Where to go from Batumi: ancient fortresses, bridges, waterfalls and canyons

Where to go from Batumi

We live in the capital of Adjara and enjoy traveling around Batumi. We tell you about our favorite places, where we have been by ourselves, and sights, where we take interesting excursions from the city.

Makhuntseti Falls and Tamara’s bridge

There is a lot to see around Batumi! We enjoyed an independent trip to the mountain village of Makhuntseti. Popular in Adjara waterfall has a height of 20 meters. There are so many tourists during the season that it can be hard to take a good photo. People are everywhere – on the paths, near the wet rocks, and in the stone bowl under the water flow!

To see the medieval bridge, cross to the other side of the road and go down to the Adjaristskali river. The stone arch, 6 meters above the water, was built in the 12th century and is still standing. On the other side of the river, tourists are treated to wine and fried trout in a homemade restaurant.

To get to Makhuntseti is not difficult. From the old bus station on Mayakovskaya Street, take bus number 77 to Keda and ask the driver to drop you off near the waterfall. Even though it’s only 30km from Batumi to Makhuntseti, the way by bus takes about an hour. If you don’t want to take public transportation, visit this waterfall and the bridge with a tour – at the same time you’ll see other sights around Batumi.

Makhuntseti Waterfall. Photo of the author. Bridge of queen Tamara. Photo by author.

Saint Andrew Falls

If you are planning to swim at the cleanest beach in Georgia – Sarpi, check out the beautiful waterfall near the highway. The natural landmark is located 16 km from Batumi, between the villages of Sarpi and Kvariati. A small picturesque water stream is decorated with an unusual sculpture, which is dedicated to the arrival of St. Andrew to Georgia.

Take bus number 16 and go to Sarpi. From there to the waterfall is about 1 km on foot. From Batumi there is a sightseeing tour of the Adjara Mountains, during which tourists are shown this waterfall.

Gonio Fortress

Gonio fortress is 15km south of Batumi, and its history starts as far back as the Ancient Rome! Gonio-Apsaros fortress was built in the 1st century BC to defend the coast of Laza. Today, on an area of 4.5 hectares one can see toothed stone walls, improvised Roman camp, antique weapons, ruins of buildings, an ancient aqueduct and the tomb of the Apostle Matthew. We toured the fort without a guide and enjoyed the historical reconstruction and excavation sites.

You can easily get to the fort on your own from Batumi – take the buses that go to Gonio, bus #16 or take an excursion. The ticket to the fortress costs 10 GEL.

Where to go from Batumi

Walls of the fortress. Photos of the author.

Peter’s fortress

Byzantine city-fortress of Petra on the Black Sea coast is not as well preserved as Gonio. At the top of the hill you can see the ruins of the stone walls, towers and traces of ancient buildings. After a walk around Petra we advise you to go down to the sea and swim at the beach in Tsikhisdziri village.

The Petra Fortress is situated 24 km north from Batumi. All shuttles, which take passengers to Kobuleti and Poti, pass there. The fare from Batumi and back costs 3 lari.

Popular tours from Batumi:

    – € 150 for 1-4 people. – € 165 for 1-4 people.

Holy Trinity Church – Sameba

The picturesque temple is located 10 km from the center of Batumi on a mountain about 350 m high. The views from the church to the city and the Black Sea coast are amazing! In our opinion, the view from the Church of the Holy Trinity is much better than from the observation deck at the top station of the Argo cable car. Sameba is an active convent that is open to tourists from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the summer and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the winter. Before entering the territory, women are asked to wear skirts and scarves.

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Shuttles and buses do not go to the church itself, so it is more convenient to take a cab. The trip from the center of Batumi and back will cost 18-20 GEL. To take good pictures, get to the mountain before 14:00. Then you will have to take pictures against the sun.

The picturesque temple is located 10 km from Batumi center. Photo: Svetlbel / pixabay.com. View of Batumi from the territory of Sameba Temple. Photo by the author.

Mtirala National Park

The forested mountain 28 km from Batumi rises to 1,381 m, and its summit is almost always hidden in the clouds. The name Mtirala translates as “crying”. The wettest place in Adjara is a great option for a day trip from Batumi! You will visit a real Colchis forest, admire a noisy waterfall and swim in a mountain lake.

There are no buses or shuttles to the entrance to the national park, so you have to take a cab or take a tour to the heart of the Georgian subtropics.

Where to go from Batumi by yourself

You will visit a real Colchian forest. Photo: nasoril / unsplash.com.

