Photo tour «Treasures of the Nothern Caucasus»

Summer authorial program round the Nothern Caucasus with the dates chosen in the period of active flowering time of the mountain plants.

  • Ancient architecture and traditions.
  • National cuisine
  • Immersion in History
  • The most beautiful landscapes
  • Authorial program


Day 1.

At 14: 00 hotel check-in, meeting with the group. A trip to Beslan (23 km). Visiting of the memorial complex in the former gym of school No. 1 and the necropolis of «The City of the Angels», where 266 people who died during the terrorist act in September, 1st -3rd, 2004 are buried.
Overnight at the hotel in the city of Vladikavkaz.

Day 2.

The Kurtatinskoye gorge. Each gorge of the mountainous Ossetia has its own peculiar beauty and inimitableness. The gorge of the river Fiaghdon, or Kurtatinskoye gorge, irrigated with the cold Fiagdon and its fleets, is the most well-known gorge in Ossetia for its historical and cultural monuments. We start our look-over with Kadargavan – one of the most interesting wilds not only in the Kurtatinskoye gorge, but in the whole of Alanya. It seems, that it was broken through the rocks with a blow of a hatchet: the depth here is more, than 60 m and the width — only 2-3 m. Along the walls of the gorge, over the cliff, a pass goes with low hand-rails, called the «The Path of Wonders». Then, in the village of Dzivgis we will see the old towers and traditional tombs of ancient Dzivghicky Temple. We will visit the functional Alansky male monastery near the village of Khidzhuz.

The Midagrabinskye waterfalls. In a literal translation from the Ossetian the name means «being inside, in the depth”. Multistage gigantic water flows fall from height of over 3,000 m down the rocky walls. This sight most likely resembles a huge stone bowl, with the walls along which the water flows down. In total, there are about 50 waterfalls in the valley, with 15 large, 7 drying up (in season) and 8 permanent among them. All the waterfalls belong to the class of high-altitude ones. The permanent waterfalls have their own names: the Crystal, the Green, the Takhkadon (The Flying water), the Seighalan (The Falling Slide). The most important, beautiful and powerful is Seighalan or Big Seighalansky waterfall really looks like a falling slide. It starts from under the hanging glacier. The height of its free fall dissonance is over 700 m and it is the highest in Europe.

Dargavs. «The city of the Dead». It might be one of the visiting cards and recognisable cards of the region. Only one road goes there, along which the mist swirls almost constantly, enhancing the feeling of fear and mystery. At its the end, in the picturesque mountainous area, 97 tomb are located, which became the final resting place for many people. They have no doors and anybody can enter them, if, of course, he is not afraid of the air of death. In some tombs you can see only human bones and skulls; and in other ones there are some well-preserved mummies. In centuries past nobody determined to investigate “The City of the Dead”, only in the second half of the 20th century archaeologists and historians come to grips with unraveling of the mystery of the riddle of Dargavs. On their words, a lot of bodies were in «good» condition due to the special microclimate and ventilation in the tombs, and many corpses wore well-preserved cloths. The walls of the tombs are lined with sturdy rough-finished stones, bonded with a special solution. The researchers evidence, that it is very strong and consists of lime, lime milk, sour cream and birds eggs. Some tombs go deep in the ground, other ones are the terrain. If there was not enough room the tomb, an extra tier was made. Historians consider, that that in the “City of the Dead” not only dead people were buried, but also dead sick people came there (mostly during epidemics of plague) to meet their death. They took supplies of food and water with them to survive for a few days, came to their tomb, lay down and expected their death. The most of the bodies lie inside the exotic coffins in shaped of boats. Some researchers think, that it is due to the myths about Acheron and the underground, where the river Styx led. Maybe, ancient people thought, that on these boats the soul of the dead can reach the next world easier. The oldest tomb is dated to the sixteenth century. There are a lot of coins around some skeletons, and it can be explained as follows: the Ossetians threw a coin in the direction of the burial after funeral; if it hit a stone, so the dead had already reached the nether world.

The Karmadonskoye gorge. We will observe the gorge and the destructions caused by the disaster in 2002, when in the result of avalanche of a slip from Kolka glacier in Karmadonsky gorge, a mudflow occured, which caused the deaths of more than one hundred people. Among the dead was the crew of the film » Messenger» headed by Sergei Bodrov, the Junior. The ruined villages and broken concrete are everywhere. The speed of the slide was so big, that birds could not fly away and they were torn to pieces. Now a new road is paved at the bottom of the gorge and only a memorial board with the photo of Bodrov, mounted on the tunnel, full with soil, reminds about the tragedy.
Overnight at the hotel in Vladikavkaz.

