General information about Abkhazia

Abkhazia – holiday at the Black Sea resorts with a twist

A trip to the Black Sea to the country of the Caucasus mountains ⛰️ with a complex fate, to Abkhazia. Where is it on the world map, where is the best place to go, which Abkhaz resort to choose, what interesting ️ places and attractions to see. Photos, maps, descriptions and average prices, of course, are attached to the article

Abkhazia is an amazing place with incredible nature, beautiful mountain scenery and azure clear sea. A land where ruined palaces and buildings, have already become part of the attractions. Thanks to the local natural beauty, very mild climate, excellent cuisine and most importantly the relative cheapness of the holiday, all year round Abkhazia attracts quite a large number of tourists, especially our compatriots.

Every traveler in Abkhazia will certainly find something to do on their interests, and we will try to tell you about all the nuances of rest.

General Information

Geographical position

Abkhazia – a partially recognized state, which is located on the northeastern coast of the Black Sea, its area is only 8665 km2 and takes 163rd place in the world in terms of occupied territory. The territory of Abkhazia stretches between the rivers Psou and Ingur, with a coastline of 210 km2.

The capital

Sukhum, and the other major cities of Gagra and Gudauta

Climate

The climate is another reason why tourists love to visit Abkhazia. The humid subtropical climate on the coast, smoothly flows into the zone of eternal snows high in the mountains. Cold winds from the north cannot penetrate here because of the high Caucasus Mountains, which are covered with dense vegetation. The temperature here is always comfortable, in summer it almost does not go over the mark of +35 ° C, and in winter does not fall below 0 ° C, snow in winter on the coast, it is very rare. The best time for a holiday in Abkhazia is from June to October, but the most comfortable temperature is certainly in September, the so-called Indian summer.

The warmest place on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus is considered Gagra.

Population .

In Abkhazia there are about 244,000 people. Most of them are Abkhazians and a small part of the population are Georgians, Armenians and Russians.

The official language is Abkhazian. Russian is also considered a state language in the Republic of Abkhazia.

Form of governing

It is presidential republic; presidential-parliamentary republic. The head of state is president.

Religion

The majority of the population preaches Christianity (64%).

Currency

The currency unit in Abkhazia is the Russian ruble.

Also to pay for goods and services are accepted plastic cards – MasterCard and Visa. But even if you see a sticker that accepts card payment, still specify in advance whether the terminal is working at the moment.

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Phone code

Phones of emergency services

Police – 02, 002, 020 (from cell phone – 002)

Emergency Service – 03 (from cell phone – 003)

Fire security, Ministry of Emergency Situations – 01 (from cell phone – 001)

Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Abkhazia

Address: 45 Lakoba Street, Sukhum, Abkhazia, 384900

Phone: 8 (840) 226-36-93, 8 (840) 226-04-91

Fax: 8 (840) 226-56-93

Traditional cuisine of Abkhazia

To visit Abkhazia and not to try the national cuisine is a waste of a holiday! The food in Abkhazia is peculiar, mostly smoked and spicy dishes. People who have gastrointestinal diseases must be extremely cautious and limit themselves in eating too spicy food. Once you try Abkhazian cuisine you will long remember the flavor and taste of mamaliga, smoked meat, boiled beans, khachapur and various sauces.

Abkhazia is also famous for its wonderful white and red wines “Apsny”, “Lyhny”, “Psou”, “Bouquet of Abkhazia” and no less popular drink, grape vodka – chacha.

An indispensable product in the Abkhazian diet is honey and as it is known, honey possesses many healing properties. This is probably why the residents of Abkhazia get so little sick and feel quite fit. There are several kinds of Abkhazian honey: flower honey, acacia honey and mountain honey.

Cereals, dairy dishes, fruit, vegetable foods, nuts, honey – the basic diet of the Abkhazian people, it is simple and uncomplicated, this is probably the secret of longevity.

Useful information about Abkhazia

Abkhazia (or “Apsny” – country of soul, as it is called by locals) is located in north-western Transcaucasia between Psou and Ingur Rivers, borders on Russia (Krasnodar Territory, Republic of Adygea, Karachai-Cherkess Republic) in the north and west, on Georgia in the east and the south coast is washed by the Black Sea waters.

The coastline is more than 210 km long and comparatively little rugged. It is important that most of the territory of Abkhazia is covered by the spurs of the Great Caucasus Range. The highest point – mountain Dombai-Ulgen (4046 m).

Relief of Abkhazia

Useful information about Abkhazia

Mountains and caves of Abkhazia

Through the Caucasus Range within the boundaries of Abkhazia, there are about 14 passes (from 2300 to 3000 m above sea level), most of which are difficult to access and closed for communication.

On the territory of Abkhazia there are two vast limestone massifs – the Gagra Range (with Arabica peak – 2656 m) and the Bzyb Ridge (peak Napra – 2684 m).

