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Dagestani Wedding

Destination: Caucasus
Easy - nothing more than normal walking while sight-seeing
Moderately Easy - 1-3 hours of physical activity daily
Moderate - 3-5 hours of physical activity daily
Challenging - 5-7 hours of challenging physical activity daily
Extreme - 7+ hours of challenging/extreme physical activity daily
Difficulty
Basic — most of nights in tents or rooms with shared WC, some nights in comfortable rooms.
Standard — most of nights in comfortable rooms, some nights in tents or rooms with shared WC.
Upgraded — all nights in comfortable rooms.
Comfort
Minimum age of the participant of this trip
7 Days
Highlights
  • Circle itinerary: Mountain Dagestan in 7 days
  • Full immersion into the local life
  • Unique chance to participate in the Kubachi wedding
  • Get acquaintance with the life of aul of goldsmiths - Kubachi
  • Feel wild and pristine nature of Dagestan high in the mountains
  • Visit of Naryn-Kala fortress: Unesco World Heritage Site
  • Discovery of the ancient abandoned auls: Kala-Koreish, Gamsutl and Amuzgi
  • Join to the festival "Legends of Amuzgi" related to the abandoned settlements
  • Have real connections with locals
  • Tasting traditional Dagestan cuisine
  • Learn the Caucasian history and culture
Tour Overview

Caucasus... considered the gateway to the world where different nationalities come together, their history goes back thousands of years. People printed their mark in ancient monuments, fortresses, writings and, of course, in traditions and customs that have been carefully passed down through multiple generations. 

BaikalNature invites you to an exclusive trip to Dagestan with a unique opportunity to bring you to the life of local people. Throughout the tour, you will have so many points of contact with locals in different places. Come down with standard hotels and dull dinners in restaurants, we try to be close to local people all the time to immerse ourselves in their culture and learn what real Dagestan is.
Visit the oldest settlement with 5000 years of history - Derbent and its main sight the Naryn-Kala fortress - (Unesco World Heritage Site), get lost in one of the magals of the old Derbent and meet a local family for a traditional dinner. Then, you find yourself in the most famous Dagestan village - Kubachi, an original local ethno-cultural world with its own special way of life, language, identity and ethical code. Local people are talented masters that boast the finest handmade jewelry. 

When it comes to Kubachi traditons, the best way to learn more is to join one of local weddings.The main higlight of our tour is a chance to become a guest of the local wedding and see what is the real hospitality of the Kubachin people and Dagestanian people at all. Wedding in Kubachi includes 3 days of celebrating: Groom's Day, Bride's Day and the third day (a day of general festivities). Every day is held according to a certain scenario, which is revered by all local people, from a white shawl with a fringe of the bride - "lumkitabkaz", which is passed along the female line, to the tradition of stealing things from the bride's house for the newlyweds. A bright and rich ceremony, traditional beautiful clothes and an abundance of national dishes, old wedding traditions and the famous Dagestan dance - Lezginka are worth to see it with your own eyes. Feel the special atmosphere of a colorful holiday and enjoy the Dagestan hospitality!

In addition to wedding festivities, we join to the annual festival dedicated to the ancient abandoned village of Amuzgi and visit the workshop and museum of local goldsmiths. Also, we explore the ancient fortress Kala-Koreish, which keeps the secrets of the medieval capital of a large feudal possession and the Caucasian Machu Picchu; the high-mountain abandoned village Gamsutl at an altitude of 1418 m and the village of Ghunib with the picturesque Ghunib fortress of the 19th century, a witness of the Caucasian War. 

Amazing history and distinctive culture are perfectly combined with the delightful nature of mountainous Dagestan. This is a paradise for any photographer and adventure seeker. Go on an ethnographic journey through the most ancient places of Dagestan to discover everything that is usually hidden from the eyes of an ordinary tourist and feel the special flavour of Caucasian culture. Leave all prejudice about Dagestan behind, it is incredibly calm and safe country, and local people are very hospitable, who greet each stranger as the most dear guest.

