Samara Oblast (Russian: Сама́рская о́бласть suh-MAHR-skuh-yuh OH-bluhst’) is a region in the Middle Volga, bordering Ulyanovsk Oblast to the west, Tatarstan to the north, Orenburg Oblast to the east, and Saratov Oblast to the south.
- Samara — the industrial capital with over one million residents; was a closed city under the USSR for its role as a center of the Russian aerospace industry
- Novokuybyshevsk — big oil city
- Syzran — the region's third largest city, founded as a 17th century fortress
- Tolyatti — very large city named after the Italian communist, and a major automobile producer; most of the city was destroyed in a 1950s flood, but new cultural monuments have since been built, including the massive 2003 Cathedral of the Transfiguration
Syzran's city center before the Volga
- Samara River Bend National Park (Samarskaya Luka)
- Zhigulevsky Nature Reserve
Samara Oblast is a heavily industrialized region along the Volga and Samara rivers. The region rose to prominence during WWII when its distance from the war front and abundant petroleum deposits made it an attractive area for a new industrial center. The region has little tourist infrastructure, but that in itself can make for interesting travel. The capital, Samara, is of particular interest since it is one of Russia's largest cities, formerly closed to all foreign visitors, and has lots to see and do.
See Russian phrasebook.
There is a daily overnight train from Moscow, which leaves around 14:00 and arrives around 08:00 in Samara. Samara is also a major stop on the South Ural route of the Trans-Siberian Railway.
The next major stops on the South Ural route of the Trans-Siberian Railway to the west and east are Penza and Ufa respectively.