Samara Oblast, Russia

The Samara region is located in the Middle Volga region, in the east of the European part of Russia. The Samara region lies on both banks of the Volga River, most of it in the Trans-Volga forest-steppes. In total, more than three million people live in the region, most of them in cities. It borders with the Ulyanovsk region in the west, Tatarstan in the north, Orenburg region in the east and Saratov region in the south. Bashkiria is also nearby.

In the Samara region there are Zhiguli - the only mountains of tectonic origin on the Russian Plain. Although they are considered young (about 7 million years) and growing (about 1 cm per 100 years), they are composed of older sedimentary rocks - limestones and dolomites (age more than 270 million years, Upper Carboniferous - Permian). In the Triassic and Jurassic periods, marine dinosaurs (pliosaurs, ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, mosasaurs) and land dinosaurs lived here. They ate ammonites and belemnites. The record holder for the number of ancient fossils found is the Syzran region. Exhibitions of fossils can be seen in the Samara Museum of Local Lore. Alabina. Also in the collection of the local history museum there are the remains of two types of ancient elephants (southern and steppe) and two types of mammoths (Khazar and woolly). Paleontologists suggest that forest elephants and Volga elephants could live in the Middle Volga. So Samara, in a sense, is truly the “homeland of elephants”.

Perhaps, before the Ice Age, ancient people - archanthropes (1 million - 600 thousand years BC) were here, and later Neanderthals wandered in, but this is known only from artifacts, and their bones have not yet been found on Samara territory. The Zhigulevskaya Upland was not covered with ice during glaciation, so relict vegetation has been preserved here.

One of the most ancient sites of Homo sapiens in the Samara region is Mount Mayak in the Chelno-Vershinsky region: finds from the Upper Paleolithic era (approximately 12-11 thousand years ago). In the 7th millennium BC. e. the Elshan people lived here - representatives of the most ancient ceramic culture in Europe (this culture received its name from the modern village of Elshanka), who they were is unknown exactly. In the 5th millennium BC. e. Proto-Indo-Europeans, cattle breeders and sun worshipers, migrated to this territory. Based on archaeological finds near the village of Syezzhee, Bogatovsky district, the Eneolithic archaeological culture is called Samara. Then, from the Southern Urals, down the Samara River, tribes came who owned metallurgy. In the Samara region, monuments of the Abashevskaya, Khvalynskaya, Yamnaya and Srubnaya archaeological cultures were found. Today, the site of the Khvalyn culture and 19 mounds on the territory of the village of Krasny Yar (north of Samara) are recognized as objects of cultural heritage of federal significance. People from burials of the 4th millennium BC. e. paleontologists identify by appearance presumably as ancient proto-Finno-Ugric peoples. Some of the archaeological finds can be seen in the Samara Museum of Local Lore, but the Samara Archaeological Museum requires advance registration.

In the village of Rysaikino in the Pokhvistnevsky district, the oldest written monument in Russia was found - an early Scythian cheekpiece (part of a horse harness) with an image of a rambird and an inscription in Aramaic (dating back to the 8th or 7th century BC). Pagan Slavs came to these lands in the early Middle Ages (this is determined by typical burials near the village of Kurumoch). In the 9th century, the ancient Hungarians wandered through these lands in the process of moving to the Danube (traces of Magyar sites were discovered).

From the end of the 8th century to the beginning of the 11th century, the Volga trade route, “the route from the Varangians to the Arabs,” acquired great importance. Rich goods flowed along the Volga from Khazaria to Volga Bulgaria and back, and robbers were hiding in the Zhiguli Mountains and robbed the Korovans. To take a shortcut, sometimes they transshipped goods by land through the narrowest point of the Samara Luka, where the Volga makes a loop and approaches its tributary, the Usa River (now here is the village of Perevoloki, Syzran district, and the “Zhigulevskaya Around the World” has become a popular tourist route). The Arab traveler Ahmad ibn Fadlan in the 10th century passed through the Samara lands on the road to Bulgar and left travel notes that are considered the first reliable description of these places. Ibn Fadlan wrote that among the Bulgars there are both Muslims and pagans.

The border fortification in the south of Volga Bulgaria was a city whose name is unknown (the archaeological monument “Murom Town” between the modern villages of Vali and Zhiguli in the Stavropol region). The area of the city was 150 hectares, and together with the suburbs, surrounding villages and settlements over 300 hectares. Archaeologists discovered that the city had an interesting heating system, atypical for ancient Rus', but found in Ancient Rome and East Asia: hot air from the firebox, passing through clay tubes, heated not only the floors throughout the building, but also special stone sofas.


In the 18th century, Volga Bulgaria was conquered by the Mongol-Tatars, the Middle and Lower Volga region came under the control of the Golden Horde - the Jochi ulus. In 1391, a major battle took place on the banks of the Kondurchi River between the troops of Timur (Tamerlane) and the Golden Horde army of Khan Tokhtamysh. The exact location of the battle is unknown, but an annual historical reenactment festival is now held in honor of this event.

After the collapse of the Horde, the territory was controlled by the Kazan Khanate. In the 15th-16th centuries, the Nogais, Bashkirs, Kalmyks, and Kirghiz brought their herds to the Trans-Volga steppes with the onset of spring warmth. The place where the city of Syzran now stands has been a convenient crossing and livestock market since ancient times. With the onset of harsh winters, cattle breeders migrated south.

