The towns in the Caucasus Mineral Waters resort complex of Pyatigorsk, Zheleznovodsk, Yessentuki, and Kislovodsk have been famous since ancient times. Thermal waters, therapeutic springs and mud have rejuvenated millions of people. However, Stavropol Krai has more to offer than health resorts. Archeologists have discovered 20 settlements and towns here, some of which are more than three thousand years old. The traditional life in Stavropol is associated with vine growing and wine making. On the slopes of the Mashuk hill is a modest monument commemorating the duel fought by the writer Mikhail Lermontov, and a statue to the famous literary character Ostap Bender can be found at the entrance to Proval Cave.
Stavropol is a highly-developed agricultural region. High-quality wheat, grapes, fruit, vegetables and melons are grown and meat, milk and wool are produced here. Stavropol Krai is home to 93 different nationalities.
Stavropol Krai has examples of almost all Russian landscapes. You can find permafrost at the foothills of the Razvalka Mountain in Pyatigorsk. You can descend to the Kuma—Manych Depression, five meters above sea level, or climb 1,500 meters up mountains in the Burgustansky and Dzhinalsky ridges (1,200–1,500 meters).
The city of Stavropol grew from a fort built in 1777 on the Azovo-Mozdoksky fortified line during the Caucasian War. The first settlers made a new life sheltered by the fort's walls. The town of Budyonnovsk, previously called Majar meaning "stone house", has an even more ancient history. According to records, by 1250 this was a trade and artisan center for the Golden Horde in the North Caucasus.
The area of the Caucasian Mineral Waters contains more than 40 types of mineral water and more than 100 sources. The most famous is Narzan—the drink of Nart heroes—which gives health and strength. The famous high-quality therapeutic mud in Lake Tambukan and the favorable climate have made this area a popular health resort, with each resort town having its own specific character.
Stavropol is home to more than 2,000 national monuments of history and culture, 71 of which are of federal status. Stavropol, Budyonnovsk, Zheleznovodsk, Kislovodsk, and Pyatigorsk have retained their wonderful architectural ensembles created by the brothers Giuseppe and Giovanni Bernadazzi, Joseph Charlemagne, Evgeny-Karl Shroetter, Samuel Upton, Pavel Voskresensky, and Grigory Kuskov. The museum-house of the poet Mikhail Lermontov must not be missed.
Stavropol Krai holds aeronautic competitions and has the ideal conditions for hang gliding, paragliding, and ballooning. Hunting and fishing are also popular in this region.
The region's history goes back thousands of years. The ruins of eight ancient towns from different epochs have been found in Stavropol. The Great Silk Road passed through this region.
The so-called Tomuzlovka monsters, strangely-shaped rocks in Alexandrovsky district, are the most popular site in the Stavropol highlands. Golubinaya mountain and Lyagushka (frog) rock are also worth visiting. Alexandrovsky district is home to a unique place—6-meter-high stone columns.There are many holy places in Stavropol that attract pilgrims from all over the world. A border runs through here dividing Christianity and Islam which, together with other smaller religions, live happily together. You can take a trip in the Caucasian Mineral Waters region through holy places associated with the life and works of famous monk and miracle-worker Feodosiy Kavkazsky.