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Geography of the Urals: Middle Ural

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The Middle Ural

The Middle Ural combines peculiarities of both the North and the South Urals. The heart of the Middle Ural is the city Ekaterinburg, the capital of Ural region.

Ekaterinburg is situated in the very centre of the vast Eurasian continent, in that part of the Ural Mountains, which is considered to be a natural boundary between Europe and Asia.

This city has an official status of the Ural capital. Ekaterinburg is situated on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains, which are not very high in this area (no higher than 400 meters above the sea).

The city is surrounded by the hills covered with coniferous and deciduous wood. Lowlands are covered with bogs and lakes. Forests around the city are rich with mushrooms, berries and herbs.

Geographical surroundings of Ekaterinburg are presented with beautiful forests, mountains, lakes and rivers. Some of them are unique places of interests.

The Iset River. Gorodskoy pond (City Pond)
The Iset River flows from north-west to south-east through the city and connects 3 main city ponds: Verh-Isetskiy, Gorodskoy and Nigneisetskiy. Gorodskoy pond makes up 3 km lengthwise, it is 0.4 km in breadth and 3.2 meters deep.

The central recreation park
The central recreation park named after Mayakovskiy is the largest tract of forest on the territory of the city, in its southern part. The park is situated on the low hills covered with pine trees; the eastern slope of the hills goes down to a picturesque pond.

Verh-Isetskiy pond (Upper Iset pond)
Verh-Isetskiy pond is not a natural pond. It was built in 1725 as a reserve for lower damp of Ekaterinburg ironworks. Its length is 12 km, width varies from 2 to 2.5 km. The total square makes up 16 square km, depth varies from 2.5 to 4.5 meters. There is perch, bream, pike and other sorts of fish in its waters. This pond supplies the city with the fresh water.

Lake Shartash. Kamennie Palatki ( Big Stones)
Lake Shartash is one of the main citys natural ponds. It is located on the north-eastern outskirts of the city. There are several translations of the lakes name Shartash. Some sources say that it is translated as a yellow stone others give another variant a round stone. This lake is comparatively small, its square is about 715 hectares, length is 4 km and width is 2.5 km. Its perimeter is 12 km and depth varies from 2.5-3 m to 4.5 m. The lake has an oval, stretched form, without any islands. Its waters are gull of perch, crucian, tench, gudgeon and also acclimatized carp. Musk-rat inhabits the banks of the lake.
One can see granite rocks in 1 kilometer from the lake. They have unusual form, big pieces of stones laying one above another. These stones are not very high, about 12 meters. They got this strange form due to wind, water and temperature. These rocks are known under the name of Kamennie Palatki (Big Stones). They considered to be the natural monument of a regional importance.

Lake Shuvakish
This lake gives the rise to the Pyshma River. The territory of the lake is 2 2.5km. This lake used to be a large one but it became smaller with the time. Gradually it began to swamp and turned into a big quaking bog. Its rushy, especially, in the northern part, where the lakesides closed up, and there are only small places with fresh water left. This lake is famous for its therapeutic muds.
The Iset River, flowing in the centre of the city, forms a big pond. It is called Nigneisetsky pond (Lower Iset Pond). Its square is about 4 square km. The pond has a stretched form, with a number of small islands in the middle. Its length is 5 km, width is 1.2 km and depth varies from 2 to 2.5 meters. The right slope is steep and high (Uktus mountains), while the left slope is low.

Lake Baltim
Lake Baltim has an oval form stretched along the meridian. Its length is 4 km, width is 2.5 km and depth is 4-6.5 m. It's surrounded with mixed forest from every quarter. There is perch, pike, bream, crucian in the lake's waters. From the south, a small river Baltimka flows. This river is the inflow of the Pyshma River. Its valley and the whole south bank are water-logged. Birchwood and shrubs, instead of pine wood, prevail. The north-western lakeside, near the Zmeinaya Gorka (Snake Mountain) is also water-logged.

Lake Tavatuy
Lake Tavatuy is famous for its clear water and picturesque lakesides. In the east, the lakesides are joined with wooded mountains (mountains Stozhok, Visokyaya, Bolshoy Kamen). There are creeks and coves on the western side of the lake. The lake is 3 km in width; it is rather deep in comparison with other Ural lakes, about 6-9 m. Tavatuy Lake is the deepest lake close by Ekaterinburg. Its length, together with Verh-Neyvinsky pond, makes up 36 km. There are a few small islands (Makarenok, Spliven, Golubev). Its waters are rich with different kinds of fish: pike, perch, bream, crucian, burbot.

Lake Itkul
The most picturesque lake of the Middle Ural is Lake Itkul. This lake is circled with wooded mountains. The eastern slope is high and the western one is low. The word Itkul means a good lake for fishing. And thats true, because lakes waters are full of fish even nowadays. The lakesides are formed with different rocks: beautiful colored granite, pink pomegranate sand, shinning mica peach stone, snow-white quartz. The lake is oval in form, its length is 9 km.

