Things to Do in Abkhazia
Beaches of Abkhazia
In Abkhazia – pebble-sand beaches, for the most part well-equipped, but there are also wild sections of the coast, where lovers of peace and tranquility will like it. For example, the coast around Sukhum, stretching for 20 km, is considered quite clean, with a flat bottom without drops, and pleases those who like to dive from breakwaters. Sukhumi beaches are mostly small-pebble, public, equipped with water entertainment and attractions.
According to toppharmacyschools.org, the coast in Gagra is one of the most popular in the country. Almost the entire coastline is divided into small sections, some of which are given to boarding houses. Around – evergreen oleander and palm trees. The city itself is territorially divided by the river Tsikherva into two parts – New and Old Gagra. New Gagra – “Abkhazian Sochi”, a very crowded coastline, where there are always a lot of vacationers. Old Gagra is characterized by larger pebbles and the same bottom, there are fewer tourists here. There are also a lot of hotels in the Old Town (there are both new and recently restored ones), the private sector and a couple of boarding houses. Due to the relief, the local coast is not built up so densely, so it is not crowded here and fans of secluded recreation like it.
The beaches of Pitsunda are an ideal place for a relaxing and wellness holiday. Here is the cleanest and most transparent water on the entire coast of the country, there are never serious unrest, and the boxwood and relict pine groves surrounding the resort give the very healing air, every sip of which is already a treatment. The local coast is entirely pebbly, with the exception of the magnificent beach in the village of Ldzaa, which is considered one of the few sandy beaches in Abkhazia.
What to bring
Amazing wine, honey, cheese, churchkhela and dairy products are brought from Abkhazia. But it is homemade in Abkhazia that is the most delicious. Other popular souvenirs are tea from local plantations, fruits (tangerines, citrus, grapes, figs, kiwi, pomegranates, cherries), nuts, tobacco and spices.
Almost all shops in the country are open every day from 9:00-10:00 to 19:00-20:00. Large supermarkets are rare (in Sukhum and Gagra, for example), there are no shopping centers and boutiques. The market is the best place to buy edible souvenirs. In the same place, by the way, you can buy Turks for coffee and mahogany jewelry.
- What to buy in Abkhazia
The small republic of Abkhazia has always been and remains a place of pilgrimage for wine connoisseurs. Local wines are distinguished by lightness, freshness and deep aroma.
Cuisine and restaurants
If you remember how long and merrily the Abkhazians live, you will inadvertently think about the origins of such a phenomenon – isn’t it wine, milk, meat and an abundance of vegetables and fruits? Indeed, the local cuisine is based precisely on these pillars, I must say, exceptionally delicious. Meat is the head of everything, traditionally it is cooked in large pieces – like boiled veal, beef or goat meat. Chicken is also held in high esteem, as a rule, generously flavored with adjika (so lovers of “sleeper” should be told about this in advance).
Cheeses are the second feature of the local cuisine, you should definitely try the Abkhazian suluguni with cilantro or any other herb, as well as the ashvadzu, ashvchapan or achayur varieties. As a side dish, Abkhazians often offer fresh vegetables or beans – boiled with spices or, again, in the form of a salad. An obligatory companion of all feasts is khachapur (translated as “bread” and “cottage cheese”). Adzharian khachapur is baked in the form of a boat and poured with an egg on top, Imeretian khachapur looks like a big pie with cheese inside, and Megrelian flatbread differs from it only in that it has cheese on the outside.
“Apsny”, “Psou”, “Lykhny”, “Anakopia”… these words are music for fans of the light and deep taste of Abkhazian wine. Grapevine drink is a frequent companion of all feasts, not only festive ones, but also family dinners. Chacha grape vodka is also popular, as is the honey drink atskhadzyua, which is credited with getting rid of 77 ailments.
You can try all these delicacies in any cafe or restaurant, you just have to look closely at the interior and guests. Alas, the splendor and richness of scenery in Abkhazia do not always speak in favor of the cuisine and the chef, but the presence of local residents who dine in this institution is very much so. Another nuance that should be kept in mind for families with children and just those who like to sit quietly is live music. In the evenings during the season, many cafes consider it their duty to arrange musical (and quite loud) accompaniment with a repertoire that is not always worth listening to children.
A good option for constant meals during the holidays can be canteens – both by themselves and at boarding houses. The average check for a budget snack is 300-450 RUB, for gatherings in a restaurant – 700-900 RUB.
- What to try from Abkhazian cuisine
Entertainment and attractions of Abkhazia
Abkhazia, which thundered throughout the USSR as the best balneological and beach resort, was already undeservedly deprived of the attention of sightseers in those days. And in vain – local attractions can give odds to many of their counterparts from the Krasnodar Territory and even the Caucasus. The main “must-sees” of this sunny country are created by nature itself – these are (alas, clichés cannot be avoided) crystal clear lakes, soft mountains overgrown with fluffy forests, deep karst caves with bizarre sculptures and stunning groves of majestic Pitsunda pines.
Be sure to visit the famous lake Ritsa, which does not need additional introduction. All Abkhazian tourists strive to take a photo against the background of its dark turquoise waters. Around the lake are clean rivers, mineral springs and ancient fortresses. The second most popular attraction is located in New Athos – these are unique cave complexes and a monastery. Not so well known, which is why the Kodori Gorge and the breathtaking landscapes of the surroundings of the Klukhor Pass are even more attractive.
- Where is the Boxwood Grove in Abkhazia
Ancient and cultural monuments of Abkhazia
Not a single flora: numerous monuments of the Meso- and Paleolithic period, the ruins of ancient settlements and medieval fortresses are scattered throughout the country of Abkhazia. The most famous are located within large cities, which is no wonder, because Sukhum grew out of Sebastopolis, New Athos – from Anakopia, Pitsunda – from Pitiunt. In addition to the ruins of ancient settlements, once powerful mountain fortresses attract attention, from which only ruins remain today – these are Cibilium and Ahysta. The religious heritage of the country is also great: these are temples and basilicas that were founded in the days of early Christianity, for example, the famous Dranda, Mokva and Bedia cathedrals, the majestic Patriarchal Cathedral in Pitsunda, the amazing temple in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin in Lykhny.
Exhaled? Then we continue. The Abkhazian medieval period must be taken seriously, because the local monuments of this era are simply unique. For example, the cave monastery in Otkhara and the Lashkendar monastery near Tkvarchala. As well as powerful fortifications – the Bagrat castle and the famous Kelasur wall more than 160 km long, the ancient fortification on the Aisra ridge and the ruins of the watchtower-fortress on Mount Satanjo. The majestic fortress of Abaat in Gagra can be called the “icing on the cake”.