The territory of the present Samara region became part of Russia in the middle of the 16th century, after the annexation of the Kazan and Astrakhan khanates to the Moscow kingdom. The fortress of Samara was founded in 1586, and Syzran in 1683. Orthodoxy began to spread, wooden churches and monasteries were built, incl. Ascension Monastery in Syzran. Russian monarchs generously distributed the Volga lands to their associates, and they resettled serfs from central Russia to them. In 1737, the city of Stavropol was founded; its rapid growth is evidenced by the fact that before 1750 five Orthodox churches were built there (none of them have survived to this day).

In the 17th-18th centuries, the uprisings of Stepan Razin and Emelyan Pugachev swept through these places. Razin was generally supported in the Volga region; the fortresses opened their gates to him. Legends are still told about Stenka Razin’s treasure, which he buried either in the Zhigulevsky or Sokoli Mountains.

In 1732, on the left bank of the Sok River at the confluence of Kondurchi, the Krasnoyarsk Fortress was built according to all the rules of fortification art (now there is the village of Krasny Yar). The construction of the Novo-Zakamskaya line along the Sok River is associated with the emergence of many other settlements. In 1737, in connection with the expansion of the borders of the Russian state to the east and southeast, the construction of the Samara line of fortifications with fortresses began: Krasnosamara, Borskaya, Olshanskaya, Buzulukskaya, Totskaya, Sorochinskaya and Novosergievskaya. The Orenburg tract became an important road, leading from Samara through Kinel to the new fortress of Orenburg and further to Central Asia. The defensive line (or rather a springboard for new offensives) was moved deeper into the steppes. The Krasnoyarsk fortress, like the entire Novo-Zakamskaya line, lost its strategic importance in literally a decade; at the moment, only fragments of the fortress and an earthen rampart have survived, which is a cultural heritage site of federal significance.

The Samara lands underwent rapid development in the 19th and 20th centuries: in 1850, Samara had already become a provincial city and developed thanks to the merchant class, which mainly prospered due to the grain trade. The Samara and Syzran merchants contributed to the development of architecture, especially in the Art Nouveau style: they built private mansions and dachas, and public buildings. Enterprising people came to the province to develop businesses. In 1880, Austrian and Russian capital became the basis of the von Vacano brewery (“Zhigulevsky Brewery” still produces beer today, some varieties are named after the founder, and the famous “Zhigulevsky beer” is copied even outside Russia). In 1880, the Aleksandrovsky railway bridge across the Volga in the Syzran region was opened - the longest bridge in Europe at that time (the bridge is still in operation today, but is called Syzransky). A drama theater with its own troupe appeared in Samara, and the Hermitage summer theater appeared in Syzran. The Samara Circus Theater "Olympus" hosted touring artists: Fyodor Chaliapin, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Alexander Blok, as well as circus troupes performed there. The Samara Art Museum was founded in 1897.

Due to drought, there were repeated grain harvest failures and, as a consequence, mass famine: in 1873, in 1891-1892. Then Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy helped the starving people of the Volga region. Having learned about the famine, he wrote an open letter to the Moskovskie Vedomosti newspaper saying that the peasants of the Buzuluk district of the Samara province would not be able to survive without outside help. In 1873–1874, donations of 1,887,000 rubles and 20 thousand pounds of bread were collected for the starving people of the Volga region. Tolstoy personally supplied bread and money to especially needy peasants. In 1891–1892, there was another terrible famine in the Volga region. Tolstoy sent his son Lev to Samara, and he opened two hundred free canteens in the province, supplying tens of thousands of peasants with flour and firewood. Lev Nikolaevich donated 30 thousand rubles to the starving people. In 1908, a street in Samara was named after Leo Tolstoy.

Industry is developing: peaceful (steam mills, a mechanical plant) and military: after the Russian-Japanese War, a Pipe Factory for the production of shells (later ZiM) was built in Samara, and near the small village of Ivashchenkovo on the Moche River - an explosives plant (in Soviet times - Chapaevsky chemical weapons plant, then - a testing ground for the destruction of chemical weapons). This marked the beginning of many military-defense enterprises in the Samara region.

The Samara lands have always been home to many ethnic groups and many religions. In addition to the Tatars, Mordovians, Chuvash and Bashkirs who have lived here for a long time, Russians and “Volga” Germans began to settle here, and with the abolition of the Pale of Settlement in 1915, the Jewish population began to grow. Today, the majority of residents of the Samara region consider themselves Russian, but people of different nationalities, languages and religions still live side by side.


After the October Revolution, Samara did not immediately accept Soviet power: the armed struggle against the Bolsheviks was carried out by supporters of KOMUCH (Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly) with the help of the Czechoslovak Corps. Although the Czechs were not only on the side of the “whites”: the famous Czech writer Jaroslav Hasek was part of the Red Army (there is a memorial plaque in Samara on the house where he lived, and nearby there is a monument to his character - the Good Soldier Švejk). Throughout 1918, there were heavy battles in the province, but in the end the Soviet government prevailed.

In 1921-1922, mass famine began in the Volga region destroyed by the Civil War. This time the American Relief Administration and Fridtjof Nansen helped, calling on the League of Nations to provide assistance to starving Soviet Russia. Today, a memorial sign has been erected near the Samara railway station in gratitude to Nansen. But in 1932-1933, famine again came to the Samara steppes, this time the cause was not so much a crop failure as collectivization.

In 1935, Samara was renamed Kuibyshev, and the Middle Volga region became the Kuibyshev region. The year 1937 marked the demographic peak in the entire history of these places: the population of the region was then 3,948,246 people.

