Mineralnye Vody is a relatively small cozy town in the Stavropol Territory. Despite the name, there are no healing springs in the very administrative center of the Mineralovodsky District, all of them are located in neighboring Zheleznovodsk, Lermontov, Pyatigorsk, Yessentuki and Kislovodsk. The city serves as a kind of gateway, annually allowing hundreds of thousands of tourists to the resorts of the Caucasian Mineral Waters. It is here that the largest transport hub in the region is located - an international airport, a railway junction and a federal highway.
Although many consider Mineralnye Vody as a transit point, the city itself is also of interest from a tourist point of view. Warm and mild climate, stunning nature and mountains rising from all sides - why not a place for rest and relaxation? In addition, you don't have to travel far to get wellness treatments - in the vicinity there are many sanatoriums with healing water from mineral water springs.
How to get to Mineralnye Vody
The city of Mineralnye Vody grew up around the Sultanovskaya railway station, which later became a major junction. Then a large international airport and a bus station were built nearby, so there are no problems in terms of transport accessibility - it is easy to get here from almost any corner of Russia and neighboring countries.
The fastest way for Moscow and St. Petersburg is by plane, although residents of the northern capital have fewer flights and tickets are more expensive. Trains run regularly from both capitals to Mineralnye Vody, but in reality this option is not much more economical, and you will have to spend much more time on the way. Buses arrive at the local bus station from Moscow and many southern cities of Russia.
The main public transport is buses and minibuses. Most of them depart from the railway station, the route network covers all areas of the city and nearby villages. The fare is relatively low - about 16 RUB.
The only drawback is that transport runs until 19: 00-20: 00. So, if you plan to stay late somewhere, be prepared to take a taxi. The latter in Mineralnye Vody are represented by several local firms, the tariffs are low in comparison with Moscow ones - travel around the city will cost 50-150 RUB, transfer from the airport - from 150 RUB. There is also an international transfer booking service, but the prices are an order of magnitude higher - from 600 RUB. Prices on the page are for November 2018.
Electric trains run from the railway station to Kislovodsk, Pyatigorsk, Essentuki and other cities of the region. The ticket price varies depending on the distance of the terminal station. For example, travel to Kislovodsk will cost 400 RUB, to Nalchik - 350 RUB.
Mineralnye Vody Hotels
Choosing a hotel in Mineralnye Vody, the first step is to decide on the purpose of the trip. The city has both ordinary hotels and guest houses and sanatoriums offering various medical procedures. The price per day in the latter is an order of magnitude higher. The cost of accommodation does not greatly depend on the location of the hotel, in the center or on the outskirts, however, budget options should be looked for closer to the suburbs.
Those who want to save money should pay attention to inexpensive guest houses. A night in a shared female or male room for several people will cost only RUB 500. Prices for accommodation in a double room start from 1000 RUB.
There are three- and four-star hotels in the city, most of them are concentrated in the central part. For a day in a comfortable room with a designer interior and satellite TV, you will have to pay from 2500 to 3000 RUB. It offers bars, restaurants and karaoke, and an entertainment program with animators in the evening.
Rent a Car
If you came to Mineralnye Vody for a short time and do not plan to leave the city, then there is probably no point in renting a car. The public transport network covers the entire territory, including the suburbs, buses run frequently, and travel costs little. For late strolls, there are taxis with fairly low fares. If you want to explore the surroundings and other cities of the resort region, it would be more expedient to take a car and not depend on the schedule of electric trains and intercity buses.
Mineralnye Vody is a small city, and there is no such car traffic as in Moscow or St. Petersburg. The traffic is calm, but sometimes there are traffic jams. There shouldn't be any problems with parking - there are several 24-hour parking lots, paid and free. The cost per day in the open area is 100 RUB, in the parking near the airport - 500 RUB.
Most of the companies providing car rental services operate throughout the region, which allows you to take a car in Mineralnye Vody and return it in Pyatigorsk or Essentuki. Such an opportunity is provided by Urentcar and Autorent-KMV. Most companies, including Avant Car and Auto Dar, accept bank cards for payment. The cost of car rental, depending on the class and rental period, varies from 1000 RUB per day.
Treatment in Mineralnye Vody
The Caucasian Mineral Waters region has long been famous for its healing climate and healing natural springs. The first information about them appeared in the 17th century, and in Soviet times this resort was one of the most popular among the residents of our country. And although the springs themselves are located in neighboring cities, there are also many sanatoriums in the vicinity of Mineralnye Vody, offering vacationers various health procedures.
