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Getting there & away

Public transport is very limited; a daily marshrutka departs Dombay's bus station for Cherkessk (R150, three hours, 8.30am) and returns at 1.30pm. Alternatives are an expensive taxi (up to R2500) or a day excursion from Kislovodsk or Pyatigorsk.

These excursions take you over the 2313m Gumbashi Pass, with gobsmacking views of Mt Elbrus lording it above the whole mountain chain. The coach stops for photographs. Arrange with the tour leader or driver to return another day but remember that the tours aren't daily. Take your passport for crossing borders between the republics.