A comprehensive guide to the best DIY day trips from Batumi and guided Batumi day tours with recommended itineraries and transport instructions.
Western Georgia’s Adjara region is truly one of the most magnificent parts of the country. In Adjara, it’s all eyes on Batumi – Georgia’s second-largest city and main hub on the Black Sea – but what many travellers don’t realise is that you can use Batumi as a base for exploring the Lesser Caucasus mountains, national parks, and more remote sections of the coast.
There are dozens of places in Adjara and neighbouring Guria region that you can visit from Batumi without the need to spend too long on the road.
Whether you’re looking for hiking trails and charming alpine villages or ancient Roman fortresses, whether you want to kayak through the marshy wetlands of Georgia’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, swim on magnetic black-sand beaches or do a wine tasting, you can find it all within close proximity of the city.
I had the opportunity to explore this area extensively when I was living in Batumi. This guide brings together 10 of my favourite Batumi day trips with recommended things to do and tips for getting around by van, taxi or car.
- Also read: 15 best day trips from Tbilisi
Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.
How to plan a day trip from Batumi
First, let me quickly run through your transport options for getting around Adjara. This is a broad overview – in the next section you’ll find more detailed transport instructions for each of the 10 day trips.
Organised day tours from Batumi
Joining a small group or private tour with a guide and transfers included is by far the easiest option. I recommend using either Get Your Guide or Viator to search and book tours in Georgia. There are limited offerings for Batumi right now, but new tours are added every month.
In the next section I’ve included links to some of my favourites.
Private transfers with GoTrip
If you don’t want to join a tour but you want the flexibility of having your own wheels, GoTrip is a convenient and budget-friendly way to venture beyond Batumi for the day. Think of it as a long-distance Uber – it essentially matches you with a professional driver and vehicle, giving you complete flexibility to plan your own one-way or return route. You won’t have a guide as such, but in my experience your driver will be more than happy to give you tips and info along the way.
When you design your itinerary on GoTrip, you’re free to put in as many stops as you desire. If the platform doesn’t recognise a location, just leave the address in the notes for your driver to see. The final price is set in advance so there’s no need to negotiate, and you can make extra photo stops and food stops whenever you want without the cost going up.
Public transport (city bus/marshrutka van/train)
Many of the day excursions from Batumi on this list can be done using public transport – city buses, intercity marshrutka vans and trains. This requires a bit more forward-planning as schedules are sometimes hard to come by and times are flexible. On the plus side, it’s a very budget-friendly way to get around.
I’ve included public transport directions for many of the destinations below. I always recommend you double check times and fares in-person before you travel, either at the station or at the Tourist Information Centre on Gogebashvili Street.
→ See city bus routes here on Moovit.
→ See the location of Batumi Bus Terminal (the ‘old bus station’) here.
→ See the location of Batumi Central Station (for trains) here.
Hiring a bicycle in Batumi
As long as you’re not venturing too far, you might like to hire a bicycle and ride up or down the coast. Bike vendors set up all along the park and waterfront in the centre of Batumi. Expect to pay around 5-15 GEL to hire a city bike for a full day.
Note that it’s mandatory to ride on the designated bike paths in the centre of Batumi. Take extra care if cycling on the road and try to avoid the inner-city traffic. Unfortunately most rentals don’t include safety helmets.
Batumi day trips with a hire car
If you want complete freedom, your best option is to hire a car. I recommend using Local Rent to search and compare rentals from local agents. Manual and auto, sedans and 4WDs are all available – usually for a very reasonable daily rate.
Before you hit the road, make sure you read up on these tips for driving in Georgia.
Map of Batumi day trips
Here is a quick map I put together of the 10 day trips covered in this guide. If you want to save the map to your Google Drive for later, select the star icon below the title.
10 best day trips from Batumi
1. Mtsvane Kontskhi
- Distance from Batumi: 12 kilometres / 7.5 miles
- Travel time by road: 30-40 minutes (one-way)
- Great for: Nature, easy hikes, swimming, fresh seafood
Mtsvane Kontskhi or ‘Green Cape’ is located just north of central Batumi along the coast. This area is best known for the Batumi Botanical Garden, an easy excursion from the city and a must-visit on any trip to Georgia. You can quite easily turn a 2 or 3-hour visit to the gardens into an easy full-day trip by exploring more of the cape.