It is worth coming here, even if there are no specific diseases. Mineral and foamy liquorice baths, therapeutic mud and the healing climate of this region cleanse the body of toxins and toxins.
Various health resorts treat ulcers and gastritis, diabetes mellitus and obesity, liver, kidney and nervous system diseases. This is not a complete list of ailments that water from underground sources helps to cope with. Depending on the indications and contraindications, different methods are used - drinking cure, healthy baths with mineral water and mud therapy.
What to bring
Since rest in Mineralnye Vody is usually associated with healing, something with healing properties is usually taken away from here as souvenirs. First of all, it is worth grabbing a few bottles of healing mineral water from nearby springs. They are not in the city itself, but "Narzans" and "Essentuki" can be found in many shops.
Any water that has a therapeutic effect should be drunk with extreme caution. When choosing a present, be sure to familiarize yourself with the composition and properties of different varieties.
Another useful souvenir is Tambukan mud, which is actively used in the treatment of skin diseases and cosmetology. Its source, Lake Tambukan, is located 30 km from the city, so you can collect some silt yourself. If this is not possible, the collected and packaged dirt, as well as cosmetics based on it, are sold in pharmacies and stores of Mineral Waters.
There is also a souvenir in these places that heals not the body, but the soul. The famous Praskoveya cognacs are produced at the winery of the same name, located 100 km from the city, and are considered one of the city's visiting cards.
Cafes and restaurants of Mineralnye Vody
The choice of cafes in Mineralnye Vody is not as great as in the larger tourist regions, however, here you can also find where to have a snack or a delicious dinner. There are several excellent restaurants in the city with luxurious interiors and quality service, the menu includes dishes of Russian, European and Caucasian cuisine. Average check - from 1000 to 2000 RUB.
The most famous among tourists and locals is the Holburg restaurant, located in the building of the castle of the same name. Its main advantages are excellent cuisine, friendly staff and the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
For a quick and hearty snack, numerous cafes are perfect, where breakfast will cost 300-500 RUB. For pizza and sushi lovers, there are Italian and Japanese restaurants. A special place among the establishments of Mineralnye Vody is occupied by barbecue cafes. It is impossible to imagine Caucasian cuisine without this hot and aromatic dish. Real barbecue is served here at quite reasonable prices - the cost of lunch in most cafes and restaurants in the city does not exceed 700-1000 RUB.
Entertainment and attractions of Mineralnye Vody
You should not perceive the city solely as a transfer station on the way to the resorts of the North Caucasus. Quiet and cozy, it is perfect for rest and relaxation after the hectic pace of metropolitan areas. In addition, there are interesting natural, historical and architectural sights here, not to mention the sanatoriums and hospitals, for the sake of which many people go to these lands.
They say that Mineralnye Vody lacks only the sea: sights, entertainment and even mountains are already there.
Those arriving in Mineralnye Vody by train can start exploring the sights without leaving the ticket office. The railway station is one of the most interesting and beautiful historical buildings in the city. It was built in the late 50s. last century on the site of an old building.
In front of a semicircle of white columns stands a sculpture of an eagle with a snake in its claws. The monument illustrates a local legend about how a proud bird managed to heal from a poisonous bite with the help of water from local healing springs.
One of the most interesting natural attractions is the magmatic mountain Snake. It attracts tourists not only with beautiful mountain landscapes and unique flora and fauna. On the slopes there are several holy springs and monuments of the Second World War, as well as adits and quarries. Often you can also meet lovers of outdoor activities with climbing equipment.
There are several temples and cathedrals in Mineralnye Vody that will be of interest to believers and those who want to get acquainted with the history, culture and architecture of the city. The main religious attraction is the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos. Among its shrines are the relics of the Monk Theodosius of the Caucasus, the patron saint of these places.
Of the city's museums, the most interesting is the Museum of Aviation Technology, which displays military and civilian ships. Those wishing to learn more about the history of Mineralnye Vody should visit the Museum of Local Lore.
It is better to go on vacation to Mineralnye Vody in the second half of summer or in autumn. Although the climate of the city is temperate continental and rather mild at any time of the year, there is a high risk of falling into the rainy season in winter and spring. Summer here begins early, in mid-May, and ends only in September, giving way to cool, but sunny and dry autumn, but in June, short but intense showers are not uncommon.
Winter in Mineralnye Vody is warm and rainy; there are practically no severe frosts. During the period of early and short spring, which comes to these regions already at the end of February - beginning of March, the probability of precipitation is high.