Pine forests, streams, beaches, horse riding, yachting, acquaintance with exotic animals - this mini-journey will cure all those who have sat in four walls or are tired of gallery and museum rest. We'll explore tiny cities you haven't heard of before and savour the natural beauty of neighbouring regions. You'll spend most of your time outdoors, so it's best to keep a close eye on the weather forecast and choose the three sunniest days for your trip.
The first point in our journey will be the Crane Motherland reserve. On the territory of more than 36 thousand hectares there are rare animals, cranes nest on the banks of glacial lakes, owls hide in the crown of old spruces. Afterwards we will go for lunch and a walk to the ancient town of Taldom, and spend the night in Kalyazin.
"Crane Homeland is not a zoo, nursery or farm. It is carefully protected forests and swamps, where wild birds and animals live. You can't just walk here, but you have to make an appointment in advance. The format of the tour is unusual. Cars with tourists go by caravan, at low speed, along the route (which length is about 50 km) make frequent stops. Excursionists are given binoculars and telescopes with the help of which one can see cranes, sandpipers, birds of prey and other beautiful creatures. It is worth such an excursion 500 rubles, children under 5 years - for free. Bring biscuits and tea in a thermos: during a 3-hour walk you will definitely want to have a snack.
You can have lunch in the town of Taldom. Alternatively, "Funny Lime" is one of the most popular restaurants in town. On weekdays it offers solid business lunches at competitive prices (from 12-00 to 17-00).
In the afternoon, I suggest taking a walk around the Taldom. Its history counts more than 4 centuries - once there was a lively trade, in a special honor were products of local skinners and shoemakers. The building of the historical part of the city is mainly wooden. Among the sights are the ancient trading rows, the former fire kalancha. Local residents are especially proud of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, built in a rare Russian-Byzantine style.
It's a great trip, isn't it? And for it to be dynamic, come to the Gazpromneft filling station, take water and a snack.
Before checking into the hotel, I suggest to have dinner in the cafe "Visit" - good roadside cafe with reasonable prices. Aromatic khachapuri with cheese, boiled borscht, grilled meat - plus large portions and pleasant service: what a hungry traveler needs!
The second day we'll spend in Kalyazin and its surroundings. The city is known since XII century. A thriving county town, where ships were built and blacksmithing developed, was half flooded in the Soviet era during the construction of the Uglich hydroelectric power plant. Ancient houses and churches are mired under the water column, and only the five-tier bell tower of the Nikolo-Zhabensky monastery still reminds us of the beautiful past. In fact, everyone comes to Kalyazin just for the sake of this flooded bell tower. In the afternoon we will spend in a pine forest on the bank of the Volga river, and the sunset will be met on the summer terrace of the local yacht club.
After breakfast, we're heading to the local yacht club. Here you can book a motor catamaran trip around Kalyazin (4000 rubles per hour). This is a great opportunity to see the famous sunken bell tower and chapel on the Monastery Islands from the most advantageous angle. If the price is high for you, you can always agree with locals on a mini-cruise by boat - for 300-400 rubles to the bell tower and back or a little more expensive in all the surrounding area. If the river is frozen and swimming is impossible, the bell tower can also be seen from the shore walking in the city of Kalyazin. The yacht club is also worth a look at Russia's largest [snail farm](http://ulitka-kalyazin.ru/). There is no need to go far: it is located right on the territory of the yacht club. Here you will be shown how young snails hatch, what they eat and where they wait for their winter sleep. You can also visit the mini-museum and, of course, taste snail dishes with a glass of good wine.
You're not gonna eat snails alone! We'll eat fresh baked goods at Café Victoria and on our way. Bring a couple of cakes with you: your appetite will quickly develop outdoors!
Stop for a few minutes in this part of town. It's probably the best place to feel the spirit of past years. The old houses are painted and look good. Especially if you don't remember that the other half of the street has gone underwater... In houses near the pier sell valenki - the main souvenir of Kalyazin. Special chic - boots with embroidery in the form of a flooded bell tower. And no magnets are needed!
The weather is great, the Volga beckons for a swim. Be prepared for the fact that the Kalyazin beaches have no infrastructure. The camping site "Deer Bor" offers more pleasant views and conditions. It is the best place in the surroundings to enjoy the scent of pine trees, relax in nature and enjoy yourself. Entrance to the base territory paid. To the beaches are dirt roads, quite convenient for travel by car. If you are lucky, you can snatch a place at the very edge of the water. Entering the water here is gentle, bathing brings one pleasure. Among other activities - football field with gates and fishing. And don't forget to drop by the charming deer that live in a specially fenced area.
We go back to Kalyazin tonight. I offer dinner in the same yacht club - this is probably the most prestigious place in town. Summer cafe attracts visitors with pleasant music, aromatic kebabs and fresh beer. And as a bonus, it's a beautiful sunset.
After breakfast in Kalyazin we will go to the Yaroslavl region, to the country club "El Rancho" - ride horses in the fields and feed the wild lynxes. We'll have a hearty lunch drinking key water from Gremyachey spring, and then visit the fluffy raccoons. Let's finish our journey beautifully: to the sound of blues and with smoked ribs in the teeth - in an Irish pub near Moscow.
After breakfast we go to the country club "El Rancho", which is near the village of Andrianovo. On the territory of 300 hectares you will have a place to walk! You can go horseback riding in the woods, gaze at boars, ride a catamaran on the river Nerl and get to know a rare four-hole sheep Jacob. Two lynxes saved from poachers live in enclosures [complex](http://lrancho.ru/), and in a big pond carps frolic. Let's have lunch here: our own eco-farm supplies the kitchen with excellent products.
The next stop will be Gremyachiy Waterfall - the largest and most famous waterfall in the Moscow region. Its height is almost 20 meters. The spring flows down the cliff in spectacular cascades, not having time to cool down or heat up: the water temperature is 6 ° C all year round. The waterfall is amazingly beautiful, surrounded by several wooden churches and fonts. The water is very soft and even tastes unusual: it is enriched with radon.
Let's take a last look at another beast house. Hotkovo has a cute kennel, where "all about raccoons and raccoons". You can hold fluffy animals in your hands, play with them, feed them nuts. The important point: it is better to put on jeans and a sweatshirt for the excursion - raccoons are quite friendly, but their claws are sharp.
You can have dinner at the Irish pub "Jerry's Pub" in Pushkino. The range of dishes is ideal for a hungry meat lover: huge burgers (within 450 rubles), soup of bull's tails, beef tongue with lentils, steaks and ribs. For seafood fans, there's surrebrod and dorado with artichokes. Vegetarians will order mini potatoes baked with mushrooms and vegetable sticks with aioli sauce. Bonus - live music in the style of rock, blues and rock and roll. Beautiful completion of a wonderful holiday!