Part Ten. The North-East Caucasus

Chechnya and Dagestan, September 7 – 18
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12 days
5 nights in hotels, 4-5 nights in a rural houses, 1-2 night in tents
35 km (22 miles) trekking
1072km by car, two days trekking with light backpacks
price 2,500 USD
Guide and assistant, transportation, accommodation, meals (B, L, D), equipment, all entrance fees and border zone permits
September 7th
September 7th
Grozny
We will spend the whole day in Grozny, exploring the peculiarities of the city and Chechen culture. We'll spend the night in the Central City Hotel 3* or something similar.
September 8th
September 8th
Argun Gorge
In the morning, we will drive in off-road vehicles to the Chechen mountains to see the waterfalls and towers of the Argun Gorge, as well as the restored defensive complex in Itum-Kale. We will get to the village of Dai by evening. We'll spend the night in a farmhouse.
September 9th
September 9th
Avar Villages of Dagestan
By lunchtime, we will make it to the Kezenoy-am Lake which is the largest mountain lake in the Caucasus. There, we will go for a ride on fun boats and have lunch.Then, we will cross the Chechnya - Dagestan border by off-road vehicles and get to the ancient villages of Ansalta and Rakhata. There, we will see how they make burkas (traditional Caucasian coats made from felt or karakul) and urbech (a spreadable paste made of flax seeds or apricot kernels, local version of Nutella). By evening, we will make it to the Avar village of Gotsatl where we will stay overnight.We'll spend the night in a rural house.
September 10th
September 10th
Mountain Architecture
In the morning, we're going to take a walk to the Karadakhskaya Tesnina. By lunchtime, we will get to the ancient village of Chokh with unique 19th-century architecture. Then, we will hike to the abandoned but picturesque village of Gamsutl. We'll spend the night in the ethno-hotel in Chokh.
September 11th
September 11th
The Laks Auls (Villages)
On this day, we're going to walk to the Saltinskiy Waterfall located in the depths of the cave. We will have lunch in Balkhar, the famous village of potters. Then, we will trek to the village of Kuli where we will spend the night.
September 12th
September 12th
Climbing the Pabaku Mountain
(3,996 m (13,110 ft.))
From early in morning, we will ride the horses to the foot of the of the Pabaku Mountain (3,996 m (13,110 ft.)) which looks like Mount Kailash in Tibet. We'll spend the night in tents at the foot of the Pabaku Mountain.
September 13th
September 13th
Climbing the Pabaku Mountain
(3,996 m (13,110 ft.))
Early in the morning we will climb the mountain. We'll came back to our base-camp for lunch and then spend the rest of the day riding back to Kuli village. Night in tents or in a rural house in Kuli.
September 14th
September 14th
To Kubachi!
In the morning we'll definitely be in Kuli and after a ritual tea go by 4WD to Kubachi village. Since ancient times, it has been famous for its mails and weapons, now the villagers deal with jewelry. We'll spend the night in a rural house.
September 15th
September 15th
Lezgin Villages
In the morning, we will trek to the abandoned village of Kala-Koreish where the medieval mosque, the Mausoleum of Rulers, and the beautiful tombstones are preserved. We will get to Derbent by lunchtime. After a short rest, we will be on our way to the Lezgin village of Akhty. We'll spend the night in the Samur hotel 3*.
September 16th
September 16th
Islamic Shrines
On this day, we will drive to the highest mosque in Europe located at an altitude of almost 3,000 meters (9,842 ft.), and then walk along the pilgrimage trail to the Pir Suleyman Sanctuary (3,700 meters (12,139 ft.)). We will get back to Derbent in the evening. We'll spend the night in the Scarlet Sails hotel.
September 17th
September 17th
Derbent and Makhachkala
We will spend the morning in Derbent studying this ancient city located on the border between Europe and Asia. In the afternoon, we will go to Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan.We'll walk through the downtown with a guide. We'll spend the night in the Central City hotel 3*.
September 18th
September 18th
Leaving
In the morning, we will walk around the Second Market, the largest farmer's market in the North Caucasus, then visit the Art Museum and the souvenir shops. Then, we will go to the airport.
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Mikhail Golubev
Mikhail Golubev, the leader of the Trekking the Caucasus project, guide
co-founder of Caucasus Explorer and Trekking the Caucasus project
Dmitry Lemeshev