City of Tolyatti does not offer that many amazing spots itself but its surrounding has many assets.
Summer in Tolyatti is a time when almost everyone goes to the countryside – cycling, kayaking but mainly going to “dacha”. “Dacha” is usually translated as country house where Russians spend their free time by gardening, relaxing, meeting friends and family. If you do not have an opportunity to go to “dacha” and you want to spend your time outside the city, here are some tips for get-away.
On the opposite shore of Volga, National Park Samarskaya Luka and Zhiguli mountain range is located. It covers rather large territory within the bend of Volga river.
One of the most famous peaks and view points is Strelnaya Gora. Rocky peak is 375m above sea level which makes it the highest point of Zhiguli mountain range and offers amazing view over hills of Samarskaya Luka, Volga and river shores. The simplest access is from Zolnoye. The road is rather bumpy but manageable by a normal car, entrance fee is 500 rubles per car. At the end of the road there is a parking place and path to the peak is only 15 minutes walk. Few years ago the path was partially replaced by metallic stairs which make the access even easier.
You can reach the sacred springs Kamennaya Chasha from the village Solnechnaya Polyana. The path in the woods is long about 5km and will bring you to the chapel and springs. Be prepared for the mosquitoes. The road going to the springs is recommended only for off road cars.
The main road from Zhigulevsk ends in the lovely village called Shiryaevo. It is definitely one of the most famous villages in Samara region and it is indeed worthy of visit. From the 18th century the limestone was mined here (mines can be visited nowadays), the commerce was blooming and river transport was important. During the summer in 1870, Ilya Repin, one of the most famous Russian painters, rented a house with his friends and they were painting the sceneries near river. Repin’s famous painting The Barge Haulers on the Volga was also inspired by his stay in Shiryevo. That house now serves as Repin’s museum and shows how people lived in that time, explains the history and traditions of the region as well as Repin’s reproductions.
Narrow road along Volga is going further to the east. After 4 km, there is another beautiful view point called Verblud (meaning Camel). Half of the path is through the forest and takes about 10 minutes. Second part is more rocky and can be rather slippery but the rocky top offers great view. If you are not in hurry it is definitely better to leave the car in Shiryaevo and go by foot or bike. Road goes near Volga, provides nice sceneries but if you drive, bad road does not let you to enjoy them. The area is very popular for camping and climbing.
On the western end of National Park, the beautiful views are from Deviya Gora and Molodecky Kurgan. The latter is a windy cliff near the widest point where Volga looks like a sea. If the air is clear you can see Tolyatti on the other shore. The path is rather steep. In the bay, the water is crystal clear and azure blue, amazing spot for bathing. To get there you have to turn right from M5 towards the village Zhiguli.
There is always a fee to enter the National Park, 50 rubles per person (2014).
If you continue straight from Zhiguli to the west you will come to the open-air museum Bogatyrskaya Sloboda. It is a complex of several buildings that provides you with the history of region. You can try traditional Russian clothes, pose for the picture with ancient swords and helmets and also test your throwing skills (axe, javelin and bow). This open-air museum is on the hill above the river Usa, tributary of Volga, and you can also embark one of the small boat and sail. Bogatyrskaya Sloboda is organising summer camps for children, mostly boys, where they have an opportunity to discover the old Russian traditions and values.
There is one more beautiful view point above Volga called Lysaya Gora. It is near ski resort Krasnaya Glinka not far from Samara. You can see Samara and mines in Shiryaevo from Lyasaya Gora. There is a steep path that starts near the river but also less steep one starting near the grocery store.
Tolyatti Life’s crew also likes the scenic route between Tashelka and Musorka/Kirilovka. There are no road lining trees therefore nice views of the countryside can be enjoyed.
Another remarkable religious site, church, is in Fedorovka.
The list of sights is not exhaustive and will be updated when new attractions are discovered.
Click here to find out more about the sights in Tolyatti.