Russia has some incredible mountains, beaches, deserts, ethnic villages, spectacular volcanoes and glaciers, making it one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Russia offers vast opportunities for both photographers and travelers. Let’s have a trip…
Dargavs is located at the Dargavskaya Hollow in North Ossetia-Alania. Dargavskaya Hollow is protected from clouds and winds by mountains which create a special dry microclimate. The basin of the hollow is mostly flat, which is a rarity among mountain gorges. Dargavs village was inhabited since the Bronze Age, and was one of the main centers of the formation of the Tagaurian society, who belong to the upper class of East Ossetia. The relocation of the residents began after the founding of the neighboring city of Mozdok. In 1830, during the uprising in Ossetia, many of Dargavs’ residents were killed and many towers destroyed. Currently, there is no permanent population, which has led the village to be known as the ‘City of the Dead’. The city’s tombs are divided into three types: the ones that are located above the ground where the roof is a pyramid made from rectangular slate slabs; another type includes topped gable ceilings; the third, the most unassuming burials, are half-underground and are built in a rectangular shape from roughly processed stone slabs.
Karelia, a republic in north-west Russia, is known as one the country’s most beautiful places. The nature here is breathtaking and more Finnish than Russian, with lakes, waterfalls and trees growing on giant rocks. Ruskeala is a village close to Sortavala, one of the region’s bigger towns. The main interest here is Ruskeala is the Mountain Park, with a marble canyon that is now a lake with crystal clear water, and another underground lake. You can rent boats, go diving, or hike. In summer there are light shows on the lake.
Zapovednik ‘Stolby’ Nature Reserve
Stolby Nature Reserve is located in the north-western spurs of the Eastern Sayan Mountains, bordering the Central Siberian Plateau. The reserve borders the city of Krasnoyarsk in the north east, and can be easily reached by bus from the center of the city. The reserve was founded in 1925 on the initiative of residents who wanted to preserve the nature around the picturesque syenite residual outcrops, also known as pillars. Stolby Nature Reserve is a very popular destination for rock climbing enthusiasts, due to its proximity to civilization, ease of access and great rocks. Day or night hiking trips along the signed and well-maintained trails will reward you with some spectacular views that are awaiting you on top of the volcanic pillars. Stolby Nature Reserve is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Velikiy Novgorod, also known as Novgorod the Great, is one of the most important cities in the country, often called the “birthplace of Russia”. For a long time the city was a sovereign principality, founded by merchants and ruled in relative democracy, and the unification of Novgorod with Moscow in the 15th century was an essential step towards a unified Russia. The city is an historic one and the traditional wooden architecture museum of Vitoslavlitsiis a must-visit; the open-air exhibition of Russian izbas (farmhouses) has an ancient tradition of building without nails or metal to hold the wooden planks together. The Kremlin fortress in Novgorod is also one of the oldest in Russia, dating back to the 11th century.
The Altai Mountains is a complex system of the highest mountains in the Siberian ridges, separated by deep river valleys and extensive hollows. The Altai National Reserve and the Katunskiy National Reserve together form the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Golden Mountains of Altai. Altai attracts thousands of tourists every year due to its endless possibilities for active holidays and plenty of photography opportunities. Altai is attracting almost all types of tourism, from road trips to rafting, and anything from mountain hiking to walks can be done here with ease. Mother Nature has generously endowed Altai with semi-desert steppes, taiga, alpine meadows, lakes and countless waterfalls. The largest lake in Altai is Lake Teletskoye, surrounded by taiga, which is also one of the deepest lakes in the world. There are more than 400 caves made from limestone, marble and dolomite, with incredible sinter formations, including the Taldinskie, Charyshskie and Hanharskie caves. All travellers will be happy to find out that Altai has an abundance of ancient sites, caves with traces of ancient people, untouched national parks, and tranquility.