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.