20 best sights of New Athos


New Athos is a cozy resort town in Abk­hazia, locat­ed on the Black Sea coast. This is an amaz­ing place, famous for its won­drous nature, archi­tec­tur­al mon­u­ments, clean beach­es.

novi afon

Who and why comes to New Athos

New Athos, found­ed in the 3rd cen­tu­ry, attracts tourists with its tur­bu­lent past, full of inter­est­ing events. Frag­ments of defen­sive walls, mil­i­tary fortress­es, ancient monas­ter­ies and tem­ples have been pre­served in the city immersed in green­ery. Peo­ple go to see the pic­turesque his­tor­i­cal cen­ter, take a walk along the embank­ment, breathe in the air soaked in pine nee­dles and sea salt.

Cul­tures of dif­fer­ent coun­tries and peo­ples are har­mo­nious­ly inter­twined in New Athos. To get acquaint­ed with the his­to­ry, tourists explore the main muse­um. It con­tains exhibits cov­er­ing events from the time of Byzan­tium, Turk­ish rule and join­ing the Russ­ian Empire.

New Athos is pop­u­lar among gourmets. There are many restau­rants and cafes spe­cial­iz­ing in nation­al cui­sine. Guests go to taste the real Abk­haz­ian adji­ka, lamb kebab, yeast pie with cheese, stuffed egg­plants with nuts, hominy, bean soup with pep­per.

New Athos does not allow any­one to be bored. Lovers of leisure­ly relax­ation spend their days sur­round­ed by mag­no­lias, euca­lyp­tus trees, moun­tain forests, water­falls, enjoy­ing the scenery and silence. Active peo­ple go hik­ing in the sur­round­ings, explor­ing the moun­tain slopes, rid­ing hors­es, kayak­ing, and fish­ing.

Chil­dren’s enter­tain­ment is well orga­nized here. The hotels and board­ing hous­es have swim­ming pools with inflat­able slides, play­grounds, game rooms. The embank­ment, city park, conif­er­ous groves are suit­able for out­door walks. An unfor­get­table expe­ri­ence is guar­an­teed by a sight­see­ing tour of his­tor­i­cal sites and an inspec­tion of the New Athos water­fall.

Interesting places and architecture

Anakopia fortress

anakopiska krepost

An ancient Abk­haz­ian fortress stands on the Anakopia moun­tain. The build­ing, found­ed in the 7th cen­tu­ry by the Byzan­tines, was intend­ed to pro­tect the city from the Arabs. A pow­er­ful for­ti­fi­ca­tion con­sist­ed of a fortress wall and tow­ers. The only way to get into the yard was by a lad­der.

Today Anakopia fortress lies in ruins. Dur­ing the recon­struc­tion, it was pos­si­ble to restore the watch­tow­er, frag­ments of the sur­round­ing walls, and some out­build­ings. On the tour, peo­ple study a mag­nif­i­cent exam­ple of ancient archi­tec­ture, go up to the obser­va­tion deck, and try water from an inex­haustible well.

Psyrtskhinskaya tower

pscirhinska basnia

With­in the bound­aries of New Athos, mil­i­tary for­ti­fi­ca­tions of the 11th-12th cen­turies have been pre­served, pro­tect­ing the area from the sea. In the 19th cen­tu­ry, new premis­es were added to them and began to be used as a hotel. Lat­er, the health com­plex “Abk­hazia” was opened in the orig­i­nal house.

The Psyrt­skhin­skaya tow­er still remains a part of mod­ern build­ings, stand­ing out against their back­ground with a sim­ple trape­zoidal shape, rough mason­ry, and nar­row loop­hole win­dows. Of the inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion, the ancient stone floor has been pre­served.

New Athos Monastery

novoafonski monastir

At the foot of Mount Athos ris­es an Ortho­dox monastery, found­ed in 1875. The monastery includes six tem­ples, monks’ hous­es, a refec­to­ry, and out­build­ings. The cen­tral cathe­dral, built in neo-Byzan­tine style, is crowned with five domes. The inte­ri­or walls are paint­ed with pic­tures of Bib­li­cal scenes.

Short­ly before his death, the Russ­ian Emper­or Alexan­der III vis­it­ed the monastery. His vis­it is remind­ed by the chimes on the bell tow­er, donat­ed by the king, the alley with cypress­es, laid from the port to the monastery, and the chapel built at the meet­ing place of the monarch with the abbot.

Temple of Simon the Zealot

hram simona cananita

The tem­ple, built dur­ing the time of the Abk­haz­ian king­dom, is a unique mon­u­ment of ancient archi­tec­tur­al archi­tec­ture. The dis­creet three-apse white lime­stone church has a high cen­tral dome crowned with a cross. Inside, Greek ear­ly Chris­t­ian inscrip­tions carved on the walls have been pre­served.

