Update on North Ossetia & Russia-Georgia border crossing
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Apr 24, 2013 11:31 AM Last Post By: everbrite
Oct 10, 2012 4:04 PM
Update on North Ossetia & Russia-Georgia border crossingHi there,
Thought it might be of an interest to someone, so here is my experience on the subject:
Crosssed from Kazbegi in Georgia to Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia, then came back the next day to Kazbegi. (mid September 2012)
Israelis do not need a visa, and I have basic skills in russian (very basic, but enough to understand what ppl ask you and to answer them). on the way to russia I was questioned with my gf for 5 minutes by a nice young officer who asked us about what we are doing back home and what are our plans for the visit. we answered that we only intend to visit Vladikavkaz. everything was fine and we were on the road after that.
On the way back from Russia to Georgia the girl in the cabin (the one who stamps your passport) asked me why I didn't have a "migration card" - I looked confused and said that nobody gave me one when we crossed To-Russia. she thought for herself for a second then stamped my passport and let me go.
I have no clue why she asked me, and of course I didn't ask her. but better ask for a migration card when you cross into Russia (maybe somebody else here know what the hell it meant).
Other than this - no special problems on the crossing.
the Russian side of the border definitely takes more time than the Georgian, but all in all it took around 1.5 hours on the border (1~ hour for the russian side. 15 minutes for the georgian one, even less), and not 6 hours as I read in other posts..
Travel in North Ossetia:
Permits etc. - I didn't have any permits with me, and wherever I asked our driver he said there shouldn't be any problems for foreigners. BUT - obviously he had no idea, so better check it. the bottom line - we didn't have any problems, nor we bumped into any kind of miltia or other russian officials.
Traveled to the "dead-town" ("Myortvy gorodok" in russian). beautiful place on the russian side of the Caucasus. you can see mount Kazbeq on the way there (I think it was it).
Traveled to Beslan - the No. 1 school where the terrorist attack took place, and then to the graveyard where they buried the victims. a moving experience.
Traveled around Vladikavkaz.
The whole thing was very overpriced as we didn't negotiate (for some reason I still don't know... very not typical to me).
Our host in Kazbegi (Nazi) got us a driver who took us all the way from Kazbegi, then around the places I wrote and back again to Kazbegi. we stayed at his house in Vladikavkaz.
Ended paying 5500RR for the whole trip, plus 20 Lari/person for the night.
might have doing it for much much less, but then I was too excited to be in that place that I wasn't thinking about it.
Enjoy your trip
Edited by: mectype
Edited by: mectype
Oct 10, 2012 8:38 PM
Oct 21, 2012 7:49 AM
Oct 21, 2012 8:27 AM
here're some "facts":
Tbilsi-Kazbegi - about 3 hours (I truly recommend taking this route with a taxi and stopping on the way in Mtskheta, Jvari monastery, Ananuri, the People's monument and the mineral water. this took about 6 hours, 50-80 Lari).
Kazbegi-Vladikavkaz - 1.5-3 hours, depends on how fast you handle the border crossing.
Vladikavkaz-Beslan - about 20-30 minutes with a taxi.
Vladikavkaz- Mertvy-Gorodok (the dead-town) - we left Vladikavkaz at about 13:00 and were back at around 16:30 I think.. I mean, the whole thing took about 3 hours.
I hardly believe you'll make it in one day from Tbilisi and back (unless you leave Tbilisi at the middle of the night, then return the night in the next day), but I believe (and recommend) that it is possible to do it in one day from Kazbegi (you can head back from Kazbegi to Tbilisi at dark the same day. you'll have to find a taxi for that. I don't like driving at night..).
I don't remember when the Georgian side of the border opens. I do remember that heading back from Russia, they close at 21:00.
about the driver:
His name was Valiko. he didn't speak english at all. only russian - take it into consideration. the thing is that you have to find a driver with a russian car-plate, as Georgian cars are not allowed in Russia. I don't know how many of them speak English...
I don't know any details about him besides that he's a friend of Nazi. you can easily find Nazi's address (and maybe other ways of communication) in the Lonely Planet book, in the Kazbegi part (if you don't have it, tell me and I'll put her details here for you).
Or - if you do take my recommendation and have a night in Kazbegi, just ask Nazi for Valiko, and she'll know (she'll probably also remember us, as I don't believe many travelers take this route :)
Hope it helps. and ask any questions, I'll be happy to answer them :)
Oct 21, 2012 10:27 PM
I know that it's quite time consuming from Tbilisi to Beslan and back. Do you have the e-mail of Nazi? Also, I'm thinking of one way going from Tbilisi to Mineralnye Vody. How long does it take for the trip? I think finding a car and driver from Georgia to Russia is not easy, I really need to depend on Nazi.
Oct 22, 2012 4:18 AM
if you go to Didube station in Tbilisi, you'll find a few shared taxis waiting there with the sign "Min - Vody" (in russian of course). I don't know how much they charge and how much time it takes though.
don't have Nazi email.. I'll try to find it in the weekend.
anyway, of course you don't need to get to Kazbegi in order to get to Russia..
there're also shared taxis to Vladikavkaz from Didube
Oct 22, 2012 4:38 AM
6I see ... thanks ... let me gather more information before I go ... I'm thinking of Moscow --> Yerevan, stay in Armenia and Georgia for a few days, then go to Min - Vody then fly back to Moscow. Another simple option is Moscow Yerevan, then travel to Georgia and back, and just make Beslan as a short return trip.
Oct 27, 2012 10:20 AM
7Thanks for your report! Glad to know that the broader is fully open.But I have a question. I am holding a Hongkong HKSAR passport.So I need visa to visit Georgia. Can I obtain a visa at Verkny Lars broader?
Oct 27, 2012 6:29 PM
Nov 18, 2012 8:16 AM
9I entered Georgia from Turkey with my friend who has a Lebanese passport and he needed a visa. It was no problem at all to issue it at the border and I guess it will also be no problem on other land borders, but of course I can not say it for 100 percent sure.
Mar 4, 2013 1:01 PM
GREAT REPORT!!! I have a question! The taxi from Tbilisi to Kazbegi was a shared taxi or 80 is the cost of the whole trip..I would be better just to take a taxi and see the attractions along the way.
Where did you get it?? You went to Didube or you arranged it with your hotel??
Apr 14, 2013 12:48 AM
Apr 23, 2013 4:52 AM
12Can anyone confirm that Vladikavkaz to Kazbegi border crossing is open for foreign nationals?
We are planing to cross this border to enter Georgia from Russia on our overland journey from UK to India. But I have heard mixed reports.
And the worst one being from the Georgian embassy in London saying that the Russia-Georgia border is most definitely closed.
Can anyone please share their first hand experiences?
Apr 23, 2013 12:33 PM
Apr 24, 2013 11:19 AM
14The following really:
Any experiences with driving own vehicle across the border and crossing from Russia to Georgia?
Also, I hold an Indian Passport and need a Visa on arrival, unlike my girlfriend (who I'm travelling with) who doesn't need a Visa at all as she holds an EU passport. Is the Kazbegi border equipped to issue such visas? Any experiences with this would be very helpful.
I understand that very few people actually need a visa for Georgia, so it's a bit of a shot in the dark in this forum.
I'll probably try to get a Georgian visa en-route if I can, unless someone could confirm this.
PS: And sorry if I'm sounding a bit desperate, but I'm setting off in two weeks and don't have time to apply for Georgian visa from London.
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