Which country can boast that on its territory you can find arctic deserts, tundra, taiga, forest-steppe and steppe, semi-desert and volcanoes? Of course, Russia.
Russia is a land of superlatives. By far the world’s largest country, it extends across the whole of northern Asia and the eastern third of Europe, spanning 11 time zones and incorporating a great range of environments and landforms, from deserts to semiarid steppes to deep forests and Arctic tundra.
Russia is a particularly intriguing market for the global travel and tourism industry. Approximately 6.4 million international tourists visited Russia in 2020, as the country closed borders with most countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia’s revenue in the travel and tourism segment was forecast at 6.79 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, ranking fourth among the BRIC countries.
A rich cultural heritage and natural diversity places Russia in a prominent place in the world among countries with a potential growth in tourism. There are 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. Various regions and ethnic groups in Russia have a wide variety of traditions.
Where to go ?
Moscow and St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) are the two most important cultural and financial centres in Russia and are among the most picturesque cities in the world.
Moscow is the most visited tourist destination in Russia. The greatness of the Kremlin, Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Poklonnaya Gora, unforgettable walks in Moscow will fill tourists with the Russian spirit and visiting world-famous museums and galleries will certainly give a lot of vivid impressions.
One of the most beautiful and most visited cities is St. Petersburg. This is a real open-air museum. Each building has its own history and its own special architectural beauty. A huge number of museums are concentrated here: the Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Kunstkamera, the Russian Museum. Walking on a small boat along the canals and rivers of the city, you experience a great aesthetic pleasure.
Most of the natural regions of Russia have hard-to-reach monuments of archeology and culture, which are of undoubted interest for tourists. For every person, the word “adventure” has its own deep meaning. For some, this is a trip to the Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka, a ski tour to the South Urals or a dog sledding safari in Karelia, for others it is rafting in Altai, horse routes in the Caucasus or jeep tours, for others – fishing tours in Astrakhan or treasure hunt on the Gulf of Finland.
Adventure lovers can choose from any option for an unusual holiday: from a traditional yacht trip to breathtaking flights on a supersonic plane.
The number of fans of ecological tourism in Russia is growing every year. This type of tourism returns strength and energy to people tired of cities while communicating with nature and observing it. In addition, it stimulates the conservation of the environment, making this type of tourism beneficial to local residents.
There are 41 national parks and 103 nature reserves in Russia. The UNESCO World Heritage List includes five Russian natural sites: the virgin forests of Komi, Lake Baikal, the volcanoes of Kamchatka, the golden Altai Mountains, and the Western Caucasus.
Great opportunities are opening up for ecotourism in the north-west of Russia – in Karelia, Arkhangelsk and Murmansk regions. Karelia is often called the “lungs of Europe”. Kamchatka attracts tourists from all over the world. There are 28 active volcanoes, hot and cold mineral springs. The Valley of Geysers, one of several in the world, is always visited in this region.
In Russia, cruises are developed on large rivers – the Volga, Lena, Yenisei.
Traveling along Russian rivers is a fascinating and at the same time varied tour that allows you to get a lot of impressions, to fully relax from the hustle and bustle of the city. During river cruises, travellers will be able to see ancient architectural monuments, visit original Russian villages and villages, and admire a variety of landscapes from the ship’s board – from the northern taiga to the southern steppes.