A country in a country, not recognized by the outside world, a defacto republic, hard to get in is what they say , but on the contrary it’s not difficult, or is it ?
Abkhazia is situated in the north-West of Georgia and a region that sees itself as independent from mainland Georgia. Also called “Apsny” by the locals. Borders are closed and you shouldn’t go there, why go there ? there are enough nice places in Georgia itself, is what I’ve heard from Georgians, it’s true but Abkhazia is also a nice place to visit, it’s not listed in travelmagazines because the way to get there is through Russia but I got in from Georgian side, all you need is a permit to enter Abkhazia which you can get by email from the Abkhazian ministry of foreign affairs after you fill in the visa application form, which you can download from their website. Once you get your permit (invitation letter) by mail you then go to Abkhazia and get your visa in the capital Sukhumi.
I crossed the border at Ingur (Georgia) into Abkhazia with 2 other backpackers and we took a taxi to Sukhumi. Easy right ? Well no it wasn’t that easy.
For some reason that till today is not clear to me, my fellow backpackers and I were refused entry, no real explanation was given. Despite having our permits to enter Abkhazia, the border guards had orders not to let tourists in. Why? did something happen?
We had good hopes that this would be maybe just temporarely, but then we heard that the border was already closed for a few days to tourists. After contacting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by phone, they told us they didn’t know anything about the situation at the border but they will keep in contact with us and see what’s going on. Eventually to make a long story short, we waited the whole day at that border and in the evening we left and took a taxi to Batumi. After 2 days we got a call that we can enter Abkhazia that the issue at the border is solved after negotiations took place. Strange but I was happy to enter Abkhazia even if I lost a whole day at the border crossing 2 days earlier.
The weather in Batumi and in the rest of Georgia wasn’t that great, so to see the sun and sea in Abkhazia was really something to look forward to, spending my 3 days here.
Something must have happend that they decided to close the border, since tourists who entered Abkhazia from Russia could cross without any problem.
Its usually not like this, so when you get your permission to enter Abkhazia from Georgian side Ingur, they will let you in.
That day I lost at the border well it was just bad luck, but definetly a unusual experience.
- I visited the capital Sukhumi (where I got my visa)
- Novy Afon which is a Monastery up the hills
- Lake Ritsa a beautiful Lake in the Mountains