During the Great Patriotic War, many people from the European part of Russia were evacuated to the Kuibyshev region, as well as industrial enterprises, which became the basis for industrial growth in the post-war period. The construction of a hydroelectric power station (then it was called the Volzhskaya HPP named after Lenin, and now the Zhigulevskaya HPP; the M5 highway passes through its dam) gave a significant boost. Stavropol, partially flooded by the Zhiguli Sea, was renamed Togliatti, and with the help of the Italians, the Volzhsky Automobile Plant (now AvtoVAZ), TogliattiAzot, TogliattiKauchuk, a thermal power plant and a shoe factory were built there. The Tolyatti ship repair plant serviced a fleet of passenger and cargo river vessels that connected the Volga cities. A full-cycle chocolate factory was built in Kuibyshev, and branded “Kuibyshev” sweets were the best souvenir for city guests.

Sulfide water well in Tolyatti on the territory of the former sanatorium "Prilesye"
Sulfide water well, Tolyatti
One of the components of the success of the Samara region was oil: it was found here back in the 18th century, but it began to be extracted only in Soviet times. Oil production took place both on the steppe plains and in the Zhiguli Mountains: today you can see pumping towers even on the territory of the reserve (fortunately, mothballed). In the 20th century, oil refineries were built in Samara, Novokuibyshevsk and Syzran, and enterprises using refined oil products appeared (Syzran Plastics Plant, Novokuybyshevsk Petrochemical Plant), and a mining and petroleum faculty appeared at the Samara Polytechnic Institute.

In the post-Soviet period, Samara regained its original name. The industry, which worked mainly for the defense industry, experienced a severe crisis; several large factories went bankrupt and disappeared forever from the map of the region. Since 1997, the population of the region has been gradually declining, depopulation is curbed by the influx of migrants: both from neighboring regions and from neighboring countries, and remains at a level of just over 3 million people. Samara, Togliatti, Zhigulevsk, Novokuibyshevsk, Chapaevsk and Syzran form a “conurbation” (agglomeration of cities), where the main industry is concentrated. At the same time, in the Samara region there are enough places for cultural and “wild” recreation, organized and independent tourism.



Mount Kopeika in autumn. North of Pokhvistnevo, half a kilometer east of the village of Staropokhvistnevo (Pokhvistnevo district)
Geographically, the Samara region is divided by the Volga into two parts, connected by only two bridges: a road bridge along the dam of the Zhigulevskaya hydroelectric power station (M5 highway) and a railway bridge in the Oktyabrsk area.

But the natural zones of the region are much more diverse: forests in the right bank part, including the Samara Luka, Syzran and Shigon districts; and on the left bank, large forests are located in the Stavropol and Krasnoyarsk regions, as well as forests in the Shentalinsky, Klyavlinsky, Isaklinsky, Sergievsky and Pokhvistnevsky regions. The pine “Buzuluksky pine forest” is located, as one would expect, in the Borsky district, and also “touches” the Bogatovsky and Kinel-Cherkasy districts. In the remaining areas of the region, forest-steppe predominates, and in the very south - in the Bolshechernigovsky and Bolsheglunitsky districts - the dry steppe of the Syrtov Trans-Volga region.

The Zhiguli Mountains, although geologically these are real mountains, are quite low: less than 400 meters. However, the Volga bends around them, creating a noticeable bend on the map - the “Samara Luka”. In terms of biodiversity, Zhiguli is the best place for ecotourism.






Other destinations

Buzuluksky Bor National Park
Zhigulevsky Nature Reserve (a pass is required to enter by car)
Center for the Study and Conservation of Bats “HiroPtero” and “Badger Town” in the village of Bakhilova Polyana
Samarskaya Luka National Park
Stone Bowl tract (walking distance from the village of Bogatyr)
The village of Khryashchevka on the banks of the Volga, 30 km northwest of Tolyatti. There is the “Castle of Garibaldi” - a building of a very exotic appearance and eclectic style, and opposite it is a restaurant.
The village of Vinnovka and the monastery (ROC). A newly built temple complex in a picturesque location on the banks of the Volga. Bell ringing with improvisations. You can get to Vinnovka by regular ship from the Samara River Station; cruise ships also stop there.
It is easy to get to the village of Rozhdestveno by boat from the Samara River Station or by ferry from Ulyanovsky Spusk (“Bottom”). Rozhdestveno is a great start for a cycling route along the Samara Luka.
Kopylovo Peninsula. During the construction of the Zhigulevskaya hydroelectric power station, the long island turned into a peninsula and is now a favorite vacation spot for the townspeople. On the peninsula there are tourist centers that operate all year round and beaches. For 9 years in a row, the festival of electronic music and extreme sports “GES” was held in Kopylovo, and sometimes other festivals and entertainment events are held. You can get to the peninsula by car by turning off the M5 Ural federal highway; city bus route No. 56 goes to the peninsula; There is a passenger ferry service from the village of Shlyuzovoy.
Tashla. The village is 25 km from Togliatti (from Obvodnoye highway turn onto Vasilyevka). Place of religious pilgrimage (ROC). Holy Trinity Church, Temple of the Icon of the Mother of God “Deliverer from Troubles”, Trinity Convent. Social entertainment includes fishing on the local lake.
Nizhneye Sancheleevo. The village is 10 km from Togliatti (from Obvodnoye Highway, turn at the traffic police post opposite Stroiteley Street). Temple of the Archangel Michael (ROC). Country recreation complex "Rancho".


