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There truly is something for everyone at the coastal town of Kobuleti. In summer, sunbathers flock its beaches to enjoy the fresh air, calm seas and abundant sunshine, nature enthusiasts come for the beautiful parks, while history buffs delight in diverse ancient Georgian monuments. Add to this the fascinating traditions and warm hospitality and you’re all set for a fantastic vacation in Kobuleti.
Nestled on the Black Sea coast, Kobuleti is a district in western Georgia. Located in the northern part of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, its main town is Kobuleti – a seaside resort popular with both locals and tourists as a summer destination.
Kobuleti traces its origins back to ancient Colchis, with two Stone Age archaeological monuments (Khutsubani and Kobuleti) and one Bronze Age archaeological monument (Chaisubani) having been discovered on Kobuleti’s territory.
The archaeological finds include magnificent golden jewelry, ceramics, coins, tools and household items. Preserved in Kobuleti’s Museum of Ethnography, these Georgian artifacts tell of the former prosperity of the ancient Georgian civilization that once inhabited these lands.
During late antiquity, Kobuleti was a cultural and trading center crisscrossed by major trading routes. In the 5th century BC, the Greeks colonized the area before it was taken over by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. Christianity was introduced to Kobuleti during the 1st century AD by St. Andrew the Apostle.
In the 8th century, Kobuleti was incorporated into the kingdom of Abkhazia after being a part of Lazica, which led to the unification of the Georgian monarchy in the 11th century. By 1352, Kobuleti became a part of the fiefdom of Guria, a vassal of the Georgian monarch.
In 1463, following the disintegration of the Georgian monarchy, Guria became a principality that comprised of modern Guria and much of Adjara, including Kobuleti. The principality was subsequently devastated and reduced in size following a series of conflicts with the Ottoman Empire.
The Ottomans eventually conquered Guria in 1774 and created the Churuk-Su region – that incorporated Kobuleti, as part of Lazistan Sanjak. The Ottomans then began the process of Islamization in Kobuleti, which lasted over a century.
In 1810, the Russian Empire established a protectorate over Guria, and in 1829 managed to capture Churuk-Su. However, due to a technical error in the Adrianopoli Treaty, the border extended to the north, passing through the Cholok River, thus placing Kobuleti outside of Imperial Russian territory.
Following the 1877-78 Russo-Turkish war, the Russians managed to conquer Churuk-Su and incorporated it into the then Kintrishi District (Batumi) of Adjara.
In 1918, Russia gave Batumi back to the Ottomans, which led to protests followed by the return of Turkish forces. British forces then briefly occupied the region but ceded it back to the Democratic Republic of Georgia in 1920.
After the brief military conflict in 1921, the Turks ceded the region to the USSR on condition that Adjara be granted autonomy for the sake of its Muslim population. In 1930, the Adjar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was established, and divided into six administrative areas, including the district of Kobuleti.
In 1991, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Kobuleti became part of the newly-independent Republic of Georgia. Under the authoritarian rule of its leader Aslan Abashidze, Kobuleti and the wider Adjara region avoided separatism and prospered.
Following mass protests during the 2003 Rose Revolution, Abashidze resigned and went into exile in Russia. The post-Abashidze government took steps to make the region attractive by developing its tourism infrastructure.
Today, Kobuleti is the second largest and most important city in Adjara after Batumi. It has uniquely combined the rare beauty of its rich nature reserves and excellent beach holiday conditions, to become one of modern Georgia’s most popular summer destinations.
While the sea is the main attraction, there’s much more to Kobuleti than just the beach. Boasting untouched nature and ancient monuments, the seaside resort is also perfect for nature enthusiasts and history buffs. Tourists flock this coastal town each year to enjoy its fantastic climate and amazing tourist places.
Cozy and beautiful, Kobuleti is one of the most popular resorts on the Black Sea coast. Kobuleti Sea Resort is famous for its centuries-old traditions of hospitality, historical landmarks, mild subtropical climate and ionized sea air – all of which provide beneficial effects to the mind, body and soul.
