The Association of the most beautiful villages of Russia unites rural communities, possessing outstanding historical, cultural and natural heritage to promote conservation and best utilization of this heritage, rural tourism development, the involvement of rural inhabitants in processes of self-development and increasing the attractiveness of rural areas. Members of the the Association have to be “live” (not museum) villages, hamlets, auls and other rural settlements with population less than 2 000 people, which have preserved, at least partially, the rural lifestyle and have expressed the desire to develop in accordance with the purposes and objectives of the Association, respecting its criteria.


Creation of positive examples of rural development through more comprehensive involvement of the existing recreation potential of the village.
Creation of prerequisites for development of rural areas through the strengthening of their popularity, increasing attendance by tourists and thus promote their sustainable development.
Stimulation of local initiatives and promotion of the emergence of new attractive jobs in rural areas, including for young people and women.


The founder and President of the Association is Professor at RGAU-MSHA named after K. A. Timiryazev, doctor of economics Merzlov Alexander Valerievich. Active assistance and support to the project are provided by the Association the most beautiful villages of France and the Embassy of France in Russia. Furthermore, we have developed a team consisting of experts and practitioners of rural development.



The village Andrichevo (Andrichevskaya) is located in the Velsk district of Arkhangelsk region on the road from highway M8 towards Kargopol and Nyandoma. The main attractions of Andrichevo are wooden church in the name of St. Nicholas, built in the 50s of the 19th century, Andrichevskaya bell tower of second half of the 19th century and pendant bridges across the river Puya.


Visit the Church of St. Michael the Archangel or the church of the Presentation of the Lord with “heaven”.


ATSAGAT is a village situated 50 km away from Ulan-Ude, capital of Buryatia. It is an old Buryat village, whose native residents are descendants of Guchit tribe. There are very few villages now in Buryatia where native language is mainly spoken. Atsagat village has about 100 homesteads. There is a secondary school and a boarding school where children from adjacent schools live and study from Monday to Saturday.


Ulus (village) Baragkhan in Kurumkansky district of the Republic of Buryatia is located 23 km south-west of the district center, the village of Kurumkan, on the regional road P438 “Barguzinsky tract”. The Upper Sarankhur Creek flows through the ulus, and the Lower Sarankhur Creek (right tributaries of the Barguzin) flow along the southern margin. 1 km east of the ulus is Saranhur Lake. It is remarkable the Local History Museum. G-D.E.

Bolshoy Kunaley

Solid, beautifully painted houses of local residents stand along straight, well maintained streets of the village. Each house is decorated with carved architraves, elements of décor, the house and the gate, the buildings are usually painted with colored inks that not only helps to keep the house for many years in good condition, but also pleasing to eye, creates a special holiday mood.


The village of Bukhalovo is located in Plesetsk district of Arkhangelsk region on the shores of south bay of lake Dolgoe. Easiest way to get here by water, by road it is difficult. On the hill in the village there is the Chapel in honor of St. Nicholas the Wondermaker of the late XVIII – early XIX century of kletsky type with the bell tower, where even survived the bell. The bell tower offers a wonderful view of the lake and surroundings.

Country Top Bereznik

If you want to see a beautiful natural landscape, an old village with North Russian izba or you would like to go fishing, picking mushrooms and berries this is the place.


The village is not far from Selenga River, nearby is Barsky Ridge overgrown with centuries-old forest, around are untouched valleys with pure springs. And everywhere are berries, mushrooms, birds and animals, and, most importantly, near the narrow valley is an unheard-of steppe for cattle pasture. What else a big village can need. Arable lands here are “nourishing”, fruitful.


Visit the Ferapontov-Belozersky Monastery, founded by St. Ferapont in 1398, or the Museum of Dionysius’s frescoes, a well-known ancient Russian icon painter, continuer of A. Rublev’s traditions. In 1502, the artist and his sons created them in 34 days in the form of an iconostasis and murals of the Nativity Cathedral. The time of creation of the frescoes is precisely established, thanks to the inscription preserved among them. The frescoes are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.


