Russia is a vast country, in fact, the largest country in the world and unsurprisingly has a number of hidden gems that may be of interest to the more intrepid traveller. Although you can do it and book trips to some of the destinations detailed below independently, most people find it much easier to book through an experienced tour operator. They can arrange any visas or permits needed and smooth any language barriers that you might encounter along the away. They can also arrange transportation and accommodation leaving you to enjoy what you have come for, a dream trip to Russia.
As Russia is so vast, many people find it easier to fly from place to place, but by closely studying a Trans Siberian railway map and route options, you can actually visit some of these more out of the way destinations by train at a leisurely pace. As an added bonus, train travel allows you to take in the differing landscapes that Russia is quite rightly famous for. Please see below for a small selection of Russian destinations that don’t make the average tourist’s itinerary but are well worth visiting if you get the opportunity.
RUSSIAN TREASURES OFF THE TOURIST TRAIL
As previously mentioned, the hidden but notable destinations detailed below will require some time and effort to get to, but the rewards are worth it. Your dedicated tour operator will be able to arrange trips to all these places and many more on request.
- Irkutsk – Commonly known as the Paris of Siberia, Irkutsk stands alone in terms of beauty and culture. Due to the relative inaccessibility of the region, many travellers bypass Irkutsk en route to Vladivostok on their Trans-Siberian railway journey but that’s their loss. This city is the stuff of picture postcards and definitely worth a visit. If you specify one special destination in Russia to your tour operator, make sure it’s Irkutsk.
- Lena Pillars – Situated on the banks of the Lena River in Russia’s Yakutia Khangalaasky region, these 250-metre-tall columns of rocks stretch for over 220 miles. This breath-taking natural formation is said to be over 500 million years old and continues to attract the interest of geologists from across the world.
- Volgograd – Volgograd is a must see for anyone with even a passing interest in military history. The most intense battle of World War 2 took place here and according to many sources providing the turning point in the war that ultimately gave the allies and Russia victory over Germany and Japan.
- Omsk – Omsk is a Siberian city that defies all expectations of what you may expect of a city situated in one of the coldest regions on earth. This wonderfully cosmopolitan city is surrounded by lush forests on all sides providing the more adventurous traveller the opportunity to experience the very best that Russia can offer.
There are many more hidden gems throughout Russia. If you do identify a place or an area, you want to visit all you need to do is let your dedicated tour operator know and they will do their best to put it on your itinerary.