Dombay downhill 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.
In the Soviet time, when Dombai was a tiny settlement of several apartment houses, they began to build the hotels for tourists who came there in summer to have a breath of fresh mountain air and have a walk over the valleys and passes of the Teberdin Reserve.
Dombay was particularly known for the alpinist camps, the most famous of which was Alibek (created in 1936). The camp was located several kilometers to the settlement of Dombai in the Alibek valley. Alas, its time has gone, and today it became a regular hotel, but several decades ago it was one of the main tourist centers in Dombay. The youth from all over the country came there to dip into the atmosphere of Komsomol romanticism with guitar songs at the campfire.
The main building boom has fall on the period of 2000-2010. For that time there were built about thirty hotels in Dombai, which turned it into a full-blown modern mountain resort.
Today there have been built about 20 kilometers of ski runs of various difficulty levels, however, the development of skiing infrastructure is slowed down by obsolete lifts. They were built several decades ago and don’t meet the modern standards.
When you visit Dombai in the summer it will give you an opportunity to have a wander on the numerous paths in the beautiful mountain valleys: Gonachkhir Gorge, Trout Lake, Alibek Valley, Baduksky Lakes, and the Devil Mill Canyon. As a rule, tourists are attracted by the waterfall paths: Chuchkhursky Waterfall, Sufrudzhinskij Waterfall (canyon of the river Amanauz), Alibek Waterfall (in Alibek Valley), and Shumka Waterfall.
While in Alibek Valley you must go to the Mountain Goat`s Lake. It is located between the Alibek and Dvuyazychnyi (two-tongued) glaciers at the end of Alibek Valley on the border of Abkhazia. The lake is small but very beautiful. It has emerald water, which temperature doesn’t rise above 3 degrees (ice melts only in July). There is a relict fir forest on the shore of the lake.
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.