The deepest karst caves of the world are located in limestone strata: Krubera on the Arabika massif (prospected depth – 2190 m), Sneazhnaya cave (1370 m) on the Bzyb ridge, Sarma cave (1543 m), Pantyukhin cave (1480 m) on the Gagra ridge, as well as grandiose New Athos cave, its inner volume makes 1,5 million m 3 .

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The Abrskila cave, located at the foot of the Kodori range (village Otap) is also very interesting. The explored part of the cave is 2700 m, and only the first 1500-1700 m are available for visiting. The halls of the cave, equipped with lighting and illumination, abound stalactites, stalagmites, and stalagmites. There are many legends and tales connected with the cave.

Beaches

In Abkhazia the beaches are wide and pebbly. Most often the entry to the sea is flat, without steep precipices. There are also wave-cut lines parallel to the shore (for example in Gagra). The swimming season in Abkhazia lasts from May till October.

Climate

The coastal climate is humid subtropical: the average January temperature is +2 to +4 ° C; the average August temperature is +22 to +24 ° C. Snow falls rarely in winter on the coast. The average annual precipitation is 1400 mm. Average relative humidity in Sukhum is 72%. The number of sunshine hours in the capital of republic is 2238 hours per year.

Waters of Abkhazia

the area of the glacier zone is 77 km2. There are about 120 rivers, 186 mountain lakes and about 170 mineral springs in Abkhazia. The most famous mineral water of Abkhazia is “Auadhara”, the sources of which are located in the valley of the river Auadhara. Hot sulfurous springs of Primorskoe (Gudauta district) and Kandyg (Ochamchira district) villages are very popular not only with tourists but also with locals, as well as a spring in Gagra, on the base of which a hydropathic hospital is created.

Flora

In Abkhazia there are about 2000 species of plants, 160 of which are trees and shrubs, about 500 species are medicinal plants and more than 600 – relict plants, preserved from ancient geographic periods. About 400 plant species are endemics of the Caucasus, and more than 80 species grow only in Abkhazia. Forests occupy an area of 466 thousand hectares (about 70% of the territory), there are more than 30 species of valuable tree species, including relict yew berry, red, strawberry, and others. In the Black Sea there are about 250 species of algae.

Fauna

The lakes, rivers and sea are home to beluga, sturgeon, Black Sea salmon and herring, five species of mullet, flounder, horse mackerel, Katran shark, red mullet, anchovy and other fish species (about 180 species in total). A significant part of the Black Sea salmon is formed in the clean river waters of Abkhazia.

In the Black Sea there are more than 200 species of mollusks, several species of jellyfish, shrimp, crabs, 3 species of dolphins and others.

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One of the major migration routes of birds in the Eurasian continent passes through the territory of Abkhazia. There are 294 registered bird species, including rare and endangered species: the golden eagle, lamb, black vulture, jungle falcon, pink pelican, swans, great white heron and others.

The mammals of prey include the Caucasian brown bear, wolf, jackal, fox, lynx, martens, badgers, otters, Caucasian subspecies of the European mink and weasel. Hoofed animals are represented, in addition to the Caucasian aurochs, by the European red deer, roe deer and chamois. Wild boar occurs.

The numerous caves are inhabited by about 24 species of bats. A special part of the cave fauna is represented by endemic forms of invertebrate animals. For example, only the New Athos Cave is inhabited by the cave shrimp Troglokaris and the cave beetle Zhaneilus.

Reserves

A large part of the territory of Abkhazia is occupied by nature reserves: the Ritsin Relict National Park, the Psku-Gumista and the Pitsundo-Musseri Reserves. The total area of all protected areas is no less than 10% of the country’s territory, which is one of the highest indicators in the world. Read more about the reserves on a separate page of the site.

Administrative division of Abkhazia

The total area of the country is more than 8,000 km2. The territory is divided into 7 districts: Gagra, Gudauta, Sukhumi, Gulrypsh, Ochamchire, Tkuarchal and Gali. In general, the country is small, with only 8 cities (Gagra, Pitsunda, Gudauta, Novy Afon, Sukhum, Ochamchira, Tkuarchal, Gal), 4 urban-type villages (Tsandripsh, Bzyp, Myussera, Gulripsh) and 512 villages.

The capital of Abkhazia

Sukhum (Akua in Abkhaz), with a population of about 80,000, and with an area of 372 km2 . It is one of the most ancient cities in the world – the first settlements appeared here in the 6th century B.C.

State structure of Abkhazia

The Republic of Abkhazia is a sovereign democratic state and has its own coat of arms, flag and anthem. The head of state is the president, elected for a term of 5 years. Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia was adopted by Supreme Council of the Republic of Abkhazia on 26 November 1994. State power is divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches. Legislative power is represented by Parliament – National Assembly of the Republic of Abkhazia, which consists of 35 members elected for 5 years. The head of executive power is prime minister.

National flag

The flag is a cloth with alternating green and white horizontal stripes, which symbolize the peaceful coexistence of Islam and Christianity. In the upper left corner in a purple rectangle surrounded by seven stars (according to the number of holy places of Abkhazia) an open palm is a symbol of openness and friendliness.

