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 In the lotus valley
In the lotus valley

Summer ecotour to Kalmykia and Astrakhan region

New
In the lotus valley
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
8 y.o.
Group size
from 7 to 15 person
Duration
6 days

Accommodation during the trip

2 nights
3 nights

Languages

EN
guide
FR
guide
Start date
13 July 2021
  • 13 July 2021
  • 20 July 2021
  • 27 July 2021
  • 3 August 2021
  • 10 August 2021
  • 17 August 2021
  • 24 August 2021
  • 31 August 2021
  • 7 September 2021
  • 14 September 2021
End date:
18 July 2021
690 EUR

Blossoming lotuses in the Volga delta, saigas in the steppe, singing barkhans and unique pink lakes, Buddhist temples and the capital of the Golden Horde – it seems impossible to combine it all in one trip, but we did it. Join our eco-tour to Kalmykia and Astrakhan region – there are many amazing places waiting for you!

New
In the lotus valley
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
from 8 y.o.
Group size
from 7 to 15 person
Duration
6 days

Accommodation during the trip

2 nights
3 nights

Languages

EN
guide
FR
guide
Start date
13 July 2021
  • 13 July 2021
  • 20 July 2021
  • 27 July 2021
  • 3 August 2021
  • 10 August 2021
  • 17 August 2021
  • 24 August 2021
  • 31 August 2021
  • 7 September 2021
  • 14 September 2021
End date:
18 July 2021
690 EUR

Experiences you'll have

Lotus Blossom Tour

We invite you on a trip to the most interesting places of Kalmykia, Astrakhan and Volgograd regions. The program includes a visit to unique nature reserves, a boat trip along the Volga delta, bird and animal watching, tasting of national Kalmyk dishes, as well as visiting cultural and historical sites of the region.

This tour will appeal to ecotourism lovers and is perfect for a family trip.

 

From mid-July to mid-September, lotuses bloom in the Volga delta. You will see the whole "fields" of these unusually beautiful flowers, which are considered a symbol of purity in Buddhism.

What interesting things are waiting for you along the route:

  • you will get acquainted with the unique flora and fauna of the south of Russia in the "Black Earth" and Bogdinsko-Baskunchaksky nature reserves
  • visit one of the largest Buddhist temples in Europe – the khurul "Golden abode of Buddha Shakyamuni"
  • walk through the capital of Kalmykia and the ancient city of Saray-Batu, the reconstructed capital of the Golden Horde
  • get to know Kalmyk culture, take part in traditional master-classes and try national cuisine
  • meet sunset in a steppe near the Lonely Poplar – a famous natural monument and a sacred place for Buddhists
  • ride on camels and listen to the "music" of the Singing Dunes
  • visit a unique salty pink lake
  • see saigas grazing in a steppe, lotuses blooming in the delta of the Volga river and mountains growing on the place of the ancient sea
  • climb one of the most ancient mountains of the Astrakhan Khanate, the Bogdo Peak, which offers a magnificent view of the lake of Baskunchak.

For your group of two or more people, we can organize an individual program at any days suitable for you. See details in the "Common questions".

Photos by our tourist Nadezhda Nikolaeva.

Itinerary

The trip begins in Elista, where you should get to on your own. We recommend a flight of Azimut airline with arrival to Elista at 12:20 pm on the first day of the program. Please note that the program ends in Volgograd, for the flight back to Moscow, choose the flight of the Aeroflot with a departure at 5:45 pm. 

 

We are ready to help with the purchase of tickets, if necessary, leave a comment in the application.

Day 1 Elista city tour and sunset watching in a steppe

After meeting at the airport of Elista, you will be taken to your hotel. You will check in and have lunch in the Kalmyk cuisine cafe, where you can taste traditional nomadic dishes. Afterward there will be a city tour.

 

Elista is one of the largest centers of Buddhism in Russia. You will see the Central Khurul of Kalmykia – the Golden Abode of Buddha Shakyamuni, the temples Syakyusn-sume and the Seven Days Pagoda. You will visit Ostap Bender Square and the Old Hural.


Afterward, you will travel to the steppe where you will meet sunset near the Lone Poplar – one of Kalmykia's places of strength. You will hear the legend of the place and learn why it has become a Buddhist shrine.

 

Upon your return to the city, you will have dinner at a restaurant with traditional Kalmyk cuisine (extra charge) and spend the night in the hotel.

