At the top of the vacation - 7 days in the mountains of the Caucasian Mineral Waters

You can accomplish a lot in a week! Every day - a new peak, a conquered volcano, stunning mountain landscapes, pristine nature and the legendary Caucasian Mineral Waters - a supply of health and impressions for the whole coming year.

When the long-awaited vacation is very close, and traveling abroad is associated with a lot of difficulties, domestic tourism is becoming increasingly popular. As an alternative to boring stuffy cities, healthy lifestyle routes along mountain peaks are especially interesting for lovers of active recreation. They are designed for a specific number of days and can be easily adjusted depending on the time available. Therefore, even if you can’t take a long vacation and you only have a week at your disposal, you can arrange the best vacation, the main thing is to fill it with impressions as much as possible.

To do this, we offer an interesting week-long route along the famous peaks of Pyatigorye. It includes the Camel, Byk, Zmeyka, Razvalka, Beshtau, Lysaya mountains, as well as tasting of the legendary mineral waters. The ascent to and descent from each peak takes several hours, depending on sports training and weather conditions, so you can choose the most extreme vacation with an overnight stay in the mountains or a more gentle one, with a return to civilization, the famous resort cities of Zheleznovodsk, Pyatigorsk and Essentuki are nearby.

Hiking route

Remember the lines of the romantic philosophical rock composition “Golden City” performed by Boris Grebenshchikov “You will be met there by a fiery-maned lion, And a blue ox full of eyes, With them is a golden celestial eagle, Whose unforgettable gaze is so bright...” All these symbols will really meet you during traveling through the “magical”, relict, unique nature of the Stavropol Territory, but first things first – let’s start our route!

Pushkin Gallery

The Pushkin Gallery is an architectural symbol of Zheleznovodsk. A long building in blue tones with a light dome and colored glazing is located in the very heart of the resort part of the city. This is where we will begin our walk. The building was built in 1902 and was originally intended for entertainment: a small theater was installed in the left half, and in the right there was a hall for dances and exhibitions.

At first the gallery was called Zheleznaya, but soon it was renamed Pushkinskaya (in memory of the great writer’s arrival for treatment in 1820 ). Previously, the gallery was bustling with life - famous performers of those years gave concerts there, performances and dance evenings were held. Now events are held periodically, and the right part is given over to exhibitions of paintings by local artists.

In the early 2000s, a park and a small monument to Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin was erected. There are also stunning flower beds, plant statues and flower clocks. This is one of the main attractions of Zheleznovodsk.

Museums of Zheleznovodsk

The most popular museum in the city is the Pushkin Gallery , located on the central alley of the Medical Park. The gallery building itself is very beautiful and unusual; it is decorated with a magnificent dome and has bizarre shapes. Inside you will see 2 halls - a small one intended for exhibitions, and a hall with 700 seats, which regularly hosts poetry evenings, concerts and presentations. Also here you will find a small room introducing us to the life and work of the great poet.

Also in Zheleznovodsk you can visit:

  • Academic Art Gallery (Mironenko St., 6), where you can get acquainted with paintings by contemporary artists of different directions and styles;
  • Local Lore Museum of Zheleznovodsk (Lermontov St., 3), which will introduce you to the rich history of the region.

Fountain with pump bottles

Not far from the Pushkin Gallery there is a new city fountain in the center of which there are two huge bronze “pump room” mugs. The fountain received this design recently - in 2022, and it also became a light and sound fountain , so it makes sense to come in the evening. During the day, the fountain also looks great, the water jets form different patterns, you can relax by the fountain and eat signature Pyatigorsk ice cream.

From Zheleznovodsk to Lermontov in reverse order

Once I tried to walk the route from Zheleznovodsk to Lermontov in the reverse order from Ostroy Mountain. I took a taxi from Essentuki, where I was resting, to a clearing near Ostroy Mountain. The driver took me to Dubravnaya Street in the city of Lermontov. Having learned the purpose of my trip, he brought me straight to the place. And I didn't have to walk. But something strange happened to me there. Knowing the road well, I got lost. Repeatedly I tried to go from Tupoya to Medova. But she always went out to Beshtau.

Mount Beshtau

Then I went to the lower spring near Mount Beshtau.

And went up to the Eagle Rocks guest complex.

Guest complex "Eagle Rocks"

From there we had to call a taxi, since it was autumn and it was getting dark. And there was no point in going to the public transport stop. The last minibus left for Essentuki.

Smirnovsky and Slavyanovsky springs

There are always people hanging out near the two main mineral springs. The Smirnovsky spring is located right next to the fountain, and is very interestingly decorated. The water here is warm with a mineralization of 3.6 g/l, making it a pleasure to drink. the Slavyanovsky spring between the fountain and the Pushkin Gallery. It is the hottest of all - water temperature 55 degrees, mineralization 3.4 g/l. It was named after the hydrogeologist Nikolai Slavyanov, who discovered it. These mineral waters help with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract; each pump room has signs with detailed information about the properties and dosages of the water.

