Top 10 Adventure Destinations in Russia

James Morris - May 25, 2009

There are people with a spirit of adventure and taste for discovery who always dream of challenging the North Pole, the South Pole, Everest, etc. These people are true adventurists. Discover Russia and introduce the top 10 must-experience destinations of Russia.

Regardless of your age or preference, breathtaking experiences and adventures await you all year round in Russia. From the volcanoes and geysers of Kamchatka, through the Siberian taiga to the mineral spas around the Black Sea coast. Russia has the longest rivers, biggest nature reserves, largest primeval forests, wildest areas, least visited wilderness, and the highest mountains in Europe lie in the Caucasus range with Mount Elbrus, overlooking the rest of Europe from a majestic peak of 5,642 meters (18,510 ft).
Rafting or skiing, hunting or fishing, jeep safari or snowcat skiing, heli-ski or paraplane, deer-sledge races and horse expeditions, diving or helicopter tours, Pole of Cold expedition or reindeer nomading in Kolyma, the adrenalin rush of mountain climbing or the wonders of nature – only you know what you are capable of.
Cooking over an open fire, encounters with wildlife, traditional Russian sauna followed by a snow bath or a dip in an icy lake will give you memories for a lifetime. If you want trips that combine a range of activities from biking, hiking and rafting to sea kayaking, rock climbing and zip-lining, Russia is a place to go! Are you ready for your next challenge? What will your next Russian adventure be? Here is the top 10 adventure destinations in Russia.

Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal is the most famous of all natural wonders of Russia and often referred to as the pearl of Siberia. It is not only the deepest and oldest (25 million years) lake of the world, but also an excellent travel destination for those who want to spend their holiday in stunning surroundings of the Siberian wilderness. Lake Baikal offers hot springs, helicopter tours to remote wilderness areas, diving, off-road expeditions, hunting, fishing, mountain climbing, snowcat skiing, heli-skiing, rafting…


Kamchatka was discovered by Russian Cossacks over 300 years ago. However, even modern Russians know very little about it, to say nothing about the rest of the world where most people have hardly heard of Kamchatka. In this century, airplanes brought Kamchatka closer to Europe and America. The Valley of Geysers is the only geyser field in Eurasia (apart from the Mutnovsky geyser field) and the second largest concentration of geysers in the world. This 6 km long basin with approximately ninety geysers and many hot springs is situated on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, predominantly on the left bank of the ever-deepening Geysernaya River, into which geothermal waters flow from a relatively young strato-volcano, Kikhpinych. It is part of the Kronotsky Nature Reserve, which, in turn, is incorporated in the World Heritage Site "Volcanoes of Kamchatka". Kamchatka is probably the only place where the saying “Bears walk on the streets of Russia” is true…


Chukotka is the easternmost region of Russia and of the whole Eurasian landmass. It is washed by waters of two oceans – the Arctic and the Pacific. A half of the territory lies beyond the Polar Circle. Almost the whole area is occupied with tundra. Aboriginal peoples – the Chukchis, the Eskimos (the Siberian Yupik) and other small local nationalities are mostly engaged in reindeer breeding or in hunting sea mammals. Chukotka is still a restricted region of Russia that has had limited contact with the rest of the world. Every tourist, a Russian or a foreigner, must have a special permission to enter Chukotka. Few visitors and extremely low density of local population help to preserve the unique landscape as well as flora and fauna of the region.


Yakutia or the Republic of Sakha occupies most of the North-Eastern Siberia. Yakutia is the land of countless rivers and lakes, hundreds of glaciers and ice crusts. More than 40% of the territory lies beyond the Arctic Circle. The Pole of Cold for the Northern Hemisphere is situated in Yakutia. The Polar Nights in winter begin on the territory which is above the Arctic Circle. Some nights are lit up by the Aurora Borealis, the natural phenomenon that can only be observed along these latitudes. In summer the Polar Days begin. A day can last up to 20 hours along the latitude of Yakutsk, while farther North, the sun never drops below the horizon. Expedition to the Pole of Cold, Oymyakon, was ranked by journal “GEO” in December 2007 as one of 50 most exotic trips of the world. Winter Yakutia – a perfect land for the reindeer sledding trips that will put you through the exotic life of real Siberian nomad.


Altai is second to none in the beauty of its landscapes, and in diversity of its attractions. Deep in the heart of the Siberian wilderness, covered by impassable taiga forests and high mountain peaks, Altai is one of the top attractions of the Russian wilderness, and an incredible place for outdoor adventures from rafting, hiking and mountain climbing to fishing, horse-riding and many others. A flowery fragrance of Alpine meadows; grasses along the icy mountain streams; the famous Altai honey; the nomadic stone idols and Rerich’s trails; the settlements of the “old believers”, the Siberian shamans. Discover the high mountain glaciers, where during the summer snowfall is higher than in winter, deserted steppe, dense Siberian taiga, meet pastured camels on the valley floor and gather a basket of ripe cedar-cones amidst the lofty forests during your horseback riding tour across the Altai mountains.


Caucasus is an alpine country in the southernmost edge of the European part of Russia. The main mountain chain – the Greater Caucasus Range represents a natural border between Europe and Asia. Europe's highest summit – Mount Elbrus (18,510 ft) lies just north of the main range, several kilometers into Europe. Southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Range come down to the Black Sea. Caucasus is the land of breathtaking beauty and purity. Its snow peaks, pine forests, icy streams and glaciers attract thousands of climbers, mountain-skiers, adventurers and nature lovers from all over the world.


Karelia is a strikingly beautiful land of “midnight sun”, the land of white nights. Forests, lakes and rivers of Karelia give a perfect opportunity for development of different types of tourism: hunting, fishing, safari, rafting, etc. Karelia offers various tours, during which you will pass historical monuments, deserted villages, self-made fords and fortifications of World War II.


The Urals marks the northern part of the border between Asian and European sections of the Eurasian continent. Away from the “hustle and bustle” of cities and everyday cares - Away! If you like the scent of campfires and morning mists, forests and mountains and are physically healthy – the “classic mountain trekking” tours are for you! You can visit the most beautiful and attractive places in the Urals. Mountain lakes and meadows, scenic rocks, coniferous and mixed taiga, rocky rivers and streams, night bonfire – it is impossible to forget! The Urals is also famous for its archeological findings in Arkaim. Archeologists assume that it is the place where horse was tamed for the first time, the first two-wheel battle wagon was invented, the first metallurgic furnace was found, and where one of the most ancient civilizations appeared.


Sayany is a large mountainous country with the highest mountain ranges of Eastern Siberia. It consists of two large parts – the Eastern Sayan and the Western Sayan. Virgin Southern taiga with lush vegetation, wonderful scenery with mountain rivers, waterfalls and lakes attract and stagger tourists. It mostly presents an endless steppe almost without footprints of modern civilization. Tuva is full of archeological memorials of different centuries. Tourists can also deep into local ethnography: lifestyle of Russian old-believers, shaman ceremonies, throat singing, opportunity to live in a real Tuvan yurt and to imagine yourself to be an ancient nomad.


Primorye is the far south-eastern edge of Russia, washed with waters of the warm Japan Sea. Particular geographical position at the border of Eurasian continent and the Pacific Ocean grants unique nature and climate to this region. The most part of the territory is occupied by the Sikhote-Alin mountains, covered with virgin taiga. This is a great natural arboretum, which contains one the richest and most unusual temperate forests of the world. In this mixed zone between taiga and subtropics southern species such as Amur tiger and Himalayan bear cohabit with northern species such as brown bear and lynx. The sea coast attracts travelers by its beautiful exotic sceneries of bays and uninhabited isles as well as rich sea life.

Discover Russia and find more information about other places and adventure tours in Russia at

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  1. Very nice reading. Thanks for sharing this insightful article. I love reading traveling blog just because I love to learn about other country. All these ten destinations are amazing. It help me to interact with my social friend better way. Again thanks for this. Destination Europe

    Kiran (India)

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