Adjara: A Beautiful and Diverse Region of Georgia
Adjara, also spelled as Adzharia, Ajara, Achara, and other variations, is an autonomous republic within the country of Georgia, located on the southwestern coast of the Black Sea. It is a region of stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse ethnic and religious groups. Adjara has a population of about 350,000 people, mostly Georgians and Adjarians, who speak a dialect of Georgian and practice either Christianity or Islam. The capital and largest city of Adjara is Batumi, a popular tourist destination with a subtropical climate, sandy beaches, modern architecture, and vibrant nightlife.
Adjara has a long and complex history, dating back to ancient times when it was part of the kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia. It was colonized by the Greeks in the 5th century BC, conquered by the Romans in the 2nd century BC, and incorporated into the medieval Georgian monarchy in the 11th century AD. In the 17th century, Adjara fell under Ottoman rule and most of its population converted to Islam. In 1878, Adjara was ceded to the Russian Empire, and in 1921 it became an autonomous republic within the Soviet Georgia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Adjara remained part of independent Georgia, but with a high degree of autonomy guaranteed by the Treaty of Kars.
Adjara is a region of diverse landscapes and climates, ranging from the subtropical Black Sea coast to the alpine mountains of the Lesser Caucasus. It has many natural attractions, such as forests, waterfalls, gorges, lakes, rivers, and hot springs. It also has many cultural and historical sites, such as churches, mosques, fortresses, museums, and monuments. Some of the most popular places to visit in Adjara are:
- Batumi: The capital and main port of Adjara, Batumi is a modern city with a mix of European and Asian influences. It has many attractions for tourists, such as the Batumi Boulevard, a seaside promenade with fountains, sculptures, and cafes; the Batumi Botanical Garden, one of the largest and most diverse in the world; the Batumi Dolphinarium, where visitors can watch dolphin shows and swim with them; the Alphabet Tower, a 130-meter-high structure that displays the Georgian alphabet; and the Europe Square, a central plaza with a fountain and a statue of Medea.
- Kobuleti: A seaside resort town located 25 km north of Batumi, Kobuleti is known for its long sandy beach and mild climate. It also has several natural and cultural attractions nearby, such as the Kintrishi Protected Area, a forest reserve with hiking trails and waterfalls; the Petra Fortress, a 6th-century citadel overlooking the sea; and the Kobuleti Museum of Local Lore, which exhibits artifacts and photos related to the history and culture of Adjara.
- Mtirala National Park: A protected area located in the mountainous part of Adjara, Mtirala National Park covers an area of 15.698 hectares and has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. The park is named after Mtirala Mountain (1.381 meters), which means “weeping” in Georgian because of its high precipitation. The park offers various activities for visitors, such as hiking, camping, birdwatching, horse riding, and rafting.
- Gonio-Apsaros Fortress: A historical site located 12 km south of Batumi near the Turkish border,
Gonio-Apsaros Fortress is one of the oldest fortifications in Georgia. It was built by the Romans in
the 1st century AD and later used by the Byzantines, Ottomans,
and Russians. The fortress has 18 towers
and walls that are up to 5 meters thick. It also contains
a museum that displays archaeological finds from
Adjara is a region that offers something for everyone: nature lovers,
and culture enthusiasts.
It is a place where
one can enjoy
of the world.