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Goderdzi Resort Goderdzi is hospitable, romantic resort, which hosts guests year-round and is being developed with the concept of high standards. The planned investment project will contribute to each segment of the Resort, be it accommodation, eateries or entertainment, arranged throughout the resort. The projects of GTEM Group for the winter season 2019-20 includes: Hotel Meteo on Goderdzi Pass, at the crossroad of the mountains of East and West. There are 15 rooms in the hotel, to accommodate up to 40 tourists. The hotel has direct access to the ski trails and is the nearest hotel to the Green Lake. A restaurant with perfect service is also located there. Goderdzi Villa offers six villas equipped with 48 perfect rooms. The villas are located 100 meters from the lower station of the main ropeway of the resort. In total, it is possible to accommodate up to 145 tourists in the villas. The restaurant nearby also serves the villas. Goderdzi Ski Lounge, designed for 600 tourists, is an ultra-modern lounge, which, at the same time, is decorated with traditional design elements and boasts open and closed spaces, fireplaces, good music, and ideal restaurant services. The ski school with high tech equipment will be launched at Goderdzi Ski Lounge,

where professional skiers will teach skiing to the guests. Our tourist facilities offer great service to individual tourists as well as tourist groups. The skiing potential of the resort allows all types of skiers or snowboarders to enjoy high-quality snow cover on prepared ski trails as well as off-piste. The best opportunities for off-piste skiing distinguish this resort from other resorts of Georgia. Once the snow is melted, spring makes the resort even more attractive. Visitors will be impressed by alpine, wild, flowering nature and the opportunities to hike nearby at the Green Lake and in the alpine botanical garden. In summer, the refreshing local climate with healing properties is especially pleasant. Clean, ionized air full of oxygen positively affects cardiovascular diseases, respiratory organs, bronchial asthma, anemia, and chronic diseases among children. And when it rains in Batumi, there is often sunny and bright weather at Goderdzi. As the autumn comes, the colors of nature, pleasant climate, photo and hiking tours in nature, collecting mushrooms or berries, and many other holiday opportunities attract tourist to Goderdzi. From wherever you choose to stay, travel agencies can arrange one-day tours to visit charming tourist attractions such as Zarzma Church, Rabat Complex, Vardzia, Borjomi, Green Lake, Alpine Botanical Garden, Skhalta Monastery, and Khikhani Fortress.

T: +995 598 886060 E: goderdziresorts@gmail.com


where

.ge

your essential guide to Georgia

WHERE.ge/Ajara Summer 2019 Publisher: George Sharashidze Editor in Chief: Katie Ruth Davies Executive Editor: Maka Bibilashvili Contributors: Katie Ruth Davies Maka Bibilashvili Sofia Bochoidze Samantha Guthrie Amy Jones Nini Dakhundaridze Thea Morrison Lika Chigladze Ketevan Kvaratskheliya Photographers: Irakli Dolidze Designer: Ani Loladze Logo & Design Concept: Kevin Loftus Sales: Sofia Bochoidze Maia Tsereteli Mano Kutchukhidze Sesili Tikaradze Georgia Today Address:1 Melikishvili Ave. TEL 229 59 19 www.georgiatoday.ge

In partnership with the Georgian National Tourism Administration

WHERE.ge editorial team has been thinking and preparing a special edition dedicated to Ajara for a long time already and I am so glad that we have finally done it. You, our respected reader, can now explore the Ajara region at its best with our trusted Where to Go, Stay, Eat, Drink, Buy recommendations and exclusive features. By reading Where, you can make well informed decisions to make sure you have an incredible stay. We would like to share the good news that our favorite city Batumi recently received the title of ‘Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination’ at the World Travel Awards (WTA) ceremony held in Portugal.

George Sharashidze Publisher, WHERE.ge

This is a real honor for every Georgian, Ajarian, Batumi’s citizens, and everyone who is in love with our Black Sea region’s capital. The World Travel Awards brand, established in 1993, is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of tourism industry excellence, often referred to as the Oscar of tourism awards. I hope this prestigious award will not only be a symbol of significant achievements in Ajara’s tourism industry but will also be a symbol of responsibility to ensure that the tourism infrastructure, service and quality of hospitability increases from year to year, aiming to provide world class standard to millions of travelers from around the globe. I would like to thank our invited columnists and guest writers, all from the Ajara region, for sharing their personal recommendations on where to go, stay, eat, drink and buy – in Batumi and the Ajara region as a whole. To close this welcome, here is my ‘Publisher’s Choice’ for the WHERE.ge/Ajara issue of summer 2019:

Mtirala National Park

Hilton Batumi

Terassa Askaneli

Ajarian Wine House

Batumi Mall


6 Torsten Weller General Manager Hilton Batumi

58 Konstantin Megrelishvili Managing Partner Brainstorm

80 Eka Gogiberidze Manager, PR Manager Grand Grill Restaurant and Ardagani Terrace Restaurant

94 Irakli Piranishvili Owner Zona and Up2you

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Tako Mekvabidze Designer


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Where to Go for Summer Fun in Ajara . . . e c i o h C y M

Torsten Weller General Manager of Hilton Batumi

Petra Fortress, on the road between batumi and Kobuleti Coming from Cologne in Germany and having there many Roman historic monuments all over the city, it is very interesting to see how far the Roman culture went East back 1500 years ago. Built by Roman Emperor Justinian I. to reinforce the Roman authority in the Kingdom of Lazica, it has a prime location overseeing the Black Sea right on the southeastern shores. The nature on the drive through the mountains along the old coastal road from Batumi to Kobuleti is very scenic and full of eye candy. From wild forests to the Black Sea, shining in all different shades of blues, this area has lots of secrets to discover. Enjoy one of the nice street cafes in Kobuleti and try the Ajaran khachapuri followed by a shot of [Georgian grape liquor] cha cha – that is definitely a MUSTDO. If you have not done this, you have not been to Georgia.

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batumi boulevard The boulevard, with its multifaceted year-round beauty, is simply stunning. From a quiet and peaceful place in the wintertime, seeing it evolving into the hustling and bustling strip of activity in the summertime fascinates me every year. The details in the landscaping, the soothing views of the Black Sea, whether calm or stormy, are curative. To grasp the fresh air in the fall and winter, see the beauty of nature, and to be part of the seasonal rhythms relaxes my wife Christina and I very much. Also, our dog Odie, a Swiss Mountain Dog, has lots of fun and really enjoys the boulevard. There is also our most favorite little boulevard-side kiosk, or jikhuri, where we sit, watching the sea, chat with the lady who owns it, having a Georgian beer or wine, just enjoying the time.

argo Cable Car The first time I took the Argo Cable I was stunned to see the city from a bird’s eye view. It was truly amazing to see the houses and the yards from above, and to see the cars driving in all directions is quite interesting. Then departing the city slowly and going uphill looking at the forest and its nature, here and there a house in midst of it…I thought, how do the owners get to their houses that far in the mountains, seeing no street? On top of the mountain all this will be topped by phenomenal views. I was impressed also by the Georgian Dance Show, so much power and passion, it made me almost want to jump up from my chair and dance with them. There is a nice little café with local food and drinks also there to enjoy.

drive to sarPi border On the road, you pass by so many interesting sights such as Gonio fortress, little water falls and amazing Black Sea coves. To stop in one of the charming and typical Ajaran villages to the left and right of the central road is absolutely a must-do. There you feel the real Georgia, the heartfelt culture and hospitality of the locals. It is great fun to buy fresh fruit, honey or anything else right from the little roadside stands. Talking about organic food: here we get 100% taste, freshness and for sure no chemicals. If you ask locals while you travel this road where to swim, they will point you to secret spots where you can dive into an ancient world of pure nature with no signs of modern times. Even to people watch in Sarpi, the hustling and bustling border city is an event in itself.

street marKets in ajara and old batumi A highlight for my wife Christina and I is the street markets in Old Batumi and all over Ajara. You get the best seasonal products year-round. As the seasons brings them, we buy: fresh pink tomatoes, tangerines, oranges, honey, and sometimes a fresh fish in to throw into the pan at home. In Old Batumi we buy our summer flowers on the flower market street, strolling through the tobacco market looking at huge loads of fresh Ajaran tobacco. The gold market with its own charming character invites us in to buy. To see the faces, to interact with the people, to buy top quality and true natural products is a great gift in today’s world of mass consumption.

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The Sea & The Mountain – Reasons to Spend Your Summer in Batumi

A trip to Ajara starts with Batumi, a seaside city where the rhythm of modern life and old port city coziness exist side by side. Modern Batumi offers large-scale architecture, while Old Batumi boasts narrow, paved streets with cozy, one and two-story houses. If you are lucky to visit Ajara while the citrus is flowering, this scent will connect you to Ajara forever, no matter where you set foot- in the mountains or on the Batumi streets.

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Fancy a trip into civilized nature? The 100-year-old Batumi Boulevard and Botanical Garden are the places for you. Sea and mountain, summer and winter in Ajara are right next to each other, so you can visit all simultaneously, even if you only have a long weekend to do so. Tourism is developing fast in Batumi, a fact which grabbed the interest of the International Tourism Organization. Batumi became winner of the World Travel Awards this year as Europe’s Leading

Emerging Tourism Destination. The awards ceremony took place in Madeira, Portugal, where Batumi was proudly given the so-called “Oscar” of the tourism industry. There are modern, fashionable hotels that won’t break your budget to be found in Batumi and along the coast of Ajara, while in the mountains there are guest houses – making discovering genuine village life, cuisine and folklore easy.


In this corner of Georgia, you can find everything you want for your individual holiday needs: family holidays of a peaceful time at the seaside, or an adventurous trip with friends, hiking in the mountains with backpacks, or resting in a comfortable hotel – each traveler will find something to his taste.

If you are heading here on a family holiday, you can take your pick from various sea resorts- Sarpi, Kvariati, Gonio, Batumi, Green Cape, Chakvi, Tsikhisdziri and Kobuleti. Batumi attracts leisure lovers who enjoy walking in the streets and spending time in cafes and restaurants. The loveliest thing about Kobuleti is its coastline, pine forest and great choice of bungalows. Sarpi, Kvariati, Gonio, the Green Cape, Chakvi, Tsikhisdziri are best for those wanting to escape the city bustle but stay close at the same time. If you are longing for cool mountain air, head to Beshumi at 2000 meters above sea level, a village with small wooden cottages surrounded by spruce trees. Herdsmen live nearby and provide tourists with natural products: butter, matsoni (yogurt), milk and cheese. Beshumi is the right place to go for family holidays, ideal for both adults and children, as its fresh air and eco-products guarantee a healthy stay. In summers, Beshumi celebrates the public holiday “Shuamtoba� with lots of entertaining activities, including a horse race. Families rent wooden cottages in Beshumi. There are small and medium cottages and large cottages intended for several families.

If you are fond of extreme adventures, while in Ajara, you can take a

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“Machakhela Gun Road” is one of the most interesting routes, where you can see the Tskhemlara Arch Bridge, waterfall, the Gvara Fortress ruins, the Chkhutuneti History and Ethnography Museum, situated in a beautiful 200-year-old mosque, and the breathtaking nature of Machakhela National Park: The Twins Waterfall and the Paths of the Archangel. In Mtirala Park, you can spend a night in a wooden tourist shelter, in the visitors’ center or in a tent, though there are some guest houses on the territory as well. At the Mtirala National Park there are two centuries-old water mills, a lake, a waterfall, the Colchis forest and beautiful rhododendron flowers. 56 kilometers from Batumi, in Merisi village, you can enjoy the waterfall, where pure water forms a pool and gives the gorge a wonderful atmosphere. Merisi stands out from other villages because, apart from the Adjarian cuisine, guests are offered masterclasses in folk dances and songs.

powerboat cruise or jet ski, fly a paraglider or parachute, or try something else extreme. We suggest starting with the zipline at Mtirala National Park and glide through trees in the forest. Extreme lovers can also take a bicycle tour to Merisi, 27 km from Batumi. Merisi is a small village in a Colchis boxwood forest, with a waterfall, 13th century arch bridge and Chorokhi banks where rafting tours are offered for true extremists.

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For those travelers who like dangerous and extreme hiking trails, the Skhalta – Khikhani route is ideal. The road leading to Khikhani Fortress is hard: you have to walk two hours on steep slopes to get there and you’ll need both physical strength and a lot of energy.

Adventure tourism lovers who like long walks, landscape views and are interested in the everyday lives of the locals, can visit protected areas: the Mtirala, Kintrishi and Machakhela gorges.

The Green Lake is a must-see for adventurers. This route includes Beshumi and Goderdzi Alpine Botanical Garden. It takes an hour to walk from Goderdzi Pass to the lake. On your way, you will find a village with wooden shepherds’ cabins, meet herdswomen and old people with head-scarfs and enjoy the most wonderful views. The name of the lake is not accidental as it is pure green. Tourists usually camp by the lake or head back to Beshumi or Goderdzi and stay there. And one more interesting place is Tago, 1000 meters above sea level and connected to Khulo by a 1719-meter cableway. The cableway is the main attraction of the place. The first thing that


draws your attention in Tago is the old wooden houses. The twisting narrow paths are also made of wood. Here, you feel like you have travelled through time a hundred years.

For festival and tour lovers there are lots of festivals and interesting tours in Ajara, visited by a lot of foreign tourists from different countries. One of the most famous events is the Black Sea Jazz Festival, which brings together the world’s jazz performers in Batumi every summer. The two-day Rural Tourism Festival “Gandagana” also takes place in Batumi. Various agricultural products and local dishes from different corners of Ajara are presented in Europe Square. “Gandagana” will give you a tour around the villages of Ajara without you having to leave Batumi. It is possible to taste Adjarian food and wine right there, with folk dances and music in the background. There is also a Migratory Birds Observation Festival: an eye-catching scene when more than a million birds of prey fly over the skies of Ajara. It is one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy something like this. Batumi is a favorite destination for music lovers, not just for the jazz- here they can also enjoy the annual International Festival of Classic Music. Every year, in September, Batumi hosts the International Art-house Film Festival “BIAFF,” a real celebration for cinema lovers that offers viewers the year’s best collections of independent films. You can also visit museums in Batumi and

Ajara and take interesting tours in and outside the city. You can devote a day to discovering Old Batumi and, in the framework of a tour, discover a different Batumi with a multicultural history, architecture and urban legends. If you want to get to know modern Batumi, you can take a “domestic tour” into the inner yards of the city: see cats lying in the sun, rows of laundry hanging outside, shoemakers, watch-repairers and stray dogs. In a word, the tour’s goal is to make

you feel like a native of Batumi. We don’t have a single answer to the question “Why should you travel to Ajara?” though we know for sure that those who have not seen it are missing the chance to breathe the sea and mountain air, to enjoy communication with interesting people, to feel the active rhythm, sounds and colors. You can enjoy all these things here every year and it is never late to jump into seaside adventures, regardless of whether you’re traveling alone, with friends or with family: Batumi is your destination.

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Mountainous Adjara

Another Reason to travel to Batumi Emerging Tourism Destination is especially exciting and full of emotions. Especially, when in parallel with holidaying on the beach, you head to the mountains of Adjara to seek for adventures. There are many reasons for hiking the mountains, but let me point out my favourite 5: diversity: The diverse tourist products of Adjara are exciting for travelers. The Protected Areas of the Region and the breathtaking nature of Adjara makes travelling here desirable at any time of the year. Each route in the municipality is rich in cultural and tourist attractions. You will find bridges, ruins of the castles, and museums - authentic environment of which will take

you back to the past of Adjara. emotions and adventure: The nature of Adjara is rich. Wherever you go, you find greenery, mountains, waterfalls, lakes all around you. Alpine mountains covered with fog and wild nature bring positive emotions and energy. It does not matter how many times you visit Kintrishi, Chirukhi, Khikhani, etc., they are different all the time with different colors. Travelling in Adjara Mountains is a different adventure every time. People and traditions: Warm-hearted and cordial host makes travelling in Adjara perfect. You will not find even a single

The recommendations of the Head of the Department of Tourism and Resorts of Ajara Tinatin Zoidze Batumi is the seaside city which surprises you with its contrasts. Its development rate amazes you and its greenery calms you. The most impressive contrast characteristic for Batumi is how amazingly close mountains and sea are located to each other. You will feel it mostly while walking in Batumi Boulevard, where the air of the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea merge, and breathtaking landscapes catch your eye. Batumi is the attractive tourist destination for tourists all year round, however, spending summer in Europe’s Leading

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Khabelashvilebi Wooden Arched Bridge


person in Mountainous Adjara who will leave you without attention after greetings, or will find the reason to start the conversation and tell you interesting stories, created by locals or heard from others. Exactly these stories and sincerity of locals make travelling in mountains so exciting and special. Culinary and folklore: Cuisine and folklore of Adjara are distinctive. There are many unique authentic dishes in Mountainous Adjara, prepared by locals with special recipes. We do not know much about the majority of them and I believe that cuisine and culinary traditions are one of the most important reasons why we should travel in the mountains.

Kintrishi Protected Area

location: Close location of the sea and mountains is also an important component. In Adjara, mountains start from the sea. You will not need even about half an hour to see Batumi from above, from the mountains. It simplifies travelling and makes it possible to offer Adjara as a tourist product, to the tourists wishing to spend holidays on the sea. Gobatumi.com choosegeorgia choosebatumi

Green Lake

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Exploring Ajara By Katie ruth davies

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Georgia, the region of Ajjara has so much to offer beyond its beautiful capital Batumi. Check out the magnificent little seaside town resorts of Gonio, Kvariati, Sarpi, Shekvetili and Chakvi, ideal for those who love relaxing by the sea with a tasty cup of a coffee prepared on hot sand, a secret which only Ajarians know. Add a piece of honeyed Bakhlava to it, or savor the well-known Ajaruli Khachapuri, and you’ll have yourself a gourmet feast and an experience you’ll not easily forget. If you’re in the mood to sprinkle your stay in Ajara with a bit of adventure, get ready to explore its breathtaking nature and head to the Batumi Botanical Garden, Machakhela National Park, Mtirala National Park, Kintrishi or Ispani protected areas, and Green Lake. And for history-lovers, Petra and Gonio fortresses are ready and waiting for you. Got your head spinning with possibilities? Then we’ll take them one-by-one to help you decide. We’ll start with the Batumi Botanical Garden.

Himalayas, East Asia, North and South America, Mexico and the Mediterranean. English, Russian, German and Turkishspeaking guides are available at a 50 GEL charge, while the entrance fee is 8 GEL. Take it all in from an electro car for just 30 GEL.

maChaKhela ProteCted area

batumi botaniCal garden Batumi Botanical Garden was founded back in 1912 and is considered to be one

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of the richest botanical gardens in the world. Located in the Mtsvane Kontskhi (Green Cape) zone, 9 km from the city of Batumi, it is spread across 111 hectares of land, and offers visitors a plethora of flora from Australia, New Zealand, the

Machakhela Protected Area is located on 8733 hectares of land in the gorge of the Machakhela River, 25 km from Batumi and 300-350 meters above sea level. It was created in 2012 to preserve and maintain the unique biological and landscape diversity of the area. 95% of the territory of the national park consists of chestnut, hornbeam and alder forests. You might spot the Caucasian bear, Caucasian bee and Caucasian Salamandra on the park territory.


If you decide to camp while there, the picnic area costs 15 GEL per day. You can hire a sleeping bag for 5 GEL per day and a backpack for 5 GEL per day. Horse riding is available for just 35 GEL per day.

isPani sPhagnum Peatlands, sPhagnum dome Spread over 77 hectares, 28 km from Kobuleti, this area is made up of the Kobuleti Strict Nature Reserve (Ispani I) and Kobuleti Managed Nature Reserve (Ispani II).

mtirala national ParK Mtirala National Park was founded in 2007 on the initiative of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Georgia, Agency of Protected Areas, WWF, and the Government of Norway. Located in the Kobuleti-Chakvi Mountain range, 1638 meters above sea level, the place is known as one of the rainiest and wettest areas in the region (Mtirala means “crying”). The national park is said to have the rarest examples of both flora and fauna. The brilliant Mtirala National Park zip-line attraction costs 15 GEL and is open 10 AM - 8 PM for those 12-years and up.

Kintrishi ProteCted area Kintrishi Protected Area was founded in 1959 and consists of the Kintrishi Preserve

and the so called Kintrishi Protected Landscape, situated near Kobuleti, with the territory’s lowest point at 250-300 meters above sea level and its highest at 2000 meters. The main water artery of the preserve is the River Kintrishi. An arched stoned bridge on Kintrishi River dating back to the XI-XII centuries, often called Tamari Bridge, thought to be from the period of Georgia’s Queen Tamar, is one of the must-see spots, together with the box-trees which reach up to 12 meters in height. To find these treasures, follow the 1200-meter walking trail which ends in a waterfall.

The Sphagnum Dome is a lake with a layer of Sphagnum (25-45 centimeters) which is said to never sink into the water. With the water, the peat moss makes a smooth dome rising 4-5 meters above it, best seen from the panorama tower. Even during the pouring rain, the dome remains dry. Sphagnum is like a sponge, able to absorb much more water than its weight. There are unique habitats at Ispani untouched by humans. During autumn and winter, you can see lots of migrating birds there and the Ispani Sphagnum Peatlands are on the RAMSAR Convention List of Wetlands of International Importance.

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gonion Fortress Just 15 km from the city of Batumi, in the little town of Gonio, you will find a true hidden jewel: the Gonio Fortress, or as it’s often called, the Gonio-Apsaros Fortress, one of the oldest of its kind in Georgia, with a history going back to the Roman and Ottoman empires. One of the oldest references to the fortress is that of Pliny the Elder in ‘Natural History’ (1st century AD). The Fortress territory has a tomb which is considered to belong to Apostle Matthew– one of Jesus Christ’s 12 disciples. The myth of the Argonauts is also connected to the Gonio-Apsaros fortress: According to legend, this was the place where Apsyrtus, King Aet’s son, killed by Jason, was buried.

Petra Fortress Dated from the VI century AD, the ruins of Petra Fortress can be found at Tsikhisdziri. The ancient city-fortress held high strategic, political and economic importance, and was built by the order of Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Researchers believe that the Kadzhi Fortress mentioned by Shota Rustaveli in his immortal poem ‘The Knight in the Panther’s Skin’ is the fortress of Petra-Tsikhisdziri.

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Ajara – A History become one of the most important industrial cities of the east. 1892: First oil tanker (‘Markus’) leaves Batumi Port for Bangkok. Thereafter, oil is brought via Batumi from the Baku fields. 1918, April: Ottomans recapture Ajara. 1918, December: British fight back the Turkish troops. Prototype parliament ‘Mejlis’ created, led by Memed Abashidze, to decide Ajara’s fate. Many wanted autonomy from Georgia. 1921: Soviets declare the region ‘The Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Ajara’ as part of an agreement with Turkey to protect the Muslims living there. The Autonomous Republic of Ajara (also spelled ‘Ajara’) has seen harsh times as well as times of prosperity. Archaeologists and scientists have traced the region’s existence to the Neolithic Age. It has faced the attacks of invaders (including the Mongols and Seljuks) and has numerous times been conquered. Yet the distinct character of the people there remains to this day. Check out a brief history of the region before you go. 700-300 BC: A province of the Colchis Kingdom, colonized by Greeks and Romans. Batumi, then known as Bathus, was a military stronghold for the Roman army. The city of Asparos (present-day Gonio) was the cultural heart of the Caucasus. 2nd Century AD: Ajara incorporated into the Lazika Kingdom (and a minority of Laz people still live there today).

