Heart of the Caucasus
YOUR PRIVATE CAUCASUS TOUR !
9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS :: 3 and 4-star
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), settle in for the scenic drive to Mt. Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. Your guide will brush you up on the history of the Balkar people along the way, among whom you will be spending the next few days. 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-hour drive without even noticing! Breathe in the fresh mountain air and relax under the 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 lunch check out the local markets to pick up a local souvenir. Or explore one of Elbrus’ enchanting valleys with your guide by foot or by horseback. You’ll find the scenery breathtaking. Wrap up this memorable day at 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 3:: VLADIKAVKAZ, NORTH OSSETIA
This morning you 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, which 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 mini-performance of the national Caucasus dance, the Lezginka. You’ll even have the chance to learn a little of the Lezginka if you wish.
DAY 4:: NORTH OSSETIA
Hit the road again this morning with an excursion into Ossetia’s beautiful corner of the Caucasus Mountains. Today you will cover an array of Caucasus historical and cultural sites: an ancient military fortress, a hidden-away monastery, the famous “Dargavs”, or City of the Dead burial grounds, and unique Ossetian religious beliefs. If the skies are clear, you may even glimpse Mt. Kazbegi in the distance, one of Georgia’s highest peaks. After dinner, feel free to take the night off, or enjoy Vladikavkaz’s night life scene in this far southern corner of Russia.
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 into the early 20th century, 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. You will rest well tonight after your ascent back into the mountains. You’ll stay in the scenic Armkhi ski resort hotel tonight, nestled in the mountains less than 10 miles from the border with Georgia.
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 most ancient churches in the Caucasus 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 and linguistic richness that inhabits the tiny North Caucasus: Balkars, Ossetians, Ingush, Russians, and many more. In the afternoon you’ll make your way out of the mountains to the capital city of Ingusehtia, Magas, where you will spend the night. But, first, you’ll have a tour of the Magas Tower Concord, which is a small museum of Ingush history and culture made in the style of a 100 meter war tower. After dinner take a stroll along the central walking street where crowds gather to enjoy the warm summer evenings.
DAY 7:: GROZNY, CHECHNYA
Say goodbye to Ingushetia, as today you will enter yet another part of the North Caucasus, perhaps its most unique republic: Chechnya. The capital, Grozny, is very beautiful and safe, having been completely rebuilt after the wars of the 1990s and early 2000s, with more foreigners visiting every year. Chechens pride themselves on their hospitality towards guests, and so we are excited to introduce you to this land and people. Once you’ve arrived in the late morning, you’ll have a city tour and acquaint yourself with the local Chechen customs and traditions. You’ll spend time at Grozny’s “Heart of Chechnya” mosque, the largest mosque in all of Europe. Prepare to be amazed by the exquisite designs of the domes from within, as well as the reverence with which worshipers come and go. It truly is an architectural masterpiece.
DAY 8:: CHECHNYA
You’ll make your “final” Caucasus mountain excursion today into Chechnya’s Argun Gorge. The famous towers Ushkaloe Pakoch await you in the village Itum-Kali, an incredible sight, built into the side of a huge rock face. The drive is beautiful as you rise through Chechnya’s rolling hills into the towering cliffs of the gorge. Soak in your final encounters with ancient Caucasus towers and fortresses as you visit restored complexes in the villages of Kale and Pakoch. Tonight is your final evening in Grozny and who knows, maybe you’ll have a chance to practice your newfound Lezginka dance moves!
DAY 9:: DEPARTURE
Sadly, you’ll be saying goodbye to the North Caucasus and Russia today. We hope it’ll whet your appetite to come back again, to see more of all Russia has to offer! Fly out of the local Grozniy airport (GRV) and back to wherever you call home.
All Our Tours Include:
- Private English-Speaking Guide
- Premium Quality Hotels
- Informative Historical Tours
Heart of the Caucasus Pricing:
|Tour Level||2 People||3-4 People||5-6 People|
|Classic / Mid-range||$3,395||$2,935||$2,225|
For single rooms, a single supplement fee will be applied.
Contact us for larger group pricing.
3-4 people at a 3-star level
Quick Tour Overview
Day 1 – Arrival to North Caucasus – Mt Elbrus Valley
Day 2 – Mt. Elbrus
Day 3 – Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia
Day 4 – North Ossetia
Day 5 – Ingushetia Mountains
Day 6 – Ingushetia Mountains
Day 7 – Grozny, Chechnya
Day 8 – Chechnya
Day 9 – Departure
- 11 Days Private Transportation
- English speaking guide
- 10 Nights – Authentic Russian hotels
- 2 Meals in Local Homes
- Guided Tours
- All Entrance Fees
Request a quote today and tell us what will make your trip unique;
Our Russia experts tailor the itinerary that’s right for you;
We keep working with you to perfect your itinerary; and
You easily book through our American office.
What you’ll see on the Heart of the Caucasus