Karachay-Cherkessia is a region in the Russian Caucasus bordering Krasnodar Krai to the west, Stavropol Krai to the north, Kabardino-Balkaria to the east, and Georgia to the south.
- Cherkessk — this small city is region's capital and largest city, located in the northern lowlands
- Arkhyz — a small resort town in the southwest surrounded by high peaks, high alpine lakes, and contains an old Alanian church
- Teberda — a small ski resort town en route to Dombai
- Ust-Dzheguta — second largest town
- Dombai — the Northern Caucasus' principal mountain resort
Karachay-Cherkessia is named for the Karachay, a Turkic people, and the Cherkess, the group from which "Circassians" get their name.
The Karachay speak Karachay-Balkar, a Turkic language; the Cherkess speak Cherkess, a dialect of Kabardian. Visitors may count their blessings that all are fluent in Russian.
Karachay-Cherkessia shares in the region wide poor quality security situation, but of the republics of the Northern Caucasus, it is clearly the most safe (being most remote from the conflict epicenters). It is still not as safe as the nearby Sochi region in Krasnodar Krai, however, and travelers should be vigilant especially against harassment from officials.