FIERY COSSACKS and gentle monks between the Mighty VOLGA and the quiet don
Rostov – Azov Sea – Stalingrad – Astrakhan – Kalmykia – Stavropol
This tour is offered on a regular basis from April to early June and again from late August through October. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the ask-us button below and we will match your preferences with the relevant scheduled group departure. If you are unsure about the month you wish to travel in, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will give you a wide range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours!
Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with friends and there are 5 or more of you, you can set your own dates and we will organise a tour just for you without charging any additional fee. If you are travelling solo or with less than 4 companions we will organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.
Day 1 - Rostov on Don
In the morning you will meet our tour guide in the lobby of the designated hotel (exact hotel address and meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email; private airport pickup and shuttle service available for a small additional fee).
Introductory briefing about the region, the route and the set of rules to observe while travelling in Southern Russia.
Rostov sightseeing: .
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Rostov on Don.
Day 2 - Sea of Azov
Today we’ll head to the mysterious Sea of Azov and enjoy a melancholic tour along its sandy coasts.
Soviet military city of Tangarog
Dinner and overnight in Rostov on Don.
Day 3 - Tsimlyansky Reserve
Tank Memorial Tatsinsky District
Dinner and overnight in the reserve.
Day 4 - Quiet Don
Dinner and overnight in Stalingrad.
Day 5 - Stalingrad
Stalingrad sightseeing: Giant Lenin Statue, Mamayev Hills Monuments, Soviet Motherland Statue, Flour Mill Ruins, All Saints Church, Volgograd Railway Station, WWII memorials.
Traditional Southern Russian lunch.
Guided tour through the State Panoramic Museum of Stalingrad Battle and evening stroll along the embankment.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Stalingrad.
Day 6 - Baskunchak
We'll set off on a long journey across the steppes and head to the salty waters of Lake Baskunchak, the very Soviet version of California's Salton Sea.
We'll drive along the mighty Volga for most of the time, following the course of the old Soviet road connecting Astrakhan to Stalingrad and crossing a surreal and dystopian landscape of windswept steppes, Mad-Max settlements and industrial decay.
We’ll then move to the nearby military town of Akhtubinsk, once one of Soviet Union’s many closed cities and still home to a state flight testing center and military testing range.
Dinner and overnight in Akhtubinsk.
Day 7 - Mighty Volga
We’ll leave Akhtubinsk after breakfast and head down south to Astrakhan, the getaway to the Volga Delta.
Astrakhan sightseeing: Kremlin, Fish Market, City Embankment, Cathedral of the Assumption, House of the Soviets, Lenin Square, Wedding Palace, Music Fountain, Temple Gate, Peter the Great Statue.
In the afternoon we'll head to the Volga Delta National Park to enjoy a romantic boat trip surrounded by a wild landscape of lotus flowers, water lilies and flocks of migratory birds.
Dinner and overnight in Astrakhan.
Day 8 - Kalmykia
We will leave Astrakhan early in the morning for the 5-hour-long journey to the Republic of Kalmykia, an oddly fascinating and melancholically beautiful autonomous region mainly inhabited by friendly Mongolic people.
Besides the routine pauses for food, toilet and random landscape pictures, we'll break the long haul in some pretty traditional Kalmyk villages such as Khulkhuta and Yashkul.
A quick lunch on the road and finally we will reach Elista, the surreal and surprisingly lively capital of Kalmykia.
We'll then enjoy a full tour around the city and its Socialist-Buddhist bizarre sights, do some shopping around the exotic central bazaar, as well as paying a visit to the National Theatre and the National Museum.
While learning about the serene beauty of Nirvana we won't forget the profane pleasures of Samsara indulging in local gastronomic delicacies such as butter tea and mutton stew.
Dinner and overnight in Elista.
Day 9 - Stavropol
Stavropol Soviet Tour:
Dinner and overnight in Stavropol.
DAY 10 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last Cossack-style breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.
We will then arrange transfer to Stavropol International Airport for either your flight back home or your next connection to yet another exciting destination in the region such as Chechnya or Dagestan.
End of the tour.
3 to 9 participants: 2990 €
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 20 euro/night), private transport in the region (jeep or minivan), entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights and any other flight not explicitly included in the tour price and itinerary, meals, drinks and tips, transport to and from the airport of arrival/departure (35 euros/ride), visas if required, entrance fees to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.
The route of this tour has been carefully designed after several research trips in the region. It is, however, always possible to slightly modify the itinerary according to the needs and the suggestions of the participants. The trip can be also operated the other way round, starting in Stavropol and ending in Rostov on Don.
Airport pickup/transfer in Rostov and Stavropol is available for just 35 euros per ride.
WHERE THE HECK AM I TRAVELLING TO?
BELOW YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENT TOUR STAGES MARKED ON A MAP OF THE REGION YOU ARE GOING TO EXPLORE WITH US
POSSIBLE TOUR COMBINATIONS FOR THIS ITINERARY INCLUDE