The Caucasus Mountains are one of the most interesting destinations for active tourism and trekking in Russia. The Caucasus Mountain Range stretches for 1,200 kilometers from the Azov Sea to the Caspian Sea. The territory of the Caucasian Reserve is limited to visitors, but the Elbrus National Park (northern slope) and Sochi National Park (southern slope) are open to all comers.

In this review on the online portal Geomerid you can read about interesting places on the northern and southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains:

1.    Caucasian Nature Reserve
2.    Elbrus Nature Reserve
3.    Dombay
4.    Sochi National park
5.    Caucasian Mountains in Gelendzhik
6.    Chegem Gorge
7.    Adygea

Click on the hyperlinks to read in detail about each attraction and see a large number of photos

Caucasian Nature Reserve

The Caucasian biosphere nature reserve is located in the Central part of the Caucasus mountain range, North of Krasnaya Polyana. Free access is closed, passes are required. However, in any case, it is not easy to go to the reserve. You have to cross mountain passes. Behind them, there are wild places where there is no mobile connection or any tourist infrastructure.

The Caucasian reserve was founded in 1924. It is one of the largest mountain reserves in Europe. In Soviet times, several tourist routes were laid along the Caucasian reserve, the main ones being No. 8 and No. 30. Route 8 starts near Psebay and route 30 starts in Guzeriple. Both end in Sochi.

Elbrus National park

The double-headed Elbrus is the highest peak of the Caucasus mountain range. This mountain is the center of the Elbrus National park. Mount Elbrus is located on the Side Ridge of the Caucasus mountains, which goes 10 km north of the Greater Caucasus range. Since the border between Europe and Asia in the Caucasus runs along the Great Caucasus Range, mount Elbrus belongs to the European part of Russia.

Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe (5642m). The height of Mont Blanc, the second highest in Europe, reaches 4810 m. This volcano is one of the centers of tourism in Transcaucasia. Many people come here in winter for skiing, and trekking enthusiasts come here in summer to admire the beauty of the Caucasus mountains.


Dombay Skiing Resort is located in the south of Karachay-Cherkess Republic, near the border of Abkhazia. But, it was known well before there was built the infrastructure of downhill skiing. For decades it was visited by the alpinists and lovers of trekking over mountain valleys.

When in Dombai, all tourists go by the cableway up to the observation deck at Musa-Achitara Mountain. Musa-Achitara Mountain is just opposite the main range of the Caucasian Ridge and from its observation deck one can see the massive chain of beautiful sharp-peaked mountains, as well as two of three Dombai valleys: Teberdin and Gonachkhir. It is just there that the hotel «Flying Saucer» is located, which has become the symbol of Dombai.

Sochi National Park

Sochi National Park occupies a large area south of the Caucasian Ridge from the city of Tuapse to Krasnaya Polyana. On the territory to the north of the Main Caucasian Ridge there is a Caucasian Nature Reserve, there is a very strict nature protection regime, and you need to get a permit to enter the territory. The sights of the Sochi National Park are open for access. 

There are about 50 attractions on the territory of the Sochi National Park. These are mountain ranges and separate mounts, waterfalls, gorges and canyons, caves, lakes and rivers. There are also several archaeological sites: dolmens, ruins of fortresses and temples, caves where ancient people lived. Some attractions of the park are difficult to access, for example, the Fisht or Oshten mountains. However, most of the interesting places of the Sochi National Park are located near the roads, and you can even come to them by public transport. 

Caucasian Mountains in Gelendzhik

The Caucasus Mountains in Gelendzhik are low, but very picturesque. Markotkh mountain ridge rises above the Gelendzhik city. Directly along the coast stretches a low mountain ridge Tuaptakh. These two ranges are part of the Caucasus mountains, and thanks to them, you can see many beautiful natural attractions in the vicinity of Gelendzhik.

The Markotkh mountain range runs parallel to the south of the Main Caucasus Range. Both ranges start near Anapa, but there they are more like rocky hills. In the region of Gelendzhik, the ridges are already similar to mountains, but still not high. In total, the Main Caucasus Range stretches for 1,100 km until Dagestan. The highest mountain in the Caucasus is Elbrus (5642 m), and there are 7 mountains in the Caucasus Range that exceed 5000 m in height.

Chegem Gorge

Chegem Gorge is located on the Northern slope of the Caucasus mountains, near the town of Nalchik. This is one of the most beautiful gorges in the Caucasus mountains. It stretches for more than 80 kilometers, but the most interesting part of the Chegem gorge for tourists is located between The Chegem waterfalls and the village of Eltybiy.

The most famous part of the gorge - the Chegem waterfalls and the Chegem canyon. This place is the end point of organized excursions. After the village of Nizhny Chegem, you should make a stop near the Aidai-su waterfall (30 meters).


The Caucasian natural biosphere reserve is very vast. In the southern part of Adygea is one of the zones of the Caucasian reserve, which occupies large areas of the Northern slope of the Caucasus mountain range. Most of the attractions in Adygea can be visited along the route from the village of Kamennomostsky to the Lago-Naki plateau. Another interesting attraction, Guam gorge, is located a little to the side of Kammenomostsky village and belongs to the Krasnodar region.

The Guam gorge in the riverhead of the Kurjpis River is one of the most famous attractions of these places. A very picturesque gorge stretches for 4 kilometers deep into the mountain range. There is a narrow gauge railroad in a gorge, so tourists can use this train to make a small trip. However, the problem is that during running a train the gorge is closing for feet walks, which certainly much more interesting than watching beauty of gorge from train window.