Voronezh Region was established as an administrative division on June 13, 1934. It is included into the Central Federal District. The administrative center of the region is Voronezh. The region’s population is 2 268 026 residents.
Voronezh Region is located in Central European Russia. It shares borders with the Ukraine and Rostov lands in the south, Belgorod Region in the west, Kursk Region in the north-west, Lipetsk and Tambov Regions in the north and Volgograd Region in the north-east. The land’s area is 52.2 thousand km² that is about one third of the whole so-called Black Earth Belt of Russia.
The region’s climate is moderately continental; average annual temperature ranges from +5,0 °C in the north to +6,5 °C in the south. The master stream is the Don river: it flows 530 out of its 1870 kilometers along Voronezh territories forming the basin of 422 000 km² in area.
The region enjoys a remarkable recreational and touristic potential so far not used to the full. In addition to healthy pinewoods in the Voronezh river valley, these lands feature Divnogorje, a unique historic and cultural site fairly popular with local tourists. Divnogorje represents an inimitable Orthodox temple cut by Russian monks in the mass of a giant chalk mountain on the bank of the Tikhaya Sosna River (Liski district). Besides, a number of tourist hotels, sanatoriums and national parks are located here offering fantastic holidays both in summer and in winter.
Divnogorje is a state-protected upland. It is situated ten kilometers to the west from the town of Liski, on the right bank of the Don River. The museum was open in Divnogorje in 1988 and in 1991 it was granted a national park status. The park’s area is over 11 km². From geological perspective, Divnogorje represents surface chalk deposits. Composition of the upper layer is 15 — 20 % chalk and 80 m below the ground level it is pure chalk. The upper layer is exposed to aeration. As the slopes are rather abrupt, the upland was not heavily exposed to serious anthropogenous changes. Over 250 plants grow on the flatland. The place got its name after the chalk columns which since the ancient times have been a «divo» (wonder) to the locals. The first references about the region are the records of Ignatius Smolyanin who accompanied Metropolitan Pimen in 1389: «we flew over to the Tikhaya Sosna and saw white stone piles, wonderfully and light-looking over the Sosna River». The national park’s territory is a place of chalk cave churches cut in the 17th century (the Church of the Sicilian Icon of the Holy Mother of God, the Church of John the Baptist and Assumption Church forming the Holy Assumption Monastery), Mayatskoe site of ancient settlements of the 9 — 10th centuries (the remains of a medieval fortress and the necropolis) and the Mayatsky Potter’s Complex of the 9 — 10th centuries.
Touristic attractiveness of Voronezh Region is not even. It is reasonable to distinguish five tourist areas: Voronezh, Central, Pavlovsk, Stepnoe Podonie and Borisoglebsk zones. Voronezh, Central and Pavlovsk zones belong to the Don valley and the lower currents of its inflows. The first three tourist zones are rather available from the transportation point of view. Along the border of the three areas, there lies federal highway Moscow — Voronezh — Rostov. In parallel to it, on the right bank of the Don, from Voronezh via Ostrogozhsk and Rossosh there is newly constructed road leading to Lugansk (Ukraine). In six points, the highways are connected with each other by bridge crossings that are in particular by the settlements of Novozhivotinnoe, Verkhny Mamon and the towns of Semiluki, Voronezh, Liski and Pavlovsk. In the summertime, there is a pontoon crossing by Korotoyak village, Ostrogozhsk district.
Voronezh zone is the most developed tourist destination. It lies in the north-west of the region and occupies Khokholsky, Semiluksky, Ramonsky, Novousmansky and Kashirsky municipal districts. Attractive tourist facilities here are tied to the Don valley (bottomland lakes and flatland oak groves), the Usman River (Usmansky woods and Voronezh State Biospheric Reserve) and the Voronezh water basin.
Voronezh is the major tourist center of the region. It is not only the biggest city of the Central Black Earth Zone but also a major cultural, historic and industrial center. The city’s tourist resources concern material cultural, architectural and artistic sites. Voronezh is proud of the names of distinguished Russian writers, poets, scientists, artists and military commanders. Voronezh lies on the crossroads of all the regional tourist routes and the routes which start from neighboring Lipetsk, Tambov and Belgorod.
The central tourist area spreads over the towns Ostrogozhsk — Liski — Bobrov — Talovaya. The main tourist facilities in the area are the unique landscapes of the Don valley, religious cave constructions in Divnogorje and Kostomarovo, historic sites in Ostrogozhsk, Liski, Bobrov as well as a horse breeding plant in Khrenovoe, famous exemplary Khrenovskoy woods and Ikorets sanatorium.
Pavlovsk tourist area is inclined to the Don valley more than the others. Tourists arrive in Pavlovsk lands attracted by cave complexes by Belogorie and Semeika settlements, protruding Precambrian granites near Russkaya Builovka, Basovo and Ukrainskaya Builovka villages. The list of attractions also includes Shipova Oak Grove by the River Osered and Pavlovsk architectural sites.
Moderate warm climate, clean sand beaches of the Don and bottomland lakes (Takh-tarka) attract lovers of bathing and sunburn.
Stepnoe Podonie is the most southern tourist area in the region. The area is mostly attractive due to its beneficial climatic conditions no less inviting than the resorts of the Azov and Northern Caucasus. The zone comprises three municipal districts — Verkhnemamonsky, Kantemirovsky and Bogucharsky. Exciting and — what’s no less important — fortunate fishing adds to picturesque river beaches and chalk landscapes of the right bank of the Don. Fishermen’s summer camps are often seen around. The Don near Derezovka, Mamon, Monastyrschyna and Belaya Gorka settlements is rich in sabre fish, sterlet, bream, carp, asp and big catfish.
Tourists catch a rare opportunity to visit the remaining areas of virgin grasslands («steppe») with their marmot colonies (Khripunskaya steppe, Shlepchino and Volokonovka), Druzhba agricultural enterprise with is environment-friendly farming technologies and Belaya Gorka mineral water springs.
Borisoglebsk tourist zone is rather separated from the rest, yet there are two quality roads connecting the area with other tourist destinations. One of them turns from the Don federal highway eastwards to Borisoglebsk from Rogachevka village, Usmansky district and leads to Balashov and Saratov and the other one turning from Sredniy Ikorets heads to Bobrov, Novokhopersk, Povorino and then to Volgograd. Administratively, Borisoglebsk zone is divided into five municipal districts — Novokhopersky, Gribanovsky, Ternovsky, Borisoglebsky and Povorinsky.
The core of this tourist destination is the River Khopyor with its inflows — the Vorona and the Savala. River valleys are framed by unique woodlands — Tellerman Grove and Savalsky Forest. Both woods represent elite examples of forest planting established by famous Russian foresters of the past — М. Bogolubov, G. Kornakovsky, А. Yakubyuk, Е. Stretovich and present-day specialists М. Veresin, М. Nenashev and others. Close to Novokhopersk town is the Khopersky State Natural Reserve.
The history of the two local centers — Novokhopersk and Borisoglebsk founded in the mid-17th century also attracts lovers of antique times.
Tourism development in Voronezh Region is one of the most prospective areas for the activities of administrative authorities and the private sector.
For more detailed information on the Region, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.