This route starts in the north-western part of Volgograd Oblast and runs alongside the M6 federal highway, covering around 400 kilometres (249 miles) in total. The best way to travel is by car or motorhome, stopping for one or more nights at campsites along the Don and Khopyor rivers. You can start from Moscow or any point on the M6 highway. The exit for Uryupinsk a quintessential provincial town is located at 680 kilometre on this highway, about 340 kilometres (211 miles) from Volgograd.
- Volgograd Region, Uryupinsk
Trek by the River: Nizhnekhopersky Nature Park
You can start your rafting trip in the area around Uryupinsk or drive downstream to start at Nizhnekhopersky Nature Park. The river's fast flow makes it possible to travel up to 30 kilometres (19 miles) a day. The landscape is constantly changing: impenetrable forests turn into plains, sandy beaches alternate with cliffs and chalk deposits.
- Volgograd Region, Kumylzhensky District, Bukanovskaya Cossack Village, Ulitsa Lagutina, 77
- 7 (84462) 6 51 81
Trek by the River: Ust-Medveditsky Nature Park
- Volgograd Region, Serafimovich, Kazachya Ulitsa, 1
- 7 (84464) 4 40 10
Ilovlya Museum of Cossack Way of Life
The open-air museum reproduces the way of life in a Cossack estate at the end of the 19th century, featuring a kuren house and a barn. Those who wish to do so can be ordained as a Cossack – volunteers will be given a frosted cup of vodka on a Cossack blade, taught horse riding and will take part in folk games with songs and dances. Lots of local food specialties are also on offer: farmstead chicken, dumplings with cottage cheese and sour cream, and meat baked in clay pots in a real stove.
- Volgograd Region, Ilovlya Village, Ulitsa Zheleznodorozhnikov, 2B
- 7 (844) 675 12 10
- Volgograd Region, Ilovlinsky District, Tary Farmstead
- 7 (904) 770 36 34, 7 (84467) 5 29 20
Chalk Mountains: Donskoy Nature Park
The park's main attraction is a unique white chalk ridge which stretches for 30 kilometres (19 miles) above the Don River. The chalk ridge was formed during the Jurassic period and the local history museum has rare exhibits of coral tubes, fossil relics and other artefacts dating back more than a million years. The vista point located 30 metres (93 feet) above the river provides truly breathtaking views.
From the Chalk Mountains, you can head down to the empty sandy beaches and enjoy swimming and a picnic. The water in the local rivers is amazingly clean (UNESCO has named Khoper River as one of the world's cleanest rivers), and the swimming season runs from May to September. The average daily temperature from the end of April to October is +21-25 °C (70-77 °F), but in reality, daytime temperatures rise to +30 °C (86 °F) and above from mid-May until September. By mid-June, the water in the lakes and slow rivers warms up to 28 °C (82 °F), while the summer temperature of the water in the Don and Khoper rivers is about 22-25 °C (70-77 °F). Some sections of the river have a muddy bottom, but there are plenty of sandy beaches with good access to the water.
- Volgograd Region, Ilovlinsky District, Trekhostrovskaya Cossack Village, Ulitsa Lyamina, 21
- 7 (84467) 5 27 66