How to spend your time
We offer a wide variety of entertainment – there’s something for everyone.
Are you longing for the coziness and quiet of country living? Then you will be delighted by the following: a samovar on the veranda, wood-fired grills, a Russian banya, badminton, volleyball, a kid’s playground, culinary master classes, board games, swimming in a forest lake, a marked and equipped eco-trail. During winter, there is a children’s toboggan slide, and skates and cross-country skis are available for rent.
Are you a history buff or an architecture addict? We organize excursions to the ancient towns of Galich and Soligalich and to hard-to-reach, but wonderful, monuments, including the terem in Pogorelovo and the Neronovo estate.
Are you an adventure lover? We offer fishing, canoe trips, hiking tours, walks, and expeditions on ATVs and snowmobiles. Regardless of whether you are coming for a day or for a week, we will select an interesting program according to your tastes.
And don’t forget to keep an eye on our holidays and festivals, cultural events, sports competitions, and special offers.
In the forest
Astashovo would not be half as beautiful if it wasn’t for the forest surrounding it. Enjoy the forest:
- by foot
- on cross-country skis (rental available)
- picking wild mushrooms and berries
- as a pathfinder with our guide (don’t miss tooth marks from moose, hares, and beavers; imprints of black grouse wings on the snow; impressions made from wild boars having laid on the grass; and the soft paw prints of lynxes)
- as a connoisseur of modern art (go through all the architectural objects created as part of the reWOODlution festival)
- as a historian (see the ancient Pokrovskiy Avraamiyevo-Gorodetskiy Monastery and also forgotten roads and villages)
- as a vacationer on a forest lake (sunbathe, take a boat ride, go on a picnic, and go for a swim)
Into the forest with a guide
The area around the Terem is inhabited by wood grouses, black grouses, various owls, birds of prey, and waterfowl. Here you can meet hares, foxes, beavers, wild boars, and moose. You may spot traces of martens, badgers, lynxes, bears, and, less often, wolves. In summer, you can see a pair of cranes circling over the meadow. Our forest trail is a great place for nature observation in any season and weather. The excursions are led by our pathfinder, who is also a naturalist and geologist.
For advanced participants, we offer nature observation from: the feeding stations, the hunting blinds, or the shelters made out of tree branches at the birds’ mating place.
HIKE WITH A GUIDE FOR A GROUP OF UP TO 6 PEOPLE
TEA BY THE FIRE
This classic cross-country ski trail includes 15, 8, and 5 km loops. The ski trail goes through forests and fields and has both uphill and downhill sections. Along the way, you will see a church at the site of an ancient monastery, a forest lake, and architectural objects created as part of the reWOODlution festival.
If you are dreaming about a longer ski trip, we will advise you on routes taking into consideration the current state of the surrounding trails and forest roads.
The ski season usually runs from mid-December to the beginning of April.
FOR RENTAL OF SKI EQUIPMENT (SKIS, BOOTS, POLES)
Snowmobile sleigh ride
A ride on sleighs behind a snowmobile is cheerful and carefree. Dress warmly and let’s go! We go on daytime and evening rides.
Duration – at least 30 minutes. Up to 6 adults can sit on a sleigh.
FOR ALL PASSENGERS, 30 MINUTES
There is a small banya at the very edge of the forest on the shore of a rustic pond. Here, everything has been done in the old-fashioned way: the log hut stands on birch bark and is caulked by moss while the heater is stoked by birch firewood to produce the best light steam.
Banya veniks (bath brooms): Krasnodar oak, Canadian oak, birch, linden, maple, and fir
Aromatherapy treatments: infusions of fir venik, sweet clover, wormwood, thyme, rosemary, common mint, mountain mint, and eucalyptus
During breaks: herbal tea and honey
The banya is intended for a small group of 2 to 6 people and it will only be heated for you and your group. Therefore, we recommend that you reserve it and the plunge pool in advance.
