Not a first timer in Rostov, done with the list of things to see and do, or looking for something extraordinary? Here are some new routes and entertainment opportunities for experienced travelers.
This is definitely a must-do in Rostov if you wish to admire the beauty of the Don beyond the city, swim, and sunbathe in picturesque places. You can take a public cruiser from the pier on Semashko-Beregovaya by the fountain or rent a private yacht with a professional guide from the hotels’ pier on the left river bank. The journey usually takes about 2 hours: outside the city, pass Zelyoniy Island, up to the Azov River and back.
Legend has it that this is a unique place which holds the great power of the ancient shamans of the Semikarakorsky district, not far from Shaminka village. Well accessible by car, Shaminskaya Mountain is only 30 meters high, but it looks quite impressive in the middle of the plain. The place offers a stunning view over the Sal River and endless Don steppe that span up 20 kilometers in any direction. A mysterious place, some believe it to be built by the Khazars in the 9th century AD as a special place for prayers and funeral of their leaders. Others think it’s an open-air temple of ancient shamans, so sensitive tourists are discouraged to stay overnight or fall asleep here to avoid any possible trouble with the spirits. For more rational visitors, it’s simply a spot offering great scenery and a chance for solitary meditation.
Sarkel Manor winery
Located in Sarkel village (29 Zapadniy Pereulok), about 3-hour drive from Rostov by car or by bus with a guided tour, Sarkel Winery is a family winery and cheese dairy. Here you can purchase 100% natural unfiltered original port wine, cider, champagne, and Italian grappa. The winery sells 4 European varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling and Chardonnay, and, of course, many local ones like Tsimlyanskoye, Kumshat, Plechistik, and Kazachka made without alcohol following an old Cossack recipe. Prices range from ≈$2.5 to ≈$13 per bottle. Tourists are also welcome to stay over in a guest house, try local farm products and taste more than a dozen cheeses, including ricotta, mozzarella, scamorza, and local classic kagan and khazar.
Tour to pottery plant in Semikarakorsk
A little more than a 2-hour drive by car or bus will take you to Semikarakorsk to see unique faience wares made by hand and try to make one yourself. A place for real folk craft, Aksiniya Semikarakovsk Pottery Plant (138/1 Prospect Atamansky) is more than 50 years old, with all equipment – grinding mills, vacuum presses, pumps, and molding machines, dating back to the Soviet times. The plant produces more than 20 thousand items a year, including cups, plates, teapots, dolls, knick knackatories, watches and lamps. After a guided tour, visitors can join a master class and make their own pottery. The whole tour takes about 2.5 hours and costs ≈$4 on weekdays and ≈$8 on weekends.
Utkino Country House
Located in Semikarakorsky district, not far from the village of Limansky, Utkino Country House is a place for luxurious, if not to say, aristocratic amusements, starting with the journey itself – either by own car (2-hour drive), or by a helicopter transfer from Rostov airport (20-minute round flight will cost around $4200). It’s a five-star country club on the bank of the Manych River, with wooden cottages of pine, impeccable lawns, boulevards, terraces, swimming pools, bath-houses, an equestrian club, a shooting and a hunting range. Here, one can enjoy pheasant and red deer hunting, fishing, crossbow shooting, knife and axe throwing, quad bike riding, yachting, snowmobiling and what not! The accommodation is top-class: traditional aristocratic country houses with vintage furniture, large mirrors antique guns and stuffed animals on the walls, with the most democratic option of ≈$300 per night. A picky guest can always stay at the club’s presidential suite with a large private area, personal pool and administrator for only ≈$4000.