Shigonsky district

Muransky pine forest in Shigonsky district
"Museum of the History of the Usolsky Region." Shigonsky district, Usolye village, st. Koroleva, 19. Phone: (84648) 2-8234. Opening hours are different in winter and summer.
The former estate of Count Orlov-Davydov. In a ruined state, it is being restored by volunteers. Shigonsky district, Usolye village, st. Koroleva, 2B.
Mount Svetelka (on foot from the village of Volzhsky Utes, climb 218 meters). The westernmost peak of the Zhiguli Mountains. It is popular as a “place of power” among esotericists and “alternative scientists.” It's actually just a very beautiful place. Until September 30, 2023, there is an official ban on visiting due to the construction of the observation deck.


Islands on the Volga

The level of the Volga in the Samara region is regulated by the Zhigulevskaya hydroelectric station. In winter the river freezes, in spring there is flooding, and in summer the Volga islands are suitable for walks, wild eco-tourism and beach holidays. You can cross to some islands from the left bank by kayak or rowing boat. From the right bank it is better not to take risks and cross the fairway on a motorboat or sailing yacht.

Podzhabny has three piers: Proran, Middle Beach and Nizhny Beach - you can get there by regular boat from the Samara river station (check, not all flights go there) or from the village of Rozhdestveno.
Golodny is a long island-spit opposite the central part of Samara. A popular place for a “wild” beach holiday.
Zelenenky is located near the northern part of Samara, opposite the village of Upravlencheskiy, but it is better to look for a crossing in the village of Yuzhny or on Krasnaya Glinka. Nearby are the islands of Bird and Electron. Summer recreation center "Chaika" (without amenities).
Bird: no tourist centers, wild beaches. Nearest piers: Icy Ravine, Koptev Ravine, but at Polyana there are better chances of renting a boat.
Electron: tourist center "Electron", crossing from Yuzhny or Krasnaya Glinka.
Serny: camp sites and beaches. You can get to the island from Krasnaya Glinka. Walking from the Zolotaya Rybka cafe, the second, more risky option: from 41 km of Krasnoglinskoe highway.
Hungry (opposite Mount Camel and the mouth of the Sok River). Look for the crossing there in the village of Volzhsky.
Shalyga and Seredysh (Bakhilovsky Island) are either one island or two. It is part of the Zhigulevsky Nature Reserve. Crossing from the Kopylovo Peninsula or from Bakhilova Polyana.
Sosnovy - crossing from Kuprinka or Zolny
Ant Islands in Tolyatti (from Lesoparkovoye Highway in the Central District)



The official and most common language is Russian. But some indigenous residents of the region speak Tatar, Mordovian, Chuvash, and Mari languages.


How to get there

By plane
The region is served by Kurumoch International Airport (IATA: KUF), located between Samara and Tolyatti.

In addition, there are several airfields intended for small aircraft.

In 2013, a program of discounted flights in the Volga Federal District was launched, which made flights to Samara from nearby cities available: Ufa, Kazan, Penza, Izhevsk, Perm, Nizhny Novgorod. There are also direct flights to Kurumoch from Moscow and St. Petersburg.

By train
You can get from Moscow to Samara by train from Kazansky Station:

056M Moscow - Samara
132U Moscow - Orsk
040Y Moscow - Ufa
010Y Moscow - Samara (branded train "Zhiguli")
044U Moscow - Orenburg
014U Moscow - Chelyabinsk
028Shch Moscow - Bishkek-2
and others.

Trains from St. Petersburg to Samara depart from Moskovsky Station.
Day train No. 45/46 Saratov-Samara has “general” (seated) carriages, but a ticket costs only 700 rubles.
To Togliatti take train 066 from Moscow, train 668 from Saratov.
It is convenient to get to Syzran by trains and electric trains (there are electric trains from Inza, Penza and other cities).

By car
Along the federal highway M5 (E30, AH6) Moscow - Samara - Ufa - Chelyabinsk. The automobile bridge passes over the dam of the Zhigulevskaya hydroelectric power station.
On the road P178 Saransk - Ulyanovsk - Dimitrovgrad - Samara
On the road P225 Buguruslan - Samara
On roads P224, P226, M32.

By bus
From nearby areas you can get to Samara by bus. Samara Central Bus Station is located at the intersection of Aurora Street and Moskovskoe Highway.

There are also intercity routes arriving in Togliatti, but not in Samara; for example, the Voronezh-Tolyatti bus goes through Lipetsk, Tambov, Penza and Syzran.

On the ship
Navigation is carried out along the Volga River from May to September (sometimes longer), and regular and cruise ships ply. Cruise routes often include a short stop in Samara. From autumn to spring, navigation is not carried out. There are daily hovercraft flights on the Rozhdestveno-Samara route all year round.


Local transport

The basis of public transport in the region are electric trains and intercity buses.

Electric trains
Main directions:

Samara — Syzran
(platforms and stations: Krasny Kryazhok, Sotsgorod, Konstruktorskaya, Lipyagi, Molodezhnaya, Novokuibyshevsk, Tomylovo, Chapaevsk, Zvezda, Vostok, Bezenchuk, Obsharovka, Oktyabrsk, Syzran-1, Syzran-2, then to Inza)
Samara - Zhigulevskoe Sea - Tolyatti
(platforms Shkolnaya, Rechnaya, Tolevaya, Kirkombinat, Stakhanovskaya, Bezymyanka, Pyatiletka, Srednevolzhskaya, Cherry, Dachnaya, Yablochnaya, Kozelkovskaya, Yagodnaya, 176 km, 172 km, Vodinskaya, 168 km, Sokskaya, Starosemeykino, Tsarevshchina, 154 km, 151 km , Kurumoch, Mastryukovo, named after Valery Grushin, Zadelnaya, Piskali, Canal, Zhigulevskoe Sea, Tolyatti, Zhigulevsk)
Samara - Pokhvistnevo

From the central bus station of Samara, buses depart to the regional centers of the Samara region and some cities of neighboring regions.

