The city of Poti is often called the sea gate of Georgia. This title is confirmed by numerous merchant ships moored in orderly rows at the pier of its port. The strategic position, unfortunately, played a key role in the fact that the city has practically not preserved any significant historical sights. But Poti was built on the site of Phasis, one of the oldest Greek colonies. And still, a special atmosphere reigns here: the sleepy life of a small town shakes from time to time from the grinding of port cranes, and the smell of the sea mixes with the aromas of coffee from cute restaurants. Here you can not only walk along the streets – outside the city there are several good beaches and the picturesque lake Paliastomi. See JIBIN123 for Georgia customs regulations and visa requirements.
How to get to Poti
The most convenient way to get to Poti is by plane via Batumi (two daily flights from Domodedovo from Ural Airlines and Es Seven) or Kutaisi (one flight from Domodedovo from Ural Airlines). Bus number 10 departs from the Batumi airport every hour to the city. It also stops at the bus station, from where buses also run hourly to Poti. Travel time: 1 hour 40 minutes. Numerous minibuses run from Kutaisi airport to the resort (2 hours on the way). Passenger-and-freight ferries from the Ukrainian Chornomorsk also enter Poti.
Poti’s public transport is buses and minibuses connecting the city districts and the suburbs, including the resort Ureki. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is better to call a taxi in advance or discuss the price before the trip. Bicycles can only be rented in small family hotels – there is no municipal rental. Parking is free throughout the city.
Basically, hotels in Poti are “starless”, solid, but the price-quality ratio is respected. A double room in a 3 * hotel costs 95-120 GEL (with breakfast) per night. A simpler and cheaper option is a guesthouse, a day of Georgian hospitality will cost 50-100 GEL. For independent and freedom-loving people there is a choice of apartments, they are rented for 40-50 GEL. With such prices, hostels are not needed, which is probably why there are none in the city. Prices on the page are for July 2021.
Beaches of Poti
There are several beaches in Poti itself, however, they are without any serious infrastructure. And the proximity of the port does not add purity to sea water. The most popular among the townspeople is Maltakva Beach, located 4 km south of the city. The minimum depth (and, as a result, well-heated water), relative cleanliness and smooth entry attract families with children here. There is a variety of water activities here: rental of jet skis and catamarans, riding “bananas”. There are several cafes nearby. The only negative is the lack of rental of umbrellas and sunbeds, so you should take a towel with you.
The swimming season lasts from May to October. Well, for a more civilized rest, you can go to Uroki – the resort, famous for its volcanic sand, is only 24 km from Poti and half an hour by minibus.
Cafes and restaurants
In the establishments of Poti, the food is tasty and inexpensive – there are few tourists here, and the city itself is not very rich compared to the same Batumi. Restaurants with Georgian cuisine predominate, offering “chashushuli” (veal with tomato), Mingrelian kupaty, “khashlama” (meat with vegetables in its own juice). You can have a hearty dinner in such an institution for 25-50 GEL per person.
Recently, conceptual eateries with a new look at local dishes have been opened in the city, they are a little more expensive: 30-50 GEL per person. You can have a quick bite to eat Adjarian khachapuri: a hearty boat with cheese and an egg costs 3-5 GEL.
Poti is divided into two parts by the Rioni River. On the northern shore are the port, blocks with high-rise buildings and blocks of individual buildings. On the south – the city center with shops, markets, banks and restaurants. There is also a small park with a large cathedral in the middle (Rustaveli Square). This is the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos, built in 1907. The Byzantine-style temple was used as a theater and library during the Soviet era, and then completely closed. Today the church operates, its appearance has been restored in accordance with the original. But the interior has been updated – authentic murals could not be saved.
To the left of the entrance to the cathedral stands the oldest building in the city – the Poti Tower. This is the remains of an ancient Turkish fortress built in 1640, around which Poti began to form. The tower, marked on the city coat of arms, is today used as a café and memorial museum of Georgian public figure Niko Nikoladze.
In the same park there is a sculpture of Alexandre Dumas père. The famous French writer visited the Caucasus and even participated in the ceremony of awarding Poti the status of a city.
At the very mouth of the Rioni there is the Poti lighthouse of 1862. It was made in Great Britain and delivered by sea to Georgia. Height – 38 m.
After getting acquainted with the few sights of the city, it is worth paying attention to its surroundings. The southeastern part of Poti is washed by Lake Paliastomi, which is part of the Colchis National Park. The shores of the reservoir are surrounded by relic liana thickets and unique subtropical forests. They can only be reached by boat. The entrance to the territory of the national park is through the visitor center (Guriyskaya st., 222).