The Mari Republic, located in the Volga region, is not yet one of the most common tourist routes. But it has great potential and unique attractions. Today, a new direction of tourism is emerging in Mari El, where the cultural and historical heritage is used. The ancient Mari people living here can boast of them.
The region has a very large number of rivers and lakes, and their total area is about 2.5 thousand hectares. Some events and mystical stories are associated with almost each of the reservoirs.
A small reservoir a few kilometers from the border with Tatarstan is about 20,000 years old. It is considered the most popular in the republic, not only because of the water of an unusual emerald hue, but also because of the great depth, completely unusual for its modest size. From a bird's eye view, it resembles a foundation pit dug right in the side of the mountain, which is why the locals call it Mishul (Funnel).
The most transparent lake of the republic is located in the Gornomariysky region. Fishing on it is not very good - as the reviews say, only perch is found here. But for swimming, this is the ideal place.
The sandy bottom is practically without vegetation, and the transparency of the water reaches 8 meters. The shores of the reservoir do not have cliffs, and the depth increases gradually. In general, here nature has created good conditions for a wild, but comfortable rest.
Tabashinskoe is considered both the most mysterious and deepest lake in the region. According to some sources, its bottom is located at a depth of 53 m, according to others - 171 m. Such an incredible depth is considered impossible for the karst lakes to which it belongs. Scuba divers claim that the middle of the reservoir is a funnel, and real trees grow at the bottom. But instead of animals and birds, voiceless fish live in their crowns.
The Republic of Mari El, lost in central Russia among dense pine forests, is not yet the most obvious destination for domestic tourism, unlike neighboring Tatarstan. But still, a trip there will definitely become unforgettable, because Mari El is a place with a special flavor. We will tell you in detail why it is worth coming there.
Airplanes fly to Yoshkar-Ola from Moscow (1 hour 30 minutes, one way ticket from 4,000 rubles *) and St. Petersburg (2 hours, one way ticket from 4,500 rubles *).
The train runs from Moscow every day. The journey takes 14 hours and 30 minutes, for a ticket you will have to pay from 2,500 rubles *.
By bus from the capital you can get there in 12 hours, paying from 1,500 rubles *.
There are about 100 accommodation options available in the capital of the republic. From 300 rubles a night in a hostel will cost, and for 1,000 rubles you can spend the night in a 3 * hotel. Hotels 4-5 * offer rooms from 4,000 to 8,500 rubles per night.
Just a decade ago, the capital of the republic, Yoshkar-Ola, was an unremarkable district town that travelers rarely indulged in. Everything changed in the late 2000s, when the plan for the reconstruction and development of the city was approved and implemented, turning it into a "fabulous" one.
Today Yoshkar-Ola seems to be striving to become a leader in import substitution: many parts of the city imitate other countries and cities. Republic Square resembles Moscow, Bruges Embankment - Belgium, the National Art Gallery was built in the style of Florentine palazzo, and the building of the school "Ordinary Miracle" is called by the locals Hogwarts. Walking around the colorful new building is also interesting because it contains many monuments, sometimes completely unexpected: for example, a copy of the Tsar Cannon, a monument to Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III of Monaco, a monument to Rembrandt, a monument to Lorenzo di Medici or a sculpture by Louis Moreau. Locals and tourists are especially fond of the "donkey clock" with moving figures on the art gallery building.
Among the historical sites in Yoshkar-Ola, several pre-revolutionary residential buildings have survived (the house of the merchant Naumov, the Chulkov estate, the Pchelintsev house, the house of the timber merchant Bulygin), the buildings of the Soviet neoclassicism era, the artful Church of the Holy Trinity, built in the 1990s years. All together, the buildings of the Mari capital form a strange eclectic ensemble, but this is what attracts tourists to the city (today, for example, Yoshkar-Ola can be visited as part of a one-day tour from the capitals of neighboring republics - Kazan or Cheboksary).
Among the interesting museums of the city, it is worth noting the National Art Gallery, the exposition of which tells about the cultural heritage of Mari El, the Republican Museum of Fine Arts, where etchings by Makovsky, Serov and Shishkin are exhibited, the National Museum of the Republic of Mari El named after T. Evseev, where household items and outfits of the ancient Mari are kept, and the heartfelt Memorial People's Museum of the History of the Gulag.
Taste Mari dishes