Makhachkala dagestan russia to its own instability and its proximity to Chechnya, Dagestan is an unsafe travel destination, Makhachkala dagestan russia travel is possible for the intrepid.
Dagestan shares with its Caucasian neighbours the towering mountains of the Greater Caucasus, rushing Caucasian rivers, and spectacularly situated stone auls, mountaintop villages. But in an already diverse region, Dagestan is a wonderland of ethnic and cultural diversity. About 35 separate ethnolinguistic groups live in this Scotland -sized republic and the region contains an amazing 12 language families.
For all this cultural diversity, Dagestanis are fairly united in their Islamic religion — virtually all non-Russian ethnic groups are Muslim. This is probably true since almost 32, people have left in a mass exit from Dagestan since the fall of the Soviet Empire in Many of those people were the Mountain Jews—Juhuro—who spoke Persian or one of its dialects.
Makhachkala Makhachkala dagestan russia almost certainly be your first destination, whether by plane from Moscowor by train via Rostov-on-Don through Mineralnye Vody. Note that security is very tight at the Makhachkala airport. Marshrutkas are the standard way of getting around the region, and "Makhachkala dagestan russia" take you most anywhere you intend to go, but are not safe. The twice-daily train between Makhachkala and Derbent is a better option.
Hiking the mountainous regions would be a fantastic way to travel between villages and to enjoy Dagestan's striking natural beauty, if not for the extreme danger of kidnapping.
Within the seven language families of the Dagestanian language grouping unrelated except by geography alone there are Makhachkala dagestan russia 30 languages, many of them considered among the most difficult in the world to master.
Fortunately, everyone, regardless of nationality, understands the lingua franca, Russian.
The Makhachkala dagestan russia Avar language, spoken by the largest single ethnic group, is the second lingua franca of the region. Azeri is also widely used in the southeast Caspian region around Derbent ; those who speak Turkish may be able to make themselves understood in this area. The five indigenous literary languages and therefore the most rewarding to study are the aforementioned Avar, as well as LakDargwaLezgianand Tabasaran.
Avar is the most widespread, and there is an Avar Theater in Makhachkala devoted to performances of works in the language. Makhachkala isn't terribly interesting, and for a tourist, should be considered just a gateway to Derbent.
The mountains of southern and southwestern Dagestan, high peaks of the Greater Caucasus, should be a principal attraction. Mountains topped with aulssmall villages filled with stone houses and home to famed chivalric mountain tribes are as fascinating culturally as they are beautiful. But the conflict here between the indigenous Muslim people of the Caucasus has raged for some two hundred years, with a rare period of peace under the unifying political and ideological influence of the Soviet government, and the region today is perhaps more dangerous than it ever Makhachkala dagestan russia been, with foreign extremist groups appearing in the mountain regions.
All this amidst a brutal and more general response by the Russian military, determined to assert sovereignty over this perennially rebellious and lawless region.
You don't want to get swept up in this conflict, and a visit to the mountains is the surest way to do that. Most activities of any interest, mainly cultural performances and sporting events, are to be found in Makhachkala. Dagestan is renown for its local dishes of: There are countless cafes serving Dagestani and Russian foods. A few, newer Chinese and Japanese restaurants have opened, but the food lacks authenticity and flavour. Western foods are likewise a scarcity, and there are no Western food chains anywhere in Dagestan.
And don't be fooled by the many advertisements for 'pizza' — even by typical Russian standards, the pizzas lack the most basic ingredients of pizza: The closest you'll come to finding a real steak will be at the new El Gusto Cafe close the centre of Makhachkala, a delightful restaurant where you can find a few other Western dishes satisfactorily prepared. Like other former Soviet Union countries, customer service Makhachkala dagestan russia largely lacking, and Dagestani culture adds to the experience the guarantee of waiting a very, very long time for your order.
In general unless you like traditional Dagestani dishes, which are delicious, you are unlikely to be impressed Makhachkala dagestan russia the food in Dagestan.
The best developed facilities still pretty basic are in Makhachkala and Derbent, but you should be able to Makhachkala dagestan russia guesthouse style lodging with little difficulty in any town or village. Despite the very real dangers that absolutely should deter sane tourists from visiting most parts of this region, the Dagestani peoples still retain their legendary chivalric hospitality, and will help you get set up. Dagestan is not a safe tourist destination by any stretch of the imagination.
The mountainous areas of the republic i. Criminal activity is widespread throughout the region, often targeting the few foreign tourists that do continue to visit for kidnapping, extortion, and worse. Dagestan shares along with the rest of the North Caucasus an extravagantly corrupt official culture and bribes and harassment are business as usual.
However, it is generally the north of Dagestan that is actually safe to travel. Dagestan is a predominantly conservative Muslim region with very strong chivalric mountaineer traditions. Be careful not to insert yourself "Makhachkala dagestan russia" local politics or to insult locals' sense of honour, or you might find yourself estranged i.
If you are planning to stay a while and to keep in touch with Dagestani and other North-Caucasian peoples, then you Makhachkala dagestan russia consider buying a local SIM card instead of going on roaming.
If you buy a SIM card from a shop you'll need your passport for identification. Visitors should know that there are no embassies or consular services in Dagestan, with the most convient likely to be in distant Moscow.
Just across the border with Georgia is the breathtakingly gorgeous region of Tushetibut the border is for all intents and purposes closed, so the route to Georgia becomes extremely long and indirect via plane. Georgia is the place to be, though, to safely experience the sort of romantic, chivalric Caucasian mountain cultures that would be an attraction in a safer Dagestan.
The border with Azerbaijan was until recently open only to CIS passport It has reopened in for non-CIS passport holders, but regardless, it is reputedly a very bad experience.
However, Northeastern Azerbaijan is a wonderful place for treks in forest covered mountains. The most obvious next destination would be Chechnya, with its shared culture, proximity, and similarly beautiful mountainous landscapes, but anything interesting there is far too dangerous to visit. If you are in Dagestan, best to leave via the airport in Makhachkala. Travel to Dagestan is strongly discouraged, due to high criminal activity, frequent bombings, and general lawlessness and crime.