Yew-Box Grove in Khost : photos, how to get there, prices 2022

Yew-Box Grove in Sochi

Yew-Box Grove in Sochi

Summer season (from March 15 to September 30) from 09.00 to 18.00, winter season (from October 1 to March 14) from 09.00 to 17.00, no breaks and weekends.

Yew-Box Grove in Khost is a unique protected area within the K.G. Shaposhnikov Caucasian Biosphere Reserve. These relic forests scattered over the area have remained practically unchanged since preglacial times – these very plants covered Europe about 18-25 million years ago.

The main representatives of the flora of the grove are yew berry, which grows up to 10-20 meters and is called a red tree by the color of its wood, and the evergreen box tree of Colchis (from 2 to 12 meters). There are more than 70 species of trees in the green bushes of the grove, the age of the oldest of which exceeds 2000 years. All in all more than 400 species of plants grow in this zone of the reserve under UNESCO protection. The fabulous fern and liana landscape is complemented by tropical flower mushrooms, rocks and rifts, and turquoise-blue waters of the mountain river.

Yew-Box Grove in Sochi

Animals in the Yew Tree Grove are rare, with the exception of lizards, hedgehogs, and birds. Information posters in the park inform that the territory is inhabited by representatives of the fauna of the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve: foxes, wild boars, roe deer, jackals and Kuban wolves. Naturally, wild animals do not appear in the vicinity of tourist trails.

When visiting the Yew-Box Grove, you should carefully choose a place for a picnic – there are snakes on the territory of the reserve. Curled up in a ball, they almost do not stand out against the background of rocks.

It is interesting to visit the site at any time of the year, even in winter: already in February, the first spring flowers – wild cyclamen – bloom in the Yew-Box Grove. In summertime tourists are much more, but you can swim in the river Khosta. In autumn and mild spring it is especially pleasant to organize long picnics – the weather is not hot, but it’s not cold either.

Boxwood in Khostinsky Yew-Box Grove was destroyed by an infestation of moth ragweed, imported to the region with Italian seedlings – in preparation for the Olympics in 2014. Restoration planting is being carried out in the mountainous areas. For the state of the attraction now, check out our recent reviews of the Yew-Box Grove.

Prices at Yew-Box Grove 2022

Entrance to the Yew-Box Grove is paid – according to the official price list of services of the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve.

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Entrance fees (Routes “Small Ring”, “Big Ring”, “To the depth of ages”):

  • Adults (from 14 years old) – 300 rubles;
  • For children 7-14 years old – 150 rubles;
  • Free for children under 7 years old.

Cost of sightseeing excursion (“Small Ring”):

  • For the whole group (1-46 people) – 600 rubles;
  • For each member of a group of 6-25 people – 100 rubles.

Pay extra for audio guide services (optional) – 200 rubles.

Routes to Yew-Box Grove

Tourists are offered three ready-made year-round hiking routes on the territory of Sochi Yew-Box Grove.

    – 5000 meters (for 3 – 6 hours); – 1600 meters (for 30 – 60 minutes); – 1800 meters (for 2 – 3 hours).

The circular routes begin and end at the entrance to the grove. On the “Small ring” you can see the Landslide Gully, the Labyrinth, the White Rocks, the Yew Giant, on the “Big” to the already mentioned attractions (except the Yew Giant) are added Deep Gully, Beech Glade, Ancient Fortress, the river Khosta and spring, cave, rest place “Zub”.

The route “Into the depths of centuries” begins from the Devil’s Gate Canyon, leads along the canyon of Khosta to the ancient fortress, and then to the exit of the grove.

Yew-Box Grove in Sochi

Attractions on the route

The grove is beautiful on its own, but the sights make a walk through the ancient forest like an expedition, making the route entertaining and informative at the same time.

  • Ancient Fortress of Hosta. Ruins of the fortress walls today are overgrown with moss and boxwood, which makes them look like lost cities in the jungle. In the 8th-10th centuries, the fortress served as a guarding point on the road to Khosta. Fragments of four towers and walls have survived to this day.
  • Devil’s Gate Canyon. In the Yew-Samshit Grove it is one of the most popular attractions. It is pleasant to have a rest here and on a hot day to plunge into the icy waters of the Khosta River. Near the canyon there is a recreation center with a Russian bath, barbecue sites and cafes.
  • Cave. Entrance to the unnamed cave is forbidden, but most tourists are not deterred from the temptation to go there. There is nothing remarkable inside – it is almost always damp and dirty. Some tourists claim that the cave is inhabited by bats, but there is no photo evidence on the Internet.

Khosta River Canyon

Other attractions include numerous gullies (the name of the ravine with sodden slopes) with picturesque vegetation and mini waterfalls, unique samples of perennial trees, suspension bridges like from adventure movies.

