The Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia is a region on the Black Sea between Georgia and Russia. Abkhazia is a not fully recognized state, south of the Caucasus, with around 250,000 inhabitants.

The disputed region is politically part of Georgia, but uses the Russian ruble as the national currency.

The largest cities in Abkhazia include Sukhumi, Gagra, Gali, Gudauta, Tkvarcheli, Bitschwinta, Pitsunda and Ochamchire. The country's two official languages are Russian and Abkhaz.

The national territory is mostly very mountainous with an altitude of over 4,000 meters and has a small coastal strip. This strip has a subtropical climate and is therefore used entirely for agriculture.

The most important agricultural products include wine, tea, fruit and tobacco. In addition to agriculture, tourism is the country's most important economic sector and attracts around 400,000 visitors every year.

The main tourist attractions of Abkhazia are the Gagra coast, Lake Riza, the Gegsky waterfalls, as well as the Anakopia temple and the Abaata fortress in Gagra.

Abkhazia has the Voronya Cave, the deepest known cave in the world at 2,190 meters.

The capital of Abkhazia is Sukhumi, or Sukhumi, with around 70,000 inhabitants. The city is located directly on the Black Sea in the middle of the country and is also the political and cultural center. Sukhumi, with its famous sulfur baths, is an important health resort and an attraction for national and international tourists.

The most significant sights of the capital include the Government Building, the Annunciation Cathedral, the Sukhumi City Hall, the Dioscuria Fortress, the Botanical Garden, the railway station, the waterfront, the Bagrata Castle, the Pitsundsky Temple, the Great Abkhaz Wall, the lighthouse, the Besleti Bridge, the Peace Prospect - the city's most important shopping street, the Samson Chanba Theater, the Rashden Gumba Philharmonic and the Akhali Atoni Grotto.

In June 2017 I traveled to Abkhazia for the only time so far. During my week-long stay in Sochi, Russia, I took the opportunity to take a day trip to the neighboring autonomous region. The territory of Abkhazia borders directly on the Sochi-Adler district and crossing the border is completely problem-free. The visa can be obtained directly at the border and only costs 10 euros.

The hilly landscape of Abkhazia is simply fantastic and driving there is great fun. After visiting Gagra, with its impressive coastal landscape, I went up to Lake Riza. Located in the middle of high mountains, this lake is a main attraction in the country and is definitely worth seeing. Just the drive there along the river, past several waterfalls and between the impressive mountains is simply fantastic. At times I felt like I was in the Austrian Alps.

In the early afternoon I visited the town of Pitsunda for a beach stay on the Black Sea that lasted several hours. I ended the great day in the evening in a typical Russian restaurant, right on the beach promenade in Pitsunda. Dinner in the restaurant in this fantastic setting and the whole country in general, was very good value for money.

I can only recommend beautiful Abkhazia for a short vacation, I will definitely come back one day.