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How to get to Abkhazia

  • Written by Abkhaz World
  • About Abkhazia
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Abkhazia is a hospitable country with its fabulously beautiful nature, ancient history and original culture.

The leading tour operators of Abkhazia will help you to organize the unforgettable tour to Abkhazia.  

Caucasus Explorer
Tel. +7-499-653-90-19
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sukhum travel agency
Prospect Mira street,119, Sukhum
Tel. +7-840-225-31-15
Mob:  +7-940-927-30-35
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    

Gagra travel agency
Apskha Leon str.2, Gagra
Tel. +7-840-232-28-75
Mob: +7-940-925-31-15
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tour Operator «Rusalturs»         
Tel:+7 (495) 626-06-71, +7 (495) 626-03-80
Tel: +7 (495) 626-06-42, +7 (495) 783-04-89
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.abkhazia.ru 

Tour Operator «Aqua-Abaza»
Tel:+7 (495) 626-02-12, 626-05-83
Tel:+7 (495) 626-05-83, 641-73-26
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.akva-abaza.ru

Traveling to Abkhazia is possible by air from any city of the world to the Sochi International Airport, Russian Federation.

  • To get from Sochi (Russian Federation) to Abkhazia you should cross the Russian-Abkhaz border, which is about 30 min. drive from the airport (without traffic).
  • To get from the Sochi International Airport to Abkhazia, you can take taxi upon arrival to the airport or order it in the taxi services of Abkhazia.
  • Having done a taxi reservation in advance in Abkhazia, you ensure yourself a smooth moving from Sochi airport to any city of Abkhazia across the border. 

 

HOW TO GET A VISA AND TRAVEL TO THE REPUBLIC OF ABKHAZIA by MEGAN STARR

 

Taxi

  • Garuda-Express

Tel: (940) 716-00-00; +7 (840) 226-00-00+7

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web-site: www.abhaztaxi.ru

  • Sukhum Taxi

Tel:  (940)99-00-111; (940)77 21 11  

Visa - Passport

  • For travelling to Abkhazia the foreign citizens are required to have a double entry or multiple Russian visa, because you go to Abkhazia by transit through Russia (the first time you enter Russia on the way to Abkhazia and the second time you visit Russia on your way from Abkhazia back to your home country).  
  • For obtaining Russian visa, you should have an "entry permit" to the Republic of Abkhazia.
  • For obtaining an "entry permit" to Abkhazia you should fill electronic application on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia (See FAQ: http://mfaapsny.org/en/consular-service/questions/).
  • You should send the completed application form, copy of passport, a recent photo of the applicant by e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Within 5 days an entry permit letter for visiting the Republic of Abkhazia will be sent to the email address from which the application was sent or to the fax number stated in the application.
  • You can pay consular fees in any branch of bank “Sberbank” in Abkhazia. Upon your arrival in Abkhazia you must visit the Consular Service within three working days in order to obtain the actual visa of the Republic of Abkhazia which will serve as an exit permit document.

 How to get to the resorts of Abkhazia from the border?

From the border there are buses, minibuses and taxis available to all cities of Abkhazia.

Travel time (excluding traffic)

• from Adler to the border - 25-30 minutes;

• from the Russian-Abkhaz border to Gagra - 20-30 minutes;

• from the Russian-Abkhaz border to p.Pitsunda - 40 minutes;

• from the Russian-Abkhaz border to g.Gudauta - 1:00;

• from the Russian-Abkhaz border to Novy Afon - 1 hour 20 minutes;

• from the Russian-Abkhaz border to Sukhum - 1 hour 40 minutes. 

HOTELS

More information about the hotels you can find on the following websites:

www.abkhazia.travel/en

www.abkhazia.ru

www.akva-abaza.ru

Transportation

Within Abkhazia buses, minibuses, taxies run between all cities. The rent of cars doesn`t practice. 

Language

The state language of the Republic of Abkhazia is Abkhazian language.  Russian is the language of state and other agencies. In the tourist centers English is used.   

Time

Abkhazia is in the same time zone as Moscow. UTC+4  

Religion

Abkhazia is a country of early Christianity. About 70% of its population are Orthodox Christians, 16% Muslims, 4% Catholics, 5% Pagans, 2% Jews, and 3% of other religions. 