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Tour programme
  • Day 1
    Derbent - the most ancient city of Russia
    Mahachakala — Derbent
  • Day 2
    Kala-Koreish abandoned village
    Derbent — Kubachi
  • Day 3
    Wedding in Kubachi aul
    Kubachi
  • Day 4
    Festival "Legends of Amuzgi"
    Kubachi — Amuzgi
  • Day 5
    In the heart of Dagestan
    Kubachi — Ghunib
  • Day 6
    The Caucasian Machu- Picchu
    Ghunib — Mahachkala
  • Day 7
    The end of the program
    Mahachkala
  • 10:00
    Arrival in Mahachkala
    Meeting with your guide Pavel at the airport of Mahachkala. Please take flights arriving before 12:00 am.
  • 11:00
    Departure to Derbent city
    We drive along Caspian sea towards Derbent that is one of the oldest living towns in the world., striking its beauty and antiquity. Derbent is situated on the west coast of the Caspian Sea, where the Caucasus mountains go right down to the shore, leaving only a narrow, coastal strip. Many sights of the city are man-made wonders, representing at least 5000 years old history, from the earliest objects of the Albanian (ancient) period to the latest achievements of modern architecture. The Juma Mosque built in the early thirteenth century, is one of the five oldest mosques in the world.
  • 13:00
    Lunch Not included
    Upon arrival, we have lunch at the local restaurant at your choice where you can try the traditional cuisine.
  • 14:00
    Discovery of Naryn-Kala fortress
    We visit to one of the most beautiful fortresses in Russia - Naryn-kala - an ancient pre-Arab citadel, part of the Derbent fortress, connected to the Caspian Sea by double walls designed to block the so-called Caspian gates to the Persian state. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The word "Naryn-Kala" itself is translated from Persian as "Sun Fortress", as it is located at the very top and is surrounded by beautiful views of the sea and mountains.
  • 16:00
    City exploration
    To know life from the inside, we will look into the old derbent and walk along the magals (streets). The construction of houses and streets is of particular interest: very narrow, perfectly paved and clean streets. There we will take a look at the local shoemaker's shop, where you can buy quality leather shoes and get acquainted with the life of ordinary people.
  • 19:00
    Traditional dinner with locals
    During the tour, we have a unique opportunity to get to know a local family who lives in the magals of old Derbent. For understanding the culture, there is nothing better than immerse yourself in the life of local people. Chat with real Dagestanis and taste the dishes of national cuisine.
  • Overnight in the hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Mahachakala — Derbent
Accommodation
Accommodation in the hotel "Alye Parusa", Derbent
Twin room
Note

2 h transfer  (110km)

  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the hotel
  • 10:00
    Departure to Kala-Koreish
    Today, we go on the road to Kubachi village among the mountain greeny landscapes. On the way we have a stop to visit Kala-Koreysh – fortress of the Quraysh, an important site for understanding the spread of Islam in the northern Caucasus. It is located on a small, rocky hilltop, surrounded by two rivers and beyond that, by higher hills and forests – it is an ideal remoted location but difficult to reach even nowdays. The mosque at Kala-Koreysh may have been established by members of the Quraysh clan in the 7th century. Now, it is presented a labyrinth of ancient buildings with terraces descending from the top of the mountain. There is also a restored museum and a tomb of the Kaitag utsmiyas. Easy walk to the settlement takes about 15-20 minutes. In Kala-Koreish, we meet with a local keeper, who is always glad to welcome strangers there.
  • 13:00
    Lunch-picnic
    Enjoying the beautiful scenery and silence , we have a picnic in Kala-Koreish settlement.
  • 15:00
    Departure to the village Kubachi
    We are going to Kubachi village, that is famous for its silver jewelry. Since ancient times, gunsmiths have worked in the village and forged chain mail, swords, sabers. Weapons were decorated with silver or gold, that made them more beautiful and added value.
  • 16:00
    Acquaintance with Kubachi aul and visit of the art factory
    Kubachi Aul is situated at a height of 1 750 m. Its oldest part looks like a typical mountain aul: located on a steep slope, houses with beautiful terraces are molded onto each other, forming a chaotic maze of narrow passages, staircases, and galleries. Architecture is similar to the medieval culture. In Kubachi village there is closed art factory, where the Kubachin jewelers used to work, and now it is in desolation, and the exhibition, which presents samples of what the art factory produced during the Soviet era, as well as small boutique, where a local master tell you about the art of Kubachin people and show your skill.
  • 19:00
    Dinner in the homestead
    Taste the tradional dishes: delicious tea made from Caucasian herbs and berries, Chudu - flat cakes with cheese or meat or hot khinkal made from thin dough.
  • Overnight in the homestead
Photo of the day
Route
Derbent — Kubachi
Accommodation
Accommodation in the guest house Kubachi
Room for 2-4 people
Note