8th Century AD: Ajara divided into twothe Kingdom of Kartli and the Kingdom of Abkhazia. 11th Century AD: Ajara becomes part of the unified Kingdom of Georgia under the protection of Samtskhe-Saatabago rulers. 1547: Ottomans invade Ajara, capture Batumi and force Christian inhabitants to flee to other Georgian regions or be forcibly converted to Islam. 1820s: Ajarans recruited to Ottoman Army during the Russian-Turkish War. The region is known now as ‘Ajaristan’. 1878: Ajara becomes a part of the Russian Empire. The oppression of Islam sees many Ajarans fleeing into Turkey (named ‘Muharijoba’ in the Georgian history books). Berlin Congress names Batumi a “free port”. Batumi goes on to

The Soviet Years see repressions and the introduction of the socialist ideology. 1991: Georgia declares itself independent from the Soviet Union. The first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, appoints Aslan Abashidze as Head of Ajara’s Supreme Council hoping he will “win back” the region for Georgia. He doesn’t and, with great help from the Muslim community in Ajara, Aslan regains Ajara’s autonomy. The Civil War Years saw Ajara enjoying relative peace and stability. Following the Rose Revolution in 2003, at which Mikheil Saakashvili came to power (and Aslan Abashidze retired to Russia), Ajara’s natural beauty began to be promoted and it was decided to make Batumi and the region the tourist hot-spot it is today.

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Discover Unknown Ajara By samantha guthrie

Summers in Georgia are generally characterized by lounging on the multicolored pebble beaches of Batumi or Kobuleti, and sneaking off on long weekends into the mountains to escape the heat. The region of Ajara allows travelers to combine the best of the two! The far western region, which borders the Black Sea, is diverse, and has plenty of secrets to reveal to the curious and persistent traveler. The most popular places to visit in Ajara are, undoubtedly, the beach towns – particularly in the summer. There are also popular villages in the mountainous part of Ajara, lush and tropical, and full of cultural and historic character. There are many sites, however, that are less well known. Here are some of the best kept secrets in Ajara.

the grave oF saint matthias

of Batumi, can see a rough stone grave marker topped with a white wooden cross. This is believed by the Georgian Orthodox community to be the grave of Saint Matthias.

KhiKhani Fortress Khikhani Fortress is located at 2,200 meters above sea level near the mountain village of Khulo. The fortress, mostly a ruin today, features rectangular towers, walls,

In the Christian tradition, Saint Matthias was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, appointed to replace the betrayer, Judas. While less well known than the other apostles, Matthias led an interesting life, spreading the gospel in Cappadocia and on the coast of the Caspian Sea. One version of his story says that, while preaching near ancient Colchis (today western Georgia), he was stoned to death, and was buried in the ruins of the Roman fortress of Gonio-Apsaros. Today, visitors to the fortress, just a few kilometers south

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a bakery, wine storage area, a water well and a church. It is believed to have been built in the 13th century, and used as a strategic defense outpost until the 19th century. Reaching the fortress requires a 45-minute, medium-difficulty walk up steep, winding trails. The best way to reach the spot is to hire a driver from one of the nearby towns. Snug up against the Turkish border, don’t forget your passport – border guards often register visitors for safety purposes.


Near the resorts, of Beshumi and Goderdzi, just 10 minutes apart at about 2,025 meters above sea level, is Green Lake. The resorts are great places to stay as a base for exploring the mountainous Ajara area if you like peace, quiet, and wild nature. Green Lake is one of the most attractive sites here – a small lake whose still, colorless water reflects the green mountains it’s nestled among.

Khulo Cable Car Khulo is one of the most beautiful settlements in the area, and a great place to stay for a couple nights as a base to explore mountainous Ajara. The main attraction in Khulo is the Soviet-era cable car – a narrow, rusty yellow box, that connects the center of Khulo with the little village of Tago across a wide valley. The views from the cable car are stunning and, if you can stomach it, the operator will open the door during the ride so you can take clear photos. At 1,719 meters, it is the second longest ropeway in Europe, and has no intermediate supporting structures! Across the valley in Tago, there isn’t anything to do apart from enjoy a cup of coffee and some homemade sweets in the courtyard of the first house off the cable car, which the owners have turned into a small café. You can also take a stroll through the village and see what life in Georgia’s isolated high mountains looks like.

more difficult in the winter. In bad weather, the road becomes unpassable. The cable car runs from approximately 9 am – 7 pm, depending on the weather, daylight, and the mood of the operator. A return ticket is 2.50 lari.

There are not many options for accommodation here, but the area is developing quickly with significant investment from the government and the private sector. Visitors can stay in a simple cottage at the Goderdzi resort, or at one of the many guesthouses in the area. It is about a three-hour drive from Batumi to Goderdzi in the summertime.

green laKe

According to the locals, the village would be abandoned if it were not for the ropeway. The only road to the village was damaged, allowing only two cars to move along it at a time. The situation is even

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batumi Fish marKet The Batumi Fish Market is hot, crowded, smelly, damp, and an absolute must-visit. A stark contrast to the sleek glimmer of urban Batumi, the fish market is raw (literally) and organic. The market offers both local catches and imports from across the Black Sea, Turkey and Ukraine – so if you want the freshest, local products, make sure to ask. There are several good waterfront restaurants on the other side of the market. You can pick out the sea creatures you would like, and the sellers will walk them over to their associated restaurant, where they will be cooked to order. Cold beer, beautiful sea views, fresh caught seafood – a surprising rarity in Batumi, so don’t miss it!

batumi street art While most cities struggle with some amount of graffiti, Batumi is lucky to boast some of Georgia’s prettiest street art. Most sophisticated than graffiti, and often commissioned from local artists, there are several large-scale murals on the city walls. Some force viewers to question their lifestyle and culture, and some are just pretty. Look out for great street art on the port wall, on the right hand side when entering the city by car, near the Hilton Hotel, and hidden around non-descript corners in the old city center!

sCulPtures in batumi Another can’t miss art experience in Batumi are the many sculptures. There are creative, modern works all along the

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boardwalk, in addition to tucked into the city’s many parks and gardens. Georgian sculptor Tamara Kvesitadze created the stunning Ali and Nino statues, metal rings in the figure of a man and a woman that, throughout the course of each day, move towards and then pass through each other. Nino Chubika’s white angles can be found in the courtyard of the Magnolia apartment building. A monument to first love by Irakli Tsuladze also sits on the boardwalk. A whimsical white plaster sculpture of a pilot with an airplane and a little girl stands guard at the entrance to the 6th of May Park. These and many others await curious travelers with an eye for art!


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What To See On The Way To Batumi By Katie ruth davies

Driving to Batumi? Ten Things Not to Miss on the Way… My family makes the trip from Tbilisi to Batumi several times a year. The 6-hour trip can seem long, so here are some recommendations to break up an otherwise monotonous drive.

aPPles From the agro marKet

naZuKi in the woods

Just past the giant wind turbines the other side of Gori, pull in at the agricultural market to buy some locally grown fruit and veg direct from the buckets of local farmers. Not only will you be “buying Georgian” and helping the villagers, you’ll also be guaranteed a delicious and natural snack for your journey.

Cathedral oF st george, surami This is the only church in Georgia with the bell tower built into the main structure of the church building. It dates back to the 18th-19th and was restored in 1968.

Drive through Surami and around the bend until you see random women standing outside small wooden huts at the roadside waving loaves of flat golden bread at you. Pick one, pull over and ask for “tskheli nazuki”. Each cinnamon-raisinglazed loaf costs 2 GEL and they are best eaten hot, and even better when eaten in the fairytale pine woods behind the huts.

terraCotta & ChoPPing boards Once through the extremely long Rikoti tunnel you’ll find yourself winding through the lush river gorge that welcomes you to

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western Georgia. This can be an uncomfortable stretch of road, too narrow for the traffic load, which invariably leads to frustrated drivers taking risks- so be careful. Take your time, stop for lunch (plenty of roadside cafes to choose from) and buy a souvenir. Stalls are dotted along the stretch selling terracotta pots and bowls, hand-made drums, locally-carved chopping boards and honey. In the summer you can also enjoy fresh hot corn cobs coated with salt.

bells & FresCoes The drop down to the village of Ubisa is on the left-hand corner. There, you’ll find a small village and medieval monastic complex comprising the 9th century St. George’s Monastery, founded by St. Gregory of Khandzta, a four-floor tower


Kutaisi

mini georgia

Is a town worth staying in a little longer. The center is renovated, cobbled and Mediterranean style. The central park offers calm fountains and statues of Georgia’s most notable figures, while the Opera House well deserves the attention of your camera lens. Head to the controversial Bagrati Cathedral, renovated to such an extent that UNESCO removed it from its list of Cultural Heritage in 2014.

At the opposite side of the carpark to the Tsisinatura (FireFly) theme park (opens every night at 6pm) you can find the best churches, architecture and monuments of Georgia laid out in miniature. Check out Ubisa and the Surami Cathedral you just saw!

magnetiC toes

green Fingers

If you still have time, pop across the railway track into the seaside “village” of Ureki / Magnetiti. The black volcanic sand is said to be curative and the gently sloping beach makes a great place for little ones to paddle reasonably safely.

The Green Cape is a vibrant sub-tropical tea-and-bamboo-growing area. The earth is a vibrant red, setting off the green of the tea plants- making a beautiful photo opportunity. Grab a bamboo souvenir as you pass.

(AD 1141), fragments of a 12th-century defensive wall and several other buildings and structures. This stop is made even more worthy by the 14th century mural made by Damiane, who is said to have been influenced by art from the Byzantine Palaiologan period (1261-1453).

CoFFee in ZestaPhoni The road leading into this not-much-worthseeing post-industrial town has seen a mushrooming of friendly roadside coffee bars. Note- Starbucks has yet to agree an official presence in Georgia, so don’t believe the signs claiming otherwise.

Have a good road trip!

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toP 5

PlaCes to eXPerienCe mountainous ajara this summer By samantha guthrie

Summers in Georgia are generally characterized by lounging on the multicolored pebble beaches of Batumi or Kobuleti, and sneaking off on long weekend into the mountains to escape the heat. Mountainous Ajara allows travelers to combine the best of the two! Drive east from Georgia’s Black Sea coast for less than an hour, and you’ll find yourself enveloped in a tropical paradise. Lush green mountains strung with vines and bright blossoms hide sparkling lakes and rivers. Look back, and you’ll catch stunning views of the Black Sea. The dramatic, adventure filled mountains of Ajara are absolutely worth a visit. Here are four of the best places to explore in mountainous Ajara this summer!

mtirala national ParK There are several national parks in mountainous Ajara, and Mtirala is one of the most interesting. The name, in Georgian, means ‘crying,’ called so because of the near constant precipitation the area receives – the most of any place in the country! It is like stepping into another world, full of fog and mist and tropical flora. Less than an hour from the glitz and urban life of Batumi, this wild, natural place is the perfect way to experience a taste of mountainous Ajara without going too far from the coast.

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maChaKhela national ParK Another excellent national park in the area is Machakhela. Also less than an hour from Batumi, but in the other direction, the park is centered around the town of Khelvachauri. The southern part of the Machakhela valley marks the border between Georgia and Turkey. Machakhela National Park boasts ancient arched stone bridges, fortresses and castles in various states of ruin, and even historic limestone water fountains, wine presses and cellars! There are two well-maintained roads that go through the park, and several trails that take hikers through groves of alder, beech, and chestnut. A lookout point from the top of Mtavarangelozi (Archangel in Georgian) mountain offers breathtaking views of Batumi, the Machakhela River valley, and the delta where several grey-green rivers flows into the ironic bright blue of the Black Sea. Don’t forget to stop by the Transfiguration Church in the village of Akhalsheni, the Machakhela Ethnographic Museum, which is in an old Mosque, and the Laz Ethnographic Museum, celebrating the history and culture of the Laz people, who inhabit the Black Sea coast of Georgia and Turkey.

beshumi & goderdZi resorts These two resorts, just 10 minutes apart at about 2,025 meters above sea level, are great places to stay as a base for exploring the wider mountainous Ajara area if you like peace, quiet, and wild nature. While Goderdzi is best known for being a ski resort, there are plenty of summer activities on offer, including hiking, horseback riding, paragliding, riding ATVs, and biking. One of the most attractive sites here is Green Lake, a small lake whose still, colorless water reflects the green mountains it’s nestled among. There are not many options for accommodation here, but the area is developing quickly with significant investment from the government and the private sector. Visitors can stay in a simple cottage at the Goderdzi resort, or at one of the many guesthouses in the area. It is about a three-hour drive from Batumi to Goderdzi in the summertime.

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maKhuntseti waterFall A Respite outside Batumi Situated an hour’s drive (30km) from Batumi through the winding hills of Ajara, the cascading waters of Makhuntseti Waterfall offer a calming respite from city-life. Thanks to the subtropical climate of the area due to its proximity to the Black Sea, the green mountains of Ajara are known for their lush beauty. The Makhuntseti Waterfall is one if its highlights. As its name suggests, it is located in the Makhuntseti village which is reachable by car, taxi, or hitchhiking as well as via a minibus headed in the direction of Keda village. Friendly locals sell local products like honey and churchkhela from small colorful stores in the car park. Following the stone steps ascending from the car park, you will reach the impressive 20-meter waterfall (Georgia’s second largest) within a few minutes. The green surroundings and plummeting water is impressive year-round. Georgian food is available from nearby cafes if you get hungry on your way down. Makhuntseti village Ajara

maKhuntseti bridge Deep in the mountains of Ajara not far from Batumi, the ancient Makhuntseti bridge connects the surrounding nature to Georgia’s medieval past. Connecting two sides of the Acharistskali river, the bridge is thought to have been built in the 12th century. Interpretations of its history vary. Some believe that the bridge was built by builders from Venice and Genoa, whilst others believe that it was designed even before the reign of Queen Tamar. Built from rocky stones, the bridge forms a quaint arch that is 6 meters long over the river. Visitors can walk over the bridge and enjoy the river and surrounding countryside. There is a restaurant and many shops selling souvenirs. Although the area has been over-developed and the bridge may be underwhelming to some visitors, it is still an interesting historic site to visit on the way to the popular Makhuntseti Falls.

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The Train To Batumi (Stadler Kiss) By Katie ruth davies

board. No air-con, no sockets. The train would stop at what felt like every lamppost and the men would get out en-masse to smoke (far fewer women smoked or did so openly in public back then) or buy khachapuri. There was a lot of alcohol drinking among the men (something I’ve heard is still common on the slow TbilisiZugdidi route), but how else were they to pass the time – there was no Wi-Fi at all and mobile phones, if owned, were very basic. It could get rowdy, but the women with their children tolerated it from ‘the boys’, only trying to hush them when it approached 3am.

Photo: Georgian Railway archive

It’s 8am, the platform is packed with fellow travelers heading to the seaside. We booked Business Class this time- first floor of a double-decker Stadler KISS (sadly, facing backwards- no option to choose our seats), soft leather, 2-2 seats either side of a wide aisle, arm rests, reasonable Wi-Fi, gentle air-conditioning and sockets for the laptops. There are hangers for your suit, a vending machine mid-carriage selling a selection of snacks- sandwiches, chips, chocolate, water and fizzy drinks (2-3 GEL each). There’s also a toilet on every carriage and an attendant. Conductors and security guards walk through on occasion to ensure your comfort. There’s not a seat free- this is one of the extra trains added to cover the summer tourist rush. Announcements are in Georgian, English and Russian. In the non-business class carriages, the seats are narrower (3 – 2 with an aisle between), harder, and are more basic in

style. There is a vending machine at the end of the carriage. In both sections you are given still or sparkling water at no extra charge. Once our IDs and (e)tickets had been checked, we logged on to the internet and settled in for the 5-hour journey cross-country. I remember my first train journey from Tbilisi to Batumi, back in 2007. In those days there was one choice: a 9-hour overnight train. Cabins (circa 1970) were ‘decorated’ brown and divided into sections with bunks and tall-backed leather benches. For the ‘upper’ classes, private 2-bunk rooms could be hired, with a small TV (which had probably stopped working circa 1980!) a better option as such trains were also packed to the rooftop, though with far fewer tourists than there are today, in fact, I think I was the only foreigner on

How things have changed… Nearing the Batumi station as I type, having had two quick stops at Ureki and Kobuleti, I would definitely suggest booking Business Class for seat comfort. That said, sleep was difficult as the seats do not recline. Expect to be harassed by taxi drivers literally as soon as you step off the trainthey wait at the door and bombard you with Russian. Don’t be alarmed if they touch your arm- they mean only to draw attention to themselves and will immediately back away if you say a clear Ara! or No! Instead, head outside the station and take a taxi from the street in your own time. Standard fare is 10 GEL to the city proper. Business ticket (single): 61 GEL Standard class(single): 25 GEL

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The Centuries Old Charm of the Batumi Botanical Garden the coastline gardens of Monte Carlo and Cannes. The estate of D’Alphonse is currently a highlight of the Batumi Botanical Garden and is named the “lower garden”. Among the initiators of introducing different plants to the Black Sea coast is geographer, botanist and traveler, E. Tatarinov. In 1892, he created the so-called “acclimatization garden” on 10 hectares, today known as the Botanical Garden’s “upper garden”.

Alleys of magnolia, camellia, skyrise cypresses, sequoias, eucalyptus, oaks, liquidambars, gracious bamboos, olive trees, royal roses and other decorative blossoming plants, rich collections of the world’s subtropical plants, panoramic views out over the Black Sea – this is the Batumi Botanical Garden.

area drew the attention of famous French gardener Mecheslav D’Alphonse, who was one of the first to settle on the territory. His first garden was the first step towards the creation of the Batumi Botanical Garden. It was also D’Alphonse who started the development of the (now 7km long!) Batumi Boulevard in the 1880s.

Located just nine kilometers from Batumi, the garden spreads across the territory of the Green Cape, the result of the successful work of three generations of scientists. Before becoming a tourist hotspot, the

D’Alphonse ordered rare decorative plants from France, including oleanders, palms, cypresses, cedars, pine trees, olive trees, and holm oaks and the coastline of Batumi became so beautiful that it dared to rival

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For many years, the driving force behind the development of the garden was the Batumi Society of Agriculturists. The idea of creating such a garden also crossed the mind of Andrey Krasnov, Professor at the Kharkiv University, who visited Batumi in 1893. On July 1, 1912, Krasnov was appointed the Director of the Batumi Botanical Garden and soon thereafter, the garden was confered on the basis of an Emperor’s Decree. In spring 1913, many plants, including coniferous trees, cypresses, palms, acacias and other subtropical fruit and decorative trees, were ready for planting. With the help of the Batumi Society of Agriculturists, the Batumi Botanical Garden established contacts with different botanical gardens and subtropical districts around the world and in 1913, the garden was awarded the gold medal at the Russian Riviera exhibition in Petersburg for its interesting collection of plants.


Another person who made a great contribution to the development of the Garden was Jason Gordeziani, agriculturist and decorator of the London Royal Botanical Garden. The beauty of the Batumi Botanical Garden lies in its principle of landscapegeographic planning. The park has several phytogeographical zone sections, including: America, Japan, the Far East, Himalayas and tropical mountains, Australia, Chile and New Zealand. The garden managed to preserve its look during World War I. A library, a seed testing laboratory and herbarium fund were added. The herbarium created in 1912 is included in the International Herbarium System and currently contains 41,000 herbarium pages and 3,500 plant varieties of 1,298 families.

Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Himalayas, East Asia, North America, Mediterranean and the humid subtropics of the South Caucasus. The park also includes decorative-landscape expositions of Japanese miniature gardens, seasonally blossoming plant sections and decorative water pools.

The first stock-take of plants, carried out in 1921, showed that the Batumi Botanical Garden had 917 plant varieties. From the early 1920s, different scientific departments were created within the park and from the 1930s, the garden started receiving education tours, serving 60,000 visitors annually.

During the warm season the Batumi Botanical Garden is open from 8:00 to 21:00. The entrance fee is 8 GEL for foreign citizens and 1 GEL for youngsters from 10 to 16. The park is adapted to host people with physical disabilities.

Undergoing constant infrastructural development, today, the Batumi Botanical Garden attracts more visitors than ever, some 150,000 plus, on average, per year. Besides guests from Georgia’s neighboring countries, the garden has been visited by the citizens of Brasil, UAE, Qatar, Tuvalu, Australia and New Zealand. The park is impressive any time of the year because of its diverse ecosystem. Visitors can learn about the flora of different continents or large geographic districts, including South America,

Visitors can have guide service in Georgian, German, English, Russian and Turkish languages for 30 GEL. There are several guided tours through the garden. One starts at the Green Cape where you can see the lower garden, the South American section, get a view of the sea near an administrative building, check the sections of New Zealand, Australia, the humid subtropics of South Caucasus, and the East Asia section with a lower miniature garden, Himalayas, Europe, Mexico, North America, and the seaside

park. If you start at the seaside park, you will go through the sections in the following order: North America, Mexico, Japanese stone garden, East Asia, Himalayas, Australia, the humid subtropics of the South Caucasus, New Zealand, the upper garden, an administrative building, South America and the lower garden. The lower garden starts at the Green Cape railway station where, at the very entrance, you can see large alleys of evergreen North American Pine (Pinus strobus), Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) and Japanese Camellia (Camellia japonica).

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of North America, Australia, Europe and Asia. The electric vehicles available in the Garden make it comfortable for local and foreign visitors to tour the park. The Batumi Botanical Garden also offers camping, picnic and wedding ceremony services. The territory adjacent to the garden administration has Wi-Fi and visitors can purchase plants in the plant store located in the seaside park. The Batumi Botanical Garden celebrates international and local holidays, holds exhibitions, photo sessions, film and fashion shows, sports events, and more.

The upper garden starts with a circular line of Cryptomeria japonica. The beautiful view over the sea is combined with local indigenous plants – Alder (Alnus), chestnut (Castanea), beech (Fagus), and Tilia. The seaside park is spread across 4ha of space in the north-westernmost corner of the botanical garden and hosts a rich collection of decorative and herbal plants. If a visitor happens to take a liking to a particular plant, it can be purchased in seed-form from the Botanical Garden Seed Farm where many exotic plants are grown for sales purposes. The consultants of the Batumi Botanical Garden can also give recommendations and advice on a variety of topics: planting, growing and taking care of a plant both at home and outdoors, indoor flower growing, and decorative arrangement of yards, balconies, and offices. It is worth noting that today the Batumi Botanical Garden

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has seed exchange programs with 278 botanical gardens, universities and schools

Since 1997, the Batumi Botanical Garden has been a member of the International Council of Botanical Gardens and more and more specialists and students of biology, as well as tourists, visit it every year.


Batumi Celebrities By nini dakhundaridze

Batumi is one of Georgia’s biggest attractions. From the seashore and beautiful architecture to Ajaran Khachapuri – Batumi has everything and no one can put a finger on what exactly makes Batumi the perfect destination. Because of its natural beauty and mystique, Batumi has called to its shore many a foreigner, some of which were famous historical figures.

the nobel brothers Seeking cheap resources, the founders of “Branobel” company went to the Caucasus in 1873. As of 1875 they already had the Nobel Brothers Oil Extracting Partnership established in Baku, the company later becoming the largest one in the Russian Empire. The route chosen for oil transportation was Baku-Tbilisi-Batumi. Unknowingly, this choice ended up being a significant contributor to the establishment of the “free port” regime of Batumi. The Nobel Brothers had lots to do with constructing the Baku-Batumi pipeline, the railway and Batumi Oil Terminal and were the first transporters of oil from Batumi to Europe. In 2007, the house the Nobel Brothers used to own was transformed into the Technological Museum of the Nobel Brothers.

miKhail bulgaKov In order to revive his creative life, Bulgakov visited

Batumi twice. The famous Russian writer first came to the city in 1921. The second visit occurred in 1928, Bulgakov arrived with his wife and while visiting Green Cape, he decided to write the famous “Master and Margarita”. It’s important to note that Bulgakov also wrote a play titled “Batumi”, dedicated to Stalin’s 60th anniversary.

sergei Yesenin Russian literary people just loved Batumi. Yesenin, a well-known Russian poet, spent two months in Batumi on Melikishvili Street. The late winter of 1924 and the first month of 1925 were enough for the poet to fall in love with two different girls and the city of Batumi and share his feelings about his new muses – the girls and Batumi - in his writings. The time spent on the Georgian seashore had a very positive impact on his creative work. His poem “Anna Snegina” and dozens of other were written in Batumi.

john steinbeCK In the summer of 1947, John Steinbeck, an American writer, and Robert Capa, the legendary war photographer, together began their journey to the Soviet Union.

