CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL TOURISM
Russia is a country of richest history and culture. The most different religious and cultural traditions of numerous nationalities living there have coexisted from time immemorial. The architectural ensemble of Moscow Kremlin, palaces of Saint Petersburg, and ancient cities of the Golden Ring are known all over the world.
Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation, and the business, scientific, cultural and tourist centre of Russia. The first mention of Moscow dates back to 1147. The city was founded by Suzdal prince Jury Dolgoruky (Long-armed). The architectural shape of the capital city has been formed for centuries. Best Russian and foreign architects and artists worked in Moscow to create its unique image. Today Moscow is one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. Unique flavour is given to the city by the architectural complex of the Moscow Kremlin, the majestic domes of Vasily the Blessed cathedral, the restored Temple of Christ the Savior, New Maiden Convent, Don's and St. Daniel's monasteries, the palace-and-park ensembles of Kolomenskoe, Kuskovo and Ostankino.
Moscow is a cultural centre of global value. There are more than 70 theatres here, the best known of them the Bolshoi Theatre. Richest collections of painting, graphic art and sculpture are gathered in nearly hundred museums, among them the well-known Tretyakov picture gallery and the Museum of fine arts named after Pushkin. There are scores of concert halls, cinemas and expo-centers in the city.
The Golden Ring of Russia is the most popular tourist route which goes from Moscow to the northeast through old Russian towns: Sergiev Posad, Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, Rostov, Yaroslavl', Uglich, Kostroma, Suzdal', Vladimir and many other. There travelers will see scores of most interesting monuments of architecture and history of XII - XVII centuries.
Northern Palmira, Northern Venice, the City of White Nights... It has a lot of beautiful names, that majestic city of Saint Petersburg, perhaps the most beautiful of all Russian cities! The Winter Palace, the spike of the Admiralty proudly shot up in the sky, the Spit of Vasilievsky island, St. Isaak and Kazan cathedrals, the Bronze Horseman, sculptures and most elegant railing of Letniy Sad (Summer Garden), canals and bridges on the Neva raised at night, treasures of the Hermitage and Russian Museum, Mariinsky Opera Theater, and unforgettable midnight sun - all these are features of the city. Saint Petersburg was the native place and cradle of Alexander Pushkin and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alexander Block and Anna Akhmatova. This city may be admired indefinitely!
The land of the Republic of Karelia to the north of Saint Petersburg is also rich in monuments of culture. The most important of them are the village of Kizhi - the largest in Russia architectural ensemble of national wooden architecture - and Valaam monastery, one of the spiritual centres of Russia established in XIV century on island Valaam in Ladoga lake.
Solovetskie islands with their Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery having rich and complex history are often called a gem of the White Sea area and the pride of Russian North. Beautiful are the tourist centers in the north of Russia: the cities of Vologda, Arkhangelsk and Kargopol', and the well-known Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery where a most valuable collection of XV - XVIII centuries icons is kept.
The Volga-Mother, the great Russian river! It is a heroine of ancient legends (bylinas) and songs, an integral part of the image and spirit of Russia. Since olden days, the Volga was a major trading way. The cities founded on its banks, in different centuries, in due course have turned into large cultural centers of Russia.
The Krasnoyarsk Territory is the heart of Siberia and geographical centre of Russia. The capital of the territory is famous for its numerous and original fountains; no other Siberian towns can be equaled to it in this aspect. The Krasnoyarsk Museum of Local Lore where items of the Siberian antiquity are richly represented, was recognized the best provincial museum of Russia in 2001.
Tuva is not only the geographical centre of Asia but also one of the most fantastic places on our planet. Everything is primeval here, everything keeps the traditional culture of Tuva people where most ancient Shaman traditions adjoin to those of Buddhism. Pagan stone idols, which are two thousand years old, look at us as silent witnesses of the past in Tuva steppes. Ancient cultural and esoteric traditions have been kept up to now in shamanism, in the fine art — traditional stone-carving - and even in the national cuisine. Traveling in Tuva, you may see shaman witchcraft and experience the mystical force of shaman medicine.