Kobuleti has a unique 10km beach covered with fine pebbles that occupy the entire coastal strip of the city. Lined with tall, beautiful trees of pine, eucalyptus, bamboo and cypress, the beach is well-equipped with showers, sun loungers, umbrellas, water attractions, bars and cafes. It’s also a great nightlife spot.
The magical air of Kobuleti is also worth a mention. Thanks to the numerous cedar and pine groves, the air is full of phytoncides and essential oils, which are biologically active substances that prevent the growth and development of bacteria, protozoa and microscopic fungi.
In addition to amazing beach holidays, Kobuleti is also famous as one of Georgia’s medical and sanatorium centers. Its pine air, subtropical climate and warm sunshine all contribute to the treatment of various ailments. The resort is also located near mineral springs, rich in healing waters.
Under Russian rule, Kobuleti became known as the “Russian Riviera”. This was after Russian Emperor Alexander II built an elegant country home on the resort’s coast for his family to spend the summer vacations.
About 13% of Adjara’s territory comprises of protected areas, national parks and nature reserves. Distinguished by a diversity of flora and fauna, most of these nature areas are located within the Kobuleti district. The Kobuleti Protected Areas are wetlands boasting unique bio-diversity with rare flora.
Kobuleti Protected Areas comprise the Kobuleti Strict Nature Reserve and the Kobuleti Managed Reserve, situated on the left and right banks of the Shavi Ghele River respectively. Spanning 770 ha, the Kobuleti Protected Areas were established in 1998 to conserve the region’s unique wetland ecosystems.
Most of the Protected Areas are covered with peat mosses, in particular sphagnum species such as white sphagnum moss, as well as buckbean and carnivorous round-leaved sundew. Local Colchic plants also grow here such as rhododendron, Yellow azalea and the rare Royal fern.
The Protected Areas provide a habitat for migrating, nesting and wintering waterbirds such as the Gallinago media. Common mammals include the jackal and Eurasian otter. There are also amphibians (Caspian turtle and Common tree frog); reptiles (Dice snake and European legless lizard) and fish species (European perch and Silver eel).
Spanning 12,000 ha, the Kintrishi Protected Areas are situated in the Kintrishi River gorge, between the Black Sea and the Adjara-Imereti mountains. The forested mountain landscape of the Kintrishi Protected areas is characterized by deep gorges formed by the Kintrishi River and its tributaries.
Kintrishi Protected Areas include the Kintrishi Strict Nature Reserve established in 1959 and the Kintrishi Protected Landscape established in 2007. The Kintrishi Protected Areas were established to preserve the unique flora and fauna of the region, including the famous Colchian willow trees.
Approximately 80% of Kintrishi Protected Areas are covered in forest, making it the largest forested protected area in Georgia. These include unique Colchic relict forests, chestnut and hornbeam forests, beech, silver fir, oak and yew trees.
Kintrishi has a high diversity of fauna including red- animals such as the Ursus arctos, Tetraogallus caspius, 28 species of small native mammals, and various birds of prey. The local rivers and ravines are rich in trout.
The area has many rivers, some of which are spanned by medieval Georgian arched bridges including the famous Tamari Arched Bridge. Kintrishi Protected Areas offer marked trails for hiking and horse riding, picnic and camping spots, as well as several sites of cultural and historical importance.
Mtirala National Park is a protected area that covers the municipalities of Kobuleti, Khelvachauri and Keda. Mount Mtirala is one of Georgia’s most humid areas. The name Mtirala (meaning “to cry”) originates from the 4,520mm annual rainfall that makes it one of the wettest areas in the Caucasus.
Flora in Mtirala National Park comprises of Colchic broad-leaved and mixed forests including sweet chestnut, Oriental beech woods with rhododendron, cherry laurel and Colchic box understories with a variety of lianas.
Common fauna include the Brown bear, Wild boar and Roe deer, with bird species such as the Eagle-owl, Booted eagle and Golden oriole. Amphibians inhabiting the park include the Eurasian mash frog, Caucasian toad, salamander and viper.
