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About city Gallery Where to stay

Batumi – the subtropical summer capital of Georgia – is the country’s largest Black Sea resort and the administrative centre of the autonomous Adjara region. Batumi can be likened to young wine: flavourful, light and free, but also intoxicating.

Here you can both laze around by the sea and explore the city surroundings. If you’re more for the latter, you can climb the Mountains of Adjara or travel to the Turkish border. Located near Tukey, Batumi is the face of Georgia today, a city located at the junction of the country’s old and contemporary heritage. Over the past decade, the city was revived to such a degree that it now looks more like Las Vegas than a Caucasian city. In December 2011 the resort won an American Academy Award in the best new resort category, while the Adjara region triumphed as the most investor-friendly region.

Batumi
Photo taken by Flickr | Uwe Brodrecht.  Batumi

You’ll see Europeans, Russians and Arabs as well as people from neighbouring countries sunbathing under the hot sun on the coast of the Black Sea. In summer, Batumi’s night clubs book the world’s best DJs, and Sheraton, Radisson Blue, Kempinski are just a few of the famous hotel chains you can find here. The plethora of casino signs you’ll see here indicates that the city is quite serious about targeting wealthy tourists, ready to live luxuriously, recreate and gamble here. The modern boulevard that stretches along the sea coast is an impressive 16 km long. Tourism is the city’s main direction of development.

According to statistics that came out in January 2015, in terms of population size, Batumi has for the first time overtaken Kutaisi and become the second-largest and most important city in Georgia.

Mentioned for the first time in the 4th century BCE by the philosopher Aristotle, Batumi is considered to be one of the oldest cities in the world by many Georgians. During Antiquity, Batumi was a Greek colony called Bathys. The city had its beginnings as a stronghold, called Batumi in the 11th century CE. During the 16-19th centuries, it was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, and later became a part of Russia. Since 1900, after the building of the oil pipeline from Baku, it’s become Russia’s most important oil export harbour in the Black Sea.

Batumi
Photo taken by Flickr | jagermesh.  Batumi

To this day, Batumi is an important centre of the oil, automobile and food industries. Tea grown in the surrounding areas is packaged here. Export of subtropical fruit, and juice manufacturing are also well-developed. This city and its large harbour are considered to be an important transport centre of not just Georgia, but also the entire Black Sea region. Moreover, Batumi also has an airport, opened a few years ago, and an old harbour used for exporting oil.

Culture and science are also flourishing here – Batumi is home to a centre of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences, a university, sea and police academies, a few institutes and a conservatory. Here you’ll also find the Adjara State Museum, a dolphinarium, a number of opera and ballet, as well as drama theatres, a circus, and a large botanical garden established in the north of the city way back in 1912.

Located north of Batumi you’ll also find a couple of smaller resorts: Machindjauri, Chakvi, Cichisdziri, Kobuleti and Sarpi; and to the south you’ll find the museum-reservation of the ancient Gonio-Apsar Fortress.

Market in Batumi
Photo taken by Flickr | Lovro Rumiha.  Market in Batumi

Batumi and the whole of Adjara are also known for their excellent dishes, such as the traditional Adjarian khachapuri – Georgian bread with lots of cheese, butter and a raw egg yolk.

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