What to See in Gagra and Gudauta (Abkhazia, Georgia)

New Athos (Abkhazia)

Gagra (Abkhazia)

Gagra Resort is located 22 km from Sochi Airport in Abkhazia. Gagra is the warmest and driest place on the entire Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, since Gagra is surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges. The microclimate of the resort has a number of healing properties, therefore, numerous sanatoriums have been created on its territory, where various climatic procedures are offered – air baths, sunbathing and sea bathing. The local beaches are small-pebble. Holidays here are suitable for both families with children and young people. Along the coastline of Gagra stretches a wide promenade, on which there are numerous bars, restaurants and clubs. In the center of the city there is an Aquapark, where a large number of attractions are offered.

There are several dive centers in Gagra that organize dives to the flooded ancient cities of the times of the Roman Empire (2-1 centuries BC). These cities include Dioscuria near Sukhumi, Anakopia near New Athos and Pitiund near Pitsunda. The depth of immersion here varies from 10 to 50 m. Also in the coastal waters of Abkhazia, sunken ships of Ancient Rome, ships and aircraft lie at the bottom of the sea new story that will be of interest to fans of wreck diving.

In the city itself, among the historical sights, the ancient fortification of Zhoekvara, which stands at the mouth of the river of the same name, the Khashup fortress and the fortress temple on the territory of the Seaside Park, has been preserved. The fortification of Joekvara was built by the Romans in the 4th-5th centuries AD. The fortress walls are well preserved, during the construction of which masonry of large square blocks was used, as well as the fortress gates with an arch.

Seaside park was founded at the beginning of the 20th century. About 1000 species of plants are collected here – there are date and coconut palms, magnolias, Syrian mallow, candy tree, oleanders, Himalayan cedars and oriental plane trees. On the territory there is a fortress temple of the 6th century, which houses the Museum of ancient Abkhaz weapons. Excursions to the mountains to Lake Ritsa and the Ritsa National Relic Park depart from Gagra. Lake Ritsa is located in the northern part of Abkhazia at an altitude of 1000 m above sea level. They get to it through the Bzyb Gorge, along the bottom of which the Bzyb River flows. On the way to the lake you can see several waterfalls. – waterfall “Women’s Tears”, which flows down the steep cliffs, waterfall “Men’s Tears”, which was named so because it is very difficult to see the level where the water flows from, because it is located too high, and Gegsky waterfall, which gives rise to the river Gega, breaking out of the center of the rock. Also, before reaching Lake Ritsa, you can see the Blue Lake, the water in which is actually blue. The water temperature in the lake is only 4 degrees Celsius. Lake Ritsa is known for the fact that above it at an altitude of 1700 m above sea level is the Avadkhara mineral spring, which is located on the territory of the Ritsa National Relic Park,. The park was founded in 1930 to protect the Colchis mountain forests. The area of the park is 16 thousand hectares. Tours live here, roe deer, Caucasian chamois, endangered Caucasian red deer, brown bears, wild boars, wolves, foxes, jackals, wild Caucasian cats and martens.

Gudauta (Abkhazia)

According to Growtheology, the city of Gudauta is located on the Black Sea coast of Abkhazia between Pitsunda and Sukhumi. Along the coastline of Gudauta there are beaches where you can have a great rest. The beaches of the resort are mainly composed of gravel, and in the eastern part they turn into sand.

In the vicinity of the city there are historical sights. The Myusser temple is one of the most significant cult monuments of Abkhazia of the 10th-11th centuries. Its ruins, covered with vegetation, stand in a small clearing. The facade of the temple, which is decorated with three arches, has been well preserved to this day. Also be sure to go to the Lykhny Palace. It is known for its murals, the oldest of which date back to the 8th century. Very interesting Gudauta Museum of Local Lore. The museum has halls dedicated to the victims of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, archeology and ethnography.

Also, hydrogen sulfide, sodium chloride and iodine-bromine mineral springs were found near Gudauta. Gudauta mineral water is widely known outside the republic, and its healing properties are used in sanatoriums to treat various diseases.

New Athos (Abkhazia)

North of Sukhumi along the Black Sea coast is the city of New Athos. Every year, New Athos attracts many tourists, because it combines a rich excursion program and comfortable rest in numerous sanatoriums that are located close to local beaches.

The city is known for the fact that the largest religious building of the republic is located here – the Orthodox Simono-Kananitsky Monastery. The monastery was founded in 1875 by Russian monks who preached in Greece at the Panteleimon Monastery. The Simono-Kananitsky Monastery stands at the foot of Mount Athos at an altitude of 75 m above sea level. It was erected near the ancient temple of the Apostle Simon the Zealot. According to legend, this apostle of Jesus Christ preached here. The monastery keeps a miraculous cross with a particle of the Tree of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord. Not far from the monastery is a cave in which Simon the Zealot prayed and retired. The cave is consecrated, and inside it stands the icon of the holy apostles Andrew and Simon. New Athos is home to one of the largest caves in the world – the New Athos Cave .. This is a vast karst cavity with a volume of about 1 million cubic meters. m. It is located in the Apsar mountain. In 1975, an artificial tunnel was laid to the cave, through which the “Tourist” electric train now runs. In the New Athos cave you can see stalactites, stalagmites and lakes, which are illuminated by special lanterns. In total there are nine large halls. The largest hall is the “Speleologists’ Hall”. Its length is 260 meters, height – up to 50 meters, width – up to 75 meters. The highest hall of the cave is the “Apsar” hall. Its height is up to 70 meters. There are several ancient castles in the vicinity of New Athos. The most interesting of them is located on the site of the ancient city of Anakopia.. The ruins of the Anakopia fortress are the remains of a wall in the form of a small ring, which was built from large, well-worked limestone blocks. The entrance to the fortress is protected by three monoliths with paintings in the form of animals and crosses. Inside the fortress walls there is an inexhaustible well, the phenomenon of which has not yet been unraveled.

Other fortresses in this region include the Mushba fortress and the Abahuatsa fortress. Both of them belong to the monuments of early medieval fortification and are full of secret passages and fragments of pottery.

Also in New Athos, diving enthusiasts are offered diving to the part of the ancient city of Anakopia flooded by the sea. The depth of immersion here varies from 10 to 50 m.

New Athos (Abkhazia)