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How to get to Yew-Box Grove

It is very easy to get to the Yew-Box Grove on your own. Walk about 3 km from the center of Khosta to the grove. To get to the checkpoint on the territory of the nature park takes about half an hour from the Khosta railway station. Buses to the Tiso-Samshita Grove stop a little closer.

The map-scheme of the walking route from the Khosty railway station to the Tiso-Samshitovaya Grove

Yew-Box Grove from Sochi

There are different ways to get from Sochi to Hosta. Suitable buses are №50, 105, 115 to the bus stop “Most”, then walk 2.5 km. The timetable is given below. It’s about 25 km by car, if there are no traffic jams, you can get there in 40 minutes (in summer in high season much longer).

Timetable of trains to Hosta railway station

Yew-Box Grove from Adler

From Adler you can get to Yew-Box Grove by bus №50, 105, route bus №134 to the bus stop “Most” and by electric train to Hosta.

Excursions to the Yew-Box Grove

You can visit the protected Yew-Box Grove not only by yourself but also with organized excursions for groups or with private guides. In that case you will be able to see other sights in one trip, for example, to visit the mountain Akhun (Yew-Box Grove is located on the south-eastern slope of the mountain).

Entrance to Yew-Box Grove

By Taxi

Cab to the Tiso-Samshitovaya Grove from the resort areas of Greater Sochi will not be cheap. You can save on a trip with a private driver by ordering a car through mobile apps. In Sochi you can order a cab through: Yandex.Taxi, Uber, Gett, Taxi Veset, Maxim.

Tiso-Samchitovaya Grove in Sochi – information for visiting

Yew-Samshit Grove is a great option to see the nature of the Caucasian forests in civilized conditions – the reserve is equipped with comfortable trails. It is also a great option for those who want to hide from the heat in summer.

Yew is a tree that can reach 27 meters in height, and the thickness of the trunk up to 1.5 meters. The peculiarity is that red berries grow on this coniferous tree.

Yew-Box Grove, yew branch with berry

Yew – a branch with a berry

Boxwood may be familiar to our citizens, as it is often used as an ornamental shrub. The density of its wood is greater than that of water, so it sinks. In the reserve, the Colchis boxwood reached a height of 10 meters. I did not make a mistake when I wrote the previous sentence in the past tense. The fact is that for the 2014 Olympics saplings of boxwood evergreen were brought to Adler. The sanitary doctor examined them and found unfamiliar caterpillars. They turned out to be boxwood fireworms – parasites that had never been seen in the Caucasus before. The doctor issued an order that these plants must be burned to prevent the spread of the dangerous pest. But the Olympics are the main thing here. Therefore, the seedlings were not destroyed, but only treated with chemicals. Larvae caterpillars easily survived such treatment, multiplied throughout the Caucasus, devouring all boxwood in the grove. Small pieces of live trees for 2020 remained only in Adygea and Abkhazia. Therefore today you can see only dry remains of this rare tree overgrown with moss in the reserve. The sight is quite terrifying – reminiscent of the terrible forest from “The Lord of the Rings.

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Yew-Box Grove, a forest from a fairy tale

Forest from a scary fairy tale

The fate of the yew tree is also questionable. Locals say that the death of boxwood has significantly reduced the moisture content of the soil. Centuries-old trees are withering away. And indeed – we saw berries only on one tree near the entrance, on the bank of the river. Thickets of this rare plant can not be restored at once – the height of 2 meters they reach in 70 years. The only hope is that some other plant in the Yew-Samshit grove will take the vacated niche and create the necessary humidity for yew survival.

Yew and Boxwood Grove, remnants of boxwood

Despite such a sad story, a trip to the grove is still worthwhile. For tourists there are Small and Big routes. Small route is not very interesting – it is just a circle in the woods. But it can be overcome even by ladies in stilettos – the path is paved with concrete.

Big route is more interesting – it lies along Yew-Samshitovaya Grove and runs along Khosta River. Its length with the branch to the Devil’s Gate Canyon is about 6 kilometers.

Yew and Boxwood Grove, trail plan

Scheme of routes through the Yew-Box Grove

But it can be passed only by people with good physical training, athletic or hiking shoes are desirable. Duration is 3.5-4 hours. The thing is that these 6 kilometers walk almost entirely by stairs. There are fences along the route and it is quite safe. Hiring a special guide is not required.

The route “Big Ring” – almost constant descents and ascents of the stairs

Some tourists swim in the Khosta River near the Devil’s Gate. But keep in mind that the water temperature even in summer is no more than 15 degrees.

