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THE CONCRETE JUNGLE OF MEXICO CITY

THE CONCRETE JUNGLE OF MEXICO CITY

More than 21 million people live in Mexico City in 2022. Mexican photographer Pablo Lopez Luz took a series of photos of this giant human anthill from aerial view.

Mexico City was founded in 1325 by the Aztec Indians. The founders of the city — the ancient Aztecs — initially lived a nomadic lifestyle practicing hunting and fishing. Their tribes appeared in the vicinity of modern Mexico City around 1200.

This city is the most densely populated city in the western hemisphere: 9,800 persons per 1 sq.km.

There are many monuments and unique buildings in the city (more than 1400 in Mexico City). There are also 10 archaeological parks on the territory of Mexico City.

The overpopulation of Mexico City creates the problem of giant traffic jams on highways. Due to the high level of air pollution, a thick cloud of smog hangs over the city.

From the heights you can see how its endless houses cover all the surface of the hills and valleys to the horizon.

These are some photos of the stone jungle from outer space:





ANIMALS OF RUSSIA PHOTOS

ANIMALS OF RUSSIA PHOTOS

In this collection you can download photos of animals that live in Russia. Some of them are very rare and even listed in the Red Book. If you want to learn more about the world of the fauna of Russian animals, read the information on thematic resources, but in the meantime, have fun viewing photos! Perhaps here you will see photos of species that you haven’t heard of yet.

Far Eastern Turtle


Mountain sheep

Brown Bear

Polar Bear

Squirrel

Atlantic Walrus


Amur Goral

Asian Cheetah

Sable

Wolverine

Hare

Wolf


Brown Bear

Elk

Fox

Wild Boars

Beaver

Ermine


The Front Asian leopard

Manul

Przewalski ‘s Horse

Forest Dormouse

Leopard of the Far East

Tenderness


Kulan

Red or Mountain Wolf

Musk deer

Bison

Hedgehog

Dzeren



Yug-Express: when to Novorossiysk three days or less

A winery near the “magic” mountain, a 10-kilometer embankment for a weekend promenade and all-season jogging, a clear sea a couple of minutes from the city, horseback riding and a local ice rink.

Novorossiysk is more often perceived as a transit between Anapa and Gelendzhik, which is fundamentally wrong from the point of view of an experienced traveler. This is the largest port in Russia and a cozy hero city with a balance of old merchant and modern architecture, where there is everything – from wine tours to sea activities with relaxation by clear water and surf extreme. Decide on the theme of the next weekend and save useful locations:

A long embankment with a length of 10 km is the initial “tick” for those who want impressions immediately, quickly and marked “beautiful— – with a view of the “layered” relief of the mountains of the Markhotsky ridge, the harbor with passenger and cargo ships, the rocky coast and the maritime heritage of the hero port city.

The route starts a little earlier than the parking place of the famous cruiser “Kutuzov”. The comfortably equipped embankment, which has been worked hard on in recent years, begins opposite the Consulate General of Greece and ends on the thin spit of Cape Sudzhuk. Along the “highway” — mirrored and pleasantly chamber shopping centers, Hilton Garden Inn, a recently rebuilt lighthouse temple with a figured dome made of copper and gold, coffee shops and restaurants, convenient descents to the water and several parks on the right side of the embankment – Heroes’ Square with Eternal Flame, Frunze and Lenin parks, an open memorial to the memory of the 1943 battle of Malaya Zemlya. The extended route rests on a pebble spit that completes Aleksino Beach. Here they go windsurfing and other sports, sunbathe, swim and just take pictures with a Water and heroes of Russian fairy tales looking out of the lake at the farthest point.

We know you’re hungry. Secret location for your own – Georgian cafe-bakery without a noticeable sign with takeaway food, pita bread and various types of open and closed puri (the Georgians call bread that way) from the tone (Georgian oven-brazier). In the menu under glass there is a real Adyghe cheese on a skewer, shish kebab from everything possible: from fish and meat to shrimp and vegetables; stew, lamb ribs and other homemade food. A special recommendation is to take a tortilla that burns your fingers, just removed from the tone. They are baked in three types – barely sweet with sesame seeds, classic puri (thick Georgian lavash) or closed puri with spicy beans – worthy competition to Italian pizza-calzone. There are always queues at the bakery from the entrance, but the local team solves the problem cheerfully — you won’t have to stand for a long time. Just the perfect time to decide on all the diversity.

Wide Beam – a beach with a clear sea 15 minutes from the city center.

