The word Caucasus summons up images of fiery mountain folk, the high-tempo lezginka dance and volatile regions such as Chechnya. But there's more to this ethnically diverse part of Russia. We take you beyond the stereotypes media mis-hype. Travellers venture to Chechnya to experience breathtaking scenery and one of the last places that has not been over crowded by tourists. Chechnya, now known as the Chechen Republic, offers superb trekking amid soaring peaks, white-water rafting, as well as the chance to learn about a fascinating culture and history that dates back as far as 12500 BC. For anyone looking to get truly off beat and away from the regular tourist haunts, this region within the Caucasus, offers wide-open spaces, bustling markets and rugged mountain roads with stunning views around every corner.
Day 1 – Arrival Grozny
Welcome to Russia! Upon arrival at Grozny International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check in and lunch before embarking on your city adventure.
After lunch, it is time to explore Grozny – the capital city of the Chechen Republic, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River which is a river in North Ossetia and a tributary of the Terek River. Walk along the quay of the Sunzha, visit the Church of the Archangel Michael as well as a visit to the Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque. It is one of the largest mosques in Russia and is officially known as ‘The Heart of Chechnya’. The mosque is named after Akhmad Kadyrov, the mufti of the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the first president of the Republic of Chechnya. Located on the picturesque bank of the Sunzha River in the middle of a huge park, the mosque is part of an Islamic architectural complex, which in addition to the mosque, consists of the Russian Islamic University, Kunta-Haji, and the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Republic of Chechnya. The mosque was built based on the classical Ottoman style. The central hall of the mosque is covered with a huge dome and the height of the four minarets is 62 metres making them some of the highest minarets in southern Russia. The exterior and interior walls of the mosque are made of marble, travertine, while the interior is decorated in white marble and has a capacity for more than ten thousand people.
Continue on for a visit to the Grozny City Tower – a five-star skyscraper hotel and business centre complex located near Grozny Central Mosque. You will make your way to the 32nd floor viewing floor which is the highest viewpoint in the city and offers a vantage point to see the city and beyond. Nearby, there is a smaller sized Hanging Garden of Babylon which is the Grozny Flower Garden. Every September the park has a display of over 150,000 flower to honour and celebrate Chechen Women’s Day.
Then it is onward for an excursion to the National Museum of the Chechen Republic, the Memorial complex ‘Walk of Fame’, a visit to the Akhmad Kadyrov Museum and the football stadium ‘Akhmad Arena’. At the end of your afternoon of culture, history, art and sport, it is time for dinner at a local restaurant named ‘Day Kherch,’ where they have on offer a selection of national dishes. Transfer back to your hotel for the evening. (L,D)
5 nights Grozny City Hotel or similar
Day 2 – Grozny Rafting Day Trip
After breakfast, it is time to set off on what will be a rather unique and memorable experience – rafting the mountains rivers in the settlement of Itum-Kali. En route, there will be learning and discovery along the way with visits to one of the longest canyons of the region being Argunsky Canyon. Then it is onward to the mountain spring of Ushkalovsky Towers.
Visit the castle of the Middle Ages “Phakoch” and the local history museum named Huseina Isaeva. Make your way to the site where you will kick off your rafting experience along the mountain river in the settlement of Itum-Kali. The river weaves through steep canyons below, showcasing breathtaking scenery as you paddle. Nearby on the bank of the river there is small original café where you can taste a traditional Shashlyisk – skewered meat marinated overnight in a high-acidity marinade like vinegar, dry wine or sour fruit/vegetable juice with the addition of onions, herbs and spices. Shashlik is usually cooked on a grill called a Mangal and is known for being very delicious!
Mid afternoon, it is time to make your way back to Grozny – but not before one last stop. On the way you will stop at Nikhailovsky Waterfall famous for its natural beauty. Upon arrival to the hotel, in Grozny you will have free time to relax before you make your way to dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 3 – Grozny 4WD to Nashkha
After breakfast at your hotel, depart for your adventures to the mountains of ‘Nashkha’ which is the historic original homeland of all Chechen people.
On the way, meet the ‘Stoned troops’- a natural phenomena of stoned columns. Today, it is all about the beauty of mother nature and seeing the magnificent countryside as you pass by deserted settlements, beautiful lakes, wild nature, and picturesque mountains. Lunch today will be a picnic near the lake with another chance to try the very popular local dish of Shashlyk. After a leisurely lunch, return to Grozny.
Upon arrival to your hotel, you will have free time to relax before you make your way to dinner in a local café. (B,L,D)
Day 4 – Grozny
After breakfast, you will depart for a day of local sightseeing. Head to the town of Argun where you will pay a visit to ‘The Heart of Mother’ Mosque named after Aimani Khagyrova, who commissioned its construction from the mayor of Konya. The mosque is designed with a set of 62-metre (203 ft)-tall minarets and is based on the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul. The beautiful colours and amazing architecture are sure to be something that you will remember.
Continue to the settlement of Old Khutor for the chance to visit one of the largest and newest mosque’s in all of Europe, named after the head of the Chechnyan Republic. From Shali, you will pass through the picturesque Vedensky Canyon as you make your way to Zelimkhan Monument; a Chechen and Ingush hero, who is viewed today as a version of a Chechen Robin Hood. Zelimkhan was an abrek, a raider of the Cossacks and Russian colonists. He stole to feed the many starving Chechens, due to the Cossacks that had taken up residence on what the Chechens perceived to be their extremely fertile land. Without control of these fertile lands, the Chechens became impoverished. To solve this problem, abreks, such as Zelimkhan and his Ingush comrade-in-arms, Sulom-Beck Sagopshinski, raided targets such as the Cossacks, Russian banks, Vladikavkaz mint, and the Czar’s post which was transported on the Georgian military highway, in order to restore justice and help the poor.
Your next stop will be at Lake Kezenoyam – the deepest lake in the Caucasus Mountains region. It is situated at an altitude of 1870 m above sea level and fills an area of 2.4 square kilometres. The maximum depth of the lake is 74 m. In winter the surface of the lake freezes and in summer the water temperature is around 5 °C. The lake water has a year-round supply of oxygen in which plankton survives as well as Salmo Ezenami, a rare species of trout that are native only to the lake. Their population is threatened with extinction due to the introduction of European Chubs (type of carp), which consume the fry of the Salmo Ezenami.
Lunch will be at a local restaurant and then it is time to stretch your legs for a walk around part of the lake and a boat ride which will provide you with a different perspective of the beauty within this amazing region. Return to Grozny.
Upon arrival to the hotel, you will have free time to relax before you make your way to dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 5 – Depart Grozny
After breakfast, it is time to visit the highest waterfall in Chechneya – Nohchi-Keloi. Then you have time to explore the local market to pick up some last minute gifts or mementos to take home as a reminder of your travels. After your market visit, transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)
- Return airport transfers
- 4 nights accommodation
- 4 x Breakfasts, 4 x Lunches, 4 x Dinners
- All transfers, sightseeing and excursions by air-conditioned vehicle
- Entrance fees as per the itinerary
- Services of qualified licensed English speaking local guide
- International flights
- Drinks unless otherwise mentioned
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
|Start Date||End Date||Duration||Availability||Price|
|16th Jul 2020||20th Jul 2020||5 Days||Available||$2,989||Book Now|