The park has two easy marked trails on which visitors can enjoy hiking, horse-riding and bird-watching. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy sliding from tree to tree on the 200m long zip-line. Visitors can also explore the beautiful Chakvistskali River valley, intact beech stands and 15m long Tsablnari waterfall.
Situated on a rocky outcrop on the Black Sea coast near Tsihisdziri village are the ruins of the Byzantine fortress of Petra. The fortress was built between the 5th and 6th centuries under Emperor Justinian. Its name derives from the Greek word “Petra” which means “rock/ stone.”
Archaeological excavations at Petra have uncovered multiple cultural layers that date back from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages. Among the fortress ruins are a temple, granary and baths. Visitors can climb up the observation tower for magnificent panoramas of the sea and its surroundings.
Regarded as impregnable in its time, Petra Fortress was strategically located on an ancient trading route that linked western Georgia, Iran, Armenia and the Byzantine provinces. As such, it was repeatedly the site of heavy battles between warring states.
Some historians believe that Petra is the “Hell’s Castle” referred to in the famous poem “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin”, written by the Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli. Known locally as Vepkhistqaosani, the 12th century national epic is composed of some 1,500 stanzas, dedicated to Georgian Queen Tamar.
It may be the central region of Georgia’s Black Sea coast, but Adjara is much more than a seaside destination. Covered mostly in mountains and untouched nature, it is one of Georgia’s most beautiful regions. Beyond Kobuleti, Adjara’s other districts offer a host of attractions worth exploring.
Nestled within the picturesque Mtsvane Kontskhi, Batumi Botanical Garden boasts one of the world’s richest diversities of flora. It is home to more than 5,000 varieties of plants from around the world including Asian trees, South American flowers, bamboo forests, evergreen gardens and titanium trees.
A walking tour of Old Batumi, the city’s delightful historic center, offers a great way to see Batumi’s unique architecture. Visitors can marvel at the regal balconies of 19th century merchant mansions, as well as beautiful pastel-colored facades of Soviet-era buildings.
Dating from 1884, Batumi Boulevard is a 7km long seaside promenade that stretches from the city’s port to the Dancing Fountains. The boulevard is wrapped around the city center and is scattered with bungalows, cafés, restaurants, family attractions, sculptures, benches and more.
Known locally as Evropas Moedani, Europe Square is a wide square lined with pretty belle-époque buildings. Most of the square’s buildings are renovations of survivors from Batumi’s heydays, as well as a number of new buildings in a similar architectural style.
With its numerous hotels, cafes and restaurants, Piazza Square is one of Georgia’s most beautiful squares. It is also a popular venue for entertainment having hosted concerts by famous Georgian and foreign musicians such as Placido Domingo and Sting.
One of the oldest Georgian museums, Batumi Archaeological Museum has a broad collection of artifacts from different periods. The collection features more than 22,800 exhibits, most of which are discoveries from excavations done in Adjara.
A 2km long cable car links Batumi’s waterfront with the Argo Entertainment Center. Visitors to the center can enjoy the shops, cafes, restaurants and roof terraces, as well as picturesque views of the city, the Black Sea and the surrounding mountains.
With its white minaret standing out over the city skyline, Batumi’s Orta Jame mosque boasts beautiful interiors of woodcarvings painted in vibrant pastels and an ornately-decorated ceiling. A popular meeting place for Batumi’s 30% Muslim population, the mosque also welcomes visitors.
The Ethnographic Museum Borjghalo is a cultural center that lets visitors experience the bygone era of Adjara. The museum was created by Kemal Turmanidze who built and equipped all its buildings. The museum’s creations give visitors the chance to get acquainted with a real Adjarian village.
To really see Batumi from a local’s perspective you must visit its Fish Market. Situated close to the port, Batumi’s fish market is the place to go for the freshest fish in town, caught that very morning or even just minutes before you buy it.
Khulo is the highest and most mountainous area in Adjara, which is also home to the Goderdzi Ski Resort. The skiing hub offers impressive nature and beautiful landscapes on which winter sports fans can enjoy fantastic skiing and snowboarding.
