Why I love Russia

A traveller's relationship with Russia is never an easy one, but over two decades of exploring this multifaceted country, I've yet to tire of it or be disappointed. It's a thrill to discover the latest on the dynamic and liberal art scene in the major cities and I particularly relish the serene countryside, with Lake Baikal a favourite location. Above all, it has been encounters and passionate conversations with... Read More

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Russia adventures

$3839 Nature & wildlife

Trans-Mongolian Express

From the Great Wall of China to the Hermitage in St Petersburg, travel halfway around the world in three incredible weeks. Board one of the world’s great trains and ride the rails on this once-in-a-lifetime trip across the grassy steppes of Mongolia and through the taiga forests of Siberia. Share train carriages with locals, overnight in a Mongolian ger and in a cozy Russian homestay. Not only does this trip provide the perfect blend of comfortable accommodations and plenty of activities, but also free time to explore this fascinating region at your own pace.

$7300 Boating & cruises

Russia's Ring of Fire

This expedition explores one of the most geologically active and biologically rich parts of the planet. The large number of live volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula and along the Kuril Islands has earned this region the reputation of the Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire’. This is a land of stunning bays and snow-capped volcanoes whose alpine meadows and lowland forests support a great diversity of wildlife. The seas washing these isolated coasts are equally rich in life – they are among the most productive in the world, teeming with birds and marine mammals. Huge bird colonies dot the cliffs and large seal rookeries are scattered along the coast. The volcanic Kuril Islands chain comprises 32 islands stretching across the Bering Sea between Russia and Japan. On this voyage we focus on the extraordinary biodiversity of the area and get to know the people that call this wild outpost home.

$5999 Hiking & trekking

Trans Siberian Adventure Naadam Festival

The Trans Siberian train journey has captured the imagination of travellers for many decades. This superb itinerary combines the classic train route with stopovers at many of the unique and exciting destinations en-route. Beginning in the Chinese capital Beijing there is ample time to witness the iconic attractions of this great city. Continuing to Ulaanbaatar, we experience the colourful Naadam Festival before heading to the Mongolian Steppe for a taste of nomadic life, staying in comfortable ger camps and experiencing the vast grasslands and the warm hospitality of the people with some 'Airag', the fermented mares milk which is a favourite of the Mongolians. The next stage of our train journey takes us to Irkutsk in the heart of Siberia. Lake Baikal is a highlight of this region, and we take time to explore the natural beauty of the surrounds. The final stage of our journey takes us to the cities of Moscow and St Petersburg where we soak up the immense history through visits to Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow and the Hermitage in St Petersburg, as well as a multitude of lesser known sites which our Russian hosts will uncover.

$3839 Nature & wildlife

Trans-Mongolian Express

From the Great Wall of China to the Hermitage in St Petersburg, travel halfway around the world in three incredible weeks. Board one of the world’s great trains and ride the rails on this once-in-a-lifetime trip across the grassy steppes of Mongolia and through the taiga forests of Siberia. Share train carriages with locals, overnight in a Mongolian ger and in a cozy Russian homestay. Not only does this trip provide the perfect blend of comfortable accommodations and plenty of activities, but also free time to explore this fascinating region at your own pace.

$5399 Hiking & trekking

Mongolia In the Footsteps of the Nomad with Tim Cope

Join Australian adventurer and writer Tim Cope and Tseren Enebish of Mongolia for a unique moderate-challenging trek among remote Khoton and Kazakh nomads in the Kharkhiraa and Tsaast Uul mountains of western Mongolia. The focus of this trip is spending less time crossing the vast landscape of Mongolia by jeep, and more time trekking off the beaten track immersed in the landscape and culture of the legendary horsemen and women of the steppes. Tim, who rode a horse for three and a half years from Mongolia to Hungary across the steppes of Eurasia is passionate about the nomadic way of life and the history of the Mongolian people whose ancestors were among the first in history to tame the horse. Tseren is a Mongolian artist, traveller, philanthropist, pioneer of Mongolian adventure tourism, and mother of four who has been exploring her own country for twenty years. Tim first met Tseren and her family in the summer of 2000 during one of Tim’s earlier journeys by bicycle across Siberia and Mongolia to Beijing. Tseren enables us to make a strong and personal connection with the locals and learn about life through the eyes of the nomad. The itinerary takes us from Ulaanbaatar by plane to Ulaangom in the west where we begin the trek in the Kharkhiraa mountain- part of the greater Altai range. In this region lives a small and intriguing ethnic group of Mongolians called the ‘Khoton.’ Unlike many nomads of Mongolia who have adopted the motorbike and truck as part of their nomadic existence, the Khotons still make the trek up into the high passes of the Kharkhiraa with just camels, yaks, and horses. Our trek follows the migratory routes of these Khoton families along the Kharkhiraa river gorge and eventually up to the spectacular high pass at 3000m between Kharkhiraa and Turgen peaks. Along the way we will pass evidence of ancient nomadic people in the form of Turkic gravestone markers, and hear from Tim and tseren the many legends and stories that tell much about the Mongolian connection to their animals and the land. Travelling with us will be a small caravan of local horsemen and their horses and camels that will be taking our luggage and equipment. There will be an opportunity to encounter the nomadic people most days, and from the high pass, weather permitting, there will be an optional return walk up to a high ridge at about 3600 metres. The second half of the Kharkhiraa trek takes us on a descent towards the Khovd river where we will be met by vehicle support. The landscape of the Kharkhiraa is dominated by open slopes dotted with nomad tents, deep river gorges, alpine lakes, and the inspiring, glacier capped peaks of Kharkhiraa and Turgen. Although it is very rare and unlikely to spot one, it is worth noting that these mountains are renowned as one of the refuges for the endangered snow leopard. Trekking days involve 6-8 hours of walking, and although there is no technical parts to the trek, a medium to high level of fitness is required. The second, less demanding part of the journey takes us to Olgiy, capital of the Kazakh province of Western Mongolia, and the spectacular mountain of ‘Tsaast Uul.’ Here we will experience Kazakh people who are renowned as eagle hunters and trainers. Two more days of trekking will give us a rich insight into the diversity of the people who living on the vast and fenceless land of Mongolia. After an afternoon reflecting on the shores of Tolboo Nuur lake, we return to Olgiy and fly to Ulaanbaatar. Integral to this tour, is also supporting a local Mongolian charity, the Down Syndrome Association of Mongolia. $100 of your tour price will be donated to this charity in Ulaanbaatar at a special presentation when we arrive. There will be the opportunity to meet with representatives from the charity and make additional donations. Tim has been presented with the tourism excellence award by the Minister Oyunkhorol for his ongoing passion and promotion of the region. For more information on Tim’s pioneering adventures visit his website: www. timcopejourneys.com

$480.0 Small group tours

Ultimate 3 Day Tour of Moscow

The ultimate tour of Moscow can last 3 days with 7 hours each day, or 4 days with 5 hours each day.