The fertile south of Russia includes the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas, the Volga delta, the foothills of the Caucasus. There are steppes, salt lakes, and mountain waterfalls. Here they revive the traditions of Cossack life and pray in Buddhist temples, people come here to relax, taste wine and study ancient history.
Top 15 sights of the South of Russia
Olympic Park in Sochi
The most famous and new attraction in Sochi is a huge sports complex built for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Now it continues to be used as an active recreation area: bike paths are laid along the coast, sports equipment can be rented, and stadiums operate. There are several concert halls, a museum complex with a zoo and a planetarium, in the evening you can admire the singing fountains.
One of the largest and most picturesque Russian kremlin is a fortress built in the 16th century to protect the southern borders of the country. Here you can walk along the walls and admire the ancient towers. Inside the Kremlin there is a cathedral complex: the Assumption Cathedral of the 17th century, Nikolskaya Church of the 18th century, a high bell tower, the remains of the Trinity Monastery. The towers of the fortress house interesting museum expositions telling about the history of Astrakhan.
Durov Museum in Taganrog
A unique museum of circus art in Taganrog. The most famous trainer and artist Anatoly Durov lived in Taganrog for several years. His museum is located in the house in which he lived - this is an Art Nouveau mansion built in 1900. This is not just a memorial museum with showcases. A circus arena is reproduced here, the interior of a passenger carriage in which artists toured in the first half of the 20th century, video recordings of the 1920s with circus performances are shown, etc.
Address. Taganrog per. Anton Glushko, 44
Aquarium Sochi Discovery World Aquarium
The largest Oceanarium on the Black Sea coast is located near Sochi. There are 30 huge aquariums with marine and freshwater fish and animals. Its pearl is a water corridor, a tunnel surrounded by water on three sides. Large stingrays and sharks swim around - an unforgettable sight! Sharks are fed regularly - a whole show is made of it. Here you can even go diving and swim among the large fish. But the most interesting of all, of course, are the aquariums themselves, and among them - those that are dedicated to the underwater world of coral reefs, they are the most colorful.
Address. Sochi, Adler district, st. Lenina, 219a / 4 "Kurortny town"
Museum-Reserve named after E. D. Felitsyn in Krasnodar
One of the largest and oldest museums in Russia. It was founded in 1879 as a military ethnographic museum, and by the beginning of the 20th century its collection numbered several thousand exhibits. Now here you can see archaeological collections with many gold items found during excavations in the Kuban. These are Greek, Scythian, Sarmatian products from numerous burial mounds.
The building itself is also interesting - it is a merchant's mansion of the 19th century, richly decorated and with well-preserved interiors, stucco moldings and paintings.
Aquapark "Zolotaya Bukhta" in Gelendzhik
The largest water park in Russia is located in Gelendzhik on the seashore, surrounded by a mountain landscape. It occupies 15 hectares. This is an entertainment complex with several dozen different slides, water slopes and pools. There are rides for both the smallest and the adults who are not afraid of extreme sports. One of the slides, for example, is called “Kamikaze”. In the center there is a medieval castle with children's entertainment and a cafe. There are wave pools, jacuzzis and hydromassage jets, and there is a regular playground with trampolines. The water park has its own small arboretum with exotic and flowering plants, where you can relax after entertainment.
Address. Gelendzhik, st. Tourist, 23.
The most famous in Russia, and throughout the world, is the memorial complex dedicated to the Great Patriotic War and the heroic defense of Stalingrad. The grandiose statue of the Motherland is located on a hill above Stalingrad - where there was once a strategic height, over which fierce battles were fought. But this is not one statue. The path to the top leads through several sculptural compositions, mass graves and the Hall of Military Glory.
The complex was opened in 1967, and recently an Orthodox church has also appeared on the hill, erected in memory of the fallen soldiers. Not on the Mamayev Kurgan itself, but very close by is the Panorama of the Battle of Stalingrad - a grandiose canvas created in the traditions of F. Roubaud and telling about the defense of the city.
Possibly the most beautiful waterfalls in Russia are located near Tuapse - after all, this area is replete with mountain rivers and streams. The most popular route is to the Dederkoy River valley overgrown with chestnuts and moss. In total, there are more than ten cascades and rapids, although 2-3 of them are usually visited the largest. The difference in height between the highest and the lowest waterfalls is 400 meters, and the height of the main waterfall is 14 meters.
Another famous Tuapse waterfall is formed by the waters of the Kazenny stream - its height is as much as 33 meters! There is an observation deck above the waterfall, from which you can admire it, and also see the neighboring one, only 7 meters high, but also very picturesque.
