Jili-Su – healing springs. My review and route by car

Jili-Su – healing springs. My review and route by car

Thousands of people come to the Dzhily-Su tract at an altitude of 2,400 meters in the mountains of Kabardino-Balkaria for treatment. But there are no health centers or doctors here. But there is faith! Belief in the healing properties of the local springs.

In Dzhily-Su you will find narcans for practically all diseases: Gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, eyes, drink, wash your face and don’t get sick! Tired of drinking, you can take a swim in the springs: there is a special pool, which is filled daily with narzan. The water is warm, 21-23 degrees. After bathing, in the evenings, it is customary to take a gas bath. Six or seven men go down into the hole, stand still and warm themselves with the gas coming out of the ground. What kind of gas, no one really knows, or rather, everyone has their own opinion: some consider it radon, some – hydrogen sulfide, some – just carbon dioxide. Science and official medicine have not yet reached these places.


Sources at Dzhily-Su

The springs at Dzhily-Su. In the morning, this stone bath is filled with water for bathing, and in the evening, the water is drained and heated with gas.

I love Gili-Su. I don’t know if the local waters really contain amazing healing powers, but even one or two days here is enough for me to recharge my energy. Tasty narsan, water procedures, gas baths, walks in the mountains – all this strengthens my body and improves my health.

Rock mushrooms in Dzhily-Su

Emmanuel Glade

Emmanuel Glade.

Emmanuel Glade

Emmanuel Glade

Gili-Su disposes to long walks in the fresh air.

My favorite wellness procedure at Dzhily-Su is bathing in the Silver Spring. The water is just above zero degrees, straight from the glaciers of Mount Elbrus. That’s what I understand – invigorating! It is said that you won’t fall ill for a year if you dip three times in a font. Personally, I got into the habit of taking seven dips in the icy spring water. Except that after the second dive you lose the ability to breathe and continue swimming in a half-conscious state, but you come out on the shore a completely different person.

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This time we found another treasure in Dzhily-Su – endless bushes of cowberries. It is useful too!


In summer at Dzhily-Su rest up to 3000 people at a time, plus one-day tourists are brought by buses from Kislovodsk – a real Babylonian pandemonium. We don’t like crowds, so we come to the tract in early October. There are not many people at this time, 30-40 people will hardly manage to get there. But it is cold: icy winds, minus temperature and snow at night.

Frosty morning in early October at Dzhily-Su. But in the fall you can walk alone. On these roads to the Glade of Emmanuel come jeeps. We prefer to wander there on foot. Emmanuel’s Glade. German airfield in Prielbrusie, you can walk there in one hour from Emmanuel Glade.

German aerodrome

German airfield. The dacha of the president of Kabardino-Balkaria in Dzhily-Su.

Accommodation in Dzhily-Su is simple and harsh in a Spartan way. You can choose your lodging: a caravan for 4-6 people, your own tent or a car. On our first trip we slept in the car – it was very cold, hurricane winds blow here and even a two-ton SUV swayed like a cane in the wind. This year we checked into a trailer, fairly new, clean and, most importantly, warm! However, a sleeping bag at zero degrees is still needed. Since recent times on the Dzhily-Su excellent cell phone service and even loads the Internet. True, this is a little frustrating – I come here to fall out of the networks of civilization, at least a few days, the Internet is superfluous here.


kitchen and table

Our kitchen and a table in the trailer.

How to get to Gily-Su . The distance from Kislovodsk is 83 km. See the map below. You can travel by car, any car will do. To the sources laid great asphalt, only at the exit of Kislovodsk pavement killed, especially near the village Industriya. The road to the northern Elbrus, I think one of the most beautiful in the world (and I’ve been a lot!). Already for the sake of these stunning scenery is worth a trip to Dzhily-Su by car. Feature of this road is that it runs not only along the bottom of the gorges and mountain slopes, but also directly on the ridges, so the views are breathtaking. Especially impressive is the beautiful Elbrus, proudly towering above the other mountains.

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You can also buy an excursion from Pyatigorsk: in one day you will be taken to the springs of Dzhily-Su on a jeep, will see the waterfalls, stone mushrooms, the Temple of the Sun, the glade of Emmanuel and the Silver Spring.

I am hooked on Djili-Su for good and I am sure I will come here many times.

The road to Dzhily-Su from Kislovodsk. View of two-headed Elbrus on the way to the springs. The road to the Dzhily-Su.

Eleven bridges and fords on the way to the goal. The healing springs near Elbrus – Karachaevsk Dzhili-Suu

Surely everyone who has traveled in the Caucasus or just planned a similar trip has heard about the famous healing springs of Jilly-Suu . They are located on the territory of Kabardino-Balkaria at the foot of Mount Elbrus on the north side. Many different healing mineral springs, unique in their chemical composition and therapeutic effect on the body, gush out of the ground. Now they are leading to an excellent asphalt road and can get anyone who wants to on any car. But in this story we will talk about a completely different place.

