The truth about Gagra. Reviews about rest and prices – 2022

Gagra: vacation tips

Leisure reviews for Gagra

The dream of Soviet holidaymakers – the beautiful Gagra – is famous for its warm climate, picturesque mountains and not bad beaches. Learn what reviews leave tourists about the main resort of Abkhazia. What they write about the prices of accommodation, food and entertainment. Is it worth to go on holiday to Gagra in 2022?

Content:

Impressions of Gagra.

The resort town between the Gagra ridge and the Black Sea has been welcoming holidaymakers since 1903. Gagra has luxurious nature and many historical and architectural sights. Tourists note that the locals are friendly, but the overall impression is spoiled by traces of destruction and artisanal service.

Kastromen: “Tourists are treated well, in two weeks of stay no one has been rude or looked obliquely.”

Nina57orel: “When I came here, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, really, any super-innovations here is not present, but also about untidiness of speech can’t be. The embankment is slowly being restored. They put a new beautiful tile, ennobled the fence. They constantly remove trash, sweep and wash.

Leisure reviews for Gagra

Gagra (Photo: Dmitriy Kirilin / flickr.com)

Is it expensive to have a rest in Gagra?

According to tourist reviews, prices in Gagra are lower than in the Black Sea resorts of Russia. A double room in a guest house or mini-hotel costs from 500 rubles, and good options – from 800 rubles. Clean furnished room with double and single beds can be taken for 1000-1200 rubles per day, and a room in a comfortable hotel 4 * – from 3000 rubles.

We advise to search for hotels on Hotellook, and apartments for daily rent – on the Souvenir. Both services are reliable and convenient, and we always use them for booking accommodation in Russia and abroad. Do not trust the ads on Avito and similar sites. Book accommodation in Abkhazia only on the reliable services with real photos and reviews, so as not to get a pig in a poke. Take a look at our hotel search tips.

There are many restaurants and cafes in New and Old Gagra. The average check for two is 700-1000 rubles, in budget establishments – from 500 rubles. Holidaymakers recommend the canteen “Lodochka”. To save money, rent a place with a kitchen and cook for yourself. It’s better to buy your groceries at the Gagra collective farm market. There is a good assortment, and prices are lower.

Bus tours cost 500-1500 rubles, and boat trips cost 800-1300 rubles.

Newnow: “Only wine is inexpensive, and everything else bites. There are shuttles around the city, the fare ranges from 15 to 25 rubles”.

Leisure in Gagra

Sculpture in the Park of Prince of Oldenburg in Gagra. Photo: Dmitriy Kirilin / flickr.com / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Sea and beaches in Gagra

The beaches at the resort are pebbly and sandy-pebbly. According to reviews 2021, the beaches of Old Gagra have no entertainment and developed infrastructure, so there are few tourists. The coast in New Gagra is much better equipped. Vacationers can rent catamarans and jet skis, ride “bananas”, do parasailing and go on a boat ride.

Kuznecz: “The sea is always clean. I like quiet beaches, with as few people as possible, and that’s where I found it. Even considering it’s the beginning of the season – still, not comparable to our resorts.”

The sea in Gagra. Photo: Hons084 / commons.wikimedia.org / CC BY-SA 4.0. The beach in Gagra. Photo: Hons084 / commons.wikimedia.org / CC BY-SA 4.0. Pebble beach of Gagra. Photo: ermakovasve / flickr.com.

Rest with children in Gagra

Healing climate, fresh air, warm sea and sun are very good for children, so Gagra is a full-fledged family resort. There’s plenty to do here with kids: spend time in a water park and amusement park, take your child to the Seaside Park and the Museum of Abkhaz Arms.

Svetlana Blinova: “We went for a walk in the Park of Count Oldenburgsky. There is a mini zoo there. On the way to the sea there is a rope park. If you take separate climbing on different routes, it is 400 rubles. We took a subscription “Unlimited for 5 days” – 1000 rubles. The kid climbed everywhere twice a day.

Summer holidays in Abkhazia 2022

Dolphins by the shore of Gagra. Photo: Dmitriy Kirilin / flickr.com / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Interesting or boring at the resort

Gagra is full of excursions – you won’t get bored. Tourists are advised to always have money with you for extra expenses. Sometimes you have to pay extra to enter the reserve, to the observation sites or for a snack in a cafe.