The village of Lazarevskoye is located on the outskirts of the huge Sochi National Park. There are several interesting natural attractions in its surroundings. This is a mountainous area, indented by deep gorges and canyons of rivers, so that tourist routes mainly pass along them.
One of the most popular gorges is Svirskoe, it is very close and the road to it is only 3 km. It has its own waterfalls and - most importantly - mysterious ancient dolmens, burial stone structures that are more than three thousand years old.
The road to the Mamedov Gorge is more authentic - there are also waterfalls, and dolmens, and stone heaps. Interesting is the Crab Canyon, where you can swim and see many freshwater crabs, and the Ashe River valley with a 20-meter waterfall and viewing platforms above the gorge.
Zoo in Rostov-on-Don
The Rostov Zoo is one of the largest and most interesting in Russia. It occupies a large area and is located in a green park: at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was organized, it was the outskirts of the city, where summer cottages were built. At the beginning of his story, a real detective happened: the first lions, elephants and crocodiles were confiscated from the touring menagerie. Now here you can see 400 species of different animals, most of which are rare and listed in the Red Book. It has one of the largest population of white-tailed eagles in Europe. There are elephants, rhinos, a large aquarium, a two-level exotarium with rodents, a terrarium with amphibians.
Address. Rostov-on-Don, st. Zoological, 3.
Valley of the lotuses
One of the most beautiful places in the Krasnodar Territory is the lotus valley near the village of Golubinskaya in the freshened Akhtanizovsky estuary. In the middle of the 20th century, Indian pink lotuses were brought here. The hydrobiologist S. Troitsky was engaged in this. The idea was that estuaries are a good place for these flowers, but the water was too salty. Lotuses took root well only in places where the water is relatively fresh - for example, in the Volga delta. They also got accustomed to this estuary, because it was specially desalinated by diverting a canal from the Kuban River into it.
Now in the second half of summer, huge pink fragrant lotuses bloom here. You can get to them only with a boat excursion - the banks of the estuary are swampy, so it's not easy to approach. But it's worth it!
Ethnographic complex Ataman
Ataman is a real Cossack village in the open air. It occupies almost 60 hectares, and here they are actively reviving the traditions of the Cossack life: there are huts, mowing the grass, preparing traditional dishes, singing old songs, and conducting traditional rituals. There are huts of a blacksmith and a potter, a beekeeper and a barber, there is a chapel on the top of the hill, and a house of fabulous evil spirits under the hill. Each building has its own exposition of items collected from the Cossack villages of southern Russia.
The complex hosts filming, offers master classes on painting gingerbread, making pottery, amulets dolls, etc. The most popular direction is culinary: almost every month there are festivals of borscht, then holidays of bacon, then potatoes with onions, or just traditional Kuban cuisine.
Address. Taman, st. Nekrasov, 1
The Taman Peninsula is a leading wine producer in the south of Russia. Wine production was founded here in the middle of the 20th century. The Taman Peninsula has its own vast vineyards, so the most famous trade mark is called “Chateau Tamagne” - it produces “Kuban-wine”.
One of their factories is located in Taman itself - you can get there with a guided tour. Here they tell in detail about the history of winemaking (and these traditions on the shores of the Black Sea are more than two thousand years old) and about modern factory wine production.
And in neighboring Temryuk there is the center of another leading wine producer - Fanagoria. Here, too, they offer excursions with a visit to the plant, vineyards - and, of course, with tasting of different varieties.
Golden abode of Buddha Shakyamuni in Elista
The Republic of Kalmykia is the only region in Europe in which Buddhism is the official religion. Descendants of nomadic peoples who did not accept Islam live here. In the Soviet years, as elsewhere, religion was oppressed, but now temples and monasteries are being built here.
In 2005, a huge Buddhist temple - khurul - was created in Elista. It houses the largest statue of Shakyamuni Buddha in Europe. It is plated with gold and inlaid with diamonds. The golden abode of Buddha is a huge complex, surrounded by 17 pagodas and 108 stupas, it contains not only a prayer hall, but the residence of the head of the Buddhists of Kalmykia and the Dalai Lama. The entire complex was built in the tradition of Buddhist architecture, and is beautifully illuminated in the evening.
Address. Elista st. Y. Klykova, 63
The complex of two caves - Bolshoy and Malaya - is located very close to the Maikop - Lago-Naki road in a picturesque forest consisting of beeches and fir trees. The Small Cave is just a rather narrow well, which can only be reached by crawling, but the Big Azish Cave, which was declared a natural monument already in 1973, is equipped for tourist inspection. These are several large halls with stalactites, stalagmites and other rock formations; the underground river Lozovushka flows through them, which forms a small waterfall. The entrance to it is on the upper tier, and then you have to go down the stairs to a depth of 30 meters.