Regular buses also depart from the suburban bus station in Samara (Nikitinskaya Square).

At the same time, there are a number of private companies that provide regular passenger transportation in the region, but in order to reduce the cost of travel, they do not use the services of bus stations.

Water transport
Navigation on the Volga River from April to October, with the exception of hovercraft. The schedule can be checked on the website of the Samara River Passenger Enterprise.

Suburban routes of Samara.
Samara (River Station) – Rozhdestvenno
Samara (Ulyanovsky descent, near the brewery) - Rozhdestveno
Samara (Oktyabrsky Spusk, Lieutenant Schmidt St.) - Rozhdestveno (ferry crossing)
Samara (River Station) - Proran (Podzhabny Island) - Rozhdestveno
Samara (Osipenko, Kinap) - Green Grove (camp site "Ladya")
Samara (Osipenko) - Gavrilova Polyana - Podgory - Barboshina Polyana (pier "Polyana named after Frunze" in Samara)
Samara (River Station) - Lower Beach - Middle Beach - Shelekhmet - Vinnovka (monastery)
Samara (River Station) - Barboshina Polyana ("Frunze Glade") - Shiryaevo - Bogatyr - Solnechnaya Polyana - Zolnoye
pleasure trips from the River Station (non-stop).
Types of vessels used: “Moscow”, “OM”, “PS”, “Voskhod”, “Khivus-10”, “Valdai”.

Suburban routes of Tolyatti
Shlyuzovoy village - Kopylovo Peninsula
Tolyatti - Avtograd (6th berth) - Berezovka - Klimovka - Novodevichye - Podvalye
pleasure cruises: excursion trips to the village of Shiryaevo and to Molodetsky Kurgan on the motor ships “Zhiguli” or “OM”.
There are no suburban river routes in Novokuibyshevsk. There are pleasure trips from the pier on the river. Krivusha (Russkie Lipyagi village).

Ferry crossings across the Volga
From April to October:
Syzran—Privolzhsky district (check the schedule). From the right bank, departure from the pier of the Komsomolets state farm (Zasyzransky village); from the left bank - from Nizhnesyzransky Khutors, from the pier in the village of Bestuzhevka (Volga region, Samara region). The motor ship SP-101 (capacity - 50 cars) operates at the crossing. Flights are carried out daily, taking into account meteorological conditions.
Ferry crossing Samara-Rozhdestveno. During the navigation period, the cargo-passenger ship Oksky-35, which can accommodate 50 cars, operates at the Oktyabrsky Spusk - Rozhdestveno ferry crossing.
Departure from Oktyabrsky Descent at 8:00, 11:00, 14:00, 18:00.
Departure from Rozhdestven at 6:00, 9:30, 12:30, 16:30.
The cost of travel from Samara to Rozhdestveno is 100 rubles. for children - 50 rubles; luggage 85 rubles, bicycle 130 rubles, moped 240, motorcycle 340, cars from 580 to 6300 including driver’s fare.
Benefits apply. Check the schedule and tariffs on the website of the Samara River Passenger Enterprise.

Winter crossing
The Samara-Rozhdestveno route is carried out by hovercraft during daylight hours. Flights depart as they are full, starting from 6:00 (departure from Rozhdestven) to 19:00 (from Samara). Price 83 rub. for adults, 42 rub. for children over 5 years old. Please note that the crossing depends on weather conditions!

Samara-Proran: hovercraft on the Samara-Rozhdestveno route make a stop at Proran during flights at 10:00 and 15:00

On the route Samara - Shiryaevo every day during daylight hours, starting in December. The fare is 300 rubles. one way. The hovercraft "Khivus" (capacity 10 people) or "Neptune" (20 people) operates; details can be found on the website of Samara River Passenger Enterprise LLC. Travel time 1 hour. Preliminary schedule: from Samara at 10:30 and 14:30, back from Shiryaev to Samara at 11:30 and 15:30.



Outside of big cities, attractions are mostly natural or associated with famous people who lived in these places.

