Abkhazia: New Athos (Novoafonskaya) Cave

Novoadonskaya Cave is little known outside Abkhazia or perhaps Russia, but it happens to be the world’s second largest cave system after Mammoth in USA by sheer volume – over 1 mln cubic meters. It was only explored in 1961 after several spelunkers descended 140 meters into a hole in the hounds known as bottomless pit. The cave is quite different from many other caves I have seen – it doesn’t have that many formation (although some are quite large and spectacular), but it has 9 massive halls that are just enormous cavities deep below underground. There are bridges and lakes and massive amphitheaters here – pictures don’t reflect the scale and grandeur of this all. Truly a gem worthy of a UNESCO designation. (Coincidentally, the world’s deepest cave – over 2000 meters – also happens to be in Abkhazia but is not accessible).