2 h transfer  (98km)

  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the homestead
  • 10:00
    Participation in tradtional Kubachi wedding
    The most favorable time for marriage in Dagestan is August, when young people enter into a family union. The Kubachins, as a special ethnic group of Dagestan, have preserved the ancient traditions of holding magnificent weddings. Marriage in Kubachi is celebrated during 3 days: Groom's Day, Bride's Day and the third day (a day of general festivities). On the first day, the official wedding ceremony takes place in the local administration, then the wedding cortege go to a spacious meadow, where a fun festivities begin. The bride does not participate in most of the activities and stays at home with her relatives. We will definitely visit one of the local weddings and stay as guests during the holiday. You are welcome to take small gifts to the newlyweds.
  • 13:00
    Lunch
    Lunch in the local cafe (not included). If we stay at the wedding, you have lunch there.
  • 18:00
    Dinner Not included
    Depends on situation at wedding or at the local cafe.
  • 20:00
    Evening festivites
    In the evening we will go to the main square, where all guests from old to young will gather and merry Dagestan dances will begin until the morning. You will see the bride and other girls in traditional dress (white shawl and dresses with gold embroidery), as well as the famous Lezginka dance.
  • Overnight in the homestead
Photo of the day
Route
Kubachi
Accommodation
Accommodation in the guest house Kubachi
Room for 2-4 people
  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the homestead
  • 09:30
    Start of Festival "Legends of Amuzgi"
    The festival is dedicated to the abandoned village of Amuzgi, which was famous for making blades. Its last resident died in 2016, since then the aul remains abandoned. Just once a year, as in old times, a smithy will start working, bread will be baked, and at the godekans one can listen to stories from rural life. The old village will be filled with life and joy again. Anyone can go back to the past for a short time. Today we will go on foot to an abandoned village together with the local residents of Kubachi. The road takes about 40 minutes on foot along a mountain path among beautiful landscapes.
  • 13:00
    Lunch in the homestead
  • 14:00
    Excursion around the village
    During pedestrian excursion along Kubachi, we visit of the watchtower and the souvenir shop. These days in Kubachi it is especially lively and fun, in addition to the festival, weddings are held every day. If you wish, you can go on the 2nd wedding day or the Bride's Day - the main festivities take place in the groom's house. In the evening, the guests pick up the bride and bring her to the groom's house.
  • 19:00
    Dinner in the homestead
  • Overnight in the homestead
Photo of the day
Route
Kubachi — Amuzgi
Accommodation
Accommodation in the guest house Kubachi
Room for 2-4 people
  • 08:00
    Breakfast in the homestead
  • 09:00
    Visiting the bride's house
    Today is the final day of the Kubachi wedding, we visit the bride's house to congratulate her and present a gift. By tradition, the bride sits in the corner of the house and accepts gifts from guests. After dinner, all the men take turns dancing the traditional dance with the bride. The wedding ends with a cheerful ceremony of "stealing things from the bride's house", if the groom's parents do not pay, the guests will take things to the groom's house.
  • 11:00
    Departure to Ghunib settlement
    Ghunib is a village located at an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level, so maka sure to enjoy the stunning landscapes. There are over 300 sunny days a year. Ghunibskoe plateau is a natural mountain botanical garden with its own microclimate, flora and fauna. Ghunib is very interesting location in terms of history as it was a natural fortress during the Caucasian War of the 19th century.
  • 13:00
    Lunch in homestead on the way
    On the way, we discover the small beautiful village Tanty and visit one of the local family. At a traditional dinner, you will learn more about the life of the locals in the mountains and their history.
  • 15:00
    Arrival in Ghunib and accommodation in the homestead
    Upon arrival, we stay in the house of locals and enjoy the warm atmosphere and hospitality. You will see the mini-museum of hosts and try on the national Dagestan clothes for a photo.
  • 16:00
    Ghunib fortress among the mountains
    In the evening we will climb the Ghunib fortress (easy ascent), from the height of which you will see the magnificent Ghunib and its surroundings. Ghunib Fortress is a witness of the Caucasian War and the last refuge of Imam Shamil. The fortress is located on the Ghunib plateau, which is cut off by sheer walls to the Kara-Koisu river. The complex includes a fortress wall with lower and upper gates, a barracks. The wall is about 3 km long, 5-7 m high, and about 1 m wide.
  • 19:00
    Dinner in the homestead
  • Overnight in the homestead
Photo of the day
Route
Kubachi — Ghunib
Accommodation
Accommodation in the homestead Gunib
Room for 2-4 people
Note

