THE BATUMI BOTANICAL GARDEN
Fresh air, picturesque landscapes, hospitable inhabitants and a plethora of traditions – that’s a short list of what can be expected in the Adjara mountains. The average height of mountains in Adjara is 2000-2500 meters with highest, the Kanlidaghi, located
at 3007 meters above sea level. Here, Goderdzi’s Pass can also be found (2025 meters) on the main Batumi –Akhaltsikhe road. While exploring this route you will be able to catch a glimpse of the magnificent landscapes and to breathe fresh Alpen air.
Khelvachauri is a mountainous place. In the southern part of Machakhela gorge the border divides Georgia and Turkey. This gorge consists of several large and many small villages: Gvara, Kedkedi, Adjarisaghmarti, Tskhemrala, Chkhutuneti, Chikuneti,
Sindieti, Saputkreti, Gorgadzeti and Vake. There are various historical-cultural heritage sites: castles, churches, winepresses and cellars, and water fountains built in stone.
This gorge is particularly famous for its stone-arched bridges of varying sizes. The largest is Khemlari bridge with a length of 25 meters and width of 2 meters.
Tourists can explore these fascinating sites and see some castles: Korolistvali, Chkhutuneti and Gvara and visit the Transfiguration Church in Akhalsheni village. There is also the Machakhela Ethnographic Museum located in the former Mosque and the Lazian Ethnographic Museum, which displays to visitors a selection of ancient Kolkhian and Lazian items.
Shuakhevi is rich in fossils and mineral waters. The rivers abundant in fish; the forests heavy with wild fruits and healing plants. It is recommended to visit Nigazeuli fortress – located at 800 meters above sea level in the village of the same name. Kiviani castle in Khichauri village, which dates back to the XIII century and Otolta and Chanchalo castles. Gomarduli village belongs to the Shuakhevi Municipality and is located 74 km from Batumi. It is possible to arrange some interesting activities there: hiking, horse-riding, rock climbing, camping and more.
Khulo is a very beautiful village which is also home to lots of castles. 7 km from Khulo in the village of Uchkho, one can see an arched bridge dating back to the XI – XII centuries. There is also the Local Lore Museum in Khulo with a selection of 745 exponents. Beshumi is one of the most famous summer resorts there, surrounded by sub-alpine forests, with astonishingly fresh air and a high level of ionization. The resort welcomes its guests from June to September. Tourists can enjoy their stay in comfortable cottages and attend the traditional celebration “Shuamtoba” in the middle of August. The celebration lineup also includes a horserace. Goderdzi Pass is one of Khulo’s resorts offering a variety fascinating activities: hiking in the mountains and forests, riding bicycles, flying with paraplanes, tasting mineral waters and a visit to the “Bear Reservation.” Those who are more interested in exotic nature can visit the beautiful green lake, located between looming mountains: the sight of the transparent water reflecting the mountain range is rather impressive and great for chilling out.
The National Park of Mtirala
Situated 14 km from the Tbilisi-Batumi highway, the National Park of Mtirala, 15,804 hectares, might be particularly interesting for people into ecotourism. Mtirala Mountain (mtirala in Georgian means weeper) is the mountain which often “weeps” sediment
in Georgia. There is also an inviolable Kolkhetian forest with lots of mineral waters and healing springs; a kind of asylum for rare varieties of flora and fauna. The listing of remarkable sights there include Skhalta Church, and Khilkhani, Gonio and Petra castles.
The tour in the national park begins at the Visitor Centre. While strolling along the pass, one can catch a glimpse of Georgian walnut and Kolkhetian nut trees kept in the “Red Book” of protected spaces. It is also possible to come across a bear, marten, fox and mountain eagle. There is a very nice place for picnics 2 km from the Visitor Center. The path then continues between box-trees and leads to a 12-meter high waterfall, dropping into the crystal clear river nearby which flows into a lake rich with trout. The Visitor Center in Chakvistavi village has an informational and exposition space, and hotel rooms. The Center can also provide sleeping-bags, backpack and tents, offers conference halls, guide and car services.
The Batumi Botanical Garden
It is highly recommended to visit this beautiful place – hilly, diverse, with stunning views of the Black Sea. The Batumi Botanical Garden in Mtsvane Kontskhi is a 113 hectare area of land 9 km north of Batumi city. The garden was founded by the Russian bot anist Andrey Krasnov in the 1880s and officially opened in 1912. Two skilled gardeners and decorators – the French D’Alphonse and the Georgian, Yason Gordeziani, supported the botanist. The garden was further expanded and developed, and is currently one of the largest in the world consisting of nine floristic sectors: those of the Caucasian humid subtropics, East Asia, New Zealand, South America, the Himalayas, Mexico, Australia, and of the Mediterranean. The garden collection comprises 2,037 taxonomic units of ligneous plants, including 104 of Caucasian origin. There are decorative and landscape expositions in the garden, too where visitors can make a fascinating journey among blooming plants, Japanese decorative gardens and water pools. For more comfort, visitors may travel around the gardens using electric cars, use wireless internet and also purchase some plants from the garden’s greenhouse. If needed, German, English, Russian and Turkish language guides are available for 30 GEL. There is also a large library and herbarium
with more than 48, 000 pages. The doors of the garden are open from 08:00 to 21:00. For foreign citizens the entrance fee is 8 GEL and for children up to 16 – 1 GEL. The garden is adapted for the disabled