Novy Afon Monastery


The multi-gold-domed Novy Afon Monastery, founded by Russian monks in the 1870s, stands out on the hillside, about a 15-minute walk up from the main road. Its cathedral, often thronged with worshippers, has wonderfully colourful murals in varying states of decay. Modesty cloaks are available at the entrance for anyone with bare knees or shoulders.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Georgia attractions

1. Stalin's Dacha

0.28 MILES

Sitting proudly overlooking the sea and within earshot of the bells of Novy Afon Cathedral, this dacha (country cottage) regularly hosted Joseph Stalin…

2. Church of Simon the Zealot


The 10th-century stone Church of Simon the Zealot stands on the spot where the eponymous apostle was reputedly killed by Roman soldiers.

3. Simon the Zealot's Cave

0.52 MILES

From Psyrtskha train station you can walk 20 minutes up a pretty river valley to Simon the Zealot’s Cave, where the saint reputedly lived.

4. Novy Afon Caves

0.59 MILES

This enormously popular and deep series of karst caves is traversed on a small train line that takes visitors on a 1.4km, 1¼-hour underground journey…

5. Anacopia


From Novy Afon Caves it’s 2.5km uphill to Anacopia, capital of Abkhazia in the 8th century AD. Taxis can take you halfway up for R100. Inside the hilltop…

6. Novy Afon Train Station


This now-abandoned but elaborately decorated neoclassical train station on the main coastal road through town has some absolutely wonderful Stalinist bas…

7. Council of Ministers Building

11.56 MILES

The former Council of Ministers was gutted during fighting when the Abkhaz took the city in September 1993. Its fire-scorched shell has been an open wound…

8. Botanical Gardens

11.72 MILES

With 50,000 sq metres of plants from around the world, the well-maintained botanical gardens, founded in 1840, are well worth a wander.