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Home » Transadjarian Highway Trip: One of the Most Challenging and Beautiful Roads in Georgia

Transadjarian Highway Trip: One of the Most Challenging and Beautiful Roads in Georgia

The Transadjarian Highway stretches 160 kilometers, connecting Batumi, the capital of Adjara, with the town of Akhaltsikhe in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. This stunning mountain road is only fully passable in the warm season. It usually opens in early to mid-May and closes at the end of October. From Akhaltsikhe, you can drive as far as the village of Zarzma year-round, while from Batumi, you can reach the Goderdzi resort.

From our editor, who loves Georgia dearly, we present to you: an off-the-beaten-path, yet incredibly interesting and scenic route through mountainous Adjara. This route is only accessible during the warm months.

Nature and Culture

Alongside the breathtaking landscapes of mountains, forests, and waterfalls, the highway offers a wealth of cultural heritage rarely found elsewhere in Georgia. Adjara is home to a Muslim population, and the combination of its remote, high mountains and unique religious culture has created a distinctive local identity. Here are some of the most interesting spots along the route:

The Road

The most challenging section is from Akhaltsikhe to the Didachara dam (55 kilometers). This rugged dirt road climbs up and over a pass and then descends. After winter, fallen trees and streams often block the way, and the pass features a single-lane snow tunnel with snowdrifts taller than a person – one of the road’s most beautiful sights.

Beyond this point to Batumi, the asphalt is good, and even the secondary roads are in decent condition. For the latest road conditions, contact the Georgian Department of Roads at +995 277-90-90 (24/7).

Akhaltsikhe

Spend a full day here exploring the Rabati Fortress, old synagogues and Jewish cemetery, the Armenian Catholic Church of the Holy Sign of Zarekhni, and wandering the old town.

Adigeni

Admire the mosaic on the facade of a three-story building and the metal map of the region in the main square.

Zarzma Monastery

Located in the village of Zarzma. Beyond this point to the Goderdzi resort, the road is not cleared in winter.

Goderdzi Pass (2025 meters)

Home to a ski resort, accessible only from Batumi during winter. A few kilometers away lies the beautiful Green Lake.

Khulo

The capital of mountainous Adjara. The town has a few nondescript cafes (all listed on Google, but hard to recommend any). From Khulo to Tago, there’s a cable car, though it’s under repair until the end of 2024. You can also drive to Tago, which features the popular Tago glamping site with khinkali-shaped tents – booking well in advance is necessary. Accommodation in Khulo includes Sun House, offering cottages with stunning views of the mountain forest and mosque minarets.

Skhalta Monastery (13th century)

Inside, you’ll find 14th and 15th-century Byzantine-style frescoes and the bones and skulls of Christians killed by Ottoman forces.

Furtio and Dandalo Bridges

The region boasts numerous stone bridges, a notable feature of mountainous Adjara.

Mosque in Tskhmorisi Village

Many regional mosques have modest exteriors clad in cheap metal sheets but are adorned inside with wooden panels featuring carvings and paintings. Nearly every village has a beautiful mosque. Here’s a detailed study of the mosques of mountainous Adjara.

Zendidi Fortress

The third most common type of attraction is the remnants of fortifications, which can range from full-fledged fortresses to mere piles of stones. It’s best to view pictures in advance to avoid disappointment after driving several extra kilometers.

Bas-relief in Pirveli Mais

A beautiful piece of Soviet heritage on a school building.

Aqueduct

One of the region’s most impressive structures, offering picturesque views from various angles.

Makhuntseti

The Queen Tamar stone bridge and waterfall in this village are very popular attractions.

Adjaris-Tskali

A bridge and viewpoint at the confluence of the Chorokhi and Adjaris-Tskali rivers.

Batumi

You could spend a week here – we have a comprehensive city guide for you.

Travel Time

Without significant detours or trekking but with sightseeing along the route and photo stops, plan for two full days.

For convenient sightseeing in Georgia, refer to the list of cultural heritage sites.

Google Map

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