In the village they filmed Shukshin’s film “Kalina Krasnaya”. The bathhouse and the house where the famous film was filmed were preserved, the “Freeze Frame” exposition was opened. It completely recreates the atmosphere of the village house of the 70s of the last century. Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 1783


What to see: Chapel of John the Baptist, Chapel of St. Nicholas, from Gorbachikha begins the road to Porzhenskoye (6 km to the Bolshoye Lake and 6 km around the lake), which in the Khudiy lakes area connects with the Park-equipped path going from Vidyagino to Porzhenskoye. The ensemble of the Porzhensky Pogost, including the Church of St. George the Great Martyr (1782) and the wooden fence (1854–55) was restored and opened to the public in July 2016.


The Ulus (village) of Khargan in the Selenginsky district of the Republic of Buryatia is located 37 km north-east of the district center – the city of Gusinoozyorsk. Along the southern edge of the village lies the Ulan-Ude-Naushki railway line, on the other side of which Ubukun station is located. In half a kilometer south of the village passes the federal highway A340 Kyakhta tract. The distance to Ulan-Ude is 71 km.


What to see: Located in the Gulf Tambich-lakhta on the other side of the village. Krivtsovo. Several houses of the village stand on a hill from the shore.


The village is located on the eastern mountainous shore of the Long Lake. One of the highest places on Kenozero. Behind the village there is a gentle ascent to the summit, from where a beautiful view opens towards Vershinino and further to the lake. You could visit the Chapel of Pachomius Kensky (approximately 1800–1850), the House-verb with a balcony – it is possible that this is the oldest house on Kenozero (1818), or  the “sacred grove” behind the village.


What to see: “The beaten kingdom” – the village of Kielza – was first mentioned in the Russian census of 1623. Each house in Kieltz is decorated with carved balconies, patterned platbands, or figure skates on the roofs. Kielts is famous for its vows crosses: earlier, local residents installed them “by promise”.


The village of Kimzha, founded in the early XVI century by a peasant from Pinega, is located in the Mezen district of the Arkhangelsk region. The permanent population of the village is about 100 people, but during the holidays and summer, when vacationers and relatives come, population increases in several times. There are 71 historical buildings in Kimzha, 1 of which is the five-domed wooden hip-roof Odygitriya Church constructed in 1709 of federal significance.


The village of Kinerma is located in Pryazhinsky district of Republic of Karelia, in the western part of the ethnic area Karel-levikov in 6 km to South-West from the village of Vedlozero. The complex of houses and buildings of the village, built before the revolution, is a unique monument of wooden architecture.


In the village there is the Traveling Palace of Alexander I, in which the emperor (and after him all sorts of other authorities) stopped while passing from Novgorod to Staraya Russa. The palace was designed by the architect V. P. Stasov and is a two-story building with a stone first and wooden second floor. It is noticeable primarily by the presence on the facade of the loggia with four wooden Doric columns.


What to see: Located on the banks of the Kenozero in the Kenozersky National Park. The picturesque surroundings of the Russian north, chapel of Anastasia the Roman 1923, the movie “The White Nights of Postman Alexey Tryapitsyn” was shot in the village.


A beautiful village where you can visit the Museum of Pomeranian Life (818 39) 3-34-14 or 8 9214827132 (custodian Bushmanova Lyudmila Efimovna) or the Old Pomeranian village. In 2016, the village celebrated its 460th anniversary birthday. The village has preserved the old layout and traditional look of North Russian huts.


A beautiful village where you could walk through the streets and see the Church of the Epiphany from 1787, ensemble of the Lyadinsky Pogost (between 1761-1787) or the ethnographic.museum-workshop “Lyadi Patterns”


In the village there are several old huts, barns and baths. Before the fire in 1986, there was a hipped-roof St. Nicholas Church (1661). Types of Nizhmozer are reflected in the works of famous painters – A.E. Arkhipova and V.V. Christmas.

