TOP 10 places to see in Gagra on your own


Abkhazia is a wonderful place for single and family vacations: it is almost always warm and sunny, the kitchen will satisfy the requirements of the most demanding tourist, and there are historical monuments in almost every village. In addition, this territory is not among the most dangerous places on earth - having come here, the traveler will feel at home. The only thing he will have to worry about is how to manage to visit all the planned attractions. What to see in Abkhazia first of all and how much you have to pay for excursions - let's try to figure it out.

Patriarchal Cathedral (Pitsunda)

Acquaintance with Abkhazia should begin with Pitsunda - a small resort town in the Gagra region. There are many interesting ancient temples here, and the most remarkable of them is the Patriarchal Cathedral, founded during the reign of Bagrat II (approximately at the beginning of the X century). The cathedral, which was rebuilt and updated several times, is dedicated, like the small church that was previously located here, to the holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, according to legend, passing through Russia and the Caucasus.

Since the 1990s, the Patriarchal Cathedral in Pitsunda has been part of the Great Pitiunt State Nature Reserve complex, the second notable object located not far from the first is the graceful stone chapel in the name of Pitsunda Saints, built in the 18th century and considered by the locals to be part of the cathedral.

The architecture of the temple is typical three-nave with three apses. The materials used in the construction are sandstone and brick. The main attraction of the interior of the Patriarchal Cathedral is the ancient frescoes, in particular the huge icon of Christ the Almighty, the Virgin and angelic ranks. There are also ancient icons painted on wooden boards according to the canons of local iconography, which are slightly unusual for a domestic tourist, but therefore no less attractive.

From time to time, organ concerts are held in the Patriarchal Cathedral, in which local performers and world-class musicians who come here from abroad take part. Depending on the conditions of the organizer, a traveler can visit them for free or for a small fee; currently, Russian rubles are accepted as currency, so there is no need to change money before the trip.

Patriarchal Cathedral - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • address: Pitsunda city, Gitsba street, 8,
  • how to get there: by regular buses from Gagra, public transport, taxi or car along the Sukhumi highway, then - to Pitsunda cape,
  • time: daily from 10:00 to 19:00, concerts - from 17:00 and 20:00,
  • cost: for adults and children from 5 years old - 50 rubles, a ticket for a concert - an average of 600 rubles for adults and 200 - for children 6-12 years old.

New Athos Monastery (New Athos)

In Abkhazia there is also its own Athos monastery, called New Athos for distinction with the Greek monasteries and located at an altitude of just over 70 meters above the sea. It was founded at the end of the century before last by Greek monks who decided to build new monasteries for themselves. Over time, their homes grew into a full-fledged monastery, which has now become the center of Abkhaz Orthodoxy.

The New Athos Monastery with parks, gardens, oil groves and flower beds around it invariably attracts the attention of tourists, its additional advantage is its proximity to the Black Sea, which makes it possible to combine a fascinating tour with outdoor recreation.

The construction of the New Athos monastery was completed only at the beginning of the last century, it lasted more than three decades. Everything here, from the architecture and layout of parks and gardens to botanical diversity, recalls the homeland of the founders of the complex - Greece. Workshops were located near the dwellings of the monks, which made it possible to provide themselves almost completely: leather, blacksmith, locksmith, carpentry, and others. In addition to gardening and horticulture, bees were bred here - the New Athos monastery and is now known for its honey.

After the October Revolution, the complex was confiscated, most of it was used to equip sanatoriums and hospitals, the rest was given to government dachas. Since 1994, the New Athos Monastery was returned to the Church, and it was re-populated by monks, since 2001 a religious school has been operating here.

The most notable temples of the complex are the churches in the name of the Icon of the Mother of God “The Deliverer”, the Holy Martyr Jeron, the Holy Rev. Athos Fathers, the cathedrals in honor of the Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, the Ascension of the Lord and the pearl of the monastery in honor of the Holy Martyr Panteleimon. You can get to it along the "path of sinners", paved with stone.

Photographing on the territory of the monastery is allowed - the main thing is that tourists do not interfere with each other and the inhabitants and do not use a flash. The uniform is usual for visiting temples; headscarves are issued free of charge at the entrance.

New Athos Monastery - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • Address: New Athos,
  • how to get there: by regular buses from Gagra, public transport, taxi or car along the Sukhumi highway, then - to Pitsunda cape,
  • time: daily from 10:00 to 18:00,
  • cost: free.

