Georgians are proud of their entire country but there's a particular place in their soul for the Black Sea region of Adjara. Neighboring with Turkey, the Independent Republic of Adjara, as the region is officially known, is a land of pristine and unaltered nature, intact beaches, high mountains, and delicious food which makes it intriguing for eco tourists. Although it is on the shore of the Black Sea, the waters in the area are cerulean, and very warm. Sea season here begins from May and lasts until October, sometimes longer.
Christianity started to spread throughout Georgia in the 1st century from Adjara, and it became the state religion in the 4th century. The apostles Andrew and Simon preached in Georgia. According to some sources, Matthew the Apostle was buried in Adjara in Gonio. Gionio-Apsaros fortress is also associated with famous mythos about Argonauts, who landed here to find The Golden Fleece.
Today, Adjara is home to a variety of religions. In the same day, you can visit Christian orthodox churches, mosques, synagogues, and Catholic and Armenian churches. In addition to religious monuments, Adjara has a myriad of unique arch stone bridges, which date back to the Middle Ages.
Adjara is home to the picturesque beaches of Batumi, Kvariati, Sarpi, Gonio, Tsikhisdziri, Mtsvane Kontskhi (the Green Cape) and Kobuleti. In the summertime, the beaches are filled with tourists enjoying their holidays. Adjara's beach towns offer well developed infrastructure and fresh, healthy air.
The capital of Adjara and one of the oldest cities in Georgia is Batumi which is often called the "Pearl of the Black Sea". Amazing streets filled with palm trees and beautiful 19th century architecture, it feels more like the Caribbean than Eastern Europe. Modern cinemas, theaters, historical museums, an Opera House and Circus, as well as the longest boulevard in Europe, makes Batumi look gorgeous.
See Batumi page for more details.
Gonio-Apsaros Fortress is located 12 km south of Batumi, on the left bank of the River Chorokhi. One of the Georgia’s most ancient settlements was located around this fortress. Due to its strategic location, Gonio-Apsaros became a supporting citadel first for the Romans and later to the Byzantines and Ottomans along the eastern Black Sea coastline. Respectively, the fortress has several layers: the Roman layer (3rd-4th cc BC), the Byzantine layer (6th-7th cc AD) and the Ottoman layer (16th c AD). The history of Gonio-Apsaros fortress references 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. According to some sources, Mathias, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ, is believed to be buried here. There is a museum inside the fortress.
Makhuntseti waterfall is located near the town of Keda, at 335 meters above sea level. Near the waterfall several picnic sites are available for visitors. While visiting the waterfall it is also possible to visit nearby tourist attractions, including the ancient arched stone Makhuntseti Bridge, Adjarian wine houses, and private wine cellars scattered throughout Keda Municipality.
Skhalta Monastery is located in Khulo Municipality, the highest, most mountainous part of Adjara. The main building of the complex is Skhalta Church of the Virgin. It is a single-nave, hall-like church. Judging from its artistic and stylistic peculiarities, it is speculated that Skhalta Monastery was built during the mid-13th century. The churches notable frescoes were painted in the 14th and 15th centuries.