Steinbeck describes Georgia with admiration, focusing on Batumi and its beauty in his “Russian Diary”. “We have come to believe that the majority of Russians hope to go to Georgia and not to heaven when they die, since Georgia has a wonderful climate, rich soil and a small private ocean,” he wrote.

georges simenon Batumi also attracted Belgian writer Georges Simenon. While an author of detective novels, Simenon was also a journalist. It was a journalistic mission that brought him to Batumi in 1932 – a report commissioned by a French newspaper with a cruise around the Black Sea and a stop in Batumi. That is how Batumi became the backdrop of “Les Gens d’en Face” – a spy thriller, an uncompromising denunciation of Stalinism and one of Simenon’s first works. This book invites readers to an authentic and realistic journey back in time, discovering the Batumi of 1932. After reading the book, you realize how much has changed in a few decades.

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Ajara’s Best Sea Resorts By samantha guthrie & Katie ruth davies

Some say there are two types of people in the world: beach people and mountain people. Thankfully, Georgia has on offer whatever your heart desires (even if it’s both). The focus of this article is beaches, of which Ajara has several types to suit everything from party-goers to families seeking calm and quiet. Check the favorites out below.

along the seaside boulevard, and outstanding local cuisine. Batumi boasts dozens of excellent (mostly seasonal) restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. There are also plenty of opportunities for shopping and sight-seeing if you get tired of sunbathing. While the beaches are rocky, you can rent lounge chairs and umbrellas. The wider Ajara region is packed full of things to do – you can easily spend a week here. A stroll down the beach-side boulevard is good any time of year, as is the Dolphinarium, Mtirala National Park, Green Cape & Botanical Garden, Gonio Fortress, numerous museums (see Where.ge for more details) and more. That’s not to mention the nightlife and seaside-city buzz. You’ll definitely be back for more!

Kobuleti

batumi By far Georgia’s most popular summer vacation destination, Batumi is more than

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a sea resort. The city is famous for its unusual architectural mixture, vibrant summer nightlife, luxurious hotels and casinos, long pebble beach, bicycle lanes

Less than an hour’s drive from Batumi, many Georgian holiday-makers choose to stay in Kobuleti for the quieter, cleaner beaches while still being able to pop down to Batumi for nightlife and excursions. Kobuleti impresses with its vast beaches and sunny summers. Its promenades and


parks are filled with tourists sunbathing as long as possible. Crowded mostly with Georgians and Russians, the coastline receives more and more Turkish and Arab tourists by the year, and the recent discovery of Georgia by Western media outlets has also lead to a spike in British, American, and German tourists. The nightlife here makes it a fun spot for music-lovers and dancers, with cozier venues providing entertainment and drinks! There are three main streets: Aghmashenebeli Street boasts the most stores and restaurants, Rustaveli Street runs parallel and has a lot of inner-town guesthouses, and Tamar Mepe (Queen Tamar) Beach is home to restaurants and bars. For young visitors there are playgrounds in the treeline beside the beach and, just out of town, the Tsitsinatela (firefly) theme park which offers more than 40 different attractions - buy a card at the entrance and top it up as you ride! Kobuleti has accommodation options for every budget- from simple rooms to rent and guest houses to hotels and luxury resort hotels, including Georgia Palace Hotel & Spa.

gonio Not the cleanest of pebble beaches, this still makes a fine sunbathing and night-life spot, with plenty of bars and beach-clubs offering a fun backdrop for a holiday with friends.

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Kviariati A beach mat (yoga) and sturdy footwear are a must on this beach which, like most of the south-coast Black Sea beaches in Georgia, is one of large pebbles. Something else to look out for is the sleep decline pretty soon after you get in the water, making it one for more confident swimmers or parents who have a sharp eye on their little ones. That said, the water is mild, safe, clean and free from sealife (aside from the occasional jellyfish). People choose Kvariati for its peaceful environs and beautiful green mountains rolling off into the region behind- a great view during the day and a magical backdrop as you watch the sun set over the sea.

sarPi Sarpi is Ajara’s last beach before the Turkish border and, like Kvariati, is one of pebbles and deep water- with the rocky cliffs making great diving boards for those brave enough. It is always bustling in high season and there are plenty of bars to entertain.

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News airbnb lists batumi as ‘PlaCe to visit 2019’ By amy jones The popular vacation home rental platform Airbnb has listed Batumi as one of 19 destinations to visit in 2019.

climate. Searches for Batumi on the platform have seen a year on year increase of 200%.

The article, published on 3 December, chose destinations based on wish list growth data and their own research. They expect the cities to become more and more in demand in the coming year.

Compiling off-the-beaten-track destinations for travelers, the list includes Kaikoura in New Zealand, Xiamen in China, Normandy in France, the Great Smoky Mountains in the US, Accra in Ghana, Mozambique, and Uzbekistan, among others.

Batumi, Georgia’s second largest city, is particularly popular with locals and tourists especially due to its location on the Black Sea coast and year-round moderate

include Georgia as a place to visit. Georgian tourism is booming year on year. 8 million visitors have already visited the country from January to November this year, an increase of 10.6% compared to the same period in 2017.

Airbnb is just one of many international companies and news outlets recently to

new YorK times: batumi among 52 “PlaCes to go in 2019” By thea morrison the past decade, adding Batumi, a “hushed seaside city where verdant mountains slope down to the Black Sea’s smooth stone beaches,” offers a different experience.

The New York Times published a list of ‘52 Places to Go in 2019,’ which includes Georgia’s Black Sea coastal city Batumi. The article reads that Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, has been flooded with tourists over

“Already a popular escape for Russians, Iranians, Turks and Israelis, the city is preparing itself for its inevitable discovery by the rest of the world: new hotels — including the Le Meridien Batumi and a Batumi installment of the design-centric boutique Rooms Hotel line — are rising, and a cable car will swing straight to the

coast from the hilltop Batumi Botanical Garden,” the article reads. Top 10 destinations of the list are: 1. Puerto Rico 2. Hampi 3. Santa Barbara 4. Panama 5. Munich 6. Eliat 7. Setouchi Islands 8. Aalborg 9. The Azores 10. Ontario Ice Caves

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Batumi Landmarks By Katie ruth davies

The first thing you’ll see as you round the corner of the cape on the road to Batumi is the small collection of sky-scrapers gracing the very tip of the Batumi skyline- residential and business towers, restaurants and top hotels, surrounded by nightlife venues and some of the best-known landmarks in the city. The city is famous for its unusual architectural mixture. Check out some of the highlights below.

the boulevard The wide boulevard follows the beach and is packed full of beach bars, cafÊ-lounges, restaurants, rides for kids, bikes to hire, refreshment and souvenir stalls, greenery and interesting sculptures and architectural monuments, not to mention clubs in summer! Over 100 years old, its construction began in 1881 on the initiative of Batumi District Governor Mekalov, who commissioned the coastal boulevard to be built by a famous Prussian gardener named Reseller. Later, the planned development of the boulevard was handed over to a French gardener and designer invited to Georgia, Mikheil d’Alphonse, also the main man behind the Botanical Gardens.

the ChaCha tower

In 2009, the length of the Boulevard was increased to a whopping 7 kilometers. The so-called New Boulevard was designed by a Spanish architect and built in accordance with the latest standards.

miraCles ParK, batumi At the end of the seafront Boulevard in Batumi is Miracles Park. Home to palm

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trees, a Ferris wheel, and interesting statues, it is the perfect location for a stroll on warm summer nights.


In the past, at 7 pm for 10 minutes, the tower would flow with 40%+ Chacha, Georgia’s national spirit, but this was stopped due to over-enthusiastic drinkers, so now it is nothing more than a legend and a quick photo-opportunity.

the alPhabet tower

love. A similar story to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, he then dies defending his country. It was this famous love that inspired Georgian artist Tamara Kvesitadze to create her monumental moving sculpture in 2010. The lovers move toward each other and become one every 10 minutes and at night, they are illuminated.

On her well-loved Batumi mechanical sculpture, Man and Woman, the artist told us: “People mostly associate it with love, so it stirs positive emotions within viewers. Anyone can interpret this monument as he/she prefers, yet the main message that my work conveys is that being together is possible for only a little time. This short period for someone might mean a whole century. This is the simple idea behind the sculpture.”

argo Cable Car Batumi is Georgia’s second-largest city, and in our opinion the most beautiful. Hop in to one of the carriages of the Argo Cable Car and experience breathtaking panoramic view of the city, the expanse of the Black Sea and the mighty Caucasus Mountains.

The twisting circular DNA-shaped Alphabet Tower watches over the bay like a futuristic lighthouse. As its name suggests, the tower represents all 33 letters of the Georgian alphabet. And it has a nice restaurant up top, too!

man & woman sCulPture The fluid and curvaceous statue of two lovers embracing was inspired by the love story of “Ali and Nino”, an Azerbaijani youth and Georgian princess who fall in

The ride takes you to the summit of the famous Anuria mountain. At the top, adjacent to the upper station of the cable car, is a café and souvenir shop. You will also find a viewing platform, where you can see anything you might have missed on the ride up. The line is 2.5km long, with nine 8-seat carriages operating. A one-way trip takes approximately 10 minutes.

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the batumi arts Center Situated just outside Batumi city center, closer to Makhinjauri than Batumi city, The Batumi Arts Center is the home of the Batumi State Symphony Orchestra, Batumi State Cappella, Batumi State Musical Center Opera Studio, Musical Theater of Youth, and vocal quartet “NOTA”. It boasts 1100 seats and hosts more than 150 concerts and events annually- from classical music and opera to traditional folk dance and film. It was renovated in 2011.

the PiaZZa Piazza Square in the middle of the town was renovated in the last decade to reflect Batumi’s European influence. Relax in one of its many cafes, bars and restaurants against a background of live music while small children (and some bold grown-ups!) dance in the center of the square. Restaurants serve Georgian and European cuisine. There is a clock on the piazza tower with beautiful figures that appear every hour. The surrounding streets offer many interesting shops selling everything from antiques to souvenirs and contemporary goods.

the danCing Fountains A laser, light and musical show that goes on for hours in the dark. Enjoy pop, rock and classical music just meters from the beach and Boulevard.

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More must-sees: • Astronomical clock • 6 May Park • Europe Square • Batumi Sea Port • Fountain of Neptune • Batumi Archeological Museum • Monument of Ilia Chavchavadze


Batumi Wins Prestigious Travel Award By samantha guthrie

On Saturday, June 8, the 2019 World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony was held in Madeira, Portugal. Taking home the coveted award for ‘Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination’ was Georgia’s own Black Sea resort city, Batumi. Hundreds of representatives of leading travel industry institutions from across Europe attended the ceremony. Other nominees for the award were Sofia, Bulgaria, Matera, Italy, Baku, Azerbaijan, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Derry, Northern Ireland, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kutna Hora, Czech Republic. “Being nominated in this category is extremely important for us,” said Sulkhan Glonti, Chairman of the Ajara Department of Tourism, upon learning of the nomination in March. “Recognition by such a prestigious and prominent organization will be positively reflected on the promotion of our region and increase its popularity on the international arena.”

as well as press tours,” Glonti continued. “More than 1000 journalists and tourist agencies were hosted in 2017-2018 by our region, which had reciprocal fruitful outcomes in terms of elevation of the number of travelers, as well as improving awareness in the international respect. Our campaign GoBatumi was part of our goal to win the award,” he added. “In order to overcome the challenges faced by our country and region, efficient communication and campaigns on the international market are vital...Tourism is a business with strong competition, and we are clearly aware of the importance of each success,” said Glonti in March.

‘Europe’s Leading City Destination.’ Portugal was voted ‘Europe’s Leading Destination,’ and Madrid, ‘Europe’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination.’ The World Tourism Awards celebrated Batumi’s win, noting it was aided by “the captivating mix of Belle Époque meets contemporary splendor.”

“I congratulate each resident of Batumi on winning this important award. This is yet another new stage for our city, which will contribute to economic development and to creating a better future for each Georgian family,” said Tornike Rizhvadze, Chairman of the Government of Ajara, who personally attended the ceremony in Madeira.

The World Travel Awards has been operating since 1993. In its own words, the organization’s mission is “to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.”

Other winners at this year’s European Gala include: St. Petersburg, Russia, voted

The winners of the World Travel Awards are determined by online public voting.

The 2019 World Travel Awards World Tour includes regional ceremonies in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Mauritius, La Paz, Bolivia, and Phu Quoc, Vietnam. The winners in each regional category will continue to the Grand Final, which will be held in Muscat, Oman.

“We have spent a lot of time collaborating with international media platforms in recent years, including direct commercials,

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Batumi Out K2 12 Dumbadze St. (+995) 593 33 14 99

then head along to Botanico. Botanico is Batumi’s social space, where you can enjoy drinks, good electronic music and an informal atmosphere full of greenery.

Conte 3 M. Abashidze St. (+995) 555 27 12 12

Soho Beach Lounge Batumi is a large seafront complex featuring an outdoor beach club, an award-winning restaurant, and a sexy nightclub favorite. Called the “Sexiest Place in Batumi” by the Georgian jetsetters, Soho Beach Lounge has established itself as the landmark nightclub and venue for ultimate private parties, large celebrations. It always lives up to its reputation as an East Coast of Georgia party playground for jet setters, celebrities, VIPs, guests and visitors alike.

Zona 5 M. Abashidze Ave. (+995) 555 33 32 33

K2 Café and Souvenirs is a bar and cafe in the heart of Batumi, on the corner of Europe Square. Located in a courtyard of an old neighborhood, K2 is an artistic space with a distinct local character and mood.

botaniCo Near Miracle Park (+995) 599 30 60 11

The best place to mingle with the city’s hip locals and watch a movie. With the green neon letters of the Georgian alphabet that line the notorious Alphabetic Tower flickering through the windows, you can even learn the language while you sip on your drink.

soho Batumi Boulevard (+995) 595 53 57 57

Zona is a cafe-bar in the center of Batumi. A cozy place with tasty food, good prices and live music evenings.

the gate 6 Miracle Park (+995) 422 222 112

If you’re looking for something different and you enjoy healthy food and music,

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Opened in 2016, the GATE has already hosted a number of leading artists from around the world including Audiofly,


lawn and beach, open from June till mid September.

garage night Club 7 Sh. Khimshiashvili St. (+995) 558 93 92 92

seCtor 26 Jennifer Cardini, Sascha Funke, as well as the best Georgian DJs.

Batumi boulevard (+995) 591 31 99 99

iveria beaCh

Best music, star DJ’s, an intimate atmosphere, exquisite food and fun!

Batumi Boulevard (+995) 422 29 99 91

CaCtus

Life is better on Iveria Beach! The best place for drinks, delicious food and fun on seaside. Daily entertainment with music and a DJ every evening. Enjoy an exclusive landscape of combined grass

Cactus is the new, modern style cafĂŠ-bar, where you can taste special cocktails and try special appetizers. At Cactus, working days are for rest and relaxation, while the weekend is devoted to entertainment,

cocktails, music and unforgettable moments.

uP2u

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13th Black Sea Jazz Festival Kicks Off in Batumi Resort on July 18 By lika Chigladze

The summer season in Georgia is rich in cultural and entertaining events taking place across the country. The Black Sea Jazz Festival, annually organized by Eastern Promotions and TBC Status, is one of the pioneer outdoor events, taking place in Batumi Seaside Resort and bringing together the world’s most acclaimed artists from different genres. The Black Sea Jazz Festival has become one of the leading events in Georgia, significant for both the economic and tourism development of the country. This year, Batumi is to host the 13th Jazz Festival from July 18 - 20. The concerts will take place in the Batumi Tennis Club. The lineup is as follows: July 18 - CORY HENRY & The Funk Apostles (USA), July 19 – MOKUMOKU (Geo) and (AMP FIDDLER ft.: special guest Drummer From Detroit (USA), July 20 (INCOGNITO (UK)). The official resident of the festival is DJ Davita Machaidze, known by the stage name DJ. MACHAIDZE. At different times, the Black Sea Festival has hosted such big names as HUGH MASEKELA, SERGIO MENDES , TANIA MARIA QUARTET, LISA STANSFIELD, SNOOP DOGG, AL JARREAU, MACY GRAY, JAMIROQUAI, Ms. LAURYN HILL, ROBERT PLANT and even THE PRODIGY: historic days for the festival.

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Giorgi Kereselidze, Director of Eastern Promotions and organizer of the Festival, talked to WHERE.GE about this year’s program and performers: “As always, this year we aim to offer the audience an interesting and varied program. Over the years, the Black Sea Jazz Festival has become ever more diverse. We always try to include “happy” music in our program, since this is what holidaymakers need and expect when they come to the seaside. We do our best to meet their needs and provide quality positive music to guarantee them a good time. While Tbilisi Jazz Festival is more conservative and is where jazz enthusiasts can enjoy relatively serious jazz music, the Batumi Black Sea Jazz Festival is more fun, incorporating various genres like rock, funk, electronic music, soul and hip hop. The concerts last longer, and after performances guests can stay and dance until late,” he told us, adding that currently their aim is to stick to this format and expand it even more.

“This year’s program is energetic, diverse and fun. We were eager to invite Corny Henry to perform in Georgia. He has become one of the top-most acclaimed musicians in demand, so has a very busy schedule. Luckily, he was free on July 18, so we planned the entire program around this date. He will open the festival with his group The Funk Apostles. The next day we have two more amazing performances. On July 19, we present a very interesting Georgian musical group MokuMoku, that is made up of young gifted musicians. I think through a good marketing strategy they can go beyond the borders and perform at international festivals in different countries. Although it’s difficult to enter and establish oneself on the international stage, their music is so good and different that I think it is achievable. The second performer that day is an American musician AMP FIDDLER, who is notable for his innovative approaches to music. He has very distinctive projects, I have attended two of them and was impressed. He feels the audience and knows how to direct his music. The Georgian audience is so energetic and expressive that the artist will feel it and we hope that evening will be unforgettable. On July 20, the festival closes with legendary British group Incognito on its jubilee tour, and we are happy to have put Georgia on that list. Every evening, the concerts will be followed by DJ sets which sometimes go on till sunrise. Jam sessions are no novelty


at the festival, as well as the participation of many interesting local musicians,” the festival organizer said.

number of celebrated artists including Pri Fiddler, George Clinton, Moodymann, Stephanie McKay, Jamiroquai, and Prince.

Black Sea Jazz Festival 2019 Program:

Within the frames of the Black Sea Jazz Festival, the artist will present his new project AMP FIDDLER ft. Drummer From Detroit. He will perform together with his old friend Andrés known as ‘Drummer From Detroit’. Since the 1990s, he has been creating funk music, incorporating hip hop and other music genres.

CorY henrY & the FunK aPostles (usa)

inCognito Cory Henry is an American jazz pianist, gospel musician, music producer and Grammy Award holder who started his music career in 2006 by touring with various mainstream and gospel artists such as (Snarky Puppy, Michael McDonald, P. Diddy, Boyz II Men, Kenny Garrett, The Roots, Israel Houghton, Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin, and Yolanda Adams). Over the course of his career, Henry has released three albums, Gotcha Now Doc (2012), First Steps (2014), and The Revival (2016), that very soon charted on the Billboard charts. His songs have charted on the Top Gospel Albums and Top Jazz Albums.

amP Fiddler Ft. drummer From detroit (usa) Joseph Anthony “Amp” Fiddler is an American singer, songwriter, keyboardist, and record producer from Detroit, Michigan. His musical styles include funk, soul, dance and electronica music. Since the 80s, Amp is considered one of the leading funk performers. He has collaborated with a

elements of hip hop, jazz and funk. To date, the band has released three albums: Blues Build The Temple (2015), Black Heaven (2017), Chicago Marinade (2019) and several singles including ‘Sugar Glider’, ‘Hako is Alive and She Is 59’ and ‘Filip’. MokuMoku has taken part in such international festivals as MadCool Festival 2018 and Bristol Upfest (2017). Currently, the band is working on their fourth studio album named ‘Feast’.

dj. maChaidZe

Incognito is a British acid jazz band. Their debut album, Jazz Funk, was released in 1981. Since then, for over 40 years the band members have released more than 15 albums. The band members have changed time to time, yet Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick, the band’s leader, singer, guitarist, composer, and record producer, has remained. The band has featured Linda Muriel, Jocelyn Brown, Maysa Leak, Tony Momrelle, Imaani, Vanessa Haynes, Mo Brandis, Natalie Williams, Carleen Anderson, Pamela (PY) Anderson, Kelli Sae, and Joy Malcolm.

moKumoKu The group was established in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2014. Their music embraces

Georgian pioneer DJ MACHAIDZE is well known to the audience. His music incorporates Funky House, Disco House, Jazz House and Soulful House sounds. Tickets for the13th Black Sea Jazz Festival are available online at TKT.GE. The festival is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Ajara and is carried out within the frames of the Check in Georgia State Program.

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One for the Diary: Echowaves 2019 Electronic Music Festival Set for August 22-25 By lika Chigladze

This year, Echowaves will take place from August 22 – 25. The lineup is already set and tickets are on sale. For more details, check out the Echowaves Festival Facebook page. GEORGIA TODAY talked with Head of PR and Marketing of the Echowaves Festival, Nini Rekhviashvili, about the festival, artists and preparation works. If you are planning to attend a dance-festival this summer, look no further than a visit to the Anaklia sea resort for the latest installment in a hugely popular electronic music festival: Echowaves. This year, Georgia is hosting Echowaves for the second time already, and promises an even more impressive lineup, its renowned stunning setting, spectacular effects and many interesting activities. The multi-genre festival brings quality underground music to the golden beach, offering beautiful sunsets and warm sea to swim in. Once a small village, Anaklia has been transformed into an important port city in recent years, making it one of the most colorful and vibrant places to go and attracting people from around the globe. Whether you’re a fan of house or techno, bass or experimental, electro or EDM, there’s guaranteed to be something that can give you a buzz.

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How did Echowaves start and what makes this festival so special? Echowaves was successfully launched in Georgia, on Anaklia beach, in August 2018, powered by ‘Exit,’ which holds the title of best festival in Europe 2014. Last year, Echowaves hosted 150 artists and more than 10,000 guests, and ultimately earned fame with its scale and positive feedback in the region as well as in Europe. It was included on the shortlist of the best festivals of 2018. This year, over four days, you can enjoy quality music in an incredible atmosphere, accompanied by amazing views of the sea and beach. Different musical stages and activities will be arranged in the area, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience to visitors. How are preparation works going on location?

Our team is working non-stop ahead of the August opening. The area will be equipped with all the necessary facilities. In the vicinity of the festival will be a number of guest houses and hotels providing accommodation to guests. Echowaves has played a significant role in developing tourism in the Samegrelo region as well as offering citizens a festival in line with European standards and boosting interest in electronic music. The festival is highly important from an economical perspective, giving the local inhabitants the opportunity to earn additional income. Yet the festival has bigger perspectives, benefitting from a unique location on the Black Sea coast, and favorable weather conditions. What should guests expect from Echowaves 2019? After last year’s successful start, interest in the festival has grown, which excites us


and at the same time increases our responsibility. Subsequently, the festival team is working at full capacity to exceed the expectations of the attendees. Echowaves 2019 will have a bigger scale and provide more diverse music genres to music fans and ravers. New stages will be added as well as gaming and sport spaces. But most importantly, the lineup will include internationally renewed artists that have not performed in the country before.

This year’s lineup will feature sets from well-known artists Adriatique, Ben Klock, Dj Tennis, KiNK, Musumeci, Petre Inspirescu, Red Axes, RØDHÅD, Tom Trago, Valentino Kanzyani, VRIL Live and YokoO. Georgian artists will be performing by their side. Georgia boasts a vibrant electronic music scene with a number of distinguished local artists, so it is important for us to collaborate with them so that both Georgian and foreign audiences can listen

to them. Our mission is to run Echowaves 2019 at its best, to give amazing experiences and charge guests with high emotions. One of our core aims is to introduce Georgia to tourists from a different perspective and promote our country internationally. We have an ambition for the festival to establish itself as one of the top music festivals not only in the region, but as a truly global showcase.

