The Perm region is interesting from historical, cultural and geographical points of view, border line between Europe and Asia goes through the region. About 30 thousand rivers and a thousand caves are situated there, including one of the world’s largest carst caves — the Kungur ice cave, which is equipped for tourists’ visits. Thousands of square kilometers of dense forests and ridges of the Ural mountains give wide possibilities for most kinds of outdoor activities.
In the Russian history, the Perm region is famous due to two major events: the Cossacks headed by Yermak began conquering Siberia from this region in the 16th century. Then Perm was one of the centers of the ill-famous Gulag described by Nobel laureate Alexander Solzhenitsyn in the 20th century. You will see the Yermak’s Museum and former camps for political prisoners “Perm-36” with your own eyes. Belogorsky monastery situated not far from Perm is one of the most beautiful in Russia. Today’s Perm is known for its famous first-class ballet, for the collection of paintings and ancient wooden sculptures in the Art Gallery and for Khokhlovka – an open-air museum of wooden architecture of the 16-19th centuries. Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak described Perm as Yuriatin in his novel “Doctor Zhivago”. There are fossil remains of reptiles in the Historical Museum. Those animals lived during 50 million year’ geologic period named after Perm - the Permian period.
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National park, one of the ridges in the Urals. 360 km, incl. 90 km of earth road (6.5-7 hrs by car). 150 km from the town of Chusovoy (3.5 hrs). 110 km from railway station Pashiya (2.5 hrs). Mountain tops up to 1 km high. During a short visit one can see different landscapes and climatic zones from taiga to tundra. In the national park there range animals, typical for European forests, Arctics, Siberian taiga: partridge, glutton, marsh-otter, sable, rain-deer, elk. A lot of berries and mushrooms. Trekking, rafting down the Usva river, car and cycle tours.
The town was founded in 1874. 211 km (4 hrs by car, 4 hrs by train). The town is situated on the banks of the river Chusovaya in the spurs of the Urals.
Downhill-skiing base of the national Olympic team, Museum of the Chusovaya River, Yermak’s Museum. Museum “Perm-36” in the last Soviet camp for political prisoners(Kovalyov, Marchenko, Stus, Khmara) is in 30 km far from the city. Ruins of another part of the ill-famous Gulag camp “Stvor” are in 15 km from the city on the bank of the Chusovaya.
280 km including 20 km of earth road (5.5 hrs by car). 32 km from railway station Pashiya. Typical taiga village near the confluence of the Koiva and the Chusovaya (river's width 50-150m, flow 2-3 km/h, depth 0,5-2 m, the taiga and rocks on the banks). There are two private tourist lodges. Numerous natural and historical sights in the neighbourhood: caves Chudesnitsa and Glukhaya, rocks Shaitan, Pechka, Glukhiye, the carst lake Goluboye, the former Gulag camp “Stvor”, abandoned diamond mine. Trekking, rafting, rock-climbing, speleology, fishing, cross-country skiing.
260 km (5 hrs by car, 5.5 hrs by train). A settlement in the picturesque place on the bank of the Usva river (width 50-100 m, flow 2-3 km/h, depth 3 m). Rocks Stolby (120 m high), Pero and Krugi in the neighbourhood, cave Pervomaiskaya, traces of the prehistoric settlement. Rafting, fishing, rock-climbing, speleology.
The settlement is known since the 12th century, the Russians settled there in 1451. 299 km (6 hrs by car). One of the northernmost and most ancient towns of the region. Half a century earlier than Columbus landed on the Caribbean islands, the Russians started to conquer their own New World - the Urals and Siberia. Cherdyn was one of the first settlements and the capital of this vast and enormously rich province - the so called Great Perm. The road crossing the Urals and leading to Siberia was beginning there. Rafting, trekking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, picking berries and mushrooms.
Solikamsk founded in 1430 is 214 km (3.5 hrs by car, 8 hrs by bus). Till now the beautiful set of churches of the 17th century is preserved here. Museum of local studies, museum of salt industry. The village Oryol is situated nearby, where Yermak expedition started from in the late 16th century - the first Russian military expedition to Siberia, which was the beginning the joining of this boundless territory to Russia.
