Lake MSY in Abkhazia
Mountain lake Mzy (Msym) – one of the great natural attractions of Abkhazia, located deep in the mountains, but available to visit not only the travelers with great experience of trekking and equipment, but also ordinary tourists as a day hike. Of course, interesting not only the lake but the route to it, and its surroundings. It is believed to be one of the most picturesque lakes of Abkhazia, and indeed around the lake offers stunning views of the mountains (it is as if in the pit, surrounded by mountains), the route passes through the forest and green Alpine meadows.
The lake is located at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. Its size is small, only 100 to 45 meters, but the depth of as much as 40 meters (according to other sources 16 meters). It is formed from the waters of the melting glaciers, so the size and temperature depends on the time of year, but usually the water here is rarely above 4 degrees Celsius, so swimming in it is capable of only the most desperate tourists. Also depending on the time of year around the lake continue snow clearing, you can see them even in June. Even in summer it is cool here, so you should bring warm clothes and raincoats.
🕐 Time of work: round the clock
💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: lake is located on the territory of the Ritsa national Park, access to which surcharge (environmental fee): adults – 350 rubles, children 8-12 years – 150 rubles, children under 8 years stay free of charge. Payment is made at the entrance to the Park at the checkpoint. Day trip to lake of Gagra costs 2,000 rubles.
🚶 How to get there: the lake is one of the most accessible mountain lakes situated at an altitude of 2000 meters in 80 kilometers from Gagra (lake Si on the map), and very close to the border with Russia. Road and trail access is via the Ritsa national Park. You can get here by private transport or tour (from 2000 rubles from Gagra), but this route is not very popular, so this group tour will have to search, or use the suggestions of local private tour guides, who with pleasure will take you and accompany you to the lake.
Go directly to the lake will not work, but on foot it will have to walk only about 7 kilometers (usually not more than 2 hours one way) on a simple route that does not require special training. For this purpose, the car should drive in the direction of the lake Ritsa, and continue on to the village of Aadhar. The road after the lake Ritsa is getting worse, but you can drive on any machine. One should go all the way, to the broken river bridge, then a simple car to drive and transport will have to leave. In an SUV you can cross the river Ford, but still does not go far. Here you can meet locals who will offer to rent horses for trips to the lake (1000 rubles), and to assure that too far to walk, but that's not entirely true, the walk is not difficult, the road is well trodden by tourists.