New Athos Waterfall (New Athos)

The New Athos waterfall, manually built by the monks of the monastery of the same name, is one of the most amazing sights of Abkhazia. Initially, it had a purely utilitarian significance, and now it is a symbol of New Athos, annually attracting several hundred thousand tourists here.

The height of the waterfall at the top point is 8.7 m, its length is almost 21 m. Thus, it is more picturesque than majestic, more comfortable than dangerous. Here you can swim freely, dive from the shore and sunbathe, often mass events, festivals and visiting fairs are held near the waterfall. Thanks to the work of the monks, the land near the man-made miracle ceased to be swampy - it can withstand any number of visitors and is completely safe from a sanitary point of view.

As before, New Athos Falls is used to propel a small mill installed on the stream, as well as to provide green spaces with water. Once the monks bred in the pond, which ended with the allotted channel from the waterfall, the most delicious mirror carps, now the pond has a purely decorative function. The same applies to the brick factory operating here: its building is preserved intact, but has not been used for its intended purpose since the October Revolution itself.

On the square of the waterfall you can relax, swim and sunbathe, it is forbidden to make bonfires, chop down surrounding trees and pollute the water, including washing the car. In addition, it is strongly discouraged to dive off a cliff: it is not so high, however, you can stumble upon sharp rocks below.

The New Athos waterfall with the surrounding territories is part of the Anacopia National Historical Reserve, it will take the traveler about five hours to go through it and go back. Ideally, you should spend the whole day visiting the New Athos Monastery, a waterfall and a nature reserve; on the way back, a tourist can eat in the monastery cafe and sunbathe on the waterfall, and then continue acquaintance with the ancient hospitable Abkhazia.

New Athos waterfall - how to get there and how much to pay for entry:

  • Address: New Athos,
  • how to get there: by regular buses from Gagra, taxi or car along the Sukhumi highway, then - to Pitsunda cape,
  • time: around the clock
  • cost: free.

Dranda Cathedral (Dranda)

Not very far from the New Athos monastery and waterfall is the village of Dranda - small, surrounded on all sides by trees and famous primarily for its cathedral, one of the first in all of Christian civilization.

The construction was built in the VI or VII century under the great emperor Justinian. At the end of the year before last and the beginning of the last century, a monastery was located next to the temple, after the October Revolution, it was settled and given over to the hostel. A collective farm was set up on the lands belonging to the monastery, and the first and only prison in Abkhazia was built on the premises of the temple itself. It is interesting that even after the return of the church complex of the Church, the correctional institution remained in its original place and continues to function, despite complaints from local residents.

Of course, a traveler will not be able to visit the prison territory - and there is nothing interesting there, so it’s better not to be distracted by the “thorn” and concentrate on the impressions of the cathedral, especially if they are accompanied by the guide’s stories. You can walk here on your own - but in this case, a tourist who is not familiar with the history of Abkhazia and does not have the opportunity to question the villagers will receive only visual pleasure, without fully imagining the whole historical significance of the Dranda temple.

The architecture of the cathedral is interesting: despite the fact that it was built by the Byzantines in an appropriate style, it has characteristic Gothic features: narrow elongated windows, which were completely deprived of the Greek churches of that era, and a complex roof that combines the geometric diversity of buildings into one.

The interior of the Dranda Cathedral is no less magnificent: despite repeated looting, fires and periods of desolation, huge Gothic stained glass windows made of transparent colored glass, ancient frescoes in the traditional Byzantine style and ancient icons, first of all, the holy warrior Dmitry Solunsky donated to the temple by the greek emperor.

On the territory of the temple are ancient stone tombs: who is resting in them and when exactly they were sealed, is still unknown, which further arouses the interest of tourists. There are no explanatory plates and inscriptions, not a single image, it can be assumed that the tombs belong to the first abbots, but this can neither be confirmed nor disproved.

Drandsky Cathedral - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • address: village of Dranda,
  • how to get there: by train to the Dranda station, taxi or car on the E-60 highway,
  • time: daily from 09:00 to 17:30,
  • cost: free.

