Discover the Caucasus
8 days of ‘highlights’ of the North Caucasus, sure to leave you wanting more. Enjoy peace of mind that your tour is being handled by Caucasus experts.
See for yourself why clients are calling their private trip to the North Caucasus Mountains “amazing”…..
DAY 1 ARRIVAL IN NORTH CAUCASUS – MT. ELBRUS VALLEY
After flying into the Caucasus Mineral Waters airport (MRV), enjoy the scenic drive to Mt. Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. Brush up on the history of the Balkar people along the way, among whom you will be spending the next few days. Prepare for a stunning detour for your picnic lunch, at Bylym Lake, an incredible lake nestled among grassy hills and rising rock faces. Once you have completed the breathtaking drive to Mt. Elbrus, check into your hotel and enjoy some free time to explore the area and take in the views around you. Don’t blink, because you will have risen 7,000 feet above sea level on this 3 hr. drive without even noticing! Breathe in the fresh mountain air and relax under the beautiful, clear night sky.
DAY 2 MT. ELBRUS
Today is dedicated to Mt. Elbrus, the gem of the North Caucasus. After breakfast, you will ascend up 3 levels of cable cars to 14,000 feet (3,800 meters), base camp for Elbrus’s aspiring mountaineers from all over the world. Even in the middle of the summer heat, you will want to dress warm, as it can snow at base camp in August. You won’t want to rush today, as you soak in the majestic views of the Caucasus range all around you. Perhaps your time on the mountain will inspire you to return one day to climb it? After a filling late lunch of Balkar food with some of the best restaurant views you’ll ever have, descend back down the mountain to Elbrus’s charming souvenir markets, full of tempting local goods, including Caucasus Papakha hats, beautiful hand-knit slippers, shawls, and tasty local jams. Take it easy after dinner as today’s changes in elevation will have surprisingly worn you out!
DAY 3 MT. ELBRUS VALLEY
Wake up to one of many stunning sunrises the North Caucasus has to offer. Explore one of the many hidden beauties of the Elbrus valley this morning, as you take an excursion to a jaw-dropping waterfall off the beaten path. In the afternoon, get up and close with a famous Kabardian horse, for a short trot through the lush Elbrus forests. Wrap up this memorable time in Elbrus with a local Balkar family in their home for dinner, trying their famous cheese-filled hichini dish and airan, a yogurt-like drink sure to fill you up.
DAY 4 VLADIKAVKAZ, NORTH OSSETIA
It’s with much sadness that we will leave the beautiful Elbrus region and head deeper into the North Caucasus. As you reflect on all the spectacular beauty you saw at Mt. Elbrus, prepare yourself for even more surprises as you pull into Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia around lunchtime. Just 30 minutes from the border with Georgia, Vladikavkaz is one of the largest cities in the North Caucasus and is rich with culture/history you’ll be sure to “feel” as you tour this old city. Vladikavkaz’s diverse ethnic make-up will become clear quickly, as you pass different churches (Russian and Armenian) and mosques (Sunni and Shia) along the way. A filling dinner awaits, as you try the famous Ossetian pies, topped only by an after-dinner dance party of the national Caucasus dance, the Lezginka.
DAY 5 INGUSHETIA MOUNTAINS
This morning’s drive may feel like you are going back in time, into a land that you didn’t know still existed today. Welcome to Ingushetia, the land of the Towers. Up until WWII, many Ingush families lived for centuries in their families’ complexes of towers, which dot the landscape as far as the eye can see. Although uninhabited today, these tower complexes remain standing all over Ingushetia, turning an already beautiful land into something magical. Your time here would not be complete without experiencing the hospitality of a local Ingush family, trying their tender, boiled lamb meat in the comfort of their home. If you haven’t learned yet, guests are treated like “kings” in the North Caucasus, and we hope you sense the genuine gratitude of all your hosts, that it was their honor to have you in their home. You will rest well tonight after your ascent back into the mountains.
DAY 6 INGUSHETIA MOUNTAINS
If you enjoyed what you saw yesterday, today may be the highlight of your trip. We will spend the day exploring more of Ingushetia’s untamed mountain landscape, visiting ancient sites along the way. One of the Caucasus’s most ancient churches is located in Ingushetia, over 700 years old. For those with a camera and photographic eye, these two days in Ingushetia will be sure to capture your imagination as one of the world’s most beautiful hidden regions. By now, you are probably also starting to grasp the diverse cultural richness that inhabits the tiny North Caucasus: Balkars, Ossetians, Ingush, Russians, and many more. You will return to Vladikavkaz in the evening for another night in this nearby city.
DAY 7 PYATIGORSK
Enjoy a slow morning in your last hours in the heart of the Caucasus; sleep in, soak in the views, or enjoy a leisurely breakfast with some mountain tea. Can you believe it?! This is your final full day in the North Caucasus. You will have much to reflect on, on your drive back to Pyatigorsk, where your journey started a week ago! Once checked back into your hotel, grab a quick nap, and prepare yourself for an unforgettable final evening, at a local Russian banya (sauna). Soak in this world-famous Russian health experience, as you relax from your week of travel and adventure. You will be telling all of your friends how it felt to leave the roasting banya room and jump into the nearby pond with its spectacular view of Mt. Beshtau in the background.
DAY 8 DEPARTURE
Pack your bags and say goodbye for now to the North Caucasus, a place we hope you will come back for another adventure in very soon. Fly out of the local Mineral Waters airport (MRV) back to wherever you call home.
All Our Tours Include:
- Private English-Speaking Guide
- Premium Quality Hotels
- Informative Historical Tours
Discover the Caucasus Pricing:
|Tour Level||2 People||3-4 People||5-6 People|
|Classic / Mid-range||$3,955||$2,695||$2,425|
For single rooms, a single supplement fee will be applied.
Contact us for larger group pricing.