My trip to the Dendrological Park started with me checking the internet and arriving early, as bloggers advised, by 9 a.m. I wanted to take a walk without the tourist crowds and leave before the peak of the heat (it was a hot August day). Upon arrival, I found the gates closed. However, the hand-corrected information on the sign stated that the park opens at 10 a.m. A few dozen of us tried to find shade near the parking lot.
The second mistake I encountered on some websites was the advice to come with children. However, according to the rules, entrance is prohibited for children under 12. Apparently, the security takes a very lenient approach to this rule (I witnessed a family with children around 7-10 years old being allowed in). Nevertheless, it’s worth warning you to be prepared.
The Dendrological Park is closed on Mondays and Thursdays.
Entrance is free (surprisingly, this is still the case).
The working hours of the Dendropark vary depending on the season:
- Summer: 10 am to 7 pm
- Autumn, Spring: 10 am to 6 pm
- Winter: 11 am to 5 pm
Admission stops one hour before closing.
Location on Google Maps.
How to get to the Dendrological Park from Batumi
- By car. This is the most convenient and fastest way (about 30 minutes if there are no traffic jams). The park has a large and free parking lot. Note that in the summer of 2023, a new high-speed section of the road was opened, and now to get to the park, you need to drive a bit further, then there will be an exit, and return along the old road for a couple of kilometers. Previously, the exit was before the Black Sea Arena (don’t be alarmed if the navigator shows it instead of the new route). However, road improvements are ongoing, and they may create a separate exit to the park.
- Taxi. Through applications, the price for a one-way trip will be around 60 lari. There may be a problem on the way back since ordering a taxi due to the lack of large settlements nearby may be difficult. There is an option to negotiate for the taxi driver to wait for a couple of hours while you walk in the park and take you back.
- Public transport – minibusses. The starting point in Batumi is located at the foot of the cable car. Look for minibusses heading towards Shekvetili, Ureki. Some routes to Kutaisi or Zugdidi may also be suitable. But! Make sure to ask the driver if he will pass by the dendrological park. Most of them drive along the new road, which is far from the park. The fare is 5 lari, and the journey will take from 40 to 50 minutes.
- Buy a tour. It will be slightly more expensive than a taxi, but you won’t have to worry about how to get there and you will see many more locations, not just the park.
History of the Creation of the Dendropark
Not far from the resort of Shekvetili on the Black Sea coast in Georgia, a majestic dendrological park was created. This natural haven covers an area of more than 60 hectares and is home to over 1000 species of plants. Located between the cities of Ureki and Shekvetili, in close proximity to Kobuleti, the park attracts tourists from around the world.
Behind the creation of this botanical garden stands the name of local oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili. The history of its creation began back in 2016 when Ivanishvili decided to build a magnificent villa with an adjoining park on the seashore for himself. Information that unique trees were being unearthed for a private residence leaked to the public. To prevent possible public discontent, the billionaire decided to present his project as a public dendrological park.
How true this story is remains unknown, but it is the most popular version among the local population.
However, the creation of the park was not without scandals. In particular, 43 rare trees were excavated and transported, including giant magnolias and tulip trees. This transportation process left its mark, as ecological norms were violated: tree branches were cut along the road, electrical and water supply lines were damaged. The story of how the oldest tree was drowned at sea during transportation (it was pulled out, but it did not survive in its new location and soon perished) also caused particular outrage.
It is worth noting that not only local rare trees were brought to the dendrological park but also trees from around the world. Including from Africa, where there was also a scandal over the excavation of ancient plants.
The official opening of the dendrological park took place in 2020, during the pandemic. Photos demonstrating the difficulties of transporting some plants further emphasize this issue in the park. Many giants are supported by special ropes because their roots have not yet sufficiently grown into the soil in their new location.
What to See in the Shekvetili Dendrological Park (Batumi)
Bamboo Grove: Imagine yourself in an exotic place where tall bamboo stalks rustle overhead. You can capture beautiful shots here. After Batumi Boulevard, this is the second such grove in Georgia.
Huge Lake: This artificial creation adds a special charm to the park. Trees in the water look real, but they are also artificial (made of concrete and iron). Especially the pink flamingos on the island! But pelicans also attract attention – they are friendly and not afraid of visitors. The big downside: the flamingos are on an island in the center of the lake – very far away.
Meeting with Lemurs and Birds: Who would have thought that in Georgia, you could see lemurs? Or toucans? There are also parrots (many different species), ostriches, deer, and in some enclosures – peacocks with proud crests. But that’s not all: stork, duck, crane, heron – also count among the local residents. Almost a little zoo!
Giant Trees: Have you ever seen eucalyptus, ginkgo, or evergreen sequoias? Or perhaps coniferous trees from the Himalayas? Here’s your chance! Many trees are accompanied by photos telling the story of how they were brought here. Most were brought from Batumi and Tskhisdziri.
Flower Bed: After such a variety of trees and animals, take a stroll through the flower bed, enjoying the aromas and beauty of blooming plants.
Bridge: Take a walk among the treetops on the stylized tree bridge. This is another interesting location for photos.
Reviews of the Shekvetili Dendrological Park
Undoubtedly, the garden has become one of the popular locations for tourists. Many locals have forgotten the creation story that angered them and also come here to relax. In terms of flora diversity, it lags behind the Batumi Botanical Garden (which practically surpasses all others in the world). But the presence of animals and free admission is an excellent reason to visit the dendrological park near Shekvetili and Ureki.
The rating on Google Maps is high – 4.7 with 1700 reviews. This means people like it.
An important point: there is no cafe in the park, so it’s better to bring a snack with you. It took me 2 hours to calmly walk through the entire park. But many prefer to hang out in it for half a day. Sit in the shade. Then slowly move to the beach. Therefore, take care of food in advance. There are enough fountains with drinking water on the territory. Still, I would bring a small bottle just in case.
If you’re thinking about the beach, keep in mind that you can’t get there from the park. You need to go around for about 20 minutes.
What Else to See in Shekvetili and Nearby
- Kaprovani Beach: Crystal-clear water and soft black sand under your feet. Here, you can relax excellently during the season. And if you’ve come outside the peak beach season, a walk through the coastal pine grove will be quite fitting.
- Musicians’ Park: Here, you won’t get bored for sure! Approach the musician’s statue, and the magic begins: a motion sensor activates, and you listen to the hits of that performer. All of this is free, and there are plenty of shady trees here!
- Miniature Park: If you want to see all the main attractions of Georgia but don’t have much time, this park is what you need. For just 5 lari, you’ll see many miniature replicas of monuments. By the way, this park was also created with Ivanshvili’s funding.
- Attractions in Tsitsinatela: It’s worth coming here and enjoying the rides, regardless of your age. Just remember that the attractions start operating after 18:00 and only in the summer.
Photo Gallery of Shekvetili Dendrological Park
I took hundreds of photos in the park. It’s an excellent place for photoshoots! I’ll share some of them here.
More about Batumi and Georgia:
I am Victor, the founder of this site and its main, but not the only author.
Traveler and photographer. Visited more than 40 countries.
Born and raised in Batumi. I love to travel in Georgia.
More about me here.