Each year, thousands of tourists flock Georgia’s Black Sea coast to improve their health. Shekvetili is one of the top resorts where visitors come to enjoy the healing properties of Georgia’s magnetic black sands. Add to this the fresh air, warm seas and abundant sunshine and you are guaranteed an amazing healthy retreat in Shekvetili.
THE HISTORY OF SHEKVETILI
Shekvetili is a village and sea resort located in Ozurgeti Municipality within the Guria region of southwestern Georgia. Nestled on the eastern Black Sea coast at the mouth of River Natanebi, Shekvetili comprises of a 5km coastal strip dominated by a pine tree forest. Located on the Guria lowland, Shekvetili rests at an elevation of 2m above sea level.
During the 18th century, Shekvetili was an important trade post within the Guria Principality. In 1723, it was taken over by the Ottoman army and named “Shefketil.” Following the 1812 Treaty of Bucharest, it was passed on to Russia and renamed the “Fort of Saint Nicholas.”
As a frontier fortress, Shekvetili was the scene of many battles during the Russo-Turkish wars. During the conflict in 1828-29, it was one of the Russian bases for operations into Turkish Guria (Adjara). Aided by Gurian militiamen, Russian forces raided and destroyed a big fortified Ottoman camp at Limani, near Shekvetili on 5 March 1829.
During the course of the Crimean War, Ottoman forces stormed Shekvetili on 15 October, 1853. Following hours of battle, they captured the post held by the Russian infantry and local Georgia militia. This 1853 Battle of Shekvetili opened the Caucasus front of the Crimean War.
While most areas along the Black Sea are covered with pebbles, Shekvetili’s beaches have fine-grained sands. Black magnetic sands on Georgia’s beaches are a rare and unique phenomenon found only in Ureki, Grigoleti and Shekvetili.
In Soviet times, the Black Sea region – and in particular Ureki Sea Resort, became the biggest Georgian center for the extraction of magnetite – an important raw material for the metallurgical industry. This situation continued until the early decades following the war.
During this period, the black sands of the Black Sea were discovered to have unique healing properties. Soon after, Soviet authorities began to build sanatoriums that offered holidaymakers unique treatment programs with therapeutic baths in healing sands aimed at treating various ailments.
Today, the seaside climatic health resort of Shekvetili attracts travelers in search of a relaxing and curative holiday. The resort perfectly combines 2 vacation options – beach with diverse marine activities, and health recreation. Thanks to this unique combination, Shekvetili boasts the status of being one of Georgia’s top resorts for healthy retreats.
THINGS TO DO IN SHEKVETILI
Unlike other resorts on the Black Sea coast, Shekvetili is more quiet and relaxing. There are no bars or discos in Shekvetili, which makes it ideal for those seeking solitude away from the crowds and active nightlife. Here you can find the peace and quiet you desire at a sea resort away from civilization.
Shekvetili’s sands are black because they are rich in magnetic iron known as magnetite, which occurs in the form of fine black fractions that emit a magnetic field. These highly magnetized sands are believed to possess beneficial properties in the regeneration of the human body.
Magnetic therapy is the field of medicine that utilizes magnetic fields to treat diseases of the heart, nervous system, blood vessels and musculoskeletal system, among others. Every year, thousands of visitors flock Shekvetili to improve their health with the help of the therapeutic sands.
To enjoy the full medicinal benefits of Shekvetili’s magnetic black sands, you will need to bury yourself in it. Simply dig a hole in the sand and wait for the sun to warm it up. Step inside the hole and cover yourself with sand up to your chest. Stay there for about 30 minutes and then get out and wash off in the sea. In no time, you should be feeling rejuvenated!
August is the best time to visit Shekvetili when the temperatures are perfect for taking the therapeutic sand baths. This is because the minerals produce the greatest effects when warmed up to around 28 degrees Celsius.
Another aspect to Shekvetili’s wellness benefits is the occurrence of natural aromatherapy, which has a beneficial effect on the respiratory system. This is thanks to the natural process of ionization and the saturation of air with pine tree scents from the strip of pine groves that grows along the coast. Moreover, bathing in the pure waters of Shekvetili’s Black Sea also rejuvenates the body.
The combination of the sea breeze with fresh mountain air enriched with pine aroma, the rays of the sun and the healing properties of magnetic sands make Shekvetili perfect for a relaxing and healing vacation.
Shekvetili has a gorgeous 5 kilometer long beach that offers a great spot for relaxation. Visitors can rent loungers and umbrellas to sunbathe on the magnetic black sands. The beach is also great for taking long barefoot walks at sunset. Active travelers can also engage in water sports such as jet skiing, kite surfing and parasailing.
The swimming season in Shekvetili kicks off in May when visitors can take a dip in the warm Black Sea waters. Shekvetili’s beach has a gentle slope which means that its waters are rather shallow. To be able to swim, you, therefore, have to wade out several hundred meters until you are waist-deep.
PLACES TO VISIT IN SHEKVETILI
While the sea is the main attraction, there’s much more to Shekvetili than its magnetic sand beaches. Beyond its stunning sea resort, Shekvetili offers an array of places to visit in Georgia.
Tsitsinatela Amusement Park
Opened in 2006, Tsitsinatela is a popular amusement park, and a great place to spend a fun evening with rides and other attractions for visitors of all ages. There are also toy stores, cafes and restaurants on-site with great views. The park is only open from 6pm to midnight.
