HomeAsiaAbkhaziaAttractions of Gagra

Attractions of Gagra

Rest on the Black Sea coast continues to be attractive to most residents of the former Soviet Union. And that’s not surprising. After all, it is here, at the foot of the ridges of the Grey Caucasus, near the gentle Black Sea stretched the most beautiful city. Of course, in recent years, the priorities of tourists have changed significantly, but Abkhazia and Gagra with all the sights and entertainment are leading in the list of resort destinations.

Top 10 Sights of Gagra

Situated in the heart of Gagra, the Tsikherva River gorge conditionally divides the city into two parts. One of them, the older one, still holds the echoes of centuries gone by. Strolling through the ornate streets and examining architectural monuments of a bygone era, visitors unwittingly find themselves thinking that time has turned back here.

There is no overdeveloped infrastructure, which is so accustomed to the modern tourist, there is no abundance of huge supermarkets and five-star hotels. But there is something more, something that is so lacking in the inhabitants of megacities – almost untouched by civilization pristine nature. Overgrown with tropical greenery mountain slopes fascinate the eye, the azure sea beckons and attracts, and visible here and there decaying under the weight of the years of castles and palaces affect the former greatness and beauty. In Gagra there is really something to see.

Seaside Park

Seaside Park - a natural attraction of Gagra in Abkhazia

Getting to know Gagra is worth starting with a guided walk through the Seaside Park, which was laid in the early 20th century at the behest of Prince Oldenburgsky. It is he who is commonly regarded as the founding father of the city. With his light hand on the sparsely populated Black Sea coast appeared water supply and power line, telegraph and road junction. The young prince once dreamed that his brainchild would compete with Monte Carlo.

Seaside Park in Gagra, Abkhazia

Unfortunately, not all dreams can come true – a series of historical events prevented Gagra from becoming the Russian Monte Carlo. But even today, 115 years later, we can still wander in the shade of the exotic trees that Prince Oldenburg himself lovingly and thoughtfully chose. Incredibly, the first coconut palms were brought here from South America, and date palms from the Canary Islands. Lushly blooming magnolia migrated to the Black Sea coast from far away America. And the cypress trees, frozen in majestic silence, probably still remember how the last Russian emperor walked along these very paths. Unique water bodies connected by babbling brooks are also preserved here.

The modern era has made its mark on the arrangement of the ancient park. For the entertainment of young children there were entertaining rides and trampolines, and even a small zoo. Perhaps the cozy cafes and restaurants, scattered along the park alleys, are not quite in harmony with the natural landscape and cause a certain imbalance in the sophisticated nature, but without them there is no way to do hungry tourists.

Prince of Oldenburg Castle

The Castle of Prince of Oldenburg in Gagra, Abkhazia

The residence of the prince himself has become dilapidated in recent years and has fallen into complete disrepair. The luxurious building, which for many years was a sanatorium for the party elite of the whole Union, turned out to be of no use to anyone. Until recently, it was a haven for explorers of crumbling palaces and extreme photographers. Despite the warning signs, you could wander here for hours. Last year, the castle was fenced off and construction materials appeared on the grounds.

Perhaps very soon the Palace of Prince of Oldenburg will welcome visitors not with the zenith of the broken windows, but a new facade and fully restored halls.

Abaata Fortress

Abaata Fortress - Gagra, Abkhazia

Unfortunately, the fortress of Abaata, built at the turn of the 4th-5th centuries, has survived only partially. The fortress, which passed from one conqueror to another several times, was a strategic outpost. Therefore, the new owners had to constantly rebuild the fortifications destroyed in the heated battles. But after the territory of Abkhazia became a protectorate of the Russian Empire, the need for it disappeared, and ruthless time has done its work. Today we can see only the fortress wall and one of the towers.

Temple of Ipatius of Gagra

The Temple of Ipatius of Gagra in Gagra, Abkhazia

In contrast to the fortress, the church located on its territory has been preserved quite well. It is still used for services. Unlike most Orthodox churches, amazing with highly artistic paintings and abundance of church attributes, the church in Gagra has a rather modest appearance. Built of roughly hewn stone, without any hint of glitz or luxury, it is an example of a distinctive culture.