There is a cedar plunge pool with a wood-burning stove near the banya. It can be made warm or cold, according to your preference. You can soak for a long time in the heated plunge pool while gazing at the stars, the Terem, and the surrounding forest. Alternatively, you can take a dip in the ice-cold plunge pool after you’ve been in the steamy banya.
COOL PLUNGE POOL
HOT PLUNGE POOL
The specially made skating rink next to the Terem is good both during the day and in the evening.
Moreover, when the weather permits, we clean and fill a site for ‘natural’ ice skating on a forest lake 2 km from Astashovo.
Songs and dances are accompanied by a lively and charming local musician. Here you will experience the warm atmosphere of village gatherings.
Performances may take place outside in front of the Terem or inside.
Lyrical songs accompanied by piano or guitar
The sound of the antique piano combined with the Terem’s interiors create an incomparable atmosphere. Tatyana Selivanova, who performs at concerts here, sings and accompanies herself on the guitar and piano.
Culinary master classes
Cook for the cook
Depending on the season, we either cook in a Russian oven, or we make seasonal provisions or jams, or we bake gingerbreads on carved wooden moulding boards from the 19th century. All this is under the guidance of our Astashovo chef.
The cooked food is eaten on the spot or given to the participants as a present from the Terem.
FOR A GROUP OF UP TO 4 PEOPLE
We’ll teach you how to correctly stoke a Russian stove and talk about its special features.
FOR A GROUP OF UP TO 4 PEOPLE
We have prepared two outdoor quests: one near the Terem, the other in the depths of the forest. They are based on the history of these places and the people who lived here. Participants will need to be attentive and resourceful, and, most importantly, they must be careful with the mermaids! The quests are 2-3 hours long and are recommended for groups of 3 to 8 people.
Children’s Skomorokh Quest
The children’s skomorokh quest, named after the skomorokhs (medieval Slavic wandering minstrel-clowns) is meant for children of all ages when they are accompanied by an adult. Children over 8 years old can do the quest without adults. At the end of the quest, participants will receive a well-deserved reward and take part in an unforgettable performance in front of their parents.
The entire quest takes place close to the Terem.
Adult Chronotope Quest
This time-travelling quest will be a journey from the 10th to the 21st century with stops along the way.
It will be an adventure for both teenagers and adults. To participate, children must be at least 8 years old and must be accompanied by older team members. Comfortable clothing is recommended (long sleeves, pants, and rubber boots that can be rented from us).
FOR A GROUP OF UP TO 8 PEOPLE
The forest river Viga is attractive with its water lilies, pine forests on steep banks, deep pools, sandy beaches, and the remains of watermills. If you go for the whole day, you will have time for a picnic by the fire, swimming, fishing or catching crayfish. It’s possible to combine a canoe trip with an excursion to the terem in Pogorelovo – you will reach it by river.
Participants paddle along with a guide in 2 or 3 person canoes. Rowing skills are not required. The price includes transfers to the starting point and back to the Terem.
If you are planning a multi-day canoe trip, we will help you organize and plan it. Each river near us has its own charm: white water nymphs on the Vocha, taiga wilderness in the upper reaches of the Kostroma, and fast rapids on the Ida. You can ask us about these routes as well.
RENT A CANOE FOR THE WHOLE DAY
SHORT 2-HOUR TRIP
The Chukhloma area has impenetrable forests, flowering meadows, and, in some places, primordial mud.
During the trip, guests are accompanied by a guide on a separate ATV. The route will be determined according to the weather conditions, preferences, and skills of the participants. Participants are equipped with helmets and instructions are given before the trip.
The ATVs have two seats and it’s possible for the driver and passenger to change seats. But only adults with a driver’s licence are allowed to drive.
The season usually lasts from May to December, but you can always ask us about the conditions on the routes.
FOR 1 HOUR OF ONE ATV RENTAL
You are completely surrounded by forests and snow as you cut through virgin lands or manoeuvre along forest roads. In these parts, this is the only way to arrive at many hard-to-reach natural and man-made landmarks.
