Gagra is a town in Abkhazia, sprawling for 5 km on the northeast coast of the Black Sea, at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains. Its subtropical climate made Gagra a popular resort.
Gagra is located on a narrow coastal strip 2–3 km wide. It represents a continuous subtropical garden with fountains, ponds and walkways. The nicest part of town is the Old Gagra with its magnificent views over the mountains and the bay.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Greater Caucasus mountains almost meets with the sea in the Gagra area which creates a microclimate that protects city from the cold winds and holds warm sea air. Because of this, Gagra is the warmest place on the Black Sea coast.
Getting to Abkhazia can be done by plane or train. First, to the city of Adler (suburb of Sochi Russia). Then, about 8 km to the border with Abkhazia, from where it's 22-24 km to Gagra.
There is a direct train from Moscow to Sukhumi that passes Gagra, which runs at least 2 times a week and more often during summer. Alternatively, get any train to Sochi and then take a bus to Gagra.
1 Train station.
There are buses from Krasnodar, Rostov-on-Don heading to Sukhumi, Ochamchira, Gali which passes Gagra on its way.
During summer there is a boat service from Sochi to Gagra, which costs 550 руб.
- 1 Ruins of the Abaata fortress. 4th-5th century AD, built by the Anchabadze dynasty-ruling Georgian dynasty. At the beginning of XX century Prince of Oldenburg ordered to demolish part of its walls to build a hotel on that place. Another part of the wall was eroded by sea and almost disappeared. However, the rest of the walls and fortress towers are still in a good shape. Besides, fortress features an inactive early-christianity church of St. Hypatia Gagra.
- 2 Restaurant "Gagripsh". Quite famous restaurant that was bought by the Prince of Oldenburg at the World Exhibition in Paris. Represents wooden house with a clock that was made in Norway in 1902.
- 6th-century church. said to be the oldest in Abkhazia, built by Anchabadze dynasty
- 3 Marlinsky defensive tower. Built in 1841
- 4 Palace of the Prince of Oldenburg (at the premises of sanatorium "Chaika"). 19th-century palace of the Prince Peter of Oldenburg. Started doing it, Prince of Oldenburg has embarked on a plan to create Gagra a climatic resort - "Russian Nice".
- Mansions of the early twentieth century.
- Exhibition of woodcarving "Valley of the Winds".
- Hydrosulphuric hospital.
- Stalin's dacha near sanatorium "Solnechnyy".
- 5 Cave St. Hypatia. Consists of two small rooms built by the monks who lived there. Path leading to the cave is quite difficult and hard to find. Worth noting that the cave has just a historical value, it's not anyhow picturesque or anything like that.
- 6 Bzyb castle and church of Our Lady. Church was built in X-XI century. It was a cross-domed building with three apses, however, only walls and arches remained to these days, domes are destroyed. Also parts of the ornament can still be seen on the walls.
- Relic boxwood groves.
- 7 River Reprua. 27 m long river. It originates in the mountains and then flows into the Black Sea. Supposedly, this is one of the shortest rivers in the world. It's also about 10 m wide.
Ritsa National ParkEdit
- 8 Lake Ritsa. Magnificent lake surrounded by the mountains of 2,200 to 3,500 m height.
- 9 Stalin's dacha at Ritsa lake (N 5 km of Ritsa lake). One of the 5 dachas that belong to Stalin. Now it's possible to get inside, look at the interiors and furniture of those times. Dacha consists of several reception rooms, three bedrooms, a huge library and a separate guard house for 300 people.
- 10 "Milky" waterfall (near Ritsa lake on the road to Stalin's dacha). 100 m waterfall that has a milky color due to its high water gassings.
- 11 Small Ritsa lake (5 km from the Big Ritsa lake). Small mountain lake at 1235 m.
- 12 Waterfall "Men's Tears".
- 13 Avadkhara mineral spring (18 km above Ritsa lake). Spring with delicious mineral water located at 1650-1700 m above sea level. There is also a cafe near the lower spring. Road leading to the spring is of a very bad quality suitable only for SUVs.
- 14 Bzybsky Gorge (on the road to Ritsa lake, 5 km before of it). Gorge with rock walls of about 500 m.
Mountains between Gagra and Ritsa National ParkEdit
- 15 Gegsky waterfall (Circassian waterfall). 60-70 m waterfall. Located in the northern spurs of the Gagra Range at an altitude of 530 m above sea level.
- 16 Mamdzyshkha mountain (6 km from Gagra). Mountain of 1873 m height offering great views of the surrounding countryside. There is also 2 observation decks on a road leading to the top of the mountain.
- 17 Krubera Cave (Voronya Cave) (the tract of Orto-Balagan). The deepest known cave on Earth, with a depth of 2,140 m.
- 18 Waterfall "Maiden Tears".
- 19 Blue Lake (At the 13th km of a road to the lake Ritsa). Small mountain lake famous for its bright blue waters.
- Swim at the beach.
- Paragliding from Mamdzyshkha mountain (1873 m). It will take several hours to get up to the mountain by jeep and then at least 30 minutes flight back to the Gagra beach.
- 1 Seaside Park. Park created by Prince of Oldenburg in 1903 where a lot of plane trees, palms, agaves, conifers and citrus trees were planted. It was also decorated with ponds and sculptures. One of the park entrances is decorated with a colonnade that is the symbol of Gagra.
- 2 Mini zoo, seaside Park.
- 3 Winter Theater.
- 1 Supermarket "Continent".
- 1 Restaurant "Abaata".
- Alex Beach Hotel, д.1,, Zvanba St, ☏ +7 499 766 45 16, toll-free: +7 8 800 500 30 74. Spa, massage, restaurant. 30 m from the Black Sea public beach. It features a night club, bowling facilities, beauty salon and a sauna. Rooms at Alex Beach Hotel come with satellite TV and a minibar. Abkhazian and Italian cuisine in the Alex Restaurant, and on-site café. Wellness facilities include indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a spa centre. WiFi is available at surcharge. Gagra Train Station is 10 minutes’ drive from Alex Beach Hotel. A shuttle to Sochi International Airport (35 km) is available on request.
- Wellness Park Gagra, д. 52, Abazgaa St, ☏ +7-940-996-72-76. Website in Russian. A modern 5-storey building with panoramic windows, soundproofing. 60 rooms of different categories with comfortable designer furniture, beautiful interiors. Hot and cold water round the clock. Near the hotel is a cafe, water park, beach, city market, tour desk, children's playground.
- San Marina Hotel, Abazgaa Street, 57/1. Website in Russian. A modern holiday complex located in the area of Novaya Gagra in the immediate vicinity of the city's clean, fine pebble beach, market, water park, central city embankment, restaurants and shops. A 9-storey building is located on its own landscaped territory, there is an autonomous power station that provides round-the-clock supply of light and hot water.
- 1 Energetik Hotel, 50 Abazgaa Street (22 km from Adler city, 36 km from the international airport), ☏ +7 940 996-50-21. Website in Russian. This Guesthouse is located in the heart of New Gagra, in its own park on the shore of the sea. Seasonal, from May to September. Consists of 15-storey and 3-storey buildings. Private pebble beach 50 m from the pension. Rental of beach equipment, pleasure boats, catamarans, inflatable mattresses, shower room. On the hotel territory: night cafe, bar, restaurant, massage, Barber, beauty shop, free Parking, Jogging track, Park with pool, Spa. Billiards, table tennis, badminton, volleyball court, cinema, disco.
- Auadhare - Abkhazian resort, 18 km from Lake Riza, located at an altitude of 1,600 m, famous for its mineral springs and sulfide waterfall with sparkling water.