Inexpensive holiday and not be disappointed: Top 5 Abkhazian resort towns
Gagra, Sukhum, Pitsunda – favorite since Soviet times resorts, the names of which are familiar to each of us. Today Abkhazia is one of the top 5 most popular holiday destinations for Russians. On this occasion, we made a selection of her five best seaside towns for a beach holiday in 2022.
In 2021 the republic was visited by a record number of tourists over the past 30 years – almost 1.5 million people vacationed in Abkhazian resorts. One can only guess how many holidaymakers will take Abkhazia in 2022 because of the shut-off Europe and the semi-open Crimea.
A tourist map of Abkhazia with the main resorts and attractions (click on image to enlarge/download).
Every year “Land of Soul” attracts more and more tourists from Russia. But for many who are planning their first vacation in Abkhazia, it can be difficult to decide where the best beach vacation is. With the help of our tips and reviews, it will be easier for you to decide on the future place for vacation and go to the warmest coast of the Black Sea.
Top 5 resorts of Abkhazia in 2022
- Gagra. Soviet Riviera and the most visited resort town in Abkhazia today. Territorially the city is divided into two parts: New and Old Gagra. The resort is well developed infrastructure. New Gagra is chosen not only by families with children, but also by young people, as in this part there is a lot of entertainment. The beaches are pebbly and well equipped. There are always a lot of people in Gagra because of its wide popularity, so the water in the sea is not so transparent as, for example, in neighboring Pitsunda.
Old Gagra is a historical part of the city, where there are no noisy entertainments. The beaches are made of pebbles and poorly equipped. For vacation this area is more suitable for those who prefer calm rest.
Gagra is a balneal resort. The town has water treatment facilities that allow people to have a rest all year round.
Streets leading to the seafront are dotted with sprawling palms and slender cypresses.
- Sukhum. Ancient cultural center of Abkhazia. Usually tourists prefer to stop in the capital just for a couple of days, on the way to Kyndyg thermal springs or in the ghost town of Tkuarchal. Thanks to a well-developed infrastructure and the presence of modern cafes, in Sukhum will not be boring for young people to spend time.
On the coast there are both landscaped and wild beach areas. Thanks to the flat bottom, lack of stones, sharp changes in depth, sand and pebble beaches will be comfortable for everyone. The most famous of them are Central and Sinop.
Sukhumi coast stretches for nearly 20 kilometers.
Sukhum is famous for its boarding houses and mineral springs. Just 30 kilometers from the capital are thermal spas. Choose the cloudiest day and be sure to go.
Hot healing spring in the village of Kandyg. There are 4 pools of different temperatures on the territory of the thermal complex.
- Pitsunda. A picturesque and ecologically pure region of Abkhazia. Here grows a unique Pitsunda pine tree. Holidays at this resort are recommended for people suffering from respiratory diseases.
Pitsunda is a small and relatively inexpensive resort, quite suitable for holidays with children. There are many beaches in Pitsunda, mostly pebble. According to reviews not the first year of tourists vacationing at the resort – the water here is the most transparent on the entire Abkhazian coast. There are almost no winds and strong waves, as Pitsunda is located in a bay.
It is said that in terms of transparency, Pitsunda’s sea water is among the 10 cleanest in the world.
- New Athos. The city with an ancient history and the Black Sea resort, which is characterized by mild climatic conditions and clear sea. Regardless of the season, there are always a lot of tourists in Athos, and the coastline runs along the Sukhumi highway – not the best option for those who like a quiet holiday. The beaches are pebbly, sparsely populated and insufficiently equipped, but the water is transparent and the bottom is flat with a smooth entrance.
The town has a rather well-developed infrastructure. According to numerous reviews of vacationers, New Athos – a place that can surprise everyone with the beauty of nature and preserved orthodox shrines.
New Athos Simon-Canonite Monastery was founded in 1875.
- Gudauta. Another small town between Gagra and New Athos. Tourist infrastructure is not very developed, and Gudauta is just beginning to restore old pensions and build new hotels. The beaches are wide and pebbly. There are almost no entertainments in the town, so active tourists may find it boring here.
Holidays in Gudauta will suit those who want to stroll along the waterfront without the crowds of tourists. It is quiet and a little cheaper, if compared to other resorts of Abkhazia.
