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Samarskaya Luka National Park
August 15, 2015 23:50


The borders of the majority of Russian national parks are marked with inconspicuous signs and pass through non-obvious lines, ravines and rivers. The border of the “Samarskaya Luka” National Park is a heavy line drawn by nature itself, it is visible even from the space.

Volga makes a ninety-degree turn in the area of the village of Usolye and starts flowing to the east, then in seventy kilometers it turns to the south, in another thirty kilometers it changes the direction again and flows to the west, and the last turn to the south is made by the river in the area of Syzran.

The four hairpin curves outline Samarskaya Luka – the space with the total area of 127 thousand hectares, which was declared a national park in 1984. The bends of the river are explained in a seemingly simple way - Volga bends around the rock mass of Zhigulevskie Mountains.

Zhigulevskie Mountains are the main tourist attraction of Samarskaya Luka. The most spectacular views open in the northern part from Usolye to Volzhskoe: steep rocks are located here, being a landmark not only of the national park, but of the entire Samara Oblast. Another impressive monument is presented by Shiryaevskiye shaft tunnels punched in the Popova Mountain near the village of Shiryaevo. Limestone was mined here at the beginning of XX century, and today it is a system of cool desert galleries resembling an abandoned underground city inhabited by bats. At the distance of 15 kilometers from Shiryaevskiye shaft tunnels you will find a mountain area “Kamennaya Chasha” (“A Stone Cup”) which is a hollow in the centre of the mountains surrounded by high ridges, where the purest springs flow from the walls.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Ecotourism Russian National Parks    

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