Blue Lake

Having enjoyed the man-made sights of Abkhazia, a tourist can get acquainted with natural ones, the first of which is the wonderful Blue Lake, which is part of the Ritsinsky relict park complex. It is located not far from the beautiful Lake Ritsa and the historical monument - Stalin's dacha, a traveler who wants to learn more about the region should visit both sites - on the way there or back. As in the case of the New Athos complex, sightseeing will not hurt to set aside a whole day, then you will not have to rush and try to catch the next excursion. It is best to stay on the Blue Lake for the night: the sunrises here are no less magnificent than the sunsets, and the sun illuminating almost always calm (literally blue) water surface will forever remain in the memory of the visitor.

The area of ​​the Blue Lake is about 190 square meters, the depth at the lowest point is almost 80 meters. The color of the water is not due to impurities, as is the case with Radon waters in the Leningrad Region, but to the occurrence of a natural bowl of lapis lazuli on the bottom and sides. Sunlight hardly penetrates deep into the water mass, therefore the lake seems unclear, in fact it is completely clean, you can swim and dive as much as you like.

True, only trained swimmers can do this in view of the steep banks; children should limit their approach to the Blue Lake - or accompany them throughout the course of swimming. Another interesting feature of the natural attraction is the complete absence of fish, algae and non-freezing water in winter. Both are related to the unique properties of lapis lazuli; there are no hot springs in the lake.

A tourist who wants to make a solitary or family trip to the Blue Lake, with some probability will have to put up with periodic influxes of excursions. The observation deck near the attraction is not too large, and at the same time about twenty people can fit on it. This means that queues and noise are inevitable, which impede calm contemplation, which is why it is inexpedient to linger on the lake for longer than one evening.

Blue Lake - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • Address: Gagra district, Blue Lake,
  • How to get there: by car along the E-60 highway or as part of an excursion,
  • time: around the clock
  • cost: 350 rubles, with a guided tour - from 800 rubles.

Gegsky waterfall

In the same area as the New Athos Monastery, there is the Gegsky (Cherkessky, Zou) waterfall, surrounded by steep cliffs, ancient, perfectly preserved forests, lakes with clear transparent water and, of course, tourist centers. Every year several tens of thousands of travelers from all over the world come here - from Russia to Australia. Most of the people at Gegsky Falls are in late summer and early fall, relative calm occurs in winter.

Gegsky Falls is located in close proximity to the Arabica Mountains and Ritsin State Nature Reserve - in the Gega riverbed, its height at the top point is almost 75 meters, and the average is 50 meters. It is interesting that the waterfall does not fall down not from the open channel of the river (the picture most often drawn to the traveler’s imagination), but from a bed made by a stream in the rock.

You should not swim here: there were no particularly sharp stones at the bottom, but the water is so cold that even a trained swimmer is unlikely to last more than ten to fifteen minutes. You can watch the beauties of the Gegsky waterfall at any time of the year, with the exception of January and February: at this time there is so much snow that it is unlikely to overcome an uneasy distance. Nevertheless, technically a natural attraction can be visited in the winter: the waterfall never freezes and is beautiful at this time of the year no less than in spring or summer.

Another advice to the traveler is to dress warmer before the tour. Gegsky waterfall is located at an altitude of about 550 meters, so even in the summer, when the snow has melted and all approaches to it are open, it is cool here. The situation is aggravated by air humidity, water drops fall down, break into tiny splashes and in this form rise again, settling on the faces and clothes of tourists. It is highly recommended to wear shoes on corrugated non-slip soles - otherwise the likelihood of not reaching the top increases slightly.

Next to the Gegsky waterfall is the Circassian cave, sometimes also called the Gegsky cave. Its width is about 38 meters, the length is 320 meters, and the total area is 2.2 square meters. km Several springs from the crevices of the cave - the water is cold, clean and absolutely suitable for consumption. In the immediate vicinity of the sights - cafe and toilet.

Gegsky waterfall - how to get there and how much to pay for entry:

  • address: Gegsky waterfall,
  • How to get there: by car on a mountain road or as part of an excursion,
  • time: around the clock
  • cost: free.

Ritsa Lake

Lake Ritsa, which has already been mentioned more than once, is part of the Ritsinsky Nature Reserve. It is located at an altitude of the order of a kilometer above sea level. Only three centuries ago, a small river flowed on the site of the lake, but as a result of a powerful earthquake, part of the mountain range collapsed, and a relatively small channel turned into a lake.

