Russia still remains the largest country in the world. It takes 9 hours to fly from Moscow to Vladivostok (a Pacific port), and it takes 6 days to go there by train. Naturally, there can be a lot of interesting historical and natural sites on such huge territory.
As a rule, most tourists first go to Moscow. As everyone wants to see the famous Kremlin, which is often associated with Russian powers. Apart from the Kremlin, you must visit the famous Red Square, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and other historical sites of the city.
After that you should go to St. Petersburg. As it is undoubtedly more attractive for tourists than Moscow. Originally, the city was designed as the capital of Russian Empire. Because of this its Old Town resemble a museum. So it wouldn’t be quite correct to say that «historical monuments are at every step», as all St. Petersburg is a single museum city of Russian architecture. Also, you shouldn’t forget about amazingly luxurious suburban residences of Rus-sian tsars.
Besides these two capital cities, there are many interesting cities which are worth visiting in Russia. Thus, near Moscow there is the so-called «Golden Ring» of Russia. They are so called because of a great number of old churches with golden cupolas. In those places you can quite feel yourself in the old provincial Russia, far from its capitals.
Vast spaces of Karelia are to the north of St. Petersburg. There are a lot of lakes, rivers and channels, and coniferous forests growing on rocky soils are very picturesque, so if you want quiet open-air vacations, then a journey to Karelia would be the right choice. By the way, Karelia has also opportunities for active holidays (rafting, trekking and so on), as well most interesting historical sites (churches and monasteries on the islands Kizhi and Valaam). And to the north of Karelia, on the island in the middle of the White Sea, you can see one of the most surprising places in Russia – Solovetsky monastery.
In the south of Russia there located the region of seaside resorts – the coast of the Black Sea. The most famous resorts in the region are Anapa, Gelendzhik, Dgybga, Lazarevskoe and Sochi. The latter will host Winter Olympic Games 2014, so there will soon be a full-blown all-season resort. In summer you can bathe in the sea, and in winter you can go skiing. Also, around Sochi there are interesting trekking paths over the Caucasus Mountains.
Mineralnye Vody Region is at the other side of the Caucasus Mountains. There are over 130 types of mineral water sources on a small territory. It is one of the world`s biggest artesian basins of mineral waters. The main resorts of Mineralnye Vody are Kislovodsk, Pyatigorsk, Essentuki and Zheleznovodsk. From there you can go on excursions to picturesque places of the Caucasus Mountains – Dombai and Elbrus.
In Asian part of Russia there are also interesting tourist places: Siberian taiga, the Altai and Sayan Mountains, Lake Baikal, volcanoes of Kamchatka Peninsula. Almost all Asian part of Russia is called by the word «Siberia». Probably, everyone has heard of boundless spaces of taiga forest. It takes about five hours to fly from one end of Siberia to the other, however, if you simply want to see the Siberian forest, you`d better do it at Krasnoyarsk. Krasnoyarsk Stolby (or Pillars) National Park located near this city has both beautiful mountains and Siberian taiga.
The best trekking paths on the territory of Russia are in the Altai and Sayan Mountains (these mountain systems abut one upon the other), as well as in Kamchatka, the farthest corner of Russia. Altai and Sayany are regions of massive and beautiful mountains, which are absolutely untouched by civilization. Kamchatka is the land of volcanoes. There are about 300 volcanoes, and 29 of them are active. The most beautiful places on Kamchatka are the Valley of Geysers and the Uzon Caldera at Kronotsky Nature Reserve.
When telling about the nature sites of Russia, you can`t but mention Lake Baikal. This lake is interesting not only for science but also for eco-tourism, camping and adventure tours. It contains 25% of fresh water supplies on the earth. The most beautiful places of Lake Baikal are in the region of Olkhon Island and Maloye Morye (Small Sea).
Also you can`t forget the possibility of the legendary travel over the Trans-Siberian Rail-road. Every second, and possibly every foreigner, when planning a journey over Russia, would say: «I have long been dreaming of a train journey along the Trans-Siberian Railroad». Then the optimum route would be «Moscow – Lake Baikal». The journey would take at least 2 weeks with stopovers at Nizhniy Novgorod, Kazan and Krasnoyarsk.