Oshevensky Pogost

The main landmark of Oshevensky Pogost is considered to be the Holy-Dormition Aleksandro-Oshevensky monastery, founded in 1453 by the Saint Alexander Oshevensky. The monastery is located at the entrance to the village, in Soviet times, he was devastated and abandoned, but now it is open again and under reconstruction.


Things to visit: Pezhemsky center of Russian traditional culture “Vyshusha”, Church of the Epiphany and MI memorial plaque Romanov (local historian of the Russian north, the author of the book “The History of a Northern Outback”)


The Piyal churchyard complex was formed in the middle of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The earliest construction of the churchyard is the cold tent Ascension Church, built in 1651. Later, in 1685, a warm, five-domed church with a cubic surface was erected next to it. Clement, and in 1700 a separate bell tower was erected. The large village of Piyala, out of seven villages that were part of one parish, stretched three orders of houses along the smooth, right bank of Onega.


The village of Posolsk (Posolskoye) in the Kabansky district of Buryatia is located 48 km west of the district center, the village of Kabansk, on the southeastern shore of Baikal, north of the mouth of the Bolshaya Rechka river, which flows into the northern bay of the Posolsk litter. To the east of the village stretches Kudarinsky steppe. In Posolsk is one of the main historical sights of Buryatia – Ambassadorial Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery.


A lively, picturesque village, houses are staggered “eyes to the sea”, a building that is more than 100 years old has survived. The Gorins House in Middle Posad with a clay oven and the neighboring “double” house, previously owned by Kryukov. The Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker – a monument of architecture built in 1618. Summer tent church – the most ancient temple on the shores of the White Sea. Church of the Nativity of Christ 1860 Holy Spring.


You can see the Chapel of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 1801. and painted skies. A wooden chapel of a cool type with a small belfry, on the west side there is an open gallery, a prayer room and a gallery under a common double slope roof. Entered the Kenozersky Parish. In Soviet times, closed, rebuilt, used as a warehouse. In 2003-2007, restored in previous forms.


The village was founded in the middle of the XVI century. with the original peninsular location, which has no analogues in the Russian North. In the village you can get acquainted not only with the interesting layout of the village, the old peasant huts, but also to visit the chapel of Flora and the Lavra of the XIX century, in the restored iconostasis of which the icons of the “northern letter” are preserved.


Sheltozero is the center of the Vepsian national culture, since 1936 the Vepsian Folk Choir has existed here, since 1967 the Sheltozero Vepps Ethnographic Museum has been operating. In the village there is a compound of the Annunciation of the Ion-Yashezersky male monastery, in which the monastic brethren live. The Transfiguration Church is active.


Located 30 km north of Vladimir, the ancient Russian city of Suzdal is included in the Golden Ring tourist route. This is a very popular tourist destination, which is visited by about 2 million tourists a year. There are about 40 churches and monasteries, built at the expense of wealthy peasants-borage. Every year in Suzdal many festivals and celebrations are held, which are visited by tens of thousands of guests.


The distinctive spiritual culture of Tarbagataysky district, Republic of Buryatia’s old ritualists was proclaimed by UNESCO in May, 2001 in Paris as a “Masterpiece of mankind’s oral and intangible heritage” and included in the first list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). To the south from Ulan-Ude, near Lake Baikal, the land of rare beauty is spread out.


Among other cities in the Vologda region, the city is known as “Tot’ma – the salt of the Russian Land”. The salt of the Land of Totems is Theodosius Sumorin, the founder of a large monastic cloister near the city. At the end of the 18th century, with the blessing of the Holy Synod, he was canonized. The relics of St. Theodosius of Totemsky can be worshiped today in the Ascension Church of the Savior-Sumorin Monastery.


Among other cities in the Vologda region, the city is known as “Tot’ma – the salt of the Russian Land”. The salt of the Land of Totems is Theodosius Sumorin, the founder of a large monastic cloister near the city. At the end of the 18th century, with the blessing of the Holy Synod, he was canonized. The relics of St. Theodosius of Totemsky can be worshiped today in the Ascension Church of the Savior-Sumorin Monastery.


