Dagestan
Dagestan is one of the most multinational and authentic republics in Russia. 14 languages of various regional ethnic groups are considered official in Dagestan, which sets the record among the Russian regions.
Linguists claim there’re over one hundred languages here. The cultural diversity of this region is unsurpassed: agitated Ashura rituals in Derbent and Sufi Dhikrs in the areas bordering on Checnhya, the feasts of the first furrow and Nowruz containing the traces of pre-Islamic cultures.

Dagestan has the most high-altitude settlements in Europe – so-called ‘auls’ and entire valleys isolated from the rest of the world by hard-to-reach passes. It’s a true ethnographic reserve where highlanders still wear national clothes, cherish the secrets of ancient craftsmen, and live in line with the age-old customs. Arriving in Dagestan our guests often wonder: “Is it even Russia?”, so unlike anywhere else this environment is.
We have organized tours to Dagestan since 2013, yet keep on exploring the republic, marveling at its diversity. The word ‘tourist’ doesn’t make much sense to Dagestani. Every guest in the village is a pilgrim who will by all means be invited over, and guests are sacred.
useful information
From Russia The easiest option would be to fly to the airport of Makhachkala which receives a dozen of flights a dayfrom Moscow. A few times a week there’re flights from Saint Petersburg, MineralnyeVody, Sochi, Rostov-on-Don, and Krasnodar.
Trains from Moscow run every day, which is roughly a two-day journey, trains from Saint Petersburg and Tyumen –every two days. Buses run from all the cities spanning 1000 kilometers, and there are long-distance itineraries too – from Moscow and Samara. This option, however, is even less comfortable than train.
The most scenic and unusual way to get to Dagestan is from Chechnya, over passes, past the mountain lake Kezenoy-am, the biggest in the Caucasus. One of these roads (over the Kharami Pass) will soon be asphalted and accessible to 4x4jeeps and ordinary minibuses.

From Azerbaijan You can get to Derbent or Makhachkala by the train “Baku – Moscow”. The border is crossed in the night, so first you will be awakened by the Azerbaijani border police to check your documents and luggage, and then by the Russian border police. The fastest and the most convenient way of crossing the border is taking a taxi from Baku to Samur town and walking the Azerbaijani part, then hopping on a shuttle-bus running from the Azerbaijani to the Russian border (walking is prohibited), and getting stamped in Russia.
Between Russia and Azerbaijan there are two border checkpoints – near Sanoba town (for cars) and Shirvanovka (for pedestrians) from the Azerbaijani side, but they are kind of far from the highway, and taxi drivers show reluctance and charge more. However, if you’re driving, you’d better make a little detour to Sanoba and cross the border there, because the principal crossing point “Yarag-Kazmalyar – Samur” has long lines, and border officials are in no hurry.
Dagestan is part of Russia, so a Russian visa is all you need. If you’re going to visit the border area (Kurush town in Akhty Region, towns of Rutul District to the north of Luchek, part of Tsumadinsky and all the Tlyaratinsky and Tsuntinskiy District), you will need a permit to the border area. If you have bought our tour, obtaining a permit is our concern.
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