The cur­rent tem­ple is a place of pil­grim­age for believ­ers. From all over the coun­try, peo­ple come here to par­tic­i­pate in divine ser­vices, ask for hap­pi­ness for the fam­i­ly and the inter­ces­sion of the saint.

Chapel of the Iberian Mother of God


In 1913, on Mount Athos, the monks erect­ed a chapel ded­i­cat­ed to the Iber­ian Moth­er of God. A small build­ing was used to store the mirac­u­lous icon brought from the St. Pan­telei­mon Monastery. The monks believed that the Iber­ian Moth­er of God, depict­ed on it, pro­tects the moun­tain from con­querors.

The walls of the build­ing are paint­ed with Chris­t­ian sym­bols: sham­rocks, cross­es, fish. Near the chapel there is a holy spring, from which believ­ers draw heal­ing water.

Grotto of Simon the Zealot

Grot Simona

In the Psyrtsha gorge there is a grot­to, in which, accord­ing to leg­end, there was a cell of the Apos­tle Simon the Zealot. The monks from Mount Athos con­se­crat­ed it and con­vert­ed it into a chapel.

The road to the cell goes along the bed of the riv­er Psyrt­skha. Along the way, a huge boul­der with the imprint of a human foot ris­es — believ­ers believe that it was left by Simon the Zealot him­self. Climb­ing up the steep rock into the grot­to, you can see ancient icons and a cross carved on the wall.


Museum of the Abkhaz Kingdom

musei abhaskogo carstva

A muse­um has been opened in New Athos that stores the trea­sures of the Abk­haz­ian king­dom and tells about the cul­ture and life of the peo­ple inhab­it­ing this region.

Archae­o­log­i­cal finds, objects of arts and crafts, jew­el­ry, ancient kitchen uten­sils, medieval weapons, musi­cal instru­ments, nation­al clothes are exhib­it­ed in spa­cious halls. Doc­u­ments, maps and pho­tographs are kept in a sep­a­rate room, show­ing how the appear­ance of New Athos has changed from the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry to the present day.

Stalin’s dacha

dacha stalina

In 1947, not far from the New Athos Monastery, a dacha was built for I.V. Stal­in. The two-storey mod­est house is dec­o­rat­ed with valu­able species of trees, the walls are braid­ed with wild grapes. The cot­tage is sur­round­ed by a lush park of cypress­es, olive trees, euca­lyp­tus trees. Alleys are con­tin­ued in the green zone, bench­es for rest are installed, flower beds with ros­es are laid out.

Stal­in’s house is used for offi­cial meet­ings by the gov­ern­ment of Abk­hazia. The rest of the time it hosts orga­nized tours for tourists.

Memorial of military glory

memorial boevoi slavi

On Heroes Square in 2002, a memo­r­i­al muse­um was opened in mem­o­ry of those killed in the Geor­gian-Abk­haz war. The struc­ture is a snow-white bel­fry in the form of an arch, to which wide steps lead. Inside the muse­um there is an expo­si­tion telling about the events of past years.

Front-line pho­tographs and por­traits of heroes are hung on the walls. Doc­u­ments, maps and books are stored in glass nich­es. An alley of Mem­o­ry was plant­ed next to the memo­r­i­al com­plex. Every year on Sep­tem­ber 30, peo­ple gath­er here to hon­or the mem­o­ry of the fall­en.

Ethnographical museum

ethno museum

There is a small ethno­graph­ic muse­um in New Athos. Sev­er­al halls con­tain things illus­trat­ing the life and cul­ture of the Abk­hazians. Tourists are shown mod­els of vil­lage hous­es made of twigs and straw, ancient tools, dish­es, hand­made car­pets, musi­cal instru­ments. A sep­a­rate col­lec­tion presents nation­al clothes and shoes.

natural attractions

New Athos cave

novoafonska peshera

On the slope of the Iver­skaya moun­tain there is a huge karst cave, dis­cov­ered by acci­dent in 1961. For about 10 years, spele­ol­o­gists have explored this cas­cade of wells and tun­nels. The sites stud­ied were opened to the pub­lic in 1975. Today, tours are held in nine halls.

Tourists vis­it under­ground lakes filled with emer­ald and blue water, Coral Grot­to, Stone Flow­ers Gallery, sta­lac­tite palaces. Trav­el­ing through the depths of the New Athos cave is car­ried out on an elec­tric train that can accom­mo­date up to 90 peo­ple. At the sta­tions, peo­ple go out and admire the nat­ur­al sights.



To drain the swamps, in 1882 a dam with a water­fall was erect­ed on the Psyrtsha Riv­er. The height of the water fall is 8.6 meters, the length is 21 meters. A hydro­elec­tric pow­er sta­tion was built near­by, which has been reg­u­lar­ly per­form­ing its func­tions for many years. Dur­ing the con­struc­tion of the hydro­elec­tric pow­er sta­tion, a pic­turesque lake was formed near­by — it is easy to climb the stone stairs to it.

