Sarika was relaxing at home & watching a movie with her family. In the next scene of the movie, the children along with their mother are seen going horseback riding as the snowfall just begins. Sarika’s mind wandered as she realized, she too wanted to watch the snow fall as while she cozied up next to a fire by the window. She started wondering if there were any winter holiday destinations apart from the US and Europe that she could go to. On doing extensive research, she came across one particular destination in North Asia that left her awe-struck instantly – Russia.
1.4 billion people traveled around the world in 2018 alone. France topped the list of 20 countries which accounted for more than 60% of the global travelers with Spain coming a close second followed by China, and Italy. Russia was the 16th most visited country globally with an inflow of 24.6 million foreign tourists, higher than 2017.
1. Karelia: The natural beauty of Karelia is sure to leave you spellbound. It is home to the famed Ruskeala mountain park, that houses a deep valley with a marble like appearance and may very well remind you of the Grand Canyon in the US. You can revel in the rugged beauty of nature as this is a perfect place to plan a hike. The more adventurous can grab hold of a snowmobile for some beginner lessons or go skiing in Spasskaya Guba or Medvezhyegorsk. Your winter trip to Russia will be incomplete without getting your share of adrenaline rush from this visit to Karelia!
2. Veliky Novgorod: Love admiring the architecture of ancient monuments? A history buff? The ancient city of Velikiy Novgorod should be on your list of winter holiday destinations to take you back in time to the origin of Russia. Visit the Vitoslav Litsi museum that celebrates Russian wooden architecture and the 11th century Kremlin fort. If walking gets tiring, you can hire skates which are quite popular among tourists and locals for sightseeing! Don’t forget to see the exhibition of Russian izbas or farmhouses that will surely leave you amazed!
3. Kazan: This city in Tatarstan should be on your itinerary if you are looking for offbeat places to visit in Russia. The way the churches, cathedrals and mosques dot the entire city reflect on the eclectic mix of cultures that Kazan has to offer. Visit the 190 feet high Suyumbike Tower in Kazan’s Kremlin or go to the Forsazh Karting Centre that has a bowling alley and a host of other activities to keep you busy. Or simply go skiing at the resort near Sviyazhsk Eye Kholny Golf Club to burn some calories in the famed Russian winter. Don’t forget to finish your grueling ski session with a cup of traditional while you watch the snow fall outside!
4. Altai mountains: If the white Russian winters make you want to laze and lounge, this is one of the winter holiday destinations in Russia that you will love. Check into any one of the many resorts and hotels in the ‘golden mountains’ of the Altai and slip into their therapeutic special saunas made out of big cedar barrels and unwind like never before. If you aren’t in the mood for a sauna, then dress up and go for herbal tea ceremony or a honey treatment since this region is known for its honey and herbs.
5. Kaliningrad: A Russian city with a European twist would be the best way to describe Kaliningrad, especially its architecture. Nature lovers will surely enjoy the wildlife in Kaliningrad zoo, myriad flora in the botanical gardens and the dancing forest on this winter trip to Russia. Check out the musical performance at the Philharmonic hall or go on an adventure at the Park Yunost’ with its various rides for adults and kids alike. Get a taste of one of the best flea markets in the country and indulge the shopaholic in you!
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