The Zhiguli Mountains and the Samara Luka National Park, a unique mountain range in the center of the Samara region, surrounded for almost 100 km by the Volga River, is the only one of its kind in the entire Russian Plain and central Russia. Despite the relatively low heights (up to 381 m), the Zhiguli Mountains amaze with their beauty and uniqueness. The most impressive peaks are Molodetsky Kurgan, Usinsky Kurgan, Popova Gora, Mogutova Gora and of course Mount Strelnaya with a panoramic observation deck and an opening view of the Samara Luka and the Volga for tens of kilometers around. Together with the Sokolye Mountains, on the left bank of the Volga they form the Zhigulevsky Gate - the narrowest place, sandwiched by mountains, in the middle reaches of the Volga. The Zhiguli Mountains conceal many caves, grottoes, including underwater ones, interesting objects and natural phenomena. Numerous eyewitness accounts report noticeable UFO activity and the presence of other paranormal phenomena in Samarskaya Luka, which undoubtedly attracts a large number of ufologists and other scientific researchers. The Zhiguli Mountains are a storehouse of traditions, customs, folklore and rituals of the multinational Samara people.
Part of the Zhiguli Mountains is a nature reserve where rare endemic plants grow. You can visit the reserve on your own by car or on a bus tour. Mount Strelnaya is located on the territory of the reserve. Official website of the Zhigulevsky Nature Reserve
The village of Shiryaevo, sandwiched on three sides by mountains near the very bank of the Volga, became very famous. The famous Russian artist Ilya Repin spent part of his life in this village. The famous painting “Barge Haulers on the Volga” was painted here. Village residents created a museum of the great artist in an old Russian hut, where Repin lived. Every two years, a biennale of contemporary art is held in Shiryaevo.
Blue Lake in the Sergievsky district of the Samara region, near the village of Staroye Yakushkino. It has an almost regular round shape, because it is located in a karst sinkhole. The color of the water is intense blue, which is why the lake got its name. The lake does not freeze in winter, because in its depths (which are more than 20 meters) there are hydrogen sulfide sources of constant above-zero temperatures. Natural monument of regional significance.
Sergievsky mineral waters, resort.
Sernovodsk shikhan in the Sergievsky district at the confluence of the Shungut river with the Surgut river, near the village of Karmalo-Adelyakovo, about 5 km south of Sernovodsk.
“Racheysky Alps”, “Devil’s Finger”, suffosion cave in Staroracheysky forest, Syzran region.
House-museum of Lenin (Ulyanov family) in the village of Alakaevka, Kinelsky district
Ant forest near Alakaevka
Windmill in the village of Barinovka, Neftegorsky district. Built in the first half of the 19th century, it worked right up to the 1980s (partly by wind, partly by electricity), then it was abandoned as unnecessary, and restored in the 21st century. The mill is entirely wooden, the millstones are stone.


What to do

The Samara region is rich in places for outdoor recreation. There are many different recreation centers on the Volga, and there are also places for recreation on other rivers and lakes in the region.

There are many sanatoriums in the Samara region where relaxation can be combined with treatment.

In summer and autumn there are many edible mushrooms in the forests of the Samara region.



Technical Museum in Tolyatti, Tolyatti, Yuzhnoe Highway, 137 (near AvtoVAZ). A huge open-air museum of military and civilian equipment.
Museum of retro motorcycles “Motorworld of Vyacheslav Sheyanov”, Samara region, Volzhsky district, Petra-Dubrava village, st. Klimova, 2B.
Center for Historical Modeling “Ancient World”, Samara region, Krasnoarmeysky district, near the village of Kamenny Brod. ✉ Archaeological museum of open-air reconstructions.
“Museum of Stone Statues of the Russian-Aryans”, Samara region, Krasny Yar village, st. Krestyanskaya, 1 (on the northern outskirts, not far from the cemetery. On the M-5 Ural highway, kilometer 1045). An esoteric collection of large quartz stones with incomprehensible signs and symbols. The owner, a local farmer, claims that these are “artifacts from the time of the ancient Russian-Aryan civilization, which lived in these lands several thousand years ago.” Of course, there were no Russian-Aryans here, but on Ivan Kupala in the local forest you can meet Rodnovers jumping over a fire to the glory of the ancient gods.



There are many concert venues and theaters in Samara, such as the Opera and Ballet Theatre, several drama theatres, Youth Theatre, Philharmonic Society, Puppet Theatre, and circus. In Tolyatti, the Wheel Theater and Philharmonic Society. Drama theater in Syzran.

Major sporting events take place in Samara at the Metallurg football stadium and in the Tolyatti hockey Lada Arena.

The club of astronomy lovers organizes on-site observations: in the Trans-Samara steppes, far from city light, the starry sky becomes a little closer (if you are lucky with clear weather). All year round, but the best month is August.



In the Samara region, the largest festival of bard songs (Grushinsky Festival) is held annually in nature. In winter, usually at the end of February, “Winter Grushinsky” takes place - a series of concerts at venues in the city of Samara.
Another art song festival “Platform” is an offshoot of the Grushinsky festival on the Mastryukovsky Lakes.
“Metafest” is a music festival not limited by genre, where you can hear blues, folk, country, fusion, funk, reggae, ska, acoustic rock, blues, jazz and other styles of music. It usually takes place on the Mastryukovsky Lakes at the end of July.
The Drums of the World festival takes place in the summer on Fedorovsky Meadows between Samara and Tolyatti.
“Syzran Tomato” is a harvest festival held annually on a weekend somewhere in mid-August in Syzran. Festive processions in the city center, competitions, entertainment and of course a fair. Usually, the festival of brass bands “Silver Trumpets of the Volga Region” takes place along with it.
The “Cherry Pie Festival” takes place in August in the village of Shiryaevo in honor of a special variety of cherries bred by breeder A. V. Beshchev. Songs, dances, ditties, literary readings, a fair and, most importantly, a pie competition.
Ethnohistorical festival “Rus. The Age of Unification” is better known under the old name “The Battle of Timur with Tokhtamysh”. From year to year the festival changes its location: either near the village of Stary Buyan in the Krasnoyarsk region, or in the Kinel-Cherkassy region - keep an eye on the poster. But invariably, at each festival there is a reconstruction of several episodes of the battle of Timur (Tamerlane) and Tokhtamysh, master classes and exhibition fights are held, an exhibition-fair of dishes from the national cuisine of the peoples traditionally living in the Samara region.
“Tremolo” (“Classics over the Volga”) is an annual summer festival of symphonic music in Tolyatti.



