How to get to Abkhazia (if you so desire).
Replies: 324 - Last Post: Jan 14, 2013 7:32 AM Last Post By: eric_msk
Sep 16, 2010 8:15 AM
285Abkhazia - How to get there
I just coming back from there.
If u from Europe they will let you not pass without visa.
But it belongs to who will check you.
Because the let me pass without visa.
Better is it to apply in Moscow(Abkhazia Consulate) for a Visa.
I was comming from Adler and was going back to Adler.
It means u need a multi Visa for Russia.
The border is called Psoy.
We was checking there the mountains for freeride and heliski
because the mountains higher and more snow than in Krasnaya Polyana.
more Infos about heliski there
Sep 16, 2010 12:05 PM
286I tried to enter Abkhazia from Georgia illegally without a visa for a quick drink across the border and didn`t make it. It was a really stupid plan and I`m glad it wasn`t put into practice. I had befriended two pickpockets in Anaklia who claimed to walk the border regularly. I offered them a substantial sum to take me to the closest bar across the border and back but they declined. They just wouldn`t do it. But as I said, it was a really stupid plan anyway.
Oct 15, 2010 1:29 AM
287I plan to enter Abkhazia in a week's time. We're a group of 8 british.
I sent emailed forms in last Tuesday, and got the permission back in pdf today, 3 days later.
Oct 15, 2010 4:58 AM
288You may have noticed that the Abkhaz MFA site lists a growing number of representatives abroad.
I have been in contact with the UK representative, Prof George Hewitt. He has told me (and permitted me to post here) that he now has, in London, the stamp and software to issue an Abkhaz entry permit out of the UK. So if you're based in London, and want to deal in English, this could be a convenient alternative to dealing with the MID in Sukhumi. George thinks there are similar arrangements in Germany and Greece.
Jan 17, 2011 3:17 AM
1. The MFA office ...is better set up in 2010 than before 2010.
2. English language ...yes, the MFA speaks English ...of course when answering phone they say hello or good day in russian... say the word "english" . By email, yes english is quite acceptable
3. Entry ...either VISA abroad OR a LOE + get visa at MFA office in Sukhumi
(a).. it is NOT necessary to obtain the VISA abroad in another country...but this option is starting to become more available ...yes there are few Abkhaz consulates popping up abroad...if it is still only "US$20" at an abroad consulate, then great. There is also an Abkhaz consulate in based on Transnistria (the other side of the river in Moldova)
(b) LOE ...Letter of Entry ... this is the most common way at the moment ...the MFA sends this letter to you by email ...it seems more consistent these days ... show letter at border, go to Sukhumi, pay money at bank, go to MFA office, speak to the beautiful young lady, collect visa
4. W A R N I N G ... A D V I C E
Be careful. I was really angry and now i still feel somewhat embarrassed to say but my things were stolen in a big way .... my money (3 different places in bag; a lot of currency ... Euro/US$/GEL/Rubles/British pounds), my camera, music player, my portable large Gb external hard drive.
This was rather inside job - not by the two families that i had met, but close to it as it was at the store of one of them.
Within 20 to 30 minutes of it, the family came to the store...grandmother, mother & brother & 2 friends of the brother, the later 20's age daughter who speaks english. They gave me money to get transportation back to Georgia.
Remember that MANY ( they told me "all" but "most" or "many" is more accurate) Abkhaz men do not work or do not care to work ... there isn't such a full economy there but it will grow somewhat from russian tourists.
There is Militia (military) but no Policia (police), and military does not care about theft but rather guns/defense/warfare.
I have seen most of Abkhazia except for the mountain areas with few or no tourists, and locals have warned of banditry danger there...so i'm not in any rush to re-visit.
Another area to be careful is in Zugdidi Georgia ... Georgian people from the center and east and south of Georgia will warn and/or comment on persons of the area near to "border" ... and i know of thefts there also.
Zugdidi itself is so-so for activities. Many Svans stock up there and bring things to Svaneti ...upon returning to Georgia after Abkhazia i was walking along and a fellow was calling to me ..i turned and recalled his face from visiting Svaneti in 2008 (2 years prior). He asked and offered me a ride before i could say anything... while waiting for his friend i stared-down to catch a goat that had run away from its owners ...
Although i wanted to be in a place that was familiar, safe, etc, i declined the ride as i was originally intending to go in the other direction.
I stayed in Georgia for 5 weeks whilst having less than a handful of coins .... faith almost all restored.
