A church in Abkhazia, Caucasus

Abkhazia, a small country in the South Caucasus region is a De fascto state that proclaimed its independance from Georgia in 1993. It’s located on the coast of the Black Sea, bordered by palm trees and the high Caucasus mountains at its background.

The former Soviet Riviera was the hot spot where leaders of the USSR used to spend their vacations.

Nowadays, emptied of half of its inhabitants, this hidden gem in the Caucasus is populated by Abkhazians haunted by the fear of losing their own identity.

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Quick overview
  • Population : about 240 000 
  • Minorities : Abkhazians, Russians, Armenians, Georgians, Circassians & a few Afro-Abkhazians
  • Capital : Sukhum
  • Religions : Christian Orthodoxy & Sunni Islam
  • Protected areas : Ritsa National Park, Bichvinta-Miusera Nature Reserve, Pskhu-Gumista Nature Reserve
  • Must try food : mamalyga, adjika sauce, abkhazura
  • Best time to visit : summer
  • Border crossings : the Psu border with Russia & the Ingur border with Georgia

Is it safe to travel to Abkhazia in 2024

Most governments will say no. There are almost no foreign representations in Abkhazia nor diplomatic relationships except for countries that recognise its independance such as Russia, Syria, Venezuela and a few others.
As a solo female western tourist I’d say yes, I’ve always felt safe in Abkhazia.

Is it possible to enter Abkhazia from Georgia?

Yes. The Ingur border crossing is open between Georgia and Abkhazia. You will only need to have a letter of invitation from the Abkhazian foreign ministry to enter Abkhazia.

Does Abkhazia stamp your passport?

Abkhazia issues visas on a loose piece of paper which will not be attached to your passport.

How do I get a visa for Abkhazia?

You must apply via an application form on the Abkhazian foreign ministry’s website. They will deliver you a confirmation letter within a couple a week. This letter must be printed and shown at the border when entering the country. Once you are in, you must visit the Consular Service within 3 working days to receive your visa if entrered from Georgia or get it right after the border crossing if entered from Russia.