Day 3.

The Digorskoye gorge. It is the most distant and the wildest region of North Ossetia. Silence and uttermost beauty . Valleys and gorges run away from the main road at different directions. From here the Zeysky glacier can be seen. Towers, ruins of auls, tombs. The complete appeasement…
After the village of Dunta the road starts to climb sharply up the mountain, and we reach the village of Kamunta. According to 1884 data, the village community included 218 yards and 1719 inhabitants. Nowadays, 7 people live here permanently and at the weekends the number of people increases up to 27 residents at the expense of tourists coming to have a rest. There was a school there earlier, where TWO pupils studied. The action «The Immortal Regiment» was held there, which was recorded in «the Russian Book of Records» as the most high-altitude one. Also, all the Russian athletes who had won gold medals at the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro were awarded with the title of «The Honorary citizen of the village». The village is recorded in the “Record book of Russia” because one resident of the village has all at 1,8 honorary citizens. Besides, the residents of this village most often join teleconferencing during the direct links with Putin. Very beautiful views can be observed from every point of the village. From the top, Galiat is plainly visible — the mysterious medieval city, amazingly well preserved. The dead-end village of the enough already wild gorge. There is no any further road and only few paths run for carriers with hay…The Medieval multistoried houses, towers, bethels, petroglyphs… There are very few inhabitants here, but each of them is interesting in his own way. This day we’ll have lunch on the Alpine meadows near the turbulent mountain river with beautiful views of the glacier.
Overnight at the hotel in Vladikavkaz.

Day 4.

Transfer to Tzei is early in the morning.
Check-in at the hotel on height of 1920 meters. We’ll spend the whole day exploring the surrounding area and the Skazski glacier. We will rise to the foot of the glacier by wire-rope way with the length over 1.5 kilometers. The difference in heights of the way is from 1900 to 2400 meters above sea level. The time of rise from the lowest station of the cable way to the glacier takes about 20 minutes. During this period of time we’ll see the beautiful landscapes passing by: woody foothills of the rocky mountains of Kalperovsky ridge , the Monach (Monk) mountain, visible in the upper head of Tzeisky gorge with all it sides, small glaciers, which Tzeisky gorge has about thirty in number, fancy rocky peaks of the Kalperovsky comb. The terminal station is the Green Hill. This is really a bright vivid-green grassy hill in front of the glacier. Here you can see the gun — a flak wagon of 100 mm caliber, which is mounted on a small platform for the destruction and avoiding of the potential avalanches during the winter. Mountain poppies, phloxes and fancy stones will accompany us everywhere. There are some stain hills of unusual shapes at the both sides of the glacier, looking like giant hoods of some fiction creatures. After examining the tongue of the glassier we’ll go back on foot, admiring the surrounding nature in details.

The Rekom Sanctuary. It is the main sanctuary in North Ossetia. Rekom is a character of the Ossetian mythology, the God of fruitfulness. Rekom was asked about sending people rich harvest, good hay cutting and hunting. Rekom was a multifunctional God, and besides the requests associated with agriculture, he was prayed for healing from diseases and protection from evil forces. The cult of Recom veneration was widely spread in the Alagirskoye gorge, and fests devoted to Rekom took place in July. During the festivals, which lasted for a week, a lot of cattle were sacrificed to Rekom. Only men could be present during the procedure of sacrifice, because the Recom sanctuary was a center of Wastergi, a patron of men. Inside the sanctuary we will see a large number of skulls and horns of animals, and new amazing views of the Tzeisky gorge will open in front of us on the way.
Overnight in a hotel at the foot of the glacier.

Day 5.

Trekking to the foot of the Tzeisky glacier. With all the stops and photo shootings near the fabulous postcard views we spend about 4 hours for one way trip. It will be an utmost beautiful route with the views changing constantly. The route passes on the territory of the National Park, the way transforms from the forest path into cross-country terrain with large rocks. But the route is not a big deal when you go slowly. The shots made during this walk will surprise many of your friends.
Overnight in a hotel at the foot of the glacier.

Day 6.

At 9-00 a transfer to the Dzheirakhsky waterfall.Check-in at the hotel.

A short trekking to the Liashginsky waterfall. It is the largest waterfall in Ingushetia, with height of 20 meters. Very beautiful views of the falling water and the streams rushing over the rocks down the gorge. We will stop at the foot of the waterfall and in the middle of the site to admire this miracle of nature.
Then we’ll go to Phalkhan. People don’t go there by chance… Being high in the mountains in the same level with the clouds, this place with its wetness and calmness could be a perfect decoration for shooting the new series of film “It”. Freezing quietness and the wrapround living wind… This is Phalkhan, the Phalkhan tomb necropolis. There are about 9 tombs there, some of them are ruined, but the bodies of the dead are amazingly well-preserved: thanks to the pure mountain air and good ventilation of the tombs the natural mummification occurred. You can watch very beautiful mountain sceneries here from their all four sides.