I will tell about other springs, which are also located at the bottom of Mount Elbrus, but from the Western side and they are no longer in Kabardino-Balkaria, but in Karachaevo-Cherkessia.

2. We are driving from Kislovodsk and our route passes through Gum-Bashi pass, and it is from here you can see the view of Mount Elbrus which we are accustomed to see in the photographs. But today we will approach it from the opposite side and see it from a different angle.

3. Then our way goes through Karachaevsk along the valley along Kuban river through Uchkulan to Khurzuk. And here we enter a beautiful gorge, those mountains that we used to see from afar, are now nearby, they surround us. In this weather the gorge is unreal beautiful. And on the left, on the mountain top, on a huge height there is a watchtower. The hike up to it is very steep. Its height in relation to the road is about 350 meters. I found this out while trying to reach it with a copter.

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4. But it is not possible to fly up to her level, because at that time I had a limit of 300 meters to climb. In the end I climb to the maximum altitude and take a couple of interesting photos. The bright sun was blocking the scenery behind the tower, but that’s where Elbrus is, and that’s where our way was. But from the tower there is a mind-blowing view of the valley, through the bottom of which we pass.

5. Then we go left in Khurzuk and drive along Ullu-Khurzuk river gorge. This is where our adventures begin.

6. We are to cross the river 11 times through 11 bridges of different degree of deterioration, and in some places even by wading. Most of the bridges are really dilapidated, it is a little scary to drive across them, there is a risk of failing. Some of the bridges are periodically demolished during spring and summer floods, and then they have to be rebuilt, or you can do without them for a while. In the film, I filmed the condition of all the bridges at that time. So if anyone goes to the springs, the video will be extremely helpful.

7. But if now, during our trip in November, the water level in the river is extremely low and it is easier to bypass the suspicious bridges, but in the spring and summer it is unprepared off-road vehicle is unlikely to succeed, the risk of drowning the car is very high. So, it turns out that the way to Dzhily-Suu is very difficult in the season and accordingly not many people know about it. And when you tell them about existence of another spring in Karachaevo-Cherkessia you get genuine surprise in reply.

8. But now at the juncture of autumn and winter, in the gorge you can admire the unusual ice sculptures, which are formed by the running river.

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9. There are a lot of them, they are everywhere, and unwillingly attract the eye, looking at them you realize that nature is capable of many miracles. In winter the sun practically does not penetrate into the gorge and ice sculptures remain there in pristine condition.

9. There are a lot of them, they are everywhere, and unwillingly attract the eye, looking at them you realize that nature is capable of many miracles. In winter the sun practically does not penetrate into the gorge and ice sculptures remain there in pristine condition.

10. Some bridges are absolutely fresh, probably this is one of those which was blown away last year, the bridge was restored and looks safe enough, but we do not know what will be this year, how rough or on the contrary calm the river will be, if the word calm can be applied to describe the mountain river.

11. During the trip we had only one encounter, and it’s good that the traffic is so light, because it’s not easy to pass each other on the narrow road.

12. We finally cross bridge 11 and go out of the gorge to the left. From the cold shadows we immediately get to the hot sunny slopes.

14. But the higher we climb, the less vegetation there is and the thick coniferous forests gradually disappear.

14. But the higher we climb, the less vegetation there is and the thick coniferous forests gradually disappear.

15. The low bushes replace them, but gradually they disappear too. But up ahead an unusual view of Elbrus opens from the end. This is where the mineral springs are located. The altitude of the valley is about 2500 meters above sea level.

16. Well, what a ride can do without tasty treats? Be it a kebab, or, as now, dumplings! )))

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18. And you can try to subdue by cars nearby slopes. True slopes were steep and rocky, but attempts to conquer, of course, I also filmed the movie.

19. At the bottom of the valley, the river still flows. From the Earth’s depths comes several narcotic springs, as well as the unique composition of the Kabardian Dzhily-Su.

20. But unlike the Kabarda place, the narzan baths here are covered. The temperature of the narsan in the pool is +18 degrees. It is good that it is closed and there is no wind inside, otherwise with the ambient temperature around zero, it would be difficult to stay in it for a long time. But we endure 15 minutes and only then we go home.

Today the trip was a success. Great weather, beautiful nature and good company made our day!

Watch the film about our trip below:

You can also read the report about Kabardian Jilly-Su: – It’s worth to be here – Jilly-Su tract and Sultan waterfall

And of course I recommend you to watch the film of the same name.

Have a great trip this year!

P.S. Special thanks for reposting and views on YouTube, they motivate me to go on new journeys, stories and movies. If you want to know about all the events online, and not wait for reports for months, visit my instagram – andreykasper_blog

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