The trip may last from a couple of hours to several days, since routes of various difficulty may be found here. You will be accompanied by a guide on a separate snowmobile. The route is discussed beforehand depending on the weather conditions, depth and condition of the snow cover, and your skills.
Participants are outfitted with a snow suit, helmets, and gloves. Instructions are given before the trip.
The snowmobiles have two seats and it’s possible for the driver and passenger to change seats. However, only adults with a driver’s licence are allowed to drive.
The season usually lasts from mid-December to the end of May, but you can always ask us about the conditions on the routes.
FOR 1 HOUR OF ONE SNOWMOBILE RENTAL
Examples of routes
To Bushnevo by snowmobile
Thickets, taiga, hinterlands, wastelands, woodlands – the depopulated areas of Kostroma region are known by many names. Located south of the Terem is the former Bushnevsky district, where there are no remaining residents for many miles around. It’s nearly impossible to get here, although Bushnevo was formerly a large trading village. It has two impressive churches and dozens of abandoned huts.
To Gorelets by snowmobile or ATV
Here, you will find rare rural churches that were not demolished during the Soviet period. Gorelets church was lucky to be protected by two local residents in the 1950s. Having defended the church, they saved the village as well. After all, when everything around died off, life in Gorelets continued thanks to several Russian Orthodox families who moved here from Moscow. The Terem’s closest neighbours to the east are here, and they are always glad to receive guests.
By canoe: Goltsovo – Pogorelovo – Sluda
Swimming at the river bend, a sandy beach, and a forest on high banks await you. We will moor mid-route to visit the remarkable terem in Pogorelovo. The expedition will end on a high bank in the most beautiful village in the vicinity – Sluda – where all the houses and barns were built prior to the revolution. From there, we will admire the sunset and drink tea with honey at beekeeper Vera’s place.
Excursions and expeditions
Expedition to the terem at Pogorelovo
Located in the forest, 20 km from Astashovo, is another terem built by a seasonal peasant worker at the beginning of the 20th century. In terms of its historical and artistic value, it is truly the crown jewel of our area. Here, the terem’s untouched early 20th century interiors with exquisite paintings on plaster, carved decor, and stained glass windows have been preserved.
It’s not easy to get to Pogorelovo, but it’s worth it. As a rule, you must leave your car and walk the remaining 2.5-4 km on foot along the forest road and scenic meadows. Our guide will show you the way, and, with the owner’s permission, will give you a tour of the terem.
There are expeditions to Pogorelovo all year round but they don’t take place every day. The excursions are usually on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and may take place on other days upon agreement.
If you need a transfer, you can order it separately. We set off for the excursion from Astashovo after breakfast, at around 9:30 a.m. Excursions are conducted when there are at least 4 guests participating.
You can also make your way to Pogorelovo by snowmobile/ATV (must be booked separately).
VISIT TO POGORELOVO
TRANSFER BY VEHICLE
To the Neronovo estate by tractor
In the past, Neronovo was the richest estate in Kostroma province; it was the nest of the Cherevins, a noble family who became relatives of the Lermontovs. We will use a tried and true village method to get there – by tractor.
At Neronovo, the former estate of the Cherevins, the manor house’s classical style has been preserved, and it even has a ballroom with choirs for musicians. Surrounding it are the remains of the estate’s other buildings and a park, which is considered by historians to be one of the most impressive in the Kostroma region. But it is the monumental five-domed Church of the Resurrection, with its grandiose five-tier carved iconostasis with icons surviving from those times, that is most valuable and interesting for visitors. It is rare to see such a floor as in the church at Neronovo; it has been tiled with massive cast-iron slabs (family burials are under some of the slabs).
Nowadays, the Neronovo estate is privately owned. The owner is engaged in its restoration as much as the current state of neglect, remoteness, and lack of roads permit.
On the way back, you can visit Soligalich, where there are portraits of the Cherevins by the local naïve painter Ostrovsky that have been taken from Neronovo (the excursion to Soligalich may be ordered separately).
