Ichalkovsky forest is a unique natural landmark of botanic and geological interest. The forestland with exposed limestone cliffs and solutional caves looks like it has been transferred to the middle of Russian plains from a mountain country.
The territory of the forest is trenched with gigantic karst gullies and large sinkholes, icy, cold and warm caves, dark and light grottos of surprisingly regular shapes. The sinkholes are often located so closely to each other that they are separated only by thin bridges that are 1-2 meters (3-6 feet) wide, which form a complex network. Some sections of the network have their own names: Prisoners’ Passage, Swans’ Passage, Devil’s Bridge. There are legends and stories associated with some of the caves and sinkholes.
Day 1. 9:00 Departure from the Team Gorky office. Bus transfer to Sheloksha village. Beginning of the biking part of the trip (45-50 km or 28-30 miles). Overnight stay in tents.
Day 2. After breakfast – continuation of the bike trip to Ichalki (65-70 km or 40-43 miles). Tent camp set up on the bank of the river Pyana near Ichalkovsky forest. Walking tour through the caves of Ichalkovsky forest.
Day 3. After breakfast – cycling from Ichakli towards the village of Vad (45-50 km or 28-30 miles). After lunch — bus transfer to Nizhny Novgorod (approximately 18 hours).
Throughout the entire trip the group is accompanied by a bus carrying equipment, food, and personal belongings of the participants. There is an opportunity to rest in the bus during some parts of the trip.
Price: 12 500 rubles per person (for a group of minimum 8 people).
30% discount for children under 12 years old (8300 rubles).
The price includes:
— transfer from the Team Gorky office to the starting point of the biking trip and back;
— support bus accompanying you during the entire tour;
— meals during the tour;
— equipment (bikes, biking helmets, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, large tarp tents in case of rainy weather, dishware);
— Team Gorky guides accompanying you during the trip;
The price does not include: alcoholic drinks.
Packing list recommendations: clothing and footwear for the weather.
Shorts, t-shirt, sneakers, fitted hat, sunglasses, sunblock – for sunny weather and tracksuit, sweatshirt, wind jacket, tourist boots, woolen hat, warm socks, rain poncho or raincoat – for cold/rainy weather.
Also do not forget to pack: personal hygiene items, towel, flashlight, insect repellent, personal medical kit if needed (Team Gorky provides a first aid kit).