Central Caucasus attractions

Top Choice Mountain in Elbrus Area

Mt Elbrus

The two peaks of Mt Elbrus – the western at 5642m and eastern at 5621m – bulge nearly 1000m above anything else in the vicinity. This volcanic cone has upper slopes reputedly coated in ice up to 200m thick; numerous…
Top Choice Church in Dombay & Teberda

Shoana Church

Around 7km north of Karachayevsk, a dirt road leads uphill from the Ossetian village below to this early 10th-century Alanian church, one of the oldest, still-functioning chapels in the Russian Federation. The Byzan…
Park in Nalchik

Central Park

The large Central Park of Culture and Recreation (to give it its full name) offers forest lushness, small green lakes with paddle boats, an amusement park and the scenic Nalchik River, where locals take a dip to coo…
Mountain in Elbrus Area

Mt Cheget

Expert skiers relish the moguls, steeps and glades offered by this ski area on the south side of the Baksan Valley. The piste occupies the lower reaches of 3461m Mt Cheget (Mt Donguz-Orunbashi).
Lake in Nalchik

Blue Lakes

Worth a stop en route to the Cherek Valley are these small karst lakes with water in various shades of blue. The largest of the three lakes, which is deep and keeps a constant cold temperature, is surrounded by souv…
Museum in Elbrus Area

Vladimir Vysotsky Alpine Museum

This small but interesting museum, 7km east of Cheget, is named after the Soviet-era singer-songwriter and actor Vladimir Vysotsky, who was a great fan of the Elbrus region. The museum's exhibits aren't exclusively …
Christian Site in Arkhyz

Lik Khrista

A modern replica of a Byzantine style stone chapel marks the spot on the main road from where pilgrims climb a set of metal stairs to view this ancient rock painting of the face of Christ. The image, also known as t…
Christian Site in Arkhyz

Zelenchuksky Churches

These three 10th-century Byzantine-style stone churches are thought to be located in what was once the capital of Alania, a Christian state destroyed during the Mongol invasions of the 13th century. They are cluster…
Museum in Nalchik

Kabardino-Balkaria National Museum

Local natural and man-made history is covered at this reasonably interesting museum. Labels are in Russian, but it's mainly a place for visual appreciation, with a good 3D topographical map of the mountains, colourf…
Lake in Elbrus Area

Donguz-Orunkel Lake

From the top of Cheget’s lower chairlift, it’s about a one-hour walk around the side of the mountain to this lake. Check conditions before starting off (snow cover on the ground is likely until July) and enquire as …