Climate

Abkhazia has an exceptional variety of weather conditions. Mountains which are close to the coast create here a special microclimate, protecting the city from the cold winds and keeping warm sea air. The climate is humid and subtropical. Winter in Abkhazia begins in mid-December and spring arrives by early March. Even in the winter the temperature rarely drops below 0C and freezing temperatures are only seen high in the mountains. The average temperature in January at the shore is from +4 to +7С, in the mountains from +2 to -2 С, in July from +22 to +24C. Average annual precipitation in Abkhazia ranges from 1300 mm in the coastal region and up to 3500 mm in the mountains.  The temperature of the sea reaches 27C in the summer and the water stays at 18-19C all the way until October, so the beach season lasts from mid-May to October. 

Money

The Russian ruble is the official currency of the Republic of Abkhazia. You can exchange currency (EURO, USD) in any bank of Abkhazia. The commercial banks also have currency exchange services in all major resort cities. Using of plastic cards (Eurocard, MasterCard, Visa International, American Express) for any payments is currently prohibited throughout the country. But cards (Eurocard, MasterCard, Visa International, American Express) can be cashed in any ATMs.

Import cash money

The restrictions on foreign currency export from the Russian Federation that are set by existing Russian legislation apply on the territory of Abkhazia. The limit for the undeclared import of foreign currency is $3000 per person. Currency amounts over $3000 per person must be declared to the customs service. Permission from the Central Bank is required for amounts over $10,000 per person.

Precautions and rules of conduct

• Do not settle in the private sector.

• You should buy homemade alcoholic beverages with special care from private individuals, as they can be of poor quality and cause injury. We ask you to observe moderation in the use of alcohol. Don’t swim in the sea or pool while alcoholic intoxication! 

• Do not go on a journey, picnics or unfamiliar people without the guide.

• Abkhaz people are quite liberal in matters of clothing: young people wear modern clothes, including shorts, tops and mini-skirts. In resort areas you can wear on your own. If you are going to visit local villages, historical and cultural monuments, try not to wear very sheer or too short clothes. 

Telephone communication

For international calls dial: 8-10 + city code + phone number

For calls to Russia dial: 8-107 + city code + phone number 

Mobile operators

There are two mobile operators in Abkhazia, AQUAFON and A-MOBILE. They operate using the GSM 900/1800 standard.

  • JSC “Aquafon”

Address: 384900 Gumistinskaiya street 14, Sukhum, Novy Raion
Tel: +7 940 999 99 99
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web-site: www.aquafon.com 

  • JE LTD “A-mobile”

Address: 384900 Kodorskoe Shosse street 665, Sukhum, Sinop
Tel: +(7840)2294018, +(7840)2294019
Tel: +7(940) 777 77 77
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web-site: www.a-mobile.biz 

You can buy the local SIM-card at the official points of sales of mobile communication services. Your passport and personal presence is necessary. You can also use your mobile phone which is automatically connected to the international roaming service. 

Useful contacts

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia

Adress: 384900 Lakoba street 21, Sukhum
Теl: +7 (840) 226-70-69
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web-site: www.mfaapsny.org 

State Committee for Resorts and Tourism of the Republic of Abkhazia

Address: 384900 Prospect Mira street 119, Sukhum
Tel: +7 (840) 26-37-90  
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web-site: www.abkhazia.travel  

Telephones of emergency services

Fire Department “01”

Police “02”

Ambulance “03”
 

We wish you an unforgettable journey!

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Abkhazia

www.tppra.org - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel/fax:+78402263387/ 226 35 72 

Prepared by Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Abkhazia 

Aiaaira: National anthem of Abkhazia

  • Written by Abkhaz World
  • About Abkhazia
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Aiaaira (in Abkhaz: Victory) is the national anthem of the Republic of Abkhazia. The state anthem was adopted when Abkhazia declared independence in 1992. After Sergey Bagapsh was elected president, a draft law was issued “On the State Anthem of the Republic of Abkhazia” and passed on a third reading on October 24, 2007. The Abkhaz anthem is based on the opening motif and lyrics of the Abkhaz revolutionary-liberation song “Kyaraz” from the period when Abkhazia was occupied by troops of the Georgian Democratic Republic.

The lyrics were written by Gennady Alamia, and the music was written by Valera Chkadua.