On the western side of Ritsa is the Atsetuk massif, the highest point of which, Agapsta, rises to 3260 meters, on the south - Rihva, reaching 2710 meters, on the north-eastern - the very collapsed Przegiszha, now rising only 2225 meters. Most of the cliffs are covered with snow all year round and unsuitable for climbing - yes, a tourist will have no time to overcome mountain peaks, because all his attention will be diverted to a magnificent lake.

Ritsa Lake is quite deep: its average depth is 65 meters, and the largest - 130 meters. The water here is very cold and not suitable for swimming - but it is perfectly clean and suitable for drinking. For a long time, a natural attraction remained unknown even to residents of other regions of Abkhazia, the alpine lake separated from the rest of the world was discovered only in the middle of the XIX century, and the first expedition went to it at the end of the same century.

Ritsa is a “inhabited” lake: at different times of the year, the activity of microorganisms living in it changes, and therefore the shade of water - from bluish to yellowish. Clouds often gather over the water surface - this is caused by terrain-specific collisions of air masses. It does not rain here, as there is practically no ice: the lake does not freeze even in January and February.

On the banks of the Ritsa and lower (in the mountain valleys) a wide variety of animals and birds live, and fish are found here, including chub, whitefish and trout. However, fishing in the nature reserve is not allowed, at best, the traveler will be able to admire the backs and fins that appear on the surface of the water.

The total area of ​​the Ritsinsky Reserve, the center of which is the lake, is 150 square kilometers. In addition to the Blue Lake, described above, the tourist will be interested in Malaya Ritsa, surprisingly repeating the “big” contours, the group of waterfalls “Molochny”, “The Witch's Grotto”, “Girl's Tears” and “Men's Tears” and relict forests.

Ritsa Lake - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • Address: Lake Ritsa,
  • How to get there: by car along the E-60 highway or as part of an excursion,
  • time: around the clock
  • cost: 350 rubles, with a guided tour - from 800 rubles.

Anacopian Fortress (New Athos)

Now it's time to return to New Athos: here, in addition to the monastery complex well-known to tourists, there is an old, mysterious and for some reason still little explored Anakopia fortress.

The stone bastion was erected at an altitude of 350 meters above sea level on the slope of the Iverskaya Mountain. For a long time there was a residence of the rulers of Abkhazia, and then (with moving to a new place) the fortress fell into desolation and decline. Now it is a state historical monument, after several years of reconstruction, it looks almost as good as it probably looked when it was inhabited.

Most historians believe that the Anacopian fortress was built by the Greeks in the 5th or 6th century to protect the southern possessions from barbarians. It is not known how often those raids occurred, but the bastion helped to repulse the Muslim invaders at least twice - in 736 and 788. In memory of these events, one of the premises of the fortress was transformed into the Church of the Assumption of the Mother of God - unfortunately, completely destroyed in the XVII century, when the Italians, who acquired the land and the fortress complex located on it, could not resist the onslaught of the Turks.

The first steps towards the restoration of the Anakopia fortress were made in the century before last with the direct participation of Russia. Since then, restoration work has been more or less successful and was completed only in the late 2000s. One of the main attractions of the fortress is the “inexhaustible” well, designed in such a way that the water supply in it is replenished naturally due to precipitation. On the territory of the historical complex there are cafes, souvenir shops and even a cinema: here the traveler can watch a documentary about the history of the restoration of the monument.

Anakopia fortress - how to get there and how much to pay for entrance:

  • Address: New Athos, Anacopian Mountain,
  • how to get there: by public transport, taxi or car along the Sukhumi highway,
  • time: daily from 07:00 to 21:00,
  • cost: 150 rubles.

Castle of the Prince of Oldenburg (Gagra)

In the main resort city of Abkhazia, Gagra, the castle of A.P. Oldenburgsky is located - a close relative of the Romanovs, great-grandson of Paul the First and a descendant in a straight line of the oldest princely family of Germany. It was thanks to his orders that Gagra gained its status, and with it the constant income from the flow of tourists, the townspeople remember the prince with unchanging gratitude and are always ready to show the traveler how to get to the castle and what to look for in the immediate vicinity.

The architectural style of the complex, completed in 1903 under the leadership of M. Luzernsky, is a neo-Gothic with an unexpected admixture of modernity. The castle turned out to be not only beautiful and geometrically perfectly integrated into the landscape, but also ergonomic: everything here (from stairs and basements to turrets) is of practical importance and not only does not harm utility, but it elevates it to a fundamentally new level. Next to the castle is a park, designed by the same architect, decorated with flowers and trees from around the world and from the very beginning of its existence open to visitors.

