Dombay ski resort is located on the conservation area of Karachay-Cherkessia.
Mild and warm climate of Dombay perfectly blends with its snowy winters. Wonderful mountains and breathtaking valleys, softwood forests (the height of some trees goes up to 60 m (197 ft) and steep hillsides, covered with alpine and subalpine meadows – this amazing place lies in the very heart of the Teberdinsky Nature Biosphere Reserve in southern Russia.
Things to do in Dombay
Mild climate of Dombay is suitable for all-year travelling. In winter, Dombay is appealing to downhill skiers, snowboarders and fans of extreme sports. Its climate is so unique that during the thaw period you can either go downhill skiing or… bask in the sun (at that time daily temperatures can reach 18 °C (64 °F) above zero and even higher). Skiing in a swimming suit is an unforgettable experience!
In spring, amazing flowers of the Teberdinsky Reserve begin to bloom and delight tourists. In summer, the wild nature of Dombay can be seen in all its beauty. And in autumn, it continues to impress visitors with vividly bright colours. It is a great time for tracking and walking tours around the Teberdinsky Reserve (see below).
The ski resort
The duration of winter in Dombay depends on the amount of falling snow. As a rule, it starts in December and lasts till March.
It is better to go skiing during workdays. At weekends the ski resort is pretty crowded.
There are 20 km (12 mi) of equipped ski routes, 5 chair lifts and many lifts of other kinds. Freeriding (northern hillsides) and heli-ski are also possible.
Be careful to use “new” lifts. Their quality is much better than that of “old” ones.
There is also a good opportunity to fly a sailwing. Experienced trainers will help you to choose the best time and the safest route. You are absolutely free to try speedriding.
The dawn in Dombay is simply stunning.
Other forms of entertainment
Many tourists like riding snowmobiles (ask trainers to recommend you the safest route). In the evening they also go skating on a skating-rink near a café. Those, who are searching for a special thrill, roll down a hill in a zorb (a large transparent ball).
Find the mountain hotel “Tarelka” (“Saucer”), whose shape resembles an alien spaceship.
The Teberdinsky Nature Biosphere Reserve
The Teberdinsky Reserve is among the most beautiful places in southern Russia. The Mussa-Achitara ridge overlooks the tops of the Caucasus, including the highest point in Europe, Elbrus, various valleys and glaciers.
Murudzhunskie and Badukskie Lakes strike tourists with their beauty, while Azgekskie Lakes are far more ascetic.
The mountains are rich in waterfalls. For instance, the Sofrudzhinsky Falls is high and powerful, the Alibeksky Falls is especially beautiful and the Chernaya Melniza (“Black Mill”) Falls is extremely noisy.
The Alibeksky glacier, large and rough, lies not far from Dombay. There is a lake nearby, which is covered with ice till mid-summer!
How to get there
You should fly to Moscow and then catch a plane to the city Mineralnye Vody. From there you can cover the last 230 km (143 mi) by bus or taxi.
During all the seasons tourists are drawn to Dombay by the amazingly beautiful nature of the Karachay-Cherkessia Teberdinsky Reserve, winter freeriding and relative cheapness. However, it is not a place, where you should expect refine service.
Photos by Alexander Frolov