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The State Emblem

The coat of arms is in the form of a shield divided vertically into two equal halves – fields of white (spirituality) and green (youth and life). The outline of the coat of arms and the subject composition is golden. In the lower part is an eight-pointed star. In the upper part on a white and green background are two eight-pointed stars. In the center of the coat of arms is a figure of a rider, Nart Sasrykva, a hero of the Abkhazian Nart epic. He “flies” on the fabulous horse Arash and sends an arrow to the stars.

Currency in Abkhazia

The currency in Abkhazia is the Russian ruble. Bank cards are not accepted for payment everywhere. Pay only in cash! You can withdraw money with credit cards (Visa, Master Card) of Russian banks in Gagra (Gagra Bank) and Sukhumi (any bank). The bank charges a fee for withdrawal. You can withdraw from 500 to 3000 rubles in a cash machine, and larger amounts can be withdrawn through a bank’s cashier. Important! Make sure that you do not have restrictions on the use of bank cards outside the Russian Federation.

Time in Abkhazia

State language in Abkhazia

Population of Abkhazia

According to census of 2011 its population is almost 250 thousand people. It is a multinational republic and there are more than 25 nationalities: Abkhazians, Armenians, Russians, Georgians, Jews and others. The majority of believers are Orthodox Christians (60%) and Muslims (16%).

Television broadcasting

Russian TV channels – “First Channel”, “Russia”, “NTV”, “Culture”, “TV Centre”, “NTC”. State TV and Radio Company of Abkhazia (VGTRK). For Sukhumi region there is a private TV company “Abaza TV”.

Mobile communications in Abkhazia

On the territory of Abkhazia there are two mobile operators – “Akvafon” and “A-Mobile”. You can connect to the Internet by buying a 3G modem, or using Wi-Fi or Internet cafes in some hotels.

Transport: the main mode of transport in Abkhazia is by car. Fully functional bus service both within the cities and between them.

Railway connection was restored: there is a train Adler-Sukhum twice a day, you can buy tickets Moscow-Sukhum.

There are two airports in Abkhazia – Babyshera (Sukhum) and Bambora (Gudauta), but at the moment they do not take international flights and are used only for local aviation. Sukhumi airport is located 25 km from the city and has the best runway in the Caucasus.

The main seaport of Abkhazia is Sukhumi, and there are three small seaports in Ochamchire (military), Gagra and New Athos.

Useful information about Abkhazia

National cuisine

Many dishes are made of beans, corn, cabbage, tomatoes, and peppers. Abkhazians have also long been engaged in gardening, viticulture and beekeeping. Therefore, vegetables, fruits, grapes, walnuts, honey are an integral part of the Abkhazian table.

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Spices (coriander, chaber, basil, mint, dill, parsley) and spicy sauces (cherry plums, barberries, blackberries, pomegranate, green grapes, tomatoes) are added to every dish and this gives a special taste to Abkhazian cuisine. Ajika, served with literally every dish from Abkhazia, deserves a special mention.

The role of bread on Abkhazian table is played by Abysta (mamalyga) – thick porridge made of corn flour. From corn flour they also make unleavened flatbread, bread or churek (with honey, cheese or walnuts), which are baked on a hot coal. One of the main places in the Abkhazian diet is occupied by dairy products. As well as cheeses of different kinds and varieties.

Industry of Abkhazia

Food industry (tea, tobacco, wine-making, canning), woodworking, chemical, coal-mining industries.

Fruit-growing and wine-growing. Crops: maize. Cattle breeding mainly of dairy and meat-dairy type.

Separately we would like to mention winemaking, known far beyond the country. On the territory of Abkhazia they started to make wine several thousand years before our era. The winery in Sukhum has been re-equipped according to international standards. The production and export of wine and brandy products is engaged in a private company “Wines and Waters of Abkhazia”, which is a regular participant in international exhibitions, and its products have received many awards.

Peculiarities of rendering services

The document for the provision of services in the pension is a Vaucher. We don’t provide services to the tourists without Voucher. Each tourist older than 12 years is obliged to pay a one-time fee, established by the local administration, to the administration of the boarding house;

Some hotels hot water is supplied according to schedule, there are cases of power outages, but many new accommodation facilities have their own life support systems, working in the case of disconnection of electricity or water supply. Electricity is 220V, 50Hz.

In most hotels established settlement hour – 12:00 local time (arrival after 14:00 – the first service lunch, departure before 12:00 – the last service breakfast), on the basis of which the fee is calculated. On the day of termination of accommodation, the tourist is obliged to vacate the room by the settlement hour or to pay for further stay in it, based on the hourly rate or other rates of the boarding house.

If the tourist is late to the place of rest and the place of service for reasons beyond the boarding house’s control (late plane/train, delay at the border), the cost of services (accommodation, meals, etc.) that the tourist was not able (not in time) to use, is not refundable and will not be reimbursed. This also applies when a tourist initially buys tickets for a late/early flight, losing his board (breakfast, lunch or dinner) on the day of arrival/departure.

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