The Moscow region is an incredibly interesting region, where a huge number of unique natural objects are located, the main of which can be called, perhaps, the nearest national parks and reserves. Among them are Zavidovo, Ugra, Meshchera and Oksky. We decided to dare to take a trip of almost a week, during which we will visit all the mentioned reserves and parks, as well as make several stops in places where you usually do not meet a single person, in places so remote that it is better to walk there with a satellite phone and a compass.
Our trip will begin with a visit to one of the most unique places in the Moscow region - Zavidovo National Park. It is here that we will go by car, stopping along the way near picturesque lakes and forests of the region.
Our trip began not so far from the busy city life in one of the suburban forests of the capital, which is located on the outskirts of the green district. As the area is almost starting here, the nature here is quiet, although you can meet a lot of tourists. It was nice to take a walk near the pond, after which we moved on.
The small village of Belavino in the Moscow region became the place of our next stop. This place is known for its picturesque pond, which is simply loved by local fishermen. There are small private houses along the banks of the pond, although there is also quite a lot of space for walking.
In Solnechnogorsk we stopped to have lunch at a small cozy Italian restaurant called "Mamma Italia". The menu here is very diverse, personally we can recommend a salad with duck breast, as well as beef carpaccio.
National Park "Zavidovo" is one of the most unique natural objects in the Moscow region, and our main goal today. The area is so picturesque that even once President Yeltsin equipped his country residence here. In these forests and bolts there is a huge number of different animals, birds and fish. If you are lucky, then, walking here, you can stumble upon a hare of mermaid or meet a roe deer.
On the southern border of the small village of Teterino there is a picturesque pond surrounded by pine forests on the southern and northern sides. On the west side there are private houses, but on the east side you can walk alone along the shore or go further into the forest.
A small evening meal after a busy day we had a café bar on Novorizhskoe Highway called "Volcano". The atmosphere here is generally pleasant and relaxing with live music playing. Mostly European and Russian cuisine is served here. We were pleased that the local dishes are not made of semi-finished products.
Today we are moving south to the Smolensk region. We will walk through the most remote, beautiful and untouched natural places, we will stop in distant villages and walk through dense forests.
Today we decided to start with the fact that we stopped for breakfast in a small cafe Omega Rest. The choice of dishes here is generally standard, many different salads and appetizers, we chose Caesar with chicken and a few puffs of cheese.
After a long journey, a stop was made near the Yauzka reservoir. It represents a huge water body, in each part of which you can find its beauty. We chose not to go far and stopped at the beach near the village of Kotikovo.
Our next walk was in the woods near the small village of Ivanovskoye. About a hundred and fifty meters away from the road, rare forests start at first, and then a real thicket grows. Spaces here are huge, so if you want you can start a kite or throw a flying saucer.
For lunch we stopped by to taste kebabs in the cafe "Belaya Rus" in the village of Maltsevo, Smolensk region. In addition to meat, a variety of salads and light snacks are also prepared here, and there is a small selection of desserts.
In the afternoon we went for a walk in the forests near the village of Lytievo in Smolensk region. The area is very diverse, there is a dense forest, there is a very small river Tureya, a pond in the center of the village, and the landscape as a whole remotely resembles the Tolkinovskiy Shire.
Our last walk for today will take place on the outskirts of the small village of Znamenka. The main beauties here are along the Ugra river coast - a small forest, streams, swamps and descents to the river. It is worth walking here in a southeasterly direction, because everything to the north is mostly occupied by private houses.
The place of our dinner today was quite unusual - a huge restaurant in the form of frigates of the eighteenth century called "Peter the Great". The menu is also quite diverse, with many European and national dishes at moderate prices.
Today we are going to explore the nature, as well as various sights of the Ugra National Park. We will enjoy the nature and unusual art objects.
In order not to lose a lot of time, we decided to go for breakfast to the already well-known to us "frigate", located in the eco-park Yukhnovgrad. Several cakes, as well as a glass of orange juice in the morning came in handy.
The first stop for today was the Ugra River coast near the bridge that leads to the A130 highway. We decided to walk along the northern bank, where in addition to descents to the river, there is also an impenetrable forest thicket, where we also went.
On the territory of the famous Ugra National Park, the art park Nikola Lenivets is famous for its unique art objects as well as for the incredible nature around it. Those who want to spend time here can spend time fishing, walking on the river or in the forest, as well as see architectural objects made of natural materials. Next to the installation "Firebird" on the lake shore there are two cafes where you can have a snack or a full lunch.
Well, at the end of the day we decided to visit one of several sand quarries far from Kaluga. There are several beautiful beaches here, as well as quite a large forest near the coast. You can also take a stroll along the banks of the Ugra River.
It's a great trip, isn't it? And to make it dynamic, come to the Gazpromneft filling station, take water and a snack.
