Russia and the former Soviet Union make for a spectacular vacation destination, with magnificent mountains, deserts, beaches, stunning ethnic villages, amazing volcanoes, and glaciers – in fact, it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world. That’s why it’s such a shame that it’s natural beauty is often overlooked – even by the natives – due to a lack of investment budget into development and inconsistent advertisement. But if you’re thinking of visiting Russia then you certainly won’t be disappointed. Here are seven of the most beautiful and exciting destinations to visit in Russia.
#1. St Petersburg:
One of the capitals of Russia, this city is filled with romantic ambiance, stunning bridges, imperial spirit, and museum-like streets. Located in the north, this city has an unparalleled cultural history that interests people who enjoy anything classical; it’s a must-visit if you are a lover of ballet, classical music, or theatre. And, it is filled with many buildings and other monuments of great importance including the Paul and Peter Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and Nevsky Prospekt, plus awesome museums like the Enarta Gallery and the State Hermitage Museum. You can certainly stop at St Petersburg during most trans-Siberian railway tours.
#2. Lake Baikal:
The biggest, deepest and most diverse lake on Earth, Lake Baikal is a must-visit for any nature lovers on a trip to Russia. And the region it is located in offers a wide range of things to see and do on vacation, including staying in small, wooden houses and living simply. Sit in a deck chair and fish on the shore of the lake and taste some delicious local foods like omul fish and posy. In the winter, there are plenty of opportunities for activities like dog sledding or visiting thermal saunas. You can stop at the lake during a trans-Siberian railway trip – check out Moscow – Vladivostok: best way to travel.
#3. Lake Onega and Kizhi Island:
In northwest Russia, Lake Onega is the second largest freshwater lake on the continent and is home to a huge diversity of fish including salmon, trout, sturgeon, bream, catfish, whitefish, eel and many more. Plus, if you love history then this is a must-visit, with the lake housing a significant number of Ice Age relics. The principal attraction here is Kizhi Island – home to eighty-nine carefully preserved wooden buildings established between the 15-20th centuries.
#4. Lena Pillars:
Located on the banks of the Lena river in Yakuita’s Khangalassky region, Lena Pillars is a complex of vertically elongated rocks, which stretches for several kilometers along the bank of the river, eventually cutting the deep, Prilenskoye Plateau valley. The rocks are hundreds of millions of years old and their highest density is reached between the Peter and Tit-Ary villages at 100 meters.
#5. Valley of Geysers:
One of the largest geyser fields in the world, the Valley of Geysers is located inside the Kronotsky State Biosphere Reserve and is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The valley itself is a deep canyon of the Geyser River, where visitors can find a number of geyser outputs, mud pots, hot springs, and waterfalls.
#6. The Solovki Islands:
The Solovestsky Archipelago is located in the western White Sea close to the Arctic Circle. It consists of six large and over one hundred small islands. Here you will find stunning coats, diverse forests scattered among the lakes, and boulder deposits along the sea. The best known – Big Solovetsky Island – is home to the Museum-Monastery of the archipelago.
Finally, the ‘city of the dead’ is located at the Dargavaskaya Hollow, which is protected from clouds and winds by a special dry microclimate created by the surrounding mountains. Dargavs villages have been inhabited since the Bronze Age and has a rich history as one of the main centers in the formation of the Tagaurian society.
Where’s first on your list for a visit to Russia?