On the 20 September 1990 the Republic of South Ossetia declared its independence officially. The birthday of the young Caucasian Republic is today celebrated annually in its capital, Tskhinval, every year on this historic date. Thousands of Ossetians, many coming from the Russian North and elsewhere, gather on Theatre square in the city centre to follow a military parade, before a cultural and food festival starts to kick off.
Visit South Ossetia invites you to celebrate the happiest day in the South Ossetian calender with the Ossetians and be part of the festivities. To make your trip worthwile, we invite you to a week-long tour to explore South Ossetian, the Ossetian culture and the natural beauties of the country with us!
The Saturday before Independence Day, our English, Russian, Ossetian and German speaking guides will meet you at the airport and, after a lunch in Vladikavkaz, drive you to the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinval. In Tskhinval we will enjoy a dinner together, before moving into our your hotel for the next week.
After a breakfast in Tskhinval’s best restaurant, we will explore the city of Tskhinval and its surroundings together. The tour includes the old train station, the modern state university, two memorials to the 2008 war with Georgia, the national stadium and the fascinating Old Town. During the Day, we will have a common lunch and dinner in different local restaurants to taste the local delicacies, like the famous Ossetian Pies.
Monday it’s time to hit the countryside for us! We will drive to the far North-West of the country to explore the mountain ranges of the Western Dzau district. Close to Kvaisa (Georgian Kvaisi), we will visit a local resident and have a lunch with him. He will show us his traditional mountain village, the skiing slopes under development and tell us how it is to live in such a remote village house, where bears and other wild animals regularly pay a visit. Before heading back to Tskhinval, we will stop at Kozy Lake, where tourists from Russia and South Ossetia alike regularly spend a weekend camping in one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Caucasus. Dinner in Tskhinval on return.
On Monday, we will head off to Leningor (Georgian: Akhalgori), the second city of the country, which is inhabited mostly by Georgians, who are the only people in the region who can cross the border to Georgia anytime. In Leningor, we will meet the Head of the regional government, chat to the locals and visit the old mansion of the Eristavi Noble Family, who used to rule the region until 1920. The museum of the mansion shows us artifacts of the rural life in the District and the remains of the noble family, including their art collection. We will have a lunch in an amazing old restaurant in Leningor and dinner once back to Tskhinval.
After a breakfast in Tskhinval, we will go shopping for a long day out. We will visit the bread and the meat collective combines of Tskhinval to get some bread, Ossetian Pies and meats for a picnic in a part of the country where rarely anyone lives. We will then set off to the North-East of South Ossetia and explore the old, often now uninhabited, villages of the hilly region around the village of Edis (Georgian: Edista). Here, we will enjoy some natural sanctuaries to the Gods of the Ossetian faith Uatsin. We will also explore the rich mineral water sources along the road, some of which sparkle naturally. Dinner will be served back in Tskhinval again.
The day before Independence Day, we will head out of Tskhinval after breakfast for the last time, to explore the Znaur District in the South-West of the country. We will visit the village of Znaur and see one of the largest remaining Stalin busts in the former Soviet Union and a beautifully newly built wooden church. During the day, we will further explore daily life in the District that once was an important link to Georgia and is now at a dead end road.
- Friday – Independence Day!
Straight after breakfast, we will go to Theatre Square to attend the military parade and hear the speech of the President of South Ossetia. Afterwards, we will allow ourselves to get lost in the nearby beer and food festival, where all Districts of the country present their local treats for free. During the whole day, traditional Ossetian music and dances will be on show amidst the beer and food festival. In the late afternoon, we will head over to Kosta Khetagurov Square to see a huge dance show of the countries best artists.
After breakfast, we will shuttle you back safely to your airport to catch your flight and wish you farewell.
All of the above is not mandatory, but an offer to our guests. Should you have a specific bucket list wish, please contact us anytime and we will arrange it for you. Should you simply like to stay a day in Tskhinval or elsewhere and explore it yourself, for example to work journalistically, we are more than glad to give you this opportunity, too, and, if needed, provide you an interpreter. Should you wish to meet any Ossetians or speak to any representatives of any institutions, please tell us in advance, so we can arrange this for you. We do have excellent contacts to all Ministries and District governments and can arrange long sit-down interviews for you anytime.
Costs: 1000 US Dollar, to be paid cash on the ground (in Dollar or the Rouble equivalent)
Min. Group Size: 1 participant!
Max Group Size: 25 participants
What is included and what is not?
- Transfer from and to Vladikavkaz (OGZ) airport or the city of Vladikavkaz.
- Accommodation in Twin Rooms
- Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner in varying restaurants across the country. Be rest assured, that we will not allow you to be hungry!
(We can cater vegetarians, vegans, halal, etc on prior notice)
- Visa for South Ossetia
- All entrance fees
- 24/7 phone and email availability before, during and after your trip
- Diplomatic support (telex from the Russian Foreign Ministry to your embassy) to receive your Double-Entry Russia (transit) visa
- South Ossetian SIM card with data package
- Transfer from other airports (Nazran/Magas +50 US Dollar, Nalchik +70 US Dollar, Grozny +100 USD, Mineralnye Vody +150 USD)
- Late/Early arrival transfers (+50 USD for Vladikavkaz + additional costs for other airport)
- Russian visa fees
Any questions? Get in touch anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org