Mountains of Abkhazia | The lakes of the mountain pass Chkhy
Film director: Tengiz Tarba
Musiс by: Ludovico Einaudi
With the support of: Holy Metropolis of Abkhazia & Abkhaz Social Development Fund
Abkhazia's Mountains and Caves
Nearly all of Abkhazia's territory is occupied by tall mountain ranges. Greater Caucasus mountain range on Abkhazia's northwestern border, near the source of Auadhara River, rises 2500 meters above sea level, while on Abkhazia's eastern border, the altitude of the mountain ranges reaches 3500-4000 meters. The highest point in Abkhazia is Mount Dombai-Ulgen, reaching 4048 meters above sea level. In order of receding height, other impressive mountains in Abkhazia are Gvandra (3984 m), Ertsog (3909 m), Psysh (3790 m), Ptysh (3465 m), Agepsta (3256 m), and Khimsa (3032 m).
There are 14 mountain passes in the Greater Caucasus range that lie within Abkhazia's borders, at altitudes ranging from 2300 to 3000 m above sea level. Most of these passes are difficult to access, and are closed for travel most of the year. In centuries past, travel routes through Klukhori Pass, situated on the Sukhumi Military Road, and Marukh Pass were actively used as a link to countries on the other side of Greater Caucasus.
Two vast limestone massifs on Abkhazian territory are especially significant: Gagra mountain range (highest elevation: Arabika, 2656 m) and Bzyb mountain range (highest elevation: Napra, 2684 m). The limestone bulk of these ranges is home to Earth's deepest known caves: Krubera (Voronya, or Crow's) Cave, with explored depth of 2080 m, Sarma Cave (1543 m), V. Pantyukhin's Cave in the Gagra mountain range (1480 m), Snezhnaya (Snowy) Cave in the Bzyb mountain range (1370 m), and New Athos (Novoafonskaya) Cave, with a colossal volume of 1.5 million cubic meters.