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Music and discos on the beaches begin after sunset. Noisy nightlife does not stop until 2 a.m., and after that the streets of the resort become quiet.

Tourists who like active rest, in Gagra do diving, fly on hang gliders and paragliders, ride around the resort on bicycles. According to reviews, equestrian tours and rafting on the Bzyb River are popular in Gagra. If you want to explore on your own, visit the Abaata fortress, the Prince of Oldenburg’s castle, and climb Mamzishkha Mountain.

Gagra, like all of Abkhazia, is a paradise for lovers of abandonment. You do not have to go far to see the ruined remains of former sanatoriums, staircases, columns and walls, which are twined with densely sprouting subtropical greenery. Some people are inspired to take walks and colorful pictures, while others are saddened by the resort’s mismanagement and neglect.

Vitalya: “We were out of season and loved it. There were few people, it is quiet and quiet, as in the village. We were able to go on three excursions: “Evening Gagra”, “New Athos” and “Lake Ritza”. Nature is amazing”.

Popular excursions from Gagra:

Leisure at sea in Gagra

Lake Ritza (Photo: arturgalaxy / flickr.com)

When it’s best to go

Gagra is located in the humid subtropical zone and is considered one of the warmest resorts on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. The nearby ridge blocks the cold northern winds. According to reviews of tourists, Gagra is characterized by comfortable sunny weather.

The minus temperature is possible only in January. The beach season lasts from May to October, but most resorts come in July and August. The air temperature in mid-summer exceeds +30 … +32 ° C, the water in the sea warms up to +24 … +25 ° C. The nights are usually cool, so everyone has time to rest from the heat of the day.

Mikamila90: “At the end of June the weather was very favorable for us, it was always hot during the day, but the local climate is somehow easily tolerable. It was quite comfortable. There were such thunderstorms at night, so everything shimmered, and in the morning there was no trace of puddles”.

roganov22: “The magic is that in July it was not hot, not higher than +30°C. I especially liked it, because I cannot stand the heat”.

Reviews about Gagra: making conclusions

Abkhazian resort is low prices, excellent climate, spacious beaches and warm, fairly clean sea. According to tourist reviews, Gagra is not a bad place to vacation in the summer of 2022. True, if you are satisfied with a low level of service and visible everywhere traces of devastation.

Soviet Gagra

Watch this short documentary from 1977. This is a great opportunity not only to learn what the famous Abkhaz resorts looked like in Soviet times, but also to look at the Soviet elite vacationers themselves. All in all, this is an informative and atmospheric video.

The whole truth about what Abkhazia Gagra holiday looks like in reality

Abkhazia Gagra Holiday

…From the soul of the brother. A normal guy gets high when he hits a pear, From the soul brotuha flies into the soul. # City life’s all fences around me, I was born in a place with nothing but space. I start the engine, I lower the springs, The higher the mountains, the lower the priors.Timati, song “Lada Sedan – Eggplant”.

When you hear rave reviews about Abkhazia Gagra holiday in the land of soul, you want to pour a spoon of tar into this sugary-sweet Abkhazian barrel of honey. It is a shame that we, as already experienced travelers, who had no illusions, ended up with a completely uninspiring holiday. So I open your eyes in a review, how holidays in Abkhazia – Gagra look like in reality.

Abkhazia Gagra holiday – our first impressions.

The first thing that is shocking is the view of the railway station. Getting acquainted with the city begins with this evil place, where all tourists are brought by commuter train Adler – Gagra.

For people who saw the railway station of Gagra for the first time it becomes unclear: is it a working institution or scenery for a horror movie. Its shabby appearance and blackened walls are reminiscent of the ghost town of Silent Hill.

After disembarking on the platform, as first-time tourists, we stood in confusion and wondered which way to go: there were no signs anywhere: the exit to the city and the bus stops with drivers. After thinking for a while, we decided to head in the direction of the sea. We had to drag our backpacks over the rails, because the lean and rusty bridge over the railroad doesn’t inspire confidence. When you drag your bag on the sleepers, bypassing the cows grazing there and the tortillas left by them, the first depressing thought comes: What am I doing here, anyway?

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Resorts of Abkhazia. Where and when it is better to have a rest.