"Zhiguli round the world"
The Zhigulevskaya Around the World route, which has been popular for decades, allows you to travel around the Samara Luka along the waters of the Volga and Usa rivers. Traveled by kayaks or yawls. The route begins from the Tolyatti pier, from the Zhigulevskaya hydroelectric power station dam or from the village of Fedorovka. Downstream the Volga, tourists descend past Samara to the village of Perevoloki. In Perevoloki, boats are pulled ashore and transported across the isthmus to the Usa River located several kilometers away. Along the current, the Usa descends to the Molodetsky Kurgan, and then through the Kuibyshev Reservoir back to Togliatti. Just about 200 km.

Cycling routes
The website of cyclists of the Samara region - "Velosamara" describes in detail the routes for both beginners (40-50 km) and advanced (80-100 km) cyclists:

Rozhdestveno - Podgory - source of St. Elijah - Podgory - Rozhdestveno
Pribrezhny - Grushinskaya Polyana - Kurumoch village - Volzhsky village - Krasnaya Glinka - Samara
Zhigulevskoe Sea - Zhigulevsk - Bakhilovo - Bakhilova Polyana - Mount Strelnaya - Solnechnaya Polyana - Bogatyr - Shiryaevo - Gavrilova Polyana - Podgory - Rozhdestveno
Rozhdestveno - New items - Shelekhmet - Rodnikovy village - Askuly - Shiryaevsky ravine - Kochkarnoe lake - Churokaika cordon - Tornovoe - Rozhdestveno
Dubki - Bald Mountain - Mount Badger
Syzran - Gubino - Kushnikovo - Shigony - Muranka - Usolye - Togliatti - Pribrezhny - Tsarevshchina - Samara
Winter road through Samara Luka
and others. On the same site you can find travel companions for bike rides even in winter.

Horse riding routes
Equestrian tourism club “Stepnoe Pole”, Samara region, Stavropol district, Zhiguli village. ☎ +7 (919) 804-45-39. 1300-1600 rub. per person depending on duration. 1.5-hour, 3-hour trips along the Samara Luka, to the Usinsky Kurgan (Mount Lepyoshka), to Urkina Mountain; multi-day route “Zhiguli Labyrinth”.

Walking routes
Stone bowl. On foot from the village of Shiryaeva or through the mountains from the village of Solnechnaya Polyana (Zhigulevsk).
Tsarev Kurgan. On your own on foot from the village of Volzhsky (Bolshaya Tsarevshchina) or with a tour from the Samara river station.


Wellness and treatment

In the Samara region there are sanatoriums where relaxation can be combined with treatment.

Sanatorium named after Chkalov (Samara, Barboshina Polyana, 9th clearing)
Sanatorium "Samarsky" (Samara, Barboshina Polyana, 9th clearing)
Sanatorium "Mozhaisky" (Samara, Studenyi Ovrag)
Sanatorium "Volga" (Samara, 7th clearing) belongs to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Do not confuse it with the hotel of the same name on Volzhsky Prospekt.
Sanatorium "Krasnaya Glinka" (Samara, Yuzhny village)
Sanatorium "Sergievskie Mineral Waters" (Sergievsky district, Sernovodsk village) specializes in diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The treatment uses the sulfate-silt mud of Lake Molochka, as well as the mineral hydrogen sulfide sulfate-hydrocarbonate-calcium-magnesium waters of Sulfur Lake.
Sanatorium "Volzhsky Utes" of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation (Shigonsky district)
Sanatorium "Nadezhda" (Tolyatti, Lesoparkovoe highway)
Sanatorium "Russian Bor" (Tolyatti, Lesoparkovoe highway)
Sanatorium "Stavropol" (Togliatti, Lesoparkovoe highway)



Putting up a tent on an island in the middle of the Volga in summer is free! True, the only convenience you will have is mobile communications, and only if you’re lucky.

Hotels, tourist centers, sanatoriums, campsites in cities and villages of the Samara region:

