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Northern Caucasus : Kabardino-Balkaria
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Revision as of 07:03, 7 August 2008

Kabardino-Balkaria is a region in the Russian Caucasus bordering Karachay-Cherkessia to the west, Stavropol Krai to the north, North Ossetia to the east, and Georgia.




  • Nalchik — the capital and largest city, home to a large Soviet era health spa/sanatorium full of orchards, parks, and hot spring baths
  • Baksan
  • Prokhladny — second largest city
  • Terek
  • Tyrnyauz — this town is on the route to Mount Elbrus.

Other destinations

  • Europe's three highest mountains, in order: Mount Elbrus, Mount Dykhtau, and Mount Koshtan
  • Cheget ski resort (near Elbrus)


Kabardino-Balkaria is named after its native Kabardin and Balkar people. The Kabardin are a Circassian group related to the Adyghe, while the Balkar are essentially the same as the Bulgars, who migrated to present day Bulgaria. Both groups are Sunni Muslim.


The Kabardin speak Kabardian, a north-west Caucasian language of which "Cherkess" is a dialect; the Balkar speak Balkar, a Turkic language virtually identical to "Karachay." But fortunately for the visitor, all are fluent in Russian.

Get in

Virtually all enter via Nalchik, which is easily reached from the airport at Mineralnye Vody in Stavropol Krai.

Get around






Stay safe

While not as involved in the general conflict across the North Caucasus, Kabardino-Balkaria, especially Nalchik, has been attacked repeatedly by rebel and terrorist forces. Expect a very tight security situation, realize that this is an unstable and dangerous part of the world, and make your travel plans accordingly.

Get out

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