- Gagra is a famous Black Sea resort, which will appeal to every vacationer;
- Sukhum – the capital and the most beautiful city of Abkhazia, with preserved pre-revolutionary architecture of the XX century. For beach vacation is better to choose neighborhoods Kashtak or Sinop;
- Pitsunda – a picturesque place for a quiet vacation and walks along the promenade along the sea;
- New Athos – a city with an ancient history, famous for its holy places. All tourists without exception like it;
- Hero-City Gudauta – not so popular among Russian tourists yet. Although many people like the local tranquility and khachapur “boat with egg” in the cafe “Balcon”.
Where is the best place to stay to see everything? The most convenient starting point to explore the eastern part of Abkhazia will be Sukhum, the western part – Gagra. For trips to Ritza and New Athos all cities will be equally convenient.
Interactive map of the main resorts
Tours in Abkhazia with cashback
Where to go with children
Deciding where to go to rest in Abkhazia with children, it is necessary to take into account the level of comfort, safety and food. In the table below are listed pros and cons of Abkhazian resorts from the perspective of family vacation.
|Gagra||– a warm sea and a mild climate; – developed infrastructure; – entertainment for children||– A lot of holidaymakers in summer; – High cost of living|
|Sukhum||– clean coast and not crowded beaches; – there is a trampoline, amusements, electric cars for kids on the seafront; – developed infrastructure||– comparatively noisy town|
|Pitsunda||– the most transparent water in Abkhazia; – there are areas for walks||– hotels are far from the coast; – not enough attractions for children.|
|New Athos||– clean sea; -poor beaches; -there are areas for walks||– Lots of tourists; – Not enough attractions for kids|
|Gudauta||– not many tourists; – a small resort town; – budget family vacation||– poorly developed infrastructure; – almost no children’s entertainment|
Boarding house, hotel or private sector: where to stay
Thinking about their vacation, tourists often think about where to stay in Abkhazia, to be close to the center of the resort and entertainment. This task is especially relevant for family vacations at the sea with children.
- Level.Travel and Travelata – choosing package tours to Abkhazia in 2022
- Trivago.ru and Hotellook.ru – inexpensive hotels and accommodation in Abkhazia – apartments for daily rent
In 2022 a room in a private house costs from 500 rubles to 1000 rubles a day, and a room in a hotel or guesthouse, depending on the level of service will cost from 1000 rubles to 5000 rubles a day.
Regardless of the season in Abkhazia there will always be a choice of housing for any Russian “purse”.
“All inclusive on Abkhazia
All-Inclusive rest in Abkhazia is diametrically different from the much loved Turkish rest. All-Inclusive in Abkhazia means three “buffet-style” meals a day, the price does not include alcoholic beverages. In the off-season, some sanatoriums and resorts switch to a standard rationing system.
How much does it cost to relax “high”?
Despite partial isolation from the world economy, Abkhazia is still not completely cut off from geopolitics. The war “special operation” in Ukraine has affected the situation in the republic as well as in Russia.
Commercial director of the largest wholesale company in the republic, “Premium,” Adgur Nanba, recently announced a 30-60% increase in food prices. At the same time the Association of Tour Operators of Russia in May stated about numerous discounts, which hotels and boarding houses offer to tourists.
The reasons are high prices for flights to Sochi and shortage of rail tickets. However, boarding houses offer discounts mostly in the low-cost segment. On the contrary popular resorts of Gagra, Pitsunda and New Athos reported that they were at full occupancy.
Closer to summer, specialists expect hotel prices to rise, but in order to keep the flow of tourists it will not be significant. The increase will be about 5%.
In April 2022 the cost of tickets for visiting the Ritza National Relict Park rose from 300 to 700 rubles. This is due to an increase in the cost of maintenance of the equipment used in the national park. The excursion to the New Athos cave also rose in price from 500 to 700 rubles.
The excursion to the high-mountainous Lake Ritsa is the most popular tour among tourists. Water of turquoise color and high mountains surrounding the lake, create an impression that you are in some Switzerland.
Thus, the final figure of the holiday will depend on:
- the chosen method of travel;
- the conditions of rental housing;
- preferences in terms of food and recreation.
Of great importance to the total cost will affect the choice of the resort. For example, a vacation in Sukhumi and Gagra will be more expensive than in Gudauta and Pitsunda.
If you buy a one-week tour for two in the off-season, it will cost about 20,000 rubles without the flight. In summer, the same tour prices start at 40,000 rubles.
If you choose a vacation without a tour or as we like to call it “savage”, then on average a week for one person will cost about 10,000 rubles. Considering that you’ll move not by rental car, but by shuttle buses and regular buses.
