THE ARCHETYPICAL SOVIET HOLIDAY
Sukhumi – Gagra – Novy Afon – Gaudata – Ritsa – Tkvarcheli
This tour is offered on a regular monthly basis. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the learn-more button below: we will match your preferences with the next relevant scheduled group departure. If you are still unsure about your desired departure date, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will provide you a range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours!
Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with more than 4 friends, you can set your own departure date: we will arrange a bespoke tour just for you for the same price per person advertised below. If you are travelling solo or with less than four companions, we will then organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.
How to reach Abkhazia? Abkhazia can be either entered from Georgia or from Russia; the latter is considered illegal according to the Georgian Law on Occupied Territories. We do not encourage any breach of the law and therefore we strongly advise to use the legal route from Georgia. We also offer you a cheaper independent route, which envisages to travel to the Abkhazian-Georgian internal border at your own leisure: get in touch for more info on this option.
Bespoke tours to Abkhazia: the following itinerary refers to our most popular route in Abkhazia. In case you are interested in a particularly remote area, secretive ethnicity, unusual activity and/or off-the-beaten-path attraction within Abkhazia or if you are just looking for an hit-and-run visit to Sukhumi and its surroundings, we will easily meet your needs with a unique tour individually designed according to your preferences. Get in touch for more info on our private tours to Abkhazia!
The following itinerary involves a visit to one or more separatist provinces and/or contested territories. Our tours are aimed to an educated clientele animated by a genuine cultural and historical interest for the little-known regions we offer within our portfolio of post-Soviet destinations. By no means we endorse and support political parties, ideological movements, armed factions and interest groups involved in the military and diplomatic conflicts afflicting the regions we travel to. Specifically we do not support territorial separatism and we strongly reject any form of violence. De facto independent but the de jure unrecognised states shall be fully considered as constituent entities of the country they seceded from. We firmly believe in true dialogue and unbiased fact-checking as the only viable path for a durable peace and stability in the region. In this regard our tours shall be seen as an instrument of knowledge and awareness for the erudite clientele we cater for. Political activists, propagandists and biased publicists of any sort are not welcome to join our tours.
DAY 1 - Georgia: Kutaisi
Our Georgian guide will meet you either in the arrival hall of Kutaisi International Airport and transfer you to our hotel of choice in downtown Kutaisi.
Once in Kutaisi, needles to say, we’ll focus our visit on both the Soviet architectural-monumental heritage and the traditional facets of the city, such as the extremely photogenic central bazaar.
We’ll then move on to the former Soviet resort town of Tskaltubo for the night.
Dinner and overnight in Tskaltubo.
Day 2 - Georgia-Abkhazia: Tskaltubo, Tkvarcheli and Sukhumi
In the morning we’ll visit Tskaltubo’s architecturally grandiose Soviet Sanatoriums and meet the new dwellers inhabiting them: the internally displaced refugees (IDPs) who escaped the secessionist territory of Abkhazia during the dark days of blood and war that followed the tragic disintegration of the Soviet Union.
After such a touching prelude, we’ll head to Zugdidi, the last Georgian town before the contested border with the Republic of Abkhazia.
Border crossing: after a quick lunch in Zugdidi we'll cross the border into Abkhazia. Unrecognised states are much safer and friendlier than you might think and we will take care of all the border formalities; however, this is a very sensitive area and you shall strictly follow the (rather simple) instructions your guide will brief you about.
After entering Abkhazia we'll drive to Tkvarcheli and Akarmara, captivating and eerie half-abandoned coal-mining Soviet towns surrounded by the green mountains of Easten Abkhazia.
We'll then continue our journey to Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, where we’ll eventually arrive in the early evening hours.
Dinner and overnight in Sukhumi.
DAY 3 - Abkhazia: Sukhumi
Full morning devoted to central Sukhumi: Stalinist palaces, Soviet-era promenades, war-torn buildings, botanical gardens, Soviet sanatoria, rickety piers and subtropical flavours.
After lunch we'll drive to the city hills to visit the Space Monkeys Sanctuary, a very peculiar place that still harbours space-race-era apes and their descendants.
In the afternoon we’ll then hit the city beach for some quality time to be spent either trying to spot the surprisingly common Black Sea dolphins or just swimming and sunbathing like a lazy post-Soviet seal.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Sukhumi.
DAY 4 - Abkhazia: Ritsa and Gagra
We'll start early in the morning and head up north to the fresh air and the magical atmosphere of the Abkhaz Mountains.
We'll travel along the scenic road running parallel to the Bzipi river and before lunch we'll reach Ritsa, a deep-blue mountain lake surrounded by thick forests and subalpine meadows.
For the athletic ones: challenging trek around the lake.
For the lazier ones: easy hike in the woods.
For the laziest: chill-out time with the locals (aka beer and shashliks on the lakeshore).
We will also have the opportunity to visit Stalin's favourite lakeside dacha and feel like a true Soviet apparatchik on holiday.
In the afternoon we’ll descend back to the coast and head to the Soviet resort town of Gagra for the night.
Dinner and overnight with a Gagra.
DAY 5 - Abkhazia: Soviet Riviera
Full day devoted to Abkhazia’s Black Sea coast: the once renowned Soviet Riviera.
Main stops will be: Gagra, Gaudata, Pitsunda, Novy Afon and Likhni.
Highlights of the day will include: brutalist, modernist and Soviet resorts, Stalinist architectures, Soviet mosaics, Soviet bus stops, pristine pebble beaches, delicious seafood, melancholic marinas and some truly fancy dachas.
In the late afternoon we’ll return to Sukhumi for a last night out with the locals.
Dinner and overnight in Sukhumi.
DAY 6 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last Abkhaz-style breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.
For those flying out: we will arrange transfer to either Kutaisi International Airport or Batumi International Airport for your flight back home.
For those wishing to take the train/bus to reach further destinations: we will arrange transport to the local train/bus station.
End of the tour.
3 to 8 participants: 1190 € per person
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 18 euro/night), private transport in the region, entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights and any other flight not explicitly included in the tour price and itinerary, meals, drinks and tips, transport to and from the airport of arrival/departure (35 euros/ride), visas if required, entrance fees to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.
The route of this tour has been carefully designed after several research trips in the region. It is, however, always possible to slightly modify the itinerary according to the needs and the suggestions of the participants. Our motto is flexibility.
Disclaimer: the designations employed and the presentation of the material on this website do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of our company concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The territory of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia is internationally recognised as integral part of Georgia. Regardless of your/our position on the issue and for all travel-related intents and purposes, however, the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia is no longer under the control of Georgian authorities.
WHERE THE HECK AM I TRAVELLING TO?
BELOW YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENT TOUR STAGES MARKED ON A MAP OF THE REGION YOU ARE GOING TO EXPLORE WITH US
POSSIBLE TOUR COMBINATIONS FOR THIS ITINERARY INCLUDE
ჩვენ პატივს ვცემთ და მხარს ვუჭერთ საქართველოს ტერიტორიულ მთლიანობას.
ჩვენ მხოლოდ ვიმოქმედებთ: საქართველოს კანონი ოკუპირებული ტერიტორიების შესახებ.