The Boat Ride

Our Routes
One-day trip
From Zapolítsy to Slobódka
8 miles, around 4-5 hours

Forget the bustle of the city, and slow right down. Lie back in the sun and drift off to the buzzing of dragonflies. Stop for a picnic on the riverbank. We can even organise a full-scale rustic lunch for you and your friends, if you wish!

Two-day trip
From Zapolítsy onward to Porétskoye
14 miles

For the slightly more adventurous. Takes things slow all the same, kick back and watch the day unfold away to port and starboard. As evening falls, stop and pitch your tent. You'll soon forget you ever lived anywhere else!

We'll meet you at the start with your boats, gear and instructions. Life jackets are provided. You'll be travelling downstream, so little effort is required (although we cannot rule out the occasional headwind). We'll likewise be waiting for you at the other end, where we can arrange a taxi for you to Vladimir or Suzdal (both are 30-40 mins away by car).

For groups of 8 or more, we like to organise a pukka village lunch beside the river, where you get to meet the locals. If one of your company is celebrating their birthday, their place in the boat is on us!
    What There is to See
    Old churches, authentic Russian villages, vast meadows, pine forests stretching down to the water's edge, black sand beaches, and - here and then - our own art installations.

    The land here echoes with history, from old bridges and water mills to ancient "kurgan" burial mounds unearthed in the 19th century by Count Aleksei Uvarov, one of the founding fathers of Russian prehistoric archaeology.
    Travelling with Children
    We have had more and more people coming on our trips with children of all ages. Allow us to put your mind to rest:

    The Nerl is a slow, shallow river. There are certainly no rapids, and the water is warm and clear.
    Our three-seater boats are ideally suited to families of two adults with child.
    We do provide life jackets to all, but experience suggest that smaller passengers are not going to be climbing out of anywhere unaided!
    The 2-3 hour stretch of river from Mordýsh to Porétskoye is perfect for groups with children, and offers many opportunities to leave the boat for a leisurely stroll away from the river. There are also many small beaches along the way that are ideal bases for a swim.
    Children can often appear to be perpetual motion machines. So take advantage of them! Kick back and let them do the work!
    No one is going hungry. Our complimetary hamper of locally-sourced food contains home-make cheese, fresh bread, farm eggs, healthy vegetables and pure spring water.

    We do not generally recommend the trip with children under 3, although you know your own children better than we do!
    Our Boats
    Our craft are a modification of the Soviet "Salyut" rigged out with a new "skin". They are stable in the water and designed to ease back strain when rowing. We also have canoes for those of you who are redskins at heart, as well as dugouts – traditional craft made from a whole tree-trunk.
    Off We Go!
    We can discuss the details of your trip by email. All you need do is get yourself to the River Nerl.

    Send any questions you have to, or message us on Facebook or Instagram.

    Or plan your trip below.
    Boat for 2-3 persons:
    One-day trip: ₽3000 per adult, ₽1000 per child.
    Two-day trip: ₽5000 per adult, ₽1500 per child.

    Bike hire:
    One-day trip: ₽1500 per person.
    Two-day trip: ₽2500 per person.

    Tent hire:
    ₽3000 for two days.

    ₽12,000. For groups of more that 10, we charge an extra ₽1000 per person.

    Choose Your Journey

    How to Get Here

    The train is the quickest and most comfortable way to reach us from Moscow.
    Moscow – Vladimir
    Take any Vladimir-bound train from the Kursk railway station. We recommend the Lastochka, Strizh or Sapsan express services, which offer a journey time of 1 hr 40 min.

    * One-way fares start at ₽500. We would advise you to reserve ahead of time, as tickets can sell out quickly.
    Vladimir - Reka Mira (village of Zapolítsy)
    We would recommend you take a taxi from the railway station in Vladimir to the start of your boat ride. Local taxi services can be contacted at +7 (492) 241-41-41, +7 (492) 260-06-00, +7 (492) 230-30-30 or via the Yandex Taxi mobile app. If your Russian is not up to the task, contact us and we'll arrange the ride for you.

    * The taxi ride should come to around ₽400-600.
    The drive from Moscow by car is 125 miles along the Gorki Highway. The journey time varies enormously with time of day and day of the week, but is unlikely to be less than 4 hours. We would advise you to avoid weekends at all costs, when the same journey can take more than 8 hours.

    What to Bring With You

    We would recommend that you bring:
    • comfortable clothing (bearing in mind the time of year)
    • footwear – flipflops or running shoes
    • sunglasses and sunscreen
    • insect repellent (if you are camping out)
    • headgear
    • swimwear
    • towel
    • wet weather gear (if rain is forecast)
    • drinking water
    We will provide:
    • hamper of food (cheese, bread, fresh veg)
    • life jackets
    • route map with history of the area
    • waterproof bag for your phone and other valuables
    Can I leave stuff somewhere?
    You are welcome to leave your belongings with us for safe-keeping. We'll return them to you safe and sound at the end of your trip.