For now, North Ossetia can hardly be called a popular tourist destination, but this is not at all because there is nothing to do or nothing to see. Local attractions, both man-made and natural, are enough for a small European state, the cuisine, which combines Iranian and Caucasian features, is tasty and original, and the people are hospitable and broad-minded. You can say this: Ossetia is a separate planet within the Russian Federation, and “Subtleties” offers you a short guide for the first acquaintance with it.
Where to climb up
Mountains are the beginning, middle and end of almost every landscape in North Ossetia, and if you are here, you need to climb at least one. The highest, most conspicuous and most famous Kazbek is not for everyone: you need to be a climber or at least a well-trained physically and hardy tourist. Unforgettable views of the purest lakes and volcanic landscapes atypical for the Caucasus await those who dare. /f550x700/ak/xb/akxb44ncisgkkgosos8ow4g8g.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>
The lack of mountaineering training will not become an obstacle for a simpler walk in the Ossetian mountains. For example, Mount Stolovaya is much lower than the 5,000-meter Kazbek, there are many tourist routes with very beautiful views: there are deciduous forests and valleys no worse than the Alps. Or here is Bald Mountain – it would seem that one of the smallest, just over a kilometer. But it is from her that it is best to admire the Caucasus Range and the Ossetian Plain. Those who have overcome the 4-kilometer path will be able to refresh themselves in a cafe located right on the top of Lysaya.
When traveling around North Ossetia, it is not necessary to make a strict route: you will find something remarkable and interesting everywhere.
North Ossetia also has its own ski resort – Tsey. Its trails are good for beginners and “intermediates”, in the summer lovers of trekking routes come here. Tsei is suitable for those who are waiting for spectacular views at every turn of the trail, looking for silence and solitude, and are also ready for the fact that the local level of service and infrastructure is still noticeably behind the Georgian one. But the prices are very low.
The journey from Vladikavkaz to Tsei will take about two hours. You can get there by taxi, but keep in mind that you can’t call one at the resort itself, so it makes sense to agree with the driver on the way back in advance.
What to see
A variety of natural attractions, ancient monuments and landscapes so unusual for most “flat” Russians make North Ossetia a suitable place for traveling by car. The Dargavs “City of the Dead”, with which many legends are associated, is a must-see. This is an ancient necropolis with numerous crypts, the roofs of which resemble Egyptian pyramids. Walking around the “city”, in the openings of the crypts you can see the remains of people buried centuries ago. This place has an indescribable atmosphere – more mysterious and even esoteric than gloomy. sized/f550x700/4v/q0/4vq0f1tnbs84ockgkkcosw0w8.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>
Alexander Baidukov, Wikicommons
The semi-abandoned village of Tsamad is also popular. Here is an ancient fortress, which in the 17th century the Persian Shah tried to conquer, but suffered a crushing failure. Now little is left of its former grandeur, but even the ruins impress with the grandiose design of the building.
Another Ossetian fortress, which is definitely worth seeing, is located in the village of Dzivgis, famous for its cult complex of the patron saint of men, Uastyrji, with its own sanctuary. There is a completely unique structure here – a cave fortress built in the 13th-14th centuries. If you do not know about its existence, the fortress may well not be noticed – so it merges with the rock. Landmark – an ancient tower at the entrance to the village. Midagrabin waterfalls are not inferior in beauty to world-famous competitors, although they are not (yet) very famous among tourists from other regions. They are multi-cascade, so many people call this place the Valley of Waterfalls. Big Zaigelan is the most notable among them. The locals say that if you make a wish while standing next to it, the energy of the water currents will quickly lift it up into the sky, guaranteeing a speedy fulfillment.
Alexander Baidukov, Wikicommons
Let's not forget about the Karmadon Gorge: in order to admire it, you need to get to the village of Karmadon, from where a magnificent view opens. It was here that the film crew of the film “The Messenger” led by Sergei Bodrov died due to the collapse of the Kolka glacier. In one of the tunnels there is a commemorative plaque, which fans of the actor like to come to.
In general, when traveling in North Ossetia, it is not necessary to draw up a strict route. Wherever you go, you will find something remarkable and interesting everywhere.
Where to heal
Local mineral springs have pronounced healing properties, but Ossetian boarding houses and sanatoriums are not as widely advertised as those in Stavropol. The composition of water in different sources is different, so each of the balneological resorts of the republic has its own specialization. For example, diseases of the digestive and circulatory organs are treated in Karmadon, and diseases of the skin and nervous system are treated in Tamisk. The unique nature and the cleanest air also contribute a lot to healing.
What to try
< p>Ossetian pies, which won the love of the whole country, were tried by almost everyone. But to appreciate their authentic taste and genuine diversity, you need to taste the dish in its historical homeland. In North Ossetia, guests in the house will be greeted with three pies, and this is not a random number: pies symbolize the sun, earth and God. By the way, real Ossetian pies are prepared without eggs and margarine. In North Ossetia, lamb and beef are the most popular, and it is still customary for locals to cook meat in huge chunks. It is best suited with tsakhton sauce based on sour cream or yoghurt. And, of course, as it should be in the Caucasus, here they love and know how to cook delicious shish kebab.
Ossetian drinks are not as famous in other regions of Russia as pies, but they deserve no less attention. The Alans, the ancestors of the Ossetians, were the first among the inhabitants of the Caucasus to start brewing beer, and the ritual of the solemn offering of “iron” (local beer) to the guest still exists. Araka is stronger and has an unusual smoky taste: it is made from corn and barley grains and is often mixed with kvass. Ossetia also has its own cognac, which is not inferior to Armenian.
What else to read on the topic
Caucasus: rules of conduct in the mountains so as not to offend anyone
Top 7 sights of North Ossetia, which are easy to get to on your own
Without the Alps: 7 best ski resorts in Russia