Cover yourself in salt

Kurgan Region

Russia Beyond
Russia Beyond
As soon as the water temperature in Bear Lake rises to an (almost) reasonable 12-14 degrees, the first brave bathers appear on its shores.

No matter how far you go from the coast, you will still not find it deeper than half a meter or a meter. And they don’t come here for depth. The water is so salty that splashing and diving in it is impossible: it will instantly sting your eyes. Therefore, the main and most enjoyable entertainment is to lie imposingly on the surface without any effort!

After a soothing bath in mineral water, it’s time to end the day in a sauna: wash off the salt and warm yourself up, especially if you come to open the swimming season in spring or close it in fall. And fragrant herbal tea and friendly gatherings on the terrace will make it easy to immerse yourself in a voluntary digital detox!

Why was the lake named after the club-footed beast? A local legend says that, a long time ago, a lame bear limped past this reservoir. He accidentally stepped into the water with his injured paw and, after a while, the pain subsided. So, having cured himself with lake water, the bear went home on all four paws. Since then, the name ‘Medvezhye’ has been attached to the lake.

Today, brown predators no longer roam, but, in the vicinity of the lake, you can meet rare birds, such as bitterns. Most likely, it will be almost impossible to see them, due to the protective coloring in the tall grass, but you will definitely hear a cry that is unlike anything else: a dull hoot, as if coming from under the ground.

You shouldn’t be afraid of little bitterns, either. But definitely stay away from the geese! Hissing, with sharp beaks and fast, the birds forced us to urgently change our shooting location.

How to cover yourself in salt?

📖 Bear Lake is located two hundred kilometers from Kurgan in the middle of the endless steppe. But, in the summer season, tourists even from neighboring regions tend to come. What for? To live in weightlessness! The salinity of the water is so high that you can lie on the surface and read a book without any support.

👩‍⚕️ Another wellness bonus is hidden under the water of the lake - therapeutic mud, with which “medical” tourists are smeared from head to toe. Just remember that doctors do not recommend leaving such formulations on the body for longer than 20 minutes!

🌞 To get a healing effect, it is best to come to Bear Lake for two weeks. There are several options for accomodation: a sanatorium, B&Bs or even your own tent on the shore.


Russia Beyond would like to thank ‘Medvezhka Camping’ for a warm welcome and soft beds!

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