Engagement Zone: How Tradition and Tourism Will Preserve Mountainous Abkhazia

Abkhazia in the palm of your hand (comfort tour with children)

Astanda Ardzinba, Sputnik

Mountainous Abkhazia is a territory of responsible action. This was the name of the presentation within the framework of the "Lecture hall" project, which took place at the SKLAD cultural site in Sukhum. Tengiz Tarba, director of the Mountainous Abkhazia Foundation, explained to the audience why a conscious way of exploring the mountains is the key to sustainable development of Abkhazia.

Smart goes uphill

More than 70 percent of our country's territory is mountains and foothills, and perhaps the most important reason why mountainous Abkhazia, a territory of responsible action, is its fragile ecosystem, Tengiz believes.

"I am often asked why not build a ski resort in Abkhazia, a huge mountain cluster like Krasnaya Polyana. We must understand that construction on such a scale will cause serious changes in the mountain landscape. mud-debris flows, which will have a destructive effect on the mountain valleys, "says Tengiz.

The author and head of one of the most successful projects in Abkhazia, the Mountain Abkhazia project, Tengiz Tarba is called the main popularizer of the beauty and wealth of the Abkhaz mountains.

The Mountain Abkhazia project is already its seventh year. In 2011, when everything was just beginning and the first expeditions to the remote mountainous regions of the country were undertaken, the main goal of the team was to certify and plot 12 mountain hiking routes on the navigation map of the republic, as well as collect exclusive photo and video materials. But the further into the forest, and in this case, the higher into the mountains, the more the project became in demand and its tasks expanded.

"Mountain Abkhazia" set out to tell everyone to the world about the unique beauty of high-mountainous Abkhazia, untouched civilization and its stunning pristine beauty. Video and photo reports began to regularly win prestigious international competitions.

The project team began to contribute to the development of winter tourism in Abkhazia, as a result of which the republic learned about such sports as ski touring or heliskiing. Tengiz Tarba began to advocate for the expansion of tourism opportunities in Abkhazia and the organization of year-round educational, sports and extreme tourism in Abkhazia.

The research and popularization activities of "Mountainous Abkhazia" would be incomplete without understanding that the wonderful world of the mountains of Abkhazia needs to be treated with care.

"For us, the Mountain Abkhazia Foundation, the public, active citizens, it is imperative to form a responsible attitude to the environment. Understand that today environmental issues are on a par with military security, with the most pressing political issues." , - believes Tengiz Tarba.

Ancestral heritage - solving modern problems

Malaya Ritsa, legendary waterfalls, canyons and mountains

Excursion rating: 100% 2 reviews of tourists Individual excursion for 1-4 people Price: 7500 rub.

Primordial views of Abkhazia

The secluded and quiet "Malaya Ritsa" has long been inaccessible for travelers and, thanks to this, has retained its original charm. On the way to the lake, we will stop at the most famous natural places of Abkhazia: you will visit the legendary waterfalls, see the famous Yupsharsky gate canyon, look at the surroundings from a beautiful observation deck and meet the Ritsa sisters.

Danil guide in Sukhum Conducts 9 excursions Usually responds within 3 hours. The history of Abkhazia is thousands of years old - it is a close interweaving of cultures and destinies of different peoples. On a walk with me you will see the most interesting and fascinating places, get acquainted with the life, customs and traditions of local residents, which you will not learn about from the guide. I will tell you the legends of my people and reveal the secrets that the Country of Soul keeps. I invite you to take with me an individual tour of the beautiful Abkhazia and love it with all your heart, as I love it! Conducts 9 excursions

Individual excursion for - person

Duration: 8 hours Children: No children Best Price Guaranteed If you find a price lower, we will refund the difference. More