Colonnade in Gagra, Abkhazia

A tour around Gagra would not be complete without a visit to the Colonnade – a favorite place for photographing by many generations of Soviet and post-Soviet holidaymakers. This beautiful architectural monument from the Stalinist era is imbued with the majesty and power of a vanished country.

If you count the columns, you can see that there are exactly 45 of them. The colonnade in Gagra is a symbol of victory in WWII, which captures the date of the end of the war in 1945.


Gagripsh in Gagra, Abkhazia

Opposite the central fountain in the seaside park for over 100 years there is a building with a unique history. It appeared here in 1903, thanks to the efforts of the same Prince of Oldenburg. He saw it at the world exhibition in Paris and was so fascinated by its beauty that he immediately decided to buy it and move it to Gagra. All the components for the building were made by Scandinavian craftsmen and delivered to the Black Sea coast, here it is only assembled.

Gagripsh Restaurant, Gagry

Despite numerous reconstructions, no significant changes have affected it, and externally it looks the same as in 19003. Even the clock on its facade has retained its original appearance. Now here is the most famous restaurant Gagripsh.

Lake Ritsa

Lake Ritsa near Gagra

Most resort towns are designed so that tourists who come to rest are constantly forced to pay for their stay. And Gagry in this case is no exception.

At the entrance to Lake Ritsa sightseers meet a closed barrier. From here on, only citizens of the republic can move freely, while others must pay a mandatory entry fee:

  • adults – 300 rubles;
  • children – 100 rubles.

But the scenery is worth the expense. Lake Ritsa is incredibly beautiful in any season. Here you can have a tasty snack, take some beautiful pictures and relax after the road.

Blue Lake

Blue Lake near Gagra in Abkhazia

For those who prefer to reach their destination with a tour group, the leaders always suggest a stop near Blue Lake. Incredibly beautiful, but insanely cold it is meant to be admired. Even in the warmest months, the water in it is not heated.

Scientists have long argued why the water in this body of water has a sky-blue color, but come to no unequivocal conclusion.

St. Eupatius Cave

The most famous cave in Gagra is St. Eupatius. A hermit monk lived here in the 19th century. No wonder grateful descendants named the cave after him.

St. Eupatius Cave near Gagra, Abkhazia

To find the grotto is not difficult, it is located deep in the gorge Tsicherva within the city. Almost all tours of Gagra include the cave in their itinerary, so there are always a lot of people here. A little farther behind it is a waterfall, and under it is the entrance to a grotto with stalactites.

Gagra is not known for its good roads, so going on a hike, be sure to take comfortable shoes on flat, thick soles. And if the trip will be high in the mountains, then also about warm clothes.

New Town

In the new part of town are concentrated cafes and restaurants, there is also most of the existing hotels and resorts. Prices for hotels in Gagra are somewhat more democratic than in other Black Sea coast resorts. They start with 1000 rubles and rarely exceed 3000 rubles.

Gagra beach, Abkhazia

You can also rent a room in the private sector. The cost of such housing varies in a wide range and depends on the list of services provided, and the proximity to the sea. In high season you can hardly find a room for less than 400 rubles per person.

Aquapark in Gagra - fun for children and adults

The coastal strip is almost all owned by the city, so the entrance to the beaches is absolutely free. You only have to pay for additional services:

  • Entertainment at the water park;
  • Riding a banana and jet ski;
  • Diving and scuba diving;
  • Hang gliding.

Video review of Gagra

Most tourists traveling to Abkhazia, expect to enjoy the beauty of tropical nature. Only 40 kilometers separate Adler airport from Gagra, but the vegetation is completely different here. The change of climate zones is literally before our eyes. Dreary Sochi palm trees are no match for the luxurious palm alleys of Gagra. If you prefer to rest surrounded by pristine nature, rather than in a modern complex of glass and concrete, then Abkhazia is exactly what you need.

But not only a clean sea, quiet beaches and lack of noise and bustle, which is so famous resort with the world famous, are considered the undeniable advantages of rest in Gagra. Excursions to the nearest surroundings do not leave indifferent any of the visitors.

You'll like it



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular Articles

Ancient World