Season: June - October
Length: 12 days/11 nights
Region: Russia (Stavropol territory, Karachai-Cherkess republic, Kabardino-Balkar republic)
Difficulty: no physical preparation is required
Group: 8-20 people
Service: medium comfort
NB! Part of this route lies within border zone. It takes 40 days to prepare a border pass.
When you arrive to Caucasus - you want to see as much as possible. These breathtaking sceneries and ravishing air fascinate and attract. This trekking tour combines two major attractions of the North Caucasus - mighty Elbrus and scenic Dombay. You will see hidden lakes and beautiful gorges during short treks and relax in the comfort of hotels in the evening.
Company representative will meet you in the airport of MineralnyeVody. Transfer to Elbrus region (about 3,5 hours). Check-in at the chosen hotel. Free time.Meeting with the group guide, check-up of your equipment.
If you need to rent some, you can do it in a rental office. Dinner at the hotel (buffet). In the evening we recommend you to visit SPA-zone (swimming pool, sauna, hamam till 8.00 p.m. are included in the price).
Day 2. Trekking to Maiden's Braids waterfall
Breakfast at the hotel. Trekking to Observatory (3000m ASL) via Maiden's Braids waterfall. This route takes 6 hours. It starts at the foot of Terskol peak in the same-named village and goes up to the waterfall.
Along the way you will see high-altitude zones - as you go higher you will notice how landscape and flora changes. You start you trip in forest and ascent to subalpine and alpine meadows.
The unique features of the route are so-called basalt «Pencils», which rises from the earth. You can even touch them. At the end of the route you will enjoy the waterfall that consists of hundreds of streams. The waterfall got its romantic name due to these streams.
Lunch box. Return to the hotel after an active day. Rest. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 3. Ascent on Mt.Cheget and trekking to lake Donguzarun-Kel (you need to have a border pass)
Brekfast. Today you will ascent Mt.Cheget (3600m ASL). You will walk from Cheget glade (2100m ASL) to lake Donguzarun-Kel and then up to cafe Ay (2750m ASL, 5 km on the way). From the viewpoints you will enjoy fascinating views to Mt.Elbrus and other peaks of the Caucasus Mountain Range.
Lunch box. Rest. Return to Cheget glade. There you will visit the local market where you can get nice souvenirs of your unforgettable trip. Return to the hotel. Rest. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 4. Trekking to Adur-su gorge (you need to have a border pass)
Breakfast. Transfer to Adur-su gorge. This place is unique as it is very difficult to reach. So the nature there is preserved in the wildness. Specific rocky terrain makes it almost impossible for cars to drive there and people need a special training to ascent there.
You will have to use unusual cable way for cars to go up rocky cliffs and start walking part of the route (2-3 hour of walk, 6 km). During summer season you can pick berries straight from the bushes. Lunch box. Return to the car and return to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 5. Ascent on the slope of Elbrus
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Azau glade. From there cable ways will take you to the station Garabashi (3750m ASL). In between stations Mir and Krugozor you will walk to see German bunkers remained from the times of WWII (1 km on the way, 40 minutes).
If you are strong enough, you will walk up to Diesel Huts (4050m ASL) or even higher. Such trekking may require a special equipment that may be rented. Lunch box. Ascent at this height is very serious and you will have to follow all instructions of your guide. It will take you about 4-5 hours. Return to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 6. Combined excursion to Kirtyk gorge
Breakfast at the hotel. Traditional local off-road vehicle will take you to Kirtyk gorge (2300m ASL) from where you will walk 13 km to koshara (local shepherd's hut) where you will learn about household of locals.
The hosts will give you their traditional food to try - airan (local drink) and sheep cheese. Lunch box. Return to the hotel, rest dinner at the hotel.
Day 7. Transfer to Dombay
Breakfast. Early take-off to the snow covered peaks of the Main Caucasus Mountain Range in Dombay village (7-8 hours). Dombay is a real open-air museum of nature, with reach flora and fauna. A lot of plants and animals are unique and you can find them only there.
Breathtaking scenery of the Mountain Range with a lot of peaks and eternal glaciers framed with pine forests will take its place in your heart. Lunch box. Check in at the hotel ***, dinner at the hotel.
Day 8. Cable way ascent to Mt. Musa-Achitara
Breakfast. Today you will take a cable way to the top of Mt. Musa-Achitara (3012m ASL). From this height you will have a chance to see nearby gorges and peaks of Dombay and if the weather favors - even two heads of Elbrus.
The guide will tell you legends about the mountains’ names, about Karachai nation, their culture, traditions and household. Lunch at the mountain café.
Car trip to Teberda village, along the way you will visit Shumka waterfall. In the evening you will trek to Dzamagat mineral water spring (6 km on the way, the height difference – 400 m). Return to the hotel, dinner at the cafe.
Height difference – 1362 m, duration – 6-7 h
Day 9. Trekking to Chuchkhur waterfalls (you need to have a border pass)
Breakfast. Today you will walk to Chuchkhur waterfall and visit Russian clearance. Pine forest and alpine meadows surround this walk. Picnic next to the waterfalls.
Ice-clear river water, snow-covered mountains, eagles high in the sky, unforgettable pine smell - you will remember this trip during long work days. Return to the hotel, dinner. The hotel has its own SPA zone (swimming pool, sauna, hammam) available at extra fee.
Height difference – 500-600 m, Duration – 5-6 h
Day 10. Combined tour to Alibek gorge (you need to have a border pass)
Breakfast. Today you will enjoy walking trip along with jeep-saphary to the alpine camp Alibek, situated in the most famous gorge of the area. The road lies at the left bank of Alibek river through hundreds-year old pine forest.
The first stop is mountaneers' cemetry where rest the courageous conquerors of Dombay mountains. We will leave the car at alpine camp and walk to the river. You will see Alibek waterfall, not a big one but definitely one of the most beautiful ones, walk at the edge of Alibek glacier and come at the shore of Tur lake located at 2200m ASL.
From there you will see the Great Caucasus Mountain Range and its peaks - Ertsog, Belala-Kaya, Sulakhat and others. If you are lucky enough you will see wild oxen. Return to the hotel, dinner, rest.
Duration – 7-8 h
Day 11. Trekking to Suphrudgin waterfalls (you need to have a border pass)
Breakfast. Today you will trek to another waterfalls, called Suphrudgin. You will walk along Amanauz river, one of the main rivers of Dombay glade.
At one point the river runs in a narrow canyon with a swirl. This place is called Devil's Mill. Walking further you will see the highest waterfalls of Dombay - Suphrudgin, they are 250m high. Waterfalls are surrounded by mist, which turns into beautiful rainbows. Rest, picnic. Return to the hotel. Final dinner at the cafe.
Height difference – 500 m. Duration – 6-7 h
Day 12. Transfer from Dombay to MineralnyeVody
Breakfast. Hotel check-out. Transfer to MineralnyeVody airport (3.5 h), end of the program
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