Sanatorium "Volzhsky Utes", Shigonsky district, village. Volzhsky Cliff. ☎ 8 800 200 26 43. The sanatorium belongs to the Medical Center of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation. Once there was even a Russia-EU summit held here. But people come here not for history, but for treatment and outdoor recreation. Although the sanatorium building has been restored and the staff generally tries to meet modern requirements, sometimes there are still echoes of the Soviet past. They offer various therapeutic baths, mud, hydromassage, underwater spinal traction, cryotherapy, inhalations and other wellness procedures. For treatment you must have a sanatorium-resort card. Prices are very varied: from 7,300 to 108,000 rubles per ticket.
Park Hotel "Vasilievsky" (Bezenchuksky district, north-west of the village of Vladimirovka). ☎ +7 (846) 312-66-77, 312-66-78. from 5600 rub./day. standard room for two, luxury 13,000 rub., villa 34,000 rub. Opened in 2012. Log cottages and well-kept protected area. Not far from the bank of the Volga, there is a lake nearby. A great place if you love spending time in nature, but are not ready to give up the achievements of civilization. You can only get to the hotel by car (on the P226 highway).
Hotel complex “Slavyanskaya Village”, Krasnoyarsk district, Malaya Tsarevshchina village, Lesnaya st., 18/2. ☎ +7 (846) 978-27-00. Not cheap. The hotel complex has long been known to Samara residents. There is a main building and detached two-story cottages. It can sometimes be quite noisy here - weddings, anniversaries, conferences are held. There is a mini golf course, equipped barbecue areas, a bathhouse and a sauna. In winter, the skating rink is filled, and nearby there is the Slope ski resort.
Recreation center "Mayak" (camp site "Mayak", eco-hotel "Mayak")  , Samara region, Kurumoch village (behind the village "Power of Labor", on the shore of the Mastryukovsky lakes, 40 km from Samara). ☎ +7(846) 332-32-79, +7-927-710-25-61. standard from 3900 rubles/day, suite from 6000 rubles, villa from 12000 rubles. Parking 100 rub./day. Nearby is a forest, a festival glade, Mastryukovsky lakes, and the Volga River. Accommodation in log cottages and villas. There is a bathhouse (Finnish and Russian) from 3000 rubles. yes plus 200 rub. every broom. Rental of wakeboards, kayaks, fishing accessories, etc. Wi-Fi is paid (it’s more profitable to use mobile Internet). Mosquitoes in the summer are a gift.
Boutique hotel “Family”, Yagodnoye village (near Tolyatti), st. Sadovaya, 44 (from the M5 highway to Obvodnoye Highway Togliatti, then along the Southern Highway to the village of Yagodnoye). ✉ ☎ +7(8482) 63-23-84, +7(8482) 63-00-28. from 4000 to 6500 rubles. Hotel with 15 rooms on the banks of the Volga. There is a small indoor pool, Finnish sauna and Russian bath. Attention: there is a large restaurant “Usadba” nearby, where noisy banquets are often held.
Country complex "Tsiolkovsky", Krasnoyarsk district, Samara-Ulyanovsk highway, 61st km, Svetloe Pole (45 km from Samara, 60 km from Togliatti; near the villages of Krasny Yar and Zhareny Bugor). ☎ +7 (846) 200-32-00, +7 (846) 200-45-90. from 4200 rub. The former pioneer camp has been rebuilt into a place for a relaxing holiday. Pine forest and clean air, green lawns, small river Kondurcha. For a fee, you can rent sports equipment and ride horses - there is a small stable on the territory. There are areas where you can rent a grill and barbecue. Sanatorium services are also announced, but it’s better not to come here for them. In summer there is a children's camp. Sometimes noisy corporate events are held, but areas are allocated for them away from the main buildings.
Country complex “Russian Hunting”, Kurumoch village (along the M-5 Ural highway, 1012 km, after the turn 1.5 km. From the airport 5 km). from 6000 rub. Country complex for recreation. Log cottages. Hunting and fishing. And if you are too lazy to hunt and fish, you can order game and river fish dishes at a local restaurant. A pond with swans, a mini-zoo, a real football field (artificial turf).
Camping “Piskaly”, Pribrezhny village (Zadelnensky Bor, on the bank of the Kuprinka River, 70 km from Samara and Togliatti along the M5 highway. Or by train “Samara - Zhigulevskoe More” to Piskali station). Rent a house from 3000 to 5500 rubles. Summer holiday in a tent or small house. Pets are allowed for an additional fee. If you live in a tent, there is a shared kitchen, shower and toilet. Entertainment: Beach, SUP, kayaks and canoes, barbecue, nature, mosquitoes.



“Eighth Mile”, Highway M5, 977 km. ☎ +7(8482) 61-91-13. 11.00-24.00. Cafe in a pine forest on the M5 highway near Togliatti. Soups, salads, rolls, kebabs, lula kebabs, pancakes, fruit drinks and much more. In addition to the cafe, there is a petting zoo, a pond with ducks, a rope playground, slides, swings, sandboxes, and various sculptures from cartoons. There is also a motel - not suitable for a long stay, but you can stop for a bite to eat and rest.


Precautionary measures

Fire hazard
In summer, the weather in the Samara region is very hot and dry. Fires are possible in forests and steppes. Please refrain from lighting fires in undesignated areas. Be careful even with cigarette butts. Due to fire danger, some forest districts may prohibit entry into some forest zones; this will be written on signs when entering the forest; be careful.

On the water
There are many reservoirs in the Samara region. The Volga, Sok, and Samara rivers are navigable; Large vessels use the fairway, but small vessels and especially jet skis often break the rules and gain high speed close to the shore. Be extremely careful when swimming in bodies of water.
Black balls on the beach mean swimming is prohibited.
In small rivers and lakes there are bivalve mollusks, most often toothless. Their shells have rather sharp edges, so if you inadvertently step on an empty shell (which is not visible at the bottom underwater), you can cut your foot. So a first aid kit with a bandage, plaster and hydrogen peroxide will not be superfluous.
Never try to swim across the Volga even at its narrowest point.
In winter, the rivers freeze and you can walk along them, taking precautions. Please pay attention to signs prohibiting pedestrian crossing on ice.

Dangerous animals
There may be wild boars and moose.
Remember that foxes, rats, mice, and squirrels can carry diseases such as hemorrhagic fever and rabies. Avoid contact if the animal behaves inappropriately.
There are poisonous snakes - vipers, they are active from April to October, avoid meeting them. If you can't tell the difference between a viper and a snake, avoid contact with all snakes just in case. After being bitten by a snake, consult a doctor immediately.
Small but unpleasant animals - ticks - can be carriers of encephalitis, babesiosis and borreliosis. They are found in abundance in the forests and parks of the Samara region. They are most active in May-June.

For allergy sufferers
In the Samara region there are trees, shrubs and flowers, which during the flowering period (May-June) can cause allergies in people predisposed to this.
During the warm season, many insects live in forests and steppes. You can be bitten by mosquitoes, bees, wasps, and horseflies. Use repellents and antihistamines. If necessary, consult a doctor immediately (an ambulance can be called by calling 03).

For extreme people
There are caves and adits in the Zhiguli and Sokoli mountains. Please don't go there unaccompanied, it's dangerous. Better yet, don't climb at all.