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New Athos Waterfall

New Athos Waterfall in Abkhazia is a man-made attraction that attracts thousands of tourists every year. In its vicinity are the monuments and places of interest of the region, which are included in the itinerary of numerous excursions.

General information about the man-made New Athos Waterfall

New Athos Waterfall in Abkhazia
The New Athos Waterfall is a man-made landmark in Abkhazia.

The waterfall near the New Athos Monastery was created in the late XIX century. Its height is 8.5 meters, while the length of the descending water surface is 21 meters.

Description and interesting facts

It is an artificial dam damming the Psyrtskhi River. It is from it and the stream descends, splashing which in windy weather tourists can feel on their face.

Interestingly, despite its small size, the structure performed several functions immediately after its construction:

  • The power of the stream powered the wheels of the local mill and a small hydroelectric power plant, which supplied electricity to the monks of the monastery;
  • helped to use the water of the pond behind the dam to irrigate gardens and orchards;
  • Thanks to the coolness of the man-made stone caves, the inhabitants of the monastery were able to store wine and perishable foods;
  • protected the hermitage from spring floods.

In addition, a system of canals led from the artificial lake to the territory of the monastery. Small man-made reservoirs stored water, which the novices used for household purposes.

History of New Athos Waterfall in Abkhazia

At the end of the XIX century Greek monks arrived in New Athos and started building the Simono-Kananite monastery. They also landscaped the surrounding area, which at the time was heavily swamped.

The erection of a dam made it possible to create a pond in which the novices bred mirror carps. The resulting waterfall was also used for economic purposes.

During Soviet times, when religion was persecuted, the monastery was closed and the small hydroelectric power plant was looted. The waterfall is no longer receiving the care it requires. It was not until 2012 that the area was landscaped again, and a power plant started operating.

Why to visit the artificial waterfall at the New Athos Monastery

The stone observation deck at the waterfall offers great views of the surrounding area. Here tourists usefully spend a short stop before visiting other attractions, taking beautiful pictures as a memento of the trip to Abkhazia.

What time is better to go

The waterfall is open to visitors all year round. But it should be taken into account that during the day at the sight a lot of people gather, which sometimes prevents the quiet enjoyment of the beauty of refreshing streams of water. In addition, honeymooners often come here, contributing to the disturbance of peace and quiet.

To admire the waterfall in New Athos, it is better to come to it early in the morning.

The waterfall in the morning
There are few visitors at the waterfall in the morning.

Location of the waterfall on the map and how to get there

You can get to the attraction by private transport, as well as by public routes. In addition, its visit is included in the program of many excursion courses.

By public transport

You can reach the waterfall from Sukhum, Pitsunda or Gagra by one of the shuttle buses or cabs to the New Athos Monastery. Bus number 173 from Sochi airport takes tourists to the checkpoint at the border “Psou”. Here you have to change to another transport.

You can use the services of local cab drivers. It is not necessary to give the address of the site: every Abkhazian driver knows where the monastery in New Athos is located.

By yourself by car

Traveling by your own car involves a short stop at the border. Passengers must cross the checkpoint on foot. After that you will have to drive about 90 km on Sukhumi highway to New Athos.

Waterfall on the map
On the Sukhumi highway you can quickly get to Novy Afon.

As part of a guided tour

Visiting the waterfall is possible as part of almost any tourist excursion to the main sights of Abkhazia, both group and individual.

If, however, the trip to it was not planned, it is worth asking the guide to do so. The price of the tour to New Athos will not change, because the visit is free.

Nearby sights worth visiting

Near the pond is an abandoned train station, built in the form of a gazebo. From it to the New Athos Monastery leads the royal path, on which Emperor Alexander III loved to walk.

The complex of one of the main religious buildings of the Caucasus includes six temple buildings of Neobyzantine architectural style.

A stone path, known as the “Path of Sinners,” leads to the main one, Panteleimon’s Cathedral. Pilgrims believe that its passage leads to purification from all sins.

In the Museum of the Kingdom of Abkhazia tourists presented the remains of ancient animals, household items of primitive people. The exhibition shows the history of the region’s development from the Stone Age to the present.

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