Russia is a truly vast country and easily the largest nation on earth and it is a country that inspires and scares us. It spans from Japan in the east to Poland in the west. That is a truly massive distance. Unfortunately, when most people think of traveling to Russia, they only think of traveling to a select few destinations like Moscow, St. Petersberg, the Tran-Siberian railway, and maybe Kazan and Lake Baikal.

Those are some awesome destinations to be sure, but there is just so so much more to see and do in this vast country. True much of the country is very similar, you can travel 2000 miles across Russia without the scenery changing. But still, it is full of undiscovered destinations to discover.

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When To Visit: Late Spring Or Summer Is Always The Best Times To Visit Russia

Northern Caucasus

The Caucasus region is nothing like the rest of Russia and is jam-packed with stunning scenery and unique culture. The people here are not Slavic and have their own unique histories, languages, and cultures. The region is made up of a butch of autonomous republics that are considered nations within the Russian nation (rather like the Navajo Nation in America). The republics here include North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechyna, Dagestan, and more.

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Traveling in this region is an unforgettable experience and something one everyone should do. The people here are incredibly hospitable and welcoming, there are no tourists, just guests. If you visit North Ossetia be sure to visit the mystical "City Of The Dead."

Places To Visit

Necropolis: City Of The Dead In North Ossetia

Mount Elbrus: Highest Mountain In Russia (5,642 meters or 18,510 feet)

Kislovodsk & Pyatigorsk: Alpine Cities Famous For Their Thermal Springs And "Sanatoria"

Itum-Kale: Rarely Visited Alpine Village Deep In The Mountains Of Chechnya

Tuva Republic

Everyone has heard of Mongolia, but few have heard of the Republic Of Tuva in Russia. This is a region that borders Mongolia in Russia's Siberian region. The Tuvans are closely related to the Mongolians and are also a formerly nomadic steppe group. But they have their own autonomous region within Russia. This region is rarely visited by outside tourists and is only for intrepid explorers.

Fun Fact: Between 1921-1944 Tuva Was An Independent Country (Can Be Seen On Some Maps)

  • Population: Over 300,000

Altai Region

Also located in Russia's Siberian region, the Altai region is a very mountainous and utterly stunning region that will amaze the most traveled of people. This is also archaeology a very important region in prehistory for humanity. The Altai mountains lie on the border with Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China and are inhabited by a diverse range of people including Mongolians, Russians, Kazakhs, and Altais.

Related: 10 Mistakes All Rookies Make During Their First Time In Russia

The Altai region is full of different ecological zones and boasts a diverse selection of wildlife. This is one of the most beautiful and scenic parts of Russia and a must-see for those passionate about the great outdoors. Altai is another of those locations that is a famous destination for Russians but is little known off outside of Russia.

  • Highest Peak: Belukha At 4,506 meters or 14,783 feet
  • Major Archeological Discovery: The Site Of The Discovery Of The Denisovians (Close Cousins To Modern Humans)

Kamtchatka Peninsula

The Kamtchatka Peninsula is the massive peninsula in Russia's Far East just north of Japan and is kinda like Russia's Alaska. This is a stunning region filled with unspoiled landscapes, volcanoes, and wildlife like bears. This is one of the destinations that every Russian wants to visit but one that few outsiders have heard of. The scenery in this peninsula is just simply breathtaking.

In fact, the mesmerizing volcanoes of Kamtchatka are UNESCO World Heritage-listed. Here you can see some of the world's most stunning but least known volcanoes and see the world's "other Alaska". The prices here are generally higher than the rest of Russia but are still generally low by Western standards.

  • Population: 322,000
  • Largest City: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Home To More Than Half The Peninsula's Population)
  • Highest Peak:  4,750 meters or 15,580 feet
  • Visit: Opala Volcano - Prominent Volcano In The Southern Part Of The Peninsula
  • Visit: Koryakskaya Sopka Active Volcano Towering Over The Largest City In The Region

Ural Mountains

The Ural Mountains are perhaps the most well-known of the must-sees on this list. These long mountain ranges serve as the dividing line between Europe and Asia and are also utterly stunning.  The Ural mountain ranges are also home to a diverse group of people with several different republics with very different histories and cultures to that of the Russian majority.

The Urals are another of Russia's stunning cultural, flora and fauna, and landscape hotspots. It is the range that splits Russia between the European West and the Asain East

Visit: Ignatievka Cave (Important  Paleolithic Site)

  • Length Of Ranges: 2,500 KM Or 1,600 Miles

In short, Russia is full of stunning landscapes, mountains, and unique minorities that make Russia truly unique and special. Many of Russia's best destinations are largely unknown to the wider world.

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