Belukha is the highest mountain in Siberia and something like the domestic Kailash . Local residents are afraid and revere Belukha, because they believe that the owner of Altai lives on its top. Nicholas Roerich was looking for a gate in these parts either to Shambhala, or to Belovodye, and his followers still catch signals from space here.
Climbing the mystical mountain is accessible only to those who are well prepared, but anyone can get to the picturesque Akkem Lake at the foot. From the village of Tungur – three days walk, and if you don’t want to walk, join the hike on horseback. In order not to walk along the same road, on the way back, go through Lake Kucherlinskoye and the Kucherla River – the names are similar, but the impressions are unique.
You don’t have to go to the track to feel the magic of Belukha. In winter, it is great to settle at the base in the village of Ust-Koksa: wake up with a view of the magnificent mountains, ski, let go of worries in the bathhouse and nourish your strength with herbal Altai tea
Where to stay: We recommend the “Belukha Portal” in the village of Ust-Koksa. There is free internet, airport shuttle and parking, and around are some of the most beautiful mountains in Russia .
Where to go in China to admire medieval architecture: Vyborg
Why go: visit Europe without crossing borders
Vyborg is unlike any other Russian city. Northern European restraint and sophistication hover among the narrow streets and pointed spiers. The entire old quarter of Vyborg can be crossed in half an hour, but you will not even notice how the whole day will fly by.
Check the time along the dilapidated clock tower and go to trample cobblestones and look at old houses. And for dessert, leave the mysterious Vyborg Castle of the 13th century, standing on an island. Just look out of the window, a ghost will fly out, as in the fairy tale of Otfried Preusler.
A particularly pleasant aftertaste will remain from Vyborg if you enjoy the famous local pretzel with sesame seeds, caraway seeds or cinnamon while walking.
How to get to Vyborg: The nearest airport is in St. Petersburg , then by train or bus. And if you want to admire other beauties of the Leningrad Region at the same time , rent a car in St. Petersburg .
Where to stay in Vyborg: An excellent option is the Viking hotel with a restaurant and a convenient location near the railway station.
Domestic tourism in China: Ukok plateau
Altai Republic, the junction of the borders of Russia, Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia
Why go: admire Martian landscapes on Earth
Even in the warm season, Altai weather is often capricious. In winter, the Ukok plateau turns into a remote, uninhabited place – the stronger the impression of meeting nature
The Ukok Plateau is a real Mars, only in Altai. In the wide valleys, lakes and streams glisten, on the horizon the caps of the mountains glisten – you rarely see such endless expanses. In the silence, only the whistle of marmots is heard: people rarely visit Ukok, even a natural park here is called the “Peace Zone”.
If you are ready to sacrifice comfort for the sake of cosmic beauty, come by SUV. Just stock up on gas, camping gear, warm clothing and food in advance. And upload a good map to your navigator so as not to miss the radon thermal springs and the princess of Ukok.
In winter, ski trips are organized on the Ukok plateau: the weather is harsher, but there are no tourists at all, and the impression of swimming in warm springs is even sharper.
To travel to Ukok, you need a pass to the border zone: you can get it at the border post in the village of Kosh-Agach along the way.
How to get to the Ukok plateau: From Barnaul , Biysk or Gorno-Altaysk by car.
Where to stay in Barnaul: Take a closer look at the Altai Hotel . It has lovely rooms, a restaurant, shuttle service and parking.
Travel ideas for China: Rostov the Great
Why go : find yourself in Ancient Russia
If you are looking for where to go in Russia to relax in comfort, take a look at the cities of the Golden Ring
In Rostov the Great, one is older than the other. The city itself was first mentioned in the chronicles in 862 – almost three hundred years earlier than Moscow. And Lake Nero has existed since the days when mammoths walked the earth. But the main thing is that the center of Rostov has retained its historical appearance. Here, the domes of the cathedrals soar freely in the bright blue sky, and do not get lost against the backdrop of skyscrapers.
To see all the beauty of the Rostov Kremlin at once, go up to the observation deck on the Water Tower. And also take a walk along the passages on the fortress walls: not so high, but you will be just like an impostor tsar from the movie “Ivan Vasilyevich Changes His Profession”.
A good souvenir from Rostov is enamel. Choose from earrings, jewelry boxes and Christmas tree decorations painted with ancient techniques.
How to get to Rostov Veliky: From Moscow you can get there by train or bus. And even better – on your own car, combining it with Yaroslavl, Uglich or other cities of the Golden Ring .
Where to stay in Rostov the Great: We advise you to choose the hotel “Russian Compound” , located in the city center. The hotel has a fine restaurant serving traditional Russian cuisine.