This is just an example of one of the endless Russian gems that foreign tourist almost never get to experience. The main reason why is that this natural spa is a 2 hour drive from Ufa and a good 20 hour drive from Moscow, but if you are persistent enough to get to Krasnousolsky and then still a bit further up the road to the spa resort, you will be rewarded with a pristine nature and wonderful thermal waters.
To get an idea of how unknown to foreigners this resort and the whole area are, just take a look at the Wikipedia page in English for Krasnousolsky, and see how little information it gives. With Russian people and those who live in the Republic of Bashkortostan in particular, it is rather popular and in the last few years the quality (and quantity) of hotels and restaurants has greatly improved. During winter it really becomes a magical place, with the white monastery on the hill all but disappearing on the snow-covered ground and a series of bridges to walk over the warm thermal waters, which turn turquoise blue with the evening’s fading light.
The hot spring is not only popular for humans, but a number of animals also greatly benefit from it and enjoy access to liquid water all through the frigid winter and the warmth it provides. Some are, indeed, more prudent and only come out at night when they are sure not to meet any people, while others, like the large flock of ducks that calls this place home, are so accustomed to the human presence that they will come to you begging for a piece of bred (note: bread is actually not very good for ducks. It would be much better to feed them some seeds or pretty much any kind of vegetables).
Staying at this resort not only allows you to get all kinds of balneotherapy treatments, but it is also a perfect “base camp” for long walks in the woods at the feet of the Ural mountains, to enjoy the complete absence of any man or machine made sound. If you know what you are doing, from spring to autumn, these are also great spots where to find excellent mushrooms.
In the resort there is also a cave, always illuminated by candlelight, where a miracle is said to have occurred over 100 years ago, but that is a story I will tell in another post!
Would you like to discover the Russia that tourists never see, to experience the country and its culture like a native, but with the assistance of an English speaking guide always at your side? If so, do get in touch and we’ll be happy to organise an unforgettable and tailor-made travel experience for you!