Rioni - the main water artery of Georgia.
The Rioni River (geo რიონი) is one of the largest rivers in South Caucas and the largest river in Georgia. In ancient times it was known as the Phases. From May to mid-July - during the active melting of snow this is a deep, dangerous river with fast water and powerful rapids.
At this time rafting on Rioni is associated with an increased risk and even with the organization of professional insurance, it is possible not at all sites. Since August, the water level in the river has been decreasing and rafting on it has become available, practically throughout its entire length.
The first rafting section on Rioni
The first rafting section on the Rioni River starts 1 km below its confluence with the Chanchachi River, from under the bridge across the river, along which the road goes to the famous Shovi Resort in Georgia. The site ends with a long and dangerous rapid in the village of Utsera.
Attention! This section is dangerous and is only available to professionals, during high water it is a steeply dipping river with powerful water structures (shafts, barrels, boilers), besides, rafting is complicated by the remains of trees on the way. The entire site can be considered as a single rapid becoming more complicated by the end of the route. The water in the river is ice-cold and the alloy is separate from the boat, it is dangerous for life.
The 2nd rafting section on Rioni.
The second raft section starts 1 km below the Utsera village and ends below the Oni village. The length of the rafting site in this place is about 14 km. Section also represents a steeply dipping river, with the high waves, plums, but with places for rest.
Despite all of the above, the organization of rafting along the river section at this place is always associated with an increased risk and rafting is carried out with the use of a professional rescuer in the group.
The third rafting section on Rioni.
The third section is called the site from the village of They to the Ambrolauri district center. On this site, the nature of the river in places becomes more calm, but at the same time there is a complex and interesting rapid in the canyon near the village of Mukkhli representing the narrowing of the Rioni River to 5-8 m, on which there are huge waves with a tipping top and powerful peaks.
During the passage of the rapid you can see the ruins of the ancient arch bridge, and above them - the entrance to the cave in the rock of the high left bank. Also of interest is a short but powerful threshold, below the confluence of the river Tskhesitskali, which is a steep bend of the river with a bulk of water on the boulders of the right bank. Rafting on this site is also carried out with the participation of a professional rescuer in the group.
The 4th rafting section on Rioni.
The fourth raft section begins in the famous Ambrolauri city in Georgia, which is famous for its wine - Hvanchkara. This is the most simple and popular part of the tourist area of the river. Here, Rioni flows in a wide valley. Its speed remains the same, but there are shoals and in the same places they are replaced by rapids with high waves, clamps to rocks and strong blowing currents.
The section ends at the confluence of the Shareul River. The length of rafting at this place is 23 km, the time required for passing this section is estimated from 1.5 to 3 hours. The site is most suitable for beginners and those who want to get acquainted with rafting.
The 5th rafting section on Rioni.
The fifth rafting section along the river begins immediately after the confluence of the left tributary of Rioni, the Sharaul river. The river immediately enters a deep canyon, in which there are several rapids consisting of trees, large boulders with boiling water holes behind them, clamps, glacial and backward currents. Behind the canyon, the river enters the valley and merges with the Tskheniskali River in the Alpana settlement, becoming even more full-flowing.
A few kilometers to the Tvishi village Rioni again enters a narrow canon with high stacks and extraordinary views. For 2 km to the motor bridge to the village of Orhvi from the canyon there is a convenient exit, where this site ends. The length of the site is 14 km. Rafting on this site is mandatory with the participation of a professional rescuer in the group.
The 6th rafting section on Rioni.
The beginning of the sixth section is 2 km higher than the motor bridge to the village of Orkhvi, rafting here takes place in a deep canyon and the main obstacles are big waves, cracks and vertical currents. On the site there are two powerful rapids with a non-trivial line of motion in which it is very easy to turn the raft. The first at the very beginning under the automobile bridge, the second near the village of Mikvena.
The rafting ends at the bridge to the Derchi village. The length of the site is 10 km. It is only possible when the water level is below the average. Also rafting on this site must be conducted with the participation of a professional lifeguard in the group.
The 7th rafting section on Rioni.
Rafting begins from the Derchi village ends near the village of Joiti, near the beautiful waterfall. It is a not a complicated fusion of full-flowing river of 2nd category, and suits for participants of all skill levels.
From the finish place, only 15 kilometers to the second capital of Georgia, the city Kutaisi.