The Nizhny Novgorod Region is situated in the central part of the Russian Federation. It was established in 1929. Its area is 76,900 sq. km, and its population — 3.340 million, of which almost 80% are living in towns and cities.
The administrative centre of the region is the city of Nizhny Novgorod, situated in the Moscow time zone, 400 km away from Moscow (in a straight line). The city is deemed the third-largest in Russia (after Moscow and Saint Petersburg).
The main river of the region is the Volga and its tributaries the Oka, the Vetluga, the Uzoda, the Sura. The region has a moderately continental climate, with the average temperature —120 in winter and +190 in summer. 53% of the region’s territory is occupied with mixed and broad-leaved forests.
The Nizhny Novgorod Region is deemed one of the most multi-confessional regions in Russia. Temples of almost any Christian confession may be found here; the Islam is common, and a synagogue is functioning in Nizhny Novgorod.
In the territory of the region, reserves and natural monuments are situated that are in some cases the monuments of culture and folk legends as well (Svetloyar Lake, where, according to the tradition, the Kitezh Grad (Town) submerged; the lake should be visited on the Day of St. John the Baptist), and such modern-type sights as the 128-metre-high openwork tower by the architect Shukhov, erected near the city of Dzerzhinsk, «a sister» of the Shukhov Tower in Moscow.
Picturesque tours by a motor vessel or a jet vessel on Volga are offered to tourists, with departure from the Nizhny Novgorod riverside station. Fir those who need to improve their health, health resort motor vessels are available. A popular route is that to Makaryev Monastery, founded in the 17th century, where the largest fairs in the Volga Area are held. On the way, you will pass by the Gorkiy Water Storage Reservoir, which seems to be as boundless as a sea; it is sometimes referred to as «the Gorkiy Sea». When traveling on Volga, you will have the opportunity to undergo unusual feelings at sluicing near the town of Gorodets. By the way, in Gorodets those taking interest in folk trades may enjoy the samples of famous wood-carving and wood-painting works. The lovers of Khokhloma painted wood articles are awaited in the villages of the Koverninskiy District, and also in the Nizhny Novgorod Art Museum and the town of Semenov.
The lovers of antics and Russian architecture will appreciate the opportunity of visiting the ensemble of Serafimo-Diveevskiy Monastery in the village of Diveevo and an old fortress on the Olenya (Deer) Mountain.
And, certainly, a true Mecca for those fond of the Russian literature and history is the village of Boldino, the Pushkin family estate, where Evgeny Onegin, Pikovaya Dama, Povesti Belkina and other works were finished. Autumn is, naturally, the best season for visiting Boldino. The road to Boldino runs via the town of Arzamas, where you can visit the history and arts museum or just have a walk over the centre of the town, with numerous building dated the 18th and the 19th century. The next stop in the route is the town of Lukoyanov, also keeping the memory of many Pushkin’s journeys. However, no old building remembering the great poet has survived in Lukoyanov. But the Boldino estate (the building and the garden) has survived almost in its original condition.
Nature lovers will be attracted with the Kerzhenskiy reserve, one of the UNESCO biosphere reserves. Its territory covers 47 thousand hectares; 144 bird species have been found there. The reserve has been established for the purpose of protection of the ecosystems of the taiga of the Trans-Volga Area, and also protection of swampy lands being the places of mass nesting of aquatic and semi-aquatic birds.
The Bolshaya Kokshaga is a reserve for flora lovers, where the forest life is preserved intact. Such rare plants as lady’s slipper, ghost orchid, and orchids grow there. Those plants belong to the Orchidaceous family and are known for their sensitivity to any slightest negative ecological factors. If you take interest in stones, take the route on the Pyana (Drunken) River, having got its name due to its highly winding bed resembling a sinusoidal track of a drunken person’s movement. You will see a marble cave near the village of Bornukovo, famous for its stone-carving art, and the Ichalkovskiy bar near the village of Ichalki. Visiting those places is only permissible if you are accompanied by a guide.
Extensive hunting and fishing lands are available in the territory of the region. Bears, elks, wolves, lynxes, foxes, hares, badgers, hazel grouses, black-cocks, wood grouses and ducks may be among the hunter’s trophies. Fishing is prohibited in the spawning season, from late April to early June. The Voznesenskiy District, where the Ilevskie ponds are located, is especially popular with fishers; fishing in 43 ponds is permitted all year round, without any restrictions.
Opportunities for extreme tourism are also available in the region; mountain ski centres are functioning in the Bogorodsk, the Lyskovo, and the Kstovo Districts and in Nizhny Novgorod.
For more detailed information on the Region, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.