There are people whose idea of rest and relaxation is to have the adventure of a lifetime, and for this crowd, adventure travel is definitely the way to go. From harnessing mountains, taking on the rapids, going skyward or daring to go where only few dare to tread, travelers are exposed to the malice of winds and weather but ultimately, the love and need of a challenge makes it all worthwhile.
Russia, with a territory that stretches for 10,000 kilometres from west to east and for 3,000 kilometres from north to south (the arctic to sub-tropical latitudes), presents a limitless array of sparsely populated untouched land, various natural climatic zones and landscapes which is the dream of any true adventurer. Russia's mountain ranges, such as the Khibins, Caucasus, Urals, Altai, Sayans and others, are rife with alpine adventure, caving tourism possibilities, mountain-skiing and hang-gliding opportunities that are second to none. Full-bodied rivers teeming with obstacles seem like they were created for canoe, catamaran and kayak rafting. Russia's seas, the White, Black, Japanese and others, will not leave fans of diving and windsurfing disappointed. There are many interesting jeep tour routes, and one can even organize a real trophy raid in many places here.
For those who like a little chill to their adventure, an expedition in an atomic ice-breaker is just what the doctor ordered to get familiar with arctic nature. In fact, journeys to the North Pole are organized on the Yamal ice-breaker, starting from the city of Murmansk in the Kola Peninsula to the Franz Josef Land archipelago (the only inhabitants of which are polar birds, bears and walruses) - from there, one heads straight to the Pole. Those who manage to “conquer” the Pole are greeted with a special treat to really break the ice- they bathe in the Arctic Ocean and can call home to boast of their arctic exploits. One can also land on the North Pole in a parachute or by hot air balloon.
Tourists may travel through Kamchatka as the locals do - by dog-sled or a reindeer drawn sleigh. One is given a crash course in the art of dog-sledding by the Evens, one of the indigenous peoples of the Far North. You may also plan for gold hunting both in the Republic of Yakutia and the Khabarovsk Region, which involves looking for the treasure or washing it in the local river. Anyone interested in astronautics and space may visit the world's largest launching station of Baikonur, in Southern Kazakhstan. It is from this site that the first satellite and the first astronaut (Yuri Gagarin) were sent into space. Here, tourists may see a spaceship launch first hand, an extremely noisy but always grandiose spectacle.
In order to enjoy a bird's eye view of Moscow and the cities of the Golden Ring (Vladimir, Suzdal, Yaroslavl, etc.), one may take a trip in a helicopter or small airplane. There are also opportunities to visit many Russian towns by hot-air balloon or, for those who are into riskier business, to hang-glide or paraglide over lakes and forests.
There has recently been an increase in popularity of the more “military” type of adventures. Tourists have the opportunity to join stuntmen in their exploits or to shoot from five to ten kinds of weapons, not to mention the ultimate challenge of driving a T-34 tank or any of other diverse kinds of armoured vehicles.
The unexplored expanses of Russia challenge you to take the incredible journey of a lifetime!