Berezniki founded in 1932 is 189 km (3 hrs by car, 7 hrs by train). Europe’s largest deposit of potassium salt. The city gives a good opportunity to visit a salt mine and the underground sanatorium where naturally ionized air is used for treatment.
National park on the banks of the Sylva river. 120 km including 20 km of earth road (2 hrs by car, 2,5 hrs by train). Vegetation is luxuriant rich there are more than 660 species in the area of only 2140 hectares. More than 4/5 of the park are covered with forest - dark coniferous, light coniferous (pine-wood), leaf-bearing, in which one can find even tropical orchids. The richness of vegetation comes along with impressive landscapes of the Sylva valley with its lime-stone rocks along the riverside: Bastiony, Yermak, Korona and others. Rafting, trekking, rock-climbing. The Sylva has width of 30-70 m, depth 0.5-1.5 m, flow 1-2 km/h, the water is transparent, river bottom is covered with pebbles. The height of the banks is up to 150 m.
Kungur, founded in 1648 on the Sylva river. 90 km (1.5 hrs by car, 2 hrs by train). One of the ancient Ural towns, situated on the main trade road from China and Siberia to the central Russia and Western Europe. During 2 centuries Kungur was a place of lively fairs. Wealthy local merchants were able not only to finance the construction of impressive cathedrals and other communal buildings in the town, but also to acquire property in rather remote places, like tea plantations on the Ceylon island. The town is also known due to its stone-carving factory and stone-engraving college, and to the ice cave. 12 churches.
On the bank of the Sylva river, within the boundaries of the town. One of the Russia’s biggest carst caves (length of the explored part over 5 km) and the only one in Russia equipped for visits of the unprepared tourists (concrete paths, electrical lamps). During thousands of years underground were dissolving the soft rocks - gypsum, limestone and anhydrite - and formed a system of spacious underground halls, filled with picturesque pieces of rocks. Many stones resemble shapes of animals so precisely, that one hardly believe in their natural origin. Numerous ice columns make the cave extremely beautiful, as well as shining ice crystals, which cover the walls and the ceilings of several grottos. Some of the grottos hide underground lakes. The cave is the most popular tourist sight in the Urals.
183 km including 11 km of earth road (4 hrs by car). 93 km from the town of Kungur. The world-known zone of UFO-activity is situated in the neighbourhood, on the bank of the Usva. The place of the pilgrimages of UFOlogists from Russia and the other countries of the ex-USSR. Supposed area of the UFO landing and of the contacts with ET visitors. Rafting.
120 km including 30 km of earth road (2,5 hrs by car). A rare historical and architectural sight. Founded in the 19th century on the hill called “Saint” due to the spring of healing water. Before the Bolshevik revolution the monastery counted 500 monks and was the largest in the Urals. During the anti-religious repressions in the 1920s most of the monks were shot. Now the reviving monastery gets back the beauty of its original architecture; it is a symbol of Orthodox renaissance in the Perm region. The main temple of the monastery is the fourth of size in Russia. The hill, crowned by the monastery, is the highest point in the 150-km area which allows to get a fantastic view from its top. There is mineral water spring near by the top.
Khokhlovka village, open air architectural and ethnographical museum. 40 km (50 min by car). Examples of the traditional wooden architecture of the Russians and other local peoples of the 17th -19th cc are collected in the open air on the bank of the Kama river. Festivals of traditional art, historical and ethnographical exhibitions take place there. Visit to the museum may be combined with boating or yachting in summer or with ski walk in winter.
90 km including 10 km of earth road (1,5 hrs by car). High sandy bank in the bend of the Kama river. Thanks to its specific microclimate the park has a network of the forest car roads, preserving good condition at any weather. Magnificent pine forest with the carpet of white moss, with a lot of berries and mushrooms, with numerous forest birds. Cycling, mushroom gathering.
Photos by Pavel Zhigalov