Music Park in Shekvetili

Of the free attractions in the vicinity of Batumi, we recommend an unusual park near the resort village of Shekvetili. The green area with beautiful paths and stylish design occupies several hectares. You will go from sculpture to sculpture and listen to the magic music – Georgian polyphony, arias from operas and popular songs of musicians. There are statues of famous singers, dancers and conductors, composers of past times, pop divas and rock musicians in the park. After a walk through the park it is nice to take a swim on the luxurious beach with magnetic sand.

Take any bus that goes towards Poti or Kutaisi and ask the driver to drop you off near the Black Sea arena. The fare there and back is 8 GEL.

What to see around Batumi

Statue of Beatles in the park. Photo by the author.

Georgia in Miniature Park

To see all the interesting places of Georgia in miniature, go to a beautiful park, which is located north of Kobuleti, 40 km from Batumi. The beautiful site features more than 50 scaled-down replicas of the country’s architectural and natural monuments – Mount Kazbek, neighborhoods of Old Tbilisi, the Holy Trinity Church in Gergeti, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta and the Akhaltsikhe fortress of Rabat. There are also attractions in Adjara – Batumi Cathedral and Gonio Fortress.

Entrance to the park of miniatures costs 4 lari. Busses that take passengers to Ureki, Poti and Kutaisi pass by the territory. The ride there and back will cost 8 lari. From Batumi there is an excursion, during which tourists stop by the Music Park and the park “Georgia in miniature.

Reserve “Bogs of Hispaniola”.

There is a beautiful nature reserve adjacent to Kobuleti from the northeast, where almost no tours are taken. Tourists prefer canyons and waterfalls, so “Spani Swamps” remains a little-known pearl of Adjara. The unique ecosystem of sphagnum bogs 500 meters from the sea is totally atypical for the subtropics. It was formed 1700 years ago and occupies 770 hectares.

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There is a 2 km long trail for tourists through the reserve, with convenient viewing platforms, signposts and information boards. We were happy to listen to the chorus of frogs, see marsh turtles, new species of plants and birds. The free entrance to the grounds is at the end of Rustaveli Street. Just open the gate and you will enter a wonderfully peaceful green world!

It’s not hard to get to the reserve. We took a shuttle bus to Kobuleti for 2 GEL per person, and a cab to the entrance for 5 GEL.

“The Spanish Swamps” remain a little-known gem of Adjara. Photo by the author. There is a 2 km long trail for tourists through the reserve, there are convenient viewing platforms. Photo by the author.

The Kintrishi Reserve

The national park, famous for its beautiful landscapes, beech and chestnut forests, is located 58 km from Batumi, not far from Kobuleti. In wild, sparsely populated places live Caucasian bears, roe deer, weasels, squirrels, reed cats, moles, foxes, hares, otters, badgers and bats. The tree crowns and mountains are home to buzzards, eagles, beagles, hawks, falcons, owls and owls, while the rivers and lakes are full of fish. A true paradise for nature lovers! History connoisseurs will be glad too – old arched bridges, Khemvani convent and ruins of Khulo monastery are preserved on the territory of the reserve.

The entrance to the reserve is free, the overnight stay in a tent costs 10 GEL, and for a place in a comfortable cottage must pay 25 GEL. Go to Kobuleti by bus for 2 lari, and from there to the park’s visitor center take a cab, because it’s a 24-km drive. For 70-80 lari they will drive you to the place, wait 2-3 hours and take you back to Kobuleti.

Interesting places outside of Batumi

Reserve “Kintrishi”. Photo: Paata vardanashvili / wikimedia.org / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Martvili Canyon

For many thousands of years, the Abasha River has been chiseling a passage in the limestone, and the result is a narrow canyon 2.5 km long. Beautiful rocks 50-70 m high overhang the clear greenish water. It is possible to take a boat through the upper part of the canyon for 15 lari. In the lower part it is convenient to walk on foot.

This is the farthest sight in the vicinity of Batumi – the picturesque canyon is located 150 km from the resort, so it is more convenient to get by car or with an excursion.

What to see around Batumi

Martvili Canyon. Photo: vruyr / unsplash.com.

Excursions from Batumi in Georgia – don’t repeat my mistakes

With excursions in Tbilisi, everything is clear. You either walk around the city or go out with one-day programs around the neighborhoods and regions where it’s realistic to go for a day (Kakheti, Kazbegi or Mtskheta). With Batumi, the story is more complicated. The most beautiful corners of Georgia in this region are not so much a stone’s throw away. This year I gained invaluable experience, having made a couple of unfortunate mistakes. Now I’m ready to tell you how I would do it now.

