The North Caucasus is a border territory, so if you’re planning a journey on your own, inquire if a permit on your itinerary is needed. You have to apply for a permit in each republic or krai separately. The simplest way to apply is to buy our tour (getting border zone permits is always included), but you can also send your documents to the e-mail of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the region in question. The procedure usually takes 30working days. It’s not always obvious whether a permit will be required on your itinerary or not. There is no comprehensive database where the five-kilometer area is marked. The only region that provides such a map is Kabardino-Balkaria. To find out about the other regions the best option, though somewhat outmoded, would be making a phone call to the Border Police.
Nine airports are scattered around the North Caucasus – it’s one of the most easily accessible regions in Russia. You can fly to Sochi, Gelendzhik, Anapa, MineralnyeVody, Nalchik, Vladikavkaz, Magas, Grozny, or Makhachkala. Many of them receive over ten flights a day from Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Lifehack: if you can’t find a flight to your destination in the Caucasus, check out flights to nearby airports – distances between cities are short. Also, it’s often cheaper to fly to Georgia than to the North Caucasus. So buy a ticket to Tbilisi and continue to Vladikavkaz on the scenic Georgian Military Highway. There’re dozens of trains bound for Krasnodar, Sochi, and MineralnyeVody from throughout Russia, from Murmansk to Krasnoyarsk. Comfortable double-decker trains with compartments depart from Moscow and arrive at their destination in less than 24 hours. There’re considerably fewer trains to the capitals of the Caucasian republics, yet at least one trip a day from Moscow is available. Moscow and Sochi are joined by one of the few major highways in Russia, M4. You will be able to enjoy the comfort of a perfect four-lane road with a guard rail at the speeds of up to 120 km/h. The only major highway running across the Caucasus is P217, connecting all the principal cities of the republic.