Top Offbeat Winter Destinations in Russia

people walking on snow covered field
Photo by Inga Seliverstova on

There’s no shortage of reasons to visit Russia in winter. Travel by rail, air or by boat costs are much lower than in peak season, and airfares are comparatively cheap. And given the unstable ruble, traveling to Russia is even more affordable. Kola Bay, near Norway, is one of the most unique places on Earth, and is also an important strategic location for the Russian Navy. Read on to discover more.

Geyser fields

Visiting a geyser field is one of the offbeat winter destinations in Russia. The area has a remarkably unique ecosystem. The valley of geysers was discovered in 1941 by members of the Kronotsky Nature Reserve, geomorphologist Tatyana Ustinova, and inspector Anisifor Krupnenin. The valley is home to some of the largest geysers in the world, with vapors up to 250 degrees Celsius.

Located in Kamchatka, this region is home to the second-largest concentration of geysers in the world. And it is also the only geyser field on the Eurasia continent. Despite its size, the ecosystem is fragile and needs to be monitored. However, thanks to protection and preservation efforts, much of Kamchatka is well protected. In fact, it contains numerous nature parks and reserves.

On the Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia, geyser fields are the perfect escape from the cold. There is no other offbeat destination like geysers, and geyser fields are among the most popular tourist destinations in the area. This geyser field, known as the “Valley of Geysers,” contains more than 90 geysers and hot springs. The geysers in this area are concentrated on the left bank of the Geysernaya River, and extend into the canyon carved by the river. Each geyser in the field has its own discharge cycle and characteristic.

Another offbeat winter destination in Russia is Murmansk. The town has a unique natural phenomenon that draws travelers: polar night, where the sun does not rise above the horizon, and the Northern Lights. You can even see a bear while you’re there. The polar region of Kamchatka also has active volcanoes, making it an excellent place to go for a day trip.

Snowball fights

There are few places as offbeat as a snowball fight in the winter in Russia. This remote seaside village, just over 2,000 people’s population, is a perfect example. This village sits on the Gulf of Ob, a branch of the Kara Sea. Residents noticed fields of giant snowballs on the shore. The snowballs range in size from a tennis ball to a volleyball, and they are all remarkably uniform.

The snowballs were formed in late October, when water from the Gulf of Ob covered the beach. As chunks of ice rolled over the wet sand, they formed snowballs about the size of a tennis or basketball. Weather forecasts indicate that Siberia will experience near record-breaking cold this winter, with the snow cover at its highest since 1998. A chilly winter in Siberia is forecast to affect many parts of the U.S., including the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic. As a result, Western Europe could be hit by snowstorms.

When traveling to Russia, winter is an ideal time to visit. Rail and airfare prices are much lower than they are during the peak season, and the ruble’s troubles make travel to Russia more affordable than ever. If you are looking for a place to enjoy a snowball fight, you may want to try Kola Bay, a unique spot on earth close to Norway. It is also a vital strategic location for the Russian Navy.

One of the best things about the city is that the weather is nearly perfect for snowball fights. The temperature is so cold, however, that you can go cross-country skiing or go for a snowball fight in the park. If you are traveling during the winter, snowball fights are a must. There are so many places to choose from in Russia for snowball fights that it is hard to choose just one.

Ice caves

Siberia has long been known for its coldness, ruggedness, and isolation. Ice caves, however, are unique and a must-see for anyone traveling to the country in the winter. Permafrost, or frozen ground, helps keep the ice from melting, which makes these structures look almost perfect. Once you’ve climbed up to the ice cave, you can relax on an icy bed and snap some photos.

Some glacier tours include a visit to an ice cave. Though these ice caves are difficult to navigate, some are open to the public. You can explore thousands of years of ice in the Ice Grotto, a unique ice pavilion hidden inside the glacier. Aside from the beauty of this natural wonder, ice cave tours include a fascinating interactive experience. Those wishing to take part in an ice cave tour should be prepared to wear crampons and ice picks.

Another offbeat destination in the Russian far north is an ice cave in Slovak Paradise. This is one of the country’s largest ice caves, with a wall of up to 26 meters. The Dobsinska Ice Cave has a developed tourism industry, and the ice cave is open from May to September each year. There are a few hours of snowy conditions during this time, but you can still visit the frozen lakes and sculptures.

Located close to the Katla Volcano, these glacier tours are sure to impress your friends. The “Brilliant” grotto is illuminated with thousands of crystals and features a massive underground lake. The Apostle Islands mainland sea caves are also worth visiting during the cold months of the year. If you’re a fan of cold, wet weather, or adventure sports, an ice cave in the Russian Far North will surely make you happy.

Faraway destinations

If you’re looking for the ultimate winter escape, then try visiting some of Russia’s most remote regions. Lake Baikal, for example, freezes over between early January and late May. Visitors can cross-country ski across sections of the frozen lake, explore the caves of the Tazheran Steppes, or even go ice rafting. Most international flights will stop in Moscow, which is a mix of historic reminders and greenery.

When visiting St. Petersburg in the winter, be sure to visit the Russian State Hermitage Museum. The city’s theatres are home to some of the country’s most celebrated plays. The Russian ballet is perhaps the only export that can match the AK-47 as a symbol of Russian strength and courage. You’ll be amazed by the majesty of this city and its surroundings. In fact, you’ll be able to experience some of the world’s most exquisite performances in Russian ballet.

Although it’s chilly and sometimes wet, Russia’s seasons are what draw many visitors. During spring, the air is crisp and green, while autumn is cooler and nature turns to brilliant shades of red. In winter, the weather is cold and frosty, and it is ideal for snow lovers. The country’s many iconic landmarks are even more breathtaking during this season. In winter, Russians embrace their traditions and celebrate the New Year in grand style.

If you’re interested in history, you can’t miss out on Yaroslavl, the first Christian city on the Volga River. It is home to magnificent monuments from the 11th century, such as the Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, one of the most fortified and richest monasteries in the country. A gander of the city can be had by climbing the bell town.


Sitting on the spit of land between Lithuania and Poland, Kaliningrad is the westernmost part of Russia. While it’s a seaport city, the region is also surrounded by Lithuania and Poland. There’s plenty to see in this fascinating mix of cultures. Visitors to Kaliningrad are rewarded with striking scenery, a thriving city with 700 years of Prussian history, and picturesque coastal towns.

The city’s architecture hints at Europe, and the surviving Brandenburg Gate and Fishing Village showcase this heritage. Kaliningrad’s flea markets are among the best in Russia, and collectors from all over the world come here to shop for second-world war relics. The Amber museum is another popular attraction, and you can stay in a 19th-century building for the lowest prices per bunk bed.

Aside from its seaport, Kaliningrad is home to the Russian Baltic Fleet and is the most western town in Russia. While not a big city by any stretch, Kaliningrad is also closer to the Baltic Sea, Berlin, Prague, and St. Petersburg than these other major cities. The nearest large cities are in Lithuania and Poland. It’s worth noting that the weather in Kaliningrad is mild and pleasant even in the winter.

You can explore medieval burgher quarters and Soviet areas in the city. A maritime museum and a restored Fish Village are worth seeing in Kaliningrad. Don’t miss the Cathedral, which houses the grave of philosopher Kant. A visit to the Curonian Spit is about two hours away from the city center. This beautiful region has something for everyone, and is definitely worth a visit.

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