After the advent of Soviet power, the building was confiscated, first transferred to city warehouses, and later to a sanatorium for members of the government. Since the beginning of the 1990s, it has been in desolation, now (after the acquisition by an unknown company) restoration work is underway here - but not with the zeal that a magnificent complex deserves.

Prince Oldenburgsky castle - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • Address: Old Gagra,
  • How to get there: by public transport, taxi or car,
  • time: around the clock
  • cost: free.

Restaurant "Gagripsh" (Gagra)

In the immediate vicinity of the castle of Prince Oldenburg, in the Seaside Park, there is the Gagripsh restaurant - built at the same time as the residence, and even from the same materials. In fact, the restaurant was an "appendage" to the castle - publicly accessible, like Seaside Park, and enjoying an excellent reputation among wealthy citizens and representatives of the ruling dynasty.

Like a hundred and a few years ago, Gagripsha serves delicious local, European and Mediterranean dishes, drinks for every taste and budget and traditional sweets. Here, the scene still functions, on which entertaining performances are held every evening, on the facade of the restaurant there are old mechanical chimes, manually started every few days from the inside through a special device in the kitchen wall. Interestingly, no nails were used in the construction of the building, thanks to the art of the architect everything rests on balanced building blocks and mortar.

Restaurant "Gagripsh" - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • Address: Old Gagra, Ardzinba Avenue,
  • How to get there: by public transport, taxi or car,
  • time: daily from 11:00 to 24:00,
  • cost: free, check - an average of 1900 rubles per person, plus 10% of mandatory tips.

Fortress Abaata (Gagra)

Near the Seaside Park is another interesting attraction of Gagra - the ancient fortress of Abaat. It was erected approximately in the 5th – 6th centuries to reflect the raids of neighboring tribes. Most of the buildings of the complex are well preserved to date.

It is not known how much the builders of Abaatha cared for aesthetics, but the fortress looks truly fabulous - especially from the side of the city. The complex includes a church consecrated in honor of St. Hypatius, a mini-hotel, a historical museum open for free visits, and a restaurant bearing the same name as the fortress.

Abaat fortress - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • address: Sukhumi highway, Abaat fortress,
  • How to get there: by public transport, taxi or car,
  • time: daily from 10:00 to 18:00,
  • cost: 100 rubles.

Gagra Colonnade (Gagra)

The Gagra Colonnade is four towers connected by arcades consisting of small arches. The total length of the structure is about 60 meters, it is located in a semicircle, which makes the space inside suitable for holding various performances, concerts and celebrations.

At night, the colonnade is lit with lights, next to it is a large fountain that works around the clock and is also illuminated in the dark. From here it is easy to get to the castle of the Prince of Oldenburg, the Gagripsh restaurant, the fortress and other interesting places of Gagra.

Gagra Colonnade - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • Address: Old Gagra, Ardzinba Avenue,
  • How to get there: by public transport, taxi or car,
  • time: around the clock
  • cost: free.

Gagra Water Park (Gagra)

The main entertainment center of Abkhazia is located in New Gagra in the immediate vicinity of the Black Sea. The slides here are built using the latest technologies, are completely safe for children and adults, and are designed so attractively that the desire to slide down comes by itself - even among those who came here as an escort.

In addition to water slides, the complex includes several pools of various shapes and sizes, carousels and the “Ship” attraction, which imitates a pirate ship. Rescuers are on duty everywhere in the water park, and in the immediate vicinity of the entertainment zone, there is a first-aid post open during the entire operation of the entertainment center. The visitor should take into account: the ticket is valid for the day of purchase, but when you leave the park you have to buy a new one - you won’t get inside for the second time.

Gagra Water Park - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • Address: New Gagra, 57/1 Abazgaa Street,
  • How to get there: by public transport, taxi or car,
  • time: daily from 10:00 to 19:00,
  • cost: for adults - 1000 rubles, for children 3-10 years old - 800 rubles.

Abkhaz State Museum (Sukhumi)

In the museum, located in the very center of Sukhum, the visitor can look not only at household items, art and military affairs of the Caucasus, but also at exhibits from Ancient Egypt, Greece, the Roman Empire and other regions, at least in the least degree connected with the history of Abkhazia.

