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  #1  
Old 30 May 2011
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Black Sea Georgia/ Abkhazia/ Russia/ Ukraine/ Romania

Am looking to see if anyone has recent (2011/ 10) experience with order crossings/ local conditions/ ferry times/ problems/ general information (places to visit/ stay).

Georgia/ Abkhazia crossing
Russia/ Abkhazia crossing
Russia/ Ukraine crossing on ferry between port kavkaz to port krym
Ukraine / Romania border cross the Danube River Have read all about the issue re small area of Moldova need to cross and insurance. Question is do I need to arrange any thing in advance. Where is the crossing after you pas through that stretch.

Looking at a trip Syria/ Turkey/ Georgia/ Armenia/ Abkhazia / Russia/ Ukraine/ Romania August/ September of this year (2011)

Cheers

Brett
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  #2  
Old 30 May 2011
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Georgia/Abkhazia - no road border open to anyone.
Russia/Abkhazia - road border at Adler open to all, no visa required for Abkhazia but you must have a multi entry RUS visa to get back into RUS. It's a dead end due to closed border with Georgia.
Russia/Georgia - road borders only open to CIS Passport holders.

The situation in Abkhazia could change and their allegiance may swing back to Georgia. Their pro-Russia President died suddenly in Moscow yesterday. Local news reports are suspiciously (to me!) unclear and vague as to reason and manner of his death, but just say 'in hospital'.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia some years ago.
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  #3  
Old 1 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
Georgia/Abkhazia - no road border open to anyone.
Russia/Abkhazia - road border at Adler open to all, no visa required for Abkhazia but you must have a multi entry RUS visa to get back into RUS. It's a dead end due to closed border with Georgia.
Russia/Georgia - road borders only open to CIS Passport holders.

The situation in Abkhazia could change and their allegiance may swing back to Georgia. Their pro-Russia President died suddenly in Moscow yesterday. Local news reports are suspiciously (to me!) unclear and vague as to reason and manner of his death, but just say 'in hospital'.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia some years ago.
Have not been myself so can't claim first hand knowledge,however there are people on the Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree forum who have been to Abkhazia late last year and definately DID need a visa for Abkhazia ( a friend of mine went and needed one ) and they DID cross from Georgia by road into Abkhazia. Are you saying the visa and border situation has changed recently Tony?
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  #4  
Old 1 Jun 2011
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I looked into the Visa requirements for road crossing from Russia into Abkhazia last autumn on the basis of an EU/British Passport Holder.
No visa was needed by the Abkhazia people as long as you had a valid Russia visa or Residency allowing you back into Russia - ie. multi entry.
That was also the case when I was there in 2007.

I cannot find the Abkhazia State webpage where I read that at the time. The current one is visa and travel | The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Abkhazia
This is different, although vague. Photo appreciated but not necessary and it seems a phone call gets you in!

It does stress the need for Russia visa to get back and mentions limited access to Georgia - presumably for local citizens only.

Sorry if I have provided outdated information without checking it again myself.
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  #5  
Old 9 Jun 2011
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I have to say my experiences in April 2010 totally contradict those of Tony.

I contacted the Abkhazian MFA in Sukhum whilst I was in Tbilisi and (after much needling) got entry clearance to drive across the road 'border' on the Ingur river bridge

You DO need an Abkhazian visa, which you pick up in Sukhum with your clearance letter.

Coming from Russia, it's possible that officials will overlook the visa requirement (as 99.99% of their traffic is CIS nationals who don't need a visa), or that they will accpet a Russian residency permit. But in 2010 you definitely DID need a visa. There is absolutely no way you can get into Georgia coming from Russia through Abkhazia.

Of course, that was last year, it could all be different now, but I would be VERY surprised if Abkhazia ever went politically back to Georgia... maybe once the Palstineans and Israelis have got together, or the Armenians and Azeris have agreed a resoluion for Karabagh... don't hold your breath. I never knew the meaning of inter-ethnic hatred untill I went to the Caucasus. Abkhazians, armed and assissted by Russia, massacred Georgians (who also killed plenty of Abkhazians) and chased then from their homes in Abkhazia which Georgians have a great and understandable affection for. There are still 1000s of IDPs in Georgia, a new president will not heal these scars.

For getting into Georgia from Russia, it may just be possible to enter Georgia from Verkhniy Lars, though this is highly uncertain and contentious.

Basically, it is possible, but not assured, that you can drive from Georgia to Russia thrugh Abkhazia, but you nust always be prepared for refusal from Sukhum, and having to take the ferry from Turkey to Sochi.

Here is my orgnal post: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...abkhazia-49989

Daniel
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  #6  
Old 9 Jun 2011
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Thanks for info so far

Thanks Tony, Tannu_Tuva and Daniel,

Daniel it is your original post that inspired me. I was hoping to see if anybody had crossed this year, knowing how quickly things can change.

I have also worked out the Ukraine / Romania border crossing from information and a better study of the map, but would still love to hear from anyone with experience using the crossing between port kavkaz to port krym (Russia/ Ukraine).

Daniel, when you say you were first refused then needed to needle via the telephone, what was the problem to casue the first refusal?

We are two Australian on Australian registered motorbikes.

Also looking for a place to make a base in Tblisi for five or so days, if anyone has suggestions?

Cheers

Brett


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  #7  
Old 10 Jun 2011
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I don't really know why they refused at first, but it may have been because I mentioned that I wished to exit to Russia. The cease-fire line along the lower Ingur River is sometimes rather tense, and there may have been security-related issues too. But basically you never get a straight answer after a visa refusal.