The Botanical Garden features easy hiking trails and lookout points where you get wonderful views of the Black Sea. After the gardens, head down to the beach directly underneath the cliffs to grab a drink and a bite to eat at Restauran Bungalow Green Cape before finding a spot to lay down your towel on Mtsvane Kontskhi Beach.
This little patch of black-pebble shore isn’t the best swimming beach in the area (I’ll reveal that secret later on!), but it’s one of the nicest places to dip your toes so close to the city. There’s also a photogenic jetty here. Makhinjauri Beach is a little further down the coast, back towards the city, and another good option for swimming.
Before heading back to Batumi, stop off at the Batumi Fish Market, a 10-minute drive from the beach. Browse the market and see what fresh-caught fish takes your fancy then have one of the restaurateurs next door cook it up while you wait. My favourite restaurant is Fishlandia.
There is plenty of seating along the beach where you can relax and enjoy your meal. If the timing is right, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful sunset over the sea.
How to get to Mtsvane Kontskhi from Batumi
There are regular city marshrutka vans from downtown Batumi to Mtsvane Kontskhi, terminating at the lower entrance to the Botanical Garden. Bus #10 runs all the way along Gogebashvili Street, stopping outside the Dolphinarium and near the cable car. Tickets cost 1 GEL per person.
For a hassle-free transfer to and from Mtsvane Kontskhi with as many stops along the way as you desire, a car and driver costs 20 USD round-trip when you book through GoTrip.
2. Mtirala National Park
- Distance from Batumi: 30 kilometres / 18.5 miles
- Travel time by road: 60 minutes (one-way)
- Great for: Nature & hiking
Mtirala is probably the best-known national park near Batumi. Located north-east of the city, it can be reached in around an hour from downtown, making it ideal for a short spring or summer side trip.
Mtirala is known for its ancient Colchis forests and is incredibly dense, with high humidity and frequent rainfall (Mtirala means ‘to cry’ in Georgian, a nod to the often wet conditions). The whole area is brimming with diverse flora and fauna, including brown bears.
In July 2021, Mtirala was named Georgia’s first Natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with Kolkheti National Park and the Kintrishi and Kobuleti Protected Areas, it forms part of the Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands.
Start in Chakvistavi village, where the park administration office is located. Here you can pick up a map (or a guide) and get information about weather conditions. Once inside the park, there are two hiking trails to choose from. The first is an easy 7km loop that leads you to the river gorge where you can ride a cable car before continuing to the park’s most famous spot, Tsablnari waterfall. The longer Tsivtskaro trail takes 2 days and is only suitable for experienced hikers.
Food options are limited but there are several picnic areas within the park so it’s recommended to bring lunch with you. If you prefer not to walk, you can also explore parts of the park by car.
How to get to Mtirala National Park from Batumi
There is no reliable public transport connection between Batumi and Mtirala. Shuttle buses run to nearby Khala village four times daily, but from there you’ll need to walk 7km or take a taxi to reach the visitor’s centre.
Another option is to take a Kobuleti-bound van to Chavki from the bus station for 1 GEL then a taxi the rest of the way (20-30 GEL one-way). There are direct vans to Chakvistavi on Mondays and Fridays only, departing from Batumi at 7.30am and returning at 5.50pm. Find more information about vans and shuttles here.
The easiest way to get to Mtirala is by taxi. A regular taxi off the street should cost 80-100 GEL return, or you can book a driver for just 20 USD/car round-trip on GoTrip.
Mtirala day tour from Batumi
This private hiking tour with Pin Georgia covers the Chestnut Forest Trail, a local Adjarian honey tasting and a visit to the waterfall. The price includes transfers to and from Batumi.
3. Machakhela National Park
- Distance from Batumi: 27 kilometres / 17 miles
- Travel time by road: 40-60 minutes (one-way)
- Great for: Nature & culture
Machakhela is more remote and sees far fewer tourists than Mtirala. I personally prefer Machakhela because it combines nature with fascinating local culture and history.
