Russians do not need a passport to Abkhazia, the border can be crossed with a Russian passport of a citizen. Therefore, you do not need to apply for a visa for a tourist trip either.
Many people believe that Abkhazia is part of Russia. This is an incorrect assumption, earlier it was part of Georgia. And since 2008 the Republic of Abkhazia has been independent. But it is still much more accessible to Russians than to citizens of other countries.
If a person is planning a vacation and a trip that will last no more than 90 days, then he does not need a visa.
The visa-free regime has led to the fact that during the holiday season at the border there is a powerful flow of people who wish to visit Abkhazia. To visit this beautiful, small and hospitable country, it is enough to present a Russian passport at the border. Many are interested in the question of the need for a passport.
According to the law, a passport can be replaced with a Russian one, but in order to avoid various risks it is still better to take it to Abkhazia. In this case, border officials put a crossing mark there. There is no difficulty in entering the republic. It takes no more than half an hour to drive and cross the border.
Difficulties may arise due to the fact that not all countries have recognized the independence of the Republic.
For Russians who decided to visit a friendly republic in 2017, there is more than one way to travel. It is considered the best option to get to Adler, and then to the Abkhaz border. This can be done using aircraft and vehicles.
On the way there will be a bridge, about 2 km long. There is a border checkpoint at the end of this bridge.
In 2017, clearance is the passage of the customs procedure and passport control. During this, the tourist undertakes to present a foreign or civil passport.
If necessary, customs officers inspect everyone entering the state. Insurance is compulsory for everyone who arrives in Abkhazia. The amount of insurance must not be less than thirty thousand rubles.
"Thanks" to the coronavirus and the subsequent closure of borders, the summer of 2020 was marked by the extra popularity of Russian resorts. The beaches of Sochi and Crimea were filled with tourists who missed the sea. Well, for those who are not too attracted by the crowds on the beach, we will tell you about Abkhazia: fortunately, its borders are already open for Russian tourists.
So, from August 1, citizens of Russia and Abkhazia can freely move between countries. The queues, however, still cannot be avoided: locals report that the border is most busy in the morning from 7 to 11 and in the evening from 6 to 22. But there are relatively few tourists on the beaches and restaurants that have opened. In comparison with what is happening in the same Sochi. And the sea is cleaner.
A lot of documents are not required to cross the border with Abkhazia. If you don't have a passport, an ordinary Russian one will do. For a child - a birth certificate. You do not need to take a coronavirus test - no one will require any certificates from you when crossing the border.
In Abkhazia, a small number of residents were initially infected with the coronavirus. In recent days, however, there has been an increase in the number of cases "thanks" to tourists. However, the border is open, but there are some rules for hotels and inns:
As you understand, it is better to book places in hotels in advance. Due to the congestion and the requirement of free rooms, there may simply not be any seats.
Russian tourists get to Abkhazia through Sochi. It is the closest city to the border with Abkhazia. Or rather, the Sochi area - Adler. The distance from Adler to the border with Abkhazia is 8 km.
To Sochi from Moscow: the average flight time is two and a half hours, plus or minus 5 minutes. And prices vary from 6000 rubles to 11000 rubles one way at the moment when Abkhazia is loaded with tourists.
To Sochi from St. Petersburg: the flight time is approximately 3 hours, the average ticket price per season is from 5000 rubles to 7000 rubles.
Secretary of the Public Chamber Natella Akaba reflects on the prospects for the development of the tourism industry in Abkhazia.
Natella Akaba, Analyst
Discussion about the prospects for the development of the resort sector in Abkhazia is gaining relevance, and this cannot but rejoice. Society slowly and reluctantly, but begins to realize that the spontaneous, uncontrolled development of tourism, when a very limited circle benefits from it, and the negative consequences are generously distributed to the entire population, is, to put it mildly, far from the most optimal scenario for our common future. Now it is up to a clear and well-thought-out strategy that will designate a clear vector for a country with a small territory, but a very high potential for becoming one of the best resorts in the region.
An extremely negative and dangerous consequence of the spontaneous development of the tourism sector is the growing unevenness of the socio-economic development of the regions of the republic. Let's compare the incomparable. Gagra and Tkuarchal. There is not just a contrast between them - there is an economic and social gap between them. But if you blow away the dust and husks of stereotypes from Tkuarchal, which, unfortunately, have a foundation, the hero-city will appear as a place with stunning mountain landscapes and the purest air. How to fit Tkuarchal into the tourist map of Abkhazia is exactly what a single strategy must say, which, alas, does not yet exist.
The first and most important step in its creation is the competent zoning of the country's territory with the definition of the types and types of tourism for each territory. According to the well-known publicist, member of the Public Chamber of Abkhazia Nadezhda Venediktova, it would be necessary to determine the geographic zones of the republic suitable for mass tourism, as well as highlight those areas where it is advisable to develop other types of tourism. In her opinion, the transformation of our small country into a continuous recreation area will very quickly lead to the loss of what the multinational people of Abkhazia are justly proud of, national-cultural color and identity.
