ADJARA is situated on the South-Western Black Sea coast of Georgia. Its Southern border is shared with Turkey and runs along the Shavsheti Mountain Range. It is a fascinating and unique area, where the sea collides with the mountain range. Adjara is the place for bird-watchers. Many come here from around the world to observe rare species. The region brings together the warm sub-tropical climate, the mix of sea and mountain air, revitalizing and healthy sea and spa waters, and some of the best and brightest nightlife on the Black Sea. Vibrant nightlife sometimes may disturb those visitors, who seek more of rest and tranquility,. If you are one of those, be sure to ask about the noise level at the hotel and its surroundings before booking :-). Otherwise, Adjara is a very intriguing region with an interesting history, tasty cuisine and many impressive places to see.
The region has been inhabited since ancient times. It was colonized by Greeks in the 5th century BC, later conquered by the Romans in the 2nd century BC and finally joined the Georgian Kingdom in the 9th century AD. At the beginning of the 17th century, Adjara was conquered by the Turks and it was at that time when the locals converted to Islam. Religion is still prevailing in the region. At the end of the 19th century, the Ottomans ceded Adjara to the Russian Empire. Since the 20s of the last century, Adjara was a part of Georgia as an autonomous republic and it still holds this status today. The historic town of Batumi is the main tourist destination of the region. Once the main port on the ancient Silk Road, today a buzzing (mainly Summer) resort where one can come to relax and play. Recent investments into the city's infrastructure - nice, broad walking alley along the beach, renovated buildings in the center, repaved sidewalks and streets, modern high-class hotels - create an amazing atmosphere for the holidays.
Mtsvane is a tiny village near Batumi city. More than 2,500 people live in Mtsvane Kontskhi. The village is located in a mountainous area along the Black Seashore. The main attractions are the Botanical garden and the abandoned station of Green Cape which was opened in 1903. Mtsvane Konts'khi is the most popular place in Batumi. I recommend you to plunge in this green oasis. Time runs slower here. And after the garden, deepen your impressions swimming in the Black Sea. Admire extraordinary exhibits and let yourself be fascinated by the variety of plants.
Makhinjauri is a former urban-type settlement in Khelvachauri municipality, the Ajara Autonomous Republic in Georgia. In January 1st., 2013 the municipality was included in the boundaries of the city Batumi. Makhinjauri is situated just 5km north of Batumi. This is the last railway station for trains coming from Tbilisi. Makhinjauri has been a resort since 1904. Makhinjauri(Batumi) is a remarkable place. It is located along the edge of the mountains about 1,300m above the sea level and creates a distinct, humid, subtropical environment. Natural hot springs provide deep cleansing and relaxing sulfur baths, useful for easing your joints, soothing the entire nervous system, and aiding many other disorders caused by the modern-day lifestyle.
The ruins of ancient historical city-fortress are located in the village of Tsikhisdziti about 20km from Batumi. Its name originates from the Greek word “Petros” (Πέτρος) – meaning rock, stone. Built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian during the 6th century A.D., it held an important strategic position, both as a strong military base and powerful trading center, at the crossroads of the route connecting Georgia with its neighbors - Iran (Persia) and Armenia. According to archaeological excavations, the site has been settled since at least the late Bronze Age. Situated on a rocky hill beside the Black Sea shore, Petra was considered at that time to be an impregnable fortress. Although the fortress is in ruins today, the remains of a small hall-style 10th-century church can be found in the center of the complex. Some historians consider the fortress to be the “Hell’s Castle” referred to in the national Georgian poem by Shota Rustaveli “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” (Georgian: ვეფხისტყაოსანი).
Apsaras is located 12km to the south of Batumi, on the left bank of the river Chorokhi. First references to the apsaras fortress date back to the 1st century AD. Later starting from the 2nd century it was one of the most important citadels for the Roman and Byzantine Empires. The Apsaras fortress was also known for its theater and Hippodrome. In the 16th century Gonio, (Georgia Caucasus) was conquered by the Ottomans and it stayed under their rule until the second part of the 19th century. At that time Adjara became a part of the Russian Empire. According to the legend, the tomb of one of the twelve apostles, St. Matthias, is believed to be inside the fortress, however, this information was not confirmed by the archeological excavations up to date.
Mtirala National Park
Mtirala National Park is a rich and diverse park, with an abundance of flora and fauna. The villages surrounding the park have many examples of traditional, ancient wooden houses while the park itself offers bird-watching and eco-tourism activities. The first walking trail in Mtirala National Park starts at the Visitor Center and stretches along the left bank of the Chakvistavi River. On the way, you will see many plants, wildflowers, huge Georgian walnut, Colchic hazelnut, Ungerni’s, and Pontic rhododendrons. If you are lucky you will get a chance to witness the life of wild animals including brown bear, marten, red fox, and golden eagles.
Skhalta is a 13h century church, which construction according to the legend is connected to Queen Tamar, however, according to the latest research Skhalta Cathedral was built already after her death. The Skhalta Cathedral is a part of a monastic complex located in the village of Kinchauri. It is the only medieval church in Adjara that withstood the both Ottoman and Soviet periods. Unfortunately, this cannot be said about most of the murals inside the Skhalta Cathedral- only some of the original frescoes New Testament scenes can be seen nowadays and even these were uncovered only in 1997.
Batumi is located on the Eastern coast of the Black sea, near the Turkey border. Batumi was built purely dedicated to tourists and modern, unlike other seaside resorts that look like abandoned villages or other cities stacked with ancient history. Batumi is a perfect place to discover Adjara, Guria, and Samegrelo.
The main city square of Batumi, Argonauts, or Europe Square is both very green and modern. The architecture is very unusual. This is probably the most awesome square in the city surrounded by beautiful buildings both traditional and modern. In the center of the paved square is a fountain. In the summer months, adults and kids alike enjoy cooling off in this circular fountain. The square is also home to the astronomical clock and the statue. The statue is telling the story of the Georgian princess Medea, she helped Jason to obtain the golden fleece.
The city is famous for Casinos, Expensive Hotels but also for the budget places.
Piazza Square is one more must-visit place. Great place to relax and have a coffee. The beautiful square which is looking like a Venetia square in Venice. A lot of restaurants are offering great outdoor relaxation with local or international food.
Cacha Tower is a weird construction, to my mind, but looks nice. Chacha is the most prominent Georgian beverage made of pomace and produced in Adjara. The product contains 40% or 65% of alcohol. It seems to be the tower is the symbol of the Adjara Region.