In the square near the building there are stone monuments, including the famous dolman Escher, here, far from the exhibition, is the grave of the artist Shervashidze. You can walk around the park, look at the stones and pay tribute to the master for free: you need to buy a ticket only to enter the building.

Abkhaz State Museum - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • Address: Sukhum, Gulia street, 61,
  • How to get there: by public transport, taxi or car,
  • time: daily from 10:00 to 15:00, except Saturday and Sunday,
  • cost: 100 rubles.

Sukhumi Botanical Garden (Sukhumi)

Closes the list of attractions of Abkhazia Sukhumi Botanical Garden, founded in 1838 on the initiative of the botanist Bagrinovsky. Here, on an area of ​​about 32 hectares, plants from around the world are planted - a total of more than six thousand species.

Visitors have access to five hectares, divided into fifty “zones” by plant species, an independent visit to the garden is implied, although quite often sightseeing tours are arranged here.

Sukhumi Botanical Garden - how to get there and how much to pay for admission:

  • address: Sukhum, Gulia street, 20,
  • How to get there: by public transport, taxi or car,
  • time: daily from 08:30 to 21:00,
  • cost: 100 rubles.

To summarize

Abkhazia is the best suited for visits throughout the year: you can go here in May, September or even in February - the traveler will always find what to see, where to try local dishes and buy souvenirs. Do not confine yourself to one resort Gagra or Sukhum: abandoning a trip to the mountains or to sea cliffs, a tourist will miss an unforgettable and irreplaceable experience. You can start a tour of Abkhazia with the ancient Pitsunda - and on the way home to see the beautiful places of Sochi, Adler and other Black Sea cities.

A traveler who is interested in the history, culture and nature of the Caucasus and Transcaucasia can start exploring this wonderful area from any country: see fortresses and natural parks in Azerbaijan, ancient Christian temples and mountains in Armenia, squat stone houses and luxurious, occupying in Georgia vast areas of vineyards. Wherever he starts, Abkhazia will fit into the big picture. So, you can prepare documents, collect money and things - and go on a planned or improvised trip to the region.

The history of the resort of Gagra

The first who settled in the city of Gagra were the Greeks, they took this place for two significant reasons. Firstly, it was well suited for port communications and trade, and secondly, the climate and terrain were favorable for life. Then, as a result of bloody wars, the territory was captured by the Turks, and at the turn of the 19th century, Russia completely won the right to own. Subsequently, for many years Gagra was a place of exile for the Decembrists, writers and other famous personalities, it was perceived as a punishment, and not as a paradise lost in the mountains.

The founder of the resort can be considered a person who forever left an imprint on the historical pages of the city of Gagra - this is a close relative of Nicholas II, Prince of Oldenburg, philanthropist and creator, whose palace is still considered the main attraction of the city. Back in 1903, at the hands of the Prince, the malarial and fetid Gagra turned into an expensive cost-effective resort on the coast. First of all, he brought tropical plants from all over the world to Gagra, these are lemons, oranges, palm trees, cypress trees and others. Then the first sanatorium was solemnly commissioned, the Winter Theater and the Colonnade were erected. A serious test for the small resort town was the attack of Georgia in 1992, when all the sights and buildings were shelled and bombed.

What will be remembered by today's Loon for a tourist is the smell of eucalyptus trees. Centuries-old trees that are planted here in kilometer-long alleys and themselves are a green attraction of Gagra. The clear sea, which in color of water can only compete with Lake Ritsa, which is located here high in the mountains. Daily morning fog descending from the mountains, and covering the space with a thick snow-white shroud. Juicy loquat and fragrant peaches from the master's garden, plucked along with branches, sweet and sour mulberry, which for a long time colors the palms in bright beetroot color. Homemade tangerine wine and buffalo cheese, homemade adjika. And many, many little things, remembering which, you understand that after a vacation in your heart the warm and sunny part of Abkhazia, a part of the country of the soul that has become part of you, will forever remain ...

TOP 10 what to see in Gagra on your own

A traveling tourist does not think about exploring the city of Gagra on his own, looking into his heart, and is content only with water parks and local markets. Some strolling along the promenade of Gagra, have no idea in what century it was built, and what interesting monuments of architecture are right under your nose. In order not to miss a single sight and look at Gagra from the angle of its centuries-old history, let's start with the historical part of the city.

