Black Sea Coast



Once the playground of nobles and nomenklatura alike, the Black Sea Coast of Georgia has long been noted for its warm weather and sandy beaches.

Two favorite resorts are Batumi, just north of the border with Turkey, and nearby Kobuleti. Batumi was ruled by Turkey for more than 300 years, and Islamic and Ottoman influences are evident in its architecture and the local culture. The botanical gardens are nice, too.

The de facto Republic of Abkhazia controls the northern portion of the coastline, and continuing tensions in the area should be carefully monitored prior to visiting.

The secessionist capital is the scruffy port city of Sukhumi. Sights include the Fortress of King Bagrat, the Abkhazia State Museum (Greek statues and local history) and the Abkhazia Dramatic Theater, which features performances by Nartaa, a choir made up of men ranging in age from 70 to more than 100 years old.

The ruins of Dioscurias, an ancient Greek city, lie in the Bay of Sukhumi. Just over the border in Russia is Sochi, another popular Black Sea resort.

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