Southwestern Georgia is a region along Georgia's Black Sea coast, which borders Turkey to the south. Southwestern Georgia consists of two regions: Ajara and Guria. The region includes a variety of localities, from historic towns and cities, through ports, industrial areas, beach resorts and natural reserves. It therefore offers a varied mixture of holiday opportunities to the travelers, as you can engage both in traditional beach activities and do a fair share of inspiring sightseeing.
- 1 Batumi — the capital of Ajara and Georgia's third largest city is a pleasant Black Sea port with great Ajaruli cuisine
- Chakvi — small town in Ajara, beach resort
- 2 Chokhatauri — small town in Guria, district center
- Grigoleti — beach resort
- Keda — district center
- 3 Khulo — a town in Ajara's highland, district center
- Kobuleti — a small town, beach resort
- 4 Lanchkhuti — small town, district center
- Likhauri with medieval fortress and 15th century church
- 5 Mtispiri with medieval Askana Fortress
- Nabeghlavi — the source of mineral water of the same name
- Nasakirali balneotherapeutic health resort with mineral water
- 6 Ozurgeti — the capital of Guria is a fairly small town; near the Shemokmedi Monastery and the Likhauri Church
- 7 Ureki — beach resort
- 8 Sarpi — coastal village in Ajara, right next to the border gate with Turkey
- 9 Shemokmedi with 6th century Monastery
- Shukhuti The venue for the annual Leloburti (a rugby match between the neighboring villages of Kvemo and Zemo Shukhuti), always on the Orthodox Easter Sunday
- Tsikhisdziri , village with 3,000-year-old Petra Fortress
- Kintrishi Natioanal Park
- Kobuleti national Reserve
- Mtirala National Park
- Machakhela National Park
Southwestern Georgia consists of two regions:
- Ajara — a 30% Muslim autonomous region of Georgia with beaches, palm trees, and wonderfully fattening food
- [Guria — a region famous for its "Gurian Riders," trick horse riders who toured the United States as part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show
The climate of Southwestern Georgia ranges from subtropical to high alpine, and is one of Georgia's greenest and wettest regions.
Georgian is unquestionably the main language in the region. Turkish is also fairly prevalent in Batumi. Much of the older generation speak Russian and the younger generation is increasingly speaking English due to hostility towards Russia, and also because English is taught in schools since independence and has replaced Russian as a second language in schools nation-wide. When in need for help, look for younger people, as they are more likely to know some English.
Batumi has its international airport. Taxi from airport to the city costs about 10 lari. Other nearest major international airports are in Trabzon, Turkey and Kutaisi. There are regular flights from Tbilisi to Batumi international airports.
Batumi, Ureki, Kobuleti and Ozurgeti has a railway stations. These cities are linked to each other and to Tbilisi by the railway. Tickets can be bought at stations and online.
There are daily coach arrivals and departures in several directions: Kutaisi, Samtredia, Poti and Tbilisi, also from Istanbul, as well as easy mini bus (marshrutka). Marshrutkas head to Btumi and Ozurgeti from the bus stations in Tbilisi and Kutaisi. Batumi is the easiest destination to get to, and is widely served by public transport.
Batumi, Kobuleti and Ureki lies on the well-developed international road which links Turkey to Georgia. Other cities lies on national roads which are paved with concrete. Roads are beautiful and ideal for a scenic drive.
Buses and Mini buses (Marschrutkas) go in the surrounding area. Cycling in easy in Batumi. Marshrutkas are generally the way to go when traveling outside of Batumi or Kobuleti.
There are many historic monuments, museums, galleries and other attractions in the old city of Batumi, which is probably where more tourists will start their visit anyway. Do not miss Roman era Gonio Fortress in the souther part of the city.
Head for the beaches of Gonio, Kvariati, Sarpi, Chakvi to experience the black sea and high night life of the resorts, or head to Shekvetili, Ureki or Grigoleti which also offer a number of more relaxed beaches and curable sands than those close to Batumi.
- See Ozurgeti, historical capital of the region, with Soviet era architecture
- Explore Guria's historic medieval monasteries, churches and fortresses in villages Likhauri, mTispiri and Shemokmedi.
- Batumi Botanical Garden
- Kintrishi National Park — east from Kobuleti
- Kobuleti National Reserve — in Kobuleti
- Machakhela National Park
- Mtirala National Park — east from Chakva
- Kolkheti National Park — north from Ureki
- Eristavi Palace and Park — near Chokhatauri
- Ski in Goderdzi Pass, Mountainous resorts of Ajara.
- Trekking and Hiking in other mountain resorts: Bakhmaro, Gomismta or Beshumi
- Batumi offers great biking opportunities
- Visit Guria Park — large amusement center between Ureki and Kobuleti
The food differs slightly in Gurian and Ajara. You should try Khakhapuri in Ajarian style. You also need to make sure you experience the fresh fish and other seafood, which is served at restaurants in Batumi and Ureki, as well as in villages of Guria and Ajara you can try river fish. Try "Bachlava" for dessert.
You will fins some wineries in Keda (Ajara) and Bukistsikhe (Guria) and a lot of pubs and bars in coastal resorts: Batumi, Kobuleti and Ureki during summer season. The most famous local wine is "Chkhaveri".
There is wide range of hotels, hostels and guesthouses in Batumi, Kobuleti and Ureki, included splurge international brands such as Hilton, Radisson, and Sheraton hotels in Batumi.
There are seven resorts in the region, of which Ureki, Shekvetili and Grigoleti are located on the Black Sea; Bakhmaro, Gomi Mountain, Balneological Nabeghlavi and Nasakirali—in the mountainous alpine zone.
Guria and Ajara are quite safe regions of Georgia. Take common precautions, especially during nighttime. Also avoid dark streets.
International road links Georgia trough Batumi with Turkey and it is fairly easy to catch a marshrutka or hire a taxi going to the Sarpi border, or travel to Trabzon or Istanbul from Batumi by bus. North of the region is Samegrelo and east of the region is Samtskhe-Javakheti. They can be reached by the well developed local roads.