Russian Caucasus

Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Mongolia, Russia, Caucasus and beyond. Expert: Milad
trabuccoitalia
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Russian Caucasus

Postby trabuccoitalia » Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:36 pm

Since I have travelled all Caucasus countries (including 2 of the 3 non countries there), I would love to visit the Russian part of Caucasus now.
I am sure there is great history there as well and people must be really interesting too.
My plan was to rent a car in Krasnodar then drive all the way to Derbent and back.

Anyone has done it? Do you think the rental company might not allow me to go to Caucasus for safety reasons?

Any tips on places to not be missed in the area?

I am not too concerned about security there ( I basically look supercaucasian myself, so I would probably not stand out) but of course would love to hear more opinions about the security topic as well.
I speak like 20 words of russian in total, but I am kinda used to travel in russian-only speaking countries and can almost read cyrillic.
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Re: Russian Caucasus

Postby steven » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:17 am

For security you can see here: https://caravanistan.com/safety/
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If you like Caravanistan: we have opened a tip jar! We love you back! :D

real2234
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Re: Russian Caucasus

Postby real2234 » Sun Jun 30, 2019 11:17 pm

I drove to Chechnya and Dagestan last summer to go to Azerbaijan and I didn't encounter any safety issues. I had a little tour of Grozny and Derbent, of course I didn't go into the mountains and for those more remote areas I wouldn't know what to say.
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Boogie
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Re: Russian Caucasus

Postby Boogie » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:04 pm

Hi,

Did you have an E-visa for Azerbaijan?
Did that went ok at the border from Derbent?
Which border did you take?

Let me Know,

Martijn
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real2234
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Re: Russian Caucasus

Postby real2234 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:10 pm

Hello,

Yes I had e-visa.

I crossed the main border "Samur" between Derbent and Quba with my car.

Officers were friendly on the Russian side, while on the Azerbaijani side it seemed to be in a city bazaar as custom was so disorganized.

All in all the Azeris were friendly too, only that I spent 5 or 6 hours in the border (I can't remember exactly), probably for a reason:

- since they saw the armenian stamp on my passport they began to ask where I had been in Armenia, if I had been in the Nagorno-Karabakh, why I was going to Azerbaijan, which route I intended to follow.

To which I always answered the right and I repeated for maybe thirty times the itinerary I had followed in Armenia and what I would follow in Azerbaijan, while they had made me sit inside the passport control kiosk between them and they made phone calls to not I know who.

Then solved this "issue", they kept asking how many days I wanted to use to cross Azerbaijan because they wanted to give me a transit for the car for just three days. When in reality by law the import paper it's valid I think thirty days. To which I kept repeating (having as an interpreter an Azerbaijani resident in Russia, coming from Moscow by car and who was kindly helping me): please give me at least one week because I want to cross the country with no hurry.

The "highlight" occurred when they claimed to have lost (and in that bedlam this could have been reality) the car passport of my car. They claimed that they didn't find it and that I had it, when in reality it was they who had withdrawn it as soon as it entered the border. In fact in the end they had it.

Then they made me go to the other side of the custom, where there were outgoing vehicles to request I can no longer remember which document (but I say, couldn't they foresee an office in both directions?).

In any case I have always been quiet because I knew I had nothing to fear with the documents: they should have let me pass and in fact in the end they let me pass.
I also got the estimated thirty days (maybe they were even more) import paper for my car and I paid the insurance for the car the ridiculous amount of about 5 euros.

Finally I remember the maximum of the ineptitude: was reached when I realized that an Azeri official who was filling out my immigration card was writing, instead of my passport number my visa number for Russia (because it had my photo and probably officer confused it with the personal data page, even though visa was about halfway through the passport)....

Anyway, no safety issues at all in the region, just pay more attention if you drive your car because in Dagestan they drive even worse than in the rest of Russia and just before the border I risked a fatal accident with an idiot who invaded my lane to overtaking a truck just when I was coming.
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Boogie
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Re: Russian Caucasus

Postby Boogie » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:18 pm

Hi,

Thanks for your reply and sorry for the late reply but somehow i never got an notification..

Thats indeed a lot of hassle to get in to Azerbeijan.I''ve been there before and heard some simular stories so thats why i asked if there's any problems with the E-visa comming from Russia. Myself didn't have any problems entering from Georgia except for waiting as well and just for nothing because i was the only tourist at that moment.

I dont have a car so............. : )

I will go there in two weeks to Chechnya and Dagestan,so if you have any tips for a stop over..........

Cheers,
Martijn
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real2234
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Re: Russian Caucasus

Postby real2234 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:36 pm

Don't worry, me too I didn't check the forum every day the last week.

Sorry, I don't have any particular tip because I just crossed the region by car and I spent just one night in Grozny, anyway I can advise a little visit of that city and of the Derbent fortress. Probably Dagestan is more interesting in the mountains, but I can't say if and how it is possible to go there, about Chechnya, instead, I would leave alone places outside the capital because I believe that calm is only apparent and something could happen in every moment.
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Re: Russian Caucasus

Postby Tot hier en verder » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:27 am

I visited Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, North and South Ossetia with my family last month. We travelled with our own campervan.

In Dagestan, we visited Derbent, Kubachi, Gamsutl, Gunib, Salta waterfall, Barkhan Sarykum and Sulakskiy canyon. Salta and Gamsutl were the highlights, while Mackhachkala was not very interesting. Etnohostel Derbent and Gostevoy Dom Salta are recommended places to stay. At other places, we were either the guests of local people or camping in our van.

In Chechnya, we had less time and only visited Grozny, Lake Kazanoyam and Itum-Kale.
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Boogie
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Re: Russian Caucasus

Postby Boogie » Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:22 pm

Maybe I save Grozny for the next trip,its not on my route since i come from Astrakhan and end in Tehran.
So spend more time in Dagestan.

Thanks for these tips!
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