Elementary to go to the toilet as it turned out at the station simply nowhere. And in the train to use the toilet conductors did not allow us – it is not supposed to by some instructions relating to the border crossing. What is a tourist to do? Run into the bushes or leave his “hello” right on the tracks, like the local cattle?

Fortunately we had our bikes to take us to the local market. As it turned out later, we were going in the right direction – the resort or old Gagra begins not far from the local market. In general, I do not advise to rent an apartment near the railway station, it’s better to go to Avidzba and Abazgaa streets.

Abkhazia Gagra Holiday

Gagra railway station, Abkhazia

The Abkhazian city itself is divided into two districts: old and new Gagra. In the old Gagra there are sanatoriums and resorts, there are preserved sights, such as the colonnade and the Park of Prince Oldenburg. And new Gagra is inhabited by local population, which rents square meters to vacationers. If you are not ready to lay out 1500 – 3000 rubles for a day stay at the sanatorium of a museum type, from the year of construction of which more than a century has passed (and the level of service leaves much to be desired), then behave in search of budget accommodation. Prices for bed-places in new Gagra start from 300 rubles per day.

Common sense told us to settle near the local market, to be able to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Therefore, bypassing the local courtyards, we found accommodation, which we were completely satisfied: the sea was 10 minutes walk, there was a yard and his own kitchen with the ability to cook. What I did not like – it’s poured concrete floors in the street. All right it would have been narrow paths, among greenery and flowers. But for some reason the owners had turned the yard into a bare lot, without a single piece of land. And the garden was in the backyard, and it had a wonderful view of the mountains.

The cordiality of the hosts slightly overcame our first unpleasant impressions of the city. But in the aftermath, however, we were caught up in the disappointment, which would spoil the rest of any tourist.

TOP 6 disadvantages Abkhazia Gagra vacation

rudeness.

This is the rudeness that comes from the local population. Whether it’s a passerby or a vendor at the market, they are all filled with some kind of animosity toward tourists. Gagry, as you know since Soviet times is considered a resort city. Do you remember the film and the phrase in a telephone booth: “Hello, Anyuta? You can’t imagine! I am leaving for Gagry now”.

Holiday in Gagra

Revenues from tourism in Abkhazia make up almost a third of the country’s budget and a million tourists visit this place annually. I do not know about others, but I do not want to go back to Gagra, even if it has the cleanest sea in the world and the healthiest mountain air.

Despite the fact that most people have all they earn from the tourist flow during the season by renting houses, selling wine and cheese (then the locals just suffer until the next season from unemployment and lack of money). The attitude to the vacationer is simply the top of boorishness and arrogance. I had a feeling that local men consider it their duty to yell at the opportunity or rudely stick to a holiday girl. Theft was not encountered, but judging by the deplorable reviews on forums – it thrives here too.

Once, when we were riding a bike with a child, some passing natives are not too lazy to open his window on the “seven eggplant color” and swore in our wake, such as: Why are you here to ride, interfere with traffic. I do not understand how I could interfere with him if we were moving on the sidewalk. Naturally, I just pretended I wasn’t paying attention.

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Private Sector in Gagra: accommodation without intermediaries. Prices 2022

Another incident happened at the market, when my little sister was called a cow (although she weighs 50 kg). She tripped over the boxes that were lying on the walkway. And such rudeness, for all time of rest in Gagra, we have met many more.

And aggressive here you begin to think not only the local people, but also animals. Dogs – that’s who struck me the most. We just could not calmly ride a bike, because we immediately ran after us a rabid pack of dogs, trying to bite my leg. Some were not stray dogs, but well-nourished yard dogs, barking at us in a frenzy that scared me and the child sitting behind us. Their aggression and anger forced me every time I saw even a small dog, take the bike under my arms and go on foot.

Holiday in Gagra

If a child is nervous, you must first treat his parents (Agniya Barto)

At those moments I was sadly reminded of our vacation in Thailand, the kind dogs that looked like cubs. Who are friendly to tourists and allow them to play with them.

And I want to give advice to all women and girls, going on vacation to this Caucasian resort. Women never walk alone in the night Gagra, it is not only fraught with adventures in the ass, but also dangerous. We saw how a local man in a cafe got tipsy and fist fought a woman for refusing his “elephantine” advances. What is Abkhazia hoping for with this attitude? That Turkey will be forever expensive and crowds will come to their ruined place. No one comes here except Russians.