Day 2 Singing dunes and the Pink lake

In the morning you will have breakfast at the hotel and then go to the Adyk village, where you will check into guest houses. Then you will cross the desert on camels to the Singing dunes. The place is called so because in the dry weather the sands sound like an organ.

 

Here in the middle of the desert, you will have lunch in a tent, where you can taste a traditional Kalmyk lamb dish. Then you will continue your route and head to the unique salty pink lake. Migrating birds have brought small pink crustaceans, which have bred in the lake, therefore water in it looks pink now. You will also visit a burning spring that contains methane gas in its water.

 

In the evening you will return to Adyk, where a yurt dinner and ethnic program will be waiting for you.

Day 3 Saiga watching

After breakfast, you will go to the nature reserve "Black Earth", where you will get acquainted with the unique steppe flora and fauna. You will see rare plants and have a chance to observe saigas inhabit the territory of the reserve.

You will have a picnic and then move to the Volga river delta. Here you will check into guest houses, have dinner and rest.

Day 4 The Lotus valley and the Capital of the Golden Horde

Early in the morning you will pack your bags, have breakfast and go on a boat trip along the Volga delta. There you will have a unique opportunity to admire the blooming lotuses. You will also learn the history of the Astrakhan Nature Reserve and its diverse flora and fauna.

 

After the tour, you will have lunch and go to the Baskunchaksky reserve. On the way you will visit one of the main sights of the Astrakhan region – the reconstructed capital of the Golden Horde, Sarai-Batu. Founded in 1250 by Batu Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan, the ancient city grew out of a nomadic staging post.

 

By the end of the XV century attacks of enemies, natural disasters and time destroyed the capital of the Golden Horde. Bricks from the ruins of the city were used in the construction of the Astrakhan Kremlin. Originally at the site of the excavations was supposed to be a museum, but in 2010 the Sarai-Batu was reconstructed for the shooting of the film "Saint Alexis". ("The Horde").

 

From the capital of the Golden Horde you will go to Bugor village, where you will stay in a cozy tourist base on the bank of the Akhtuba river. If time permits, on the way you will visit the Khosheutovskiy khurul in the Rechnoye village – the oldest Buddhist temple in Europe and the first stone temple in Kalmykia.

Day 5 Bogdo mountain and Baskunchak lake

After breakfast at the base, you will go to the unique salt lake Baskunchak.

 

You will have a short trekking trip to Bogdo mountain. This is the highest point of the Caspian lowland (150 m above sea level). The geological layers of the mountain consist of rocks that are more than 200 million years old. Another unique feature of Bogdo mount is that it continues to grow, and its height increases by up to 2 mm per year.

 

After lunch you will walk around the Baskunchak lake, accompanied by a guide, who will tell a lot of interesting things about this natural object.

 

The basin of the lake is filled with salts and clayey deposits of the Permian and Triassic periods, as well as rocks of the Quaternary age. Since the 8th century, salt has been extracted from the lake and sent along the Great Silk Road. On the coast of the lake, there are deposits of medicinal clay, and bathing in brine (a spring with a highly concentrated solution of salts) has a healing effect.

 

In the evening, you will move to Kolkhoznaya Akhtuba village, located near Volgograd, have dinner in a restaurant and check into a hotel.

Day 6 Volgograd city tour and homecoming

In the morning after breakfast, you will be transferred to Volgograd. There you will visit the famous memorial "To the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad" on the Mamayev Kurgan. You will listen to the sounds of war, walk between the ruins, see the changing of the guard at the Hall of Military Glory, see the main sculpture of the ensemble "Motherland Calls!", and explore the other compositions of the complex.

 

You will also visit the museum-panorama "The Battle of Stalingrad", which is located near the central embankment of Volgograd.

 

After lunch at the cafe, you will be taken to the airport for your departure flight.

New
In the lotus valley
Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
8 y.o.
Group size
from 7 to 15 person
Duration
6 days

Accommodation during the trip

2 nights
3 nights

Languages

EN
guide
FR
guide
Start date
13 July 2021
  • 13 July 2021
  • 20 July 2021
  • 27 July 2021
  • 3 August 2021
  • 10 August 2021
  • 17 August 2021
  • 24 August 2021
  • 31 August 2021
  • 7 September 2021
  • 14 September 2021
End date:
18 July 2021
690 EUR

Accommodation during the trip

The first night of the trip you will spend in a hotel in Elista. It offers a restaurant, 24-hour reception and free Wi-Fi. Your room will have one double or two single beds, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, and a bathroom with a shower, a hairdryer and toiletries.