At night, the park comes to life when it is illuminated by thousands of flashing colored lights and bright neon signs. This creates a great spectacle that can be seen from a distance. In the darkness of night the blazing park looks like a big glow-worm. Everything shimmers, glows and moves attracting visitors and justifying the park’s name Tsitsinatela, which translates to “firefly” in Georgian.
With 36 ultra-modern attractions for children, for the whole family and for adults, every visitor to Tsitsinatela is guaranteed to have fun. Popular attractions include the Ferris wheel, The Castle of Horrors, Kamikaze, MEGA Falling and A Happy Town. There is also a bowling club, slot machines and board games.
It’s also nice to simply wander across the park, eating ice-cream and enjoying the atmosphere. There are also lots of benches where you can sit and people watch.
Georgia in Miniatures
Built in 2014, Georgia in Miniatures is the first miniature park in Georgia. Visitors to the park can take a step back in time and fully explore Georgia’s rich culture and history within just an hour or two!
Spanning 2 hectares, the park features an open-air exhibition of over 50 scale models of Georgia’s architectural landmarks. At a scale of 1:25, visitors are able to tower over the models, enjoying a birds-eye view of sites that normally engulf them.
Among these miniature replicas of Georgia’s most iconic buildings and sites are churches, historic stone pillars and towers, as well as a comprehensive display of the medieval city of Sighnaghi. Each model has a small board displaying information on its history.
If you can’t visit the park during the day, don’t hesitate to go in the evening when it is beautifully illuminated. At night, all the models are individually lit, which creates an enchanting atmosphere. The complex also has a visitors’ center, a mini-amphitheater and cafe.
Black Sea Arena
With a capacity of up to 10,000 spectators, the Black Sea Arena is the largest concert hall in the Caucasus. Opened in 2016, the large indoor venue is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, and modern sound and lighting systems. Since its establishment, the arena has hosted numerous concerts by both Georgian and international musicians such as Christina Aguilera and Katie Melua.
The amphitheater has a retractable roof which when open provides breathtaking views of the Caucasus Mountains. Its façade has green vertical louvers which are illuminated in the evenings to produce an attractive display of colors and patterns.
Park of Musicians
The Park of Musicians features 35 sculptures of musicians, singers and composers from Georgia and the rest of the world, including Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. As you approach each of the sculptures, a song by the musician begins to play. There is also a eucalyptus grove, large fountains, carved benches, and landscaped paths that provide a picturesque place for enjoying evening walks.
Every year, thousands are drawn to the seaside resort of Shekvetili for its fantastic climate, sea, sun and beaches. Beyond Shekvetili, Ozurgeti offers an array of attractions to enjoy.
Ureki Sea Resort
Ureki Sea Resort is a popular Black Sea coastal town. Here the riches of nature – the sun, the sea and fine magnetic sands with healing properties, combine to create a unique destination perfect for a healthy retreat.
Nestled among softwood forest and mineral springs, Gomismta is a mountain resort situated in the River Bzhuzhi Gorge. The resort is famous for its picturesque views of pine forests, yellow azalea bushes, magnificent mountains and summer cottages.
Once the wealthiest of its kind Georgia, Shemokmedi Monastery was famous for its large library. Dating back to the 12th century, the main temple of the medieval monastery complex was built atop a mountain. One side of the mountain has monk dwellings and the other has a nunnery.
Ekvtime Takaishvili Archaeological Museum-Reserve
Located in Likhauri Village, the Ekvtime Takaishvili Archaeological Museum-Reserve boasts a collection of archaeological artifacts, in addition to exhibits on the life of Georgian historian and archaeologist, Ekvtime Takaishvili. On display are Takaishvili’s books, photos and other memorabilia.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT SHEKVETILI
The high season for tourism in Georgia stretches from May to October, although the pleasant Shekvetili weather lasts through early November. September is the best time to visit Shekvetili when the weather is pleasant, crowds are fewer and prices are affordable.
WHERE TO STAY IN SHEKVETILI
Shekvetili offers an array of accommodation options to fit different budgets. There are several Shekvetili hotels located right on the beach or close to it. It is also common for vacationers to rent entire cottages in Shekvetili for use as vacation rentals.
WHERE TO EAT IN SHEKVETILI
Shekvetili has several cafés and restaurants that offer delicious Georgian cuisine accompanied by fine Georgian wine. However, most of them are only open during the resort season. There are also Shekvetili restaurants situated close to the beach that serve freshly-caught seafood.
HOW TO GET TO SHEKVETILI
For flights to Georgia landing at Batumi airport, you can hire a car and drive 50 minutes to Shekvetili (45km). That said, driving in the Georgia is daunting if you don’t speak the Georgian language or understand the Georgian alphabet. The best option would be to get to Shekvetili via private transfer.
FINAL WORDS AND TRAVEL SUGGESTIONS
A place of healing, Shekvetili offers a quieter alternative to the bustling resorts of the Black Sea coast. Here, the treasures of Georgian nature await – the sea, the sun and fine velvety sands with medicinal properties. A unique destination, Shekvetili is your best bet for a healthy vacation in Georgia.
Shekvetili hotels fill up fast during the resort season so be sure to book ahead with our travel advisor. If you would rather drive to Shekvetili, we have a modern fleet of rental cars in Batumi available for hire. You can also visit Georgia and enjoy our private transfers to and from Shekvetili.
You can also create your very own custom vacation package that includes the places you want to see and things you want to do in Shekvetili. Wondering what to do in Georgia? Order your custom tour package to Shekvetili today and enjoy a rejuvenating summer vacation of a lifetime!