2. Overpriced.

Speaking of the local market. Prices here, as if descended with the clouds from the mountains – so they are exorbitant. Market vendors here ask for their fruits and vegetables two to three times more than in Russian stores and supermarkets. At home, we ate much cheaper. Here, we had to pay twice as much for the same tomatoes and cucumbers. I already do not speak about milk, kefir and cottage cheese, which during vacation became simply a luxury. Also locals have an entertainment to establish the double price tag. For your product will cost one, and if they recognize you as a tourist, they will name it twice as high. If you are interested, I wrote about prices of products in Abkhazia in Gagra in a previous article

And all goods are imported and not of first freshness. In Abkhazia itself nothing is produced except wine. Sausages and cheeses in stores look like they have been in display for years. The ice cream is tasteless, and once we even got a dud.

Be careful with the local delicacies – churkkhela. Under the guise of fruit pickled in juice we were sold churcheli, inside of which there was not a single nut or even a fruit slices! Moreover, it was stale and impossible to bite.

If you thought you could replenish your closet in Abkhazia, you will have to pay a pretty tidy sum. The sellers at the market are asking 800 – 2,000 rubles for a T-shirt, but what do you want – they say – it’s Turkish quality. I do not know for whom sellers set these prices on the market in Gagra in Abkhazia, but I certainly was not going to buy clothes at such a price.

3. poor service.

And God forbid you to go to the local barbershop. Such bad hands barbers I have not met anywhere. What the price was called a youth haircut – my husband looked like “a hohl at the wedding. Good thing he could wear a baseball cap while his hair was not growing.

4. 4. A tourist’s divorce

Perhaps the cheekiest trick of tourists we met, happened to us exactly at the excursion in Gagra. The program was called horseback riding and in addition to the tour along the winding paths on horseback, our guide offered the tour group to look at the menagerie. When we asked about the entrance fee, the guide smiled broadly and said that everything is included in the price of the tour. Although the program did not specify a visit to the zoo.

Holiday in Gagra

At the exit we were all surprised that we had to pay to get out. The fee for the visit of the additional excursion in the form of a zoo was 500 rubles per person. And we literally were not released until we took the money for the ticket. My sister was asked for a gold chain for lack of money! Then still persuaded to let the child out for free, and took payment only for adults.

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A similar trick is waiting for you at the excursion to Lake Ritsa in Gagra, when the guide will offer, in addition to the standard program, to drive to Stalin’s dacha or to go higher in the mountains to see the marvelous waterfalls. Naturally, you will have to pay a lot of money, and in most cases the amount of money will be more than the price of the tour itself. We read about this on the forum and people said that you can opt out and then part of the group will go without you, and those who do not want to, can stay and wait until they return.

But where to wait friends? The question of who goes to Stalin’s dacha and waterfalls, and who stays, is asked by the guide in the mountains, where there is no designated place to sit or walk. There is not a soul there at all. And if you believe the locals, in these places, independent tourists are mauled by bears and wolves. And even if you don’t believe these rumors, it often happens that tourists in Gagra just forget to pick them up. Everyone has to go obediently with the whole group, because two or three people expressed a great desire to visit Stalin’s dacha. And it is somehow inconvenient for a Russian person to be indignant, or else they will think that you are a miser.

5. The ruins of former glory.

Apart from the fact that all the buildings here have long since been restored and somewhere by a happy coincidence only cosmetic repairs were made, the city is full of houses destroyed during the war. You seem to walk along the road leading to the sea, but you pass through the ashes. The sight of blackened walls and broken glass in the houses, which for some reason nobody demolishes, brings only depression. Therefore, we tried to go to the very end of Gagra and went to the beach near the park. But lovers of post-apocalypse would definitely like it here).

The Park of Prince of Oldenburg itself can hardly be called a local landmark, and a park all the more so. It is in disrepair: ponds it is overgrown with sludge and looks more like a swamp with the smell of frog food. To walk around it too little fun: the sidewalks and paths are broken up and you constantly need to look under your feet so as not to run over. Garbage, as in the city, lies here for years and no one cleans it.

