Cherek canyon – Blue lakes, hot springs, towers

One of the excursions included in the health centers of Kabardino-Balkaria is a trip to the Blue Lakes, located in the area Cherek and Bezengi valley.

Group of blue lakes – natural phenomenon, interesting not only for Russia, but also in the whole world. The lakes are a group of water karst origin and are located in the beautiful nature, mountain deciduous forests and flowering alpine fields. Above and below the lakes – cliffs, and at the lowest, on the bottom of the canyon, with the noise and the roar of waters Balkar Cherek river.

Within the Rocky Range tourists gaze one of the most picturesque lakes in the Caucasus, sulfuric water with the color of different shades, from bluish pale to emerald.
“Tserikkel” is not big lake, the water surface area is 26 thousand square meters and the depth is 368 m, it has no river flows in, and flows out only one unnamed stream. Flowing from Lake is permanent and has no influence from seasonal fluctuations. It is about 70 million liters. water per day. Its color is variable. In clear weather, soft blue, and when other weather conditions changed to sky-blue. The water is crystal clear, transparent walls of the lake can be seen to a depth of 22 m. Water surface of the lake is calm, it seems it stopped, frozen in her mysterious, enigmatic beauty.

To the east of the lake “Tserikkel” one more interesting object of nature – empty lake “Kel-Ketchhen”. The basin of the lake is a deep karst pit with vertical walls 177 meters deep. Origin of Kel-Ketchhen is similar with origin of Tserikkel lake: it is the result of karst processes. Translated from local Balkar language Kel-Ketchhen means “lake flowed away”. Two more connected lakes are nearby..

Recently on the Lake opened scientific sports diving center. Here scientists have deepwater equipment and special gas mixtures, and tourists extreme sports fans can immerse themselves in the depths of the lake under the supervision of experienced instructors.

The bus goes higher up the winding roads to the tunnel in Cherek gorge. Walk along the old road, carved in the cliff – the most exciting time of excursions. It is felt the enormity of the river. Beyond the tunnel starts way to the fortress “Zylgi”, attached to a steep cliff, like a swallow’s nest. With rock fortress begins whole defensive system created in the Middle Ages; Balkarov’s tower, tower Amir Khan, fortress Kurnaiat, keshene in villages Kurnaiat and Shkhandy, and many other sites shows tourists a distant world of the past, locked in Rocky Ridge.

On the way to the Blue Lake – hot springs Aushiger. 

The place is located in the south-western outskirts of the village Aushiger, on the right bank of the river Khey, on the territory of the sanatorium “Aushiger”, 25 km from the city of Nalchik. Natural and climatic conditions of the area belong to the foothills of the republic with a temperate continental climate.
The place characterized by the presence within the complex of health and leisure unique sources of nitrogen slightly mineral thermal hot water.
Before designing health and recreation fundamental task was to attract the maximum number of tourists, regardless the level of their life. At the moment, there is a fairly well-developed infrastructure at the sanatorium “Aushiger”, which includes a rest area, bathing and living with housing for 100 people.

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