Night Serenades

International Festival ‘Night Serenades’ was established 37 years ago. Founder and permanent Artistic Director of the festival is the world famous violinist-virtuoso, Liana Isakadze. Along with her, this year, for the second time, musician Giorgi Isakadze will also serve as Artistic Director. This year the ‘Night Serenades’ festival will be held for the 11th times since its revival. On August 25, 27, 28 , the newly restored Ilia Chavchavadze State Drama Theater will host the Night Serenades Festival in Batumi. The final two concerts will take place on September 2 and 4, 2019, in the Grand Hall of the Tbilisi State Conservatoire. The base orchestra of the festival is ‘The Virtuosos of Georgia,’ a chamber

orchestra founded on the initiative of Liana Isakadze. Principal Conductor of the festival is Maestro Vakhtang Matchavariani (Georgia/Germany); guest conductor: Maestro Pantelis Kogiamis (Greece/ Austria).

Surguladze (Mezo-Soprano, Georgia/ Italy); Anna-Liisa Bezrodny (Violin, UK/ Finland); Jan-Erik Gustafsson (Cello, Finland); Forte Trio – State Trio of Kazakhstan; David Shamanauri (Trumpet, Georgia); Konstantine Vardeli String Quartet (Georgia); young pianist Sandro Nebieridze (Georgia).

This year’s festival performers include world famous musicians: Nana Jashvili (Violin, Georgia/Germany); Nino

The Director of the festival is Nina Tsagareli and the Organizer – ‘Art Alliance’ Company

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Upcomung Festivals in Ajara batumi blaCK sea Festival Dedicated to classical music, Batumi MusicFest is held in Georgia annually, in the magical city by the Black Sea. The founder and artistic director of the festival is famous Georgian pianist Eliso Bolkvadze. The festival presents internationally renowned soloists and has become an important platform for young musicians. Master classes inspire and motivate young musicians from all around Georgia. In the very heart of the magnificent region of Ajara, the Batumi MusicFest is an important highlight for presenting traditional Georgian folklore, the extraordinary beauty of nature and unique hospitality.

international birdwatChing Festival Every year, in September the International Birdwatching Festival is held in Ajara. Foreign experts, volunteers and tourists from different countries will come to the region to watch the massive migration of raptors and other birds on the East Black Sea shore. Within the framework of the festival, various field seminars, lectures and entertaining excursions are offered by Georgian and foreign specialists in the bird watching areas: Chorokhi Delta, Chaisubani and Sakhalvasho villages, Batumi Boulevard, Batumi Port and Kolkheti National Park.

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One of the most popular directions of eco-tourism, birdwatching has high potential in Ajjara. The Black Sea coast, particularly the vicinity of Batumi, is known as the “Eastern Black Sea Migration Corridor”. More than 1 000 000 raptors migrate through the corridor annually and the area has one of the highest volumes of raptor migration, ranking third in the world and for that reason, it attracts more and more tourists and scientists from different countries. The Festival has been held in the region since 2012 and contributes to the development of birdwatching tourism in Ajara and the conservation of migrating raptors.

batumoba– CitY Festival One festival that Batumi locals favor above all is their city’s namesake event ‘Batumoba’ which takes place at the beginning of Autumn, every year. The program of the festival consists of outdoor activities: celebratory marches, theater performances, markets of all sorts, concerts, exhibitions and more.

batumi international art-house Film Festival (biaFF) When speaking of the art, it is impossible to miss the Batumi International Art House Film Festival which was founded in 2006 and since has been opening its doors to

artists and art enthusiasts every autumn. The focus of this festival is art house and independent film, enabling Georgian cinema artists to meet famous directors, producers, film critics and to share their experiences. Cinephiles take just as much interest in the festival as artists themselves because the event offers screenings of those newly released films featuring in world theaters. Seminars and workshops are an inseparable part of the BIAFF festival, where Georgian and foreign professionals hold masterclasses and discussions. BIAFF 2019 festival: 15-22 September.

rural tourism Festival ‘gandagana’ Since 2015, every October Ajara hosts its rural tourism festival ‘Gandagana’. Over two consecutive days, Batumi’s Europe Square smells delicious as each Ajaran municipality presents its local produce, food and decor, letting visitors explore Ajara without leaving Batumi city. Tasting new or well-known dishes and wine, and participating in culinary master classes is the major part of the festival, as well as folk and modern music bands and fun competitions that leave an indelible impression on spectators. ‘Gandagana’ festival is indeed worth devoting two days of October for.


Cultural Guide in Ajara theaters and ConCert halls batumi ilia ChavChavadZe state drama theater 1 Rustaveli St., 32 Melashvili St. (+995) 422 27 06 14/555 36 63 99

The Batumi Puppet Theater dates back to the 1930s. A similar theater was opened in Batumi in 1936 and the professional theater was formed due to the popularity of the former amateur puppet show. The building where the Puppet and Youth Theater Company is located is one of the oldest and most unique architectural monuments in Batumi and throughout Georgia. The building is legally recognized as a national cultural monument.

Vladimer Khmaladze. It has 1100 seats in the main auditorium and presents over 150 concerts and events every year, from classical music, opera to traditional folk dance and film.

blaCK sea arena Shekvetili (+995) 599 12 06 06

batumi summer theater Batumi Boulevard

Batumi State Drama Theater, named after Ilia Chavchavadze, is situated in the city center and was opened in 1952. It is the oldest drama theater in Ajara. The theater is considered the center of the cultural and artistic life of the city and the region. Theatrical performances include a variety of genres: comedy, tragedy, phantasmagoria, plays and performances for children and young people. Before each performance, tourists are given the performance summary in English, Russian and Turkish.

PuPPet and Youth state theater 49 M. Abashidze St., Batumi (+995) 422 27 05 93

The Batumi Summer Theater is located on the central part of Batumi Boulevard and is designed for concerts and other entertainment events. The architecturally unique wooden building is adorned with wooden ornaments and features a ceiling painted in imitation of the sky. The Summer Theater has a long history. It was renovated in 2013.

batumi state musiC Center 1 O. Dimitriadis St. (+995) 422 27 62 40/599 090 486 Situated just outside Batumi city center, along the sea front, the Batumi Arts Center is the home of the Batumi State Symphony Orchestra, Batumi State Cappella, Batumi State Musical Center Opera Studio, Musical Theater of Youth, and quartet `NOT`. The Batumi Arts Center was reconstructed in 2011 by architect

The Black Sea Arena was opened in 2016. Ever since, the largest concert hall in the entire Black Sea region has hosted a number of stars, among them 5 times Grammy award-winner and a famous American singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera, violinist Vanessa Mae, legendary bands ‘Scorpions’ and ‘Aerosmith’, as well as musicians such as Keti Melua and Eric Benet. The Black Sea Arena is busy with pop and folk concerts year-round. Here, you can also stroll the Musician’s Park with statues and extracts of the world’s top singersElton John and Michael Jackson among them- the perfect chance for selfies with the stars!

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batumi CirCus 2 Baratashvili St. (+995) 599 68 02 23

There has been a circus in Batumi since 1908. It presents shows by local and foreign troupes and, besides the acrobats and clowns, and the sad use of animals on occasion, the circus building itself will grab your attention.

Cinema Cinema aPollo 17 Abashidze St. (+995) 422 22 72 27/ 322 55 50 00/322 00 70 07 Movie house ‘Apollo’ was constructed on a beautiful avenue of Old Batumi at the beginning of the 20th century. The Art Nouveau style of the facade dates back to 1911. The cinema was reopened in 2011 with a restored facade under its original name, ‘Apollo’.

museums in ajara ajara state art museum 8 Z. Gorgiladze St., Batumi (+995) 422 27 38 94 Tuesday - Sunday, 10:00 - 18:00

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The museum was founded in 1998 and preserves paintings by famous Georgian and foreign artists (Niko Pirosmani, D. Kakabadze, L. Gudiashvili, E. Akhvlediani, S. Bakalovich, A. Zomer, A. Thern, N. Ignatov, A. Zankovsky and others), graphics and sculptures, and works of decorative art (ceramics, wood carving, glass work, engravings, and tapestries). Overall, 500 works are presented in the museum.

Khariton aKhvlediani museum oF ajara 4 Khariton Akhvlediani St., Batumi (+995) 422 27 11 75/422 27 09 42 Daily, 10:00 - 17:00 Ticket price: 3 GEL Guide service: 10 GEL The museum was founded in 1908. It conserves unique archaeological materials from the 12th-9th centuries BCE and the 7th-6th centuries BCE, including a Greek black-glaze crater (a vessel used to hold wine or other liquids) from the Antique period, engraved axes and sculptures. It also has the ‘Gonio hoard’ - a collection of different treasures which comprises an intaglio depicting Aphrodite and Eros, gold-chased bowl from the 1st-2nd centuries CE, a gold figure of a disc thrower, fragments of a golden belt, pendants with Helios and other stylized images, beads, foils, pendants, cult statues (bronze), as well as various samples of ethnographic, folk and applied art from the turn of 19th-20th centuries CE. The museum stores 180 exhibits in total-unique items, collections, paintings, photos, sculptures, jewelry, antiques, art pieces, over 2,000 manuscripts in Georgian, Russian, Armenian, Arabic, Turkish,

Persian and other languages, 63,000 books in different languages, many of which are rarities. The museum yard features a whale skeleton and ornamented fragments of cultural monuments with ancient scripts.

batumi arCheologiCal museum 77 Chavchavadze St., Batumi (+995) 422 27 65 64 10:00-18:00 Ticket: 3 GEL Guide service: 5 GEL Children under 3: Free.

The museum was founded in 1994 and preserves unique archaeological materials from the Bronze Age to medieval times, which includes specimens from archaeological excavations throughout Ajara and Batumi (Pichvnari, Namchaduri, Khikhadziri, Kvashta) conducted by joint Georgian-British expeditions, as well as samples that were discovered by accident. Since 1998, the joint expedition of Batumi Archaeological Museum and Oxford University Ashmolean Museum enriched the museum with new artefacts. Its collection includes valuable coins of Georgian and foreign origin, bronze, glass and ceramic ware. Restoration and photo laboratories also operate here as


well as science library, ceramics studioworkshop and a shop-salon.

the nobel brothers batumi teChnologiCal museum 3 Leselidze St., Batumi (+995) 577 29 99 49 Daily, 10:00-18:00 Ticket: 3 GEL Guide service: 10 GEL

The Nobel Brothers Batumi Technological Museum was founded in 2007. The museum is located in the same building where, one century ago, the ‘Batumi Office’ of the Nobel brothers’ oil industry company was established. The museum preserves a number of interesting items depicting the economic and cultural development of Old Batumi. The museum provides visitors the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the history of tea culture as well as the interesting biography of Lao Jin Jao. The museum also has exhibits covering the history of commercial Georgian wines, including the history of churches in Batumi that produce wines.

maKhuntseti ethnograPhiC museum

(+995) 591 71 42 53 Daily, 09:00 – 20.00 Ticket: 3 GEL Children under 6 and orphans, employees of Museums, ICOM members, people with disabilities, soldiers, refugees: Free entry The museum houses ethnographic, old living things and various materials.

gonio-aPsaros museum-reserve 55 Apsarosi highway (+995) 558 90 77 73/577 59 19 01 Daily, except Mondays, 09:00 - 19:00 Ticket: 5 GEL, Guide: 15 GEL Gonio-Apsaros Fortress (I century) is located 12 km south of Batumi, on the left bank of the River Chorokhi. One of Georgia’s most ancient settlements was located around this fortress. Due to its strategic location, Gonio Fortress became a supporting citadel first for the Romans and later to the Byzantians and Ottomans along the eastern Black Sea coastline. Respectively, the fortress has several layers: the Roman layer (3rd-4th centuries BCE), the Byzantine layer (6th-7th centuries CE) and the Ottoman layer (16th century CE). The history of Gonio-Apsaros fortress has ties to the myth of Jason and the Argonauts. According to the legend, King Aeetes buried his son Apsaros, who was killed by Jason as he fled, in the territory of Gonio. In addition, according to some sources, Mathias, 1 of 12 disciples of Jesus Christ, is believed to be buried there. There is also a museum inside the fortress. The museum reserve was founded in 1994. The area comprises the GonioApsaros fortress and its surroundings.

Archaeological excavations conducted in this territory have led to the discovery of materials from the Hellenistic period. Public buildings have been found, inside which various items have been discovered (pottery, bronze, silver, gold, Justinian I coins, and other items). The ‘Gonio hoard’ is especially significant because of its unique jewels, which are presently in the collection of the Ajara State Museum.

Petra-tsiKhisdZiri state museumreserve Tsikhisdziri, Kobuleti Daily, 10:00 - 18:00

The museum-reserve was founded in 1989. It consists of an early feudal monument, the Petra Fortress complex and its surrounding territories. The museum preserves materials discovered during archeological excavations on the territory of the complex from the period of the Bronze Age to the early Middle Ages.

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eXhibition sPaCes ContemPorarY art sPaCe 1/5 Z. Gamsakhurdia St., Batumi (+995) 593 60 45 95 10:00-18:00 (Except Sunday) Free entrance The idea to set up the Contemporary Art Space came along in 2011. It was established by local artists– photographs, painters and film directors. The first experimental exhibition was held in 2012. Eventually, the Contemporary Art Space was established in 2014 under the Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Ajara. It hosts 15 exhibitions, 20 master-classes and 1 international photo festival a year. A weekly cinema club and art hour for children are also organized here.

tbC gallerY 37 Zubalashvili St., Batumi (+995) 577 12 05 33 Monday-Friday- 10:00-18:00, Thursday from 10:00-14:00 This gallery is mainly oriented on the presentations of new books, movies and musical discs, exhibits paintings and holds concerts and hosts creative evenings. Presently, it is said to be one of the most active and prestigious galleries.

entertainment argo Gogebashvili St., Batumi (+995) 593 35 29 08

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Entertainment center Argo is located on Anuria Mountain, 250 meters above sea level. The complex offers spectacular views of Batumi, the Black Sea and the surrounding mountains. The center comprises restaurants, cafes, retail shops, open air halls, podium and roof terraces. Visitors use the cable car to reach Argo which makes their journey fun and exiting, giving them the chance to snap the unique panoramic views of the town and surroundings. The entertainment center and cable car have already become one of the most visited tourist attractions of the region.

tsitsinatela ParK Shekvetili Village (+995) 577 16 22 53 18:00-00:00 Amusement park ‘Tsitsinatela’ is located only a few kilometers away from Batumi, in village Shekvetili, between Ureki borough and Kobuleti. Here the young and adults – all have fun. During the season, the park accommodates 300 000 guests which is not surprising since 36 ultramodern EU standard attractions are operating in ‘Tsitsinatela’. 8 of them for children, 17 for the whole family and 11 for those who favor extreme sensations. In addition to a game machine hall, ‘A Happy town’- a maze for children, a bowling track, two open pizzerias, a coffee house, a bar and seven shopping booths are in your service from June until October.

aQua ParK Sh. Khimshiashvili St., Batumi (+995) 422 21 01 01/597 99 99 93 09:00-21:00 Ticket price: 20-30 GEL

dolPhinarium 51 Rustaveli St., Batumi (+995) 422 22 17 30 http://dolphinarium.ge/en/ Daily at 16:00, 19:00 and 21:00

On holiday with the kids in Batumi and want to take them to see something different? Try the famed Batumi Dolphinarium. The shows usually take place three times a day, with the exception of Monday, when there are only two shows in the evening. Book in advance if you can or face long queues and the risk the 700 seats are sold out. The shows are multi-lingual (Georgian-English-Russian) and have a “ring master” directing the performances while two or three swimmers direct the dolphins to jump, dive, dance, swim and play with the crowd in exchange for fish and hugs. All seats have a great view of the giant tank, but be warned- those sitting in the first two rows WILL get wet! Even more exciting is to actually swim with the dolphins, which you can do on a separate ticket and after a bit of training with one of the dolphinarium staff members. Definitely an experience for the bucket list! There is also a very nice old aquarium next door worth checking out!


PanoramiC wheel 1 S. Khimshiashvili St., Miracles Park 11:00-20:00 The Batumi Ferris Wheel is one of the city’s most impressive destination points. Sit cozily in a safe cabin and get ready to enjoy the panoramic view of the old and new Batumi for the next 10 minutes. The Ajarian vista will reveal itself before your eyes at 55m high. The Ferris Wheel accommodates 240 people.

batumi botaniCal garden Grean Cape Road (+995) 422 27 00 33/ 577 10 16 07 09:00-20:00 Ticket price: 8-15 GEL Guide se rvice: 50 GEL (Electric car - 30 GEL)

Khulotago Cable Car Tago Village, Khulo 08:00-20:00 The cable car in the municipality of Khulo ranks second among the unsupported cable cars in Europe. The length of the cable car is 1700 meters and the height is 350 m. A trip there is an interesting adventure with beautiful views and amazing sensations.

33 M. Abashidze St., Batumi TEL (+995) 422 22 60 20 http://princessbatumi.com

Casino ajara 26 May Sq. TEL (+995) 233 55 19

batumvelo 2 Ninoshvili St., Batumi (+995) 577 3776 76 Batumvelo cycle routes cover the old town streets and Batumi seaside part promising you the chance to discover the city with pleasure. To get a BatumVelo card visit the tourist information center at the main entrance to the Boulevard, near the fountains. You need your identity card or passport. Price of a BatumVelo card 10 GEL, cost per hour– 2 GEL.

Casinos Boasting one of the widest varieties of flora in the world, Batumi Botanical Garden was established in 1912 by the prominent botanist and geographer Andrey Krasnov. The garden is 111 hectares and contains flora from nine phyto-geographic areas: East Asia, North America, New Zealand, South America, the Himalayas, Mexico, Australia, the Mediterranean, and the Caucasian humid subtropics. Visitors can go through the botanical garden by foot or by carts, which can be rented from the garden’s administration.

PrinCess Casino batumi

Casino ajarabet 7a Akhmeteli St., 10 Agmashenebeli St., Batumi (+995) 32 271 10 10

Casino euroPebet 5 Chavchavadze St., Batumi (+995) 32 219 40 00

eCliPse Casino 1 Lech and Maria Kaczynski St., Batumi TEL (+995) 557 11 00 00

welmond Casino 2/4 Shavsheti St., Batumi TEL (+995) 422 24 20 20

PeaCe Casino 2/21 Vazha Pshavela/Ninoshvili St., Hotel Sheraton, Batumi TEL (+995) 557 77 00 00

Casino iveria 1 Ninoshvili St., Batumi TEL (+995) 422 22 53 62, (+995) 422 22 53 63

Casino international 40 Rustaveli St., Batumi TEL (+995) 422 23 00 23

Casino batumi golden PalaCe 8/10 K. Gamsakhurdia St., Batumi (+995) 568 00 44 44

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Batumi Event Calendar blaCK sea jaZZ Festival Batumi Tennis Club July 18 CORY HENRY & The Funk Apostles (USA) Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 100-200 GEL

July 31 SALIO Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 50 GEL August 9 GIGA MIKABERIDZE Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 30 GEL

July 19 MOKUMOKU Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 100-200 GEL July 20 INCOGNITO Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 100-200 GEL

uP2You Seafront Promenade July19 DJ SPILLER Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 50 GEL July 26 Presented by the event company “Click” STEFAN BINIAK (Dusted Decks) and A2K Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 20 GEL

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August 10 SEV BATUMI Start time: 22:00 Ticket: 35 GEL August 11 Max The Sax With Georgian DJs. Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 20-30 GEL

blaCK sea arena Shekvetili August 6 Jessie J Six years after dropping her platinum-selling debut ‘Who You Are’ and winning the prestigious Critics’ Choice prize at the BRIT Awards, London-born Jessie J is readying her confessional new album R.O.S.E., released in early 2018. With DJ Camper (Nicki Minaj, Mary J. Blige and Mariah

Carey) producing, Jessie J wrote the entire album herself, making this her most personal statement ever. Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 70-250 GEL 13 August THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS Jared and Shannon Leto have sold over five million albums worldwide and the band’s videos have more than 300 million views on YouTube. They have received numerous awards, including a dozen MTV awards worldwide, a Billboard Music award and honors from NME, Kerrang! and Fuse. Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 50-200 GEL August 17 Jansugh and Vakhtang Kakhidze’s musical evening In the first part of the concert, Jansugh Kakhidze’s most iconic songs of all time will be performed. In the second part, the compositions created for film and


theater by Vakhtang Kakhidze, including his folk jazz compositions, will be performed. Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 20-80 GEL Festival Verdi in Georgia August 16-26 August 16

Giuseppe Verdi “Un Ballo in Maschera” Teatro Regio di Parma Production Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theater Music Director of the production- Zaza Azmaiparashvili Director, Scenographer, Costume Designer- Pierluigi Samaritani Starring: Otar Jorjikia (Riccardo), Makvala Aspanidze (Amelia), Sulkhan Gvelesiani (Renato), Nana Dzidziguri (Ulrica), Mariana Beridze (Oscar) Start time: 19:00 Ticket: 15-200 GEL August 23 AIDA Giuseppe Verdi Arena di Verona Production Conductor: Pier Giorgio Morandi Director: Alfonso Signorini Starring: Suzana Branchini (Aida), Deyan Vatchkov (The King of Egypt), Daniela Barcellona (Amneris), Sergio Escobar (Radamès), Gabriele Viviani (Amonasro), George Andguladze (Ramfis), Filippo Micale (A messenger), Gonca Dogan (Voice of the High Priestess) Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 20-80 GEL

August 25 Opera Gala A final concert of the Festival, Featuring international opera stars. Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 20-80 GEL

batumgora Venue: Cable car Argo DAILY FOLKLORE SHOWS The whole summer through, you will have a wonderful opportunity to attend traditional folk shows every day from 8 pm. Enjoy UNESCO recognized traditional folk dances and songs, Georgian drum show and master classes in dancing 250 meters above the sea. Start time: 20:00

tional Summer Academy of Music (MISA). Conductor- Georgy Revishvili Start time: 19:00 Free entry July 21-25 The art school of M. Balanchivadze will host the second international pianist competition MISA GRAND PRIX Start time: 19:00 Free entry

batumi tennis Club Batumi Boulevard July 20 INCOGNITO After Party: Georgian pioneer DJ Machaidze– listeners love him and enjoy his harmonic house music, a selection which contains: Funky House, Disco House, Jazz House and Soulful House. Start time: 20:00

batumi state musiCal Center 1 O. Dimitriadis St. August 17 Buba Kikabidze 81st anniversary Start time: 18:00 Ticket: 50-100 GEL

batumi summer theater Batumi Boulevard July 20 MISA Gala concert. Pianist Shorena Tsintsabadze, founder and ideological inspirer, presents the Interna-

August 13 Goran Bregovi A composer of many famous songs and soundtracks, Bregovic worked with director of many well-known movies Emir Kusturica and made songs which featured singers like Iggy Pop and Cesária Évora. His music mixes Balkan folk, rock and symphony. Start time: 21:00 Ticket: 30-50 GEL

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eChowaves Festival Anaklia Friends Package: Buy 5 tickets and get 1 free ‘A Tent for 2’ deal includes: a tent on wooden frame, mattress, bedding. There are lockers, showers, toilets, a restaurant and parking on the territory August 25-28 EchoWaves is an electronic music festival that invites you to experience the beautiful seaside resort of Anaklia, Georgia, in the shadow of stunning mountains, promising unforgettable summer memories. Start time: 23:59 Ticket: 120-200 GEL

international Festival night serenades August 25 – September 4

August 25 Festival Opening Ceremony– Sandro Nebieridze Pyotr Tchaikovsky– Serenade Interval

