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.
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.