Abkhazia – some tips for tourists
Abkhazia is a very beautiful country, and at the same time – colorful even against the background of other Caucasian lands. Holidays here are more suitable for lovers of wildlife, legends and antiquities, than lovers of well-established service and comfort of cozy hotels.
And the sea in Abkhazia is considered the cleanest on the entire Black Sea coast, and the air with a pine-cypress flavor is very useful. However, if a lot has already been written about the beauties of Abkhazia, they are reluctant to write about those minor difficulties that may await tourists when visiting the former “Soviet Riviera”.
In this article we will try to tell you about the Abkhazian surprises, which are best avoided so that the journey leaves only pleasant memories.
Some surprises will not be surprises for those who have already rested in the Caucasus and are familiar with the Caucasian mentality. This means that one should not be rude, provoke the locals with too frank clothes, and in no case should not degrade national dignity.
Abkhazia has its own peculiarity – the residents of remote mountain villages are not spoiled by tourism and show real, disinterested Caucasian hospitality.
On the coast, you need to be vigilant – and crime, and corruption, and fraud here, as they say, are taking place. But on the whole, the situation in Abkhazia is calm, the locals treat tourists from Russia well.
As you know, the best time for holidays in the Caucasus is the off season, but this rule does not apply to Abkhazia. It is better to come here from mid-June, the swimming season officially opens here, the coast comes to life. There are reasons for this: the transport network, service companies, and excursion bureaus start to work in full. Lake Riza, the monastery of New Athos, mountain waterfalls are most accessible during the season. And from the beginning of September until the end of May, the resort life in Abkhazia noticeably calms down.
Those who decide to come to Abkhazia by car should be careful both when driving on serpentines and in relations with the local traffic police. Your car is subject to mandatory registration in the SAI of Abkhazia. There are very high penalties for violations of traffic rules, even a small excess of speed can cost the driver several thousand rubles. If you are stopped by traffic police, ask for a video of the violation, ask if the staff has an outfit on duty. Employees sometimes “are on duty” unofficially, after hours, it is clear for what purpose.
The general rule for holidaymakers in the south is to constantly wash hands, vegetables, fruits in Abkhazia is of particular relevance – sanitary standards are not carefully observed even at catering establishments. Wine and other beverages should be bought only bottled and in the factory closure. Wine for bottling, including the famous Abkhazian “Isabella” – most often pure “chemistry”, a surrogate from powders.
As for food, do not neglect the traditional dishes of Abkhazian cuisine: khashlama, khachapuri, dried buffalo meat, smoked cheese and spicy beans (so called lobio). It is very tasty, nutritious and not at all expensive.
In general, possible unpleasant surprises should not distract from the beauty and sights of ancient Abkhazia, this country is in any case worth spending your vacation time on it.