Excursions from Batumi to Georgia

Martvili Canyon on a tour from Batumi

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Where to go in Batumi to be impressed

To warm up, it is worth a walk around the city, learn interesting facts. Here, the excursion “Soul of the old city” is very suitable. This is an unusual and very interesting tour. Leads it cinematographer, journalist and author of the book “Batumi: A History in Persons”. Bagrat, that’s the guide’s name, has a lot of interesting facts about the city. He knows the filming locations of everyone’s favorite old Soviet movie “12 Chairs” and “Love and Pigeons. And, at one time, he even interviewed director Vladimir Menshov.

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On a tour of Batumi, Bagrat takes archive photos and an old map of the city, dating back as far as 1905! In general, it seems that it is simply impossible to know anything more about the capital of Adjara than what Bagrat already knows about it. There are very few people like him in the city today – enthusiastic historians, who study the past of their native land using archives.

And not so long ago, Bagrat took part in the filming of the program “Hello, Andrew!” with Malakhov. It was about the film “Love and Pigeons”. Read more in a separate article about the best guides in Georgia.

Looking ahead, I will say that this tour of Batumi ended up being the most interesting for me! If you want to enjoy a 3-hour walking tour of the old Batumi and the opportunity to really look at the past of the city, then Bagrat is the right person for you.

The Soul of the Old City” excursion

Another walking tour, only this time with a girl named Julia. Nothing I can not say yet, because she did not go to her and no reviews, too. As they say, we will see.

After the tour you can explore Batumi’s main attractions by yourself.

Yacht Club in Batumi

Rustaveli Avenue in Batumi.

In general Batumi is a mix of old Armenian district Avlabari in Tbilisi and chiseled Turkish hotels made of glass and concrete. You can’t help it. Enjoy what you have. You’re not Archnadzor. Relax. All the splendor awaits outside the city.

For me personally, the coziest place in the city was the so called “Old Batumi”, where most of the buildings date back to the 19th century. Thanks again Bagrat.

Excursions from Batumi to Georgia – is it worth the trip?

The answer to the title question: is it worth going on excursions from Batumi? – Is very simple. Definitely worth it. It is outside Batumi, there is the very Georgia, which is remembered after returning home with a cup of tea and churcheli. Batumi is good, of course. But canyons, caves and waterfalls in the neighboring regions fall in love for real: definitively and irrevocably. Boom! And you’re hooked on Georgia.

Going alone or with a tour – what is more profitable?

On your own – means by public transport. It would seem that the answer is obvious. But it does not work with Georgia. Travelling on your own often means spending an extra night at the destination or getting back in a cab at three times the cost. Public transportation is not the strong suit of this beautiful country. The above-mentioned motions negate any savings. Excursions from Batumi – it’s not just excursions, it’s a way to get to the sights and return home the same evening.

If you are in Batumi and you are more than one, it makes sense to order an individual excursion (usually up to 4-6 people are allowed), dividing the costs equally. Traveling alone – then a group tour, no options.

Find a driver vs go on a tour

The driver takes the person to the place and waits in the car. The tour guide spends all the time with the person, telling and showing the most interesting things and stories. The main attraction of Georgia are the Georgians. It is necessary to communicate, and the more the better. What can I say, it is better to read what cool reviews leave on Tripster by people who have been on tours. For example, about director Michael. I think it is hardly correct to compare the director of “Georgia-Film” and a cab driver.

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A group tour with a guide or an individual tour with a local – what to choose?

Now I can say quite definitely – only with locals and only by good reviews on the website. There is no group street tour, no and no. I don’t like to be chased or vice versa – I have to wait for someone who wandered off to find the bathroom. Sorry. You go to Georgia to see Georgians. Interacting with locals is an essential part of any meaningful trip to this country. However, recommendations from acquaintances who visited a year, two, or ten years ago do not work. Everything changes very quickly, and people even more so. And vice versa. Reviews on the site are relevant – easy to check by the date last left and be sure that the person is now “in shape”.

Order a group tour from an agency “in the street” – it was my mistake number 1.

Excursions from Batumi – where to go?

Now about where exactly to go. There are plenty of beautiful places. The main ones are either in Adjara itself, or in neighboring Imeretia – choose based on your attitude to long trips.

What to see near Batumi?

  • Botanical Garden; ; ; ; ;
  • Peter’s fortress and the observation platform in Tsikhisdziri;

Most of the listed sights of the capital of Adjara, and more precisely its surroundings, is worth seeing as part of individual excursions. The coolest according to reviews – excursions from Batumi with the guide Victor. Moreover, Victor is also a photographer – can be lucky and get a couple of cool pictures!

