7 most beautiful places in Russia worth seeing at least once in your life

From impressive waterfalls and lotus fields to vast underground grottoes and the remains of an ancient Greek city.

7 most beautiful places in Russia worth seeing at least once in your life

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Ilya Sukhovolsky Deputy General Director for Development of the cruise company Vodokhod.

1. Solovetsky Islands

7 most beautiful places in Russia worth seeing at least once in a lifetime

The largest archipelago of the White Sea is known not only for its history and architectural sights, but also for its amazing nature. The Solovetsky Islands consist of six large islands and hundreds of small ones. The largest of them is Bolshoy Solovetsky Island, on which the spiritual center of this region is located – the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Solovetsky Monastery, built back in the 15th century.

The nature of Solovki is unique: here you can walk through the protected coniferous forest, get acquainted seals, white whales and bearded seals, and after sunset to see the northern lights. Numerous lakes with fresh water are also striking in their beauty, and the weather here is more than comfortable, especially in summer.

There are several ways to get to the islands. Before direct motor ship flights from St. Petersburg began to go here, it was necessary to take a train to Kemi, and then take a ferry. You can also take a charter flight from Arkhangelsk to Solovki.

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Not far from the Solovetsky Islands, there is another natural attraction – the pearl of Karelia, the Kivach waterfall. Despite the fact that this is not the highest waterfall in the region, it can rightfully be considered the most beautiful and most powerful. Kivach is the second strongest (after the Rhine) flat waterfall in Europe, so its majesty is amazing.

Finding a waterfall is not easy: hidden in the shade of tall trees, it is located in the depths of the Kivach nature reserve. It can be reached both by car and by public transport. If you take the boat up the river to the Northern Islands, then you can stop in Petrozavodsk and from there get to the waterfall by transfer with an excursion group. You can also walk to Kivach on foot from the village of Sopokha – the distance will be about 8 kilometers.

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3. Putorana Plateau

7 most beautiful places in Russia, which are worth seeing at least once in a lifetime

We are moving to another part of our country – the Krasnoyarsk Territory. There is one of the largest mountain ranges in Russia – Putorana. The highest mountain on the plateau is Stone, its height is 1,701 meters. Also on the territory of Putorana there is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Putorana Reserve.

It is of particular interest to wildlife lovers and those seeking tranquility. Among the deep canyons, there are numerous waterfalls and lakes, and the Siberian coniferous forests are full of lingonberries and shiksha (this berry is also called crowberry). The reserve is also home to the world's largest population of wild reindeer and other species of animals listed in the Red Book.

You can get to these wild places only by water or air from June to September, when the weather is warm and the water is not frozen. It is best to start your journey from Krasnoyarsk to Dudinka along the Yenisei River, and from there take a helicopter tour to the top of the plateau.

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The system of lakes located near Kazan is known for its clear cold water of bright blue color. In total, the system includes three lakes: Big Blue, Protochnoe and Small Blue. All of them are natural monuments that attract tourists from all over the country.

Lakes are known primarily for their transparency – the bottom of the lake is perfectly visible from the shore. The water acquires its famous azure color due to blue silt salt mud located at the bottom.

Great Blue Lake is the central part of this system. Its depth is small, on average up to 3 meters, but there are also funnels reaching 18 meters. The water temperature practically does not change throughout the year, fluctuating from 3 to 7 °C, which is why the lakes have become favorite swimming places for walruses. But the color of the water can change depending on the weather and season: from the usual bright azure to black.

Getting to the Blue Lakes is very easy right from the center of the capital of Tatarstan – the road will take less than an hour. The most convenient way to get there is by private transport, since the natural attraction is located in the middle of the M7 highway. But if this is not possible, take the bus to the village of Shcherbakovo.

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One of the main natural attractions of the Urals is the ice Kungur cave, located near the city of Kungur. Its length is more than 5 kilometers, but only the first 1,500 meters are open to visitors. Nevertheless, tourists will see more than one grotto along the way, the largest of which is called the Giant. In total, the cave has 58 grottoes and 70 underground lakes, the largest of which reaches a depth of 5 meters.

The nearest transport hub is located in Perm, from where excursion buses and trains run to the city of Kungur. The cave itself is located outside the settlement in the village of Filippovka, so if you want to save time and effort, it may be more convenient to use the services of travel agencies.

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6. Tanais Nature Reserve

7 most beautiful places in Russia worth seeing at least once in your life

A piece of Greece on the shores of the Sea of ​​Azov, the city and reserve of Tanais is a truly unique place on the territory of our country. The city is located near Rostov-on-Don, it was founded by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC. e. and was considered the border between Europe and Asia. For many centuries, Tanais was the economic and cultural center of the Azov region, but at the beginning of the 5th century, after the destruction of the Goths, it fell into disrepair. The city was revived after the arrival of the Venetians, but in the XIV century it was again destroyed by the troops of Tamerlane.

Archaeologists were able to find the ruins of Tanais only in the 19th century, and it was recognized as a reserve already in the middle of the 20th century. Modern tourists can see here the architectural and archaeological remains of ancient Greek temples and residential buildings. To get into the past, you don't need a time machine – just an electric train from Rostov towards the village of Nedvigovka to the Tanais stop.

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7. Astrakhan Nature Reserve

7 most beautiful places in Russia, which are worth seeing at least once in your life

In the Volga delta, where the river flows into the Caspian Sea, there is a picturesque reserve with thousands of lotus flowers and narrow wooden bridges as if coming from the culture of the Ancient East. Here you can go on a boat tour and see pelicans, peregrine falcons, swans and other rare birds in their natural habitat with your own eyes. After a leisurely boat trip, boats moor to one of the islands, from where trails stretch for kilometers through picturesque coastal forests.

You can get to the reserve from Astrakhan by tourist transfer or by private car – the natural landmark is located 100 kilometers from the bustle of the city .

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As you can see, in the vastness of Russia there are many places for exciting travel and tourist discoveries. Don't waste time, pack your backpack and go!