At present, all non-Turkish travellers need to buy a visa for Russia in order to pass from Turkey into Russia. The Trabzon consulate currently issues visas to European Union passport holders, but no others (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US included). Visas cost US$70 (3-day wait) or US$120 (same day), and passport holders need to complete an application form (available at the consulate), invitation or proof of accommodation, and proof of medical insurance.

Trans-Black Sea services to Russia (Sochi) have increased in frequency over recent years; contact one of the ferry agencies in Trabzon for current information.

Citizens of most countries, including Australia, Canada, EU, New Zealand and the US, may enter Georgia visa-free for up to 360 days. From İstanbul, both Azerbaijan Airlines and Turkish Airlines offer regular flights to Baku in Azerbaijan.

Overland bus services have been less affected, with several services a day running over the border to Batumi. The Georgian frontier can be crossed either at Sarp, or at Posof, for onward connections to Armenia and Azerbaijan (see By bus). It’s easy enough to do the trip to Georgia in smaller chunks, taking a dolmuş or taxi from Sarp to the border and then arranging local transport on to Batumi on the Georgian side, from where several daily buses run to Armenia.

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