Glubochensky pond (Deepwater Pond). Mountain Berezovaya. (Silver birch Mountain)
Glubochensky pond (Deepwater Pond) is situated in 8 km eastward from Verhniy (Upper) Polevskoy. It is situated at a height of 412 meters above the sea level. It is 2 km in lengthwise and 700-800 meters in width. The rivers Kopanka, Kamenka (Stonny) and Glubokaya (Deep) fall into Glubochensky pond (Deepwater Pond). It is connected with Upper pond by the canal ( the Svetlaya (Light) river). The Ufaleusky Mountain Range lies close by the pond. Mountain Berezovaya (Silver birch Mountain) (609.9) is in 9 km to the north-west direction.
Mountain Berezovaya (Silver birch Mountain) is the highest peak of the Ufaleyskiy mountain range, which stretches 100 km along the meridian from the town Verchniy (Upper) Ufaley to mountain Volchiha (Wolf Mountain). This mountain range is a natural watershed and it is situated exactly on the border between Europe and Asia.
The peak of the mountain is covered with mixed forest, there is the cutting in its centre, besides the peak is toped with a wooden tower.

Another famous mountain Azov (588 m) is located in 9 km northward; it stands aside from the Ufaley mountain range.

Gorny Chit (Mountain Shield). Fish Hatchery
There is a big fish hatchery to the north-west of the village named Gorny Chit (Mountain Shield). It lies in 2 km from the village and in 50 km from Ekaterinburg. This fish hatchery is situated on the Shilovka River, valuable kinds of fish are bred here. The ponds territory is about 26 hectares. It is divided into 6 parts with high dumps, covered with grass.

Red Stone Mountain (Krasniy Kamen Mountain)
Red Stone is one of the rocky peaks of the Ufaley range. Its height is 607 meters, that makes it only 2 meters lower than the main ranges peak mountain Berezovaya (Silver birch Mountain)

Mountain and Lake Arakul
95 km southwards from Ekaterinburg, on the eastern slope of the Ural mountain range between 2 massive mountain-ridges is hided mountain lake Arakul. Mountain Dikiy Kamen (Wild Stone) stands on the West. This mountain is very high, about 575m it stretches 100 kilometers overhanging above the lake.

Mountain Hrustalnaya (Crystal Mountain)
Mountain Hrustalnaya (386m) consists of white vitreous quartz. The mountains massif is stretched from the North to the South for several kilometers. There is a big lake Karasje (Crucian Lake) from eastern and southern side of the mountain. Northwards Mountain Svetlaya (Light) (355m) can be seen.

The Severka River (The North River). Sokoliny Kamen Mountain
The Severka River is a rapid stream, its width is 3-4 meters, and its banks are overgrown with shrubs.
Sokoliny Kamen Mountain (Falcon Stone Mountain) presents a granite pyramid, made of heaped up huge boulders. Pyramid's total height is about 20-30 meters. North-eastwards mountain Pshenichnaya (Wheat Mountain) raises, lake Peschannoe (Sand Lake) lies near the mountain foot. The nameless ridge stands on the way to the mountain Pshenichnaya (Wheat Mountain), this ridge (365m) is toped with a wooden tower.

Lake Peschannoe (Sand Lake).
Pshenichnaya Mountain (Wheat Mountain)
Lake Peschannoe (Sand Lake) is about 1 kilometer lengthwise. Its form resembles the square, thats why its possible to observe the whole lake from any angle. Westward, where peak Ostraya (Sharp Peak) stands, the lakeside is waterlogged. The lakesides and the bottom are full of quartz sand, thats why the lake got this name. Its depth varies from 1 to 3.5 (near the western side) meters. The water is crystal clear and there is fish in the lake (perch, pike and other). The lake lies at a height of 310 meters above sea level; it is 62 meters higher than Verh-Isetsky pond (Upper Iset pond). The lake is surrounded with wooded mountains. The highest mountain among them is mountain Pshenichnaya (Wheat Mountain), (425.3 m) which rises into the sky from the northern side.

The border between Europe and Asia
The Ural mountain range runs from the North to the South for more than 2000 km. This watershed is considered to be a conventional boundary between two parts of the world Europe and Asia. Several symbolic border obelisks stand along the boundary. They present high stone columns, wooden towers and new monuments made of concrete. Two of them are erected not far from Ekaterinburg. One monument was built in 1873 on the 40th km along the Moscow high road. The second monument is a new one. It stands to the east from the station Vershina (Peak). Ural is famous for its picturesque views. Deep lakes with clear water, swift rivers, imposing mountains with sharp peaks rising to the sky, birch and pine woods are worth seeing. You may climb mountains, have a rest at the lakeside or just wander the lanes of the birch grove. Everyone who opens beauty of the Ural nature will not forget it.

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Middle Ural
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