1. Abaat fortress. Church of St. Hypatius

The fortress of Abaat was built with only one purpose - to defend and defend against the attack of enemy troops from the side of the Zhoekvarskogo Gorge, encroaching on the Gagra, which at all times were many.After the Crimean War, when during the retreat, the authorities ordered to blow up part of the walls of the fortress, a hospital was placed on its territory. But since malaria was raging in Gagra, the carriers of which were local mosquitoes, the institution did not last long. Finally, after 1891 the swamps were dried up, the danger of the disease passed and the monks settled here, who wanted to organize a monastery in the fortress. But this venture was not realized, and the Prince of Oldenburg decided to build a hotel within its walls in order to attract tourists to the resort.

Entrance - 50 rubles

Opening hours from 10-00 to 22-00

GPS coordinates are 43.325412, 40.223280. Stop of public transport "Gagrypsh". Railway station "Abaat".

The older name of the Temple of St. Hypatius is the Holy Virgin, it is the pearl of the city of Gagra. This is a religious institution operating to this day, it remained untouched as a result of battles and major reorganizations of the image of the city. Although its appearance is not so noticeable, the medieval walls were so powerful that it still looks like new. Within the walls of the temple there is a museum of Abkhazian weapons, where samples of flint choppers, bronze axes, daggers, antique helmets, shields, swords and axes and other medieval exhibits are exhibited.

Entrance - 50 rubles

Opening hours from 10-00 to 22-00

GPS coordinates are 43.325412, 40.223280. Stop of public transport "Gagrypsh". Railway station "Abaat".

2. Palace and Park of the Prince of Oldenburg

The palace was specially built on a cliff so that from its windows a truly spectacular panoramic view of the Gagra, the Joekvar Gorge and the entire coast opens, and the highest tower called Sokolnichya was conceived as a hunting lodge. The castle on two floors with attics, chimneys in the spirit of romantic Art Nouveau was erected according to the project of the Petersburg architect.

The castle of the great philanthropist looks presentable only from the outside, inside it is now in disrepair and badly damaged after the Georgian conflict, so the building is officially closed from excursions. Since 2010, the Palace of the Prince has been leased to a legal entity, work has begun on replacing the roof, but so far the entire reconstruction has stopped there.

Getting there: GPS coordinates - 43.325636, 40.224890. Stop of public transport "Gagrypsh". Also on the cable car from Seaside Park.

At the foot of the Palace, as planned by the Prince, a 14-hectare park was laid out, where over 400 species of rare flowers and plants from the Canary Islands, China, South America, and Africa were brought from all over the world. Today, the park, like the Prince’s Palace, is in poor condition, artificial ponds are covered with mud, the monuments are covered with moss, there are a lot of dry leaves on the collapsed paths, and it carries urine near the buildings, it seems that this place has long been turned into a public toilet.

But still there is a positive moment in a walk in the park - these are plants that can only be found in the Botanical Garden. Of all the efforts of the prince, only they remained in pristine beauty, took root well and increased it. One of the most striking attractions of the park is the Sagittarius fountain. Seaside park stretches for six kilometers along the Black Sea coast and this is a great opportunity to take a walk or bike ride, while do not forget to look at a wide pier, which goes 200 meters to the sea.

3. Restaurant "Gagripsh"

The Gagripsh River, flowing nearby, gave the restaurant an unusual name, but the restaurant is interesting not only for this. The first reason you should definitely go for a walk in Gagripsh is his story. Here again, the Prince of Oldenburg was not involved, who dreamed of turning Gagra into a world-class resort, and for this, in 1902, he specially ordered a wooden building with a clock from Scandinavia. Why not build the same here with the hands of local craftsmen? The fact is that the restaurant building is assembled in an unusual way, it is like a designer made without a single nail! You can imagine that this mount has withstood more than one century and looks like new! The highlight of the restaurant was the huge mechanical watch on its facade, which is clearly visible from the Gag embankment.

Admission is free, the average menu check is from 1,500 rubles.

GPS coordinates - 43.324650, 40.231113

4. Joekvar Gorge

The Zhoekvarsky gorge is not only the most beautiful natural pearl of the Caucasus, in the thickets of which you can find stormy waterfalls and mountain rivers, but also a place of many clashes and battles, a sad page of the city. During the Abkhaz-Georgian conflict, mass shootings of local civilians took place here, a reminder of which today are plaques and memorials.