 
Download: Short Version - Full Version (MP3 Format)

Abkhaz  

Шәнеибац, шәнеибац,
Аҧсуаа рыҷкәынцәа.
Аҧсны азыҳәан
Ашьа казҭәаз,
Аҧсуаа рыҷкәынцәа.
Ахақәиҭраз
Ашьа казҭәаз,
Аҧсуаа рыҷкәынцәа. 

О-ҳо-ҳо-о ҳо-о-Рада
О-ҳо-ҳо-о ҳо-о-Рада-Ра!
Ажәҩан мрадоуп, еҵәадоуп
Уара уда Аҧсынра!
Еҵәa-бырлаш Аҧсынтәла,
Улҧха згәаҵақәа ирҭыҧхо,
Геи-шьхеи рыҧшӡара заҧшнылаз.        
Жәлар ламысла иҳаракоит. 

Рада, Реида, Рарира
Рада, Рерама, Рерашьа.
Нарҭаа риирa-зиироу
Афырхацәа Ран-Гуашьа
Аҧсынтәыла-иҧшьоч атәыла
Зхы здиныҳәалаз Анцәа
Зқьышықәасала имҩасхьо гылоуп
Рыжәаҩа еибырҭоит уҧацәа. 

Шәнеибац Аҧсныжәлар!
Аишьцәа, шәнеибац!
Нхыҵ-аахыҵ ҳаицуп!
Ҳазшаз илаҧш
Ҳхыуп иаҳхымшәо
Ҧеҧш лаша ҳзышуп! 

Шәнеибац, Аҧсныжәлар,
Игылеит ҳамра,
Иақәым ҭашәара!
Урылагәыргьа,
Анра-аҳшара
Шьардаамҭа, Аҧсынра.

English Translation

March on, march on,
sons of Abkhazia!
Shed our blood
for Abkhazia,
sons of Abkhazia!
Shed our blood
for independence,
sons of Abkhazia!

O-ho-ho-o-ho-o-rada
O-ho-ho-o-ho-o-radara!
Like the sun on the sky,
you are always Abkhazia!
Your love has warmed countless hearts,
with mountains and seas put on you. 
Men's conscience also puts on you,
Starry, sacred Abkhazia!

Rada, Reyda, Rarira,
Rada, Rerama, Rerasha!
Mother of the hero,
where Nart is born - how sacred!
Abkhazia, may God bless you
for thousands more of years to come.
Children unite as one people,
Brothers shoulder to shoulder.

March on, Abkhazians!
Brothers, march on!
In Transcaucasia,
we're always here,
God's watching here,
for a better future!

March on, Abkhazians!
The sun is rising!
What a bright future!
Love forever,
that's God's bless to
Abkhazia's bright future!

Natural Heritage of Abkhazia

  • Written by Abkhaz World
  • About Abkhazia
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Climate and Weather

Abkhazian natural heritage is magnificent and diverse, unique in its fascinating, harmonious combination of the scenery of the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea coast. A stretch only fifty kilometers wide between the shoreline and the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range encompasses all existing climactic zones, from rainforest to perennial snow and glaciers.

The average annual temperature is +15°С. Abkhazian winters are the warmest in all of Caucasus. Snowfall is rare, and the average temperature in January rarely falls below +7°С. In the summer, the average temperature is +27 to 28°С. At Gagra resort, the highest average temperature during the hottest month of the year is +24.5°С.

Average annual rainfall is approximately 1400 mm. Average relative atmospheric humidity in Sukhum is 72%. The number of hours of sunshine in the republic's capital is 2238 hours a year, with maximum hours in the summer (812) and minimum in the winter (317).

Abkhazia's Mountains and Caves

Nearly all of Abkhazia's territory is occupied by tall mountain ranges. Greater Caucasus mountain range on Abkhazia's northwestern border, near the source of Auadhara River, rises 2500 meters above sea level, while on Abkhazia's eastern border, the altitude of the mountain ranges reaches 3500-4000 meters. The highest point in Abkhazia is Mount Dombai-Ulgen, reaching 4048 meters above sea level. In order of receding height, other impressive mountains in Abkhazia are Gvandra (3984 m), Ertsog (3909 m), Psysh (3790 m), Ptysh (3465 m), Agepsta (3256 m), and Khimsa (3032 m).