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Samuel Barber– Adagio for Strings D. Shostakovich– Piano Concerto No. 1 Sandro Nebieridze– Piano David Shamanauri– Trumpet Vakhtang Matchavariani– Conductor Pyotr Tchaikovsky- Serenade for Strings Samuel Barber- Adagio for Strings Dmitri Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.1 Venue: 1 Rustaveli St., Batumi Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-40 GEL August 27 Vivaldi ‘Four Seasons’– Nana Iashvili Dmitri Shostakovich– Chamber Symphony Interval Antonio Vivaldi– Four Seasons Pantelis Kogiamis– Conductor Nana Iashvili– Violin Dmitri Shostakovich– Chamber Symphony Antonio Vivaldi– Four Seasons Venue: Ilia Chavchavadze State Drama Theater, 1 Rustaveli St., Batumi Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-40 GEL August 28 XX Century Masterpieces Benjamin Britten– Simple Symphony Pablo Sarasate- Carmen Fantasy for Violin and Piano Ana Lisa Bezrodny- Violin Interval Sulkhan Tsintsadze- Miniatures Vaja Azarashvili– Cello Concerto Jan-Erik Gustafsson- Cello Vakhtang Matchavariani– Conductor Benjamin Britten Simple Symphony Pablo Sarasate- Carmen Fantasy for Violin and Piano Sulkhan Tsintsadze Miniatures Vaja Azarashvili Cello Concerto Venue: Ilia Chavchavadze State Drama

Theater, 1 Rustaveli St., Batumi Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-40 GEL September 2 ‘The Night Serenades’ in Tbilisi Edward Elgar– Serenade for Strings Bedřich Smetana- Trio for Piano and Strings in G minor ‘Forte Trio’– State Trio of Kazakhstan: Yerlan Serkebayev– Piano Badgat Abilkhanov– Violin Kurvanzhan Akhatov– Cello Interval Anton Von Webern– Langsamer Satz Dmitri Shostakovich- Piano Concerto No.1 Sandro Nebieridze– Piano David Shamanauri– Trumpet Vakhtang Matchavariani– Conductor Edward Elgar– Serenade for Strings Bedich Smetana– Trio for Piano and Strings in G minor Anton Webern– Langsamer Satz Dmitri Shostakovich– Piano Concerto No.1 Venue: 8/10 Griboedi St., Tbilisi Start time: 20:00 Ticket: 10-40 GEL September 4 Manuel De Falla’s ‘El Amor Brujo’– Nino Surguladze Ludwig Van Beethoven– Symphony No. 8 Interval Manuel De Falla– The Three Cornered Hat Manuel De Falla– El Amor Brujo Nino Surguladze- Vocals Vakhtang Machavariani- Conductor

batumi blaCK sea musiC and art Festival 1 - 10 SEPTEMBER September 1


Festival Orchestra Conductor- David Mukeria Claudio Piastra- Guitar Eliso Bolkvadze- piano BeethovenCreatures of the Promethe RodrigoConcerto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra Saint-SaensPiano concerto N2 Op.22 Venue: Batumi Drama Theater Start time: 19:00 September 2 Festival Orchestra Conductor- David Mukeria Alexander Gadjiev- Piano Luisa Sello- flute Gari Antonian- trumpet AzarashviliNocturne for String Orchestra Vivaldi-

Flute Concerto in F Major, Op. 10; No.5 RV434 Philipp Emanuel BachFlute Concerto in D minor, Wq 22 ChostakovitchConcerto No 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings Venue: Batumi Drama Theater Start time: 19:00

Fondation Michel Sogny Start time: 14:00 Lydie Solomon Recital Beethoven Ravel Sogny Start time: 19:00 Venue: Batumi Drama Theater

September 3 Festival Orchestra Conductor- Giuseppe Lanzetta Claudio Mansutti- Clarinet David Aladashvili/piano Beethoven “Egmont” Overture Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A major, K.622 Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 Op.73 “Emperor” Venue: Batumi Drama Theater Start time: 19:00

September 7 Henri Matchavariani Exhibition Venue: Ajara Art Museum Start time: 17:00 Guram Odisharia Poetry Evening Start time: 19:00 Venue: Batumi Drama Theater

September 4 Piano Master Classes Eliso Bolkvadze Venue: Batumi Drama Theater Start time: 14:00 September 5 METHOD MICHEL SOGNY SOS TALENT Fondation Michel Sogny Start time: 14:00 Alexandra Massaleva- Recital Sogny- “Derives” Edition Durand Liszt- Piano Sonata in B Minor Liszt- Rigoletto Paraphrase Start time: 19:00 Venue: Batumi Drama Theater September 6 METHOD MICHEL SOGNY SOS TALENT

September 8 Open Air Gala Concert Venue: Dadiani Palace in Zugdidi Start time: 18:00 September 9 Michel Sogny Impact of Musical Education Seminar Start time: 15:00 Art Palace of Western Guria “Piano Virtuoso” Barbare Tataradze, Ilia Lomtatidze Venue: Batumi Drama Theater Start time: 18:00 September 10 GALA CONCERT Stars of Tomorrow: Liza Megrelishvili, Anahit Stelmashova, Eka Nikoladze, Barbare Chkhaidze, Barbare Tataradze, lia Lomtatidze Venue: Batumi Drama Theater Start time: 19:00

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Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

to stay


Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

Tips for Your Hotel Search in Ajara . . . e c i o My Ch

Konstantin Megrelishvili Managing Partner at Brainstorm Hotels that created unique accomodation niche in the tourism market of Ajara.

the admiral hotel, batumi The Admiral, boutique hotel in the heart of old city of Batumi, featuring amazing views and unique lodging experience. The guest oriented philosophy of the hotel is: Attitude Matters.

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to stay


Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

Castello mare hotel Castello Mare - the unique location in the middle of the nature on the top of the cape. You can hear birds singing in the morning!

Colosseum marina hotel Collesseum - so far the only hotel in the city located on the beach front. It is themed exterier design makes it interesting attraction.

hotel oasis ChaKvi Oasis Hotel - So far, the only hotel rich of facilities and infrustructure like kids aquapark, beach, sports, leisure, rooms, entertainment and many more. It’s location makes it an attractive summer resort.

PiaZZa boutiQue hotel The Piazza Hotel. One of the first hotels to offer themed room designs.

to stay

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“Shine brighter…. at eforea Spa” At eforea Spa guests can enjoy services that focus on balance and wellness, whilst embarking on a transformative journey of the senses, helping them to emerge brighter. Spa and fitness services have become more and more popular nowadays, therefore we constantly work on exceeding guests’ expectations by adding special services. We are proud to be the only hotel in the city which can offer guests the following unique features: • SALT WATER POOL - The salt water pool produces softerfeeling water. The water is not as salty as seawater, but has lower chlorine level, which is much gentler on the eyes and skin. • HIMALAYAN SALT WALL - Featuring beautifully illuminated, hand-carved salt blocks, a Himalayan salt wall adds aesthetic value to your spa, but more importantly, it boosts guest health. Himalayan salt – rich in negative ions and essential nutrients and minerals – offer numerous health benefits for our bodies, such as stress reduction, energy increases, and mood boosts at a biochemical level. • VICHY SHOWER TREATMENT - Originating in France, a Vichy Shower put simply is having a relaxing shower lying down whilst water is pulsated onto the skin through a set of five shower heads. The treatment is very popular and includes a body polish and scrub, body wrap, or massage. Instead of getting up and having a shower to rinse, you lie back and relax as the cascading water washes you. amazing, isn’t it? The Vichy offers excellent health benefits other than just simply a relaxing treatment. It can improve and increase blood circulation around the body, reduce stress and improve the hydration, vitality and elasticity of the skin. Besides all these amazing features, eforea Spa exclusively offers you n1 luXurY british sKinCare brand elemis. ELEMIS is dedicated to exploring our global ecosystem and supporting its communities. Their products visibly renew and enhance the appearance of skin, offering truly remarkable results. 40, Rustaveli Avenue, Batumi

T: +995422222299


“Sunset in the Sky … Bar” at nephele sky bar & restaurant Appreciate sweeping views West and North of the city and sea, from the Nephele Sky Bar & Restaurant located on the top 20th floor, open from lunchtime until late evening and serving some of the finest signature cocktails in the area. Enjoy the sea breeze on the spacious outdoor terrace while indulging in a wide range of Georgian wines and international spirits. Relax to some of the coolest music by the Black Sea while savoring delicacies prepared by our chef.

“Georgia on Your Table” at Pelion georgian restaurant Pelion has an open and inviting atmosphere and in the evening provides an intimate dining option. The kitchen follows time-honored Georgian traditions and provides freshly baked bread, meat roasted to order served with simply prepared vegetables and salads. Everything is served on tables covered with Georgian traditional blue tablecloth (supra) decorated with amazing birds, deer and beautiful figures. Traditional Georgian blue tablecloth was recognized by UNESCO in 2017 as being of special significance. Enjoy traditional soft drinks, local wines and spirits. Purely Georgian...Georgia on Your Table


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COMPLEX


27

FLOORS

550

APARTMENTS

4

PARKING LEVELS



BUSINESS CENTER

1000

SQ. BOTANICAL GARDEN


Discover Hotel Sputnik By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya

calm environ and wonderful views from the territory. In addition, Sputnik offers high-standard services, as well as rooms, restaurants, play rooms, an outdoor pool, sauna and panoramic terrace, integrated in one area.

Ajara is ever more popular with local and international travelers, and in relation we can see a clear rise in the accommodation options. The Where.ge team sat down with Nanuka Gorgialdze, Sales and Marketing Manager of Hotel Sputnik to find out about its outstanding features and services, said to guarantee a pleasant stay during the holidays.

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Tell us about your hotel and why you recommend travelers choose it for their stay in Ajara. Hotel Sputnik is a premium-quality 5-star hotel. Located 2km from the city center and nestled in Batumi Hills, there is incredibly fresh mountain and sea air, a

to stay

how often do you host international travelers? International tourists make up 70% of our guests. 30% are Georgian travelers. We have guests from almost all countries, each with different statuses and requirements. We strive to meet the demands of all our guests. The hotel often welcomes a number of Georgian and foreign sport competitions. The football club and the rugby team of Batumi have already become members of our big family. In addition, we also host various corporate and teambuilding meetings. along with the standard services of the hotel, do you have any particular offers and tours that can help travelers to discover the region of ajara? Along with standard services, we offer three conference halls at our hotel, two of which cater for up to 100 persons, while the third is able to serve up to 250 individuals, very comfortable for business visits. The dining and conference areas are separated from the sleeping zone, making the stay more comfortable. We also have additional offers, enabling guests to explore Georgian culture without leaving the territory of the hotel. For that we organize gala-dinners and present the traditional Georgian songs and dances,


followed by masterclasses (upon request). Our chefs hold masterclasses, where they introduce the dishes from Ajaran cuisine, as well as entire Georgia, bringing additional pleasure to guests. If our guests want to visit any sights in Ajara or any other region of the country, they just need to make one call to the administration and along with our partner companies, our staff will plan the entire tour for them. The children’s pool area is an additional comfort zone for tourists, equipped with soft poufs, slides and a special swimming pool for children- and the animators ensure a fun atmosphere for minors, as well as their parents. Rain is common in this region, which is why we set up a covered room for film screenings to keep guests entertained on wet-weather days. Corporate social responsibility (Csr) is of great importance in georgia. do you have any projects in this direction? Hotel Sputnik is actively engaged in the “Donate Blood, Save a Life” campaign. We consider it to be the responsibility of any individual, not only our own. We also have other plans in the CSR direction. tell us about your future plans The hotel is a living, evolving organism and we are constantly working to sophisticate its standards, especially taking into account the fact that the number of hotels is increasing every day. Completion of the construction of the hotel’s indoor pool and SPA is scheduled for the near future. We also plan to launch a sports area and casino on the territory of the hotel. 80% of our ideas have been carried out so far. We plan to introduce our hotel at international exhibitions, as well as B2B conferences.

to stay

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Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

Where to Stay in Ajara By Katie ruth davies

The Autonomous Republic of Ajara (also spelled Ajara) is the Black Sea region which unites Georgia with Turkey. It is the go-to destination for beach-lovers, mountain explorers and eco-tourists. It boasts ancient fortresses, numerous museums and churches, national parkland, mineral waters, birdwatching sites, lakes, walking trails and much, much more. It even hosts the “Las Vegas” of Georgia: Batumi, the place to see and be seen in the heat of the summer as you enjoy cocktails and the latest beats on the beach. Following the tourism boom, there are numerous options for where to stay in the region. In Batumi, you’ll find everything from five-star international brand hotels to Airbnbs, guest houses and hostels. Step into the surrounding villages and you can camp or stay in small hotels and guest houses. We’ve got a few picks for you below.

BATUMI sheraton batumi

enjoy complimentary breakfast, snacks and evening drinks. Free high-speed Wi-Fi is available and reaches all areas of the hotel with good signal. This hotel is popular with the business community as it offers nine meeting rooms which can hold up to 1,000 guests. There is even an adjacent spa, should you wish to treat yourself to a deeper relaxation, and an on-site, 24-hour gym for those who want to work off the stress of the day.

Immerse yourself in the wonderful city of Batumi, the pearl of the Black Sea, in this hotel which can be found just next to the famous Batumi Boulevard, and just a 5-10 minutes’ walk from the Old City. Rooms are modern and well-furnished and come with a stunning view of the area and/or Black Sea. A range of nearby bars and restaurants are just a few steps away, but there is also a lounge area within the hotel for you to

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28 Rustaveli St., Batumi (+995) 422 22 90 00 sheratonbatumi.com

wYndham batumi hotel Opened in December 2016, this latest 5-star gem in the Wyndham crown was designed by Turkish Designer and Architect, Fatma Demirhan.

to stay

Find it in the heart of Old Batumi, a mere 600-meter-walk from the sea, set amongst a diversity of architectural styles so characteristic of the seaside city, housed in the former ‘Post Office,’ its original look kept on the outside while within you can expect all the luxury, class, comfort and professional service expected of this international brand. The hotel’s 146 rooms are divided into four categories: Standard, Deluxe, Junior Suit and Presidential, ranging from 28m2 to a whopping 220m2, each offering outstanding views- either over the coast or mountains. There is also one disabled-


Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

access room available and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Wyndham Batumi Hotel hosts the incredible Princess Casino, a must-visit for those who like to play. If relaxation is your aim, don’t miss out on the lavish and stunningly beautiful heated indoor swimming pool, full-service Spa (fitness center, sauna, salt sauna, herbal sauna, steam room, Turkish Hammam, and VIP service).

bar Spectrum and of course attentive personnel will guarantee you truly euphoric holidays.

kitchenette bar: you can make your own tea and coffee, or even try a glass of local wine made by the owner.

1 Lech and Maria Kaczynski St., Batumi (+995) 577 15 69 40 euphoriahotel.ge

Prices start from 110 GEL Can be contacted through https://www. booking.com/hotel/ge/guest-housebatumi2.html 14 N. Dumbadze St., Batumi

guest house on euroPe sQuare, batumi

If you’re looking for a place to spend a cheap night and are willing to meet friendly people, Near The Museum hostel is certainly the best for you.

33 M. Abashidze St., Batumi (+995) 422 22 22 00 wyndhambatumi.com

euPhoria batumi hotel

Batumi is a tourist favorite in Georgia, and when you’re visiting you might want to be close to all the best spots. Guest House on Europe Square is probably where you want to be.

Private beach, enormous indoor and outdoor swimming pools, fascinating views over the Black Sea and Caucasus mountains, luxurious rooms, a beautiful park area… You call it an enjoyable vacation, we call it Euphoria Hotel. If you are looking for all-inclusive vacation in Batumi, this is the perfect choice. Excellent food, extraordinary relaxing spa treatment in Shangrila wellness center, parties with a stunning view in the rooftop

near the museum hostel, batumi

The guesthouse is only a few minutes’ walk from the beach and the famed Piazza is 500 m away. Every room at this guest house is air conditioned and is equipped with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Certain rooms have a seating area to relax in after a busy day, or a terrace or balcony. All rooms are fitted with a private bathroom equipped with a bath or shower. The roof terrace is a shared space between guests and is equipped with a

to stay

The place offers some 20 beds allocated in two dormitories. However, the hostel also has a private room for people not keen on sharing a dorm. The staff will provide you with clean sheets and towels as you need them. The place has a kitchen, a nice common area and a balcony. Wi-Fi is free. The owners, who work there too, are two young men, Nick and Mohammad, who decided to launch and run the business in March 2018. They speak English and Russian and Nick has some talent in the kitchen- he cooks really good pasta dishes and will do so for free, as if you were not a client but a friend. In their enthusiasm, they have succeeded in making the place warm. While it’s not modern, it is clean and very comfortable. The common room is the key experience of the hostel. Users are respectful travelers from the world. And if you’re stuck for what to doof an evening, you’ll easily find someone to tag along with.

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Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

The location is ideal. A market is on the street corner, 700 meters from the Dolphinarium, 600 meters from the Piazza, 400 meters from Europe Square, and less than 900 meters from the Black Sea. Unfortunately, there is only one bathroom, one toilet and two sinks, so it can take a while to get your turn. Grab a bed in Batumi at this hostel from just GEL 15. 30 V. Pshavela St., Batumi (+995) 555 22 26 16 facebook.com/NearMuseum

MTIRALA la belle verte La Belle Verte campsite is located in the Mtirala National Park a 20-minute drive from Batumi and the Black Sea and is serviced by minibus 141a which stops in Korolistavi village some 300m from the site entrance. Perched on the edge of the mountain to capture the sea breezes, with a sub-tropical forest as a backdrop, La Belle Verte is a stylized ‘eco camp’ made for relaxation, meditation and creativity. You can sleep in a ‘treehouse’ cabin or hire a tent. The site

offers toilets, showers with hot water, Wi-Fi, a shared kitchen, open and closed spaces for yoga, water from mountain springs and food fresh from the farm. Various classes are also available- from cooking to pottery, healing herbs and woodwork. The staff speaks English, Russian, Armenian, and Slovenian. You will need hiking boots, a rain jacket and sleeping bag. TEL (+995) 568 79 69 90 Email: labelleverte.mtirala@gmail.com

guest house Karati, Khulo

KHULO guest house armaZi, Khulo Armazi is one of the top guesthouses in the Khulo municipality, located in the nearby village of Kedlebi. It is run by a charming local family, who offer visitors a comfortable room, delicious breakfast, and ample cups of tea and coffee. The bathroom is shared between the two available guest rooms, but is clean and comfortable. The guest rooms are upstairs, and the family lives downstairs – connected by an outdoor staircase.

Homemade breakfast is included, along with top-notch coffee. The rooms are quiet and comfortable, and the beds are piled with plenty of warm blankets in the winter. The guesthouse also offers free Wi-Fi. The large, beautifully manicured yard is perfect for enjoying mountain views in the

The views from the upstairs deck are gorgeous, especially on a misty mountain morning. The WiFi is fast, and the beds are warm and comfortable. Armazi is a beautiful place to spend a few days as a family or for a romantic couple’s getaway! The guesthouse is really impossible to find on your own, as with every guesthouse in the area, so it’s best to just call the owners when you arrive in town, or ask anyone in the center to point you the way up!

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Karati is a charming guesthouse in the mountainous Ajara town of Khulo. The owner is a lovely woman who makes every guest feel like family.

to stay

bench swing or having a barbeque cookout. Definitely worth a visit!


APARTMENTS WITH SEAVIEW

• Premium Apartments • Hotels, Malls, Cafes • Fitness & Pools • Recreational Area • Children’s Playground • Parking 5, Lech and Maria Kaczynski st., Batumi, Georgia (995) 598 05 00 00; (995) 598 07 00 00 info@whitesails.ge www.whitesails.ge


Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

On a Budget in Ajara Traveling on the cheap or just want to get out into the wild? Check out some of the options below for cheap stays in the seaside region of Ajara.

wild mountains! Lie in bed and admire the view- or take the admiration outside onto the terrace with your morning coffee or a glass of wine. There are various glamping sites around Georgia, but Kokotauri Tents in K’eda is high on our list!

CamPing eXPerienCe Khulo Surrounded by mountains, Camping Experience Khulo, in T’ago, sees you camped out in the beautiful garden of a guest house owned by welcoming hosts Khatuna and Marisha. Enjoy a continental or vegetarian breakfast each morning and a shared bathroom. The campsite (garden) offers a terrace, outdoor fireplace, and a picnic area. The hosts can recommend a number of spots

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for hiking nearby. Give them a call- they can pick you up from Khulo.