Machakhela is located south of Batumi and runs along the Turkish border. Another Colchic forest, the landscape is hilly and overwhelmingly green, with ambling streams, high lookout points and towering waterfalls. There are several villages within the park, one of them has a terrific local lore museum set inside a converted mosque. Another must-do is to visit a Machakhela gunsmith’s workshop where artisans like Zaza Nagervadze still produce flint guns the old-fashioned way.
There’s also a stone ‘Tamara’ bridge, a pillbox gun left over from the Ottoman wars, and a few other interesting landmarks to spot within the park. I recommend visiting with a tour group that will organise lunch for you – eating a home-cooked Adjarian meal of Sinori cheese pie and Borano buttery cheese in Machakhela is an absolute treat.
If you want to hang around for breakfast, there are several guesthouses that would be happy to host you.
→ Read all about my experience visiting Machakhela from Batumi.
How to get to Machakhela from Batumi
I highly recommend a scooter tour of Machakhela with Tsitsaka Moto. The full-day itinerary includes transfers to and from Batumi by car, lunch and moped hire.
We’re not confident drivers so we had two drivers take us around when we visited. It was great fun and we got to see almost everything the park has to offer within the course of a day.
If you prefer to visit Machakhela independently, a car and driver for the day costs 20 USD/car round-trip when booked through GoTrip.
4. Gonio Apsaros Fortress, Kvariati Beach & Sarpi
- Distance from Batumi: 19 kilometres / 12 miles
- Travel time by road: 30 minutes (one-way)
- Great for: History, swimming, hiking, sunset
If you want to swim and lounge sans crowds and pollution, there are some lovely beaches south of Batumi en route to the Turkish border. Kvariati is one of my favourites – it’s not super secluded but it’s still quiet compared to Batumi Beach and the setting is stunning. This is the last beach on the Georgian side of the Black Sea Coast. After Kvariati, steep, overgrown cliffs rise up from the sea, marking the end of the shoreline.
There are a few waterfalls behind the beach that you can see from the main road and a huge religious statue (you can’t miss it). A must-do in the area is to eat at Cafe Rakushkebi Fridastan, a gorgeous little seafood place on Kvariati Beach.
After Kvariati, continue down a few more kilometres to Sarpi and the iconic wave-shaped Sarpi Border Checkpoint building. There is also a small museum in Sarpi where you can learn about the local Laz community.
On the way back to Batumi, stop in at Gonio Apsaros Fortress (open daily until 6pm). The open-air museum here contains the remnants of a fortified Roman city that dates back to the 2nd century AD. If you have time for a short hike, Gonio Cross sits in the hills above the fortress and offers stunning views of the Black Sea.
It’s an easy trail (with a few little twists and turns – see my guide below for info) and is particularly rewarding if you time your ascent for sunset. It’s also possible to drive up to the cross if you prefer.
How to get to Gonio/Kvariati/Sarpi from Batumi
This day trip can quite easily be done by bicycle or by using city bus #16 to hop up and down the coast.
→ Read this guide to cycling to Sarpi from Batumi.
Alternatively, you could organise a Batumi-Gonio-Kvariati-Sarpi-Batumi transfer. Prices start from just 13 USD/car round-trip when you book through GoTrip.
Day tour to Gonio Fortress
If you’re interested in history and you want to concentrate your energy on Gonio Fortress, then consider a dedicated day trip with a guide. This tour lasts for 6 hours and includes a visit to Gonio followed by Makhuntseti waterfall and a wine tasting.
5. Kobuleti, Petra Fortress & Tsikhisdziri Hidden Beach
- Distance from Batumi: 30 kilometres / 19 miles
- Travel time by road: 45 minutes (one-way)
- Great for: History, urbexing, swimming, families with kids
Travelling the opposite way, north along the coast, you’ll find even more glorious swimming beaches plus another set of ruins. The 6th-century Petra Fortress isn’t as well-preserved as Gonio but it’s fun to explore nonetheless. The sea views from the top are spectacular, and the castle is surrounded by leafy arbours (the remains of an old limonarium) with shaded walking paths.
Directly in front of the fortress you’ll find Tsikhisdziri Hidden Beach, a lovely stretch of black rock beach with a sea arch, a dramatic cliff backdrop and a swimming platform. This is a local favourite and a nice place to take a morning dip. In summer 2021, a cool restaurant-bar called Shukura opened up at Tsikhisdziri.
