The stanitsa (a traditionally-Cossack settlement) of Vyoshenskaya is a beautiful and interesting place to visit on the River Don. It is closely associated with the Cossacks - and traditional Cossack clay houses and Cossack cuisine can be found here - and with the author Mikhail Sholokhov who won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his Cossack-themed novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”.
Vyoshenskaya was the most beloved place of the author who was born and died here. He was the only Soviet recipient of the Nobel Prize who was allowed to go to Sweden to collect his prize and part of his winnings were spent on building a school in Vyoshenskaya.
On this tour you will not only see the house where the author was born, but also the estate where Sholokhov spent his later life and entertained such famous guests as Nikita Khruschev and Yury Gagarin. You will also get to try real Cossack cuisine and try your hand at making Cossack vareniks (a dish similar to ravioli), and visit a stables where Don breeds of racehorses are bred. And of course you can't visit this part of Russia without enjoying views of the magnificent River Don. Here the river is coming to the end of its journey from the Tula Region to the Azov Sea and it is indeed flowing quietly.
Moscow → Millerovo → Vyoshenskaya ⇔ Yelanskaya
Total distance of the tour: 2,228km - 1934km | 294km
FRIDAY | DEPARTING MOSCOW
18:38 | Overnight premium train "Tikhy Don" (Quiet Don) to Millerovo - the closest railway station to Vyoshenskaya. Night on the train.
Duration: 13½ hours
SATURDAY | SHOLOKHOV AND COSSACKS
08:00 | Arrival in Millerovo. Transfer to the khutor (a traditionally-Cossack village) of Kruzhilinsky – the birthplace of Mikhail Sholokhov.
As soon as you arrive in Kruzhilinsky, breakfast fit for a Cossack consisting of chicken noodle soup, fried egg, cabbage and dried fruit pies, buns, sour cream and fruit drink (or samogon - homemade vodka - if you prefer) will be waiting for you in a Cossack courtyard.
Guided tour of the Sholokhov Family Memorial House – the writer was born here and spent the first five years of his life here. The house is built in the traditional Cossack style. During the tour you will visit a 19th century Cossack courtyard which will give you a good impression of the daily life of a Don Cossack. Here you can see a summer kitchen, an ice store, a granary, stables and pens for animals and a shed with tools. Also at the base are horses, bulls, cows, sheep, goats, turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens. You will have the opportunity to test out your Cossack skills – ploughing, milling flour and making vareniks which you will then get to eat.
Transfer to the stanitsa of Vyoshenskaya.
Excursion around Vyoshenskaya - the highlights of the excursion include:
- “And Quite Flows the Don” Monument - this sculpture depicts the moment in the book when Grigory, on horseback, meets Aksina carrying water. It is now one of the main symbols of the city. The monument was originally unveiled in 1983 in Rostov-on-Don on the left-bank of the River Don where few people visited. Sholokhov himself would have preferred it to have been installed in Vyoshenskaya. It was only in 1995, after the death of Sholokhov, that his wishes were implemented and the statue was moved to Vyoshenskaya, where it immediately blended in with its surroundings on the bank of the River Don.
- Archangel Michael’s Church – this 18th century church is the oldest in the stanitsa. It is said that when the Bolsheviks were discussing its demolition, Sholokhov, who enjoyed a close relation with party leaders, saw to it that these plans were dropped. The church therefore survived and it was reopened after the Second World War.
- Sholokhov Memorial House – Sholokhov's memorial house is an example of a typical estate house of a member of the Soviet intelligentsia. The house-museum is almost unique as every item and piece of furniture here is authentic and used to belong to the author. You will see here the typewriter that Sholokhov used to write his works, household items, the suit he wore to collect the Nobel Prize, as well as gifts from many guests and fans from around the world. The guest room here once hosted such prominent figures as Nikita Khruschev and Yury Gagarin. The estate's garage holds Volga, Pobeda and Uaz cars which once belonged to the author.
- Stables of Don Horses - Don breeds of horses are known for their dedication to their masters, often being compared to loyal dogs. The horses were given to eight-year old boys who then raised, looked after and trained their horses themselves. As a result the horses became closely attached to their masters and would even stay with them if they fell in battle so that the injured horseman had an opportunity to get back on the horse who would take him to safety.
Duration: 3½ hours
At the end of the excursion you will have free time Vyoshenskaya.
Night in Vyoshenskaya.
SUNDAY | AND QUITE FLOWS THE DON
Breakfast at your hotel.
Transfer to Lebyzhy Yar.
Lebyazhy Yar (Swan Ravine) - this is one of the most beautiful places on the Don and a natural highlight of the region. Centuries of strong currents on this sharp turn of the river have washed away and created a steep sandy bank. The magnificent panorama and scale of the river will take your breath away.
It is a great place for having a picnic.
Transfer to the stanitsa of Yelanskaya.
“And Quite Flows the Don” Film Set - to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a Cossack stanitsa, you will visit the film set used for the latest film version of “And Quite Flows the Don”. The Russian TV series based on the book was broadcast in 2015 to mark the 110th anniversary of the birth of Mikhail Sholokhov. It was filmed on location in the stanitsa of Yelanskaya and a set consisting of old Cossack houses were built here especially. After the filming the decorations were left as a tourist sight and you can now have an opportunity to walk around and get an impression of a traditional Cossack settlement. Locals from Yelanskaya and Vyoshenskaya also took part in the filming as extras.
Transfer back to Vyoshenskaya.
15:00 | Transfer to Millerovo Railway Station
18:26 | Premium train to Moscow.
Duration: 13 hours
• OPTIONAL EXTRA • STANITSA OF YELANSKAYA•
|Excursion to the Don Cossack and the Fight against Bolshevism Museum|
MONDAY | MOSCOW
07:35 | Arrival in Moscow.
- The tour is planned for starting on Saturday and ending on Sunday, but it is possible on any day except for Monday when the museums are closed.
- Optional excursions should be booked before the start of the tour to schedule the itinerary.
- The tour is available in other languages upon request.
- All excursions/guided tours included in the itinerary are private which means private guides and private transport along the programme - unless otherwise stated.
- The tour is suitable for travellers with children.
- Best time to travel on this route: from the end of April to mid-October.
• CANCELLATION POLICY •
DATE OF CANCELLATION
|FROM 60 TO 45 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||10%|
|FROM 44 TO 15 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||30%|
|FROM 14 TO 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||50%|
|LESS THAN 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||100%|
• COST OF THE TOUR WITH 3* HOTELS •
|PRICE PER GROUP||1-2 PAX||3-4 PAX||5-6 PAX||7-8 PAX|
- Individual excursions according to the programme
- Entrance tickets to the museums
- Transfers in a private car according to the programme.
- Return railway tickets from Moscow to Millerovo on the Premium train, 2nd class.
- Lunch on the 2nd and 3rd day
- Accommodation in a 3* hotel, central location, standard DBL rooms with breakfast.
- 24h emergency support during the tour
- Visa support documents
- Meals (except for breakfast and lunch where stated).
- Transfer to/from Moscow Railway Station
- Tips for the guides and drivers.
- Optional excursions.