The region of Mineralnye Vody (’Mineral Waters’) is on the northern slopes of the Big Caucasus mountains. It is made up of four spa resorts – Kislovodsk, Pyatigorsk, Yessentuki and Zheleznovodsk.
The town itself is the transport hub not only for the Mineral Waters resorts but also for the skiing and trekking available in Mount Elbrus, North Ossetia and Dombay.
Top things to see and do in Mineralnye Vody
- Go trekking in beautiful Dombay, a town ringed with jagged mountain peaks, glaciers and waterfalls, where three raging rivers meet
- Climb Russia’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus. It is mostly crevasse-free with gentle slopes, and there is a cable car and chairlift
- Walk through the lovely countryside of Kislovodsk to see the Medovie waterfalls
- Visit the museum dedicated to Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov in the spa town of Pyatigorsk
- Book into one of the therapeutic mineral spa hotels in Yessentuki for mud baths, steam rooms and other treatments
- Spot deer in the Zheleznovodsk forest park, an area rich in the flora and fauna of this region
- Buy hairy Circassian shepherd hats in Nalchik
Tips for travellers
Head about 100km south-west to the town of Nalchik, the gateway to Mount Elbrus. You can book your Mount Elbrus skiing, trekking and hiking tours in the town.
While you’re in Nalchik, sample some spicy Kabardian national dishes, such as sausages and bean stews, and shop for hairy Circassian hats or exquisite Dagestani silver jewellery at the charming souvenir shop.