Yew-Box Grove, Devil's Gate Canyon

Devil’s Gate Canyon

Yew and boxwood grove is located on the southeastern slope of the mountain Akhun in 2.5 km from the Black Sea and is part of the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve. The grove can be called a museum of wildlife, a unique place where many plant species have survived since preglacial times.

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Here you can see relic Colchis forest inhabited by rare animals and growing trees, herbs and bushes included in the Red Book.

Guide

Address

354000 Krasnodar Region, Big Sochi, Khosta settlement, Samshitovaya Street

How to get there

  • By Bus
    • Bus 105, 118, 122, 125 and 134 go in the direction of Khosta. Get on a bus stop “Khosta-Most”. From bus stop walk along Samshitovaya street for about 15 minutes.
    • From the railway station of Sochi to the station Khosta. Ticket price 80 rubles (2021). Travel time is about 20 minutes. From station to walk 30 minutes.
    • Go along the highway, turn to the road to Khosta, then near the bridge over the river Khosta turn to the street Samshitovaya. You can leave your car at the gates of the reserve.

    Khosta River in summer

    Khosta River in summer

    Working hours in 2022

    • Daily, no days off
    • In summer (from March 15 to September 30) from 09:00 to 18:00
    • In winter (from October 1 to March 14) from 09:00 to 17:00

    It is better to visit Yew Tree in the morning or in the afternoon, when it is not so hot and there are not so many tourist groups.

    Ticket price in 2022

    • Adults – 300 rubles
    • For children from 7 to 14 years old – 150 rubles
    • Children under 7 years old – free of charge.

    Routes

    • Walking on the Small Ring will take no more than an hour, its length of 1600 meters. There are places to rest, the path is equipped, so you can travel in regular shoes and with children.
    • The Big Ring is a more difficult route, lasting 3-4 hours, depending on rest stops and photo shoots. You will get into the forest jungle, will pass over a precipice, will see a linden tree with a circumference of about 9 meters and an ancient fortress with half-destroyed towers. On the way you will meet a cave, which not so long ago was inhabited by bats.

    Khosta fortress, masonry

    Khostinskaya Fortress, masonry

    The big ring in Yew-Samshitovaya grove is attractive because you can go down to the gorge of Khosta River, where if the weather is good you can sunbathe and swim in the cool water. It is better to walk along the Great Ring in sneakers.

    Yew-Box Grove, Devil's Gate Canyon

    Devil’s Gate Canyon

    There are signs all along the route so you won’t get lost following them.

    It is advisable to take some food with you so you can have a snack during your rest on specially equipped places.

    Tiso-Samchitovaya Grove, cave

    Plants

    Yew-Samshit Grove covers an area of 302 hectares, on which there are about 70 species of trees and shrubs, including beech and linden, oak and hornbeam, maple and laurel, but the most valuable of trees are yew and boxwood.

    Yew is an evergreen conifer distinguished by its very hard wood, which is very dense and does not rot. That is why it was used for making musical instruments and expensive furniture, and was used in shipbuilding. High in the mountains it takes the form of a shrub.

    Yew-Samshit Grove, yew is a conifer with red berries

    Yew is a coniferous tree with red berries.

    This tree can live up to 3000 years and reach a girth of 2-2.5 meters, and because of its dark red color it is often called a redwood.

    There are areas in the reserve park where the yew forest occupies 50 to 90 percent. You will see yews that are 2,000 years old and about 30 meters high.

    It should be noted that although the air in the yew forest is saturated with the scent of pine needles and is good for heart and lung diseases, the bark and needles of the tree contain an alkaloid that causes dermatitis and affects the nervous system, so even chewing the branches of the plant is not allowed.

    Boxwood

    Boxwood is also an evergreen tree, which has a very high density of wood, not for nothing it is called an iron tree, as well as the Caucasian palm. Its peculiarity is that it grows very slowly – it adds only 1 millimeter per year and it is the only tree that sinks in water.

    The boxwood was often used in the manufacture of parts of weaving shuttles, instruments, and airplanes. It grows on steep limestone cliffs, blooms in March with small, fragrant cream-colored flowers, and lives for 300-500 years, reaching up to 18 meters in height and half a meter in girth. Its branches and trunk are often covered with moss, which prevents the tree from drying out and temperature fluctuations.

    Yew-Samshit Grove, moss-covered boxwood branches

    Moss-covered boxwood branches

    Unfortunately, in the early twentieth century, boxwood was mercilessly cut down and sold to Turkey.

    Large boxwoods are rare in the world and the Yew-Box Grove, where the conditions for the plant’s growth are favorable, is a unique object of the Caucasus Nature Reserve.

    Phone

    See also

    Official website

    Yew-Samshitovaya Grove is part of the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve kavkazzapoved.ru

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