Now the sta­tion does not work and is a his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ment of Abk­hazia. An arti­fi­cial water­fall, con­sid­ered one of the largest in the world, is locat­ed near the tem­ple of Simon the Zealot.

Three boilers

tri kotla

In the vicin­i­ty of New Athos, three karst baths formed at the bot­tom of the gorge. The recess­es are filled with water from Psyrtsha, which pen­e­trates there along the stone ledges. Pure clear water remains cold even in extreme heat.

While swim­ming in karst fun­nels, you should be care­ful, as the depth of pecu­liar lakes reach­es 2 meters. High cliffs and veg­e­ta­tion reli­ably pro­tect this place from noise, so peo­ple often come here for med­i­ta­tion.

Psyrtskhinskiy Reserve


There is a large nature reserve along the Psyrt­skha Riv­er. On its ter­ri­to­ry there is a lush conif­er­ous for­est, beau­ti­ful moun­tains, water­falls, sources with spring water.

Tourists and locals come here to admire the won­der­ful scenery, relax from the city noise. With­in the bound­aries of the reserve is the same grot­to of Simon Kananit. It is easy to get to it along the path laid from the Psyrtsha rail­way plat­form.

Psyrtsha River

reka pscirha

Along New Athos, the Psyrtsha Riv­er flows, orig­i­nat­ing high in the moun­tains. A stormy cur­rent leads it through gorges and slopes straight into the Black Sea.

The Psyrt­skhi water is con­sid­ered sacred, since the holy apos­tle once lived not far from here. There are sev­er­al water­falls near the city, wood­en and cable bridges are laid across the riv­er for tourists. Rest­ing here, you can have a great time and take great pho­tos.

Grotto of Agtsa

grotto agca

In the vil­lage of Anukh­va, not far from the city, there is the Agt­sa Grot­to, hid­den among the rocks. It was dis­cov­ered in 1940 by a team of cavers. The entrance to the grot­to is locat­ed at a height of 30 meters, inside there is a long cor­ri­dor. The ceil­ing height reach­es 2.5 meters.

Ancient rock carv­ings depict­ing human palms, cross­es, and tools have been pre­served on the walls. The mys­te­ri­ous tun­nel has not yet been ful­ly explored. Sci­en­tists sug­gest that in ancient times it was used for reli­gious rites.

Hydrogen sulfide source

serovodorodni source

Peo­ple come to New Athos not only to relax, but also to be treat­ed. In the vil­lage of Pri­morskoye, not far from the city, there is a health com­plex with hydro­gen sul­fide springs, heal­ing mud, min­er­al water pools.

Hydro­gen sul­fide baths have a gen­er­al strength­en­ing effect, improve the func­tion­ing of the heart, diges­tive tract, ner­vous sys­tem, cleanse the skin. On the ter­ri­to­ry of the hos­pi­tal there are chang­ing rooms, a mas­sage room, a cafe­te­ria.


seaside park

primorski park

In the 19th cen­tu­ry, monks found­ed a beau­ti­ful park in the cen­ter of New Athos. First of all, they man­u­al­ly dug sev­en ponds, lined them with tiles, filled them with run­ning riv­er water, and began to grow fish. After that, trees were plant­ed around, flower beds were laid out, paths were laid, and carved bench­es were installed.

Today, the park is the cen­ter­piece of the city. Spread­ing trees give cool­ness and shade. Ducks, swans and geese live on the ponds, which are not afraid of peo­ple and will­ing­ly make con­tact. Next to the park stands the chapel of Emper­or Alexan­der.



A six-kilo­me­ter embank­ment stretch­es along the sea, dis­tin­guished by grace and beau­ty. At any time it is fun, crowd­ed and noisy. The broad road is lined with palm trees, stunt­ed shrubs grow between them, flowerbeds and lawns are laid out.

Sou­venir shops, shops and cafes are open in the pedes­tri­an zone. There are rides for chil­dren. There are points where you can rent an elec­tric car, bicy­cle, roller skates. In the evenings, the embank­ment is illu­mi­nat­ed by dec­o­ra­tive lanterns. Vaca­tion­ers watch per­for­mances of street musi­cians, admire the night sea, have fun in clubs and bars.

City Beach

gor pliag

Almost the entire coastal zone of New Athos is suit­able for swim­ming, but not every­where the ter­ri­to­ry is well equipped. Good con­di­tions for a com­fort­able stay are cre­at­ed near board­ing hous­es and hotels. The seashore is cov­ered with small peb­bles mixed with sand and sur­round­ed by conif­er­ous trees.

Clean cool water, hot sun, shady awnings, deck chairs make the rest enjoy­able for adults and chil­dren. On such beach­es there are sunbeds, umbrel­las, chang­ing rooms, show­ers, small cafes. Those who wish are offered to ride water rides, book a yacht trip, and go scu­ba div­ing.


Добавить комментарий