Magnificent temperate rainforests, Endemic wildlife, Astonishing bird migration, Mysterious culture, Breathtaking landscapes, Exotic cuisine - Adjara offers all of it and more...
If you look at the map of Georgia, in the most south-west part, you will find the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. While there is only one Adjara on the map, culturally and ethnographically it is divided into two entities. The first Adjara starts from Kobuleti and spreads along the shoreline all the way down to the small village of Sarpi by the Georgian-Turkish border. This is a Sea resort region- a place of sun, beaches, and summer vacations, and is an essential part of the region's livelihood. Batumi, formerly a free port, is the center of this Adjara. Here, the business flourished as far back as in the early 1900s. More than a hundred years ago, world's first oil pipeline was built with the financial support from Baron Rothschild and Alfred Nobel to connect Baku to Batumi. The pipeline made it possible to deliver Caspian oil to Europe. Lots of impressive buildings were built during this period. Today, together with ultra-modern hotels and residential buildings, they constitute the striking, and somewhat eclectic face of Batumi.
There is also another Adjara- mountainous and traditional, with wooden houses surrounded by the lush greenery, white minarets glistening against the emerald colored landscape. This is where the famous long-lived Caucasian high mountain elders live and the herders take the livestock to the mountains in summer, and return to their families in the fall. This is where we're inviting you to experience. Not many people know it, but it is definitely worth seeing. It is a densely populated highland region where life has not changed for centuries. Dense subtropical forests surround Adjarian villages. Every inch of the farmland here was taken away from these forests by struggle. Even now Mother Nature makes everyday claims for these lands. At nights wild boars and bears frequently raid local bee farms and gardens.
For almost three hundred years, Adjara remained a part of Ottoman Empire. In 1878, the Adjarian region was retaken by Russian Empire as a result of the Russian-Ottoman wars. At the same time Georgia started its struggle for independence from Russia.
However, the endeavors of big politics, wars of independence, and revolutions only affected the seaside Adjara. The mountain region of Adjara was living its own secluded life. During the Soviet times, the secluded style turned into isolation due to the security reasons.
For decades, Adjara was a closed zone for tourists and Soviet citizens alike. Getting there required a special pass. The border between Turkey and the Soviet Union was controlled with extra security. Despite this scrutiny, Adjara was the land from where many Soviet citizens fled to the West. The secret trails, buried in the high Adjarian forests, were the perfect escape route.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting Georgian independence, the long-term isolation was lifted and the region was re-introduced to the rest of the country.