There are 14 mountain passes in the Greater Caucasus range that lie within Abkhazia's borders, at altitudes ranging from 2300 to 3000 m above sea level. Most of these passes are difficult to access, and are closed for travel most of the year. In centuries past, travel routes through Klukhori Pass, situated on the Sukhumi Military Road, and Marukh Pass were actively used as a link to countries on the other side of Greater Caucasus.

Two vast limestone massifs on Abkhazian territory are especially significant: Gagra mountain range (highest elevation: Arabika, 2656 m) and Bzyb mountain range (highest elevation: Napra, 2684 m). The limestone bulk of these ranges is home to Earth's deepest known caves: Krubera (Voronya, or Crow's) Cave, with explored depth of 2080 m, Sarma Cave (1543 m), V. Pantyukhin's Cave in the Gagra mountain range (1480 m), Snezhnaya (Snowy) Cave in the Bzyb mountain range (1370 m), and New Athos (Novoafonskaya) Cave, with a colossal volume of 1.5 million cubic meters.

Abkhazia's Rivers

The perennial snows crowning Abkhazia's mountaintops year-round are spread out over an area of 77 km. sq. Over the summer, the snows melt partially, filling the river beds of Abkhazia's many streams with the purest water. There are approximately 120 rivers, 186 mountain lakes, and 170 mineral springs in Abkhazia. It's an interesting fact that, despite Abkhazia's small size, all of its rivers in their entirety, from source to mouth, together with their basins, and with the exception of the two border rivers, are completely contained within the country.

Abkhazia's most famous mineral water is Auadhara, flowing from a spring in Auadhara river valley. Hot springs in Primorskoye village (Gudaut District) and Kyndug village (Ochamchyr District) are also widely popular.

Abkhazia's portion of the Black Sea coast is renowned for its wide pebble and sand beaches and pure sea water. The coastline is 210 km long. The composition of the sea water is rich and diverse, containing approximately 60 various mineral salts, although Black Sea water salinity is half that of the Mediterranean. The Black Sea is home to approximately 250 species of seaweed, 180 species of fish, more than 200 species of crustaceans, several species of jellyfish, shrimp, crabs, and three dolphin species, a list that doesn't begin to sum up all of its animal and plant life.

Abkhazia's Plant Life

Abkhazia's plant life is represented by approximately 3500 species, 180 of which are trees and shrubs, more than 500 species are medicinal plants, and more than 600 are relict species preserved from ancient geographical epochs. About 400 plant species are endemic for Caucasus, and more than 100 species are found nowhere outside of Abkhazia. The species distribution area for some of the endemic species is no larger than just a few dozen square meters, such as, for instance, Campanula Paradoxa bellflowers from the Bzyb River Gorge, or Aquilegia Gegica columbines growing on the walls of the Gega Waterfall.

466 thousand hectares (52% of the country's territory) is covered with forest, which is home to more than 30 valuable species, including relict yew, Greek strawberry tree, and others.


Abkhazia's Animal Life

There are 440 species of vertebrates and 277 bird species in Abkhazia.

Abkhazia's lakes, streams, and sea are populated by great sturgeon, common sturgeon, mullet, Black Sea salmon, Pontic shad, five species of mullet, European plaice, Atlantic horse mackerel, spiny dogfish, mullets, European anchovies, and other fish species. A considerable amount of Black Sea salmon is spawned in Abkhazia's pure streams. Salmon and brown trout are the most traditionally and widely fished species.

One of major bird migration routes on the Eurasian continent lies above Abkhazia. There are 294 bird species registered here, including rare and endangered species: golden eagle, bearded vulture, cinereous vulture, peregrine falcon, great white pelican, swan, great egret, and others.

Abkhazia's predators include the brown bear, wolf, jackal, fox, lynx, marten, badger, otter, a Caucasus subspecies of the European mink, and least weasel. Besides the West Caucasian tur, other ungulates, or hoofed animals, include red deer, roe deer, and chamois. Wild boars are also rather common.

Abkhazia's many caves are home to approximately 24 species of bats. Endemic invertebrates deserve special attention. For instance, the New Athos cave is the only place where the cave-dwelling Troglocaris shrimp and the cave-dwelling Jeannelius ground beetle are found.

Vast conservation areas have been created in Abkhazia to preserve its wildlife: Ritsa-Auadhara National Park, and Pskhu-Gumista and Pitsunda-Myussersky nature reserves. Altogether, no less than 10% of the country's area is protected, one of the highest percentages in the world.

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