Russia Travel Experiences
Russia is vast and so is the range of travel experiences you can get from a trip there. Here we cover our favourites although there are many more smaller, daily treats on offer from the rich culture and traditions of this country that make it such a memorable place to holiday.
The Trans-Siberian Train
The reason why almost all our clients visit Russia is to experience at least part of the world’s longest single rail journey, the Trans-Siberian. We feel this is still the greatest rail journey in the world and a must for any lovers of rail travel. Maintaining good standards yet still being largely unaffected by the modern world this trip has a timeless quality to it which makes it a perennial classic for anyone who loves overland travel. Click here to start planning your Trans-Siberian tours.
World Class Ballet & Theatre
Russia has an exceedingly rich heritage of theatre and dance which her citizens are justly proud of. A trip to Moscow or St Petersburg is not really complete without experiencing this. In Moscow the Bolshoi Theatre, Stanislavsky & Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatres are the most famous. In St Petersburg you have the Mariinsky, Mikhaloivksy and Hermitage Theatres to choose form amongst many more smaller venues.
Delicious Homestyle Siberian Food
The fresh air of Siberia is wonderful and that along with copious exercise make it easy to build up a huge appetite. Thankfully, Siberia has the answer to this and no trip to Russia is compete without the delicious homestyle cooking that will fill you and up and keep you warm. Cheese, mushrooms, berries from the forest, bread, cold meats and soups are all very typical but every village and chef have their favourites to try.
Making the Most of Winter
Russia has a particularly long winter but rather than wish it over many Russians revel in the opportunity it gives for winter pursuits. These include downhill and cross country skiing, ice fishing and dogsledding as well as relaxing winter walks in the silent forests. Besides this, there is something magical about Siberian in the winter, especially when seen from your warm and cosy train cabin as you pass through it. Learn more about our winter Trans-Siberian tours by clicking here.
East Meets West Culture
Russia has a largely European culture particularly evident in major cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg. However, the nation spans two continents and the further east you go the more of the East there is that becomes evident. Ulan Ude is a good example of this with it’s mixture of Asian and Western faces, churches and Buddhist temples. Kazan and Khabarovsk are also good places to experience the mix of culture.
The onion domes of Russian churches and cathedrals immediately come to mind when we think of Russian architecture and during any trip to Russia you will come across these beautiful buildings in abundance ranging from small and modest village churches to spectacular and ornate city churches the most famous of which is St Basil’s on Red Square pictured to the right. Besides the domes the simple wooden architecture of Siberia is also a delight.
A Relaxing Russian Banya (Sauna)
Available across Russia but most commonly in more rural areas especially in Siberia a Russian Banya (sauna) experience is not to be missed. Most welcome after a log day of outdoor activity it isn’t just about keeping clean as a good banya is meant to be a social event and relaxing. The set up is much as you would expect with hot stones, wooden benches and the obligatory cold drenches (or snow!) repeated as many times as you like with the option of being beaten by birch branches!
The onion domes of Russian churches and cathedrals are familiar to all. However, unless you actually visit these buildings themselves you miss out on the extraordinary atmosphere inside brought about by low lighting, splendid decor and the fact that unlike so many churches in the west, Russian churches are almost continuously in active use. The icon walls are what really separate the experience from that of home so make sure you enter the churches rather than just photograph the domes.
Vladivostok’s Military Sights
Vladivostok is the end of the Trans-Siberian railway and so a necessary place to visit if taking that route. Thankfully it is also a city with much of interest with its stunning location on Amursky Gulf. It is also an important naval port and in these days of cold thaw it is now possible to visit some of the old military forts and a submarine pictures right on the promenade making it quite a unique destinations and experience in Russia.
Luxury Private Train Tours
Most of our trips use scheduled Russian train services open to all. There are however, several private train options designed solely for tourists and offering an experience that is far more luxurious (at a price) than the standard trains give. Te two train we offer are the Tsars Gold private train and the Golden Eagle luxury train (pictured right). Both offer a range of fixed date departures, varying routes and the possibility of extremely comfortable suites with excellent facilities.