The resort area of the Caucasian Mineralnye Vody (Kavminvody) is located in the Stavropol Territory. It includes such resort towns as Essentuki, Zheleznovodsk, Kislovodsk and Pyatigorsk and is the largest balneo-climatic resort in Russia. Caucasian Mineralnye Vody has about 130 mineral springs and reserves of silt mud, which is mined in the Tambukan Lake. Each of the resort towns, depending on the composition of the springs and the microclimate, specializes in the treatment of various diseases. To date, the sanatoriums of Kavminvod have a modern diagnostic base and are equipped with the latest technology. The regional center of the resort area is the city of Essentuki, and its main transport hub is the city of Mineralnye Vody (there is an international airport and a junction station of the North Caucasian railway).
According to ACT Test Centers, the Caucasian Mineral Waters are located on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, within which the highest point in Europe – Mount Elbrus (5642 m) is located. The resort area can be divided into two zones: the northern one, which includes the cities of Pyatigorsk, Yessentuki and Zheleznovodsk, and the southern one, where the city of Kislovodsk is located. The resorts of the northern zone are located at an altitude of 500-600 m, and the city of Kislovodsk – at an altitude of 800 to 1069 m. The Caucasian Mineral Waters are known for their healing microclimate with plenty of heat and moderate rainfall. The air here is clean and oxygenated. The city of Kislovodsk has the most favorable climate for treatment.. This is the “sunniest” resort of the Caucasian Mineral Waters (there are about 300 clear days a year), it is surrounded on all sides by mountains that protect it from cold winds.
The healing properties of the Caucasian springs have been known to the locals since ancient times. Their study at the state level began with Peter I, and by the end of the 18th century people from different parts of the country began to come here for treatment. On April 24, 1803, Alexander I issued a decree on the improvement of balneological zones in the Stavropol Territory. This year is considered the year of formation of the Cavminvod. The richest people of the country, as well as cultural figures, came here. M.Yu. Lermontov has been here more than once, and his novel “A Hero of Our Time” describes these places.
The main method of treatment at the resorts of Kavminvod is the use of local mineral waters of various chemical and gas composition. They are used for internal use (drinking mineral water, gastric lavage, duodenal tubage (drainage), intra-intestinal (rectal) procedures, inhalation with finely sprayed particles of mineral water) or for external use (baths, underwater traction of the spine, douche-massage, underwater douche- massage, sitz baths, rising showers, local baths for hands and feet, irrigation of the head, swimming in the pool). In Kislovodsk there are deposits of carbonic sulfate-bicarbonate calcium-magnesium waters “Narzanov”; in Essentuki – carbonate hydrocarbonate-chloride sodium waters “Essentuki”; in Pyatigorsk – carbonic waters of the “Pyatigorsk Narzans”, carbonic acid-hydrogen sulfide waters of a complex ion-salt composition, radon waters, mineral waters of the Essentuki type, methane waters with a high content of iodine and bromine and weakly carbonic chloride sodium waters of the Arzni type; in Zheleznovodsk – the only hot calcium waters and carbonic sulfate-hydrocarbonate calcium-sodium waters in the world. Also in the sanatoriums of the Kavminvod, mud therapy is widely used in the form of wraps and applications. The black silt sulfide mud of the Tambukan Lake is rich in salts, sulfuric iron, hydrogen sulfide, methane and carbon dioxide. In addition to these methods of treatment, hydrotherapy or hydropathy is practiced at the resorts of the Caucasian Mineral Waters – external use for therapeutic and preventive purposes of both fresh and mineral water (circular arc massage, Charcot shower, underwater massage shower, whirlpool baths, chamber baths, underwater traction, fan shower-massage, contrast baths, dousing, wiping); climatotherapy – the use of the healing properties of the climate, which includes aerotherapy (long or round-the-clock stay in the open air), heliotherapy (sunbathing) and thalassotherapy (treatment by bathing in open water); diet therapy (about 40 diets) and terrenkur – dosed walking (alternating walking on a flat place and rough terrain with a different angle of inclination in order to regulate blood circulation). Kislovodsk, the Medical Park and the Essentukov Victory Park, in the Beshtaugorsk forest park of Pyatigorsk and in the Zheleznovodsk forest park, which is the only park of natural origin in the Caucasian Mineral Waters.
The main specialization of the sanatoriums of Kislovodsk are diseases of the cardiovascular system, today Kislovodsk is considered the leading cardiological resort in Russia. In Essentuki, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver and metabolism are treated, the Center for the Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus also operates here and one of the largest mud baths in Europe has been opened. Pyatigorsk is known for its success in the treatment of diseases of the nervous system, musculoskeletal system, digestive organs and skin diseases. Zheleznovodsk sanatoriums specialize in the treatment of diseases of the digestive system, kidneys, urinary tract and metabolic disorders. In addition, Kavminvod resorts treat gynecological and urological diseases, respiratory diseases and diseases of the ear, throat and nose. Thus, all resorts of Kavminvod are multidisciplinary.
Of the attractions of the Caucasian Mineral Waters, of particular interest are places associated with the name of M.Yu. Lermontov. He visited here in his childhood and during the Caucasian exile, when the story “Princess Mary” was written. 3 km from Kislovodsk in the gorge of the river Olkhovka is Lermontov rock. It was these places that became the scenery for the duel between Pechorin and Grushnitsky from the aforementioned story. In Pyatigorsk, there is the State Museum-Reserve of M.Yu. Lermontov, where in 1841 the poet lived the last two months of his life, the literary department of the museum – the Verzilin House, Diana’s Grotto (Lermontov’s favorite resting place), the infamous duel site, where on July 15, 1841 the poet was mortally wounded by Major Martynov, the Pyatigorsk necropolis with the original burial place of M.Yu. In addition to excursions to the main attractions of the resorts and their environs, excursions to the mountains of the Greater Caucasus are offered in Kavminvody. Only 65 km southwest of Kislovodsk is the highest point in Europe – Mount Elbrus (5642 m). On the slopes of Elbrus lies the National Park “Prielbrusye”, which is known as the center of ecotourism and active tourism (mainly mountain-sports and skiing) of the Caucasus Mountains. Not far from the local village of Terskol there are ski lifts that take tourists to the ski areas of Elbrus.