The Zhoekvar gorge is convenient for tourists because it is located near the city of Gagra, a turn on it leaves from Nartaa Avenue, from the stop the Abaata fortress. It organizes such excursions as horseback riding, a review of one of these I left here >>>

Admission is free, you need comfortable clothes and shoes.

GPS coordinates - 43.335338, 40.226990

5. Cycherv Gorge

If the Zhoekvarsky gorge in translation means “12 springs”, Tsikherva Gorge literally translates as “a dried-up spring”, and it can also be called the conditional border between Old and New Gagra. It represents a huge crevice in the mountains, and you will not find riot of vegetation here. But if you move a little deeper, you can stumble upon such an interesting historical object as the cave of Evpatia. This is the real home of the monk who lived here in the last century, which is entirely made of stone. By the way, he chose a quite picturesque place for himself; next to it is a waterfall and a stalactite cave.

Admission is free, you need comfortable clothes and shoes.

GPS coordinates - 43.308136, 40.258925

6. Water park in Gagra

If you do not have high hopes for the water park in Gar, then disappointment will definitely not befall you. This is a miniature water park, which for Abkhazia, where the entire infrastructure is poorly developed, can be estimated at five points. What makes it such is the location in the city center, 8 pools with sea and fresh water, one 100-meter slide and relatively low prices even during the season, compared to the same water parks in the neighboring resort of Sochi. And the most important advantage of it is that today it is the only water park in Abkhazia.

Opening hours: every day from 10.00 to 19.00

Entrance for an adult 1.000 rubles, for a child 600 rubles.

GPS coordinates - 43.275858,40.265181

7. Cinema "Gagra"

Another building in Abkhazia, built in the style of classicism by the talented architect Zurab Tsereteli. At first, this place was conceived as the Winter Theater, later films began to be played in it on the big screen. Today, the Gagra Cinema is crushed and abandoned, the windows are broken, the entrance is closed. Nevertheless, lovers to take a walk into the atmosphere of the apocalypse find an opportunity to get inside to take a photo of a lifeless collapsing interior. The building also keeps on its walls the consequences of artillery strikes from the time of World War II with Georgia.

GPS coordinates: 43.32174, 40.23796

8. The area of ​​Abaat-Ashta. Shopping center "Joekvara"

Previously, competitions were held among future soldiers in Gagarin Square in strength, accuracy and dexterity. Unfortunately, now you can observe only the remains of this once majestic building in Gagra since the Soviet era, built in the spirit of Brezhnev architecture. If you like to walk around abandoned buildings, then an excursion to the Joekvara Shopping Center will bring you many new experiences)

GPS coordinates - 43.285824,40.265008

9. Observation Decks on Mount Mamzyshka

In walking distance in Gagra there is one attraction that will be especially interesting for mountaineering lovers - this is Mamzyzka Mountain. It organizes excursions, you can also climb to the top yourself, I told you how we did it here >>> But it is attractive not only for mountaineering enthusiasts. The fact is that on the way to the top of the mountain there are two excellent viewing platforms from which you can see Gagra and the entire coast, as if in the palm of your hand, and you will be lucky and there will be no fog, Cape Sukhumi and even a piece of Russia - the city of Sochi, more precisely Adler)

Admission is free, parking is free

The first observation deck is 300 meters above the ground. It has railings, benches and a cafe with Caucasian dishes. GPS coordinates - 43.281776, 40.282853

The second observation deck GPS coordinates - 43.300648,40.307486. It is best to plan a visit at sunset, then you can see a stunning sunset against the backdrop of the Black Sea, when Gagra is covered with warm golden light.

How to get there on your own: turn on the sign on Ardzinba Avenue of Gagra. You will leave on an asphalt road that will lead you to Mamzyzka and lookouts.

10. Memorial of Independence

This is a monument in honor of the 5 thousand people of Abkhazia who died in World War II from 1992 to 1993, as a result of which the country gained independence. It is a 30-meter column, divided into four parts, at the top of which is a huge golden ball symbolizing the Earth. Popularly, this monument is called Chupa Chups, and indeed if you look at it from afar it resembles a popular children's candy.

GPS coordinates: 43.28061, 40.26605