This amazing route will show you Abkhazia from all sides! Its story is amazing and sad. Its nature is unique and pure. Its inhabitants are hospitable and hot. In three days you will get acquainted with the ancient history of Kolkhida, taste local cuisine and look at the consequences of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. It is simply impossible not to get into it!
The first day of the trip will focus on natural sights of Abkhazia. You will drive to the famous lake Ritsa, admire canyons and waterfalls, breathe in the purest mountain air...
Not far from the border the first attraction is waiting for you: white rocks! It is a favorite place for photos among many tourists. You can not only relax under the sun on the cleanest beach, but also take beautiful pictures.
We'll go to Gagra from here. The city seems dull at first sight, but it has its charm. It's a charm from a long time ago and partially destroyed.
Alexander Petrovich Oldenburg is a representative of the ancient ducal and princely family of German origin, close relative of the Romanov dynasty and great-grandson of Paul I. It was Alexander Petrovich who founded a resort on the coast of Gagra, after he had built his castle. The construction of the castle was completed in 1902. During the reign of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin the castle became a sanatorium "Seagull" for the Soviet elite. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the structure was no longer needed, and after the castle was heavily damaged during the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. The building survived, but there was no complete reconstruction and now it is in an emergency condition. The entrance is 150 rubles per person. It is very worth looking at.
And take a little walk in the park adjacent to the castle. Here you can spend quite a pleasant time admiring the scenery and fountains.
I advise you to visit this restaurant as a famous historical place. Excellent architectural solution in perfect condition. Nicholas II, Stalin, sang Chaliapin himself at the opening of the restaurant. Magnificent national cuisine. But the prices here bite very hard.
Next town we're going to visit is Pitsunda. The ancient ancient city and port of Pituount was founded by Greek merchants from the city of Miletus. Pitiunt means "pine" in Greek, because then the cape was covered with a relict pine grove, as it is now. And the first settlements on the site of today's Pitsunda appeared in the IV century BC. In 302 - 64 B.C. Pituount was part of the Pontic kingdom, a Greek-Persian Hellenistic state in Asia Minor, on the southern Black Sea coast.
From the end of the 1st century B.C. Pitsunda was a Roman fortress, and from the 4th century A.D. one of the centers of Christianity in the Caucasus was founded here. In the 780s Pitsunt entered the Abkhazian kingdom, and from the end of the X century - in the united Abkhazian-Georgian state.
Lake Ritsa, a mountain lake of glacial and tectonic origin, is one of the main natural attractions of neighbouring Abkhazia. Once upon a time there was a noisy mountain river Lastishe running on this place, but about 250 years ago a large earthquake collapsed part of the Przhegishkhva mountain range, blocking its way and forming a new natural reservoir, which is now known as Ritsa. The beautiful scenery around it is breathtaking and one wants to stay here for a long time. But we still have a lot of interesting things ahead of us, so we will have a snack, admire the beauty and go further.
Let's take some pictures in the Yupshar gorge. This is one of the most beautiful places in Abkhazia. A canyon overgrown with centuries-old boxwood, moss and ivy hanging from rock cornices makes an indelible impression. The road passes between two very close-standing rocks that were once cracked by the earthquake. The narrowest place in the canyon is called the Jupshar Gate, where the two rocks practically converge, the distance between them does not exceed 20 meters.
We'll make another stop on the way back to the sea. By the Blue Lake. The lake is fed by underground rivers and the water here is always cold, even in summer.
Our last stop for today is Gudauta. The history of the city goes back to the Neolithic Age, when on its western outskirts in the tract Kistric (named after the small river flowing nearby) there was a settlement of fishermen and farmers.
The second day will introduce you to the monastery, the fortress, local cuisine and much more. Today you will touch the ancient history of this region...
New Athos is known primarily for its monastery. Millions of believers flock here every year. But the history of this place is not so clear! At least, here you can rest with your soul and touch the ancient history of Abkhazia.
This is one of the many abandoned railway stations. A train that used to stop here that was going to Georgia and now Adler-Sukhum train is passing by. The platform is decorated with an unusual building of a small station. Take a look at its architecture and symbols.
