Seasons: June – September
Duration: 7 days/6 nights
Region: Russia (Republic of North Ossetia-Alania)
Difficulty: good physical shape isn’t necessary
Group: from 6 to 10 people
NB! The route of this tour lies within a border zone. The citizens of the CIS countries need to have a border pass which takes 40 days to be prepared. For citizens of the Russian Federation the same border pass is prepared during the tour.
In the morning - arriving at the airport (railway station) of Mineralnye Vody. At 11.30 - group transfer to the gorge of Digoria in North Ossetia republic-Alania (3 hours on the road to the border). With your guide you are going to the Main gates of mountain Digoria – the Ahsinta canyon.
It is the place where the canyon is so tight that it looks like a stone trough and you will see the Urukh River which flows among rocks at seventeen meters deep. This canyon amazes with its grandeur. Its sheer walls are made of rocks from gray layered Jurassic limestone.Several karst outflows eye-catchingly fall into the abyssal depth.
St. George (Ossetian – Uastyrdgi) is a sculpture of the most respected saint in Ossetia which will meet and see you off the road. You will also visit the Matzuta settlement which is located at the confluence of the rivers Aigomugidon andUrukh. “There is no way” is the translation of its name.
Arriving at Tana Park Hotel***which is comfortably located in the farthest picturesque corner of the
gorge ofDigoriagorge on the left bank of the river Hares in the "horseshoe" of natural attractions: the Metelask waterfall, Mount Kubus, spurs of Laboda andSugansk range. In the evening - discussion of the tour program. Dinner on your own at the hotel.
Breakfast in the hotel. Meeting with the guide, departure by the off-road car on the auto-walking route to the Karaugomsky gorge (a walking part of the route is about 10-12 km.).
Trekking to the Karaugomsky glacier. The Karaugomdon river begins under the glacier tongue. In Ossetian the name “Karaugom” means “a blind glacier” or “the glacier which has no way out”. The glacier has got this name because earlier it was possible to get into the gorge only by high icefall.The length of the Karaugomsky glacier is just over 13 kilometers, the area is 27 square kilometers, the glacier descends to a height of 1820 meters.The glacier has two icefalls. The upper one, the most powerful, escapes through the narrow "gates" of the Karaugomsky gorge and flows from a height of 3500 meters, the glacier tongue reaches a length of 800 meters. The lower icefall is less, about 500 meters. (Lunchbox)
Breakfast in the hotel. Today you are expected to climb to the top of Mount Kubus and walk to the Taimazinsky waterfalls. They look very spectacular from afar. Three snow-white streams fall at a distance of 150-200 meters from each other. Waterfalls originate on the Taimazi Glacier, in the Kharessky gorge. Below the streams are broken against the concave stone pyramids. Over the years, in the pyramids, the water has hollowed out a multitude of depressions that are a real decoration for each of the waterfalls. Water, falling into these depressions, splashes out of them by fountains.
After lunch, return to the hotel, rest. Lunch (on your own).Free time.
Breakfast in the hotel. Today you are going to
the travel around some medieval Ossetian settlements -Kumbulta (visiting of the castle Bagayt), Lezgor, Donifars.
The way lies along the spur of the Rocky Ridge, if to be more exactly it lies along the spur of the Uazahohskiy massif. There is the highest point of the Rocky Ridge here in North Ossetia called a mythological top Uazahoh, which remains a half-ruined fortress by its contours (3 529 m).
We are on the road to the settlements Lezgor and Donifars which during the Middle Ages represented independent communities with democratic government and were different from the other societies of Digoria. Nowadays people have left these settlements which represent an ancient ethnographic open air museum with numerous vestiges of the mountain architectural monuments: towers, crypts, castles, sanctuaries… (Lunchbox)
On a huge field between the settlements Lezgor and Donifars there is a unique early-medieval Lezagorsko-Donifarsskiy burial ground, the second largest burial ground in North Ossetia after the Dargavskiy one. Here there are 64 table-tombs of different types and 7 memorable columns called tsyrts. There is also the Satayi Obautemple (the second half of the 15th – the beginning of the 16th century).
The most part of the program you will dedicate to the exposure to the necropolis and the surviving monuments of the mountain medieval architectural architectonics.
After the excursion you will visit an Ossetian house where hospitable hosts will give you homemade Ossetian pies and herbal tea from the mountains. During the meeting you will know about local residents’ life style and customs. It’s time to return to the hotel. Dinner on your own.
Breakfast in the hotel.Meeting of a group in the lobby of the hotel.Departure on the route.Today you will trek through the Tana-don gorge to the Tana-tzete glaciers. The length of the walking tour is 10-12 km. During the walk you will be trapped in a unique intricate vegetation: juniper, dwarf perennial deciduous trees. Leaving the vegetation zone, you will find yourself in the amphitheater of the mountains: Taimazi (the Main Mount), Chashura, Tzyteli, peak Digoria, the peaks of the Western and the Main towers of Laboda.At the end of the path you will see the Tana-tzete. Lunchbox. Return to the hotel. Dinner on your own at the hotel.
Breakfast in the hotel. Digoria is often called the "valley of a thousand waterfalls and rainbows."There are a lot of waterfalls here. Today you are going to the trekking along the gorge of the Khares River to the Nakhashbita meadow (the length of the foot section is 10-12 km both ways). Lunchbox. During the walk you will see three waterfalls. Survey of the picturesque canyon, waterfalls and peaks of the Sugansky range. Return to the hotel.
In the evening, the group's festive dinner, during which you will share your impressions from your acquaintance with Digoria.
Breakfast in the hotel. Check out from the hotel.
It’s departure from the gorge to the airport of MineralnyeVody (5 hours on the way). You will go to the medieval settlement Zadaleskwhere you will visit the museum of mother- saver of Alanian children who called Zadaleskaya nana.
After that you will go to the settlement Hanaz which was one of the biggest settlements in mountain Digoria in the past. This settlement is famous for a castle of the Tsalaevs which is called Frigate. A similar architectural construction does not exist in the whole North Caucasus. So, it is not clear for a person who has appeared here at the first time what exactly overlooks on a high rocky ledge at an altitude of 2000 m above sea level, whether it is a sailing frigate or a medieval castle which cuts air waves like a sharp stony nose. This unique sample of the mountain medieval architectonics is dated of the 14th-16th centuries. Lunchbox. Departure by the evening flight after 8 p. m. from the airport of MineralnyeVody.
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