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Abkhazia travel attractions

Whatever the legal status of Abkhazia, in summer it is one of the favorite places of recreation for thousands of tourists from all the countries of the former Soviet Union. There one can see many people of the older generation for whom the resorts of Gagra and Pitsunda with their tropical palms and centuries-old pines were the only places, which climate was similar to that of the tropical countries.

Unfortunately, in most cities of Abkhazia the resort infrastructure has been restored very slowly. Almost everywhere one can still see the buildings, which were ruined during the war of 1993, but it does not prevent you from admiring the nature of those places. If you are going to spend your vacation in Abkhazia, you will be guarantied a recreation in beautiful places, but you will have to be prepared to the fact that the level of service may not be high enough.

The most famous resorts of Abkhazia are Gagra and Pitsunda. The most interesting nature sight of Abkhazia may be called the Lake Ritsa and the 40-kilometer-long canyon of the River Bzyb over which runs the road from the Primorskoye highway to the lake. Also all tourists always visit the main holy place of Abkhazia – the New Athos. 

In Gagra (Abhazia) sub-tropical climate is more pronounced than in any other city of the Caucasus, as the mountains come very close to the coast. Near the waterfront are many palms and eucalyptuses creating the atmosphere of a tropical resort. In Gagra the beach exceeding the width of 50 meters is covered by pebbles and sand.

The resort of Pitsunda is very different from Gagra. It is located on the Pitsunda cape and rather far from the mountains. Accordingly, one can see there no palms but a huge Pitsunda pine grove. It stretches for several kilometers along the coast, and a half of the resort itself is as if within the grove. The beach of Pitsunda has a width of about a hundred meters, and in one places it is covered by sand and in the other places - by pebbles.

Perhaps, the Lake Ritsa is the main sight of Abkhazia. It is visited not only by the vacationers from all Abkhazian resorts, but in summer tens of buses daily come there from the Sochi area of Russia. The lake is encircled by the picturesque mountains creating a beautiful rocky relief of the shores of the Lake Ritsa. 

Along with the Lake Ritsa, the canyon of the river Bzyb stretching for 40 kilometers from the Primorskoye highway to the Lake Ritsa may also be called an interesting sight of Abkhazia. The canyon runs over the Ritsa National Park. The main places where you should make a stop are the Blue Lake, the Male Tears waterfall and the Yupsharsky valley (or canyon), which is also known as the stone cul-de-sac.

You can not consider the village of New Athos as a full-blown resort, but people spending their vacations in Abkhazia and Sochi also come there. It is there that the New Athos Monastery of Simon the Cananaean is located.

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New Athos Monastery is on the high mountain above the settlement of the same name
Highland Lake Ritsa is the gem of Abkhazia
Relic Pitsunda pine grove
Tropical palms on the beach of Gagra resort
Ancient temple of St. Simon Canaanite of 9 century near the lower New Athos waterfall
Lower waterfall at the foot of New Athos Monastery
St. Panteleimon Cathedral was built in the center of New Athos Monastery during 1888-1900
St. Panteleimon Cathedral was built in the center of New Athos Monastery during 1888-1900
Monastery of St. Simon the Canaanite as seen from below
Domes of the temple at New Athos Monastery of St. Simon the Canaanite
Picturesque road to Ritsa Lake is going along the course of the Bzyb river
Hanging bridge over the river Bzyb in Ritsa Canyon
Hanging bridge over the Bzyb river on the way to Ritsa Lake
A blue lake at the 16th kilometer of the Bzyb River Canyon on the way to Ritsa Lake
In Yupshar Canyon, also known as the «Stone Pocket», the mountains come close to each other
View of Ritsa Lake Valley from the mountain serpentine road
You can approach the Lake Ritsa from the north and have a dip in it
From the high shore the water of Lake Ritsa looks azure
Rocky mountains come close to the Lake Ritsa
Church of 10 century in the center of Pitsunda
Pine grove come close to the beach of Pitsunda
Grove of relic Pitsunda pine take up a significant area of Pitsunda resort
Gagra beach is empty early in the morning
Walking paths of Gagra are lined with eucalyptuses
Stalagmites in New Athos cave
The guardian of New Athos cave