Gagra is a city that is considered the most beautiful and the most expensive in Abkhazia. This resort is very popular among tourists, which is due to its proximity to the Russian Adler and the fame since the Soviet Union. The resort is suitable for both young people and couples with children. The city has a variety of entertainments, places to relax, and excursions are available.
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History of origin and development of Gagra is very ancient. In the II century B.C. Greek merchants founded a city called Triglif. After the arrival of the Romans, the city was renamed Nitika. Then there was a long chain of names: Byzantine Trachea, Kakara and Khakari, Venetian Kontezi and Kakura, Persian Derbent and Turkish Badalag. With the accession of the Caucasus to Russia, the city was called Gagra, which means “the sanctuary of the family Khagba.
Originally, the city was founded as a commercial port, attracting merchants from all sides of the world to its shores. It became a resort thanks to Prince Oldenburgsky, who saw fit to turn Gagra into a resort-city, a health resort, to build a climate-control station, to lay the park. After a couple of years tourists from all over the world came here to have rest and treatment. And today Gagra welcomes lovers of clean air and warm sea. There are no harmful industries in Gagra. The air is saturated with ions, sea salts and oxygen. And this medicinal cocktail contributes to healthy rest of Gagra guests and residents.
Climate and weather
Climate of Gagra was formed under the influence of the sea air. Cold continental winds almost have no access to the city thanks to the Gagra Range. Mountains and gorges create a special ventilation, which cools air in summer and warms it in winter. Many people note that the weather in Gagra is warmer and milder than in other Black Sea towns.
The hottest time of the year is July and August. The air temperature rises to +27 … +30 ° C during the day and does not drop below +20 ° C at night. The sea warms up to +22 … 24 °C. The beginning of the autumn is the best time to stay at the resort: the air is warm, the thermometer rises to +23 … +25 ° C, and the sea warms up to +24 … 26 ° C. The swimming season begins in May and ends in November.
Winter is mild. The coldest month of the year is January. Frosts are extremely rare and do not last long (10-12 days). The average air temperature in winter is +8 … +10 ° C. Water is cooled down to +9 … +12 °С.
The main mass of precipitations falls in winter and early spring. Sunny days are more than 7 months a year.
The resort of Gagra is located in a picturesque place – between the blue sea and a high mountain ridge buried in verdure. Beside the town, there flow the rivers Bzyb and Psou. They are supplemented with picturesque waterfalls and tunnels in the rocks. At 50 kilometers from Gagra, among the mountains is Lake Ritsa. It is small, but very deep, with clear azure water. In Gagra itself there are such rivers as Gagripsh, Joekvara, Tsikherva and Reprua – the shortest river in the world (18 meters). Some of them flow into the Black Sea.
Not far from the city rises Mount Mamzyshkha, whose height reaches 1878 meters. From Mamzyshkha there is a stunning view of the sea, lush greenery and distant mountain peaks.
One of the alleys of Seaside Park
Mountain slopes near Gagra are mostly covered with beech forests. Not far from the city in deciduous forests you can find groves of seaside pine, which purifies the air, giving it a unique fragrance. These forests are often called the Gagra forest estate. High in the mountains you can enjoy alpine meadows with lush grass and bright flowers. The tops of mountain ranges are covered with eternal snow, which does not melt even in the hottest days. You can find mandarins, lemons, oranges and boxwood on the seashore. There are vineyards, olive trees, figs and laurel in Gagra.
In Gagra neighborhood there are tours, chamois, deer, roe deer, wild boar, bear, jackal, wolf, fox, wild cat; also here nightingales, blackbirds, nightingales, starlings, pheasants, golden eagles and falcons like to nest. In the sea there are trout and bass, dolphin and stingray, in the rivers – pike-perch and river trout.
Not far from the resort there is Joekvara gorge with the river Joekvara running through its bottom. The gorge is covered with dense thickets of boxwood, moss, and other plants. Here grows a Caucasian linden, which is over 500 years old.
A fountain in Primorsky Park
Gagra is divided into Old Gagra and New Gagra by Tsikherva River. Old Gagra was built before the October Revolution, which is where most sights are concentrated. New Gagra is equipped with modern infrastructure.
Outhouse with observation tower
The most notable sight of Gagra, which occupies almost the entire coastal territory of the city, is the Prince of Oldenburg’s Seaside Park. The park has over six hundred different plants: dates, coconuts, magnolias, bananas, and candy trees. All of them were brought from different parts of the world. The park is decorated with sculptures by Zurab Tsereteli. In the ponds swans and ducks swim. In the park is the oldest restaurant in Abkhazia – “Gagripsh”, which is more than 100 years old. It rested Chekhov, Bunin, Gorky.
