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Introducing Golden Ring

The Golden Ring (Золотое кольцо) is textbook Russia: onion-shaped domes, kremlins and gingerbread cottages with cherry orchards. It is a string of the country’s oldest towns that formed the core of eastern Kyivan Rus. Too engrossed in fratricide, they failed to register the rise of Moscow, which elbowed them out of active politics. Largely untouched by Soviet industrialisation, they now attract flocks of Russian tourists in search of the lost idyll. The travel boom has led to the proliferation of new hotels and guesthouses, while competition keeps prices at bay.

When travelling here, brace for a flow of images that are quite literally iconic. Themselves architectural icons, local churches contain Russia’s oldest religious art. There is more – picturesque country roads are inviting for a bicycle adventure, while steam baths will clear your mind after mead-drinking sessions. Moose milk may also help, but science is silent on that.