Abkhazia is diverse geographically with lowlands stretching to the extremely mountainous north. The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range runs along the region’s northern border, with its spurs – the Gagra, Bzyb and Kodori ranges – dividing the area into a number of deep, well-watered valleys.
In brighter times, the sunny and tropical region of Abkhazia was called the jewel in the crown of the USSR. With jaw dropping mountains rolling into the sparkling waters of the Black Sea and palm tree lined streets with grand, Tsarist era buildings running into lush tropical gardens, the region is truly beautiful and was the destination of choice for the Soviet elite, including Josef Stalin himself.
In the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR, Abkhazia refused to be incorporated into the newly formed republic of Georgia which resulted in a blood soaked ethnic conflict which saw thousands slaughtered in brutal urban warfare and ethnic cleansing. Georgia suffered a bitter defeat and withdrew from the region which rapidly descended into anarchy.
Today, Abkhazia remains unstable but survives on cash flow from Russia and a steady flow of Russian tourists seeking a cheap, Black sea vacation. The breakaway republic remains a fascinating time warp back to the Soviet Union. This is a place where Lenin still stands and the local zoo proudly shows off the apparent descendents of the monkeys the Soviets sent into space decades ago. Despite the trauma of war, the locals are mostly warm, friendly and hospitable and welcome guests with open arms.
Independent Travel to Abkhazia
There are two ways to enter Abkhazia, the first is via Russia which requires a double entry visa and the other is via the Inguri crossing from Georgia, the latter is only advised to those with a basic grasp of Russian and experience of tense border crossings. Whilst Abkhazia is generally safe the further North you go, the Inguri border crossing is not for the inexperienced.
We offer affordable, fully guided and secure independent tours to Abkhazia from Tbilisi in Georgia. Our guides for volatile regions are all former security operatives and qualified in close protection. The tour will be completely customizable to your tastes and is available 365 days a year, we take care of the visa, permits, border negotiations for you so your trip will be stress and worry free.
Our private tours to Abkhazia include meeting veterans of the recent civil war and hearing their stories, visiting the summer retreat of Josef Stalin, the infamous abandoned parliament building still riddled with bullet holes since it was captured and those inside massacred during the war. At the bottom of this page is a sample itinerary for a private tour of Abkhazia.
Hotels in Abkhazia:
Hotels in Abkhazia range from luxury 5 star hotels on the beachfront to comfortable, family run hotels. As well as homestays, there are also a small number of hostels in the republic.
Join a group tour to Abkhazia
Soviet Wastelands run one group tour a year to Abkhazia as part of our unrecognized country tour. Join like minded travellers for a low priced adventure into the badlands of the North Caucasus.
What are you waiting for?
Abkhazia boasts everything needed for an adventure with everything. From Soviet heritage and dark history to stunning natural landscapes, friendly locals and incredible Caucasus cuisine, this young rebel republic has a lot to offer. Join our group tour or contact us for a private, tailor made tour.
What is the best time to visit Abkhazia?
May to September is the best period to visit Abkhazia, as it means that the roads to the mountains will be open and the weather will be warm enough to enjoy a swim in the Black Sea. On 28th September is Abkhazia independence day which features a Soviet military parade,in the day, a patriotic concert in the evening and celebrations go on deep into the night.