Petra and Tsikhisdziri are an ideal pit stop on the way up to Kobuleti, a seaside town 40 minutes north of Batumi. Popular in Soviet times, Kobuleti has a long stretch of grey, gravely beach and clean water for swimming. There are several abandoned Brutalist-style hotels on the waterfront that attract photographers and urbexers. The main street has dozens of cafes, bars, and a few cool Soviet-era mosaics. Learn more in this guide: Things to do in Kobuleti.
Kobuleti Museum (open Tues-Sun) displays artefacts unearthed at Petra and is worth a quick look-in. I also recommend eating lunch in Kobuleti at Taraghana Fish, a popular seafood joint on the water.
The final stop on this day trip itinerary is the UNESCO-Listed Kobuleti Nature Reserve, a wetland area known for its peat bogs and population of Eurasian otters. Paths and a short elevated boardwalk winds its way through the reserve, with a lookout tower where you can take aerial photos of the pancake-flat landscape. The easiest way to get to the park is by taking bus #1 north from the centre of Kobuleti. The entrance is a short walk from the main road.
How to get to Kobuleti from Batumi
The high-speed train to Tbilisi departs Batumi at 8.30am and stops in Kobuleti before it turns inland. I don’t necessarily recommend taking the train, however, as tickets are quite expensive (from 21 GEL per person).
Instead, take one of the marshrutka minivans that depart from Batumi’s bus station for Kobuleti throughout the day. Vans bound for Ureki and Poti may also stop in Kobuleti – just ask the driver before you board. Tickets should cost around 2.5-4 GEL per person.
If you want to stop at Petra and Tsikhisdziri along the way, the more convenient option is to book a transfer to Kobuleti on GoTrip. Prices start from just 20 USD/car round-trip.
6. Makhuntseti & Mirveti waterfalls
- Distance from Batumi: 30 kilometres / 19 miles
- Travel time by road: 45-60 minutes (one-way)
- Great for: Swimming, relaxing, picnicking
For a cool escape from the city, these twin waterfalls are located in the foothills of Upper Adjara, inland from Batumi and close to Machakhela. Though very beautiful, I must warn you that this is definitely one of the more ‘touristy’ day trips on this list and in my experience, the area is usually quite crowded – especially in summer.
Makhuntseti is a tall waterfall with a swimming hole set back from the main road and accessed via a short, easy trail. On the opposite side of the road, you’ll see Makhuntseti Bridge – a beautiful hemispheric stone Tamara bridge. There are plenty of cafes and eateries in the area.
Mirveti is located closer to Batumi and is a bit more secluded. The falls are shorter but still very beautiful. Mirveti Arch Bridge, another stone bridge, is located nearby.
Makhuntseti is only an hour from Batumi by road. If you have time to spare, you can easily combine this day trip with the next itinerary and enjoy a wine tasting or two while you’re in the area.
How to get to the waterfalls from Batumi
To reach the Makhuntseti Waterfall from Batumi, you can take a Khulo-bound van from old Batumi bus station (departs every 30 minutes from 8am; 6 GEL) and ask the driver to drop you off early, just after Kveda Makhuntseti.
Mirveti is 17km away so it’s not possible to walk between the two – instead, you’ll need to take a Batumi-bound van back to Acharistskali then walk or take a taxi the rest of the way.
More conveniently, you could hire a car and driver for the day. Prices start from just 22 USD round-trip when you book through GoTrip.
Day tour to the waterfalls from Batumi
In the warmer months, local tour company Budget Georgia runs daily group trips to the waterfalls departing in the afternoon for around 20 USD per person. Private day tours are available on request.
7. Adjarian Wine Route
- Distance from Batumi: 19 kilometres / 12 miles
- Travel time by road: 40-75 minutes (one-way)
- Great for: Adjarian wine & food
Kakheti may be Georgia’s main wine region but grapes grow all over the country, including in mountainous Upper Adjara. By all accounts, this is an up-and-coming destination for wine tourism in Georgia, with more family Maranis added to the Adjara Wine Route every year.
Most are located in the high-altitude alpine Adjara around Keda Municipality (more in the next itinerary). If you’re after a quick side trip from Batumi, there are a few notable wineries that are close to Batumi, including Mirveti’s, Chateau Iveri, and Adjarian Wine House.
