Batumi

Batumi

Things to do - general

With a backdrop of mist-wrapped hills, Georgia’s summer holiday capital has sprouted new hotels and attractions like mushrooms in recent years, but it still owes much of its charm to the fin-de-siècle elegance of its original boom time a century ago.

For travellers arriving from Turkey, Batumi makes a great introduction to Georgia, with its relaxed atmosphere, plentiful accommodation, good restaurants and nightlife.

Batumi developed in the late 19th century as the western terminus of a railway from Baku that then carried one-fifth of the world’s oil production. A pipeline and refinery built by Ludwig Nobel, brother of Swedish dynamite inventor Alfred, soon followed. Batumi gained free-port status and developed into a fashionable resort at the southern tip of the Russian empire. In Soviet times the nearby border with Turkey was closed, making Batumi a bit of a backwater, but it has since bounced back as a hub of commerce as well as tourism.

One of the first decisions of the post-Abashidze administration in 2004 was to make Batumi an attractive place to visit, something in which it has happily succeed- ed. Old buildings have been renovated and floodlit, bold and attractive new structures have joined them, and strolling around the leafy parks and low-rise central streets is a real pleasure.

Country Georgia
Region Adjara
CityBatumi
Population121000
Languages spokenGeorgian, Turkish, English, Russian
Phone Code422

Sights

For travellers arriving from Turkey, Batumi makes a great introduction to Georgia, with its relaxed atmosphere, plentiful accommodation, good restaurants and nightlife.

Batumis Bulvari

Everyone soon finds them- selves strolling along Batumis bulvari, the park strip fronting the main beach, originally laid out in 1884 and now stretching 6km along the coast. With its trees, paths, fountains, cafes, beach bars and some quirky attractions, this is the life and soul of Batumi. You can rent bicycles (price negotiable) at a couple of spots. The beach itself is fine though stony – extremely busy in July and August, but kept clean. Near the northeast tip of the Bulvari you’ll find a large Ferris wheel (per person 2 GEL); the 145m. high Alphabet Tower, a monument to Georgian script and culture with an observation deck and revolving restaurant; and a 7m. high ethereally moving metal sculpture of a man and woman by Tamar Kvesitadze, universally known as Ali & Nino after the protagonists of Kurban Said’s marvelous novel of that name (see it after dark). Southward, on what’s known as the New Boulevard, an ornamental lake hosts the Dancing Fountains, an entertaining laser, music and water show.

Evropas moedani

Broad, attractive Europe Sq sports musical fountains which are a magnet for kids on hot summer evenings. Towering over the square is the striking Medea monument to ‘the person who brought Georgia closer to Europe’, according to Batumi’s mayor when it was unveiled in 2007. Sculpted by Davit Khmaladze, it controversially cost the Georgian government over 1 million GEL.

Nobel Technological Museum

Batumi’s newest and most interesting museum takes you back a century to when the city was in the vanguard of the international oil business, with investment from the Nobels and Rothschilds spawning technological innovations here. It also looks at the tea industry that grew up at the same time. It’s 3km from the centre, just off the road to Makhinjauri train station.

6 Maisi Park

Sixth of May Park contains a lake, a modern dolphinarium and a small zoo of Georgian and international wildlife. At the dolphinarium you can also swim with dolphins . Dolphinarium hours outside the summer season are variable.

Adjara Arts Museum

Well displayed and lit, the collection covers Georgian art including works by Pirosmani and Akhvlediani, as well as 19th and 20th century European and Russian painting.

Mosque

Batumi’s only surviving mosque, built in the 1860s, is finely painted in pinks, greens and blues, with Koranic calligraphy on the walls. Friendly men often gather to socialise outside.

