By: The PH Team
Abkhazia is an unrecognized country in the Caucasus region, internationally recognized as part of neighbouring Georgia.
Abkhazia, once known as the 'Soviet Riviera,' is a popular tourist destination amongst Russian and other tourists from post-Soviet states. It still remains however, quite off-the-beaten-path for most Western tourists.
Getting to Abkhazia by Plane
Like most unrecognized countries, Abkhazia does not have a functioning international airport and therefore travellers will have to enter Abkhazia on land from either neighbouring Russia or Georgia.
However, with Sochi, Russia and Tbilisi, Georgia nearby, travellers can easily fly to nearby airports from almost anywhere in the world. Regular flights from many European, American and Asian cities operate regularly to both cities, as well as through Moscow.
Getting to Abkhazia on Land
Most Western travellers prefer to enter Abkhazia through the territory of Russia. The reason for this is because Russia supports Abkhazia and the border is always open.
However, entering from Russia does have its drawbacks. Travellers from North America, Australia, New Zealand and most European countries will require a Visa in order to enter Russia, which makes the process a little more difficult.
The other option to enter Abkhazia is through the territory of Georgia. While travellers from North America, Australia, New Zealand and European countries do not require a Visa to enter Georgia, the border situation is far more tense.
As Abkhazia separated from Georgia, entering from the Georgian side tends to be met with more suspicion than on the Russian side.
In addition, the border has been known to close without any warning depending on the political situation between the two countries. As such, many travellers prefer to opt for obtaining a Russian Visa and enter through Russia.