Holiday in Gagra

The path along the coastline near the Prince of Oldenburg Park

6. The sea with jellyfish

Here I do not know whether we were so “lucky”, or it is permanent tropical cyclones feature of Gagra. But with sunny and hot summer days it was quite hard here. Almost every day morning began with heavy rain, then the sun started to warm up by lunch. While we were rushing happily to the beach, again the clouds had time to gather, and after the first entry into the cold sea and swimming, we were caught in a torrential downpour.

Holiday in Gagra

Freezing our ears on the beach in Gagra at the height of the summer season

Abkhazia Gagra holiday

Instead of getting a tan in the sun, we quickly ran home to get warm and dry. A few times we were caught by bad weather on excursions in the mountains, where the temperature was even lower, so I advise against wearing beach slippers in the mountains – you risk catching pneumonia. When my husband returned from an excursion all wet and frozen (as it turned out they were driving in the pouring rain in the open back of the UAZ), he immediately ran to the hostess for chacha. The good thing is that there is local moonshine, which can cure colds. Therefore it is better to take with you on holiday a jacket and sneakers, otherwise the unpredictable weather of Abkhazia in Gagra will add to your troubles with the search of warm clothing.

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Food Prices in Abkhazia - 2022

Jellyfish also interfere with normal enjoyment of the sea. Though they do not sting, but to swim among these jelly umbrellas, the pleasure is not pleasant. In addition, the sea almost the entire period of our holiday – the middle and end of June, was cold.

And once in a strong gust of wind came at us a beach umbrella – an old and huge with a rusty metal rod. Beach vendors rent them out and stick them in the gravel next to tourists, and then the wind carries them on the beach at the risk of maiming someone. If we talk about the infrastructure of public beaches – there is nothing of the kind. No showers and toilets, the beach line is piled with armature. If you want more or less decent beach – go in the direction of the park, opposite cafe Mermaid.

TOP – 4 pluses of Abkhazia Gagra Holiday

It would be unfair to write only about the negative aspects, because still his portion of good impressions we brought here.

1. Healing Air

You will not find such an ambre in any other country, the air in Abkhazia is saturated with the smell of eucalyptus and relict pine trees. I think even our clothes smelled it by the end of the holiday) It immediately hits the nose at the entrance to the city of Gagra and accompanied in every corner of the country. In fact, eucalyptus trees are not quite common, and in comparison with their relatives in neighboring Adler. As the guide explained to us these trees here have a sex, and male eucalyptus are much rarer. Just like people).

In addition to unusual features, these trees can heal serious illnesses, so if you have respiratory problems – allergies, bronchitis, and so on, you himself doctor prescribed to breathe healing Abkhazian air. Relict pine-trees in Pitsunda and New Athos have the same healing properties.

2. Clear sea

It is really turquoise, not dirty-green, not bluish-blue here. The thing is that we went to Abkhazia after Adler and we were surprised that the Black Sea seemed to be the same everywhere, they were separated by several kilometers, but the color and transparency were different. In Abkhazia the color of the sea is striking, it is not even marine, it is something oceanic or something like that. Its turquoise goes into a cold shade and turns out such a beautiful color, like from a picture of a tropical island. The water in the sea is clear and transparent, and the bottom can be seen for several meters.

3. Mountains

Mountains will accompany you everywhere, they are majestic and irresistible, there are so many of them, that wherever you look you can see the tops of Abkhazian mountains covered with thick fog. My husband was especially excited about Abkhazian mountains, he was itching to conquer them quickly, if you are a mountain lover then you will definitely like it here.

4. Nature .

When someone tells you that the mountains in Abkhazia are higher and the nature is more picturesque in comparison with neighboring Adler and Sochi, they will be right. If you close your eyes to the lack of amenities and quality service, you can enjoy local views and natural scenery. I would even say, Abkhazia – is a paradise for an independent traveler, for those who are used to live in tents in the wilderness.

Abkhazia is like a box, where every traveler will find something valuable for himself. There are gorges, waterfalls, hot springs, trekking trails, caves and ruined cities. The gardens grow tropical fruits that at home you are used to seeing only in the windows of expensive supermarkets. If you are willing to abstract away from all of the above minuses, then welcome to the land of the soul, perhaps this place will resonate in your heart and stay there forever.

Conclusion

Perhaps someone my review of rest in Gagra – Abkhazia will seem too negative, but believe me it was. I tried to describe everything thoroughly truthful and you decide where to go to rest next summer. What will be tomorrow God only knows, but we are not going to plan another trip to Apsny.

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