The second place in the number of rave reviews is the excursion “Makhuntseti – introduction to mountain Adjara”. It is very indicative that people praised guide Maria, including the fact that their children liked the tour.

On a group tour, the list of attractions is shortened, and the time is severely limited.

Excursions from Batumi: what to see in neighboring regions?

The places described below will be more reasonable to visit as part of a tour from Kutaisi. The case when you get more for the same money. Already booked accommodation in Batumi? – Will have to prepare for a long trip for the whole day. But in this case, too, 100% that it is worth it.

Book accommodation only in Batumi – my mistake #2

The most interesting places, where it is realistic to get to with a day tour from Batumi, are located in the vicinity of Kutaisi. Here is a list of flagship attractions:

  • Martvili Monastery
  • Kinchkha waterfall (recommended)
  • Sataplia Park
  • Motsameta Monastery (recommended)
  • Gelati Monastery

From myself I can add that personally I liked most of all boat trips in Martvili canyon, untouched corner of nature near Kinchkha waterfall and solitude (or even intimacy, if you want) of Motsameta monastery.

Excursions from Batumi to the canyons, waterfalls and temples of western Georgia go with a bang. The girl, unlike most local dzhigitov, drives calmly, without dangerous overtaking and speeding, knows a lot of facts and funny stories about Batumi and Adjara, and most importantly – there are positive reviews about her on the website.

Near Kinchkha Falls

Okatse Canyon – check yourself for acrophobia

Okatse Canyon – here for selfies

Views from the observation deck – if you pass the acrophobia test

Boating in Martvili Canyon

Martvili Canyon – not even half of it

The Beauty of Martvili Canyon

Sataplia National Park – better to come here with kids

Motsameta Monastery – a very cozy place

Why book online?

Yes, I continue to think that booking tours online is much better. And here’s why.

Like Igor Nikolaev, I have five reasons for this.

First of all, there are no reviews of local agencies and their excursions. The analogy with Airbnb vs. a private realtor is very appropriate here: the popular site has reviews, and the other has to take their word for it (and often regret it). I’ve been scammed by realtors, and I think it’s because they know they can get away with it.

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Secondly, for the local travel agencies the tourist from the street is a one-time client. Hardly anyone really cares about his experience. At the same time, I know a couple of people from Tripster who wrote negative reviews. Their reservations have become many times less (if not disappeared altogether). I will not give the link here so as not to offend anyone, but you can go and look them up yourself. In short, you can not cheat!

Thirdly, it is always safer to book in advance. You know that on a particular day you will have something to do. What’s more, booking sites like Tripster act as a financial guarantor in case the guide is not at the appointed place at the appointed time.

Fourth, the cost of the tour is final and, as they say, “no surprises.”

Fifth, and finally, I am personally impressed by the idea of choosing an educated person, with whom you can talk about Georgia, and ask him about it in detail. For example, you can meet an artist or a historian, whose opinion or a full story about the country, its customs and traditions will be incredibly interesting to listen to!

White Bridge – the main checkpoint in Kutaisi

Parliament of Georgia – on the way back to Batumi

Where do I book?

Now with the question of where to book tours in Georgia online has become better and there is even a choice.

Tripster is the most popular resource in terms of tours around the world. The service brings the traveler and guide together directly, while remaining a financial guarantor. As for Georgia, it has just about everything. A bunch of individual and group excursions for absolutely any taste and wallet. The peculiarity of the site is that the tours are offered by local residents, and this is the main attraction of Georgia!

The only thing is that there are almost no tours in or out of Batumi on Tripster.

Georgia4travel is a young but established service. It works much in the same way as Tripster. A big plus of this resource is a good selection of excursions not only in popular Tbilisi, but also in the resorts of Batumi and Kobuleti.

Payment at Georgia4travel depends on the type of excursion. Group tours are paid in full in advance. The link for payment arrives after the confirmation of the order from the site. Individual excursions are paid in advance only partially – 20%, the rest is paid directly to the guide.

If the tour is individual, then contacts of the guide are sent after prepayment. Until then, he must still confirm the reservation. If the tour is a group, after full payment, the voucher is sent to the specified e-mail address with information about the location of the office, where the bus leaves.

Several payment options: by bank card (online), Yandex-money (for advanced), with Sberbank online (must be a registered user of the service), etc.

After successful payment at the post will come to confirmation of payment, respectively. Everything is simple.

Now, if I go on a tour, I book it on Tripster. They have good guides and have a lot to choose from. Georgia4travel is very helpful in Adjara in general and Batumi in particular.

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