TOP 10 REASONS TO VISIT AJARA27 March 2015
THERE ARE MANY REASONS TO VISIT AJARA BUT HERE ARE OUR TOP 10:
1. GEORGIAN HOSPITALITY AND GOODWILL
Exceptional hospitality and the goodwill of the Georgian people make every trip to Georgia very special. According to an ancient Georgian proverb, God sends visitors to Georgia. As such, Georgian culture has developed a strong culture of hospitality. As a guest in Georgia, you will not only experience unparalleled hospitality, but you will also be astounded by the genuine kindness of the Georgian people.
The Georgian supra (a traditional feast) has no equivalent around the world. The culture of toasting does exist in many cultures; however, the Georgian "tamada" or toastmaster has no parallel. The role of the tamada is to lead the supra. The tamada is considered to be the most honorable member of a traditional Georgian supra. The ideal tamada is well educated, has extensive knowledge of Georgia’s history and culture, is eloquent, is sociable, has a good sense of humor and has musical ability. The tamada should be able to lead a series of toasts on a variety of topics. He should also be able to entertain guests with poems, songs and interesting stories. The Georgian supra is a fundamental element of Georgian identity, which is why the tradition has been preserved to this very day. In total, there are approximately 300 different toasts, some of which are obligatory for each supra, regardless of its duration.
A traditional Georgian feast is a superb display of the diversity of Georgian cuisine, cooking techniques, table-setting traditions and other accompanying rituals. Ajarian cuisine is an inseparable aspect of Georgian cuisine; however the cultural influence of Asian cuisine can be clearly seen in a variety of Ajarian dishes. In mountainous Ajara, dairy products are common ingredients in many dishes. Boat-shaped Ajarian khachapuri is one of the most famous Ajarian dishes. Sweets also play an important role in Ajarian cuisine. Viticulture is an essential component of Georgian and Ajarian culture that has been cultivated for hundreds of years. In total, there are around 50 different grape species that are still used in wine production to this very day.
Batumi is an attractive destination not only during the summer season but also in spring and autumn. Visitors can sunbathe or swim as early as the beginning of May. The sea becomes even more pleasant during September and October, given Batumi's long Indian summers. Winters are warm and summers are hot in Batumi. In addition to the seaside, visitors can also trek to the amazing mountainous regions of Ajara. Just a few hours away from the seaside, one can enjoy the spectacular views from the mountains of Ajara at an elevation of 2000-2500 m above sea level. In Ajara, tourists thoroughly enjoy the unique combination of the region’s mountains and sea, as well as its beautiful landscapes and calming environment.
Batumi is one of the oldest cities in Georgia founded as before the Common Era. The initial settlement, Batus, is mentioned in sources from the 4th century BCE. The city's unique history has contributed to the city's vast architectural diversity. In the 19th century, during the "Porto Franco" period, European architects completed a number of interesting architectural projects. Later during the soviet and post-soviet times, Batumi was developed into a popular seaport and tourist destination. To this day, Batumi is still distinguished by a variety of buildings of different architectural styles.
Batumi's visitors frequently see dolphins swimming in the Black Sea. Therefore, the dolphin is one of the symbols of Batumi. That is also why there are several sculptures of dolphins interspersed throughout the city. Established in 1974, the Batumi Dolphinarium is one of the calling cards of Batumi and is highly popular among tourists and locals. The dolphin shows are offered in three languages, making the show appealing to visitors from all over the world. Come and swim with the dolphins of Batumi at the Batumi Dolphinarium!
The construction of Batumi Boulevard was started in 1881 by a Prussian gardener and landscape architect and later completed by a French architect. The boulevard is distinguished by its beauty and diversity. It is also regularly developed and beautified by the addition of fountains, modern sculptures and other tourist attractions. Nowadays, the boulevard is 8 km long and is distinguished by its broad walking and bicycle paths, evergreen plants, its unique combination of magnolias and palms, fountains, bungalows, café-lounges and children’s attractions.
If you love nature and a cozy environment, amazing views of the sea and the scent of plants and flowers, Batumi Botanical Garden is the ideal place for you. The botanical garden has no comparison - its plants come from completely different climatic and landscape zones and grow together in harmony. For example, the garden has Canary Palms growing side by side with Japanese Sakuras. In total, the garden features a thousand species of astonishingly beautiful and unique flowers.
The combination of seaside resorts and mountainous areas makes Ajara an ideal tourist destination. The resorts located at 1500-2000 m above sea level have excellent conditions for visitors all four seasons of the year. They are also ideal for romantic weekend getaways with your significant other. The coniferous forests in Ajara’s mountainsides contribute to the healthy ionization of the air, which has healing properties. In addition, the protected areas in Ajara and the region’s other natural treasures offer unforgettable experiences for eco tourism enthusiasts.
10. GEORGIAN CULTURE AND UNIQUE FOLKLORE
Georgia, is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world, which has had a significant influence on Georgian culture. Gonio, one of the oldest settlements in Georgia, is located in Ajara. It was inhabited in the 8th-7th century BCE. Gonio Fortress, which was built by the Romans, has mythic ties to the legend of Jason and the Argonauts . Ajara is famous for its stone-arch bridges and different religious monuments. The monasteries, Gelati and Bagrati recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites are located just a few hours’ drive from Batumi. Tbilisi, Mtskheta and other parts of Georgia are also very rich in unique and diverse cultural monuments. Moreover, non-material culture, such as Georgian polyphony and dances, are important parts of Georgian culture. Ajarian songs and dances occupy a special place in Georgian folklore.