The village of Posad (Turchasovo) is located in the Onega district of the Arkhangelsk region. Included in the Chekuevsky rural settlement, in 2010 the population was 109 people. On the opposite bank. Onega can be halt and admire the picturesque view of the temple complex of the village Turchasovo and the natural landscapes of the Russian north. From the ensemble of the Turchasovsky “city” remained the cubic Transfiguration Church of 1786 and the bell tower of 1793.


The village is located on the peninsula formed by the Kenozero lakes, Dolgoye and the strait between them. Paraskeva Friday Chapel 1800-1825. In the chapel, the ceiling is made in the form of an eight-sided “sky”, on which archangels, evangelists and the Crucifix are painted. Saints are depicted in pairs. Chapel of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary “Cross”. This is the smallest chapel in Russia.


What to see: House manufacturer Lokalova, Great Kremlin, Bogolyubsky temple, Museums: local history, ethnographic, museum of potato riot.


Verkola is one of the most attractive places of Pinezhye, in which the beauty of northern nature, protected corners of ancient architecture, as well as literary monuments, are wonderfully connected, as it is associated with the name of the remarkable Russian writer Fyodor Abramov. In this village he was born and raised, and later it became the prototype of Pekashin in the famous tetralogy “Brothers and Sisters.”


The Vershinino village is located in the Plesetsk District of the Arkhangelsk Region on the peninsula formed by the Kenozero Lakes, Dolgoye and the strait between them. The name of the village of Vershinino speaks for itself – stunning views of Kenozero from the high bank. In the XI-XVI centuries, the waterway of the Novgorod development of the North passed through Kenozero, and it is possible then that this area began to settle.

Village Old Ladoga

The village of Staraya Ladoga, located in the Volkhov district of the Leningrad region, is known as the ancient capital of Northern Russia. The oldest known buildings on the site of Staraya Ladoga, according to dendrochronology, were built from logs cut down to 753 years. In 2013, archaeologists found a ridge of the Merovingian era in Staraya Ladoga, presumably the 7th century AD. er Also on the territory of the village was found the site of an ancient Neolithic man dating from the third millennium BC.


The Volgoverkhovye village (Volgino Verkhovye) in the Ostashkovsky district of the Tver region is located 42 kilometers north-west of Ostashkov. The village is known for being located near the source of the Volga, is an attractive place for tourists. The main attraction of the village and the local natural monument is the source of the Volga.


There is the wooden Church of Zosima and Savvaty of Solovki built in 1850. Also, there is a unique monument – the wooden triple complex, the only remaining among located right on the seashore. It consists of St. Nicholas Church (1636), Vvedenskaya Church (1793) and belltower (XVIII century).


The old Vyatskoye merchant village is located in the Nekrasovsky District, one of the most ecologically clean and historically significant areas of the Yaroslavl Region, 30 kilometers from Yaroslavl along the Lyubimskaya road and 300 kilometers from Moscow. The most interesting history of these places, a favorable geographical location, the richest natural resources make this region a territory attractive for tourists. Amazingly beautiful nature of the Central Russian plain with a web of rivers and lakes (there are 38).


The old merchant village of Vyatskoe is situated in Nekrasovsky district – one of the most environmentally friendly and historically significant areas of Yaroslavl region, 30 kilometres away from Yaroslavl city by Lyubimskaya Road, and 300 kilometres away from Moscow. The fascinating history of these places, favourable geographical location, richest natural resources make this region an attractive land for tourists.


The Ulus (village) Yarikto (Yarikta) in the Barguzinsky District of the Republic of Buryatia is located at the foot of the Barguzinsky Range, 10 km from the center of the rural settlement, the Ulyun Ulus, on the Barguzinsky Highway. The not-made image of the goddess Yanjima on a large boulder 1 km from the village, discovered in 2005 by the llamas of the traditional Buddhist Sangha led by Pandito Khambo-Lama Damba Ayusheev.