You can get there by minibus from the Central Bus Station (ticket — 50 rubles*, only cash is accepted, but sometimes you can arrange an online transfer) or by taxi.

After a picturesque serpentine, a view of the Black Sea opens and a beach stretched for a couple of kilometers begins. At the very beginning — a secluded vacation with infrequent sunbathers, but with a more “complex” approach to the water. A little further on – cafes, grocery stores, changing rooms, hotels, a comfortable shore with buoys and restrictive lines for the safety of kids, sapsurfing and flyboard (flyboard, hoverboard) — the very “shoes” in which you can fly over the water.

If you go further, protected areas and semi-closed beaches will open (some have “nudes”). Only here walking efforts and the spirit of the researcher will be required — you can walk all day. At the end of autumn, even the central beach is completely uninhabited, but only half an hour of walking and practicing sea contemplation will charge for a month ahead.

Horseback riding – for those who want to breathe mountain air more actively.

If you have never sat in the saddle — it’s time to try. Routes vary in level of difficulty and endurance – from 45 minutes of research to two-hour excursions to the Cossack outpost in Praskoveyevka and 11-hour tours of the protected Little Utrish with juniper-soaked air. Are you serious or do you want new skills? Take a closer look at the horse riding training programs. To comprehend art in the center of the Cossacks is the very thing.

Wake Park and Wake Hostel Wake Browhere they want to make their own bro for everyone who is bored with water.

A community is being raised here. For this — more than 10 years of experience in sports, a coworking space with coffee, smoothies (and not only)-a bar and functional handmade food, a shop with the necessary equipment, a wake park, a swimming pool with a children’s area. And also – the opportunity to live the life of a surfer – in a camping (from 500 rubles *), tents (from 1000 rubles *), a guest house (6000 rubles* for a house for four) or a hostel (from 1500 rubles *). They ride both behind a boat (wakesurfing from 3000 rubles * per hour with the whole team of up to five people) and on a winch (wakeboarding from 300 rubles * for a five-minute set).

You need to clarify about work in the off-season by phone.

The first and only gravity winery in Russia Chateau Pinot – for wine enthusiasts and those who want to believe in Russian wine. And he will believe.

The winery is on the way to a Wide Beam. On the left side is the highest point of Novorossiysk — Mount Koldun, 111 hectares of vineyards at an altitude of 180 to 270 meters above sea level. On the right — the winery itself, a snail farm and a restaurant. What is noteworthy is that the history of local wine dates back to the V century AD. It was in this place that the citizens of the Bosporan Kingdom made their wine.

Gravity at Chateau Pinot is used as part of hainaut innovation — the height difference between the point of reception of grapes and the bottling shop allows you to make wine under the force of gravity. The collection includes full-bodied Shiraz, mineral Riesling, fresh Pinot Grigio, sung in the films of David Lynch Pinot Noir, daring petnats, sparkling wines aged in French oak and even icewine. You can try samples and local snails with different sauces during an excursion or in a restaurant at the winery with a view of the Sorcerer and his “balls” – the popular name of an abandoned weather station. The restaurant is open from 11 am until the last guest, reservation is required.

By the way, one of the wine finds is the limited edition “Sorcerer’s Balls” wine. The limit is set by nature itself — the drink turned out as a result of the team’s experiment and the post-effect of the Novorossiysk boron wind, which left drops of sea water on the berries.

*Prices are valid at the time of publication



PALACES OF ST. PETERSBURG PHOTO

PALACES OF ST. PETERSBURG PHOTO

Do you want to know more about what palaces there are in St. Petersburg? Photos from our collection will help you with this. Going on an excursion to this amazing city, be sure to visit at least a few of these palaces-museums. Of course, it’s almost impossible to get around them all. Before your trip, read about these palaces on the Internet and make up a suitable route. Have a nice trip!

Konstantinovsky Palace


Kolomna Palace

Winter Palace

Elagin Palace

Catherine Palace

Shuvalov ‘s Palace


Razumovsky Palace

Naryshkin-Shuvalov Palace

The Palace of Grand Duke Andrey Vladimirovich

The Palace of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich

Bobrinsky Palace

Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace


Bezborodko Palace

Vorontsov Palace

Vorontsov Palace photo

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna

The Grand Palace

Anichkov Palace


Yusupov Palace

Sheremetyevo Palace

Tauride Palace

Stroganov Palace

Pavlovsk Palace

Novo-Mikhailovsky Palace


Nicholas Palace

marble palace

Mikhailovsky Palace

Menshikov Palace

Mariinsky Palace

Summer Palace of Peter the Great



Following in the footsteps of local residents: the best cafes and bars in Yerevan

Armenia and its capital Yerevan are increasingly becoming points of attraction for travelers from Russia. A lot of natural and cultural attractions, the interweaving of Eastern and post-Soviet aesthetics, the hospitality of local residents and the pleasant monetary exchange rate of the Armenian dram in relation to the ruble can surprise and give a lot of impressions.