East Bazaar is a very cozy, spacious and modern restaurant in the heart of the city. It is difficult to say for sure what kind of cuisine the restaurant has, because here are prepared and European, and Russian and oriental dishes. For example, we liked boiled tongue with horseradish, and veal with mozzarella homemade.
Today we leave Kaluga and head east towards the city of Ryazan. Along the way we plan to stop near the Oka River, in dense forests, as well as near lakes, ponds and pine forests.
Before leaving Kaluga, we headed for breakfast at Slasten's breakfast cafe on Teatralnaya Street. There is a rather wide range of desserts and homemade dishes, especially homemade cheesecakes with jam and sour cream, as well as pancakes with cheese and bacon.
The first stop on that day was a birch forest near the village of Boldasovka, Kaluga region. The area is not very populated here, so the walk is likely to take place in complete solitude. If you walk three hundred meters deep into the thicket, you can go to the bank of a small river Horschnia.
On the border of Tula and Kaluga regions, on the northern outskirts of the city Alexin there is a huge pine forest, the border of which is located almost near the bank of the river Oka. If you choose the right time of the trip, you'll most likely find here various mushrooms and berries.
TOMATO pizza & pasta, a small pizzeria in Alexin's center, was the place where we had lunch this day. The menu is not limited to pizza, there are several kinds of soups, salads, as well as snacks and desserts. For example, we liked the marinara pasta and pancakes with cherry and apple.
In the afternoon we went further and, being on the road for about an hour, decided to make a stop near a small lake near the village of Spicino. Its shores are decorated with rare birches, there are several small beaches, and if you go far away, you will find yourself in a birch grove.
The evening walk today will take place near the small village of Grace of the Moscow region on the shores of a local pond, which is some distance from the road and is surrounded by endless fields and expanses. Small trees also rarely grow near the pond.
The cozy cafe "Like Mom's" was where we spent the evening. It has a very cozy interior and a quiet atmosphere, the choice of dishes is quite wide, there is both national and European cuisine.
Today our journey has reached its climax: we are planning a trip to two major national parks in the central part of the country. In addition, we will leave Ryazan and head north.
In the historical center of Ryazan is a cozy cafe "CHULAN", where we decided to start this morning. Facility's culinary repertoire includes various dishes, for example, we liked fish rissoles under marinade with mashed potatoes, and pork escalope in cream and mushroom sauce with rice.
Another unique natural object, bordering the Moscow region, is the Oka reserve. A small river Pra flows on its territory, and there are many remote and secluded lakes and swamps. It is a perfect place for a boat ride, as well as a picnic in nature and rest from the city noise and bustle.
We stopped for lunch to eat borscht in one of the small cafes on the way called "Beryozka". The atmosphere here is generally idle, but hospitable and cozy. The range of dishes can hardly be called wide, but still there is something to choose from, especially for fans of Russian cuisine.
Another most important object in our trip was the Meshchera National Park. This place is not only a unique natural site, but also historical, as there are a number of historical sites, as well as archaeological monuments.
We spent the evening in a small restaurant called "Jam", which is near the waterfront. The interior of the hall where we sat was stylish and modern, the atmosphere was diluted and unobtrusive music. On the menu we were delighted with fish dishes as well as a very wide range of snacks.
Today our trip to the reserves closest to Moscow ends. We depart from Gus-Khrustalny and head for Moscow. According to a well-established tradition, we will make a few stops in nature on the way.
Our last morning we started our journey in a small Italian-style cafe "Comilfo". It is very cozy and bright inside, you can choose Japanese as well as Italian cuisine. When planning a visit here, you should be more careful, because on Saturday and Sunday this place does not work.
One of the most beautiful places we met on the way back is the quarry near the village of Vysokovo in the Vladimir region. Here you'll find a huge sandy beach on the southern shore, a small forest on the opposite one, and also, if you go a little further south, you'll find yourself in a thick pine forest.
After the beach we moved on and, having passed quite a long way, decided to make a stop in the town of Petushki in the cafe "Sarai". Here is a bit kitschy, but very cozy interior, the menu has a wide selection of oriental dishes, as well as light snacks and desserts.
In the afternoon we headed for the pine forest, located near the small village of Malaya Dubna, Moscow Region. Passing through the maze, you can go out on a huge field, which is also located a small lake. In general, it was quite windy here, just to launch a kite.
Already at the entrance to Moscow we decided to make one last trip to nature in our trip to the Moninsky forest, which is located very close to the village Balabanovo. In general, it is not very dense, there are no bogs, but there is a pond in the northern part of the forest, near which you can have a picnic or just walk.
Well, it was decided to stay for dinner at the Roma pizzeria in Balashikha. In fact, we are not big fans of pizza, but to our luck here are served other dishes. For example, we can celebrate Naples and chicken in Milan. Prices here are also quite affordable for an average budget.