The largest fresh-water and deepest lake in the world - Baikal - is famous, first of all, for the beauty of its nature. But this region is also rich in sights of cultural and educational tourism.
Today, ecological tourism is developing more actively than any other kind of tourism all over the world. The modern city dweller tired of surrounding fuss and noise, more and more dreams of joining with nature, walking through silent woods, breathing pure mountain air, listening to singing birds. The benefit of such a rest for physical health and spiritual harmony of a person cannot be overestimated. It was not without reason that 2002 was declared by the United Nations Organization a year of ecotourism.
Russia is one of the most attractive and promising countries for development of ecological tourism. Our edition will acquaint you with the corners of Russia most attractive for ecotourism, will tell about the opportunities of active leisure in a natural environment, about hiking and boating, about reserved places and unique natural sites.
Many-sided nature of Central Russia with its wide open spaces of fields and river valleys, or vivifying elements of woods, has been glorified in national bylinas (tales) and legends, in verses of great Russian poets. Despite quite high density of population in comparison with other regions of the country and location of major industrial centres in its territory Central Russia boasts quite a few comers of virgin nature attracting fans of ecological tourism. The most valuable and unique natural sites are protected by the state, being included in the register of reserves and national parks.
Cruises are an attractive and romantic kind of tours. On their way along the rivers tourists admire magnificent landscapes, get familiarized with the history and culture, everyday life and traditions of the peoples of our country.
Cruising the great Russian rivers is one of the best ways to get acquainted with Russia: the severe beauty of the North-West, Siberia and Far East, the famous white nights of St. Petersburg, the manmade Volga-Baltic waterway.
As a rule, foreign tourists choose tours from Moscow to Petersburg, which last a week, but some others prefer longer journeys along the Volga and Siberian rivers.
FISHING AND HUNTING
Hunting has an old tradition in Russia. This Russian pastime was especially popular in XIX century, but then it was a privilege of aristocracy. Horse hunting with greyhounds and foxhounds required as a serious preparation as a good theatrical performance.
Hunting today is not already an amusement of elite, this is a popular kind of tourism, either. Many Russian tourist firms specialize in arranging hunting and fishing tours. One may be sure that the arranged tour will be worked out in detail: delivery to the hunting place, organization of everyday life and hunting itself, handling the trophy... The offers are various in terms of geography and prices.
Russia has huge potential of natural resources for treatment and health-improving rest. Unique resort zones of the Caucasian Mineral Waters, the Black Sea coast of Caucasus, Lake Baikal are world-famous.
The history of the health resort business in Russia is almost three centuries long. The first resort in the country - Martsial Waters in Karelia - was set up under Peter's I decree in 1719. The highly developed health resort industry of the country created in the USSR is successfully operating now. New comfortable hotels are under construction; quality of service and health treatment is improving. And what is especially important - now you can find more and more opportunities for combining your treatment with sports and active health-improving rest while staying at Russian resorts.
Russia is quite rich in tall mountain peaks. There are vast opportunities to go in for such popular kind of sports and tourism as mountain skiing. Mountainsides worthy of the attention of skiers are scattered all over the large Russian territories. Mountain ski resorts are being actively developed in Russian regions: new modern elevators and hotels are being built; new slopes are provided.
Business tourism is one of the leading and most dynamically developing spheres of world economy, because a successful business is impossible without contacts, exchange of technologies and information, exhibitions, congresses, and business trips.
More and more foreign firms and enterprises opening their offices and representations in Russia invite partners and employees from abroad, carry out receptions, talks and congresses. That is why the number of tourist firms, hotels, transport and finance companies whose main focus is services in the sphere of business tourism is growing in Russia. They do their best to provide most comfortable conditions so that the businessman during his journey is able not only to sign his contract successfully, hold talks and visit an international exhibition, but to enjoy his journey, too.