Cascade staircase

So we got to the main attraction of Zheleznovodsk. Walk a little from the fountain towards the park, and here it is, a beauty - the Cascade Staircase. It is impossible to imagine a holiday in Zheleznovodsk without a walk along it. After all, this is one of the longest stairs in Russia - almost a kilometer! 900 meters , to be more precise. Not only is it very useful for endurance training , but it is also very beautiful. The cascading staircase is decorated with statues of animals and fairy-tale characters (eagle, mermaids, angels), flower beds and small fountains.

If you climb the stairs, you will climb 700 steps and burn 200 calories. There are many benches along the road surrounded by greenery. In the center of the staircase there is an interestingly designed “pump room-book”. Excerpts from Lermontov's works are engraved on its wall. But if you are heading from the fountain, then you have to go down the stairs. Then you will be taken directly to the embankment of the resort lake.

Narzan source in the park

The building is small, but very beautiful - it is surrounded by several snow-white columns, which gives the pump room lightness and weightlessness. This source is still active today. Every visitor and tourist to the Resort Park in Zheleznovodsk should pay attention to it. An indelible impression will be made not only by the appearance of the building, but also by the delicious healing water, which perfectly quenches thirst on a hot summer day.

fountain in front of Narzan gallery

Zheleznovodsk narzan spring

You might be interested in the resort town of Mineralnye Vody, there is a lot to see there.

Zheleznovodsk cascade staircase

Resort lake

The lake has an observation deck overlooking the Cascade Staircase itself and Iron Mountain. There is also a concert and dance floor here, and on the tiles under your feet are the names of the chemical elements of the local mineral waters. What else does the lake have? Sculptures: Girl on a Bicycle, Fisherman and Fishing Cat, Eagle and Pyatigorye. If you don’t know where to go to sunbathe, swim, or ride a catamaran, then this is the place for you too. In short, a place for relaxation and entertainment that is easy to see on your own.

Chaykovskiy street

But I really love this place, Tchaikovsky Street is one of the most beautiful in the city . It offers views of Mount Beshtau , which has 5 peaks. The three tallest ones are best seen. A stone staircase with golden lions leads from the Palace of the Emir of Bukhara to Tchaikovsky Street (not to be confused with the cascade one). Going down you will pass by a department store, a cultural center and beautiful gazebos along the alley of love. This is the second name of this street; weddings are often filmed here. Of course, the place is very cozy - a view of the mountains, neat chestnut trees - be sure to visit here even if you only have one day.

On the same street there is the city palace of culture - the place where all significant events take place, take a look, maybe there is something for your dates.

Mount Camel

So, you can begin your journey by conquering a peak (or rather two peaks) with the amazing name “Camel”. Camel is a remnant magmatic mountain in Pyatigorye. It has two peaks with a height of 885 and 803 m, which are located side by side and very much resemble two camel humps. The mountain is a laccolith, that is, an unformed volcano in the form of a hill with a magma core inside. However, despite the fact that the volcano is not entirely real, it is quite possible to conquer it. It is better to start the ascent from the southern side from the village of Verblyudogorka, and descend from the eastern side to the village of Port Arthur. The climb up the mountain is not too difficult; at the top there is a beautiful panorama of other laccoliths of the Kavminvod.

Palace of the Emir of Bukhara

The building, built in 1912, is a fabulous palace ensemble in an oriental style. The building went through many different events after it ceased to be the residence of the emir: there was a sanatorium, an infirmary during the war, and a hotel. Now it is an architectural monument; part of the territory belongs to the Ernst Thälmann sanatorium.

Right next to the palace of the Emir of Bukhara there are two more interesting objects: The Musical Pavilion. The gazebo was built at the end of the 19th century for musicians - before, live music was often heard in the resort park. The gazebo not only replaced the stage, but also contributed to good sound. Thanks to a special acoustic system, the sound was amplified and spread over a long distance.

The sculpture of the zodiac signs is no less interesting. It depicts all the signs of the zodiac, including the eastern ones. In the center there is a large oval stone, which is called the “wishing egg”. Yes, you guessed it right: if you make a wish and turn the stone, it will come true. But this is not so easy to do, the stone is quite massive.

Monument to fallen soldiers

No matter how intoxicated the beauty of the mountains is, you still have to go down. We continue to follow the route from Zheleznovodsk to Lermontov. We descend from Mount Tupoy and return to the road from which we turned off. We move forward along the road for a few minutes and notice a good path going to the left. We follow it and come out to a flower garden to the left of a huge stone lying in the forest to the side of the mountain. We come closer and see in the middle of a site fenced with stones and planted with flowers with the 1942 burial of Soviet soldiers of the Great Patriotic War - the defenders of Zheleznovodsk.

