Russia’s breathtaking southernmost point

There is another hidden risk in visiting this beautiful country: you might have such a good time that you won’t want to leave.

There is another hidden risk in visiting this beautiful country: you might have such a good time that you won’t want to leave.

Nikolay Rykov, Dmitry Chistoprudov
If you decide to go to Russia’s southernmost point, you’ll end up in the Republic of Dagestan. Here lies the village of Kurush which also happens to be the highest mountain village in all of Europe
If you decide to go to Russia’s southernmost point, you’ll end up in the Republic of Dagestan.
Dagestan is now an autonomous republic inside the Russian Federation. It’s bordered by Azerbaijan and Georgia.
At the southernmost point of Dagestan lies the village of Kurush which also happens to be the highest mountain village in all of Europe.
The village of Kurush is located at an altitude of 2,600 meters (8530 feet) above sea level.

It’s not easy to reach Dagestan’s remote settlements. The roads here are winding and poorly lit.
Kurush is situated on the border with Azerbaijan. In order to drive freely here, you need to obtain a pass from borderguards in the city of Akhty (250 kilometers from Makhachkala, Dagestan’s capital).
It may take more than 5 hours to receive permission, however, after doing so, you’ll have the opportunity to wander the streets of this ancient city that has stood here for more than 2000 years.
The village of Kurush. All of the village’s residents live exclusively on raising livestock, since growing vegetables at this altitude is practically impossible.
Mountain landscapes around Kurush. You don’t necessarily need to go to the Himalayans for beautiful mountain views.
Over its entire history, Akhty has been renowned for its healing hot sulfur springs that emerge with great pressure from the mountains’ shale strata. The first mention of the springs can be found in historical documents from the 6th century AD.
The Akhty mineral spring still works to this day. It’s located in a gorge 5 kilometers to the southwest of the village’s center on the left bank of the Akhtychai River.
Dagestan is famous for its variety of ethnic groups who cherish their traditions, customs and culture. The diversity of Dagestan's traditions is extraordinary: you are sure to find special native customs and ceremonies in practically all large mountain villages.
Dagestan is not safe for independent tourists yet, but this troubled region is an incredible destination.
Hospitality is a sacred tradition in the Caucasus. The lavish meals and warm people make it an extraordinary place to be a guest. If you don’t have Dagestani friends when you arrive, you will certainly have some by the time you leave.
There is another hidden risk in visiting this beautiful country: you might have such a good time that you won’t want to leave.

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