Adjara is a beautiful southwestern corner of Georgia. Region retained its former soviet name - Autonomous republic of Adjara. Once part of the Kingdom of Colchis, local population (The Kingdom of Colchis existed from the 6th to the 1st c.c. BC) had political and economic relations with the Ancient Greece and Rome. We can trace the lyres of these cultures in the historical monuments of Gonio and Petra fortresses. Because of the vibrant history of the province, one can find Orthodox, Catholic and Armenian churches, as well as mosques and synagogues in the capital city of Adjara – Batumi.
Batumi, the capital city of the region is one of the most popular destination for travelers in Georgia. It was founded at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th centuries in a grand, elegant style as a resort for the Russian emperors. There are classical buildings designed and built by Italian and German architects. Located in the sub-tropical area, you can notice lots of palm trees and exotic flowers throughout the city. Batumi is a major port and resort city.
Batumi Boulevard, the main promenade with fountains and cafes, attracts numerous holidaymakers with its greenery and location.
Holy Mother Nativity Cathedral of Batumi used to be a Catholic Church, built in the 1900s. During the Soviet Union, church stopped functioning. Only later, it was reverted to Georgian Orthodox Church.
n Italian-style open museum – Batumi Piazza is located in the center of Batumi. The biggest figurative marble mosaic in Europe is situated on the piazza square. The idea of the mosaic is to show the harmony between sea elements and a continual urban expanse.
Europe Square (former Era Square) is another famous square in the city. The main highlight of the place is the statue of Medea, the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis, holding the Golden Fleece. The statue illustrates Georgia’s connection with European culture.
The Batumi Botanical Garden, located in 9 km north from the city at Mtsvane Kontskhi (Green Cape), covers 113 hectares along the Black sea coastline. Botanical Garden houses unique species of plants from various parts of the world.
The Batumi Archeological Museum is believed to be one of the oldest museums in Georgia. The visitor can see more than 22800 exhibits. The items in the museums dated back to the Stone, Iron, Middle Ages. Many artefacts here point at the influence of Arab and Ottoman Empires on Adjara.
The ethnographic museum “Borjgalo” covers 3000 m². More than 60 mannequins show the traditions of Adjarian people. The visitor can see wax figures; they are dressed in traditional clothes. The owner of the museum is always telling stories about different families of Adjara. 25 Meters Chacha Tower is located in the center of Batumi. Chacha is a traditional Georgian alcoholic drink, distilled from grapes. It is like vodka but is much stronger. It is surrounded by four pools, which enable the visitors to taste chacha for free.
The monument of “Ali and Nino” was erected in 2011 in Batumi. It is a steel sculpture of 8 meters in height. Monument illustrates the love story of a Muslim Azerbaijani boy – Ali, and a Christian Georgian girl named Nino, who are the main characters of a famous novel by Kurban Said. Every night the monuments of lovers begin to move, embrace and then pass through each other.
Not far from the above-mentioned monument, one can see the Alphabetic Tower, which is 130 meters high and represents the Georgian alphabet with 33 letters. Each of the letters is 4 meters high. An elevator takes passengers to the top of the building, who can enjoy the view from the tower.
Batumi State Maritime Academy was opened in 1929. It helped to develop maritime activities during the Soviet Union. Maritime faculty offers bachelor’s programs in maritime navigation, engineering and electromechanics.
Shota Rustaveli State University in Batumi is named after famous Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli. It was founded as a boy’s gymnasium in 1895. Later it turned into a pedagogical university. Outside of the city center, The Batumi Arts Center is located along the seafront. It is the home of Batumi State Musical Center Opera Studio, Musical Theatre of Youth, Batumi State Symphony Orchestra, Batumi State Cappella, and quartet “NOTA.” The visitor has an opportunity to attend 150 different concerts or events every year.
Petra Fortress is situated in the Kobuleti district of Adjara, in the village Tsikhisdziri. “Petra” is a Greek word and means “rock.” The name was given because of the rocky coast where the fortress was founded. The city was founded as an important Roman outpost in Caucasus under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian the Great in the 6th century.
Sea resorts in Adjara are known even outside Georgia. Kobuleti is another vacation spot of Adjara where the sea, forest and abundant places for entertainment create the best conditions for holidaymakers. Summer tourism is also developed in Kvariati, Tsikhisdziri and Chakvi resorts.
Mount Mtirala, which is located in Mtirala National Park, is considered as the wettest place in Georgia and Europe. Mtirala National Park and Batumi surroundings in general, are attractive for hikers and, especially – birdwatchers, as this area is the hotspot for the migration of the birds. The development of ethnographical tourism is possible in the nearby mountain villages as well.
Besides Batumi and Kobuleti there is a mountainous part of Adjara for the people who love hiking, horse riding, wandering in the forests. There are several districts in the mountainous Adjara: Khelvachauri, Khulo, Keda and Shuakhevi.
One of the most beautiful summer resorts in Georgia, Beshumi is located in Khulo, Adjara. It is a mountainous village 2000 meters above sea level. It takes 4-5 hours for a car to get there from Batumi. There are small houses, mostly made of wood in Beshumi. It is impossible to find any expensive or luxurious hotel there. The place is full of people from June to September.
Goderdzi Pass is located in the southeast of Adjara. The pass connects the main city of Adjara, Batumi to Akhaltsikhe. Goderdzi Pass is located at an elevation of 2027 above the sea level. There is Goderdzi Ski Resort nearby. It takes only 2 hours’ drive from Batumi to get there. The resort is open all year round. If there is an opportunity to do ski in the winter, there is a chance to ride a bike, horseback in the summer.
When it comes to the local cuisine, Adjarian Khachapuri (Acharuli) should be mentioned. This is one type of Georgian cheese bread with the shape of a boat. Usually it has an egg in the middle of the cheese. Adjarian Baklava can be suggested for those who love sweets. Baklava is made from more than 30 layers of dough. It is filled with walnuts and held together with syrup.