The oldest landmark of the resort is located on the banks of the river Joekvara. It is a fortress-castle of the same name, which was built by the Romans in the IV century. Not far from Joekwara Fortress there are the remains of a fortress of the VI century.
Gagra Temple, a massive monumental building, has a special atmosphere. A path leads to the temple, lined with thousands of polished to a shine slabs. It is surrounded on both sides by tall cypress trees. Today, the temple is inactive. There is a museum of Abkhazian arms with a unique collection of swords, knives and daggers.
A peculiar attraction of Gagra is the Castle of Prince of Oldenburg, which was built back in 1902. It was the very beginning of the construction of the resort city.
The most striking early Christian monument of Abkhazia and Gagra is the basilica of Tsandripsh, built on the Black Sea coast in the bushes of acacia trees.
Monument to victims of World War II Winter Theatre
The Old Town has many parks, sights, but few cafes and restaurants, and if there are, they are usually left over from Soviet times. In New Gagra there are many more modern catering establishments. Cafes and restaurants are usually open until 24:00. Prices are quite high; you can only eat on a budget at cafeterias and canteens (a full meal ranges from $5 to $10).
One of the most popular tourist spots in Old Gagra is the summer café “Araukaria” in the Seaside Park, not far from the Colchida pension. The cost of lunch for one person is $15-25.
Cafe “Shtab” reminds you of the military actions in the country with its army decoration. Here you can taste Caucasian, European and Japanese cuisine. Some dishes are cooked in front of the guest on an open fire or barbecue. The cost of dinner is 10-15$.
European and national cuisines can be enjoyed at the seaside, in the cafe “Ritsa”. A dinner there costs $15-$25 per person.
The pearl of Gagra’s gastronomic world is the century-old restaurant “Gagripsh”. At the beginning of the XX century it was almost ruined and was recently restored. In the past century balls and meetings of high ranking people were held here, and today almost everyone can have a meal at the restaurant. The cost of the lunch is $15-30.
In Gagra you can stay in boarding houses, hotels, rest houses or rent an apartment. When choosing a place to stay, keep in mind that the more modern New Gagra is far from the seashore. Rooms of hotels and vacation homes are equipped with all amenities: bathroom and shower with constant cold and hot water, air conditioning. New private hotels are decorated in modern style, rooms are equipped with satellite TV, hairdryer, iron, mini-kitchen with refrigerator and kettle, there is Internet access. Very often by arrangement the hosts of a private hotel or rest home meet their future guests.
Many boarding houses and holiday houses offer the opportunity to have a rest by the pool or on the tennis court or to cook juicy barbeque right in the yard. Some hotels have a sauna, sauna, bar, massage, hairdressing services, wraps. As a rule, you can order meals or cook on your own for an extra charge. Sometimes room rates also include breakfast.
Accommodation prices vary greatly by season: mid-summer is the “hottest” time, when the cost reaches a maximum and can range from $20 to $100 per person. In some places lodging for children under 7 years old is free.
You can also find a place to stay in private houses and rooms with private facilities on the floor. Typically, such housing is available only in summer. The cost of a room – $ 10-15 $ per person per night, a house for four people can be found for $ 50-70, a villa for more people – $ 80-150.
Entertainment and Recreation
Gagra is a great place for youth and active family holidays.
The beaches of the resort, pebbly and sandy, surrounded by evergreen palm trees, stretch for 53 kilometers. They are mostly public, but there is a pay. On some beaches offer to rent deck chairs and umbrellas.
The castle of prince Oldenburgsky (on restoration)
In Gagra you can go scuba diving, conquering water attractions. Some clubs offer boat trips accompanied by water immersion.
In Gagra is the only water park in Abkhazia, which is very popular among children. The cost of a visit is $15. In the summer, the city sets the moon park with all sorts of rides.
In Old Gagra there is a lot of nightlife. Nightclubs, bars and discos, which are becoming more and more numerous lately, are located on the shore of the Black Sea. Clubs are open till 2 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Active rest is quite developed in Gagra – flights on paraglider and hang-glider, rafting, horse walks, mountain climbing. There are tennis courts in the city. Lovers of skiing are waiting for the mountain peaks with eternal snow.
There are no boutiques or large shopping centers in Gagra. The most luxurious place for shopping is “Kontinent” department store. It is located near the railway station; next to the department store there are shuttle and bus stops. In “Continent” you can buy food, accessories, dishes, souvenirs. Next to the store is a small Khitry market (prices here are slightly higher than in “Kontinent”).
The largest market in Gagra is city market. There you can buy Abkhazian pomegranates, feijoa, honey, wine, chacha, spices, fruits and vegetables; they also sell souvenirs. If you cook on your own, it’s better to buy products here: the prices are low and you can bargain. The market is open from 7:00 to 17:00, although sellers usually leave at 14:00, for fresh, homemade meat should come to 6:00-7:00. It is very easy to get to the market – take a minibus that says “Market”.
