Places to visit in the Orenburg region
The Buzuluk Pinewood Forest
The Buzuluk Pinewood Forest is located north east from the town of Buzuluk bordering the Orenburg and Samara regions. The birth of this great forest began on sand dunes and ridges at the basin of the river, Borovka, about 6-7 thousand years ago. At that time, pine and birch trees predominantly inhabited this area. Three thousand years ago, however, pinewood trees with broad-leaved understories took the area over. Now-a-days some of the trees are more than 300 years old. The forest is a national park hosting 39 species of mammals, 144 species of birds, 8 species of creepers and 800 kinds of insects. Here one can see elks, roes, wild boars, badgers, martens and beavers.
Sol’-Iletsk is a small town 75 kilometers from Orenburg, located in the very center of the Orenburg region. The vast deposits of excellent salt minerals (rock salt) is the reason why this location has the word "sol" (соль) in the town's name, meaning "salt" in Russian. One of the most popular attractions is the salt lake "Razval" with a salt concentration equal to that of the Dead Sea. Sol’-Iletsk is also known as a balneological resort for its mineral waters, salt, mud, and brine baths, and its koumiss (mare’s milk) cures.
This town is situated in a very beautiful location that attracts its visitors to its special sights.
One particular attraction is the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cloister of Mercy. It was revived in 1989 after long years of prohibition and lack of interest from the community. Then the school of catechism and the "House of Mercy" for lonely, ill, and aged people was opened at the church. Children from orphanages were accepted in the family of Priest Nikolai Stremsky, who adopted more than 70 children. Now-a-days you can visit the House of Mercy, the Orthodox Gymnasium, the School of Theology, the Sisters’ Community, and lastly the Community of Nuns. There is also a sewing shop, a bakery, and a small farm.
In 1999, Saraktash was chosen for the shooting of a feature film about Pugachev’s Revolt, since historically the location of the town is where those events of the 17th century took place. The film "Russian revolt" was cinematized after Alexander Pushkin’s novel "The Captain’s Daughter." A natural wooden fortress was built to reconstruct that epoch.
Finally, a proud local tradition of Saraktash is the production of authentic knitted downy shawls. The knitters are some of the best in the whole region.
This city has a mountain ski resort center which is situated in the valley of the Sakmara River, the main tributary of the Ural River. It is 200–210 km. above sea level. Both sides of the resort are surrounded by mountain chains, the highest of which are 475 meters above sea level. This place is popular for family holidays, as well as, for mountain skiing competitions. The town is 190 km. from Orenburg.
The resort is opened every day: Mon — Thu 10:00–19:00, Fr — Sat 10:00–23:00, and on Sunday 10:00–19:00.
There are several alpine skiing tracks that you can choose from – for beginners, advanced, and professional skiers. The track’s length varies from 250 to 2500 m., the width is 1000 km. There is also a zone for snowboarding. Experienced tutors are at your disposal (one hour of training with a tutor costs around $5).
At this location you can also find a hotel with single and double rooms available, as well as cafes, bars, and billiards.