The ending of the Cold War and the fall of the USSR has opened up Eastern Europe, providing a whole batch of new tourist destinations and regions to explore. One such place is Batumi on the shores of the Black Sea in southwestern Georgia. Situated between the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, Batumi has developed as a great natural location for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts and regularly attracts visitors from across Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Batumi is within the Subtropical weather zone but influence from the Black Sea and local mountains gives cooler, wet weather with rain possible throughout the year. January has an average temperature of 14° rising to 22° during the middle of the summer months.
The area around Batumi has a host of attractions ready to please and entertain its visitors, this former Soviet Seaside resort overlooking the Black Sea has nice clean, pebbly beaches that have calm warm waters with a well kept promenade behind.
The Batumi Botanical Gardens are also a place worth looking around and are situated to the north of the city, high on the cliffs, looking out across the sea. This is a tranquil, cool spot and can easily absorb you for the best part of a half-day. There are also snack bars and stalls where you can get yourself some refreshments.
Gonio Castle about 15 km from the city centre provides a great day out, here you will find the ruins of an old 1st century Roman fortress on the banks of the River Chorokhi. Within a 100 years a busy town and trading post had grown up around the castle and today archaeologists are painstakingly unpicking the story of the area. The nearby beaches are also a popular draw with visitors travelling from as far as Tbilisi to bathe.
Dolphinarium is a favourite attraction, especially with families and has been entertaining crowds since it opened in 1974. It has recently been completely refurbished and the dolphins are once again putting on shows to entertain their visitors.
Adjara Modern Art Museum is a well-lit exhibition space with a good collection of works by local Georgian Artists and also has pieces representing 19th and 20th century European and Russian schools.
Dancing Fountain is an entertaining attraction along the seaside promenade, with the accompaniment of a light show and music, jets of water shoot into the air creating a wonderfully magical evening dance of water for the spectators.
The Archaeological Museum was opened in 1994 and houses a collection of significant finds from across the Adjara region. Displaying a rich selection of artefacts from mans earliest wanderings in Europe to beautifully decorated jewellery and beads from the 3rd century BC.