There are a lot of souvenir shops and small boutiques scattered around the city. Many of them work only in June and September.
Gagrypsh Gagra railway station, colonnade
You can get to the resort by train and bus. Through Gagra there are two trains, Moscow – Sukhum and Adler – Sukhum. In the near future a train Sochi – Gagra is going to be introduced. There is a bus from the Russian border to Gagra.
There are buses and fixed-route cabs running around the city. There are only two bus routes, trips are made only during rush hours with a frequency of once an hour. The cost per trip by bus is $0.16.
You can also take a cab. Keep in mind that the fares are often inflated, so negotiate the price in advance.
In Gagra there are two Abkhazian operators, “Akvafon” and “A-Mobile”, which cover not only the city, but also the surrounding areas. “Akvafon offers 3G communication. The cost of 1 Mb of traffic is $0.17. Top-up machines and payment points are located everywhere. Among Russian roaming operators, Beeline, MTS and Megafon work in Gagra.
At the moment there are 4 Wi-Fi access points in the city. Connecting to them is free (one must buy a universal card for this, prices vary depending on the tariff) and is possible from any device that supports Wi-Fi. There are only a few Internet cafes in Gagra. An hour in the internet costs $1.5.
Gagra has a number of telecommunications departments. Usually they are open only on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A city call costs $0.06, the cost of long distance and international calls depends on the distance of the call.
Money and valuables should be kept in the hotel’s or pension’s safe. It is better not to leave your car unattended, park it in a prominent place. The city all day long is patrolled by police cars and patrol groups of 3-4 persons. If necessary, you can turn to them for help.
The most developed directions of private business are tourism, hotel and restaurant business. Many boarding houses and hotels in Gagra recently started offering services to accommodate business delegations, as well as meeting and taking members of delegations to the right place. State and international exhibitions and conferences are held in Gagra.
A one-room apartment in Gagra costs $30,000-45,000 and a two-room apartment costs $40,000-60,000. If the apartment is quality repairs, its price increases by 1.5-2 times. Prices for a house with a plot depend on the area of the land and the house and range from $35,000 to $250,000.
Tips for a tourist
In some areas of the city, cold water is supplied from 7:00 to 9:00 and from 19:00 to 21:00, hot water is even rarer. But, as a rule, such difficulties can be encountered only in the private sector in the outskirts of the city. Problems with electricity are rare.
If something happens to your health during a vacation in Gagra, apply to the Central District Hospital of Gagra. Russian citizens can be admitted by insurance, but most often for a fee.
Attractions of Gagra
Aquapark Black Sea Coast Botanical Garden Gegha Waterfall Seaside Park White Cliffs Lake Mzy
This site contains a collection of sights Gagra – photos, descriptions and tips for travelers. List is based on popular travel guides and presented by type, name and rating. Here you can find answers to questions: what to see in Gagra, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places of Gagra.
Aquapark is located in the city of Gagra, near the hotel “Abkhazia”. There are many water rides, pools, slides. There are also a cafe-bar, children’s slides, showers. Every day there are musicians, disco until morning. The water park is designed for both adults and children of all ages.
Here you can ride the slides, swim in the pools. There are many different water rides. There are also children’s slides, where the kids will have fun. If you want to eat something to eat, there is a cafe-bar with a huge variety of dishes and drinks in the water park.
On the territory of the water park every day are musicians, and in the evenings are arranged inflammatory disco till morning. And in the restaurants you can taste great dishes of Abkhazian cuisine.
Near the water park is located hotel “Abkhazia”. Therefore, lovers of outdoor activities do not need to go far and look for the water park. And next to it there are many other entertainment venues.
Coordinates: 43.30944000, 40.25390600
Black Sea Coast
The Black Sea is one of the favorite vacation spots for residents of Russia and its neighbors.
Black Sea resorts of Abkhazia play an important role in the development of tourism of the Black Sea coast. This part of the sea is distinguished by particularly mild climate, beautiful beaches and clean sea.
One of the most famous resorts is Pitsunda – a small resort village along the coast, which is famous for the most transparent water on the Black Sea. The city of Gagra, which also attracts many tourists, is considered the warmest on the coast, as the average annual temperature is seventeen degrees warm.
Abkhazian resorts are also chosen because, despite the large flow of tourists, you can always enjoy the silence and unspoiled nature of the Black Sea coast and find secluded beaches.
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Botanical Garden, or, as it is now called, seaside park, is located in Gagra, and more specifically – in the area of Old Gagra. The total area of the park is 14 hectares.