Jun 21, 2011 1:11 AM
290it is now possible to travel to Abkhazia with the boat that leaves from Sochi to Gagra (this year it runs until 1 October), border guards in gagra let us in with the Abkhaz clearance letter which indicated the psou border crossing (it apparently was the first ever case that non-Russians arrived there, so they were quite surprised and it took them some time to check whether we might enter or not, but finally let us in without problems). according to the schedule, the boat leaves at 9 am from sochi (boarding 8 am) and arrives at 10:30, but it left with a delay of 1 hour. it comes back from gagra at 7 pm (boarding at 6 pm), one-way ticket is 500 roubles, in sochi you have to buy it at least a day before leaving, for the way back you can buy it on board.
they even have a website: http://www.katamaran.g-sochi.ru/
Jun 30, 2011 11:01 PM
291I am Indian planning to visit Abkhazia through Russia, I have got a double entry business visa for Russia .so after applying for the visa to Abkhazia will they sent me a letter of entry in 5days by email?,
Which is the best border entry point to avoid delays and problems,Do i have to pay anything in the border? Is the office to collect visa far from the border point, is there buses, taxi available for the border?
For applying a visa should I have a confirmed hotel booking?, Will I get houses to stay for rent? can we bargain on it? which is good area where we can get good cheap hotels/apartments/houses?
Any other things to be taken care when staying there like theft,safety?
Jul 2, 2011 9:26 AM
292#296.The only entry from Russia is at the Psou crossing just south of Adler.
You pay nothing at the border if you have 2 copies of your letter from the MFA.
Jul 2, 2011 10:59 PM
Jul 12, 2011 12:01 AM
294ˇ#296, #297, #298. as i wrote above, there is now a second border crossing from Russia, in Gagra (if you arrive by boat). As for the visa, you have to go Sukhum to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs =(Lakoba str. 21, Monday to Friday only) to pick up your visa. Sukhum is a 2 hour bus ride from the Psou border and some 1,5 hours from Gagra, frequent buses run both from Psou (you will see them on your right after walking through the border) and Gagra.
For applying for a visa you do not need to have a confirmed hotel booking, just write ina hotel name. You will easily find apartments to rent and you can bargain (at first they are not happy if you wish to stay less than one week, but you will still be able to). I would recommend to stay in Gagra, at the "bus station" (called Kontinent named after the shopping centre located there), you will immediately be approached by locals offering accommodation.
Aug 3, 2011 11:47 AM
295For noimotale : yes, you can exchange Dollars/Euros in Abkhazia. Best way is to go to exchange points, that are in every town/city. They usually work from 9am-5pm, sometimes with a lunch break from 1-2pm, but surely exchange wont be a problem. ATMs are unfortunately unavailable due to status of the country, which is de-facto independent, but has no approval for Mastercard, Visa banking transactions... c'est la vie. Hope you'll like Abkhazia- the world that exsists, but no-one want to admit it! :) Enjoy lthe "Wonderland" :)
Aug 3, 2011 11:54 AM
296#298 - you need to print out the letter from MFA, which is your permission for entry. I am not sure if you need to collect visa additionally to that, but you are given 3 days time to do so and you collect it from MFA which is in Sukhumi Lakoba street, as mentioned above. Anyway, if you are lost or dont know what is right to do- ask people- they are friendly and helpful. And will be happy that foreign people are interested to come to see their country. Good luck.
Aug 21, 2011 5:00 AM
297I've just visited Abkhazia for 7 days, coming from Georgia (Ingur border) and leaving towards Russia (Psou border). I got the visa prior to departure from the Honorary Consul in London, and everything went fine. The border guards at Ingur looked surprised about the visa and had to call several times to the MFA in Sukhum, but after 40 min they let us pass. They told us that we were the first to enter Abkhazia from Georgia with a visa, that's why they first had to establish the procedure.
Here are some reports and photos about my trip:
And one question. From the Georgian point of view, I've left Georgia illegally (ie. through Psou border), so it's definitely not advisable to travel back to Georgia with the same passport, even if the Russians didn't stamp at Adler. But what about a new passport? Does anybody have experience with travelling into Georgia after having left the territory previously "illegally"? Is there any procedure to re-legalize the exit?
Aug 22, 2011 5:33 PM
298I just got back from a trip around the world (29 days) with my wife and 2 daughters. We took the UKRFerry from Batumi to near Odessa, a big slow freighter. When we were clearing Georgian passcontrol at Batumi one of the men noticed evidence in our passports we had been in Sukhumi in 2008. They did not like it at all and met to discuss it for a few minutes. But they let us through. When we had arrived at Tbilisi Airport on a flight from Alma-Ata, nobody bothered to look.
Aug 29, 2011 10:34 AM
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