South of Batumi

Gonio, 11km south of Batumi, and Kvariati, 4km beyond, on the road and marshrutka route to the Turkish border at Sarpi, have pebbly beaches with generally thinner crowds and cleaner water than Batumi. Tourism is developing, with some hotels and beach bars. Densely vegetated mountains slope right down to the coast at Kvariati. Beside the main road at Gonio, Gonio Apsarus Fortress is one of the finest surviving examples of Roman-Byzantine military architecture, covering 47,000 sq. metres within an intact rectangle of high stone walls with 18 towers. Built by the Romans in the 1st century AD, it was occupied by the Byzantines in the 6th century and by the Ottomans in the 16th century. An interesting little museum sits in its midst, with a cross outside marking what’s believed to be the grave of the Apostle Matthias.

Batumi Botanical Garden

Nine kilometres north of town at Mtsvane Kontskhi, these gardens are well worth a trip. With many semitropical and foreign species, the gardens cover a hillside rising straight out of the sea. It takes about 11⁄2 hours to walk the main path at a leisurely pace. A decent, stony beach, much less busy than Batumi’s, is down to the left of the entrance, and there’s a handful of cafes and bars around there too.

Mtirala National Park

This 160-sq-km national park offers the chance to spend a day or two among unspoiled Adjaran hills and forests. The park has dense subtropical vegetation in its lower reaches and some beautiful rhododendron trees. The visitors centre is about 25km northeast of Batumi. There are two main walking routes – an easy 2.5km (each way) trail to a 12m waterfall, and a harder 15km circular route, with 1150m of ascent, to a tourist shelter where you can sleep.

Activities

In summer Batumis bulvari is the nightlife capital of Georgia, with long lists of international DJs providing high energy and chill out beats, plus regular live performers.

Sleeping

Batumi has a large and ever-growing range of accommodation. Prices in many midrange and top-end hotels drop by around one-third outside the July–August peak season.

Budget-category places generally have shared bathrooms and don’t serve meals but have guest kitchens.

Eating

Batumi is full of lively cafes and restaurants, most of them usually staying open till mid- night or later. From July to September many more open up on the main beach, some making admirable efforts to create a tropical ambience.

Drinking & Night Life

In summer Batumis bulvari is the nightlife capital of Georgia, with long lists of international DJs providing high energy and chill out beats, plus regular live performers. An annually changing assortment of fresh air clubs and bars close to the beach has people partying till dawn every night. The clubs start to fill from 11pm, with admission normally 10 GEL to 15 GEL. Two of the biggest, most popular and most enduring spots are way down near the end of the New Boulevard – Adjara Music Hall and Bamba Rooms.

Entertainment
Dolphinarium

Sixth of May Park contains a lake, a modern dolphinarium and a small zoo of Georgian and international wildlife. At the dolphinarium you can also swim with dolphins . Dolphinarium hours outside the summer season are variable.

Sheraton Batumi Hotel

The Sheraton has a lovely large open-air pool in a garden setting in the Bulvari park, and an excellent spa.

Ice Rink

You can ice skate all year round at this modern installation.

Batumi Tennis Club

Eight good hard courts.

Festivals & Events
Black Sea Jazz Festival

(www.batumijazz.ge) A week in late July.

Batumi International Art House Film Festival

(www.biaff.org) A week in late September.

Culture and history info

Mountainous inland Adjara is a different world from the coast. The heartland of Adjaran tradition, with graceful old stone bridges, wooden village houses clinging to steep slopes and beautifully carved 19th-century wooden mosques, it’s home to the majority of Adjara’s Muslims, principally in the Khulo district. The road through this area over to Akhaltsikhe in Samtskhe-Javakheti is being upgraded, and a small ski resort is being developed at the Goderdzi Pass. A good time to visit is for the Shuamtoba festival at Beshumi, a few kilometres south of the Goderdzi Pass, on the first weekend of August, featuring horse racing, folk music, craft exhibits, wrestling – and wedding.

Hotel Mgzavrebi Gonio

Gonio 132, 6000 Gonio, Georgia
Price per night from $ 63
In 9 minutes drive from Batumi you can find beautiful place called Gonio. In Hotel “Mgzavrebi Gonio” More info
Book now

Unfortunately there are no self-catering offers at this location at the moment.

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