Situated on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, the partially recognised state of Abkhazia has plenty of unique sites to visit, including; Novi Afon, a Christian Orthodox Cathedral built inside of an enormous cave and naturally decorated with stalagmites and stalagtites and remote mountain villages.
One interesting destination for travellers is to visit Novi Afon or New Athos (Новый Афон); a Christian Orthodox Cathedral, which is 20min drive from Sukhumi. It is famous not only as a cathedral and living legacy of Christianity but also as a cave; where there are 7-8 enormously large halls with thousands of wonderful stalagmites and stalagtites. A special train takes you to the depths. There are also historical places like the village of Moqua with its beautiful cathedral, and Ilor Church near Ochamchira.
LAKE RITSA & STALIN’S DACHA
Exceptional scenic lake Ritsa is one of the main tourist attractions of Abkhazia. In 1947, on the shore of the lake was built by one of the five villas Stalin. This cottage is a two storey wooden house, painted in green color. The second house was built for N. Khrushchev in 1961. Here you can see the interiors and furniture of those times, reception rooms, three bedrooms, connected with a common balcony, a huge library, and a separate house for protection, which consisted of 300 people. In the distance is a playground, pier, park of deciduous and coniferous trees, and decorative stone bridge across the creek where you can stroll. Today on the territory of the villas are fascinating excursions.
Found all throughout Abkhazia, a dolmen is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more vertical megaliths supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (“table”), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic (4000–3000 BC). Dolmens were typically covered with earth or smaller stones to form a tumulus. In many instances, that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone “skeleton” of the burial mound intact.
Visa on arrival possible for short trips. Need multi-entry Russian visa.
In the northern hemisphere, seasons with mild summers and snowy winters.
For up to date exchange rates please have a look at www.xe.com
Two prong European style systems (types C and F).
Internet is poor, most accommodation will offer wifi, but it will not be of a good speed.
Local dishes include Akud (bean sauce) and Abista (corn porridge with cheese) and a variety of meat and fresh greens, most dishes are usually spicy.
Alcohol is permitted and is widely available.
Abkhaz and Russian
Orthodox Christian and Muslim
Conservative. Recommended to wear loose fitting clothing and refrain from showing too much flesh.
SAFTEY & SECURITY
The FCO Advises against travel to Abkhazia. Primarily this is due to the fact it is a self declared independent state and potentially politically unstable rather than immediate risk from attack by individuals. We take precautions when travelling to Abkhazia. Contact us for information on how we work to minimise risk for our guests and staff
Under Siege: Inter-Ethnic Relations in Abkhazia – Tom Trier, Hedvig Lohm, David Szakonyi
Conflict in the Caucasus: Georgia, Abkhazia and the Russian Shadow – Svetlana Mikhaĭlovna Chervonnaia