Bolotov Dacha is a well-known relaxation spot in the Russian countryside, just 100 km south (1.5 hours) from Moscow, great for weekend getaway trips. Opened in 2017, it features custom-designed guest houses situated next to Skriga river, which you can rent for about €60 a night. The big house, the Bolotov Dacha itself, features a restaurant, an organic farm produce shop, a common kitchen, a coworking space (Tsiferblat), and a very nice chill out area where you can read books, browse the internet, or converse with other guests (many people come here from Moscow for a few days of work and chill). Bolotov Dacha also hosts occasional art residencies, so it's not uncommon to meet a group of people working on a new art or theater project there.
The place itself has really good vibes, pleasant aesthetics and the staff is helpful. The only thing is that it feels a bit like they're running business: unless you're a paying guest you're not really welcome, so if you're after something a bit more homey and warm, try Veterevo Art Residence
(2 hours North from Moscow) or Gorneshno Spa
What to Do at Bolotov Dacha
"Dacha" means a summer house in Russian and during the Soviet times many people who lived in the city had their own dachas, an hour or two away from Moscow. They spent their vacation there and grew their own vegetables, fruits and flowers. Bolotov Dacha seems to revive this concept, mixing in the old Russian tradition of an aristocratic estate. The idea is that you travel there to not only enjoy the nature, but also to experience a certain lifestyle, meet other people, do various activities. You can rent a boat and paddle around the river, get a bike and visit the neighboring villages, play piano or various board games, do barbecue, take your kids and pets with you — there's lots of space and special kids area as well.
You can visit Bolotov Dacha without booking your stay there and simply chill in the coworking space called Tsiferblat (where everything is free and you only pay for the time you spend in there). They charge €4 for an hour, €11 for 4 hours, and €14 for the whole day — free wi-fi, coffee, tea and snacks included. It's open from 10.00 to 22.00. You won't be able to eat at the restaurant though, as they are a bit stingy about the food. Normally it works on the basis of donation for Bolotov Dacha guests, but even if you offer money they will refuse to feed you — in the best traditions of Russian nobility that was well-known to be protective from random strangers who happened to pass by.
Not everything is lost though, as you can visit the farmer's shop Mark and Lev and get some local organic produce — like cottage cheese, milk, home-made bread and various pastes, patés and creams, as well as delicious Mors (berry-drink), Medovukha (honey alcohol) and Polugar (that's more hardcore than vodka). By the way, Mark i Lev also has a Kalachnaya cafe
in about a 20-minute drive from Bolotov Dacha towards Moscow (you can stop there on the way there or back) next to Lavka Lavka Farmer's Hub Market
. Alternatively, you can also visit an amazing Russian cuisine restaurant of Mark i Lev
in about a 40-minute drive.
The main house also features a very nice terrace and chill out area, where you can work and eat (if you're their guest, that is) together with your friends. It has a nice view on Skriga river and is a very peaceful and chilled spot.
There are many interesting places to visit around Bolotov Dacha.
For example, Prioksko-Terrasny Biosphere Reserve
(35 km away) where you can see various endangered species of plants, animals (bisons), and do trekking walks. Another place is Leo Tolstoy's estate Yasnaya Polyana
(90 km), where you can take a guided tour if you're interested in his life and work . Also, Tula
, the home to Tulsky Pryaniki (very nice Russian gingerbread-like dessert), the famous Tula weapons plant that made Kalashnikovs, and Tula Samovars. All three relics have dedicated museums, so you'll enjoy some good sightseeing in this town. You can also drive to Mark i Lev restaurant
for some fine Russian cuisine (40 mins) or take a trip to Arkhangelskoe settlement near Yasnogorsk in Tula region (40 mins drive) for beautiful views on the local river — where you can also do amazing wild camping
(check out the photos
, you'll understand why).
Guest Houses and Accommodation
If you're interested to stay at Bolotov Dacha, you can stay at the big house upstairs (see the photo above) or book one of their "Scandinavian" guesthouses. These cost from €60 per night for two to four people and there are many different options available. So it makes sense to travel as a big group as you'll save some good money and can still retain some privacy.
There are also bigger houses available (starting from €150 for 4 people), but these are located in the field and while they offer more privacy, they are not as quaint as the small ones next to the big house. It probably only makes sense to book them if you're a big group, a family, or if you want private access to the pond to swim.
You can also stay at their hostel, shared accommodation, and that will cost you about €13 per bed per night and it's very quaint and clean. If you're a couple ask for Skrizhabl 9 double hostel bed at the hostel's mezzanine — it's cute and you get a good deal this way. All accommodation is very comfortable and well-designed by their architect, so it has the feel of a boutique hotel. Food is included, 3 times a day, in exchange for a donation (you decide how much).
To book a room or a house
, do not write to Bolotov Dacha themselves — they never answer e-mail. You're better off doing it via Booking.Com
or similar site as they'll be more motivated to respond once you have made the deposit payment.
How to Get There
You can rent a car
(from €20 per day) and drive to Bolotov Dacha yourself.
It's 110 km (~ 1 hour) from Moscow ring road along M2 motorway towards Tula. After you enter Tula region, take the exit towards Dvoryaninovo village (the signs will direct you to Bolotovo estate, 10 km after you enter Tula region). Pass through Rusyatino village and continue towards Dvoryaninovo village until you reach the pond (10 minutes from the highway).
If you decide to travel by train, take the Moscow - Tula express from Kursky train station in Moscow to Tarusskaya station (1 hour 35 mins, many trains daily, €5 one way). From Tarusskaya take a taxi to Bolotov Dacha (Dvoryaninovo village) — another 20 minutes and about €10 one way. You can call one of the drivers that Bolotov Dacha recommends to book your trip before or take a taxi directly at the station: Vladimir +7-953-180-06-49;
or Victor +7-905-627-45-27.