How to have an inexpensive holiday in Abkhazia in 2022
Abkhazia can still be considered an inexpensive tourist resort on the Black Sea coast, because a comfortable holiday here is not always associated with high costs.
Of course, if you are used to the Turkish or Egyptian level of service and accommodation in four-star hotels, you will have to pay for it. But if you do not buy a package tour and reduce the level of pretensions, the holiday in Abkhazia in 2022 will not be ruinous.
For a budget holiday in Abkhazia, you should adhere to the following rules:
- Road . Inexpensive option would be a direct train to Sukhum or fly low-cost to Adler on a “single ticket”.
- Accommodation can be rented from locals in the private sector. Even in the summer season there are good options at affordable prices.
- Meals . If you stay in the private sector, almost all Abkhazian houses have a common kitchen where you can cook your own food, and buy inexpensive fresh products in the market.
- Attractions . Here everything is simple – read our articles and tips on budget travel in Abkhazia. And in general, to see the main Abkhazian sights, it is easier to travel by car, so you can see even remote places, like the ghost town of Tkuarchal. But if you travel with backpacks, it will be even more interesting on the trails or as part of a group sightseeing tour.
- Plan your vacation in early May or in September before the velvet season. There are fewer tourists in these months, and the weather is quite comfortable, even for a beach holiday.
Features of rest depending on the season
The climate in Abkhazia is mild subtropical, even in the winter months the temperature on the coast rarely drops below +6 degrees. In the mountains it is colder and can have heavy snowfalls.
In winter you can travel along the coast, without being distracted by the heat of tourists to feel the atmosphere of the Caucasus, to marvel at the preserved architecture of Abkhazian towns and admire the blooming of yellow mimosa clouds (this option is not suitable for allergy sufferers).
In spring people go to Abkhazia for hiking in the mountains. At this time lovers of hiking enjoy the absence of exhausting heat. Nature begins to wake up, fruit trees are in bloom. In summer and early fall, tourists come to relax under the hot sun, swim in the warmest Black Sea and plenty of inexpensive fruits.
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Where to rest: the best resort towns of Abkhazia
Recently, it has become fashionable to expose Abkhazia as a beautiful place where you can rest qualitatively. So it is not surprising that many consider it as an option for spending their vacation money. Here’s a look at some of them.
The undoubted leader of this list. Actively rebuilt city, which some time ago caused boredom with a huge number of abandoned and dilapidated houses, now is the largest and most popular resort town of Abkhazia. There are hotels of different level like mushrooms after the rain, to absolutely any taste. There are water parks, parks, which are now under active work to improve the area, restaurants of all tastes, colors and purse, concert hall and embankment.
The city stretches along the Black Sea coast and is, in fact, under the mountain, which makes the climate very humid. This is a full city with lots of cars and you can’t find clean air here.
In terms of price policy is not far from other resort towns. The prices are very biting, especially for housing. Prices in the market are more loyal to the consumer and there you can find just a mind-boggling number of different souvenirs.
A good city for those who like to “gaze” at the sights. In New Athos is the famous New Athos Monastery and a little less famous New Athos Cave. Riding on excursions is not necessary, the town is quite small and almost every place can be reached on foot.
For the rest this small town will not be very good place for rest, as adheres to the same unspoken tourist rules, which states that the prices for lodging and food should be as biting as possible, and the crowds of tourists are not always good order and can sometimes steal from the zazevy personalities.
Cleanest and warmest part of the sea on the entire coast. And along the resort stretches a pine grove. We can imagine what will happen, if you mix sea air with pine air and you get an ideal place for people who love recreation at sea and treatment by clean air. Exactly here operates the only dolphinarium on the whole republic, you can also notice the emergence of many food outlets, but the infrastructure is not developed.
The resort continues to adhere to the tourist price policy, but it is worth noting that the prices for food and lodging there are slightly lower than in Gagra.
Pretty popular among Russian tourists small village, which is located near the Russian border. There are virtually no hotels, so do not consider Tsandripsh as a place to stay if you do not want to live in the private sector.
This place is almost unknown to tourists, because usually people who want to improve their health have a rest there. The only “attraction” that can be noted is sulfurated springs.
This city, which is the capital of Abkhazia, does not claim to be a resort, and thus the prices here are much lower than in other places. At the same time Sukhum has a good wide beach, a beautiful promenade, places where you can culturally spend time and many other attractions.
Article is designed more for people who are just thinking about visiting Abkhazia. And the mentioned places are more than enough to get the maximum impressions from your first trip.