The Caucasus: "Mountains Hold up the Sky"
Nestled between Europe and Asia and bordering the Middle East, the soaring Great Caucasus offers guests some very rich gifts: high mountain peaks and boundless vast spaces filled with clean fluffy snow.
Surrounded by the Black, Caspian and Azov Seas, the Caucasus is divided into three large geographic regions – Ciscaucasia, North Caucasus and South Caucasus. The magnificent mountains of the Caucasus are then also divided into two mountain systems: Greater Caucasus and Lesser Caucasus. One of the near-forgotten translations of the word "Caucasus" literally means "Mountains Hold up the Sky" and, indeed, just one look at the full power and nobility of the ancient Greater Caucasus peaks will convince you that they are the very columns on which the whole world is being supported.
The Caucasus Mountains attract the attention of numerous tourists and sportsmen by means of the highest peaks in Europe: Mount Elbrus, situated in the Russian Federation, astounds visitors with its size and height (5642m); Mount Shkhara (5068m) in Georgia, which gives shelter to the village of Ushguli and is the highest mountain and permanent settlement to be a UNESCO world heritage site; Mount Ushba (4690m), well-known to skiers and considered to be one of the hardest mountains in the world on which to climb 4,000 meters; Mount Kazbek (5034m), an inexhaustible source of myth and legend with uniquely beautiful slopes and a plethora of historical sights.
The Caucasus is rich in ancient culture and is mentioned in Classical Greek mythology and the Bible. The concentration of a wide variety of languages and nations along with the unique mountain landscape make the Caucasus one of the most wonderful places on the planet. The Caucasus Mountains will conquer you with their ancient ice cellars and majestic peaks, dissected by mountain rivers and difficult passes. The clean mountain air and comfortable weather conditions leave you to enjoy the unforgettable plant and animal kingdoms, many of which are rare species only found in the Caucasus.
The region's mountain systems - Greater and Lesser Caucasus - are by no means inferior to the European Alps in height and size! The wide snowy vastness of the Caucasus gives skiers and tourists a sense of infinite freedom and the opportunity to seek fulfillment in sport and travel, freeride and heliski. Thanks to its beauty and the unique combination of sunshine and snowy peaks, the Caucasus Mountains have received the honor of hosting the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
The welcoming slopes of the Great Caucasus await you! Visiting this little corner of paradise which "holds up the sky" will leave you with unforgettable impressions, a host of positive emotions and a splendid mood.