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Russia

A riddle wrapped in an enigma

Tailor-made Russia holidays

Due to the ongoing military conflict with Ukraine, the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) currently advices against all but essential travel to Russia.

Introduction

Despite being open to travellers for decades, Russia remains, as Churchill once observed, ‘a riddle wrapped in an enigma'. Mysterious, mighty and modern; medieval, beautiful and brutal; romantic but cynical; poetic yet pragmatic, this is an endlessly contradictory country, but large enough to allow all opposites to exist.

Russia's sheer scale is difficult to imagine, let alone thoroughly explore. Western Russia on its own, from the borders of Belarus to the Ural mountains, is the largest country in Europe, and that's just a fraction of the whole country. The Russian Federation only finishes when the sea separating it from Japan begins, a great sweep of steppes and Siberia in between. There are silvery birch forests too, and snow capped mountains, the warm sands of the Black Sea, rivers, deep lakes and every kind of physical beauty to enjoy.

If the landscapes soothe the soul, urban life in Russia stirs it. The cities are exciting, or enchanting, and in some cases both. From the chaotic yet compelling charm of Moscow, the enchanted feel of the ancient towns on the Golden Ring, the elegance of St Petersburg to the exuberance of Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, there's something for everyone here, from adventure holidays to cultural city breaks or both combined in a tailor made trip.

This is one country where working out an itinerary designed to take in as much variety as possible is recommended, due to both its size and scope. Preferably an itinerary that will allow for sociable stops in steamy bathhouses and chatty teahouses and bars for shots of what is known as ‘a little drop of water' in Russia - and consumed with as much regularity - vodka.

 

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At a glance

Flying time from UK
6 hours

Time zone
GMT +3 to +12

Currency
Rouble (Rbl) = 100 kopeks

Language
Russian

Travel advice
Check the FCDO for visa & Covid-19 travel advice

Top places to stay in Russia

Lake Baikal, Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

Golden Eagle

Luxury train

Golden Eagle Luxury Trains are the world's leading operator of exclusive, long-distance rail tours, offering fully-escorted, private and adventurous rail tours to discerning guests looking to visit off-the-beaten-track destinations without compromising on comfort.

Where to go in Russia

Eastern Region

The Ural mountain range forms a natural division between European and Asian Russia. This lengthy chain, which stretches for 2,000 kilometres from Kazakhstan to the arctic Kara Sea marks the edge of Eastern Russia, an immense mass of tundra and taiga (Siberian forest) and snowy reaches that ends onl…

Southern Region

Russia's Southern Region enjoys the warmest weather in the country, which is handy for the Black Sea holiday resorts. By way of contrast, this region is also home to Russia's most exotic cultural destinations - and most mountainous ones - in the North Caucasus.

St Petersburg

St Petersburg is the most European of Russian cities, imbued with elegance, glamour, and the lingering romance associated with the Romanovs, Russia's last reigning royal family. The rarefied atmosphere emanates from the neoclassical and baroque Italianate buildings that line the graceful streets an…

Russia's Northern Region

Russia's Northern Region is a place of frozen seas, silvery forests and shimmering lakes and thousands of islands. Reaching into the Arctic Circle, this region of lakes, forests and tundra might be chilly in the winter, but it's a beautiful fairytale landscape during the snowy months, and equally g…

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When to go to Russia

St Petersburg
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"In January in Northern Russia, everything vanishes beneath a deep blanket of whiteness. Rivers, fields, trees, roads, and houses disappear, and the landscape becomes a white sea of mounds and hollows. On days when the sky is grey, it is hard to see where earth merges with air. On brilliant days [it's] as if millions of diamonds were scattered on the snow, refracting light."Robert K. Massie, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman  Most of Russia is snow-bound for a large part of the year, so most visitors choose the summer months of late May to August to take in the sights of Moscow or subarctic St Petersburg, where in June the sun barely …

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  • Northern Lights looking out to Steinfjord on Senja island, Norway

    How to photograph the Northern Lights

    Photographing the Northern Lights is a challenging, yet rewarding experience. Here we take a look at the how's, where's, why's and when's to give you the very best chance of returning from your Aurora adventures with a series of pictures to be proud of.

  • Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

    Great train holidays

    Whether it's the old world charm, luxurious surroundings and service or the incredible sense of place that comes with train travel, the option remains one of the most sophisticated and sought after modes of travel around. 

  • Lake Baikal, Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

    Just back from: Golden Eagle Silk Road

    Tim Tan recounts a recent journey along the Silk Road on The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, a private train that brings unprecedented luxury to the world's greatest railway journey.

See all articles

Meet our Russia experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0618

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0618 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

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Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

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Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
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  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
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