Forget about everything

Ulyanovsk Region

Russia Beyond
Russia Beyond
The hot summer sun caresses the body. Endless green, yellow and orange fields breathe and ripple in the wind. High hills and powerful rivers rise to protect you from the hustle and bustle of travelers who have come so far. Ulyanovsk Region in summer is the place where you want to relax, be alone with your thoughts and nature.

The road from one end of the Sengilevsky National Park to the other resembles a slideshow with the best shots of a nature photographer. Here, the gilded fields of rye spill over the horizon. In ten minutes tall sunflowers stretch to the sky. And in another moment the full-flowing Volga appears behind a high cliff…

It’s worth climbing the hill and, there, someone has already spread out a huge carpet of fragile wildflowers and low shrubs for you. In the glades, there are tiny birches and pines that managed to gain not more than a meter in height on the chalky soil. They are like mischievous children, huddled together and whispering in their circle. Somewhere, in the distance, fish farm ponds overflow, and mountains stretch again. We'd like to stay here longer at the golden hour, but we're moving on.

What's the rush? There is only one reason to hurry up a little. Residents of Ulyanovsk are sure that the best sunsets with enviable consistency happen precisely on “their” Volga. Ask the locals where the best places are for seeing off the sun and they will definitely tell you!

One such spot is in the ‘Sengiley Mountains’, near the Arbugin Mountain, where the modest Atza River merges with the majestic Volga River. Every minute, someone changes the palette: from shades of green to orange, then to bright red, and then everything becomes purple and blue. A strong wind blows at the edge of the cliff, filling the lungs with the purest air. One would feel like shouting loudly to the sun that is running over the horizon: “Wait! Let me enjoy this play of colors just a little more!”

The shining disk pays no attention to this and successfully completes its escape. It’s time to drive back. It’s the same again: sunflowers, cliffs, a carpet of color, hills and the misty embrace of rye fields waving grains after us. And then, a dense forest and a long winding road that never ends, drowning in the dusky shadows.

How to forget about everything in the Sengiley Mountains National Park?

Sengiley Mountains National Park is only a 40-minute drive from Ulyanovsk.

On the border of the park look for the Hills glamping (@myhills.glamping). Those who love the camping lifestyle or want to remember their college days can rent a fairly comfortable tent. And those who want to contemplate the picturesque scenery without getting up from the couch, of course, it is better to consider small houses with all the comforts… even with air conditioning! For breakfast, be sure to try the branded cheesecakes, during the day take pictures with a local landmark - the Barge B-1000 - and, in the evening, watch classics of world cinema on a big screen, wrapped up in a blanket.

There are several hiking trails in the park, but the main attractions are far from each other. We recommend traveling by car: more time and less fatigue! The obligatory points of the program are: walking in the silence of the landslide circus near the village of Shilovo, catching the sunset on Arbuginskaya mountain in the company of marmots and experiencing dawn on Malashkina mountain with the view of mighty Volga and circling swallows.

Speaking of marmots, they are full-fledged masters of the area, so don’t be surprised that, from time to time, you will be persistently whistled at from different directions, usually in the morning and evening. We advise you to take powerful binoculars with you and pay attention to small glades on mountain slopes: if you are lucky, you will be able to watch these charming creatures, which stand on hind legs for several minutes, warming their flanks in the bright sun and looking around their possessions.

Do not try to reach every point on the map, relax and trust the park roads and trails: they will take you to the right place at the right time. After all, your goal is to gain strength, be surprised at the diversity of landscapes around you and forget about everything that violates peace and unity with nature!

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