In the era of COVID, the country is open to tourists from Russia, for entry you will need a certificate of vaccination or a negative result of a PCR test made no later than 72 hours before arrival.

How to get there and where to stay

A round-trip ticket from Moscow to Yerevan costs from 12,000 rubles* per person. Yandex works great in Armenia.Taxi, so use the app to comfortably and inexpensively get to the city center.

View flights

Here are a few options where you can stay:

R&R Hotel – from 2100 rubles* per night per person;
Elysium Gallery Hotel – from 1,700 rubles* per night per person;
Meg Hotel – from 3200 rubles * per night per person.

What to see and try in different parts of the city

Yerevan conquers with its cozy atmosphere, here, against the backdrop of beautiful mountain landscapes, various epochs are intertwined in a bizarre pattern. Numerous cafes and restaurants give a special charm to the city. Today we will share with you a list of places where you can have lunch, have a cup of coffee or dance. They are mainly concentrated near the iconic city attractions – Republic Square, the Cascade and the Opera House. This list contains the favorite locations and routes of local residents.

Saryan Street and surroundings

The main “restaurant” street of the city is Saryan Street (named after the innovative artist Martiros Saryan, his museum is located here, which we also recommend visiting). Cafes, bars, restaurants are located on both sides of the street, many entrances and terraces are decorated with garlands, and this makes everything look very festive.

Note the wine bar, shop and tasting room In Vino. There are hundreds of wines from different regions of the world, including local pride — Karas and Takar, sets of delicious cheeses and a variety of meat snacks. The owners have created not just a shop, but a meeting place for fans of winemaking, they believe that “Wine is not just a drink. Wine — contacts with the philosophy and history of the country where it is made.”

Photo: Hro Sev / shutterstock.com

Colorful ethnic bar “for your own” — Calumet Ethnic Lounge Bar – an atmospheric chamber space with an incredible interior, in which the influence of the Iranian diaspora is felt. Guests sit on the floor on pillows at low tables, play backgammon or dance. They play interesting music here and regularly arrange concerts of local bands and DJ parties.

At the end of the street rises the historical district of the city — Cond, with houses and streets-labyrinths of the XVI-XVIII centuries. with a very special atmosphere. There is a bar at its foot The Kond House with a cozy courtyard and a greenhouse. In the evening, from the streets of Konda, you can see how she shines and shimmers with neon colors during another DJ party.

A unique bar is hidden on the street of Karen Demirchyan’s new high-rise buildings, among other outdoor cafes Simona – in addition to the stylish interior and an interesting cocktail menu, excellent music is played here, including on vinyl, DJ sets are regularly arranged, and the work of bartenders becomes a real performance,

Around the Cascade

Photo: Damira / shutterstock.com

The second restaurant street — Tamanyana – is located next to the Cascade: a complex of terraces, waterfalls and flower beds overlooking Mount Ararat. There are cafes and restaurants of French, Italian and Oriental cuisines, small coffee shops, pubs and bars. Take a seat at a table in a cafe Dors City Point among the high arches of pink tuff houses or cross a small square and settle down in August Cafeteria.

In addition, the Cascade is also a cultural point of attraction – it is located inside Gafeschyan Art Center with a private collection of sculptures and furniture of the XX century, next to Tamanyan Square is Museum of Russian Art, which presents the works of Russian masters of the XIX and XX centuries, and a few houses later — chamber house-museum of the artist and sculptor Yervand Kochar, who is called the “Armenian Picasso”. All expositions are small, their inspection will not take you much time, but it will add impressions from this area of the city.

In the vicinity of Republic Square

In the area of Republic Square, in a historic house made of black tuff, there is a species restaurant Diamond. Take the elevator to the topmost terrace and you will have a wonderful view of the Government Building, the History Museum, Singing fountains and the roofs of neighboring houses. The menu includes many dishes of Oriental cuisine, unusual snacks, traditional tortillas, meat and vegetables cooked over an open fire.