The monument is a rock with the image of a soldier in a helmet. There is also a memorial plaque on the rock with the words: “Let's remember everyone by name, let's remember with our grief. The dead don’t need this, the living need this.”

The names of the victims are not indicated on the monument. On the left, almost nearby, is the massif of Mount Ostroy. The grave is always well maintained.

Lermontovsky square with a source

What else can you see in Zheleznovodsk? Not far from the sculpture of the Signs of the Zodiac is the Lermontov Public Garden. Here you will see huge shaggy blue spruces, benches with lanterns and a monument to Lermontov. The place seems to be from another era. is within walking distance . Why is it called Lermontovsky? Of course, because Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov was treated with the resort’s water in 1837 - 1841, this is also indicated on the sign of the pump room building.

Terrenkur Zheleznovodsk. Historical sketch

The health path in Zheleznovodsk initially consisted of one mountain promenade. It was built around the back side of Mount Zheleznaya (the resort is named after it) and on the western slope of Mount Razvalka. In fact, all later “walking” directions are just branches of this “basic” path. In 1899, specialists began to conduct research, and a year later this pedestrian highway was “born”. On the advice of Dr. Lichonin, stone paths were built, similar to those described in the works of Max Ertel.

Mount Zheleznaya with paths

For dessert we have the beautiful Iron Mountain, next to which the resort park itself is located. It all started from the mountain - more than 20 mineral springs were found in this place, rich in iron, which precipitates, so the water turns the color of rust. This is where the name Zheleznovodsk comes from .

Is it possible to spend leisure time on Mount Zheleznaya? Yes, there are health paths - walking routes or “health paths”. You can take this route in several places in the resort park, the easiest way is from the stele at the Slavyanovsky spring. There are several paths:

  1. Stele - Mountain goat - route along the north-eastern slope of the mountain. It passes through the wooden sculpture “Grandfathers” to a drinking spring with a bas-relief “Mountain Goat”. This is an easy route of one hour and 3 km.
  2. To the top of Zheleznaya there is a more difficult route, 6 km. But you will enjoy stunning views, including other mountains, such as Medovaya.
  3. To Mount Razvalka there is an even more difficult route with a large height difference and a length of 8 km. Along the way you can see various caves, including the cave of Primitive Man.

Of course, it is better to allocate separate time for health paths if you do not have time to see all the sights of Zheleznovodsk in one day.

From Mount Medovaya to Tupoya

From the point of view of orientation on the ground, the most difficult section of the route from Zheleznovodsk to Lermontov is the forest road from Medovaya to Tupaya.

Under the forest trees

From Mount Medova everything seems simple. Mount Tupaia is ahead, opposite Medovaya. But as soon as you descend into the forest, the mountains become invisible. You need to move in an arc, slightly bent to the left. The road gradually rises, crossing small streams. You won't have to walk for long. On the right, in the direction of travel, the massif of Mount Kabanka (Tupaya) should begin to be visible through the branches. We leave the mountain massif on the right behind. We look carefully at our feet and a little ahead so as not to miss the path to the mountain. Along this narrow path we must turn sharply off the road to the right.

Ostrovsky baths

Another object for those who are interested in architecture is the Ostrovsky Baths. The complex was built in 1893 and named after the brother of the famous writer Mikhail Nikolaevich Ostrovsky. He made a significant contribution to the development of the resort. The building provided the most modern procedures at that time: therapeutic baths and mud delivered directly to the room. It is a pity that the building is now empty and in need of renovation.

I hope you liked the selection of Zheleznovodsk attractions with descriptions and photos. If you wish, you can see all these places in one day (if you don’t go along the paths). We've marked all the locations on the map below. The order of inspection will depend on whether you want to go up or down the cascade stairs:

In general, I really liked the city of Zheleznovodsk, it is small but cozy. Be sure to visit it if you go to Mineralnye Vody. Leave your reviews about the attractions of Zheleznovodsk in the comments.


Historical note

M. Yu. Lermontov loved the Caucasus very much, spent half of his life there and dedicated many poems to these places. For these reasons, in almost every city of the Caucasian Mineralnye Vody one can find buildings bearing the name of the poet. Zheleznovodsk was no exception. Guests of the city can see the Lermontov pump room, located on the site of the first mineral spring found in the city. The source was found in 1810, initially it was called Konstantinovsky or source No. 1.

The pump room itself was built only 100 years later according to the design of the Russian architect A. Kuznetsov. In its original form, water from the source was supplied through pipes to the central part of the pump room, where any amount of liquid could be drawn from the tap. Later, the building was rebuilt several times; over time, the cranes were also moved, placing them along the walls.

Zheleznovodsk source No. 1 photo

Zheleznovodsk source No. 1

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