Then we see around the Medieval tower complex Erzi. Erzi is translated into Russian as “Eagle”. On one of the local legends, once the inhabitants of the aul of Kerbit came to this place and cut a tree. They saw the nest with baby-birds in it. The settlement, built at this place, was called Erzi. Probably, the eagle became a saint bird for the local residents. Many years ago Erzi was a big aul. You can judge about its richness with the big stone towers preserved till present time. There are a lot of towers on the territory of Ingushetia, but the most part of them is in Erzi. The complex consists of 8 combat, 2 semi-combat towers and the ruins of 50 small residential towers and walls. The greatest impression make, of course, the marvelous combat towers with height of 30m. The constructions have square foundations of 5x5m. In the tops they are finished with pyramide-stepped roofs. The roofs of the pyramide-stepped towers were made of slaty plates, and a big cone-like stone was mounted in the top. The combat towers were much more higher than the residential ones. Since the towers were high enough, to strengthen the structure a stone vault was made on the 5-th storey level. With that, the fire spread was prevented in case of burning. All the combat towers had cone forms. It was possible to rise to the upper stores only with the help of ladders. They could be raised at every moment. People came from one story to another through the hatches, made in the edges of the tower. The entrance to the tower was on the level of the second floor. So, the rammer was useless. The entrance was closed from inside with wooden leaves and was locked with the wooden beam. Sometimes the captivers lived there. The warehouses were in this place too. In the upper part of the tower the stones for throwing were kept, and also bows, arrows and other weapons. There were narrow loopholes and squints, and combat balconies- machicolation in the upper part. During the war conflicts women and children stayed in the down part, and the fighters struggled on the upper stores. The local residents were ready for siege,that is why the wells and underground passes were made under the towers. The walls of the towers shouldn’t have any projections, otherwise the enemies could climb them.
Dinner with the dishes of national cuisine.

Day 7.

Very full day with survey of tower complexes and mountain passes of Ingushetia.
Eghical –Pialing- Nyi – Vovnushki – ThabaErdy tomb – Pui — Targhim
ThabaErdy . The first Christian temple on the territory of Russia. The scientists don’t have one single opinion about the meaning of the name of the temple. Some researchers translate it from Ingush as “Our faith”, other ones think, that it’s more likely can be «Two thousand saints”, the third group supports the version, that ThabaErdy is a perverted version of Toma-Erdy, means the temple of Phoma-the-Saint. Data of construction is the 8th century. During the second Chechen war it was in the center of combat operations. Helicopter aircraft conducted an attack at the temple, and in the result the roof was ruined. Small, but surprisingly attractive temple. Both the stones and decorative pagan mommets on the walls – everything fascinates your greatly.i
Overnight in a hotel.

Day 8.

Transfer to Vladikavkaz. The end of the tour.

P.S. and of course, the tastiest Ossetian pies!

Tour dates: May,25th – June, 2nd 2018.
Duration: 8 days
Group: up to 12 people
Price: 650 USD

The price of the tour includes:
1.Stay in the comfortable double rooms in the hotels of Vladikavkaz and Tzei and in mountain-ski resort «Армхи», food included;
Food: day 1- dinner;days 2,3,4,5 — breakfast, lunch, dinner; day 6 — breakfast.
2.Transfer and excursions for the entire tour route;
3.Medical insurance.
4.Photo-guide services, entrance tickets to the museums and natural reserves.

The price of the tour doesn’t include:
1.Flight ( transportation) to the city of Vladikavkaz;
2.Personal expenses (alcohol and soft drinks, phone calls and etc.);
3.Other services not mentioned in the tour program.

Must-have items: a flimsy jacket with hood, track ankle boots, a cap, jersey sport trousers, hygiene items, thermos for 1 liter, a torch, caring lipstick, sunscreen agents.

Conditions of participation and reservation:

To take part you must:

  • confirm you participation in any suitable form;
  • sign the Agreement with LLC Tourist Agency “The Time for Discoveries”;
  • make advanced payment in sum 30% of reservation price within 7 days from the time of signing of the Agreement*;
  • pay the sum left not later than 21 days before the first day of the tour*
    * The participant has the right to pay the total sum at once after signing of the Agreement. *
  • Nothern Caucasus

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Tour dates:
May,25th – June, 2nd 2018.
8 days
up to 12 people
650 USD
Difficulty for this tour