The Mari El Republic is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). Its capital is the city of Yoshkar-Ola.
The republic is located in the eastern part of the East European Plain of Russia, along the Volga River. The swampy Mari Depression is located in the west of the republic. 57% of the republic's territory is covered by forests.
There are 476 rivers in the republic. Most of them are considered to be minor: 10–50 m wide and 0.5-1.4 m deep.
There are over two hundred lakes in the republic, most of them with an area less than 1 km² and depth of 1–3 m. Many lakes are located among swamps. Swamps cover large areas (10–70 km², up to 100 km²). Average depth of the swamps is .5-1.5 m (up to 3 m), but they are impassable in fall and spring due to flooding.
The territory of the republic is one of the more ecologically pure areas of the European part of Russiawith numerous lakes, rivers, and forests. As a result, it is a popular destination for tourists looking to enjoy nature. One of the most popular destinations is Marii Chodra national park in the Ilet valley, where visitors can enjoy various activities such as boating, horseback riding, fishing, and mushrooming. Another is the Bolshaya Kokshaga National Reserve, where visitors can walk through virgin forests and observe local wildlife.
Yoshkar-Ola is the capital of the Mari El Republic, Russia. Yoshkar-Ola means red city in Mari. The city was known as Tsaryovokokshaysk before 1919 and as Krasnokokshaysk between 1919 and 1927. These names were derived from the name of the Malaya Kokshaga River, which runs through the city.
Yoshkar-Ola is included in the list of historic cities of Russia.
The city is located in the region of temperate continental climate.
Yoshkar-Ola is connected with others cities and towns by several bus and railway routes. There are regular runs to/from Moscow city by trains from Yoshkar-Ola railway station.
The airport is located about 9 km north of Yoshkar-Ola. There are regular flights to/from Moscow -Yoshkar-Ola Airport.