In 1902 by the big project of the architect E. Shervinsky a unique arboretum was created. Plants from all over the world were brought into the park.
Then more than 400 species of plants were planted – many of them took root in the warm and mild climate of Abkhazia. Fan, date and coconut palms, whose habitat in natural conditions diverges by thousands of kilometers, coexist side by side in the seaside park.
This magnificent place is perfect for relaxing and strolling. Fountains, ponds and sculptures adorn the park. Black swans once swam in them, huge turtles and pink pelicans lived in them. Exhibition pavilions, grounds and many gazebos are built right among the lush greenery.
In photo mode you can see landmarks of Gagra only by photo.
Quay in old Gagra used to be favorite place of rest of our citizens.
Nowadays it is rather abandoned but you can not spoil nature, not even by war.
The Gegsky Waterfall is one of the most beautiful and spectacular sights in Abkhazia.
It is located on the northern spurs of Gagra range at an altitude of 530 meters above sea level. This waterfall is formed by a river flowing from the underground bowels of the karst cave. After a long way through the underground corridors and grottoes, violent streams of water seem to cut through the rock and fall down through inconspicuous crevices in the rock, turning into a magnificent waterfall. Thus, it seems as if a huge water stream falls from a height of 50 meters, bursting right out of the middle of the rock.
The picturesque scenery and the waterfall of extraordinary beauty have long attracted nature lovers and tourists. Moreover, the famous clash of Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson was filmed here.
Coordinates : 43.43555600,40.44222200
Seaside Park is a world famous dendrological park and one of the main attractions of the Abkhazian city of Gagra. It is a favorite place for walks of citizens and guests of the city.
Gagra Seaside Park was founded in 1902 and was created by the architect Shervinsky. Plants for the new park were brought from all over the world, including Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Syria. In total over 400 species of plants grow in the park.
Seaside Park stretches for six kilometers along the Black Sea coast and occupies a large area – over 14 hectares. This is a very beautiful and clean place, perfect for walking. There is so much oxygen in the air here that it can make you feel dizzy at first sight. In the past the park was decorated with fountains, statues and ponds in which swans swam, but not much has survived to this day. Nevertheless, the park still makes a strong aesthetic impression.
Primorsky Park is one of the most beautiful places in Abkhazia, and for plant lovers it is a real paradise. And very few tourists can deny themselves the pleasure of strolling through its shady alleys and admiring the amazing riot of flora.
Holidays in Abkhazia – this Caucasian hospitality, a wide range of resorts, the beauty of nature and the opportunity to relax in the mild warm climate. The Republic of Abkhazia is located on the coastal strip between the Main Caucasus Range and the Black Sea. The mountains protect the country from cold winds, and from the Black Sea blows warm breezes in the fall and winter. This allows you to vacation in Abkhazia almost all year round, not only in the velvet season.
On the shores of the Black Sea, in one of the quiet bays, is the picturesque resort town of Gagra, surrounded by the waters of the sea on the one hand, and pine groves – on the other. Gagra is famous for a unique natural phenomenon nearby, called “White Rocks”. That is the name of the beach 16 km away from Gagra, in the direction of the Russian border.
The beach is so called because of the white rocks, dropping straight down to the strip of beach pebbles. The silhouettes of the rocks resemble bizarre figures of fish and animals. On the beach “White Cliffs” can be found lone fishermen and the occasional vacationer, but most beaches are mostly empty. Beyond the gray pebbles – the forest, from which the buildings of abandoned sanatoriums look, the sea is azure. For a secluded holiday there is no better place in Abkhazia!
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One of the most amazing natural wonders of Abkhazia is definitely the high-mountain lake Mzy. Located at an altitude of just over 2000 meters above sea level, it attracts tourists with its unearthly beauty.
The lake is hidden in a mountain basin, the edges of which form a beautiful natural frame for its blue smooth surface. The size of the lake is relatively small: the length of about 100 meters, width – 45 meters. They may vary depending on the amount of precipitation and the intensity of snow melting in the mountains. Water in the lake is invigorating – on average, does not exceed + 4 degrees. However, this does not stop some vacationers. Those who dared to swim, unanimously assert that the strength spent on the climb here, recover instantly, and the body instantly comes into tone.
The best time for the tour is July and August. Summer at this altitude comes with a delay, and in June there is still a lot of snow. But after the snow melted, the alpine meadows around will be covered in delicate flowers, with lush green grass as a backdrop. Aquamarine color of the lake Mzy, piercing blue of the sky, incredible white of low clouds – all natural colors are bright and sharp, and in combination with each other create a picture of nature, which just takes your breath away.
Coordinates : 43.52056300,40.57723000
The most popular attractions in Gagra with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous places of Gagra on our website.
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