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This trip to the Russian South and Caucasus region will give you an insight into how vast and diverse our country is. Indeed, life in this part of Russia differs a lot from what you can see in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. You will feel this difference in every aspect of life: from local culture and religion to people’s mentality and traditions.
You will visit a Buddhist temple and see how different it is from traditional Russian Orthodox churches. You will discover a nomadic life of the local people of Kalmykia – and compare it with customs of other regions’ inhabitants. You will taste several types of local mineral water from the unique thermal springs of Kislovodsk. Founded by the order of Alexander I, the city was a favorite vacation spot of many outstanding people: Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Anton Chekhov, and others…
We move forward. Do you know that Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain of European continent, is not actually a mountain? It is an inactive volcano which attracts thousand fearless climbers from all over the world. Its magnificent peaks can be observed from a distance of 15,554 feet (4,741 meters), that makes Elbrus the 10th most prominent mountain in the world.
During the trip, you’ll also enjoy the picturesque sceneries of Terskol, city tours of Vladikavkaz and Grozny, and the excursion to the Sulak Canyon, one of the deepest in the world… And that’s not all. Book your trip and get ready for one of the most exciting journeys in your life!
Regions: Republic of Kalmykia, Stavropol Krai, Kabardino-Balkar Republic, Republic of North Ossetia, Republic of Ingushetia, Chechen Republic, Republic of Dagestan.
Arrival at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Check-in. Free time. Meeting with a guide. Bus city tour around the center of Elista – the capital of Kalmykia. You will visit the Buddhist temple “Pagoda of Seven Days”, see the golden musical fountain “Three Lotus”, the administration of the head of the Republic of Kalmykia and the main University of Kalmykia. The Buddha Shakyamuni statue in Elista is the only Buddha statue in Russia that is installed outside the Buddhist khurul. You will also visit the Altn Boskh Gate (“Golden gate”), the Statue of Tsagan Aav, the East rotunda and the Monument to the national narrator of the Kalmyk epic of Jangar. Dinner. Return to the hotel. Free time.
Breakfast. Visit to the Palmov Kalmykia Republican Museum of Local Lore and to the Ethno-Khoton “Bumbin-Orn”. Ethno-khoton is a reconstruction of the traditional Kalmyk settlement with tents, that recreates the interior of Kalmyks-nomads’ life. Lunch. Visit to the Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni (also called the New Khurul) — the largest Buddhist temple in the Republic of Kalmykia, one of the largest Buddhist temples in Europe. The area around the khurul is also very impressive: a fabulous garden with fountains, flowers, prayer drums and statues of great Buddhist teachers. Transfer to the Lonely Tree (near the village of Khar-Buluk) – the site of a former poplar grove that was growing here some centuries ago. Today, there is only one tree left – it is a very popular sight among the tourists, locals and Buddhists from the neighbor republics. Transfer to the hotel. Free time
Breakfast (lunch box). Transfer to Stavropol (300 km, about 4 hours). Arrival in Stavropol. City tour with a visit to the Fortress wall of 1777, the military memorial, the monument of the Guardian Angel of the city, and the Kazan Cathedral. You will also visit the Stavropol State Museum with its main exhibit – two full 5-meter skeletons of southern mammoth. There are only 5 such skeletons in the world! Transfer to Kislovodsk. Accommodation.
Breakfast. In Kislovodsk, you will visit the biggest resort Kislovodsk Park with its famous ponds and go up to the Caucasian ridge (by cableway). Additional options include visits to the memorial mansion of Feodor Chaliapin and to the open-air ethnological museum Kislovodsk Stronghold. Visit to the Main Narzan Gallery where you will have an opportunity to taste three types of mineral water. Transfer to Pyatigorsk. City tour of Pyatigorsk – the oldest city of the region. You will stroll down the magnificent park Tsvetnik, enjoy the views from the observation point “Aeolian Harp” and see the famous Lake Proval. By the cable way (extra charge) you’ll ascent the Mount Mashuk and enjoy gorgeous views of the city.
Breakfast. Transfer to Elbrus region (about 3,5 h on the way). You will explore the legendary Mount Elbrus from the South side. Elbrus is the highest point of Europe; its height is 5,642 meters above sea level (the Western peak). You’ll go to the Azau Meadow and then rise by the cableway * on the Mount Elbrus (5642 m) – the highest peak of Europe. Cable way will take you up to the altitude of 3300 m ASL (extra fee), and you will enjoy the fascinating views of Mt. Elbrus from the observation deck. Free time.
* Not recommended for persons suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Breakfast. Short walking tour to the Terskol gorge to admire the picturesque sceneries of the region. Transfer to Vladikavkaz via Nalchik. Accommodation. Sightseeing tour around Vladikavkaz and its Old city with more than 70 historical and architectural monuments of late 19th – early 20th centuries. If possible, you can visit the National Museum (extra fee). Free time.
Breakfast. Transfer to Grozny via the capital of Republic of Ingushetia – Magas. Here you will visit the Monument of Memory and Glory of Ingushetia and learn many interesting facts about the life of Ingush people. City tour of Grozny – the capital of Chechnya. You will see the mosque “Heart of Chechnya”, walk along the quay and learn about the history of Grozny. You’ll also visit the National Museum and walk around Tsvetochny Park, with 467 floral constructions. You will enjoy the panoramic view of Grozny from the 33rd floor of the Grozny City Hotel. Accommodation. Free time.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Derbent. On the way, excursion to the Sulak Canyon, one of the deepest in the world. The canyon stretches for 53 kilometers, and its depth reaches up to 1920 meters. It is 120 meters deeper than the famous Grand Canyon. Sulak canyon is one of the most popular natural sights of Dagestan, which is visited annually by thousands of tourists. Accommodation. Free time.
Breakfast. We head down the coast to the ancient city of Derbent (including the citadel and fortress), which is classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Derbent means “shut gate” in Persian and for 2,500 years it has served a fortified town. Free time to explore the fort, the walls, the old city and the atmospheric Islamic mausoleums and tombstones located on the hills around the city. Visit to the citadel Naryn-Kala (the main attraction of Derbent and a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Dzhuma Mosque, the Caspian beach and some other sights.
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport of Makhachkala (on the way, short excursion around the capital of Dagestan).
*Veuillez noter que nous nous réservons le droit de modifier l'ordre des visites.
Do not hesitate to give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer your questions. We are also ready to adapt the tour to your specific needs.
+7 (812) 403-00-83