Russia’s Paradise Lost – Gagra


This once beautiful “Russian Riviera” is located between lush forested mountains and the Black Sea, the wonderful views from this mostly abandoned city are incredibly gorgeous, it’s hard to imagine why this happened in one of Russia’s few cities that is located in a sub-tropical climate.

Gagra was once a very popular destination point among the Russian elite, because of this it became a health resort for Imperial Russia during the days of the Soviet Union. Today it is still one of the warmest city on the Black Sea coast; with its wonderfully beautiful beaches that stretch on for miles.

In 1989 Gagra had a population of approximately 27,000 people, but all-out war erupted between 1992 and 1993. This war affected hundreds if not thousands of Georgians living here, this conflict caused them to be expelled from their homes. It was the “ethnic-cleansing and mass expulsion of ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia,”that turned Gagra into what is now mostly a ghost town.abkhazie

In the first years of the 20th century, Duke Peter of Oldenburg, a Russian aristocrat, built a palace (above) and a hotel in Gagra, and put Gagra on the map as a holiday destination for the wealthy. He saw the potential of the region’s subtropical climate and from this vision decided he would build a high-class resort in the city of Gagra. He was able to raise from the Russian government a large sum of money. He built himself a palace in the hills of the city, then continued to construct a number of other buildings in a variety of eclectic styles drawn from around Europe. A park was laid out with tropical trees and even parrots and monkeys imported to give it an exotic feel. Despite the expensive work, the resort was not initially a success, although it did later attract a growing number of foreign tourists visiting on cruises of the Black Sea.


Today Gagra is recovering from it’s past and has become a resort town with well developed infrastructure of leisure and entertainment. It has thrown off the shackles and is quickly again becoming a destination point for Europe and other area of the world.


Here is what waits for you there today:

  • flights on paraplanes and hang-gliders;
  • diving;
  • rafting;
  • water attractions;
  • excursions;
  • horse and sea walks;
  • aquapark and many other things.

Abkhazia is also  full of interesting objects and destinations. Among them are:

  • picturesque lakes and mysterious caves;
  • majestic mountains;
  • medieval temples, etc.

Here in this video is a young lady talking about her country, it’s always nice to hear  from the locals. By her words, Abkhazia is a country of souls and encourages visitors to come see it’s beauty.

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