I`m planning to cycle in Ukraine and Russia. maybe I will travel Ukraine first. I wonder if I can cross the border into Russia by bicycle. is it possible? if yes, I will start journey to Ukraine in March. how is weather in there?
Please advise me about this. thanks for reading.
Sure, you can cross the border into Russia by bicycle. If you have got a visa. Even a border with occupied Crimea. But the weather in March is cool, windy and unstable. If I were you, I would better start in April or May.
Thank you for your helpful advice. :-)
Is it really possible? The news I have heard seems to make it almost impossible to get from Ukraine to Crimea unless you have very specific needs - visiting relatives, property or graves of relatives. I am thinking of a trip next late summer from Ukraine around the Black Sea coast to Batumi and I would like to visit Russia. Any thoughts on this trip would be much appreciated? Tim
I think impossible to cross the border into Crimea. I will not go there. maybe I`m heading to border point as below link.
Are you making progress in your planned trip in the Ukraine/Russia area?
Best - Tim
As I wrote previous, I have crossed the border into Russia through Bachivs'k-Troyebortnoye
border check point(https://www.google.ru/maps/place/Border+crossing+automobile+checkpoint+%22Troebortnoe%22+(state+border+of+the+Russain+Federation)/@51.8844317,34.3327336,14.13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xccbec97f09491eee!8m2!3d51.8811471!4d34.3374145?hl=en)
At that time, I didn`t meet any problem. I`m cycling in Russia.
Thanks and regards,
Oh thanks, Kim. Brilliant. Enjoying it?
As far as I am informed, it is (almost) impossible to go from Ukraine to Crimea. Three years ago you could cross it, but now it is very difficult, to say the least. If you want to visit Crimea, you can best go from the east (Russia) by short ferry trip from the ferry harbour of Kavkaz on the continent to Kertsj on Crimea peninsula. Realize that Ukraine officially does not let people in who have been in Crimea from Russian. Remember the Russian plannned participant of Eurovision 2017 who was refused entry permission by Ukraine because she had given a concert on Crimea. But as Russia sees Crimea as part of Russia, there is no bordercrossing when you take the ferry, so you do not get stamps in your passport and you only need a single entry visa for Russia (including Crimea). That is at least the theory.
If you want to be safe, first go to Ukraine, cross the border to Russia at an official border crossing (for example Taganrog, near Rostov-na-Donu) and then cycle further to Crimea (and back, as there is no ferry connection from Crimea to anywhere else then Russia).
Also remember (if I may be so free to give you advice) that you can only enter Georgia from Russia via the border crossing in the main road Vladikavkaz - Tbilisi, a big distance to the east. Georgia does not let anybody in from Abchazia, which is officially part of Georgia, but not under Georgian control. So you can not just head south from Sotchi along the coast to Batumi, but have to make a big, big, detour. But it surely is worth! The road from Vladikavkaz to Tbilisi goes through the Kavkaz mountains, and is wonderfully beautiful. The quality of the road is quite good, as I felt when did it by car this April/May.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have more questions.
Good luck with the preparations of your trip!
Juuk....that is MORE than helpful! Yes indeed, my plans to ' ride around the Black Sea ' are unlikely to become a reality, what with Crimea, conflict in Donbas and Abkhazia in the way! And the situation is, shall we say, ' dynamic '! Your input is invaluable. Bye. Tim
You should not give up your plans too easily I would say. If you really want to do it, it is possible, only maybe not exactly as you planned it. But it is possible to visit Crimea, though not from Ukraine. And about the conflict in Donbas: both parties (Russians and Ukrainians) are telling me that it is a local conflict. I was invited to visit people in Taganrog this year, which is on the Russian side of the border with Ukraine. They would not invite me if it was dangerous there. And a Ukrainian guy from Charkov told me it is totally safe there.
So, if you want, probably you can do it. Only passing through Abchazia to Georgia is probably (but I do not have the latest information) not possible.
In general my experience from this year is that Russia and Ukraine are much safer and easier countries than we in Western Europe normally believe.
Good luck with working out your ideas.
I am jumping into the conversation a bit late.
I am currently riding back to Europe, and hopefully in a few days I will pick up my Russian visa in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Then up the Military Highway and over the Great Caucasus to Vladikavkaz, Rostov etc...
The big question for me is where to cross into Ukraine.
I don't plan to visit Crimea, but I am looking for the southernmost border crossing into Ukraine that is both safe and open to international travellers ( I am travelling on a EU passport ).
