The Georgian side of the Black Sea coast boasts the central, mostly developed, postcard-worthy city of Batumi. Its renovated architecture, bustling nightlife, and an immense number of dining options attract many local and international travelers during the high peak summer season. However, that’s not all the coast has to offer. There are many other possibilities for you to have a great holiday and get away from the crowds.
The seaside resort of Anaklia is part of the Samegrelo region, where the earliest settlement dates back to the mid-Bronze Age. After the division of the Kingdom of Georgia in the 15th century, Anaklia was a significant fortified town, a seaport, and a fishing station of the region. When the Ottomans conquered the country, the town became a maritime port and a slave-trading location. Today, Anaklia is a peaceful resort with good hotels around the town. There’s a 552-meter “flying” bridge connecting the village Ganmukhuri with the resort. Since 2015, it has become a go-to destination for electronic music lovers, as Anaklia hosts an annual festival called GEM Fest in August.
Grigoleti is in the Guria region and is considered to be one of the resorts that treat different health problems. Located in Lanchkhuti Municipality, the resort boasts a magnetic sand beach containing small magnetite, titan-magnetite, or ilmenite particles. Baths of hot sand produce a thermal impact on the human body, stimulating the immune process and advancing metabolism; it also soothes the nervous system and helps rheumatic diseases. A good section of of the seaside is accompanied by a pine-tree grove, creating a special microclimate. The infrastructure here is not as developed as in other towns along the Black Sea, but there are a couple of family-run guesthouses to make your holidays comfortable.
Another Black Sea resort of the Guria region is Shekvetili, situated between the other coastal cities of Kobuleti and Ureki. Like Grigoleti, Shekvetili became a maritime station during the Ottoman rule. And just like Grigoleti, Shekvetili also enjoys a magnetic sand beach and a pine-tree grove. The sea is shallow here and thus one of the best places for families with children. The season here starts in May when the water temperature reaches 17ºC (63°F) and lasts till mid-October. Crystal clear water, magnetic sand, beaming sun, and an aroma of coniferous trees create a pleasant atmosphere in which to escape Tbilisi for a while. In addition to a relaxing beach day, Shekvetili also offers a theme park, Tsitsinatela (firefly in Georgian), where you can have fun with 40 different attractions that are spread across the 14.5 hectares of land.
Ureki is the most famous seaside town in Guria and similar to Shakvetili and Grigoleti, it has a magnetic sand beach. Together with the subtropical climate, the sun, sea, and sand with therapeutic properties make Ureki a go-to destination for local families for therapy and treating various health problems.
Kobuleti is in the Adjara region and is the second favorite destination for locals after Batumi. In addition to the beach, the area offers a great day trip opportunities to Kobuleti and Kintrishi Nature Reserves where you can spend time in nature, learn about the local bio-diversity, and visit one of the wonders of the country – Ispani Swamps.
A small town in Kobuleti Municipality, Tsikhisdziri is an archeological site and another coastal site of the Black Sea. Here, you can find ruins of a late-antiquity fortified town known as the Roman-built fortress city of Petra. The town is very small with several guesthouses, but it’s a great place to have peaceful, relaxing summer holidays away from the bustling crowds.
Mtsvane Kontskhi, or the Green Cape, is another famous destination for locals. With a beach of fine stones, the clear water is great not only for swimming and sunbathing but also for diving. Located only nine kilometers away from Batumi, Mtsvane Konstskhi is home to the Batumi Botanical Garden, making the area a favorite for many.
Gonio is a settlement near Batumi, and one of the most popular resorts of the Black Sea for locals. Similar to Tsikhisdziri, Gonio doesn’t only offer beach and sunbathing opportunities; culture lovers can do a small day tour of a Roman fortification, the Gonio Fortress, dating back to the first century AD. The reason why locals prefer to stay in Gonio is that the water here is much clearer than in Batumi, which gets a bit of a dirt from being a city port of the region.