A brief tour of Russia’s regions – Part 1

There’s a lot more to Russia than just Moscow and St Petersburg!

The vast majority of foreign tourists who visit Russia confine themselves to the country’s two biggest cities. And while you could spend a lifetime exploring these two enchanting destinations, there’s so much more to Russia, waiting to be explored.

So to kick off a new mini-series of articles, here are just a couple of the areas we recommend you take time to discover…

Kazan and Tatarstan Region

Source: http://autotravel.org.ru/phalbum/061/16.html

Located at the crossroads of East and West, the Republic of Tatarstan has for centuries been home to important relics from a range of religions for you to marvel at during your visit to the region.

As the capital of the republic, Kazan is a large port on the left bank of the mighty Volga River. With its 1000-year history, Kazan is one of the country’s most multinational cities, known by many as the third capital of Russia.

The city is especially impressive when viewed from the deck of a cruise ship, its fortress towers, the domes and cupolas of its Orthodox churches and the slender arrows of its minarets reaching high into the sky on its hill tops.

The pearl of 17th-century Russian architecture is the Raifsky Bogoroditsky monastery. Alternatively, take a trip to the city of Bilyar, located in picturesque woods at the foot of a towering mountain. From beneath this mountain runs the ‘Sacred Spring’ of crystal-clear water – the spiritual centre of three co-existing religions: pagans, Moslems and Christians.

Kazansko-Bogoroditsky monastery – famous for its miracle-working icon of Kazan’s Divine Mother – is also well worth a visit during your stay in this wonderful part of Russia.

Sochi and Krasnodar Region

Fond of winter sports? The you’re sure to have heard of Sochi – the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

But there’s more to Sochi than just skiing. In fact, the skiing, snowboarding and other downhill events were held some distance away, in the surrounding mountains of Krasnaya Polyana.

Sochi itself is a popular Russian resort city on the Black Sea coast. Protected from the cold north winds by the Caucasus Mountains and open to the warmth and moisture of the Black Sea in the south, Sochi has a surprisingly warm climate for its latitude.

The city was established as recently as 1896 on the site of the former Navaginskoe Fort, and began to develop as a resort area in 1902. Its mineral springs, attractive coastal and mountain scenery, long beaches and subtropical climate have since made Sochi a large and popular Russian health resort.

Today, Greater Sochi stretches for 90 miles along the Black Sea coast. Sochi itself is a hub of activity with concert halls, theatres, restaurants and night clubs. A wide range of events including Russian film and music festivals, forums and exhibitions take place here throughout the year, but mostly in summer.

Preparing for the Winter Olympics made a huge difference to Sochi and the surrounding district. So whether you fancy soaking up the sun on its beaches or a bit of on-piste fun up in the mountains, it’s a great place to visit all year round.

These are just two of the fantastic regions we can help you discover here at RNTO. There really is a whole world of adventures and experiences for you to enjoy throughout the length and breadth of Russia, and we’d love to help you make the most of your time in this enigmatic country. So give us a call today, and we’ll be with you every step of the way!