Juuk, you mention one near Rostov. Did you actually use it ? It looks pretty damn close to the disputed Donbass area to me.
I was told that the one near Milove could/should be open.
If not the one on the main Belgorod to Kharkiv road to the north, but that is a huge detour.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
No, I did not actually use this border crossing (Taganrog - Marioepol). I was invited by people in Taganrog to stay with them. So I imagine it is safe there. Yes, on the Ukrainian side Donbass is quite near. But if you go via Milero, you are on the North side quite near Donbass, if I look on the map well. The border crossing Kharkov - Belgorod is open anyway (in Vladikavkaz I met someone who used this crossing in March or April), but the control will be heavy I guess. I did this crossing by train 3 years ago 3 times (going from Belgorod to Crimea and back and then from Belgorod to Kyiv) and the Ukrainian control was very heavy and unpleasant. But with a bike it is different, I guess.
My best guess would be to try Rostov-na-Donu - Taganrog- Marioepol - Berdjansk - Tolmak - Zaporizja - Dnjepropetrovsk, in this way going south around Donbass. I do not hear that there is a lot of fighting in Marioepol. And I can find on the site of Ukrainian railways that there are direct trains from Marioepol to Kyiv and to Lviv. If you really do not feel comfortable, you could also try to pick up a bus or minibus (marshroutka) directly after the border which could take you to Marioepol, and from there to Dnjepropetrovsk.
But as I say, I have not travelled there, so it is a guess and advice from behind the office. The only thing I know is that we are more concerned than the people in the area. In May I met someone from Kharkov, and he was disappointed that I had not visited him while I was in Ukraine. I jokingly said to him that he lived to close to the conflict area of Donbass. And he said "come on, everything is safe in Kharkov, no problems".
By the way: there is another solution if you really want to avoid all problems, and that is the following one:
There is a ferry from Batumi (Georgia) directly to Odessa (Ukraine). I took this ferry in the beginning of May. More information on the website ukrferry.com. You can switch the language to English.
Hope this helps for your decisions.
Thanks for your input Juuk.
It is difficult to make a decision for sure !
The thing is I think that there is a TREMENDOUS difference between what the locals say you can do even if they haven't done it themselves ( like crossing into Ukraine from Russia near Rostov and travel to Mariopol from there ) and what you can effectively and safely do, especially as a foreigner who doesn't speak neither Russian nor Ukrainian.
I am speaking from experience, having travelled to quite a few troubled areas in my journeys by bicycle.
If 3 years ago you found the Belgorod to Kharkov border crossing already pretty tense I can imagine it could be only worse further South, don't you agree ?
I have contacted quite a number of people, and to date all have advised me to use the Belgorod border crossing.
I visited Ukraine 20 years ago, but only the western part.
Glad to hear that Kharkov is quiet though !
I know about the Batumi-Odessa/Varna ferry. For me this is the last resort, in case I can't get the Russian visa. I am really keen on riding north of the Black Sea.
Yves...do you have an update on your trip in Russia and Ukraine? How's it worked out to travel in that region? Kind regards - Tim
Hey Tim. As luck would have it, I just crossed into Ukraine today. I am in Kharkiv. I used the Belgorod crossing this morning. It went fairly well ( a bit slow on the Russian side and surprised to have to deal with a EU passport holder but very kind and fast on the Ukrainian side ). Kharkiv feels pretty normal. I cycled all the way up from Georgia/Vladikavkaz via Rostov, then up north on the M4 ( very close to the Donbass border, a few low-flying Russian war planes, but no issues ) as far as Boguchar then Northwest to Belgorod via Rossosh. I don't think I could have crossed further South. I met only one foreigner during my entire time in Russia ( close to a month ), a Serbian guy on a motorbike coming from Crimea via Russia : he tried to cross into Ukraine from both Crimea and the Taganrog/Mariopol border crossing west of Rostov and was turned back twice. Just impossible. He also ended up using the Belgorod/Kharkiv one. Hope that helps. Yves.
Yves...that's excellent news. It's sounding very positive, and I'm looking forward to exploring this myself next year! Thanks. This is the real value of this forum! Tim
March is not the best time for cycling in Ukraine. It will be often rainy, and that's a problem. A lot of the best cycling routes are unpaved roads, but they will be almost impassable stretches of mud in March. The Carpathian mountains, which are beautiful in the warm time of the year, are still freezing cold and snow-covered until the middle of April.
Thanks for helpful advice. :-)