The western part of Abkhazia is traditionally in demand by vacationers who need an unpretentious family beach vacation with a standard set of services and excursion services. The east of the country, including the Tkuarchal region, can offer its own unique programs, in particular, ecotourism, which is gaining popularity in the world. Eco-tours combine business with pleasure - they immerse themselves in nature and closely acquaint the traveler with the rich cultural and historical heritage. Tkuarchal can offer this complex. There are many ancient architectural and fortification monuments in the vicinity of the city. An ancient burial ground of the Early Iron Age, a settlement, a fortress and other historical sites. Add to this cocktail of impressions even gorgeous views and the nearby Bedia temple - we get an excellent Tkuarchal recipe for relaxation for lovers of antiquities, nature and silence. The city located in the mountains has never been considered a resort; this annoying omission can and should be corrected.
Near Tkuarchal, near the village of Akarmara, there is a source of thermal-radioactive medicinal waters. In the 19th century, relatives and friends of the sovereign prince of Abkhazia Chachba came here to rest. In Soviet times, this spring had the status of all-Union significance and was very popular among Soviet citizens suffering from joint diseases.
There are also prospects in the development of agritourism or rural tourism. The world is actively exploiting the need of residents of megalopolises to escape, albeit for a short time, from the bustle of million-plus cities. The townspeople are spoiled. They expect their escape to be carefully planned, organized and safe. Abkhazia may well offer the illusion of such an adventure. To do this, it is enough to combine ecological and ethnographic resources. It is beneficial for everyone. The tourist plunges into rural life and the rhythm of life. Participates in agricultural work, looks after cattle, gets acquainted with folklore, eats organic homemade products. The villager receives a free helper, payment for the guest's room and board. This type of tourism will be quite promising for agricultural areas.
Details of the organization of prefabricated excursions in Abkhazia by local travel agencies and tips for tourists.
In the high season in Abkhazia, there are no problems with finding offers from excursion bureaus. In any more or less large settlement there is more than one company that provides such services.
Advertising offers are everywhere in the form of street signs and small booths, similar to Soviet ticket offices, where you can book a trip. In Gagra, for example, you can often find representatives of a company walking on the sidewalks, distributing advertising brochures to everyone.
In many shops and on street ruins, you can also see brochures and price lists of local tour bureaus (regardless of what the store sells). Each boarding house or hotel cooperates with some company, offering its services to its guests.
In general, the necessary information will be found in places of at least some kind of attraction for holidaymakers.
There is no point in looking for a specific travel agency in Abkhazia, since they all provide the same services at the same level. Routes for all, as a rule, are the same, the price tag for companies operating in the same city is approximately the same. The level of the guide's training is a lottery (often guides cooperate with different companies at the same time).
There is a difference in the cost of the same excursions organized by companies operating in different cities, but it is due to the different length of the route. For example, a visit to the village of Kamany for a tourist staying in Sukhum will cost less than for a "resident" of Gagra, since the destination from Sukhum is much closer than from Gagra.
Lake Ritsa (ascent to Ritsa along the Yupshar canyon with stops at waterfalls, suspension bridges, apiary, Blue Lake. Ecological fee is included in the price):
Pitsunda (sightseeing tour with a visit to the Patriarchal Cathedral, museum, pine grove and the beach area of the reserve):
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By the end of the year, on our portal, most likely, material will be posted, which will sum up the results of the Abkhaz tourist season -2017 with a forecast for the season-2018. In the meantime, the "Abkhaz Tourism Union", headed by Anna Kalyagina (she is also the general director of the Center for Support of Russian Business in Abkhazia "Aidgylara"), are trying to analyze the not too positive results that the tourism industry of Abkhazia has achieved this year. ...
An expert session, which within two days will have to determine the reasons for the failure of the 2017 tourism season in Abkhazia and propose specific solutions to problems in this industry, was organized by the Abkhaz Tourism Union. According to the president of this union, Anna Kalyagina, the past summer season turned out to be difficult for the country, which speaks of the vulnerability of this industry in Abkhazia.
“2017 turned out to be very difficult for us, both in terms of the current economic situation in general, and because of our internal problems. Then, like a snowball, everything else fell on us. This year has shown how vulnerable and dependent we are on various factors, ”Kalyagina noted.
She stressed that modern realities require preparedness for fierce competition in the battle for the tourist and early preparation for the summer season.
Elena Churina, the chairman of the expert community of the agency for innovative development of regions of the Russian Federation and vice-president of the Fund for Support of Social and Economic Development of the Territory, who were invited from Russia, spoke at the meeting as a tourism expert.
In her speech, Churina did not hide her reverent attitude towards Abkhazia, admiration for its nature and history, which she studied for several months. The Russian expert admitted that for the sake of this meeting she left the venture forum in Sochi and, in her opinion, Abkhazia is worth it.
The main problems in the tourism industry of the republic, Elena Churina, called the lack of convenient logistic connections with Russia, the lack of air and sea communications, the low level of service, difficulties in crossing the state border, the need to train professional specialists. The expert paid great attention to the negative image of Abkhazia on the Internet.
Before starting the process of obtaining a visa to Russia, a foreign citizen needs to decide on the purpose of the trip. The type of visa that you, subsequently, will need to obtain depends on the purpose of the trip.