 

On the second day, you will stay in guesthouses in Adyk village (shower room in the house, the toilet is outdoor). The next night you will stay at the tourist base near the Burannoe village. You will be accommodated at the cottages with facilities.

 

From 4 to 5 days of the trip, you will stay at the tourist base on the bank of the Akhtuba river in Bugor village. You will stay in a comfortable wooden cottage made of solid timber. On the first floor of the house there are 4 bedrooms with 2 separate beds, a spacious living room with a TV and a karaoke system, an equipped kitchen, and a bathroom with a shower cabin. On the second floor there is a bedroom with a double bed and a living room in the lobby. There is a restaurant on the territory of the base.

 

The final night of the tour, you will spend in standard double rooms in the park-hotel in the Kolkhoznaya Akhtuba village in the Volgograd region. Your room will have one double or two single beds, a refrigerator, TV, air conditioning, and a bathroom with a shower. The hotel has a restaurant, sports grounds, a children's club, as well as a Russian sauna with a swimming pool and SPA complex.

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Common questions

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Who will be my guide +

Experienced guides will be with you throughout the tour.

Meals +

The cost of the program includes three meals a day with elements of Kalmyk national cuisine, except for dinner on the day of arrival. You will have breakfast and dinner at your accommodation, and lunch in a cafe or in nature during excursions and active routes.

What to bring with you +
  • windproof and waterproof pants and hooded jacket
  • long sleeve shirt
  • lightweight shoes or sneakers
  • hat
  • swimwear (for swimming in a salt lake, without metal parts – metal oxidizes in the salt)
  • towel
  • rubber slippers
  • water bottle
  • small backpack for radial outputs
  • first-aid kit
  • repellents
  • personal care products
  • sunglasses and cream
What the weather will be like +

Kalmykia and Astrakhan oblast has a sharply continental climate. Daytime summer temperatures can reach +35°C and drop to +18°C at night. Gusty winds are also possible.

Cost for groups of two or more people +

For your group of two or more, we can do this trip on any other dates. 

 

The cost will depend on the size of the group:

  • 2 persons – 1620 euro/person
  • 3 persons – 1130 euro/person
  • 4 persons – 995 euro/person
  • 5 persons – 960 euro/person
  • 6 persons – 935 euro/person 
  • 7 persons and more – 690 euro/person 

Booking

New

In the lotus valley

Difficulty
Difficulty levels
Easy. Passive relaxation and sightseeing — cruises for example. No physical activities. Good for older people.
Normal. Active tours. You don’t have to be a sportsman, but you need to be strong enough to ride a snowmobile or go hiking in the mountains.
Advanced. Get ready for a challenge — long trekking with a heavy backpack on the shoulders, rafting along mountain rivers.
Hard. Professional training and perfect physical fitness are required. The level involves climbing to the tops of the mountains (above 3000 meters), freeriding and North Pole diving.
Age
from 8 y.o.
Group size
from 7 to 15 person
Duration
6 days

Accommodation during the trip

2 nights
3 nights

Languages

EN
guide
FR
guide
690 EUR
What's included in the price:
  • double accommodation as per program

  • breakfast, lunch and dinner (except for dinner on the day of arrival)

  • transfer from Elista airport and to Volgograd airport

  • transportation service per program

  • guide and interpreting services 

  • camel and horseback riding

  • all excursions as per program

  • admission tickets and eco fees

  • ethnic program in Adyk

Extra charge:
  • air tickets to Elista (from 52 EURO per person) and from Volgograd (from 48 EURO per person)

  • single accommodation on the itinerary (+176 EURO)

  • visits to Russian sauna

  • dinner on the day of arrival

In the price:
Included Extra charge
  • double accommodation as per program

  • breakfast, lunch and dinner (except for dinner on the day of arrival)

  • transfer from Elista airport and to Volgograd airport

  • transportation service per program

  • guide and interpreting services 

  • camel and horseback riding

  • all excursions as per program

  • admission tickets and eco fees

  • ethnic program in Adyk

  • air tickets to Elista (from 52 EURO per person) and from Volgograd (from 48 EURO per person)

  • single accommodation on the itinerary (+176 EURO)

  • visits to Russian sauna

  • dinner on the day of arrival

13 Jul 2021, Tue — 18 Jul 2021, Sun
690 EUR
20 Jul 2021, Tue — 25 Jul 2021, Sun
690 EUR
27 Jul 2021, Tue — 1 Aug 2021, Sun
690 EUR
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