Posof (TR) - Vale (GEO): border crossing reports

Is the road, border or area open and accessible to foreigners? Is there danger?
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andrewk
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:34 am
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Re: Posof (TR) - Vale (GEO): border crossing reports

Postby andrewk » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:37 am

In January 2020 we travelled from Akhaltsikhe in Georgia to Kars in Turkey. 

We found some of the information online and from locals in Georgia (ie taxi driver) to be confusing or contradictory. Also many of the forum posts were about travelling from Kars to Georgia, and not the other way around. So we wanted to update with what we found:

- The border crossing is definitely open 24 hours. - From Akhaltsikhe we took an early morning taxi to the Vale
- Posof border crossing (leaving at 7am), this was 20 Lari, 30minute journey.
- It took us 30 minutes to cross the border/immigration, as we had to wake a number of the border control staff up, I think we were the first people to cross that morning! 
- From the border crossing we took a taxi to Posof (again we had to wake the taxi driver up), this cost 60 Lira, 20minute journey.
- We arrived in time to catch the daily 8am bus from Posof to Kars (40 Lira per person). Note that we don't know if there are buses later in the day, which is why we had to cross the border so early in the morning (we think there may be in Summer but that this is the only one in Winter).
- Actually the 8am bus didn't arrive, after 45 minutes (phone calls were happening with the ticket guy but we didn't understand why), so us and the other passengers were directed onto an Ardahan bus and refunded the price difference (only 30 Lira to Ardahan). We then changed in Ardahan for Kars (assisted by the other Kars passengers), without having to wait at all. That leg was 25 Lira. We arrived in Kars at 11am, the roads are good and it was faster than Google Maps had predicted. 
- In retrospect we could have just crossed the border later and gone via Ardahan, as it seems there are plenty of buses from there to Kars and it doesn't take much longer/cost much more. 

If coming direct from Tbilisi then there is a direct bus to Kars that leaves from the Ortachala bus station once a day.
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