*This tour has now ended but find our latest adventure in South Ossetia, including the festivities of the National Day right here!*
Join us on our tour to one of the world’s newest unrecognised countries! South Ossetia only gained partial independence from Georgia in 2008. This was accepted by Russia and has subsequently also been accepted by Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Nauru. Heavily fortified by the Russians, it has its own language, identity, and parliament.
There’s practically no tourist infrastructure in place so our trip starts from the North Ossetian and Russian city of Vladikavkaz, where we transfer to the shady customs at the border and onto Cey village for our first night. We learn a lot from the locals who fought so recently to gain independence from Georgia. We hear their stories as we spend a night in a war veteran’s home.
The tour also finishes back in Vladikavkaz for easy access to flights and trains.
Why not combo up this tour with our preceding Chechnya tour for great discounts! As usual, discounts also apply for YPT returners and group bookings so contact us today.
*FLIGHT OPTION – Add one way or return flights from Moscow to Vladikavkaz for up to €250. Prices subject to change. Contact us for more information*
Please note that in order for us to have sufficient time to process the South Ossetian visas, bookings will be closed 3 months before the tour. Make sure to book early to secure your spot!
Please also note that you will need a double-entry Russian visa to take part in this tour as onward travel from South Ossetia into Georgia is nearly impossible and, frankly, ill-advised.
Departure by plane or train for those who are leaving the group
For the others, we board our private bus to Vladikavkaz for the next part of our adventure!
Arrival in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz.
Flight option – Board the 10.40am flight from Moscow to Vladikavkaz. Arrival 13.50.
Vladikavkaz is the capital of the Russian Republic of North Ossetia, as well as home to one of Russians biggest Army garrisons. In the evening we head out for dinner, drinks and a walking tour of the city.
Dinner and overnight in Vladikavkaz.
Thursday 22nd August – Vladikavkaz
We take a driving tour around Vladikavkaz.
Next, we will board our private bus to South Ossetia and the village of Cey for lunch and a look around. Before arrival we will need to go through South Ossetian customs and immigration, which is somewhat of an interesting experience itself.
Walking tour of Cey for some photographs and a look around, before we transfer to Croz village.
We check into our local homestay in this small Ossetian village complete with home cooked food and local wine and vodka – the perfect way to begin your Ossetian adventure.
Overnight in homestay.
Friday 23rd August – Chalisubany
Up early for a local breakfast in the village homestay.
Drive to Dzheru-dzuar which offers breathtaking views of Georgia for a chance to explore and take some photos.
Drive down to the villages of Dmenis and Goret on the border – this area saw the pick of the fighting during the 90s and again in 2008.
After lunch, we tour around the village with a local war veteran who spent two years defending his village during a military siege here in the 90s. With our local guides translating he will answer any questions you have about the South Ossetian wars of independence.
Overnight and dinner in the veteran’s house in the nearby village of Chalisubany.
Saturday 24th August – Ckhinval
Morning transfer to Leningor – this place was recaptured by the Ossetians following the war of 2008 and there are still many reminders of the recent war. This is a mixed community with there still being a majority of ethnic Georgians with the lari being accepted as legal tender.
We tour around this unique ethnically mixed and extremely tense city.
After lunch, we transfer to Ckhinval (Tskhinvali), the capital city of the partially recognized state of South Ossetia. Here, we will check out the Russian theatre, government buildings, Armenia church, Ossetian theatre, tank war monument and visit the local market where illegal Georgian produce is on sale.
Dinner and drinks in the Vincenzo cafe. This is one of the focal points of the capital city and we will enjoy local food, drinks and music.
Overnight in the aptly named League of Champions Hotel.
Sunday 25th August – Ckhinval
Breakfast in Ckhinval (Tskhinvali).
Tour to Tirsk monastery where we enjoy a very scenic picnic lunch. Georgian wine is some of the most famous in the old Soviet Union, so we will try and get a sample whilst at the university.
Drive back to Ckhinval in time to teach an English class at the local university. The local students are extremely friendly and open to talk about their country.
We will take some free time to buy some souvenirs, with cool kitsch like flags and postcards being available.
For our last dinner together, we will enjoy a traditional Ossetian Dinner (lots of meat and wine).
We finish the evening with a small bar crawl and farewell drinks.
Overnight at League of Champions Hotel.
Monday 26th August
End of tour. YPT can arrange your flights or train back to Moscow for international connections
For those carrying on to Magadan, we transfer to our hotel for a free afternoon.