Description of the excursion

What awaits you

The stunning nature of Abkhazia - waterfalls, canyons, mountains and rivers Following the Ritsinskoe highway, we will go to the Bzybsky gorge, where a magnificent panorama will open before you. Near the waterfall with the poetic name "Maiden's Tears", where, according to beliefs, the most cherished desires come true, I will tell you a local legend, and the image of water flowing down through the thickness of limestone rocks like crystal drops of tears will be filled with meaning. At the tiny but very deep colorful "Blue Lake", surrounded by rugged cliffs, you can take stunning pictures. Then we will drive along an openwork green tunnel to the gorge of the Yupshara River, where you will be embraced by the beautiful narrow canyon "Stone Bag", known as the "Yupsharsky Gate". We will not ignore the huge "Stone of Kisses", a favorite among couples in love. We will definitely stop at the "Men's Tears" waterfall, the meager streams of which flow restrainedly down the steep cliff. Here you will also hear an ancient legend and the secret of its name. Further along the mountain slope above the riverbed we will reach the "Chabgar Cornice", a dizzying observation deck. From here, you will discover mesmerizing landscapes and a magnificent view of the mountains of the Gagra ridge.

Two "Ritsa" We will climb a deep rocky canyon into the mountains, to the legendary Lake Ritsa, where you can ride on snow-white catamarans. And after that we will rush up the mountain along a small serpentine road, where the hiking path to the Malaya Ritsa lake begins, which we will overcome in 40 minutes. This path can also be done on horseback. This point of our route will become the culmination of the entire program - you will see the mountain slopes overgrown with fir forests and a huge cliff of Pshegishkhva Mountain, which gently hugs at its foot a wondrous lake, as if lost in the distant past. Thanks to the reflections in the water, this landscape creates a fantastic picture! This amazing body of water feeds exclusively on atmospheric precipitation - not a single constant river flows in or out of it. Water striders glide over the smooth mirror of the water, arrange polyphonic frog concerts, and the main inhabitant of the lake, the crested newt, is listed in the international Red Book!

On the way back, we will drive around Ritsa from the northern shore to reach the Milk Waterfall and the mouth of the Lachista River, from where a completely different, no less beautiful view of the lake opens up.

For whom the excursion is suitable

Love mountains, waterfalls, rivers and wildlife? Do you want to show all this to children without giving up comfort? Then our tour of Abkhazia is for you! Jeep trips to all corners of the country will give unforgettable emotions to all participants, regardless of age. And the combination with the comfort of living in a cozy house will be a wonderful touch to the overall impression. This trip is a great chance to spend time with your family actively and with pleasure!

Upcoming hikes

How to get there

Meeting of the participants in the guest house of Sukhum. You can come at any time on the first day.

1. For those traveling by train, tickets must be purchased to the city of Sukhum. Arrive at any time on the first day of the hike.

Train tickets can be purchased at www. zd. u not earlier than 90 days before the train departure date!

2. For those who fly by plane, you can use the planes of any airline with an arrival before this time in Adler. Then take a bus or taxi to the city of Sukhum (the border is passed on foot, it will be necessary to change the bus).

Estimated travel time from the airport to the border by public transport 40 minutes, by taxi 20 minutes.

We recommend taking return train tickets on the last day of the trip after 17:00 or later.

We recommend taking return plane tickets on the last day of the hike after 19:00 or later.

It is necessary to lay 4 hours on the road from the house in the city of Sukhum to the airport and crossing the border.

Abkhazia named possible terms for opening the border with the Russian Federation and preconditions for entry. Tourists intend to demand a certificate of a negative test for coronavirus. Tour operators said whether vacationers will go to Abkhazia on such conditions.


The start of the tourist season in the Krasnodar Territory and Crimea prompts the authorities of Abkhazia to take more decisive actions: the flow of tourists to the republic, which has been keeping the border with the Russian Federation closed since April 9, is almost 100% formed by Russians.

The Abkhaz side decided to work out the issue of the possibility of opening the tourist season from July 15. The region will closely monitor the epidemiological situation in the Kuban, where hotels have been opened since June 21. According to the calculations of the Abkhaz authorities, by July 10 it will become clear how these indulgences affected the situation in the Russian region. As the deputy head of the presidential administration of Abkhazia Jansukh Nanba said at a meeting of the headquarters, if there are no serious outbreaks, then Abkhazia will begin to work out the possibility of implementing measures to open tourist facilities and consider certain conditions for the arrival of foreign citizens.

The Ministry of Tourism of Abkhazia has already presented the preliminary conditions for receiving tourists. The plan assumes a phased opening of the border. At the first stage, entry will be allowed for foreigners who have a voucher to hotels or sanatoriums for a period of more than five days. Then, in stages, the entrance will be opened for groups who have vouchers for a period of at least three days. The department did not report anything about the duration of these stages and the timing of their occurrence.

