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Lake Ritsa, Gagra

#1 of 59 in Nature in Georgia
Water Body · Nature / Park
Nestled in the Caucasus in the disputed territory of Abkhazia, Lake Ritsa offers a tranquil space to explore. The lake, which is fed by six rivers, has a mysterious air about it that has inspired local legends. One such tale tells that the lake was once a river valley that was caused to fill with water by a sword thrown in an attempt to rescue Ritsa, a girl of the valley. Head out onto the lake and take in the views of the forest, which covers the mountains to the water's edge. Swim in the deep blue lake or fish for trout, which are abundant within the lake and river systems. For travelers who use our international travel planner, Gagra holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Lake Ritsa and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Lake Ritsa reviews

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1,165 reviews
  • This is one of the most beautiful spots in Abkhazia. We visited in beautiful weather and it was really a sight for sore eyes. Its easy to get there on one of the many mini busses that you can...  more »
  • We drove to the lakd skiping the zipline and rafting areas and the smell of some floewrs were amazing things felt magical with every step of the way, we did not enter Stalin's Dacha because...  more »
  • In ancient times there was a valley and a river at the site of the modern lake. A girl named Ritsa lived there with three brothers Agepsta, Atsetuka and Pshegishkha. Ritsa used to pasture her animals in the valley and her brothers hunted in the high mountains by day and returned to the valley in the evening, where they ate, sang songs, and admired their sister. Once the brothers went too far into the mountains. Ritsa missed them and sang. The forest robbers Gega and Iupshara heard her and decided to kidnap her. Iupshara caught her and rode down the valley, while Gega covered his flank. Ritsa's brothers heard her crying and came to the rescue. Pshegishkha threw a sword at the robbers, but he missed and the sword flew over the river. The valley was filled with water and turned into a lake. Ritsa broke from Iupshara's grip, but fell into the lake. The brothers couldn't save her. Then Pshegishkha threw the robber Iupshara into the lake, but Ritsa's water wouldn't accept him and threw out him over Pshegishkha's sword and the water carried him away to the sea. Gega ran after Iupshara, but he didn't manage to rescue him. Out of grief, the brothers turned into mountains, and today they are still standing here to protect the resting-place of Ritsa.
  • Unfortunately this place is danger, because this part of Georgia is occupied by Russia. Definitely I will visit it when russian soldiers leave it.

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