Southern steppes romance:
Kalmykia and Astrakhan

Have you ever been where trees don't grow at all? Where does the wind blow day and night, spreading the aromas of herbs and the chirping of thousands of birds around? Where the endless fields of tulips are replaced by sand dunes, and the surrounding expanses is increadibly breathtaking? To see all this, you do not need to go to the world's ends - just go with us on a trip to southern Russia!

Nearest tour

in April 2020

The most important features:

April - June

travel time

from €400 / pers


6-10 days



level of difficulty

What you will see?

Route information:

Where we go?


Kalmykia and Astrakhan are two colorful and original southern regions of Russia, which are rarely visited by tourists. Meanwhile, these places are filled with a unique atmosphere of freedom, folk traditions and unity with nature. For decades of kilometers, not a single living soul can be found here (except for sheeps), the air is filled with the aromas of thousands of field grasses, and wild animals and birds scurrying everywhere create an inexpressible feeling of harmony!

We personally studied all the sights of these regions and selected the best ones to show you. Believe us - you have never had such impressions of Russia before!

Why go on a tour of Kalmykia and Astrakhan region?


Briefly, Kalmykia is about boundless steppes, unity with nature and the centuries-old culture of nomadic Buddhists who still remember and honor the traditions of their ancestors. Astrakhan region is the salt lakes, the largest river delta in Eurasia (Volga), dense forests and real sand deserts, the best fishing in Europe, as well as the merchant wealth of Astrakhan, unique oriental cuisine and much more.

This tour is best for those who:

- loves the feeling of harmony with nature and boundless space;

- wants to see the wild nature in its natural habitat, to feel like a real nomad traveler;

- wants to learn about Buddhism and the culture of the ancient Asian folk - kalmyks, whose ancestors are the ancient Mongols of the Golden Horde;

- wants to see several climatic zones in one trip: steppes, deserts, semi-deserts and deciduous forests (and endless flowering of real wild tulips!);

- wants to learn about the best chess players in the world, take a walk through the dunes, learn about the great history of the Golden Horde and the Kalmyk heroes, taste the local cuisine;

- do not afraid to meet traditional civilization and get pleasure from it!

And what a great southern tan you can get here... ;)

Organization and participation restrictions


Throug all the route you will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking guide. Since Kalmykia and Astrakhan are just beginning to gain popularity among tourists (even Russian), the infrastructure in most places leaves much to be desired. However, we found and selected the best hotels for your residence, cafes and restaurants to explore the national cuisine, as well as the most beautiful places and educational museums to visit.


This tour is suitable for people who love walking sightseeing tours, as well as those who are ready for small hikes across the steppes and deserts (2-3 hours a day). Experience hikes and excellent physical training is not required, but there are restrictions on physical exercise, nutrition, etc. It is necessary to warn the organizers about it.

During the trip you will visit the most beautiful and breathtaking places of Kalmykia and Astrakhan regions of Russia:

Recommended trip itinerary

Meeting at the Elista airport (start of the route)

Check in to a hotel

Tour of the city center with a visit to the "City Chess" district, the "Golden Convent" temple and the "Seven Days" Pagoda

Dinner and free time

Departure to the relict lake Manych-Gudilo

Acquaintance with Kalmyk steppes, salt lakes and tulip fields (swimming in the lake is possible depending on the weather)

Visit to the Syakusn-Sume khurul

Return to Elista. Dinner and free time

Departure from Elista in the direction of Astrakhan. On the way we will visit:
- Buddhist khurul in settlement Yashkul;
- sand dunes in the desert of Utta
- salt lakes of the Caspian sea estuary

Arrival in Astrakhan, check in to hotel

Walk through the city center. Dinner and free time

Astrakhan city tour: embankment, the White City district and old-market settlement. Visit to the Astrakhan Kremlin, historical museum.

Dinner. Continuation of the walk around Astrakhan. Visit the fish market "Selensky Isady" and the Opera and Ballet Theater.

Dinner and free time

A trip to the ancient capital of the Golden Horde "Sarai Batu". On the way, we will also see the memorial complex of the Khan of the Bukeev Horde and Khosheutovsky khurul in the Kalmyk village of Rechnoye

Excursion in the reconstruction of the Saray-Batu. Return to Astrakhan.

Dinner and free time

Check out from the hotel.


Excursion to the Volga delta. Walk on boats and motorboats in the lotus valley and the sea-side (bird watching). Lunch at the recreation center.

Return to Astrakhan. Transfer to the railway or to the airport.

What else can you see in the area?


Pavel Demin, head of the "Sight Hiker" project

WhatsApp*: +7 925 186 7487

*It is also possible to call us, but due to frequent travels it is better to communicate via WhatsApp or social networks.

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Total: tour booking

Southern steppes romance: Kalmykia and Astrakhan

Trip time:
Group size:
Level of difficulty:
Type of accommodation:

April June
6-10 days (according to the individual program)
2-8 people
hotel / hotel (Elista, Astrakhan)

from €400 / pers

What is included in the price:

– 2-pers accommodation in the hotel "White Lotus" (Elista)
– 2-pers accommodation in the hotel "AZIMUT Hotel" or "Park Inn" (Astrakhan)
– Breakfast at the hotel + lunch (dry rations) on days 2,3,5,6
– group transfer from the airport of Elista and to the railway station / airport of Astrakhan
– transport service according to the program
– guide and accompanying services
– fee for a trip to the Volga delta (+ lunch at the recreation center)

What is NOT included in the price (additional costs):

– air tickets to Elista (from €45 one-way from Moscow)
– air / train tickets from Astrakhan (from
€45 one-way to Moscow)
– single hotel accommodation (optional)
– food which is not included in the program
– accident insurance
– individual transfer (€25 one way)
– optional excursions and museum tickets

OPTION: visiting a performance at Astrakhan Opera and Ballet Theater or at Kalmyk National Philharmonic

OPTION: visiting other places in the region (discussed in advance because of the border zone with Kazakhstan!)
– other personal expenses

More information about the booking process and payments can be found here.

Feedback from participants of our travels

Elena Sorochan

"South Russia 2018" route

Trips to the regions of Russia often seems boring and unattractive, but just until the moment when a man appears with a thirst to show you the local beauty. We visited the Rostov, Astrakhan and Volgograd regions, as well as met with Kalmykia. I would never have thought that wild tulips are blooming in Kalmykia, that there are so many wild hares in the steppes and birds sing so loudly, that in the Astrakhan region the locals catch fish from almost every puddle and Volgograd impresses with its power and atmosphere of eternal memory. Small details, such as: a boat trip to the Volga delta, views of the fields with high water, a wonderful view of the Don from steep hills or an incredibly tasty place in Astrakhan with Caucasian cuisine, make every day a special. The combination of exploring cities and enjoying nature (sunrises and sunsets on the lakes, walks in the steppes and along the dunes) makes every day a little separate life - it seems that the vacation lasts not two weeks, but a month!


Want to go on an unforgettable private tour?

Write to us and we will tell you about all the details of the trip: