Russia is a vast country, stretching across diverse landscapes and climates. There is so much more to see in Russia apart from Moscow’s iconic Red Square or the museums of St Petersburg. The former Soviet Union is full of incredible mountains, beaches, deserts, volcanoes, and glaciers.
Yet, Russia’s natural beauty is often overlooked by both visitors and locals. Here are 6 breathtaking natural landscapes you have to see in Russia:
The surreal Kamchatka Peninsula has a multitude of volcanoes, hot springs, and geysers hidden amidst its green valleys. Its most famous sight is the Valley of Geysers (pictured), one of the largest geyser fields in the world. It is hidden in a deep canyon so be prepared to take a helicopter to reach it.
Both the biggest and the deepest freshwater lake in the world, Baikal is located in the forests of Siberia. There is much to do around the lake, including fishing, meeting a shaman, dog sledding, swimming, and in the winter, thermal saunas, skiing, and ice skating. While the cold weather may turn away many tourists, winter is perhaps the best time to visit. The oxygen-rich waters freeze in mesmerizing and stunning patterns
Located on the banks of the Lena River, near Pokrovsk, this natural park has been amazing travelers and photographers alike for years. The vertical rock formations stretch for many kilometers along the banks of the river. They reach their highest near the villages of Peter and Tit-Ary at approximately 100 meters.
Russia is full of mountains. From the ancient Urals to the Sayans and the Elbrus, they are all home to outstanding landscapes of lakes, valleys, mountain rivers, and forests. However, the Altai Mountains stand above the rest. Its diverse nature, crisp air, and breathtaking crystal clear pools make it must see. Altai is also known for its local healing herbs
5Dargavs (the City of the Dead)
Perhaps not technically natural, the tombs at Dargavs are almost a part of the landscape itself. Located in the Dargavskaya Hollow in North Ossetia-Alania, Dargavs was inhabited since the Bronze Age, but many residents were killed during the 1830 uprising in Ossetia. Now mostly abandoned, it is filled with various types of tombs.
Shared with Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine and Romania, the Black Sea has something for everyone. Form crowded resorts where you can just as easily spend your days lounging on the beach as you can skiing, to the more secluded coves. Sochi is undoubtedly the regions most popular destination. The host of the 2014 Winter Olympics, it is quite popular among fans of windsurfing, yachting, sailing, kiting, fishing and other water sports.