Geography & population
Adjara Autonomous Republic is situated on the South-Western Black Sea littoral of Georgia. The area covers 2,9 thousand sq.km that constitutes 4,2 % of Georgia’s whole territory. Its southern border coincides with the Turkish-Georgian frontier; its northern and eastern borders consist of greenish mountains whereas it is surrounded to the west by the Black Sea.
Adjara is one of the most beautiful parts of Georgia. It is a wonderland stretched along the coastline (57 km long), naturally combining picturesque sea and mountain views. Visitors have often been fascinated by this peculiar proximity of the sea and the mountains whose average height is 2000-2500 m above sea level. Most of Adjara’s territory either consists of hills or mountains. The highest mountains rise up to 3,000 meters above sea level. Over 60% of Adjara is forest covered, most of which are temperate rain forests.
There are 4 protected areas in Adjara, making up to 15% of its territory. They have been established to preserve unique ecosystems of temperate rainforest and coastal wetlands/peatlands. Along with the nature protection, they serve as a major attraction for tourists.
Adjara has around 376 000 inhabitants (8.6% of the total population of Georgia) and is divided ethnographically as followed: Georgians represent 93, 4 % of local population, Ethnic minorities include Russians, Armenians, Greeks, Abkhazians, Ossetians, Azeri or Ukrainians. More than 137 thousand people live in Batumi – the administrative centre of Ajara.
The climate is subtropical. The winters are warm and the summers are hot. Nonetheless, Adjara receives the highest amounts of precipitation both in Georgia and in the Caucasus with an average of 1,500-2,500 mm annual precipitation and a maximum in excess of 4,000 mm. It is also one of the wettest temperate regions in the northern hemisphere. The high precipitation rate promotes the development of subtropical cultures. Fruit, wine and tobacco are usually harvested.
Average summer temperatures are between 22-24 degrees Celsius in the lowland areas and 17-21 degrees Celsius in the highlands. Average winter temperatures are between 4-6 degrees Celsius along the coast while the interior areas and mountains average around -3-2 degrees Celsius.
The Autonomous Republic of Adjara is the most dynamically developing Black Sea region of Georgia. It is distinguished for its advantageous geo-political location, offering easy access to local and international markets, highly developed transport infrastructure and financial sectors, and rapidly developed economy. Economic reforms are successfully being implemented in the region. Clear and equal conditions offered to the business have resulted in opening new enterprises and companies creating dozens of new jobs.
The main type of economic activity in product industry in Adjara is manufacturing industry. The well developed directions of the latter include textile production, food processing, pharmaceutical industry and recycling of scrap metal. Shipbuilding as well as mining and quarrying activities also take place. The production ratio of Adjara in GDP of Georgia equals to 5.5%. Production mainly occurs in Batumi. Due to the lack of agricultural land plots (72 862 ha in total) in Adjara, the amount of the produced agricultural products is insignificant small. Climate conditions and soil types give possibility for growing maize, beans, potatoes, vegetables tea, citrus, fruits and tobacco. Adjara, likewise the rest of Georgia, is rich in natural – medicinal resources. 62 types of mineral waters can be found.
Batumi is the capital of the autonomous republic of Adjara. It is in many ways the real counterweight to Tbilisi in terms of atmosphere, setting and appearance. Set on a warm semitropical coast with a backdrop of luxurious hills near the Turkish border, Batumi has become the country’s summer holiday capital, pulling in tourists from around Georgia and beyond. Its history is a lot shorter than that of most Georgian cities, and it owes much of its unique charm to the elegant fin-de-siècle architecture of its original boom time a century ago.
Due to its geographic situation Batumi has been a commercial crossroad since the antiquity. It has always attracted foreign investors whose footprint can be seen in the city’s unique architecture and atmosphere. Moreover, Batumi is with Tbilisi the only “urban” city in Georgia. There, one will find cafés, restaurants, theaters, artists, hotels and casinos offering a real concurrence to the capital. The city on the black coast is the first tourist destination in Caucasus. Its population is multiplied by two during summer holidays.
Traveling by train, plane and cruise ship, the number of tourists who flocked to Batumi, in 2011 culminated around 1.3 million, 10 times the level of 2005. This hot new vacation destination is becoming “the” destination of the Black Sea. The tourism boom of Batumi is mainly due to its undergoing facelift. The town has also renovated dozens of Old Town buildings and completed a swanky extension to its four-mile oceanside walkway as part of a $103.9 million government investment into infrastructure. A host of upmarket restaurants and nightclubs have opened, as have three Monte Carlo-inspired casinos.
Batumi is also Georgia’s largest port and is an important oil export point providing access to the Mediterranean Sea via the Bosporus. Established in 1878, Batumi port is located on a bay just northeast of the Batumi city. It was the largest oil export outlet in the Russian Empire and became the sea gate for transport flows from Europe or other countries of Caucasus and Central Asia.
Adjara & Europe
Georgia is a member of the Council of Europe since 1999. This means that the country support the values of Human rights, Democracy and Rule of Law which are the foundations of a tolerant and civilized society and indispensable for European stability, economic growth and social cohesion.
Adjra, as an autonomous region, is the member of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the largest independent network of regional authorities in wider Europe, bringing together over 250 regions from 35 countries along with 16 interregional organizations. Not only has Adjara an opportunity to influence the decision of EU policy makers or to share knowledge and good practice with other European regions, it can also enhance the mobility of its citizens through programs such as Eurodyssée, Summer schools and citizens’ forums and thus contribute to European construction and integration.