On the neighboring Abovyan Street there is one of the most cozy restaurants of local cuisine — Abovyan 12. From the street it is difficult to assume that inside there is a large courtyard with tables covered with checkered tablecloths, where families and large companies have dinner and drink wine among hanging bunches of grapes. In addition to an excellent wine list, this place is distinguished by excellent desserts, for example, fragrant baked apple with cinnamon and dried fruits. The restaurant is complemented by the Dalan Art Gallery with designer souvenirs, jewelry, paintings.

There is a vinyl record store nearby 2nd Floor Vinyl Garage Store and a bar. There is an impressive selection of vinyl, including Armenian music. The store is open until midnight, DJ sets are often arranged here.

It is definitely worth visiting a special place for the city — Mirzoyan Library. This is a cafe in the inner “Tbilisi” courtyard with wooden balconies and vintage furniture, as well as a private library of books and albums on photography. This is one of the centers of attraction of the local intelligentsia. Spend the evening with a glass of dry red and ice cream with baklava or seeds and salt, looking at the endless paintings, mirrors and decorations on the walls.

Recently, the owner of Mirzoyan Library opened a new unusual place — The Rose Barrefined author’s cocktails are created here, good music is played in the evenings, and the walls are used for photo exhibitions. The place looks like a secret, there is no bright sign next to it, the landmark is a green door with a marquise.

Lumen Coffee – a meeting place for fans of the third wave coffee. Here you will find a minimalistic interior, the best varieties of coffee of your own roasting, various ways of brewing alternatives. And delicious desserts and parties with music on vinyl. A secret coffee shop “for your own” is not so easy to find, it is hidden in the courtyards of houses, so follow the navigator.

They also love jazz in Yerevan! The main places where the locals themselves go — Club 12, Malkhas Jazz Club and Ulikhanyan Club – small chamber clubs, each with its own unique atmosphere. The interior of Club 12 resembles the bourgeois salons of the early XX century, the rest look more democratic. Guests of absolutely different ages come to listen to the legendary Armenian jazzmen, many concerts end with friendly jam sessions.

To get a better feel of Yerevan, we recommend sitting at a cafe table by the window or on the terrace with a glass of local dry wine and grilled meat and vegetable dishes, take your time and observe the life of the city. Exchange a few words and smiles with other visitors, passers-by, waiters. The city will surround you with hospitality, you will be able to feel how everything is arranged here quite simply, but not without grace and charm.

*Prices are valid at the time of publication



How to spend a few days in Syktyvkar

Syktyvkar is the central city of the Komi Republic. It is located in the northern part of the country, where the picturesque Sysola River pours its waters into the Vychegda. In the hospitable region, in addition to the indigenous people of Komi, more than 70 nations live peacefully, among which there are a lot of Russian-speakers.

Although global warming has not spared the Republic, it is still cool here in spring and summer, but the temperature is comfortable – in April + 2 aboutSince, in July +17 aboutC. In winter, the temperature drops to -20aboutS. Also, the city is very beautiful in early autumn, it was in September that we flew here.

How to get to Syktyvkar

From Moscow, where direct flights are available, it is better to go to the Komi Republic by plane. The flight will take 2 hours and 5 minutes. Ticket price – from 5200 rubles * per person round trip. The fare for public buses inside Syktyvkar is from 20 rubles *.

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Where is it better to stay

Connoisseurs of high comfort at an adequate price can book apartments worth from 1200 to 2400 rubles * per day (for example, a hotel “The Builder”). Hostels have budget rooms at a price of 400 rubles * per night. Three-star hotels offer accommodation in rooms costing 3000-5799 rubles* per day (“Avalon”, “Yugor”).

Where to go and what to see in Syktyvkar

Photo: Oleg Chicherin / shutterstock.com

During the trip we admired both natural and man-made sights of this region. The first thing I managed to do was to visit the merchant Sukhanov’s House on Ordzhonikidze Street. This old stone mansion has been turned into a branch of the National Museum of the city. The estate, which belonged to the ancient Sukhanov family, was built in the XIX century.

We were also impressed by the monument-chapel to the victims of political repression. Copper shields were used in the construction of the chapel walls. The building, the foundation of which is made of slabs of sorrow, stands on the site where the 1st prison used to be. During the years of construction, more than 50 political prisoners were held in the casemate.

