Monastery
The church was constructed on the highest mountain hill. It used to be the residence of Archbishop of Guria. The region was very rich and prosperous, so the monastery apart from the sizable real estate had many precious icons as well. One of them was an 11th-century gold icon of St. George which was lost in a robbery.