So, do not expect the Amalfi coast. Neither Barcelona nor Bodrum. Batumi is Batumi. What can you do there?
- Enjoy Adjarian khachapuri. It’s a boat-shaped bread full of melted cheese, butter and an egg; Probably cholesterol suicide but worth every bite.
- Visit the Batumi Jazz Festival as well as the numerous concerts held every summer.
- Go clubbing. World-renowned DJs visit Batumi.
- See the dolphin show.
- Wander around Old Batumi’s streets.
- Visit FanFan café and try local oysters with blue cheese.
- Rent a bike and ride the bike trails along the sea shore.
- Visit the botanical gardens in Chakvi.
- Sit on a boulevard bench and watch the people.
- Finally, have a coffee on the piazza.
When in Batumi, I give up on sleeping. Every year when I am there, I walk along the boulevard, usually at 4 am or 5 am, stopping at one bar or another, sipping Turkish coffee here and a cocktail there, but mostly I just take a walk with my husband and friends and enjoy the sea breeze and the palm trees. I like seeing people up and out at any given time of the night. It gives me a feeling of vacation freedom like time does not matter anymore. I cannot tell you how many times I have greeted the sunrise on the beach, plunging into the cool water after all-night chatting with friends on a boulevard bench or after dancing my feet off.
In addition, if you prefer a quieter environment and enjoy the cleaner water, the sea is always bluer on the Sarpi side. Kvariati, Gonio and Sarpi all offer guesthouses so close to the sea that you can hear the waves at night. My favourite place to stay is up to the hill that overlooks Kvariati beach. I drive up to the highest hotel and enjoy fresh, cooler air as well as the spectacular view. Sunsets are stunning, therefore place is highly recommended.
I will always love Batumi because nothing compares to that first dive into the water right after I get out of the car (it is a 6-hour drive from Tbilisi) as all of the tensions of work and life are washed away.