Like something out of a summer dream Beshumi is a wonderful mountain resort situated 30km from Khulo. The unique place is scattered with tiny houses and café-bars, with the fresh breeze bringing in the scent of spruces nearby. Plan your visit in the summer to attend the fun Shuamtoba Festival.
While in Beshumi, be sure to also visit Mtsvane Tba. Surrounded by pine forest and towering mountains, Mtsvane Tba is a beautiful lake distinct for its emerald green waters. There are hiking trails around the lake on which nature enthusiasts can enjoy some picturesque treks.
One of Adjara’s most important monuments, the 13th century Khikhani Fortress is a must for history buffs. Situated 2,200m above sea level, the fortress offers a challenge for those who that try to reach it, but with rewards of stunning views.
Skhalta Cathedral is a monastic complex whose main building is the Skhalta Church of the Virgin. Its unique artistry and architectural style indicate that it dates back to the mid-13th century. The church’s most notable murals were painted between the 14th and 15th centuries.
Adjara has some great beaches which are located in Khelvachauri district, within the settlements of Gonio, Sarpi and Kvariati. Visitors to the Gonio Sea Resort can swim in the calm seas and sunbathe on clean beaches.
Gonio Fortress is situated on the site of one of Georgia’s oldest settlements. Because of its strategic location, the fortress was a supporting citadel for the Byzantines, Romans and Ottomans, evident in its multiple cultural layers.
Kvariati is an Adjarian village with a gorgeous seaside resort. During summer, tourists flock the beautiful beaches of Kvariati Sea Resort to soak up the fresh air, amazing scenery and cool ocean breeze. The beaches lie on a coast surrounded by warm seas, untouched nature and towering mountains.
Machakhela National Park is mostly covered in forest that shelters unique flora and fauna. Plant species include the Colchic boxwood, Georgian walnut and chestnut. Recorded mammals include wild boar, deer, jackals and wolves. Visitors can hike up the mountain trails to enjoy stunning views.
Adjara is one of the oldest winemaking regions in Georgia, and Keda is its wine-making center. Keda is scattered with wineries and private cellars that give wine enthusiasts the opportunity to sample fine Georgian wine.
Situated near the town of Keda, Makhuntseti has a beautiful waterfall, as well as several picnic spots close by. Visitors can also explore other attractions nearby including Makhuntseti Bridge, an ancient stone-built arched bridge.
Khabelashvili Bridge is a 25m long wooden bridge located in Khabelashvili village. Covered with shingles, the 300 year old bridge was constructed to link three villages using box-tree, chestnut and lime. After sustaining damage, the shingles were replaced with tin in the 1970s.
Kobuleti weather is characterized by a subtropical climate with hot summers, mild winters and high humidity, which makes it pleasant to visit at any time of the year. Peak season stretches from May to October when you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze of summer.
Visitors to Kobuleti can choose from a selection of Kobuleti hotels and vacation rentals with budget, mid-range and luxury options. As with most seaside destinations, the rule is that the closer the hotel is to the sea, the higher the price.
There are many Kobuleti restaurants where foodies can enjoy delicious meals of the unique Adjarian cuisine, as well as fresh seafood. Meal prices at most restaurants in Kobuleti range from mid-range to cheap eats.
For flights to Georgia landing at Batumi airport, you may hire a car and drive 30 minutes to Kobuleti. That said, driving in the country of Georgia can be challenging if you don’t speak the Georgian language or understand the Georgian alphabet. The best option would be to travel via private transfer.
With its splendid climate, pristine nature and fascinating historical landmarks, Kobuleti doesn’t fail to impress as one of Georgia’s top summer destinations. And with all the fun you’re guaranteed here, you’ll be planning your next vacation to Kobuleti even before you leave.
Kobuleti hotels fill up fast during resort season so be sure to book in advance with our travel planners. If you prefer to drive to Kobuleti, we have a modern fleet of rental cars available for hire. We also arrange Georgia vacations to and from Kobuleti with private transfers to and from Batumi airport.
Even better, create your own custom vacation package that includes the specific places you want to see and things you want to do in Kobuleti. In need of a rejuvenating beach holiday? Order your custom tour package to Kobuleti today and enjoy a summer vacation of a lifetime!