Located 12 km from Batumi, close to the Georgia-Turkey border, 30 meters above the sea level, Gonio is one of the fastest-developing locations in Ajara. Nevertheless, its seaside villas and family hotels make it particularly comfortable for a beach holiday.
Set between the sea on one side and the steep climb of the mountains on the other, Gonio’s wide beaches are calling for scenic walks. Swim in the sea, look back at the beach and you could almost be at the foot of the mountains. With its glorious sunrises and sublime sunsets, Gonio offers plenty of opportunities for budding photographers.
Archeological excavations indicate that modern Gonio was settled as early as VIII-VII century BC. It’s former name Apsaros can be found in Georgian, Greek, and Latin sources in different forms. The name Gonio first appears in XII-XIII centuries. In the XIX century Gonio consisted of 50 villages, where the local population cultivated grain cultures, mainly millet and corn.
Gonio-Apsaros Fortress was of strategic importance as it was erected to protect the population from Byzantium, and later from Ottoman Turkey.
Next to the fortress, the Chorokhi River flows into the Black Sea. In the past, people used to travel on the river to Artvini. Later, this part of the river was blocked and flooded to create Gonio Lake.
According to local legend, the workers who built the fortress used to pass stones from hand to hand along a human corridor from Kvariati to Gonio. In the fortress, you can see layers of enormous rocks that are almost one meter thick. A rectangular construction 44,460 square meters in area, Gonio fortress is is surrounded by a fence welded with lime, fortified with 18 towers.