KoKotauri tents Who hasn’t dreamed of escaping to the midst of nature and the wilds...but remaining surrounded by the daily comforts? Glamping in Georgia is what you need. Wake up in a bubble high up among the trees with a view over the mountains. The “Bubble Bedrooms” are essentially luxury tents with a terrace, kitchen, private bathroom and Wi-Fi, situated right in the

to stay

guesthouse david, Kobuleti Though not on the beach, this guest house boasts a large enclosed garden- which is great if you’re traveling with kids, and all rooms have free Wi-Fi and a balcony. There’s also a bar, shared lounge and terrace. Head out onto the main strip for dinner or dine in the onsite restaurant. Alternatively, cook for yourself in the shared kitchen or get room service to bring up a continental breakfast to your air-conditioned room. 37 Kostava St, Kobuleti


Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

Hotels in Ajara 4&5*

ParagraPh resort & sPa sheKvetili AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION Hotels Highway E70, Shekvetili (+995) 322 99 99 00 www.paragraphhotels.com info@paragraphhotels.com

The award-winning Paragraph Resort & Spa, Shekvetili is a unique place where the perfect blend of sea and forest meets bold contemporary design, engraving a new paragraph in the history of fabled Georgian hospitality. Upon entering, be allured by the striking walk-through aquarium. The resort also offers a huge majestic winter garden, indoor aqua park and the jewel of the property- the 115m long heated and filtered seawater pool built into a mindfully designed panoramic deck. Paragraph Resort & Spa, Shekvetili offers three different restaurants with delicious and refined dishes. The hotel is ideal for business purposes as it has several conference and meeting rooms. Guests can enjoy a huge swimming pool merged with the sea, kids club, SPA and

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many other facilities that create a pleasant, comfortable and relaxing ambience.

sheraton batumi 28 Rustaveli St, Batumi (+995) 422 22 90 00 Immerse yourself in the wonderful city of Batumi, the pearl of the Black Sea, in this hotel which can be found just next to the famous Batumi Boulevard, and just a 5-10-minute walk from the Old City. Rooms are modern and well-furnished and come with a stunning view of the Black Sea. A range of nearby bars and restaurants are just a few steps away, but there is also a lounge area within the hotel for you to enjoy a complimentary breakfast, snacks and evening drinks. Free high-speed Wi-Fi is available and reaches all areas of the hotel with good signal. This hotel is popular with the business community as it offers nine meeting rooms which can hold up to 1,000 guests. There is even an adjacent spa, should you wish to treat yourself to a deeper relaxation, and an on-site, 24-hour gym for those who want to work off the stress of the day.

radisson blu batumi 1 Ninoshvili St., Batumi (+995) 422 25 55 55

to stay

For travelers going to different locations around the planet, the Radisson Blu brand is a favorite for consistent and guaranteed quality. You know you’ll be getting a comfortable and spacious room, excellent service, and leave having had a good night’s sleep. The Radisson Blu hotel in Batumi, Georgia’s second largest city, is no exception to the company’s well-nurtured image. Staff at the front desk are extremely pleasant, polite and professional and will be more than willing to help you with whatever you might need. A number of quality bars, restaurants and cafes are just walking distance from the hotel, but we don’t think you’ll want to leave at all; the breakfast is at the same 5-star level as the hotel, and the bar and restaurant have everything you could ask for.

wYndham batumi hotel 33 M. Abashidze St., Batumi (+995) 422 22 22 00


Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

Find it in the heart of Old Batumi, a mere 600-meter walk from the sea, set amongst a diversity of architectural styles so characteristic of the seaside city, housed in the former ‘Post Office,’ its original look kept on the outside while within you can expect all the luxury, class, comfort and professional service expected of this international brand. The hotel’s 146 rooms are divided into four categories: Standard, Deluxe, Junior Suit and Presidential, ranging from 28m2 to a whopping 220m2, each offering outstanding views- either over the coast or mountains. Opened in December 2016, the latest 5-star gem in the Wyndham crown was designed by Turkish Designer and Architect, Fatma Demirhan. There is also one disabled-access room available and free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Wyndham Batumi Hotel hosts the incredible Princess Casino, a must-visit for those who like to play. If relaxation is your aim, don’t miss out on the lavish and stunningly beautiful heated indoor swimming pool, full-service Spa (fitness center, sauna, salt sauna, herbal sauna, steam room, Turkish Hammam, and VIP service).

best western Plus batumi 56 Lech and Maria Kaczynski St., Batumi (+995) 551 33 66 77 Just two minutes from the airport, and minutes from the seaside city center, the 50 rooms at Best Western Plus, encompassing all the familiar style of the brand, will give you the break and comfort you need between enjoying the vast entertainment opportunities Batumi has to offer. Enjoy the outdoor pool and stunning views to the sea.

the grand gloria 22 Sh. Khimshiashvili St., Batumi (+995) 422 25 22 25

The Grand Gloria Hotel is a resort hotel on the first line of the coast of the Black Sea. It offers rooms with beautiful balconies overlooking the sea, a Spa center, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, restaurants with an amazing sunset view and direct access to Batumi Boulevard.

hotel dreamland oasis 16 Batumi St., Kobuleti (+995) 592 29 60 60 Beachfront Hotel Dreamland Oasis is located on the Black Sea shore 7km from Batumi, Georgia. Indulge in everything from tours of local sights, amazing Georgian gastronomic experience, lazing on the beach to lounging poolside in an exclusive landscaped territory surrounded by mountains, eucalyptus and the Black Sea.

divan suites batumi 5 Kostava St./13 Gamsakhurdia St., Batumi (+995) 422 25 55 22 Capturing the spirit of Batumi, a favorite holiday destination that celebrates its rich

to stay

past as it looks forward to an exciting future, Divan Suites Batumi is in the center of historic Batumi just a five-minute walk from the beach. Our old city hotel in Batumi features 39 Standard Rooms, 8 Superior Rooms, 5 Deluxe Rooms, 3 Junior Suites, 6 Corner Suites, 2 Business Suites and 2 Penthouse Tower Suites designed to exceed the 5-star expectations of business and leisure travelers alike. Divan Suites Batumi offers complimentary wireless throughout and business travelers will appreciate its comfortable working environment, away from noise and crowds but still in the heart of Batumi.

batumi world PalaCe 1/3 Melashvili St., Batumi (+995) 422 22 57 90 Hotel Batumi World Palace is located in a historical area of Batumi, the best place of a city lying on the Black Sea shoreline of Georgia. The hotel offers 18 standard rooms, 6 luxurious twin beds, 3 luxe FB., 3 deluxe rooms and 30 rooms, all individually decorated, as well as an open and closed terrace restaurant, where specific tastes of Turkish and Georgian cuisines are served, a spacious lobby, cocktail and alcoholic beverage services, lobby and terrace bars.

intourist PalaCe 11 Ninoshvili St., Batumi (+995) 422 27 55 25/577 61 20 20 Over 75 years the hotel has received more than 450,000 foreigner travelers, businessmen, sportsmen and diplomats, participants of international conferences, symposiums and forums. Each visitor received support and attention as well both warmth and

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Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

cordiality, so unique that our hotel has become the ‘Visit Card’ of Batumi. Located in the very center of Batumi, next to one of the most beautiful seaside boulevards on the Black Sea, it is only 100m from the beach and ‘dancing fountains’.

hilton batumi 40 Rustaveli Ave., Batumi (+995) 422 22 22 99 Each modern room here is air-conditioned and carpeted and features a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. A minibar and an electric kettle are at guests’ disposal. Featuring a shower or a bath, private bathrooms in each unit come with free toiletries as well as a hairdryer, linen and towels. Extras include a desk, a safety deposit box and a laptop safe. Certain rooms have a balcony offering a lake, mountain or a sea view. Interconnected rooms, convenient for families and not only, are also available on site. The hotel offers certain rooms with access to the Executive Lounge, which serves a delicious buffet breakfast, refreshments throughout the day and evening canapés. At Hilton Batumi, guests can enjoy an À la carte restaurant serving local and European cuisine.

batumi golden PalaCe 8/10 K. Gamsakhurdia St., Batumi (+995) 568 00 55 55 Golden Palace Batumi hotel is located in the heart of the city, a 15-minute drive from the airport. The architecture of the building is highlighted by the historic style of Old Batumi.

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The hotel features 51 guestrooms altogether, including 6 Family rooms, 10 Double rooms, 12 Standard rooms, 12 Deluxe Double rooms, 2 Superior rooms and 1 Presidential suite with mountain, sea or city views.

Sky Tower Hotel, is a 5-star resort situated on one of the most beautiful part of Batumi. The hotel’s unique location provides all the advantages, including panoramic view of the Black Sea, mountains, Lake of Ardagani and beautiful dancing fountains.

Colosseum marina hotel

hotel bloom

1 6 Sh. Khimshiashvili St., Batumi (+995) 579 88 00 00

43 Mazniashvili St., Batumi (+995) 558 31 20 20/557 80 08 00 Offering city views, a garden, bar and shared lounge, this hotel is ideally placed within walking distance of the renowned Miracles Park, the Neptune Fountain and the Piazza.

Hotel Colosseum Marina is a five-star hotel distinguished with prime seaside location in the western part of Batumi, with a private beach area and highly developed modern infrastructure. The 10-story hotel offers 101 comfortable guest rooms with exquisite design and stunning sea views. Private beach, swimming pools, variety of restaurants, bars, lounges and the exclusive service of our dedicated personnel guarantee you a perfect holiday experience. Colosseum Marina is ideal choice for tourists, families and business visitors with its modern facilities: indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, conference hall for 120 persons, spa and fitness centers.

metro sKY tower 7/33 Sheriff Khimshiashvili St., Batumi (+995) 577 03 00 44

to stay

All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an electric kettle, a bidet, a hair dryer and a desk. The hotel has units with garden views, and all rooms come with their own patio. The hotel also boasts a restaurant, 24-hour reception and room service. A buffet breakfast is available every morning.

Castello mare hotel & wellness resort Tsikhisdziri, Kobuleti (+995) 422 21 28 28 Hotel and wellness resort Castello Mare is located in a magnificent place with tropical plants on the territory of Tsikhisdziri, 17 kilometers from Batumi, the capital of Ajara, Georgia. Directly on the Black Sea coast, this place is familiar to many visitors as the resort Tsikhisdziri, where, until 1991,


Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

it functioned as the hugely popular sanatorium “Nauka”.

PrataP’s signature Ganmukhuri, Near the Aquapark (+995) 551 99 66 77 Redefining luxury at the heart of the Ganmukhuri Black Sea Resort, Pratap’s Signature overlooks the visually stunning waters of the Enguri River on one side and Black Sea on the other. This hotel in Ganmukhuri spreads across 9 acres of colorful, tropical gardens and lush lawns that roll down to the water’s edge of the Enguri River. Unwind and relax in splendidly appointed 56 cottage-styled rooms and suites with spectacular views of the waterfront, garden lawns and an Indo–Georgian architecture All room are equipped with: satellite LED TV, climate control, Wi-Fi, tea and coffee set, complimentary mineral water, mini bar, iron and ironing board (upon request)

Surrounded by a garden with tropical plants and trees, the Sputnik Hotel & Spa Batumi is nestled in Batumi Hills with stunning views of the city and Black Sea and boasts an outdoor pool. Just a 12-minute drive from the city center, it has a restaurant, bars, swimming pool, terraces, and free Wi-Fi. The elegant rooms at the Sputnik Hotel Batumi are equipped with a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find bathrobes and free toiletries. A flat-screen TV with satellite channels is featured.

hotel n16 16 Parnavaz Mepe St., Batumi (+995) 595 62 10 10

Guests can sample Georgian and European cuisine at the restaurant. There is also an on-site coffee shop. 3***

hotel boulevard batumi 2 Dumbadze St., Batumi (+995) 595 80 11 11

Located in the old quarter of Batumi, it boasts super friendly and fun stuff, cleanliess and a quiet location.

Citron Cottage 38 G. Eliava St., Batumi (+995) 577 52 52 71/591 90 30 20 Welcome to Citron Cottage Batumi, an unique complex offering eight 3-story cottages with private terraces and a common pool.

The hotel has the Saffron Restaurant and Enguri Trattoria located just steps away from the confluence of the Enguri river and Black sea, lounge bar, conference rooms and banquet hall.

blaCK sea star 17 Zubalashvili St., Batumi (+995) 593 80 17 17

sPutniK hotel 28 Shervashidze St., Batumi (+995) 577 65 08 08

air conditioning and a closet. Boulevard Batumi Hotel offers a continental or buffet breakfast.

Located in Batumi and with the Ali and Nino Monument just a 16-minute walk away, the Boulevard Batumi Hotel provides concierge services, non-smoking rooms, a garden, free Wi-Fi and a shared lounge. The staff on site can arrange airport transportation. All rooms are equipped with an electric kettle, while some rooms come with a balcony and others have garden views. All guest rooms at the hotel feature

to stay

Black Sea Star Batumi features a terrace, laundry facilities, and dry cleaning/laundry services. Wi-Fi access is complimentary. For a surcharge, a roundtrip airport shuttle (available 24/7) is offered to guests. Complimentary self parking is available on site. Black Sea Star Batumi is a smoke-free property.

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Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

Corner inn 4 Kobaladze St., Batumi (+995) 598 88 00 18 Hotel Corner Inn is one of the most beautiful hotel-complexes in the Batumi Black Sea area, boasting rooms with the best sea and city views.

the admiral hotel 20 Gogebashvili St., Batumi (+995) 557 70 10 10

Aquapark Batumi and just 100m from the sea. Each room at this hotel is air-conditioned and is fitted with a flat-screen TV. Certain units feature a seating area to relax in after a busy day. Enjoy a cup of tea from your terrace or balcony. All rooms include a private bathroom. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant.

Pearl oF the sea 42 Tamar Mepe St., Kobuleti (+995) 555 04 55 00

The Admiral Hotel is the place where attitude matters. A cozy and comfortable atmosphere and staff you can trust. The hotel is new, but it has already become a favorite place to relax for many nice and interesting people.

1 V. Gorgasali St., Batumi (+995) 577 45 84 71

The on-site restaurant serves European and Georgian cuisine. At Hotel Old Town you will find a 24-hour front desk, a rooftop terrace and a bar.

hotel 19 15b Khimshiashvili St., Batumi (+995) 593 13 19 19 Featuring free Wi-Fi and a restaurant, Hotel 19 offers accommodation 500m from

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Each room here will provide you with a TV, air conditioning and a balcony. Featuring a shower, private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Extras include a desk. The on-site cafe serves Georgian cuisine, and a variety of drinks is offered at the bar.

laZuri 88 Andria Pirveltsodebuli St., Kvariati (+995) 593 37 82 25 Hotel Lazuri is located in Kvariati. The hotel has 22 room and open cafe where you can eat tasty dishes. Hotel has a garage and Wi-Fi around the territory of the hotel. Every room has air conditioning, a TV and refrigerator.

hotel old town

Hotel Old Town is located in the center of Batumi, just a 5-minute walk from the Black Sea coast. Free Wi-Fi access is available. Each room has a TV, air conditioning and a balcony. Featuring a shower, the private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Extras include a minibar and satellite channels.

coast in Kvariati. Free Wi-Fi access is available.

national 375 Agmashenebeli St., Kobuleti (+995) 599 62 75 07 23km from Batumi, Pearl of the Sea boasts an outdoor pool, barbecue area and views of the sea, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. Featuring a balcony, each room has a satellite TV, minibar and a refrigerator. Some units include a seating area where you can relax. Certain units feature views of the mountains or pool. All rooms include a bathroom fitted with shower.

nePtun 90 A. Pirveltsodebuli St., Kvariati (+995) 593 55 45 45 Hotel Neptun is located on the Black Sea

to stay

National Hotel is located in the resort town of Kobuleti, just 50m from the beach. It features an outdoor swimming pool with a sun terrace. Free Wi-Fi and free private parking are provided. All bright rooms come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, a kettle and a fridge. Most of them offer a balcony with a sea view. Free toiletries, slippers, bathrobes and a hairdryer are available in a bathroom. The on-site restaurant offers various Georgian, Ukrainian, Russian and Italian dishes. A buffet breakfast is served every morning, and guests can have a drink at the bar or sitting on the terrace.


Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

Low Budget Hotels & Hostels in Ajara hotel Chveni eZo

able and warm. As a standard, air-conditioning, heating and free Wi-Fi are included. Shared bathrooms are clean and well-furnished and include a hairdryer. Shared kitchen facilities are excellent, with gas hobs, an oven and new and high-quality cooking equipment. A good selection of cafes and restaurants are just minutes from the property.

492 Agmashenebeli St., Kobuleti (+995) 599 79 19 07

Chveni Ezo, which means ‘our yard’ in Georgian, is located in a charming historic building in the center of Kobuleti. The four-floor hotel is beautifully appointed, giving visitors a comfortable place to relax in between trips to the beach- from which it is within walking distance. The hotel features an outdoor cafe on the ground floor that serves homemade Georgian food. The large, green yard is a great place to relax, drink a cup of coffee, and watch the kids play. The hotel staff are friendly and accommodating and speak good English.

Numerous bars and restaurants are reachable with a short walk, but we don’t think you’ll want to go elsewhere. You are guaranteed a restful stay. Rooms are spacious and modern and come with a balcony, which you can use to enjoy views of the city or beach. Staff are on hand 24/7 and are eager to help with any requests or questions you may have.

moonlight hostel

hostel CalYPso

There is also a small garden and a few outdoor picnic tables for guests to rest and share a meal. It’s nothing fancy, and the prices reflect that, but it’s clean and friendly and gives guests a sense of community. The hostel is two minutes from the beach, perfect for enjoying the Black Sea!

18 N. Zhordania St., Batumi (+995) 579 01 63 90

Anaklia (+995) 557 30 55 50 Anaklia’s Moonlight Hostel has a unique structure offering camping, beds in a large, shared hall, or private rooms in the owners’ house.

ureKi house 89 Takaishvili St., Ureki (+995) 593 11 27 75

hotel andamati Lanchkhuti District, Grigoleti (+995) 595 78 71 51 The surrounding of the hotel transports you to a tropical island with its palm trees, wild flowers and cocktail bar. Enjoy the sunset over the Black Sea with a piña colada in hand and order a wide range of Georgian and European choices from the restaurant.

Find this lavish hostel in the heart of Georgia’s seaside gem, Batumi. With its prime location in the heart of the city, you’ll be just a 5-minute walk from the Boulevard, the beach, the promenade and Piazza. Both dormitory and private rooms are offered, with beds that are cozy, comfort-

to stay

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Hotel & Wellness Resort კასტელო მარე სასტუმრო & გამაჯანსაღებელი კომპლექსი

A cozy three-floor guest house on the shores of the Black Sea, with stunning views of the new boulevard and the sea. This is on the ‘first line,’ meaning you can step from the house to the beach with only the narrow pedestrianized boulevard between you. It also means you get amazing sunset views (beach-view rooms only). The two-level front garden offers flowers and a well with drinking water, and space for your little ones to play safely. The rear garden is shaded by pine trees and offers a parking space and a dining area with two kitchens and tables, chairs and a wallmounted TV. You can order meals separately for an extra charge or cook your own.

walk from the beach on the Black Sea. Marani Hotel offers free Wi-Fi and free parking. The air-conditioned interiors at Marani Hotel Batumi are decorated in bright colours and feature a city view, a wardrobe and parquet floors. All rooms include cable TV, a refrigerator and a private bathroom. Breakfast can be delivered to your room each morning. A large selection of Georgian wines can also be enjoyed at the hotel bar or on the terrace.

mari 8a Leonidze St., Batumi (+995) 579 24 24 24

Rooms are simply furnished with comfortable wooden beds and a chest of drawers, and come ensuite or with shared bathrooms.

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Featuring free Wi-Fi and a restaurant, Hotel Magnolia offers accommodation in Gonio, 250m from the Black Sea. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and comes with a TV. Certain rooms have views of the sea or mountains. The rooms include a private bathroom equipped with a bath or shower.

39 Gorgiladze St., Batumi (+995) 574 65 83 83

marani

This family-owned hotel is a 10-minute walk from Batumi city center and just a 15-minute

31 A. Pirveltsodebuli St., Gonio (+995) 599 36 60 76/574 48 21 81

eiFFel

The owners are friendly and while English is limited, they’ll do everything in their power to make your stay memorable.

24 Giorgi Brtskinvale St., Batumi (+995) 599 18 23 38

magnolia

A 10-minute walk from the Black Sea beach and 1.5km from Batumi Dolphin Park, this hotel features its own disco, restaurant with a terrace and colorful rooms with free internet. A Georgian breakfast buffet is served in the Mari restaurant, and regional specialties are available in the evenings. Guests can enjoy a drink at the bar or in the nightclub. Rooms at Hotel Mari are air conditioned and feature a private balcony with sea views. All have a flat-screen TV, refrigerator and hairdryer, and bathrobes and slippers are provided.

to stay

Hotel Eifel is located in the city center, 200 m from the sea and 50 m from the park. There are 14 rooms in the hotel, which meets modern standards and provides top comfort for guests.

vluX 69 A. Pirveltsodebuli St., Kvariati (+995) 591 40 59 48 Situated in Gonio, a 3-minute walk from the coast, Hotel Velux features a restaurant and free Wi-Fi. Free private parking is available on site. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV. Certain rooms have a seating area to relax in after a busy day. Views of the sea, mountains or city are featured in certain rooms.


to eat


Exclusive Restaurant Guide . . . e c i o h C My

Eka Gogiberidze Manager/ PR Manager at Grand Grill Restaurant and Ardagani Terrace Restaurant Event Manager at Batumi International Art House Film Festival (BIAFF) from 2008, with 14 years’ experience in the tourism industry. Educated in Switzerland. It is difficult to select five locations in such a diverse region as Ajara. It is a hard mission, but I will do my best to be competent and unbiased.

grand grill A meat and fish restaurant in Batumi, operating for 10 years already. We offer a wide and outstanding choice of meat and fish. The restaurant has a magnificent view over the Ardagani Lake and you can enjoy the dancing fountains show in the evening. We aim to ensure maximum comfort for our guests and have launched the Georgian Restaurant Ardagani Terrace on the first floor of the building.

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to eat


guest house Zebo Located in the village of Gobroneti, Keda municipality, here, guests have an opportunity to taste authentic, traditional Ajaran cuisine, prepared with ecologically pure ingredients. The guest house has a mesmerizing view over the village and the host always cares about their guests’ comfort. Zebo is very popular among foreigners.

restaurant Chadrebi Find it in the village of Zundaga, situated at the 22nd kilometer of Keda Highway. The restaurant is located at the edge of the river and offers mouthwatering Georgian, as well as specific Ajaran dishes. I love their trout, prepared with a walnut filling, plus the fact there are hammocks in the yard, making it ideal for families to relax together.

the alPhabet tower This is the ‘business card’ of the city, offering an incredible 360-degree panoramic view of Batumi. It has a restaurant which starts slowly turning at 20:00, enabling guests to enjoy a delicious dinner, as well as wonderful views and the sunset from 137-meters up!

CitY hotel Just a 5-minute walk from the sea, if you choose this hotel for your stay in Batumi, you, as well as your children, will be more than satisfied, especially considering the delicious buffet continental breakfast they serve! Contact number: 558 988686

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All about the Ajaruli Khachapuri By Katie ruth davies

AMONG THE WORLD’S TOP 100 DISHES TasteAtlas included the khachapuri in its 2019 list of top 100 dishes of the world. “This simple cheese bread known as khachapuri is the most famous dish in Georgia. The pastry is traditionally topped with melted cheese, eggs and butter,” the website says. “The Ajaran khachapuri, an open-faced version topped with butter and a raw egg on top, is considered a snack, but can often be consumed as a full meal.” DISH OF THE YEAR

Georgia’s answer to junk food, you can find Georgian pies (khachapuri) for sale on almost every street corner, tempting you with the smell of the hot cheesy deliciousness. And there are lots of varieties to choose from! Our focus this issue is native to the seaside Ajara region and can only be eaten sat-down at a table: the ajaruli khachapuri, shaped like a boat and with an egg plopped on top just before serving, it makes a slow and filling meal all in itself, to be enjoyed at lunchtime while chatting with friends in the shade of an umbrella with the tang of the sea in the air. Don’t let your stomach speak for your mind, though- I’ve been living here twelve years and have never been able to finish a whole ajaruli khachapuri. Luckily, they

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are great to share with a loved one! And this year, the ajaruli khachapuri is more famous than ever before. Check out why below.

Af&Co named Georgian food as Cuisine of the Year and khachapuri as its Dish of the Year in its 2019 Trends Report.

KHACHAPURI NOW LISTED AS CULTURALLY INTANGIBLE

Based in San Francisco, Af&Co is a leading restaurant and hospitality consulting firm. Their report identifies the hottest key trends in restaurants, food and beverage, and hospitality marketing.

The traditional method of making khachapuri was this year granted the status of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia by the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation. The boat-shaped bread filled with cheese has been made in regions across Georgia for centuries and is one of the most popular dishes in Georgia, especially among visitors.

The Ajaran dish khachapuri was awarded the title of Dish of the Year “thanks to its tasty combination of cheese and egg, and its instagramability.” Indeed, it’s already being served in some restaurants in the US, including Supra in Washington DC, Cheeseboat in Brooklyn and Barbounia in New York…but you can’t beat the taste of one made in its homeland, right by the Black Sea. Enjoy your meal!

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Ajara - the Food Capital of Georgia Ajara – the place of Black Sea pebbled beaches, high-rise casinos, thick ancient forests, jungle-like climate, towering mountains, and of course, amazing food. Ajara is known as the foodie region of Georgia with its unique dishes, fresh ingredients, and excellent restaurants. What are the must-try Ajarian foods on your next visit to the Black Sea region?

sinori Rich in Georgian cottage cheese and butter, Sinori is a popular breakfast dish in Ajara. It is made by rolling small lavash, like a tortilla, with the “nadugi” and pouring on hot butter. Sinori is hard to find outside of Ajara, so make sure to try it when you are in the region.

as well asa brownedonion base, tomatoes and olive oil. This hearty stew is also popular in Ajara.

baKlava with walnuts

Made from fermented cheese called achar, Borano is stringy, cheesy, gooey goodness. The cheese is cut into small pieces and placed in a deep cooking pan to cook. The dish is made from just one ingredient, although sometimes spices are added. Borano goes especially well with cucumber and rice.

Being neighbors, Ajara and Turkey share some similarities. For example, baklava dessert is common in Ajara. However, it is made with a Georgian twist – waltnuts! This sticky and sweet dessert is made using crispy filo pastry, sugar, and nuts which are layered together and cooked in the oven until golden brown and delicious.

iaKhni

Chirbuli

This dish is found across the world from the Balkans to South Asia, Iakhni is a stew made from meat, fish, or vegetables,

Juicy tomatoes, tangy garlic, fragrant dill, coriander and basil, crunchy walnuts and eggs are the core ingredients made to use

borano

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Chirbuli, an Ajarian breakfast dish. The ingredients are friend together on a low heat and then the eggs are carefully cracked into the mixture. You may not like the idea of walnuts and eggs together, but it works.

barbuli Nestled on the edge of the Black Sea,

Ajara is one of the only regions in Georgia that can enjoy fresh fish. Barabuli is crispy, salty and tender Mullus barbatus or red mullet, a small species of fish that is native to the Black Sea. This popular dish is found in most restaurants and markets across the region. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and enjoy!