Those entering, according to the plan of the Ministry of Tourism, must have a certificate of absence of coronavirus disease, issued by a laboratory that works with the permission of Rospotrebnadzor; insurance policy; a document confirming the place of temporary residence on the territory of Abkhazia.

According to the Abkhaz side, all actions to receive Russian tourists will be coordinated with Rospotrebnadzor.


Most tour operators estimate that requiring certificates with a negative coronavirus test will lead to a drop in demand for the destination. As an example, the general director of the Dolphin tour operator, Sergey Romashkin, cites the practice of resorts in the Krasnodar Territory, which, if necessary, required such certificates from tourists, worked only with a 20% load, and many objects generally chose not to open.

Mr. Romashkin notes that Abkhazia is positioned as a budget destination, and in this case, not all tourists will be ready to pay at least 5-6 thousand rubles. per family to take COVID-19 tests. “Nearby is a direct competitor - the Krasnodar Territory, where certificates are no longer needed. Perhaps part of the audience in this case will be looking for a budget vacation in Krasnodar resorts, ”says the head of Dolphin.

As representatives of the tour operator "Multitour" add, today, due to the "closed nature" of Abkhazia, many tourists will rebook their destination for accommodation in Sochi and Adler.

This busy route through Abkhazia is an amazing combination of comfort and beauty of the nature of a sunny country. Our trip will be in jeeps, which means that the most inaccessible corners will open to us. Abkhazia is incredibly bright and juicy! It beckons to explore and explore its amazing sights. Both adults and children will like it here.

What will we see? Alpine lakes, majestic waterfalls that fall from 100 meters down, turbulent mountain rivers and stunning beauty of the gorge. We will explore the ruins of ancient fortresses and temples (not only children can feel like historians). Let's walk with flashlights through mysterious caves. We will swim in the warm sea (in the summer program), try the local cuisine! And if the weather suddenly deteriorates - it doesn't matter, hot springs with three warm pools will warm us!

In the evenings we will rest comfortably in a cozy house. Soft beds await us in the rooms to rejuvenate for tomorrow's journey. Around the clock Wi-Fi is available to share photos of the past day. We will cook ourselves, helping each other - a great opportunity for children to feel like real travelers. Every evening we will definitely while away the time with interesting games - the children will be doubly happy. And before going to bed, a compulsory ritual is reading fairy tales so that our young travelers can sleep sweetly!

Daily program


Arrival. Acquaintance. Walk around the hospitable city of Sukhum.

First day! We meet with the group at our guest house. The instructor will send the address in a memo and advise on how best to get there. Today is a day without active excursions, which means we get to know each other, leave things and the first place you want to go is, of course, the sea! Moreover, it is not far from it. On the way to the embankment, we will consider the sights, listen to stories about this hospitable city. Everything here is permeated with a thousand-year history. The embankment offers beautiful views of the sea, sunsets, there is entertainment for children. We will breathe in the sea air and "charge" for our entire journey.

Returning to the house, we will have a hearty and delicious dinner. After that we will chat, play word games and go to bed, because in the morning we will have adventures.


A trip to the stunning waterfalls and the ghost town of Akarmar About 4-5 km on foot

Today is a busy day: we have so many interesting things to see! Therefore, we will have breakfast and rather on the road. We drive through Tkuarchal - a city in the mountains, to the incredibly beautiful waterfalls Irina and Velikan. Get ready to admire! A wide and stormy stream rushes down a large rock. It is fed by the glaciers of the Kodori Range. The swift waters, having rolled down on Irina, rush further as a small river and after 150 meters they reach a steep cliff. From it they fall a hundred meters down - to the bottom of a forest ravine. This is the Giant Waterfall. So it will seem to us. To feel all its power, you can carefully descend to the natural ledge and find yourself between the falling water and the rock! Go crazy!

On the same day we will reach the ghost town of Akarmar. His life almost left him, but unique architecture has been preserved here. Both adults and children will be interested in learning about the history of the former mining town, built by the captured Germans. The dilapidated buildings, over which nature wins, look incredibly mysterious. The brick walls are surrounded by greenery. The once elite area has become abandoned and empty.

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