Adjarian Wine House is a vineyard, restaurant and function centre set on a sprawling property. It’s extremely popular and receives bus loads of tourists every day – but I’ve heard that in recent years the quality of service and the wine-tasting experience has gone downhill.
For something more intimate, Mirveti’s Winery is a small, family run business set in a beautiful wooden house near the waterfall and arched bridge of the same name (35 minutes from Batumi). Chateau Iveri is a bit further along the mountain road (around 1 hour from Batumi), but definitely worth the drive! The views are out of this world. Both offer wine tastings and home-cooked meals for walk-in visitors. I recommend calling ahead a day or two in advance to arrange your visit.
Adjara is synonymous with two wine varieties in particular: Tsolikauri and Chkhaveri, a dry white and dry pink respectively. Winemakers in this part of the country use different grapes but the same Qvevri technology as in the east. If you missed out on a wine tasting in Tbilisi, sipping vino in the lush highlands of Adjara will more than make up for it.
If you’re serious about wine, consider pressing further into Upper Adjara to visit the wineries around Keda. Highlights include Lado Shavishvili’s Wine Cellar and Wine Cellar Brother’s Avaliani. Find more information about the Adjarian Wine Route here.
How to get to Adjarian Wine House from Batumi
To get to Adjarian Wine House from Batumi, you can take a Bolt taxi for around 20 GEL one-way. Note that you may have some difficulty getting a car back, but the winery should be able to help with that.
A GoTrip car will cost you 18 USD/car round-trip, including a stop at Mirveti’s.
8. Keda & Merisi (Upper Adjara)
- Distance from Batumi: 50 kilometres / 31 miles
- Travel time by road: 2-2.5 hours (one-way)
- Great for: Cute villages, Soviet history, Adjarian food, fresh air, incredible mountain scenery
Mountainous Adjara is a treasure trove of pretty alpine villages and a total contrast to the hubbub of the Black Sea Coast. In summer, many people head this way to take advantage of the fresh air and cooler temperatures.
Keda is located a little deeper in the mountains past Makhuntseti Waterfall. There are wineries, hiking trails, painted mosques and some terrific local restaurants to enjoy in the area.
Merisi is a smaller village east of Keda famously known for the ultra-popular Eco House Merisi. If you’re tempted to stretch out your day trip and spend the night in Upper Adjara, this high-altitude guest house with an outdoor hot tub overlooking the mountains and valleys is a real treat.
If you decide to hire a car and driver and you make an early start from Batumi, you could also visit Khulo, Upper Adjara’s biggest town (roughly 2.5-3 hours by road one-way) to ride the old cable car and visit the mosque.
There is only one asphalt road into Upper Adjara and parts of it may be closed in winter if there is heavy snowfall. I recommend doing this day trip in late spring, summer or fall.
How to get to Keda & Merisi from Batumi
Marshrutka vans depart from Batumi old bus station for Khulo every 30 minutes from 8am until 8pm. The ticket price is 6 GEL and the driver can drop you off early in Keda on request. To get to Merisi, you’ll need to take a taxi from Keda.
Prices start from just 23 USD/car round-trip when you book through GoTrip. Note that there are limited drivers available because you need a larger vehicle with high clearance for this road.
9. Kolkheti National Park & Poti
- Distance from Batumi: 75 kilometres / 47 miles
- Travel time by road: 1 hour (one-way)
- Great for: Nature, fresh air, history
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kolkheti National Park is one of the most unique landscapes in Georgia. Located north of Batumi, it covers almost 34,000 hectares of protected wetlands and lakes across neighbouring Samegrelo and Guria regions.
This is prime habitat for water birds (more than 200 native and migratory species nest here). Along with Javakheti in southern Georgia, it’s one of the country’s premier bird watching destinations.
The best way to explore the national park is by getting out on the water. Boat tours of lake Paliastomi and the Pichori River are available, or you can hire a kayak and navigate the Churia Nature Paddling Trail, an easy 9-kilometre loop that takes you deep into the Amazon-like wetlands. Advance bookings are essential.