One of the largest caves in Abkhazia with many caves and halls! I strongly advise you to visit it! Although Abkhazia is permeated with caves, among which there is even the deepest in the world (cave named after Verevkin), this one is mandatory to visit.
Among numerous sights of Abkhazia the majestic Anakopi fortress that was erected on the top of the Iberian mountain is especially notable. The name of this fortress is translated from the Abkhazian language as "rugged". Anakopi fortress was built in the 4th-5th centuries, but despite such respectable age it is quite well preserved. The entrance to the fortress is 200 r.
Ancient Dioscuria, later Sebastopolis. Few people remember it now or know it at all. Beautiful resort town on the seashore, semi-deserted, like the whole of Abkhazia, but quite picturesque. What is it worth only its abandoned railway station!
It is not a simple historical place (though when they are simple), but the oldest ancient Greek (Miletus) colony on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, founded in the ancient Colchian town of Diaskuri. It has been known since the 6th century B.C. Unfortunately, most of Dioscuriada is now under the abyss of the sea.
The embankment is also worthy of attention. Of course, it is not as running as the next one, but you can sit on it on a bench and a little sink about the beautiful and short-lived.
Walking along the waterfront you can stop and have a little snack of quality Abkhazian cuisine! Nourishing, spicy, appetizing! Very tasty! After that, let's move on!
The Mahajirov embankment is more well-kept, more cultural, let's say. But for today, unfortunately, that's it. Let's move on, there is a lot of interesting things ahead of us!
There is a hot spring of chloride, calcium-sodium mineral water. The key beats from the hot earth, the temperature of the water at the outlet is very high - about 100 degrees. This water is supplied to the font, where tourists come, through special chutes, on the way to the font water cools down to an acceptable temperature. Flowing from high gutters, warm water makes an excellent hydromassage. There is also a source of therapeutic mud, which can be washed off after the procedure in a small pool filled with the same mineral water. Prices: for car parking - 50 rubles; for entrance to the thermal spring - 150 rubles; storage room - 50 rubles. Having passed all stages of the health-improving event: hydromassage - mud - pool, you will feel yourself a few years younger.
And so we arrive at the last town for today. We can take a little walk around it, have dinner and move into a guest house.
The third day will show you not the resort flip side of Abkhazia at all. Cities that were destroyed by the war, beautiful by their architecture separate buildings, which, unfortunately, no one undertakes to restore. All this you will touch on the last day of your trip...
Abkhazia is a paradise for lovers of brooches. But in fact, it is postwar hell. Postapocalyptic landscapes are especially common closer to the border with Georgia in the Tkuarchal region. Abandoned houses, factories, theatres, libraries, amusement parks - everything to take a lot of depressing photos without going to Chernobyl.
The now deserted settlement of Akarmara was built after the end of the Second World War by the German prisoners - architects, builders, etc., hence the atypical "imperial" beauty and alignment of its buildings, and it turned out that a completely new industrial city, designed for coal mining and processing, was different from the traditional mining cities of the Soviet Union. Houses in the new city were built in the Western European architectural style, close to the German builders, and became quite unique for this area. Akarmara was considered one of the elite areas of nearby Tkuarchal, and the queues for apartments here were several years long. During the war, almost all industrial infrastructure was destroyed, many houses were destroyed by shelling, and roads were damaged by bombs. Previously, there was a railway line to Akarmara with a unique, the only bent railway bridge in the USSR, the rails on the bridge were removed and the bridge itself is in critical condition.
Passing Bedi Cathedral, we're going to the city of Gali. There are also quite a few abandoned buildings, including a hydropower plant and a tea industry research institute. Take a walk here and, on your way back, visit the rest of the abandoned buildings in the cities that you have already passed along the coast.
Back in Ochamchira, check out the amusement park. It's a truly post-apocalyptic spectacle.
In Gagra, you walk through an abandoned tunnel. In the early 80s, during active construction, the tunnel was envisaged as an element of the city bypass road. Three tunnels were planned as part of the city bypass road. Two of them are currently in operation. This is the third one. Unfinished and abandoned. It's a great place for atmospheric and gloomy photographs.
Well, that's it. Beautiful little unrecognized Abkhazia, I hope, did not leave you indifferent. Do not forget to go into duty-fee fries and buy friends and relatives various delicious gifts!