Kobuleti is a coastal town located on the eastern shore of the Black Sea in the western region of Georgia. Known for its sandy beaches, lush greenery, and mild subtropical climate, it is a popular destination for both Georgian and international tourists. The town has a rich history dating back to ancient times, with archaeological finds suggesting that the area was inhabited as far back as the Bronze Age.
According to legend, the name "Kobuleti" comes from the Georgian word "kobila," which means "mare," and is said to refer to a mare who once roamed the area and was known for her beauty and grace. Over time, the town grew around a medieval fortress that was built to protect the region from invading armies.
During the Soviet era, Kobuleti became a popular destination for wealthy Russians, who built luxurious summer villas along the town's picturesque coastline. Today, visitors to Kobuleti can enjoy a mix of modern amenities and traditional Georgian hospitality, with plenty of opportunities to explore the town's history, culture, and natural beauty.
Whether you're interested in sunbathing on the beach, hiking in the nearby mountains, or indulging in delicious Georgian cuisine, Kobuleti has something to offer everyone. With its laid-back atmosphere, friendly locals, and stunning scenery, it's a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Georgia.
How to get to Kobuleti
The town is approximately 20 kilometers south of Batumi and 335 kilometers west of Tbilisi. The easiest way to get to Kobuleti is by renting a car in Batumi and driving to the town.
The closest international airport to Kobuleti is Batumi International Airport, which is located approximately 40 kilometers north of the town. From the airport, you can rent a car or take a taxi to Kobuleti. The journey by car takes around 40 minutes depending on traffic.
What to see
- Kobuleti Beach - This sandy beach is one of the main attractions of Kobuleti. It's a perfect place to swim, sunbathe and relax. Legend says that the beach got its name from the Georgian word "kobule" which means "pebble".
- Petra Fortress - This ancient fortress dates back to the 6th century and offers stunning views of the Black Sea. According to legend, the fortress was built by the famous Queen Tamara to protect the coast from invaders.
- Kintrishi Protected Landscape - This protected area is located near Kobuleti and is home to unique flora and fauna. Visitors can take a hiking trail to explore the park's natural beauty.
- Chakvi - This small town near Kobuleti is famous for its mineral springs and beautiful botanical garden.
- Makhuntseti Waterfall - This picturesque waterfall is located in the mountains near Kobuleti. Visitors can take a short hike to reach the waterfall and enjoy the surrounding nature. According to legend, the waterfall was created by a giant who lived in the mountains.
- Tsitsinatela Amusement Park - This amusement park is a perfect place to visit with kids. It features a variety of rides and attractions, including a Ferris wheel, roller coasters, and water slides.
- Gonio Fortress - This ancient Roman fortress is located near Kobuleti and is believed to be the burial place of the Apostle Matthew. According to legend, the fortress is also the site of the mythical city of Aia, which was ruled by the Amazon queen Hippolyta.
- Kobuleti Botanical Garden - This botanical garden is located near the beach and features a variety of exotic plants and flowers. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the garden and enjoy its peaceful atmosphere.
These are just some of the many interesting places to visit in Kobuleti.
Where to eat
Here are some good cafes, bakeries, and restaurants in Kobuleti with local cuisine:
- Kolkhuri Chicken - a popular restaurant serving traditional Georgian cuisine, with an emphasis on chicken dishes.
- Kobuleti Beach Bar - a beachside restaurant and bar serving a mix of Georgian and international cuisine, with live music and a lively atmosphere.
- Cafe Boulevard - a cozy cafe serving coffee, tea, and pastries, with outdoor seating.
- Merkuri - a restaurant specializing in seafood and serving traditional Georgian dishes as well.
- Sweet Inn - a bakery offering a variety of freshly baked pastries, cakes, and bread.
These are just a few options, but there are many more to discover in Kobuleti!
Where to stay
Here are some highly-rated hotels in Kobuleti:
- Georgia Palace Hotel & Spa: This luxurious 5-star hotel offers stunning views of the Black Sea, an outdoor pool, a spa, and several restaurants.
- Hotel Mozart: This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Kobuleti and offers a cozy atmosphere, a beautiful garden, and a restaurant serving Georgian and European cuisine.
- Hotel Golden Fleece: This beachfront hotel offers spacious rooms with sea views, a private beach, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant serving Georgian and European cuisine.
- Hotel Intourist Palace: This historic hotel was built in 1939 and offers a beautiful beachfront location, an outdoor pool, and several restaurants and bars.
- Hotel Mgzavrebi Kobuleti: This modern hotel offers comfortable rooms, a beachfront location, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant serving Georgian cuisine.
These are just a few options, but there are many other great hotels in Kobuleti to choose from depending on your preferences and budget.
Best time to visit Kobuleti
The best time to visit Kobuleti is during the summer months from June to September, when the weather is warm and sunny, and the sea is perfect for swimming. However, keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season, so expect crowds and higher prices. If you prefer a quieter and more affordable trip, consider visiting in the shoulder season in May or October when the weather is still pleasant, but the crowds have thinned out.
Parking in Kobuleti
As in many beach towns, parking in Kobuleti can be challenging during peak season, especially in popular areas such as the beachfront. However, there are a few tips that may make it easier:
- If you are staying at a hotel or guesthouse, check if they offer parking facilities or have a partnership with a nearby parking lot.
- Look for public parking areas, which can often be found near the beach or other attractions. However, be prepared to pay for parking in these areas.
- Be mindful of any parking restrictions or signs indicating no parking areas, as fines can be issued for parking violations.
Overall, it's recommended to plan ahead and arrive early to secure a parking spot in Kobuleti during peak season.
Tips for drivers
Here are some tips for drivers visiting Kobuleti:
- Be cautious while driving on the mountainous roads near Kobuleti. The roads can be narrow, and some of them are not well maintained, so it's essential to drive carefully.
- Avoid driving at night if possible, as the roads can be poorly lit, and some drivers might not follow traffic rules.
- When parking, look for designated parking areas. Parking on the side of the road can be risky, as there have been incidents of cars being vandalized.
- Consider renting a car with a GPS navigation system, as it can be helpful in navigating around Kobuleti and the surrounding areas.
- Always keep your car doors locked and windows closed when driving, as car theft is not uncommon in Georgia.
- If you are involved in an accident, contact the police immediately and do not move your car from the accident site until the police arrive.
Renting a car can be a convenient and enjoyable way to explore Kobuleti and its surroundings. With the flexibility to go at your own pace and visit lesser-known attractions, renting a car can help you make the most of your trip. Just be sure to follow traffic rules and park responsibly, and you'll be all set to enjoy the beauty of Kobuleti and the surrounding area.