Welcome to Abkhazia
The greatest tragedy to befall Georgia since its independence has been the bloodshed and misery that the breakaway of Abkhazia (Apsny or Apswa in Abkhazian, Apkhazeti in Georgian) has brought about. Once the jewel of the ‘Soviet Riviera’ along the Black Sea coast, today this de facto independent republic is still getting over the devastation of the 1992–93 war, with less than half its prewar population of 535,000. Russian tourism, investment and aid have boomed since the 2008 South Ossetia War and provided a lifeline for the Abkhazian economy. Parts of Abkhazia’s towns still have a strangely underpopulated feel, but the coast and countryside are beautiful, and just being inside this curious territory with a throwback Soviet atmosphere is a fascinating experience.