There are certain trips that top nearly every adventure traveler’s list: trekking Machu Picchu, hiking the Himalayas, or skiing in the Canadian Rockies. One place you might not have thought of for an adventure trip is Russia. When most people think of visiting Russia they imagine visiting the majestic cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg or taking an epic train ride on the Trans-Siberian. Fewer travelers make it out into the less-traveler reaches of Southern Russia.
Those who do venture out this way find that there are a surprising number of things to do in Southern Russia. There are historic towns, archaeological sites, vineyards and great local food. And there are lots of activities for adventure lovers. Goryachiy Klyuch, small town about 60km away from Krasnodar offers an abundance of hiking trails, suitable for hikers of all fitness levels and lasting from a few hours to several days. Along the Black Sea Coast, take your pick from summer or winter activities. In the summer, visit Sochi, where the sea temperature can rise up to 28C (82F). Or head to Krasnaya Polyana in winter to ski, snowboard and go sledding.
Russia may be one of the less-visited countries of the world, but it has many appeals, particularly in areas that are even further away from the tourist crowds, where you can see an unexpected side of the country and get a closer look at what life is like for the people. So if you’re up for some adventure in a place you might night have previously considered, book your tickets to Moscow, spend a few days in the city, and then head to Southern Russia.
Photo by: Daniel Beilinson