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restaurants in ajara The seaside resort of Ajara is growing in popularity. In the past it saw more regional visitors, but now the mix is bigger as the region features in ever more TV shows and magazine articles. It caters for all budgets and tastes and offers beach, mountain and clubbing spots to rival the best on the Black Sea. As the audience grows, so do the dining choices and quality. While the ajaruli khachapuri is the famed star of the region, we recommend trying these special spots below for a treat.

101 taPas, batumi 101 Tapas in Batumi is the first tapas restaurant in the city. The atmosphere is upscale but welcoming, in the heart of Batumi’s seaside zone. 101 Tapas features a truly creative, innovative menu of small plates, including seafood dishes and twists on Georgian classics. This is the place to go if you are craving something different, interesting, and absolutely delicious! 1 V. Pshavela St., Batumi (+995) 557 99 55 77 4 PM - 1 AM (closed Tuesdays)

best Khachapuri in town. Lovers of the famous eggy cheese-boat gather here and enjoy it hot, steamy and crispy. It can be a challenge finding a seat due to its popularity, but one that reaps reward. Staff are attentive, fast, and always on-hand to help you with whatever you might need. Other traditional Georgian foods are available, and should you need something to wash the artery-clogging cheese and dough bomb down, a

CaFÉ retro Tucked away on a small side-street off of Batumi’s Piazza Square, this traditional Georgian café is said to serve the

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range of home-made Georgian wine, cha-cha and beers are available. 10 Takaishvili, Batumi (+995) 599511722 9AM-11PM

bK BK was once a bookshop and it has keep the two-level gallery style as well as the bookshelves and has since become a must-go place for fine


European dining and cocktails with friends or family. Fast and friendly service guarantee a pleasant break from the rain. Our top recommendationthe seafood soup! It serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks. 25 M. Abashidze Ave., Batumi (+995) 514 81 13 13 9 AM – 4 AM

grill town Boasting large windows and a terrace facing the picturesque ‘6 May Park’, this contemporary eatery is a favorite of many travelers in Batumi. The menu offers a range of European cuisine and traditional Georgian food. Come for a quick meal and you may end up staying for the whole evening! You’ll enjoy an ambient atmosphere with staff who will endeavor to make your meal out the best in Batumi. 24 Rustaveli St., Batumi (+995) 574 00 77 64 10AM - 1AM

Leuville is a modern, trendy cafe and bakery in the center of Batumi. They blend Georgian and French culinary traditions for an interesting and diverse menu. The pastry case alone is to die for! A large stained glass feature wall sets the atmosphere, for a cozy yet Instagramready brunch or afternoon snack. They also have a good selection of wines. The restaurant is named for the Leuville Estate, 27 km from Paris, purchased by the Georgian government in exile in 1922 after the Bolshevik takeover. As Leuville became a shelter for Georgian refugees in France, Leuville Batumi is a shelter for hungry, tired tourists and locals alike. 1 Gorgiladze St., Batumi (+995) 593 08 60 86 9 AM - 11:30 PM

gold Fish

leuville, batumi

Traveling to the seaside and not eating fish is almost a crime. One of the best places to do that is located on the

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highway on the way to Batumi. A simple interior – red and white brick walls, minimalistic furniture, huge windows greet you, but the view over the Black Sea and iconic Batumi skyline is fantastic. Even more fantastic is the freshly prepared fish. Of course, the menu is seasonal, and if the catch was good, you get a full plate of mullet or anchovy for a laughable price. The local seafood plate is indescribably big and tastes unbelievably good: the best dish to share with your friends over a draft beer or house wine. 5 Tamar Mepe Highway, Batumi TEL (+995) 597 86 00 22 OPEN 11 AM - Midnight

ajarian wine house 15 minutes inland from the sea is the Ajarian Wine House, offering a full display of true Georgia- from a fullystocked wine cellar to tables laden with the best of Georgian cuisine. You can also smoke hand-rolled Georgian tobacco should you so wish. The ideal place to take a breath of nature and relax with friends and family in incredible scenic surroundings. Booking is recommended as it is very popular, especially in summer. 1 Adjaristskali, Khelvachauri, Ajara TEL (+995) 577 21 40 02 OPEN 10 AM - 12 AM

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Beach Menu tangerine CaFe 4 Kobaladze St., Batumi (+995) 422 20 01 92/599 92 01 26

This restaurant is attached to a boutique hotel of the same name. It offers traditional Georgian food alongside European cuisine. The prices are on the higher end, but the portions are quite generous, so you can share many of the dishes. Tangerine is a good place to go for breakfast– omelets, pancakes, oatmeal, coffee, and a good selection of teas. It is located near the boardwalk, so it makes an easy place to stop before a day at the beach.

CaFe Cerodena 4 Melikishvili St., Batumi (+995) 558 31 18 03 The number one culinary experience when you’re in Batumi has to be the regional specialty acharuli khachapuri. If you’re looking to get serious about the hot, doughy, ooey-gooey cheese boat that is acharuli, Cerodena is the place to go. Almost every cafe and restaurant in the Ajara region serves their version of the dish, but Cerodena is one of the best

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in Batumi - a long time local favorite. The cafe itself is a classic diner - fast service, two floors and an outdoor patio packed with unpretentious white tables and chairs, a long menu complete with photos of the food, and a noisy kitchen with a big, open order window. The closest thing you’ll find to a New York City diner in Georgia! The menu includes basic ‘European’ dishes like burgers and meat patties as well as Georgian favorites. The prices are very reasonable, and the cafe is family friendly (they even have highchairs for young children).

Georgian café is said to serve the best khachapuri in town. Lovers of the famous eggy cheese-boat gather here and enjoy it hot, steamy and crispy. It can be a challenge finding a seat due to its popularity, but one that reaps reward. Staff are attentive, fast, and always on-hand to help you with whatever you might need. Other traditional Georgian foods are available, and should you need something to wash the artery-clogging cheese and dough bomb down, a range of home-made Georgian wine, cha-cha and beers are available.

CaFe gardens

uolli 43 M. Abashidze Ave., Batumi (+995) 593 05 99 55 This is one of those cafe-restaurants that well-qualifies for the “don’t take our word for it- just try it” concepts. Offering a light-and-airy interior, an enclosed balcony and a courtyard, you’l find everything you, your friends and your loved ones need for a refreshing start to the day, a healthy lunch or an evening meal with cocktails. Our top recommendation is the mussels in cream sauce. Live music at the weekends.

CaFe retro

10 Takaishvili St., Batumi, 12 Gogebashvili St., Batumi, 486 Rustaveli Ave., Kobuleti (+995) 579 51 17 22 Tucked away on a small side-street off of Batumi’s Piazza Square, this traditional

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1 Vazha Pshavela St., Batumi (+995) 599 00 56 46

Treat yourself to a cake and coffee in this cute yet spacious book cafe. They offer various breakfasts, Georgian and European dishes for lunch and dinner, and truly amazing desserts. Ideal for a meet with friends or colleagues, or to snuggle up on a sofa and read a good book on a chilly day. On warm days, their bright garden is ready to serve!


gosti gastrobar 16 Melashvilli St., Batumi (+995) 557 61 49 55 You’ll find Gosti Gastrobar away from the noise of the city center. It is different from other eateries in the city; the owners go out of their way to make visitors feel like they are dining in an old friend’s house. Originally from Russia, they came to Batumi 10 years ago and have been there ever since. It is a comfortable place to eat, drink, meet friends, or even visit alone. Spot the various Soviet antiques which decorate the interior. Their menu offers an authentic experience of Russian cuisine, as well as Georgian and European favorites such as khachapuri, lobiani, burgers, and steaks.

ZO NA

art-CaFe heart oF batumi

local, but with a European twist. Vegan options are also available.

11 Gen. Mazniashvili St., Batumi (+995) 568 94 05 15

Privet iZ batuma

The Heart of Batumi, located centrally, is highly rated among its visitors. It is often described as a second home, with its fresh, bright, comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant’s team are warm and welcoming and will endeavor to make your experience one which you want to repeat. We recommend their Saperavi wine, which massages your taste buds with 8000 year-old Georgian expertise. Buy a bottle, because after one glass you’ll be asking for more – guaranteed! It goes well with many things on the menu, such as traditional Khachapuri, and Khinkali. Dishes made here are

39 M. Abashidze St., Batumi (+995) 422 27 77 66 ‘Hello from Batumi’’s exceptionally fashionable pre-second-world-war interior adds a delightful addition to your visit: black-and-white framed photographs hang from the venerable grey-blush walls and antique wooden-glass cabinets hold various antique ornaments. As you enjoy your order, you feel like you could well be in simpler times. Take a break from the Batumi Boulevard by stopping off for ice cream, tea, coffee, cakes, salads, sandwiches and other Georgian/European dishes, all elegantlypresented and delivered with a smile.

5. Memed Abashidze ave. Batumi Open:10:00 - 04:00


literaturuli CaFe- batumi 18 K Gamsakhurdia St., Batumi (+995) 422 27 20 13 With two of these cafés in Georgia, one in Tbilisi and one in Batumi, it is a hard to miss “must try.” Good coffee, good pastry and good atmosphere, what else could you need? A great selection of cakes and pies, lights meals and good coffee, you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon reading Georgian books. Both cafes are in central locations, so after an exhausting day in town you can take a rest at one of these sweet and cozy spots.

bellissimo batumi 4 Kobaladze St., Batumi (+995) 555 11 77 33

Where.ge recommends their pasta carbonara followed by a sumptuous lava cake! And on a hot day, grab a vanilla milkshake to cool you down!

sPiCe garden batumi 16 Sh. Khimshiashvili St., Batumi (+995) 596 12 50 50 Spice Garden Batumi serves all your Indian favorite dishes in the center of Batumi: chicken tikka masala with chunks of marinated chicken in a spiced curry sauce, gosht karahi prepared with goat or lambs’ meat, buttery naan, crispy onion barges and fragrant south Asian vegetable rice. Located on Batumi’s beachfront, the circular restaurant has panoramic views of the Black Sea. Although a long way away from khinkali and khachapuri ajaruli, Spice Garden Batumi is a delicious alternative to Georgian classics.

CaFe-restaurant saKhli 3 Tavdadebuli St., Batumi (+995) 558 64 44 68

Three levels (one below ground) of style, comfort and excellent food and drink, an oasis in an otherwise dull urban environment. You can sit out at street level and people watch or head upstairs to the balconies. If it’s air-con you’re after, choose from the contemporary wooden tables inside. Just 2 minutes from the New Boulevard and beach, this makes the perfect spot to grab a classy and worth-the-money lunch, or to enjoy after a day of sunbathing.

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Sakhli is a cozy place in center of Batumi with a great home style environment, an avant-garde take on the country’s classic dishes and flavors alongside modern international cuisine, reasonable pricing and great service!

eCliPse restaurant 1 Lech and Maria Kaczynski St., Batumi (+995) 557 30 90 90 The Eclipse Restaurant offers a one-ofa-kind dining experience with a unique character and tempting gourmet dishes. Breathtaking restaurant design is based

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on an unconventional concept inspired by the bottomless blue of the Black Sea and golden rays of the gentle Georgian sun. While the décor provides a delightful setting, the dishes served will exceed expectations as contemporary cuisines from Georgia, Turkey, Japan and Europe combine to deliver dining at its finest. Enjoy your meal with quality wines hand-picked by our Chef Sommelier or a refreshing Georgian Black Lion craft beer, while the sound of live music fills the air.

bern 17 Rustaveli St., Batumi (+995) 591 62 00 05

The best to chill near Batumi Boulevard. There, you can spend unforgettable summer nights enjoying the European menu.

terrassa asKaneli 40 Rustaveli St., Batumi (+995) 557 07 55 55 Terrassa Askaneli offers its guests in Batumi three different spaces, each of them intensifying a certain mood, while the chefs will provide you with the most delicious dishes from both Georgian and global culinary worlds, with a pinch of individuality in each. Another pleasant reason to visit Askaneli is the diversity of live music evenings and professional master classes in wine-tasting.


FISH & MEAT RESTAURANT II FLOOR

Two Different Restaurants in one Space

GEORGIAN RESTAURANT I FLOOR

T: (+995) 591 914 416 / Ardagani Lake 6000, Batumi F: Grand Grill Restaurant / F: Ardagani Terrasa


360 sKY bar and restaurant 28 Rustaveli St., Batumi (+995) 568 710 198 The 360 Sky Bar and Restaurant offers delicious and exclusive dishes in a cozy and modern, open space – equally ideal for light snacks and a full romantic meal with a loved one.

restaurant hb 8 Kutaisi St., Batumi (+995) 593 52 56 52 Running since 2011, HB restaurant offers famous German beer HB which is imported from Munich. Food is a mix of Georgian and German - up to 300 dishes of meat, salads, soups, seafood and desserts. Quality is priority here.

luCa Polare BATuMI Abashidze St.N3 In Boulevard: (in front of) “Sheraton“ Hotel, “New Ship” Restaurant and “Aqua Park” KoBuLETI Agmashenebeli ave. N344 Facebok: LucaPolareOriginal Instagram: Lucapolare Web: Lucapolare.com Tel: +995 0322 38 08 02 Working Hours: 08:00 am – 02:00 am

blaCK sea 33 Bako St., Batumi (+995) 593 69 03 02 Good food, nice service, reasonable prices, a great view– enjoy summer at Black Sea restaurant!

twins Old Boulevard area, Batumi (+995) 558 38 85 83 Restaurant in the center of the Old Boulevard near the beach with an excellent view. Enjoy delicious coffee and Adjarululi Khachapuri.

alPhabet tower terraCe Club

The Alphabet (Anbani) Tower offers a fantastic panoramic view over the beach and makes a wonderful place for organizing romantic meetings, having fun and for falling in love with Batumi. Enjoy a concept menu based on popular international dishes. We recommend the roast salmon!

vertigo 1 S. Zhgenti St., Batumi (+995) 555 94 24 40 A complex of high class restaurant, lounge bar on terrace with a sea landscape, open swimming seawater pool (the only one of its kind in Batumi). Enjoy pool parties with DJs during the day and live bands at the restaurant in the evenings.

Miracles Park, Batumi (+995) 592 08 08 02

Luca Polare is one of the top destinations for Batumi’s residents. The polar bear Luca’s cafes scattered throughout the city invite you to enjoy the most flavorful ice cream and coffee. Nowadays, Company produce more than 60 types of ice cream. Luca`s production is based on Italian recipes, made of 100 percent natural products, fresh milk and fresh fruit. It contains no artificial additives for color or taste. Luca Offering gluten-free and diabetic options also.

Depending on the season, you can find rare types of ice cream, from mint, mulberry, or buckthorn, to feijoa and even the most palatable sourish blackcurrant ice creams. Luca Polare also serves exclusive coffee. This coffee travels an interesting road to reach Lucas shops. The highest quality Arabica beans are picked in South America. They are sent to a German family with a long history of coffee making. These experts roast our coffee beans based on traditional methods and send it on to Georgia only for Luca polare. Here you can also find tea, hot chocolate, blended drinks, frappés, cakes, salads and sandwiches.


Pelion- hilton batumi 40 Rustaveli St., Batumi (+995) 591 44 45 86/422 22 22 99

Enjoy the delicacies of Georgian cuisine with freshly baked bread, meat prepared to order served with seasonal garden vegetables, salads and traditional sauces. Make your lunch or dinner special watching our chefs prepare it in front of you while you sip traditional soft drinks, AND local UNESCO protected wines and spirits. Pelion is also the perfect location for a corporate or private event.

Clouds bar & restaurant 1 Ninoshvili St., Batumi (+995) 422 25 55 55 This trendy restaurant offers grilled specialties and well-mixed drinks along with a breathtaking view over the city and the sea. Clouds hosts live entertainment every weekend with bands, DJs and other musical performances, making a fun night out with friends even more memorable.

Chero, Kobuleti 454 Aghmashenebeli St., Kobuleti (+995) 599 61 61 68 This charming Georgian restaurant piles its guests’ plates high with dough, ooey-

gooey khachapuris and crispy pizzas (if you’re looking for a break from stick-toyour-ribs Georgian cuisine). The mtsvadi and kebabs are cooked on a grill out back, and come out smoky and tender. Chero is a local favorite, long known as a reliable spot for good food, a jovial atmosphere, and classic Caucasian hospitality. You can sit outside on the patio or in the large, open hall inside. The staff doesn’t speak much English, but are happy to interpret diners’ botched pronunciation attempts – and if you’re really struggling, don’t worry, the menu has pictures!

taraghana 26 May St., Kobuleti (+995) 592 04 44 04 Taraghana is an easy, breezy, seaside restaurant in the Black Sea resort town of Kobuleti. Its specialty is fresh caught fish – served grilled or pan fried. They also offer plenty of simple Georgian side dishes and a selection of wine, chacha, and draught beer. Taraghana is a local favorite, and its easy to see why. It has an authentic, casual vibe that makes every visitor feel welcome and beautiful sea views. The food is simple, cheap, and delicious. It should definitely be on your list when you are in Kobuleti, and if you’re looking for a down to earth, no frills, good food experience – it is even worth a drive up from Batumi or another seaside town.

saKalmaXe 8 Kobuleti St., Kobuleti (+995) 595 57 17 25 Located in Kobuleti, a summer escape on Georgia’s Black Sea Coast, Sakalmaxe restaurant is a popular culinary retreat. Holidaymakers in flipflops and sun

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hats, and families with children fill the restaurant with happy chatter. Staff serve plates of fresh BBQ fish, bowls of juicy Georgian salad with walnuts, and soft warm “puri” bread – the perfect evening meal during a holiday by the sea. The seafood served at Sakalmaxe is freshly caught in the Black Sea earlier in the day: succulent sturgeons, salty anchovies, trout and Black Sea salmon. The restaurant is bright and airy with modern furniture and design. There are also plenty of fish alternatives on the menu for those who don’t like seafood. For example, Sakalmaxe still serves Georgian classics such as khachapuri ajaruli. To enjoy fresh and delicious seafood during your summer holidays on the Black Sea, Sakalmaxe is a perfect choice.

lurji suPra 33 A. Melashvili St., Batumi (+995) 591 44 19 70

Great atmosphere, amazing food, delicious Georgian dishes, best Adjarian khachapuri – a lot of reasons to visit Lurji Supra!

bermuKha E. Takaishvili St., Ureki The biggest and loudest restaurant on the street- this one is hard to miss and is lots of fun. Enjoy Georgian fare with live music in a typical Georgian wood-andstone surrounding just seconds from

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the magnetic sand beach. Try the breakfasts to set you up for the daycheese, salad and salty omelette!

old shiP restaurant Rioni Canal Near Poti Central Park /D. Aghmashenebeli St., Poti

on local and European cuisine, served by professional and friendly staff. Where.ge’s top recommendation is the cheesecake!

white house, anaKlia 64 Rustaveli St., Anaklia (+995) 555 95 79 80 One of Anaklia’s few restaurants, White House is located outside a hotel of the same name. The staff are friendly, but speak little to no English. The atmosphere is sweet but not the most relaxing, with one side against the hotel’s front entrance and one side to the street.

Unlike it’s land-locked counterpart in Batumi, Poti’s ‘Old Ship’ is floating on the water (river water though, so the movement is an absolute minimum). The draw is the fact it’s an old wooden ship and you can sit up in the fresh air and sunshine on the top deck, or cozyup inside. The staff are friendly and kids will have a great time exploring (warning- please supervise them and mind your head when going below decks!). Expect basic (though tasty) Georgian food, fish, and fries, at prices reflecting the “exotic” locale.

sunset lounge 16 Batumi St., Chakvi (+995) 322 47 22 33 This aptly named restaurant can be found as part of the Dreamland Oasis Hotel complex and offers the best spot for a sunset-over-the-sea view. The atmosphere is distinctly outdoorsin, where even within four walls you’ll feel a breath of fresh air as you dine

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It’s a great place to stop for a coffee, ice cream, or to grab some snacks for the beach. If you’re a bit hungrier, they have a full menu of traditional Georgian dishes, but the quality is sometimes lacking. For an easy lunch after a few hours on the beach, it will hit the spot.

entertainment, Nephele is the place to dance into the night to some of the coolest music by the Black Sea.

laKada Rustaveli St., Anaklia (+995) 599 06 44 22 Lakada is located on one of the town’s main drags, Rustaveli Street, just a block from the beach. It has a more upscale atmosphere, so not a place you would roll into straight from a sandy, sweaty day at the beach. After a shower, put on some closedtoed shoes and head over to Lakada for attentive service, fresh, local Georgian cuisine, and charming décor – the outdoor fireplace is particularly lovely. The bar serves cold beer on draught. It is a popular spot for locals to host weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays.

raKushKebi Fridastan Kvariati Beach

sKY bar & restaurant nePhele 40 Rustaveli St., Batumi (+995) 591 44 45 86 Indulge yourself in the remarkable views of the sea and the city from Nephele, located on the 20th top floor of Hilton Batumi. The stylish bar with spacious outdoor terrace is an ideal place to enjoy the best cocktails in the town or the wide selection of Georgian and international wines, champagnes and spirits.Relax and treat yourself to a meal with an elevated view or delight in the large variety of snacks to accompany your drink. If you are looking for a night of

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This place is full of arts and crafts. The whole place buzzes with unleashed creativity. Next to their fine selection of traditional Georgian food, light meals and brunch offerings you can enjoy nice view to the see. Music gets you in the mood and the evenings let loose.


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Exclusive Drinks Guide . . . e ic o h C y M

Irakli Piranishvili Owner of Zona and Up2you

Zona Zona is a cozy place with tasty food, good prices, live music evenings throughout the week and a good location - near the sea-front and some charming architecturally nice streets in central Batumi.

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uP2You Up2you is a Batumi beach club. It is one of the most active clubs in the city with an interesting program and guests. During all seasons the club hosts unforgettable events. Don’t miss the chance to visit.

bK This is a beautiful restaurant with a great ambiance and delicious food, drinks, great interior, good service. And the prices are definitely worth the quality.

seCtor 26 Sector 26 is a nice beach-lounge around the pool where you can relax and have cocktails or spirits. At Sector 26, you can enjoy the best music, DJs, creative mixes, an intimate atmosphere, exquisite food and fun.

terrassa asKaneli Terrassa Askaneli in Batumi has three different spaces, each of them intensifying a certain mood. The restaurant, terrace and wine club leave the guests impressed. Chefs provide the most delicious dishes from both Georgian and global culinary worlds. Another pleasant reason for visiting “Askaneli” is the diversity of live music evenings and professional master classes in wine-tasting.

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Ajaran Vine Varieties

Ajara is one of the oldest wine-making regions in Georgia – a fact seen in the great number of local vine varieties, centuries-long wine-making tradition and by archeological findings. Although the conquest by the Ottomans in the 16th century, along with the spread of the Muslim religion, in general weakened the wine-making industry, Ajaran farmers managed to maintain a number of their unique vine varieties for future genera-

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tions, with many of those varieties having made it to the present day.

ered among the most reliable guides even today.