It’s about 60 km from Astashovo to Neronovo, and for the last 8 km of the journey you will ride on a cart pulled by a tractor while sitting on fresh hay. It’s fun and out of the ordinary! The tractor starts from the village of Fyodorovskoye, which you can get to by ordering a transfer from Astashovo. Tractor tours to Neronovo are conducted when there are at least 5 guests participating.
EXPEDITION TO NERONOVO
Excursion to Galich
Galich is distinguished by its huge lake and hilly terrain. Lake Galichskoye and the fish in it gave rise to a separate Rybnaya Sloboda (fishing settlement) no later than the 16th century. The settlement developed its own technologies (know-how) for use of the lake’s rich natural resources. First of all, these technologies involved the preparation of small lake fish – European smelt – in special ovens in such a way that the fish retained its flavour properties over the course of many months. Another technology used was feeding livestock with aquatic plants – equisetum (horsetail) and treated plant fibres (reeds). Local know-how also extended to the cultivation of cucumbers in plots arranged on top of wooden planks on the lake. The settlement’s spacious huts and periodically flooded vegetable gardens along the lake still exist to this day and you will visit them during the excursion.
The town centre was trade-based, with a small scattering of government buildings, and, needless to say, trading rows on the square. Now, they continue to be used for their intended purpose. A 14th century monastery and the ramparts of a fortress on Baltschug Hill remain from the Middle Ages, when Galich was not just a district town, but rather the capital of an appanage principality. It was in this fortress that Prince Shemyaka stood his ground against the siege of the Muscovite troops.
The excursion to Galich includes: visiting the town’s historical places (trading rows, fortress ramparts, mansions, churches, the early 20th century vodka factory, the 120-year old hut in Rybnaya Sloboda, Paisievo-Galichsky Convent, and Baltschug Hill over the lake) and a visit to the museum, located in the former mansion of the mayor. The excursion ends on a high note: a concert featuring a performance on a rare physharmonica and a tea party with local history buffs and keepers of the town’s traditions.
Excursions are conducted when there are at least 4 guests participating. Additionally, we can arrange a transfer. It’s convenient to visit Galich on the way to or from the Terem.
EXCURSION TO GALICH
Excursion to Soligalich
If Soligalich had been located closer to Moscow, it would have become a museum town. But it’s in the middle of nowhere, and here, everything worth being in a museum is real.
They will unlock the padlock and show you through the cathedral, which took over two hundred years to build, and show you how to climb up to the bell tower.
Walking along the embankment, you will see the saltworks, which became a hydropathic establishment in the 19th century due to the efforts of the chemist and composer Borodin.
See the famous portrait gallery from the Neronovo estate in the museum.
Visit the working felt workshop, where the famous Soligalich felt boots are made. Although the machines here have been in operation for close to one hundred years, most of the work is still done by hand. They will explain and show you the whole process and invite you to make a couple of ‘whisperers’.
During the summer, you can make a day trip by combining the excursion to Soligalich with a visit to the Neronovo estate (booked separately) or Vysoko, a churchyard with two churches and a bell tower. As you can tell by the name (Vysoko means “high” in Russian), this is the highest hill in the surrounding area. There is a stunning view from the bell tower – you can see many kilometres into the distance.
Excursions are conducted when there are at least 4 guests participating. Additionally, we can arrange a transfer.
EXCURSION TO SOLIGALICH
EXCURSION TO VYSOKO
The Suday side: Ploskovo, Bubalino, and Valuyevo
A wooden chapel with cherubs in the heavens – an unpretentious village museum – a peculiar triangular church – what connects these three places? Located along the road to Suday, a rich old village, they are all unusual, and therefore gave rise to legends. It’s a 2 km walk along a forest trail to get to the chapel in Ploskovo, which rumours have linked to a merchant who hid his wife from other people. In Bubalino, a sea captain opened a museum in his ancestral hut; here, spinning wheels and bast shoes keep company with anchors and a hyena skin. Locals have attributed the church in Valuyevo to masons due to its triangular shape.
You can order a transfer separately. Excursions are conducted when there are at least 4 guests participating.
EXCURSION TO SUDAY AND VICINITY