Little pearl on the Georgian coast. Clean, clear water, unusual for the Black Sea turquoise color, downhill slopes to the beach, covered with forests, are the undeniable advantages of this place, designed for a pleasant, relaxing family holiday. Even the locals from Batumi and Tbilisi come on the weekend to the beaches of Gonio and the neighboring villages, considering them to be the best.
The subtropical climate of the coast of Adjara, with warm winters and hot summers, attracts tourists here. The healing aroma of the eucalyptus grove located along the road above the Gonio beach, the combination of sea and mountain air gives a wonderful healing effect, useful for diseases of the respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous systems.
During the season (from mid-June to mid-September) the water temperature near the shore is about 25 degrees. Sea breezes can tolerate heat well. The shade of the local tan is especially beautiful and remains for a long time.
With the Tbilisi Square in Batumi with a small interval, bus, following in Sarpi. From Batumi to Gonio about 15 km, the trip will take 15-20 minutes along the excellent E70 motorway. You can take a taxi (20 GEL).
Find no problem: there is a four-star, several three-star hotels and guest houses. But you have to worry in advance by ordering your favorite accommodation through the site. Hotel accommodation will cost from $ 40 per day per room, in guesthouses - from $ 6 per person.
Accommodation can be rented near the beach. You are guaranteed beautiful views, unforgettable sunrises and sunsets.
Entertainment and travel
Apsarossky, or Goniya fortress
The closest point of interest that you can visit at any convenient time is the Gonia Fortress. Once it was strategically important, covering the only passage across the plain to the Colchian kingdom, belonged to the Roman Empire and was called Apsaros, after the name of Colchian Prince Apsirth. According to legend, here he was slain when the leader of the Argonauts Jason sailed away to Greece with the Golden Fleece.
The territory occupied by the oldest fortress of Georgia is an impressive 4.5 hectares. Along the perimeter of the five-meter-wide kilometer-wide fortress wall were 22 towers 7 meters high, 18 of which can be seen today. There were 4 entrances in the fortress, only one was preserved, the western one.
The first mention of the Apsarossky fortress refers to the I century. True, the oldest layers excavated by archaeologists date back to the 15th century. But now the excavations are stopped. It is assumed that the fortress is the burial place of the ashes of the Apostle Matthew (the author of the gospel of Matthew), and stone pedestals in the form of crosses stand on his grave. According to one version, after the death of Christ, Matthew went to this fortress and preached here.
Due to the exceptional importance of the fortress for history and culture, it is declared a museum-reserve. Here are stored gold objects and other relics found during excavations in the 70s of the last century.
If you feel a little one "fortress" history, you can visit another famous architectural monument - Peter's fortress (from the Greek "stone"). The road will take about 50 minutes (33 km), but the most interesting thing is that it will pass along the coast and you will be able to see, evaluate and compare the main beaches of this region: Batumi, Makhinjauri, Mtsvane Kontskhi (Green Cape), Chakvi, Tsikhisdziri.
Since ancient times, this land was inhabited by Lazov tribes. There was a trade route connecting Georgia with Byzantium, Persia and Armenia. The unique location in all respects prompted the Byzantine Emperor Justinian (6th century) to build a fortress and a city here. Petra, standing on a high cliff directly above the sea, was difficult to reach, for which she received the second name “Kadzheti” (bewitched). Byzantium and Persia, then Turkey and Russia constantly competed for the right to rule over Peter. Only ruins with partly preserved defensive structures, residential buildings, basilicas have been preserved.
Waterfall in Makhunceti
If you want to take a break in the "seals" beach vacation, you can dedicate a day to a wonderful trip to the Makhuntsetsky waterfall with a water fall height of 20 meters. It can be reached in about 50 minutes (35 km distance). Drive along the road towards Batumi, before reaching the city, turn onto the road Batumi-Akhaltsikhe. The road will pass along Chorokhi. This 440 km long river originates in Turkey, Georgia accounts for only 26 km of its length, but the deepest and most beautiful part of it is the delta. The second half of the way will pass along the right tributary of the Chorokhi - Adjaristskali, the largest river of Adjara.
Here are beautiful landscapes, in dense forests preserved rare species of plants and animals. In the vicinity of the village Muhunceti (Makhunceti) is one of the largest arched stone bridges (there are 25 of them in this region). Presumably, it was erected in the XI-XII century under Queen Tamara. The length of its pedestrian part is 29 meters, the width is 2.5 meters, the height of the arch is 6 meters. 10 minutes walk from the bridge - a waterfall. On the way, you should look into the church of Zvare, built on the ledge of a cliff above the river. There are picnic areas near the waterfall, so grab some provisions with you and spend a pleasant time amidst beautiful nature.
A rafting route starts from Makhunceti: rafting on the mountain rivers Ajaristskali and Chorokhi, about 6 km long. The route is not considered very difficult, children over 10 years old are allowed. But for those who want to experience themselves in this exciting journey, you must agree in advance.
But the village itself has opportunities for outdoor activities. Rental of scooters, water bikes, sea bananas is easily available.
Gonio shares its beach with the neighboring village of Kvariati. Or rather, it does not divide, but it just flows smoothly from one village to another, the distance is quite small. And in Kvariati, there is the Concord diving center, the only one in Georgia.
In the water area several ships were flooded, which now serve as artificial reefs for populations of marine inhabitants. So diving enthusiasts waiting for a pleasant pastime. But anyone can perform a test dive, accompanied by a qualified instructor.
Walks in the eucalyptus grove, in the surrounding mountains are pleasant and useful, and if you need more “ecological” impressions, you can go to the Mtirala National Park (39 km, about an hour and a half away) This is a unique nature reserve on the "weeping" mountain Mtirala, between the Black Sea and the Ajara mountains. You will see the nature of several climatic zones, united in one territory.
After visiting the evergreen Mtirala, you will distinguish many shades of green, the existence of which was previously unaware. In the park for about two hundred years, there exists an almost unchanged Colchis village, in which many centenarians live, and this is not surprising, because the air, the surrounding forests, and mineral springs are very healing. If you wish, visit the alpine apiary and have a picnic near the waterfall.
Tour to Turkey
You can take advantage of the proximity of the Georgian-Turkish border (in Sarpi). Especially those who are interested in shopping in Turkey. In the village of Kemalpasha, near the border, there is a market complex, proudly referred to as the Istanbul Bazaar. You can also see the sights of the nearest major city of Trabzon.
The checkpoint works around the clock, citizens of the Russian Federation do not need a visa, formalities at the border are minimal, but if you go by car, you need to purchase Turkish insurance (about $ 100).