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The best caves of Abkhazia, which you can visit on your own or as part of an excursion

Many grottoes, gorges and caves were formed on the territory of Abkhazia due to the peculiarities of the relief. In the process of speleological research discovered objects that can be visited as part of an excursion group or accompanied by athletes. In the list of popular caves in Abkhazia: New Athos, Krubera, Sarma, Abrskila and others.

Features of the caves of Abkhazia

Abkhazia, located in the northwestern Transcaucasus, is recognized as the world leader in the number of underground formations. The caves are formed in the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. Most of the territory is occupied by the spurs of the Watershed Range (Gagra, Kodori, Bzyb).

The Colchis Lowland in Abkhazia
Colchis Lowland.

In the southeast of the region is the Colchis Depression, which stretches along the coast. Between the peaks, slopes and lowlands is a belt of hilly foothills. There are many karst phenomena in the area.

On the territory of Abkhazia near the resort of Gagra a deep karst cave Krubera-Voronya, the depth of which is 2080 meters, has been revealed.

The peculiarity of the Abkhaz region is a combination of peaks, lowlands and mountain lakes, waterfalls, rivers, gorges, warm sea coast and picturesque vegetation.

The most interesting natural attractions and their location

Underground formations of Abkhazia are represented by caves: New Athos, Otap’s Head, St. Ipatia, Verevkin, Sarma and many others. others. Their depth varies from 100-270 to 2196 m.

New Athos Cave

One of the most popular caves in the region was opened in 1961. It is located under the vault of the Iversky Mountain, not far from the Novoafon Monastery. For excursions underground spaces were equipped in 1975. The length of the cave is almost 2 km. The underground part is accessed by well-appointed descents, and a special railroad takes visitors to the inner halls. For hiking trails are equipped with paths and bridges.

New Athos Cave

The interior space is filled with underground grottos, lakes, galleries, and mineral outgrowths. For a convenient visit to the Novoafon cave, special illumination was equipped, colored spotlights were installed. The depth of the object is 183 m. There are several halls open for tourists.

Verevkina

The object is located in the mountain massif Arabika of the Gagra Range, it was discovered in 1968 According to the research of speleologists, the depth of formations is 2212 m, length – 13,500 m. The site was named in honor of speleologist A. Verevkin, who died in Kabardino-Balkaria in 1983.

Verevkina

After the discovery of the underground space, it was explored by Krasnoyarsk scientists, speleologists. Initially, a well 115 m long was identified. The record depth mark was set by Moscow researchers in 2017. The length of the formation was calculated with the help of the lot. Rare species of fauna were found at the bottom.

Sarma

Sarma was discovered in 1990 in the Arabica mountain range of the Western Caucasus. The work was carried out by speleologist S. Shipitsin, who discovered a slot with a strong draft of air. After research, several tiers of the cave were identified (lower, middle and upper). The passages between them are winding, the inner halls are spacious. The explored depth reaches 1,830 m. The length of the underground formation is more than 15,000 m. Sarma is the 3rd largest cave in the world.

Sarma

Krubera

The underground formation was discovered by speleologists in 1960. It is located in the Arabica mountain range, near the border with the Russian Federation. The object is popular with the “Hall of Soviet speleologists,” which was opened at the level of 1710 m. There is an underground lake inside.

The developed depth reaches 2,196 m, but the researchers have not yet reached the bottom. The object is complex, intended only for experienced speleologists, athletes, scientists. There are no excursions for tourists.

Krubera

In karst cavity there are branched wells, interconnected by galleries and climbs. Groundwater feeds the small river Reproix. Scientists estimate that the length of the Kruber Cave may be longer.

Snowy

The object was opened in 1971 and is located in the Gudauta district, near the village of Durypsh. It consists of different in size and depth karst cavities. Many areas can only be accessed with special equipment and training. Snezhnaya Cave stretches for 30 km, the surveyed depth reaches 1800 m. There are 3 waterfalls in the cave – 25-45 m. In the depths are the largest underground halls.

Snowy

Mchishta

The karst cave is located on the slopes of the Caucasus Range. The entrance to the underground formation at an altitude of 80 m above sea level. The walls, the floor of the cave with beautiful stalagmites, stalactites, there are wells, lakes.

The Mchishta Cave can be visited only as part of speleologist expeditions. The underground formation is 6100 m long and 270 m deep.

Mchishta can be explored by scuba diving. Speleodivers from Russia and other countries descend into the facility.

Mchishta
Mchishta

Abrskyla

Stalactite formation is located on the outskirts of the village Otap in the distance from the tourist routes. The caves are accessed by a semicircular arch-shaped entrance. Mineral formations can be seen inside, including. stalagmite up to 10 m high. An underground river runs along the bottom. For tourists is available to visit the level of 800 m.

Abrskyla

You can get to the site by car or as part of an excursion group. The length of the formation is 3 m. Excursions here are held daily, the duration of the review – 1 hour.

Otap’s Head

The underground complex was opened in 1914, is located near the village Otap Ochamchirskogo district. The cave has small stalactites and stalagmites, waterfalls and lakes. Inside there are bridges and excursions for tourists. Part of the way travelers overcome by boat.

Pantyukhinskaya

The complex is located in the Gudauta district, on the slope of the Bzyb massif. The object was discovered in 1981. The surveyed depth is 1508 m, the known length is about 5 000 m. The formation is formed in the Jurassic limestone strata. The shape of the mine is spiral with a series of wells, inclined and vertical. There is a gallery at the bottom with dead-end branches.

Pantyukhinskaya

St. Hypatia

The underground formation is located within the resort of Gagra, opened in 1960. There are hiking trails inside. To enter, visitors must climb a 12-meter cliff. The visit is free for travelers. Several celiac spaces are available to view, and part of the area is backfilled.

The Cave of St. Hypatius

The best caves of Abkhazia, open to tourists

Many complex underground objects are only accessible to the passage of experienced speleologists, members of scientific expeditions, research groups. However, there are also organized routes.

Before the trip should study the location of the salt and karst formations, photos, maps for orientation on the ground.

Tourists can visit the caves: New Athos, St. Hypatia, the Head of Otap and others.

Excursions to the caves of Abkhazia

The most favorable for visiting the object on the territory of New Athos. You can visit the halls here with a guided tour:

  • “Anacopia;
  • “Nartaa;
  • “The Mahajirs;
  • “Speleologists;
  • “Ahaa.”
  • “Apsny;
  • “Apkhyartsa” et al.

In Otap’s Head Cave, the underground tour lasts 20-25 minutes. The price of a visit – from 250 rubles. Other underground formations can only be explored as part of a speleological group.

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