If you prefer to stay on land, hiking and horse riding are also on offer. There is a long track through the park that can be done by bicycle, but you’ll need to bring your own wheels.
This area also has historical importance as the birthplace of the Kingdom of Colchis, the first Georgian state that was founded in 2000 BC. Displays at the Kolkheti Culture Museum in the nearby city of Poti contain artefacts from this period.
The port city of Poti is worth a wander around – climb to the top of the historic lighthouse for a view, track down the Soviet-era mosaics and Brutalist architecture, and take in the sea panoramas on the long beach front.
How to get to Kolkheti & Poti from Batumi
Marshrutka vans depart Batumi bus station for Poti throughout the day, at least every hour starting from 8am. To reach the main entrance of Kolkheti National Park, a 6-minute drive from Poti, you can take a taxi from the centre.
Alternatively, prices start from just 35 USD/car round-trip when you book through GoTrip.
10. Shekvetili & Ureki beach
- Distance from Batumi: 47 kilometres / 29 miles
- Travel time by road: 60 minutes (one-way)
- Great for: Beaches, swimming, families with kids
Located roughly halfway between Kobuleti and Kolkheti, Shekvetili and Ureki are two of the most popular swimming spots on Georgia’s Black Sea.
This section of coast – part of Guria region – has sandy beaches rather than stone or pebble beaches like you see closer to Batumi. It’s not just any old sand, either – black in colour and ‘magnetic’, it’s rich in iron ore minerals and is believed to have healing properties.
Shekvetili Beach backs onto a forest and is the nicer of the two in my humble opinion. Other things to do in the area include the Miniature Park (an open-air museum with tiny replicas of Georgia’s most important churches and historical landmarks – it’s really wonderful and worth visiting) and Shekvetili Dendrological Park, the inspiration behind the film Taming the Garden. At Nellie’s restaurant in Shekvetili is one of my favourite places to eat in the area. The trout is outstanding.
Ureki Beach is a little more crowded. There are lots of cafes and restaurants to choose from, but prices here tend to be quite high (especially in summer).
How to get to Shekvetili & Ureki from Batumi
To get to Shekvetili, take a Poti-bound van from Batumi and jump out early. The beach, Miniature Park and restaurant are all within walking distance or you can take a taxi. Ureki Beach is another 20 minutes up the coast by car. To get there, you can either take another van or hire a taxi.
Prices start from just 30 USD/car round-trip when you book through GoTrip.
Where to stay in Batumi
I recommend staying close to the waterfront and Batumi Old Town. Nice accommodations can also be found at the opposite end of the seafront on the New Boulevard. For more information, see my detailed guide to the best areas to stay in Batumi.
Here are my top picks:
More Batumi travel resources
- My complete city guide to Batumi – the best things to do, see, eat & drink
- Batumi street art guide & interactive map
- Guide to visiting the Batumi Botanical Garden
- Guide to the Gonio Cross trail, Batumi’s best hike
- Cycling from Batumi to Sarpi and the Turkish border
- Guide to visiting Machakhela National Park from Batumi
- Batumi Airport transport & arrivals guide
Here are some of the websites and services I use when I’m planning a trip to Georgia and the Caucasus. Remember to check out my full list of travel resources for more tips.
- Find affordable flights to Tbilisi, Batumi or Kutaisi on Skyscanner.
- Use iVisa to check if you need a tourist visa for Georgia and apply for an expedited visa online.
- Insure your trip with HeyMondo, my preferred provider for single-trip and annual travel insurance.
- Pre-book a private transfer from Tbilisi Airport to your hotel (from $13) or from Kutaisi Airport to Tbilisi (from $70) with my preferred partners at GoTrip.ge.
- Find a great deal on a rental car in Georgia – use the Local Rent website to book through a local agent (from $20/day).
- Buy your tickets for the Tbilisi to Baku or Yerevan sleeper train online in advance through my partners at Geotrend (get a discount when you use the code in this post).
- Find the best Georgia hotel deals on Booking.com, book a Georgia hostel, or find a unique Airbnb in Tbilisi.
- Find the best city tours and day excursions in Georgia on Get Your Guide.
- Compare mobile providers and pick up a local Georgian sim card.
- Order a copy of the latest Lonely Planet Caucasus guidebook (published February 2022).