A comprehensive ampelographic study and cataloging of Ajaran vine varieties began in the 1930s and led to the rediscovering of several vine species. The greatest credit in this deed goes to famous ampelographer Maxime Ramishvili whose fundamental work, titled “Vine Varieties of Guria, Samegrelo and Ajara,” is consid-

It is from this very study that we learn how the experts of those times traveled around the region’s villages and cataloged local vines. The names of some vines had even been forgotten, since, in over three centuries of Ottoman rule, wine was not made due to religious considerationsmany grapes grew unattended and were

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only consumed as fruit. As a result, in the study, such nameless varieties were given the names of the villages they were found in (for example, Almura) or the names by which they were described by local farmers (for example, Forest Vine or Forest Grape). Ajaran vine varieties on the brink of extinction were moved into special vineyards and studied in the following years, namely: White Almura, Black Almura, Akhalaki, Batomura, Garden Grape, Brola, Burdzgala, Butko, Gorgouli, Vaio Saperavi, Tetra, Turvandi, White Kaikatsishviliseuli, Kviristava, Kibura, Kirtsitela, Klarjuli, Koloshi, Kordzala, White Livanura, Black Livanura, Matenauri, Magara, Mekrenchkhi, Miskieta, Mortskhula, Mtsvanura, Adjaruli Mtsvane, Orjokhuli, Povnili, Salikvlevi, Adjaruli Saperavi, Satsuri (Satsuravi), Skhaltauri, Forest Vine, Forest Grape, Korkauli, Shavshura, Shishveli, Adjaruli Chitistvala, Chkhushi, Tsvite, Adjaruli Tskhenisdzudzu, Tsvite, Tchetchibera, Tchipakuri, Tchodi, Adjaruli Kharistvala, Khopaturi, Javakhetura, and Jineshi.

high-hanging by nature. Experts now recommend growing Ajaran vines using the “Olikhnari� vine-growing technique which holds the grapes in a position that is neither high nor low, allowing the grapes to be easily taken care of. In recent years the wine-making industry of Ajara has been on the rise. Farmers have started growing new vineyards- particularly of Tsolikouri and Chkhaveri grapes, the varieties highest in demand and also the most profitable to produce. A stimulating event for the industry is the Festival of Homemade Wines held in Batumi, seeing vine growers from all over Georgia taking part. In 2010, the wines of Teimuraz Gorgiladze from Vaio village in the Keda Municipality won several medals. Gorgiladze is an agriculturalist and grows 30 different vine varieties in his vineyard. Most of them are vines unique to Ajara. In 2012, 1500 of his Chkhaveri saplings of were given to farmers in Merisi village of the Keda Municipality within the framework of a joint project by the Caucasus

Environment NGO Network (CENN) and the Wine Club. The best natural conditions for growing vines in Ajara are in the villages of the Keda and Shuakhevi Municipalities where both the climate and the soil allow for the cultivation of the finest varieties. The farmers in Khelvachari and Kobuleti Municipalities are advised to grow grape varieties that are best consumed as fruits rather than wine, however some villages in Khelvachauri also allow for the cultivation of vines for wine-making. Historically, vine growing was also developed in the Khulo Municipality. Worthy of particular mention is Chao village where the afore-mentioned Maxime Ramishvili discovered several forgotten vines. A good precondition for the revival of vine growing in Ajara is the increasing interest of local farmers in producing wine. Even though most of them grow just the Chkhaveri of Guria and the Tsolikouri of Imereti, you can also occasionally come across several native Ajaran vines. This, at least, is a foundation to build upon.

The majority of Ajaran vines are quality vines in terms of winemaking. Others can be grown and used as fruit. Academician Niko Ketskhoveli wrote about the great potential of these vines back in the 1960s for the hospitality industry of the Ajaran coast. Adjaruli Tskhenisdzudzu, Povnili, Kharistvala Adjaruli, and some other grape varieties are of particular value as fruits rather than as wine material. In the last century, with the aim of effectively fighting vine diseases, vines were grown close to the ground (particularly Tsolikouri and Chkhaveri), despite the fact that the majority of the Ajaran vines are

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Georgian Tea & the New Tea Route

The first tea bushes appeared in Western Georgia in 1847, and since then tea production has played a significant, yet widely unknown, role in Georgia’s history. The humid and subtropical climate of Western Georgia in the regions of Guria, Samegrelo, Ajara, Imereti and Abkhazia are ideal for harvesting tea, and this was a fact eventually recognized by businessmen outside Georgia. With a commission to produce tea in the country, Lao Jin Jao, an experienced tea farmer, arrived from China in 1893. By 1900, the tea he was producing was world-class in quality, winning the gold medal at the Paris World Expo, a competition in which all countries producing tea (apart from China) participated. Since that peak, the history of tea

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in Georgia has been tumultuous, moving from the emphasis on quality to over-production and exploitation, and finally to practical abandonment. But all is not lost and the tea industry is on the cusp of revival… THE GEORGIAN TEA INDUSTRY IN SOVIET TIMES AND TODAY In the early 1920s, Georgia’s new status as a Soviet Socialist Republic led to the government taking an active role in the development and exploitation of the tea industry. The volume of tea produced was ratcheted up, and by mid-1900s Georgia was a leading producer of tea within the USSR, providing approximately 95% of

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the produce distributed across the Soviet Union. High production yields came at a high cost: the compromise of quality. Traditional hand plucking methodology that emerged in the 1890s was replaced by mass mechanical harvesting. The harvested quantity peaked in 1985 at 152,000 tons, a colossal volume of production compared to the 1,800 tons produced today. Between the fall of the Soviet Union and recent years, the tea sector in Georgia practically collapsed for both political and politico-economic reasons. With the fall of the USSR, the government could no longer play a supervisory and organizational role in tea production. Neither was it fit for the


task of helping re-orient the Georgian tea industry to new markets. The war of 1993-1995 in Abkhazia, a key tea-harvesting region in the northwestern corner of Georgia, also led to plummeting production levels, and, many of the abandoned tea factories were robbed, with their capital exported out of the country (mostly as scrap metal).

weather conditions is an additional benefit, safeguarding farmers against bad harvests. Moreover, high quality teas that can be produced in Georgia can be competitive on world markets. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and private stakeholders, Georgian tea could fill the niche market of bio-clean produce that is in demand in advanced economies.

Due to financial constraints and the lack of necessary resources to rehabilitate overgrown plantations, the amount of land fit for harvesting tea also plummeted as farmers replanted with nuts and other crops. According to Tengiz Svanidze from the Tea Producers’ Association of Georgia, approximately 20,000 hectares of land were still suitable for tea harvesting in 2013; in May 2015 this quantity was halved to about 10,000 available hectares. Compare this to the 67 thousand hectares under tea plantations in the 1980s, and one sees the extent to which this sector has shrunk. Disorganization has led to practical abandonment, and the main challenge nowadays is to keep intact whatever knowledge and capital still remain.

Georgia is one of the northern-most tea harvesting regions in the world. Perhaps surprisingly for some, cool weather conditions at night and during winter months serve as protection against diseases – greatly reducing the need for pesticides. At least for the time being, Georgian tea is ecologically clean also because Georgian farmers rarely use (expensive and difficult to access) herbicides.

The glorious past of the Georgian tea industry suggests that reviving the tea sector could bring huge economic and social benefits to Western Georgia’s rural communities. It could be key to alleviating rural poverty by providing families with steady jobs and income generation opportunities. The art and science of tea production would continue to be passed down from generation to generation, keeping intact Georgia’s social and cultural uniqueness. The relatively low risk of tea due to its ability to withstand relatively severe

MOVING FORWARD With the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), municipal governments in Ajara and Guria, the National Tourism Agency, the governments of Switzerland and Austria, and other partners, a Tea Route has been established in western Georgia. The route, modeled after similar routes in other countries and the successful wine routes that crisscross eastern Georgia, is meant to help visitors learn about Georgia’s tradition of tea production and better access some of the best quality tea currently being grown. There is also potential for the route to increase tourism in some of western Georgia’s more rural areas, providing income opportunities for local populations.

western Georgia creates new touristic and developmental opportunities for mountainous Guria, one of the poorest regions in Georgia. UNDP and the governments of Switzerland and Austria assist local municipalities team up with business and communities to unlock this rich potential.” In recent years, the Government of Georgia has taken steps to revive the nearly dead tea industry. In 2016, the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture initiated the ‘Georgian Tea’ program to restore abandoned tea plantations. As part of the program, participants receive financial support to bring plantations up to international standards for export. “Georgia has a rich history of tea production,” Louisa Vinton, UNDP Head in Georgia, said at the festival. “Reviving this tradition in Guria is bringing benefits both to tea producers and to businesses catering to tourists keen to experience authentic local culture. Given Georgia’s diversity of local identities, this is a dual approach that the UNDP is confident can be replicated across the country.” Given the extent to which the art of harvesting tea is cherished and respected in Western Georgia, it is great to see the Georgian government clearly realizing its need to play a role in deciding the future of the sector. It is also nice in this hot weather to see Gurian tea being offered as an ice-tea alternative to imported versions. Where.ge says #GoLocal and enjoy a Tea Route as well as the wine! Adapted from writing by Tamari Giorgadze (ISET), Irakli Kochlamazashvili (ISET) and Samantha Guthrie (GT)

“The newly established Tea Route in

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Where to Drink in Batumi By samantha guthrie

Batumi, Georgia’s glittering Black Sea gem, is a popular spot for summer vacations, among Georgians and foreigners alike. Any time of year you visit, you might enjoy a drink. A cocktail in the summer, a glass of wine on a breezy fall evening, a cup of spiked hot chocolate on a rainy winter’s day – Batumi can offer its guests a myriad of opportunities for indulging in a drink or two. Read below for our favorite spots for having a drink in Batumi!

ChaCha time

great for people who are looking for something a bit different. It is usually packed with young Georgians drinking beer, local wines and creative cocktails. www.facebook.com/vinylbarbatumi/

Chacha Time is one of the most popular bars in Batumi. They offer several types of infused chacha – a Georgian liquor made from grapes. They also serve food (try the burgers!) so you can soak up some of that booze! It is a small but cozy space, and in good weather, the party spills out onto the sidewalk. It’s located in the center of old Batumi, and is a great place to start the night with an affordable pre-game. chacha-time.com

iveria beaCh Club

wine room batumi For a change of pace, try Wine Room. While they don’t offer chacha, they have an incredible display of Georgian wines from around the country, including rare small batch and family wines. Their excellent sommeliers are happy to explain the wines to customers and offer pairing suggestions. The shop + tasting room is a great place to buy a few bottles as gifts or souvenirs, or to hang out for a pre-dinner drink and appetizer plate. www.facebook.com/wineroombatumi/

bQ wine bar Wine bar, wine shop, restaurant – BQ does it all. With only a few tables, the

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intimate atmosphere will get you three glasses deep in a bottle of Sapervi in no time. They offer a selection of wines from all over the country but specialize in small growers and family winemakers from western Georgia. In the summer, they stay open well past midnight – the perfect spot for a nightcap!

vinYl Vinyl is a cool bar in central Batumi, perfect for hanging out with friends, or for a low-key night out. They often host events and feature live music. It has a sort of alternative vibe,

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If you want to drink on the beach, try the Iveria Beach Club. It is one of Batumi’s few waterfront venues, and is a great place to unwind, relax, and dance the stress away. They play pop and electronic music. The crowd is pretty standard for summer Batumi – beautiful, shiny, tan people with a sun-glazed look in their eyes. It’s the perfect place for a night out without getting to the top-level of Batumi nightclub intensity, or for a slow afternoon of hazy, lazy day drinking. clubiveria.com/en/content/iveria-beach

sPeCtrum rooFtoP restaurant Spectrum has some of the best views in the entire city. Eclipsed perhaps only by the Alphabet Tower. The atmosphere is luxe, stiff, a bit dry. It is a nice place to have cocktails with friends, or perhaps go on a first date, but not your everyday go-to bar. It’s a great place to take photos! www.facebook.com/spectrumrooftopbkk/


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Exclusive Tips for Shopping Lovers

. . . e c i o h C y M

Tako Mekvabidze Designer Georgia is a hot-pot of new designers hitting both the local and international scenes, and visitors can always find something to their tastes to take back home and really stand out from the crowd. I’ve chosen my favorite designers- have a look!

taKo meKvabidZe I put my studio first because you will see many novelties and trendy clothes here. In summer, we put a focus on clothes inspired by the sea. Almost everything is made with natural fabric, guaranteeing you stay cool and comfortable all summer.

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Flabour This store boasts a collection elegant clothes by talented Georgian designers- both those who are established and those who are relatively new to the scene.

luteCia Besides the usual perfume and skincare products, you can buy niche perfumes here.

shoes gallerY Where you can always buy high-quality shoes of the latest trends in Georgian fashion. They are often made by local designers and brands.

Prive Located in Hilton, it offers an irresistible collection of luxury brand clothes. When you want to really look your best, head here!

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For already 13 years, the first ever online flower shop in Georgia Flowers.ge, has continued to be outstanding with itspopularity and success. Flowers.ge has managed to establish itself on the market through the high-quality service andexcessive standards. After the capital city Tbilisi, another shop of the company was also launched in Batumi four yearsago, and continues to actively function. It is located at Memed Abashidze Street, 36. The members of the staff of thecompany, florist-designers and couriers offer 24-hour long service to the customers.Flowers.ge accepts orders from all over the world and provides the delivery service reciprocally. At Flowers.ge you willbe able to make a choice through 120 flower varieties, and the designers will be ready to offer you different types ofbouquets, numerous compositions and a wide range of wrapping and packaging options. The company also offers theservice of interior and exterior decoration for different events. As the wedding floristry is one of the major constituents of the work of Flowers.ge, the designers of the company have taken special courses at one of the best and themost prominent florist-designer Karen Tran in Italy.The staff of the company comprises of the qualified professionals. High-quality flowers, on-time delivery and the sense of responsibility towards the clientele, represent the matters of the paramount importance for Flowers.ge. Exactly the given values contribute to the stability and success of the company.


46 Abashidze Street, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia Tel: +995 322 725725; +995 322 222947 36 M. Abashidze Street, Batumi Tel: +995 (422) 245 245


Beach Books, Cookery Books, History & Guides Whether you’re lazing on the beach or tucked up in your hotel room on a rainy Ajaran day, sipping wine on a terrace or glamping in the mountains, relaxing isn’t relaxing without a good book. The options below cover a plethora of ways to discover Georgia- from fantasy to food, and history in between. Happy reading!

darK wings angel

be mY guest (the georgian reCiPe For CooKing suCCess)

by Katie ruth davies Written by a British author who has lived in Georgia for 12 years, Dark Wings offers a suspenseful and fun plot set throughout the country. It tells the story of Ela, whose guardian angel is fighting to protect her from the demons who have come to town. Of course, it doesn’t help when she falls in love with one of them. A great way to discover Georgian culture, religion and traditions through fiction- this is a must-read for all ages!

by anna saldadze and david gigauri

storytelling, wonderful color sketches and fine print paper. Book includes topics like: travel preparation, local insights, history and geography, architecture, greetings, public etiquette and many more.

travel guide booK about georgia From georgiastartshere.com This 92 pages long ultimate travel guide book about Georgia has its unique style of

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Why this book? The book is written by local travelers; Includes most accurate and useful tips and hints; Narrated in a brief, smart, and casual manner; It is created by the most popular English website about traveling in Georgia. Book is sold online: www.georgiastartshere.com. Find it in stores: Gallery 27 , Stamba’s books, Parnassus books, Prospero books, 8000 vintage, Books in Batumi, Suliko wine bar, Old School Bar & Vintage Store, Book stores network Biblus, Grandpa Shaqro’s Books.

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Be My Guest is a book of remarkable stories and delicious recipes created by Georgians living abroad who achieved fame and success in their other careers. It reveals how genuine imaginative talent finds expression in all levels of life - and for Georgians, at the table in particular. Whether a hero of the Napoleonic wars; the founder of the New York City Ballet; a


Hollywood muse or New York night-club owner.

historY oF georgia bY shengelia Kakha

This one covers 100 natural and historical memorials of Georgia. From natural attractions to protected territories, caves, rivers and canyons, summits and mountain passes, lakes and mineral waters: resorts and cities are set forth. Of historical sightseeing locations, churches and monasteries, fortresses and towers and houses of worship of different eras, architectural styles and importance are covered.

One book apparently is not enough for the long history of Georgia. But this is concise and tells the history of Georgia from the ancient era (Stone Age, i.e. 35,000 years ago) through the modern times (including the Rose Revolution of 2003 and Russian Aggression of 2008). The book deals with different issues of Georgian history: geographical location of the country, natural environment, population, historical and geographical review, ethnogenesis of the Georgians....

untamed (8000 vintages oF georgian wine) by anna saldadze

100 sights oF georgia bY elizbarashvili nodar; Kupatadze bondo

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Whenever a vine grows, its fronds intertwine with countless human stories. Man’s labor brings forth drink from the vine and poets sing its praises. Kings and fools together marvel at wisdom it bestows. Untamed is an invitation to understand this unique relationship between Georgians and their wine; to explore different grapes and terroirs, and to discover the joy-filled philosophy of a small nation that has so much to offer the world.

edge oF emPires: a historY oF georgia by Donald Rayfield Beginning with the first intimations of the existence of Georgians in ancient Anatolia and ending with the volatile presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili, Rayfield deals with the country’s internal politics and swings between disintegration and unity, and divulges Georgia’s complex struggles with the empires that have tried to control, fragment, or even destroy it. He describes the country’s conflicts with Xenophon’s Greeks, Arabs, invading Turks, the Crusades, Genghis Khan, the Persian Empire, the Russian Empire, and Soviet totalitarianism. A wide-ranging examination of this small but colorful country, its dramatic state-building, and its tragic political mistakes, Edge of Empires draws our eyes to this often-overlooked nation.

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Shopping in Ajara By Ketevan Kvaratskheliya

Neighboring Turkey is yet another important feature in terms of shopping in Ajara. In the region of Ajara, travelers have an opportunity to purchase various high-quality clothes and other items that may not be found in any other part of the country and which somehow integrate the diverse styles of Georgia and Turkey.

Shopping is one of those activities that you can never get bored with; an inseparable part of a holiday for travel enthusiasts, with no trip complete without souvenirs- be they fridge magnets, cheesy T-shirt or art and fashion. Ajara, along with a wide range of attractions for all tastes, is also ready to offer a unique experience for shopping-lovers and souvenir-hunters. Batumi is the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara. Thus, it brings together the vast majority of go-to destinations with regards to shopping. There is a number of brand boutiques and local designer shops offering the best clothing for men, women, and children in accordance with the latest

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trends. If you want to attend one of the theater shows, film festivals or concerts taking place in the Black Sea Resort, these boutique shops are always on hand to make you look outstanding. The clothes created by local designers often catch the eye of international travelers, earning them a reputation beyond the borders. Yet, Batumi is also welcoming to the budget tourist. There is a great number of pocket-friendly shops, hidden through the colorful streets of the city, offering wonderful clothes and accessories for moderate prices. The Boulevard, stretched several kilometers along Batumi, is also a go-to destination for shopping-lovers, as, aside from a multiplicity of cafes and restaurants, there are various shops of interest.

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And Ajara is capable of offering unforgettable memories in terms of other types of shopping. What could be better than a fresh fish tasted at the sea resort? Seafood enthusiasts are very welcome to visit one of the local ‘sights’ of Batumi – the fish market. Even though this is not a fancy or luxury a la Carte venue, it is worth visiting for the fresh fish, which cab be prepared and served in one of the nearby eateries after purchasing. Batumi also offers choice beyond the limits of clothing and food with an antique shop, on Zviad Gamsakhurdia St. 21, where you have a chance to travel through different epochs, discover the unknown details of the past centuries and perhaps become the owner of items of breathtaking beauty. Batumi is not the limit to shopping in Ajara: other towns and even the villages of the region are also full of pleasant surprises in this respect, with locals offer a wide assortment of gourmet pleasures, incredible wine and handicrafts. #SpendyoursummerinGeorgia and discover the best of the Ajaran shopping culture!


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Georgian Designers anouKi 6 M. Abashidze St., Batumi (+995) 422 22 32 12

Fashion house oF aKa nanitashvili 19 Mazniashvili St. (+995) 577 73 99 77

dots 40 Rustaveli St., Hilton Hotel (+995) 322 99 95 30

Georgian designer Aka Nanitashvili has been running the Aka Nanitashvili Fashion House since 2009. In addition to clothes, she also has a line of shoes.

ANOUKI is Georgian, Tbilisi-based brand, established in July 2013 by head designer Anouki Areshidze. ANOUKI presents ready-to-wear clothes, shoes and accessories. The brand’s main idea is to be “personal” to each customer, not to be cliché, and to understand what women want.

goga niKabadZe 19 L. Asatiani St. (+995) 422 279111/599 40 62 63

metroCitY Forum– shoPPing mall 1 Lekh and Maria Kachinsky St. (+995) 577 14 17 14

All his collections are born in his workshop in Batumi, where seasonal collections and several capsule ones are always present. He creates clothes, shoes and accessories for confident people who enjoy life; for those who embrace their individuality and see clothes as a way to express themselves.

avtandil The project Metro City kicked off in 2015 on the Black Sea coast in Batumi. It is a multifunctional complex offering residential areas, a hotel, casino, conference halls, dining area, cinema, bowling center, apartments, and shopping center Metro City Mall, where you can find Georgian designers clothes, shoes and accessories.

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88 Gorgiladze St. Batumi Mall (+995) 577 07 11 11 Avtandil Tskvitinidze is a Georgian fashion designer based in Tbilisi. Avtandil graduated from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 1995. His clothes are sold in the US, Germany, France, UAE, Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan.

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DOTS is a new addition of the Fashion House Materia’s brand portfolio. With the slogan #WearGeorgian Dots trys to prove that good quality can be purchased at a very affordable price and break the stereotypes. Everything presented in the store is exclusive, made only for Dots. At Dots you can find amazing and rare collections and accessories from young and talented Georgian designers. Since it’s opening in 2016, Dots expanded its physical location into Hilton Hotel Batumi. Outside of Georgia, Dots constantly interacts with foreign markets, with consumers ranging from various parts of the world. Designers’ seasonal collections can be found at Dots Concept Store and online-shopping platform.

Flabour 21 M. Abashidze St. (+995) 593 13 74 48

made in georgia 48 M. Abashidze St. (+995) 577 60 77 33


Where to Buy Properties in Georgia maCro ConstruCtion Complex area: Digomi Edu-Experimental Agriculture; (next to Olimpic facilities), Tbilisi TEL 200 10 10

Real Palace company was founded in 2011. It has the necessary resources and experience for the implementation of construction works, from project development to commissioning. It is also an importer of high-quality building materials, guaranteeing a high-quality and affordable apartment.

duX ddeveloPment 23 Paliashvili St. TEL 250 00 32 Built to the highest standards in European residential developments, MAQRO Construction’s Green Diamond complex on the edge of Georgia’s historic capital Tbilisi combines both luxury and affordability for the discerning homeowner, or indeed investor.

Premium batumi 36 M. Abashidze St., Batumi TEL 568 33 00 00

Premium Batumi is a construction development company operating in Batumi. We offer exclusive, premium class residential hotel type apartments.

real PalaCe 18 Pirosmani St., Batumi TEL 514 67 47 47

white sails

3 Lech and Maria Kaczynski St. TEL 598 05 00 00 WHITE SAILS is a unique multifunctional complex with outstanding design and architecture. The complex is distinguished by an unbeatable location on the seaside in Batumi New Boulevard and offers modern, diverse and well-developed infrastructure. The project includes two high-class hotels and five 16, 18 and 20-storey aparthotels and is one of the biggest investments in Georgia.

emerald grouP 85 Paliashvili St. TEL 555 20 00 02 Dux Development is the subsidiary of the Azeri Investment Company - ORI Group and is based on the experience of partners who have successfully implemented multiple development projects in the territory of Azerbaijan since 2007. The mission of Dux Development is to implement development projects across the country and establish new standards in the field of construction, based on the requirements of the client and investor. Over the years, Dux Development has established partnerships with companies representing leading European brands in the field of construction materials. In order to meet the right standards and achieve top quality, the Company employees are regularly trained and introduced to new trends in the field.

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Emerald Group is a Georgian investment development company that builds residential apartments, hotels and multifunctional complexes. The company is established by a professional team that has excellent experience in investment development, building houses where people can live in an aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and safe environment. Emerald Group aims to become a leader in the Georgian development market by introducing an entirely new standard of living, where projects are distinguished by original architecture and elegant design.

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Become a part of the growing tourism sector - fast!

Your safe, eco-friendly and affordable wooden cabin ready to stay in

in just 2 weeks! In Georgia, countrywide!

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Where.ge Ajara 2019  

Where.ge Ajara Special Issue Summer 2019

Where.ge Ajara 2019  

Where.ge Ajara Special Issue Summer 2019

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