In a country known for ancient cities and medieval landmarks, the tourist city of Batumi is relatively very young and distinct. It was built in the 19th century primarily as a relay post for the transport of oil from the oil-rich city of Baku in Azerbaijan. The city was later declared as a free port and was considered a leading holiday destination in this part of the world. Today, Batumi is known as Georgia’s summer holiday capital.
The charming country of Georgia is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which means it used to be part of the Soviet Union. Two other member-countries, Armenia and Azerbaijan, are very near Georgia in the Caucasus region, which is found between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. The CIS was established after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Today, these countries are opening up to international tourism, showcasing rich natural treasures and intriguing ancient structures that used to be hidden from the rest of the world. A number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites are found in this mountainous region.
Georgia is not among the world’s wealthiest nations but it doesn’t lack international attention. It is known for its mountains, resorts, steppes, caves, waterfalls, lakes and other natural attractions, as well as ancient churches, monuments and landmarks. Major international airlines from major cities around the world, such as New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich, and Tel Aviv, among others, regularly make their way to the capital city is Tbilisi. Tourism, so far, is focused on three Georgian cities: Tbilisi, Kutaisi, which is considered by many as the second capital, and Batumi.
Located near the border of Turkey, Batumi is the capital city of Georgia’s autonomous region of Adjara. Widely known for its nightlife and beach parties, this city is clearly the hippest in the region of Caucasus. People from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey regularly come here to party, as well as enjoy the beach and the relatively warmer climate. Adjara’s capital has its own international airport, which makes visiting here easy and fast.
By bus, the summer capital is about 6 hours away from Tbilisi through breathtaking landscapes. The trip itself is quite an experience. Local buses or marshrutkas also make their way to Kutaisi, the port city of Poi and Trabzon in Turkey.
By train, getting there takes almost the entire day or overnight from the capital city. It is a long ride from around 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. to about 7:00 a.m. the next day. It is advised that foreign tourists, especially females, take the day trip since rowdy drunk Georgians usually get on the overnight train.
Batumi-bound trains get crowded on the weekends since hordes of people come to visit the beach; the most popular beach in the country is found here. Passengers alight at the Makhinjauri Station and take a 5-km taxi or bus ride to the heart of the city.
Apart from swimming in the Black Sea on Batumi beach, the city is known for historical monuments, ancient mosques and churches, the dolphinarium, National Park, the lovely seaside boulevard, and the Batumi Botanical Garden, which features plant species that are unique in the world, including 1,200 species of rose. The garden is located about 9 km north of the city.