Ochamchira is one of the oldest cities in Abkhazia. It is situated on the Black Sea coast, at the estuary of the Galidzga river. In 5th century B.C. the small antique settlement Guenos appeared there. You can see it’s remains in the district of Old Ochamchira. In 13-14 centuries Guenos merchants established the trading outpost Ala-Gunda there. In the following centuries, during the period of Turkish rule, the outpost fell into decline and it’s surroundings were covered with impenetrable forests, mostly box forests. “Shamshir” is translated from Turkish as a box-tree or a box grove. That is why the city was named Oshimshir, and later on Ochamrchira. The Great Cave Abriskila is located at the source of the southern foothills of the Panavsk (Kodor) range.
The Cave, as many of the underground mazes in that district, was formed at the beginning of the Quaternary. It consists of a number of halls with lots of stalactites and stalagmites. Small inner lakes are interwoven with one another and with the underground stream Achkitizgo. At the confluence of the rivers Mokva and Duab the architectural monument dating back to 10th century Mokvsky Cathedral is situated.
At the beginning of the 20th century Ochamchira became a large commercial port and the center of a big agricultural district famous for its tea and tobacco plantations. In 70s-80s of the 20th century it started to develop as a tourist and health resort center. The main evidence of the latest history is the construction of a large number of hotels and tourist groups of buildings.