3 h transfer  (120km)

  • 08:00
    Breakfast
  • 11:00
    Ascending to Gamsutl village
    Translated from the Avar word "gamall" means "at the foot of the Khan's fortress", which means the khans chose this place to build their fortress or tower. The place for the fortress was not chosen by chance: the village is located on the top of a mountain, at an altitude of about 1,500 meters above sea level, where the surroundings are clearly visible. In addition, the village is surrounded by rocks and steep slopes, so it is not easy to get here. We will take a pedestrian excursion to the village along a narrow path to discover the remains of houses and complete silence.
  • 13:00
    Lunch in the local cafe Not included
  • 14:00
    Transfer to Mahachkala city
    After visit of Ghunib aul, we continue the way through Dagestan. On the way, we have stops to admire the picturesque views.
  • 19:00
    Dinner Not included
    Dinner at any restaurant at your choice.
  • Overnight in the hotel
Photo of the day
Route
Ghunib — Mahachkala
Accommodation
Accommodation Central City Hotel 4*
Junior Suite
Note

4 h transfer  (180km)

  • 09:00
    Breakfast in the hotel
  • 11:00
    Transfer to the airport
Photo of the day
Route
Mahachkala
New departures available soon
Price includes
  • English-speaking guide
  • Transport as per itinerary
  • Excursions and visits as per itinerary
  • Transfer from airport / railway station on first day
  • Transfer to airport / railway station on last day
  • Meals according to the program
Price does not include
  • Airline tickets
  • Medical insurance
  • Personal expenses and tips
For more info, please download the detailed description of the trip.
Note

The price is indicated per person in the group of 3 participants. Price for the group of 4 people is 63 100 RUB per person.

Reviews
No reviews anymore or no reviews at all for this tour. Below reviews for destination:
4.33
4.33
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
4.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
4.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
4.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Fabienne
From 4 June 2019 to 14 June 2019
Destination: Caucasus
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Le voyage a été un réel plaisir et une très belle organisation si ce n est nôtre premier. Guide , Anna , qui était médiocre : aucune connaissance culturelle de la région, elle n a aucunement assuré les traductions quand nous étions accompagnés de guides locaux et elle ne faisait aucun rassemblement de groupe pour partager les informations ! Enfin elle pouvait même se moquer de notre groupe lorsque
  Read more
4.67
4.67
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
4.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Wendy
From 5 June 2019 to 25 June 2019
Custom tourJourney Across the Russian North Caucasus+Lake Baikal
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
Our North Caucasus trip was very professionally organised and the tour was excellent with a good balance of attractions, historic and geographical sites. Most impressive was our friendly and highly competent tour manager Anna's attention to detail and ability to tailor the program exactly to our needs - not an easy task with older, experienced people with very exacting demands! Anna also organised
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No reviews anymore or no reviews at all for this destination. Below all reviews.
4.67
4.67
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
4.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Andreas
From 9 August 2021 to 19 August 2021
Destination: Sakhalin
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
all the best, it was wonderfull
4.83
4.83
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
5.00
Quality of accommodation
5.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Angelika
From 9 August 2021 to 19 August 2021
Destination: Sakhalin
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
It was a wonderful tour that was very well organized. A flight cancellation was rebooked immediately and everything was adjusted. It was a great experience if you like nature and want to get to know it. We recommend.
BaikalNature's reply
Thank you very much!
4.33
4.33
Total score
5.00
Work of BaikalNature office before and during travel / customer support
3.00
Quality of accommodation
4.00
Quality of transport / transfers
4.00
Quality of meals
5.00
Friendliness and professionalism of guides / management
5.00
Quality and originality of visits / attractions / events
Veronika
From 29 July 2021 to 3 August 2021
Destination: Lake Baikal
Custom tourBaikal tour
Would you like to travel with BaikalNature again? Yes!
The trip was exactly prepared how we wanted :))
BaikalNature's reply
Thank you!
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