My advice to you would be to apply under the pretences of making a week-long trip on your bikes in Abhkazia, returning to Georgia, and then once you've got your visas just carry on up the coast and enter Russia. Providing you have a Russian visa, there's nothing to stop you doing this.

There is a guy on the ThornTree who drove round the Black Sea, much as you plan to do, last summer; see if you can find his post. His experiences were similar, but at the same time I've read of people being refused too.

Best of luck

Daniel
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Last edited by danielsprague; 10 Jun 2011 at 10:52.
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  #8  
Old 25 Jul 2011
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Short briefing on our Black Sea Tour 2011

Short briefing on our Black Sea Tour 2011
- I shall cross post this in all the related topics on the Hubb to be seen by as many. If you have questions please ask and I will answer as soon as I can -
In the first 2 weeks of July 2011 we had circumnavigate around the Black Sea (Romania – Moldova - Ukraina – Russia – Turcia – Bulgaria – Romania). That would be around 18 days, 4200 km, 6 countries and 2 ferries.
The only downside of the trip was the fact that for foreigners (non CIS, Russian or Georgian citizens) it is impossible to cross the border from Russia to Georgia.
The only way for foreigners is to take a ferry either from Trabzon in Turkey to Sochi Russia, or the other way around from Sochi to Trabzon. The ferry does not have a clear schedule (it runs according to the information posted on the website of Sochi port once a week) and it’s pretty expensive (2 persons in one cabin without a window and the bike 16.500 Rubles / 650 USD). The phone numbers posted on the site are working and the lady from Kassa 5 (where you buy the ticket) speaks a bit of English.
Note: when you buy the tickets you must have your passport with you and bike registration.
Website of Sochi port: Commercial Sea Port of Sochi
In theory, according to some information I found on here and from various people, it is possible to enter Georgia, from there to enter Abhazia (which is according to Georgia part of their territory) and from Abhazia to cross into Russia since Russia recognise Abhazia as independent country. I also heard that for Abhazia you need visa. We didn’t try it thou.
We didn’t had any problems at the border crossings. Some were slow but you expect that. Entering Ukraine we were not requested to fill the immigration form and we were not asked for it on exit.
At Kerch/Krym Port when you buy the tickets you must have your passport with you and bike registration.
Entering Russia one had to fill the immigration paper (they have a bilingual version also in English which they handed to us on the ferry) and another paper for the temporary import of the bike. Hold well onto that paper since without it your bike shall remain in Russia. At least this is what I understand from the lady making the papers.
We crossed the border at Kerch/Kavkaz by ferry. It was a 90 minutes process on the Russian side, again no problems. The road from the border to Novorossiysk is good. Novorossiysk is a pain to cross due to traffic. From there to Sochi is was hell. Aprox 260 km of 2 lane slow traffic, lots of lorries and POLICE. Lots of them, with cameras. DO NOT CROSS THE WHITE LINE FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. Although we were not stopped it was stressful. From the border to Sochi, 10 hours riding, with 3 brakes for gas and coffee. We arrived there Friday and as luck turns out the ferry was schedule to leave Saturday. Exiting Russia, we were told to be at 6 at the check point. Two hours later, with the border formalities done, we boarded the ferry. The passenger must go with the pedestrians and only the driver/rider remains in the vehicle for border formalities. No problems again. The ferry left after 8 in the evening and arrived on Sunday morning in Trabzon around 8.30. It was Sunday so the Turkish customs guys were not in a hurry. We with the bike were processed the very last after 3 and a half hours. The one with Russian cars paid some bribes. They did not ask any from us.
Note: for Highways in Turkey one must pay. You can buy special cards from petrol stations. The fines are pretty hefty. We did not and all the bells and alarms went of when exiting the highway.
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  #9  
Old 25 Jul 2011
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This can be interested for me, at the moment I'm in Turkey. The plan is to stay here two weeks more and take the ferry boot to Sochi. From the Netherlands I follow the route Germany, Austria, Hungary Romania, Bulgaria end in Turkey.

What was your route in Russia, and your experience with the road and the people there.

At the moment I'm in Capadocia, where you are now. Maybe is it possible to meet each other.
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  #10  
Old 27 Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
Georgia/Abkhazia - no road border open to anyone.
Russia/Abkhazia - road border at Adler open to all, no visa required for Abkhazia but you must have a multi entry RUS visa to get back into RUS. It's a dead end due to closed border with Georgia.
Russia/Georgia - road borders only open to CIS Passport holders.

The situation in Abkhazia could change and their allegiance may swing back to Georgia. Their pro-Russia President died suddenly in Moscow yesterday. Local news reports are suspiciously (to me!) unclear and vague as to reason and manner of his death, but just say 'in hospital'.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia some years ago.

I second this information ...
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  #11  
Old 7 Aug 2011
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Geo/abkh/rus

This topic should be understod like this:

-officially it's not possible to !cross! the Abkhazian territory.

-you can cross Abkhazia if you have the balls and will to hassle with border guards. But only in Georgia - Russia direction.

I've done so a week ago! Get all the visas, if you're on motorbike don't forget to mention that you're bike must be writen in ABKH confirmation letter, and go for it. Also bring a bag full of smiles, good will and patience and you're covered!

P.S.: I was also on Kazbegi border with russia and georgian border guard was willing to let me out of georgia, so don't think and write too much, but pack your stuff and go!
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