After that we went to the National Museum of the Komi Republic — the largest and oldest in the region, founded in 1911. Initially, the collection of exhibits was based on a small collection of ethnographic and archaeological materials. The establishment of the exposition was helped by cooperation with the Komi Study Society. Now the museum covers many topics and directions. One of the popular exhibitions is dedicated to icons that date back to the XVI-XX centuries.

You can enjoy the beauty of nature in the Kirov Park of Culture and Recreation. It was officially opened on June 18, 1934, although a small public garden in this place was laid back in 1890 at the initiative of the city council. In 2016, a complete reconstruction of the park was carried out, including the strengthening of the bank of the Sysola and the replacement of 15 thousand square meters of asphalt pavement.

If you walk along the intersection of Babushkina and Pervomayskaya streets, you can admire the monument to the letter from the Komi alphabet. The stone composition depicts the letter O with two dots at the top. By the way, the monument, created in a month, lay in the backyard of the National Gallery for about a year, while it was decided where it would be installed.

An interesting art object, installed in August 2014— is a monument to a Merchant’s chest. The idea of its construction with a small square belongs to the historian Igor Andriyanov and is dedicated to the memory of Ust-Sysol merchants, thanks to whom the city appeared.

Passing along Kuratov Street, you can squeeze through Mushroom Lane, located between two parts of house No. 17. Perhaps this is one of the narrowest alleys in the world, its width is 10 cm.

The Monument to the Komi alphabet Anbur, installed in 2014, looks very original. It is made in the form of the inscription “Syktyvkar” in ancient letters. The alphabet was created by Stefan Permsky in the XIV century, but was little used.

Arriving in Syktyvkar, be sure to visit the National Gallery of the Komi Republic — the only art museum in the region. Its funds contain about seven thousand objects of art of the XVII-XXI centuries. The exposition consists of several sections. Mostly exhibits from the history of the republic are exhibited. The smallest department is the foreign one. It shows landscapes of the century before last and several objects of decorative and applied art. The most popular exhibitions are devoted to paintings by avant-garde artists.

If you appreciate the sporting achievements of the past, you will like the Museum of Olympic champion Raisa Smetanina. He has been working since 1997 in a house that the republic gave to a famous athlete. Smetanina was a member of the ski racing team for 20 years. From each of the five Olympiads in which she participated, the athlete brought medals. Her collection was also regularly replenished with cups and awards. The exhibition will tell not only about the life of Raisa Smetanina, but also about the evolution of ski racing and other athletes of the Komi Republic.

The A. A. Chernov Geological Museum, which has been operating since 1968, offers a lot of informative things. It was named in memory of the discoverer of the Pechora coal basin. The exhibition is diverse: it presents samples of fossils and minerals, interactive maps, photos and documents of past centuries. The exhibits are mainly dedicated to the republic, but there are samples from other regions of Central Russia. The collection is divided into thematic sections.

Although Syktyvkar is a very small city, and there are relatively few attractions in it, it seems to me that they do not attract visitors at all. The capital of the Komi Republic has its own face, it reflects the peculiarities of the culture of the indigenous people.

This is what makes Syktyvkar so special and makes it possible to realize the difference in the cultures of the nationalities whose representatives inhabit our country. As a result of this trip, I can say that, even without leaving my native country, you can see a lot of new and informative things. Perhaps the pandemic will help us appreciate the treasures that are not so far away from us.

*Prices are valid at the time of publication



Thai fairy tale: what to do in Phuket, Koh Samui and Bangkok

Thailand has finally opened up to vaccinated tourists from Russia, so it’s time to return to a tropical paradise or get to know this amazing country for the first time. In this article, we have collected three of the most popular resorts in Thailand and told you what to do there. Read and plan your adventures in Asia!

Entry rules

Russian tourists can visit the country as part of the Sandbox program. You can go to a number of provinces (including Phuket, Koh Samui and Bangkok). To enter, you must register at a special portal Thailand Pass (for this, for example, you will need insurance, a vaccination certificate and a reservation in one of the certified hotels).

In addition, 72 hours before departure, you will need to undergo PCR testing. The study will have to be repeated upon arrival (prepayment is made before departure in the Thailand Pass system) and stay at the hotel until the result is received. You cannot leave the province where you have arrived for seven days. Then, on the sixth or seventh day, you need to take a test and, if you get a negative result, you can move to other regions. Also be sure to download the MorChana app.

It should be noted that from December 16, the period of stay in the province to which you arrived will be reduced to five. In addition, it will also be possible to enter with a certificate of a disease that has already been transferred over the past three months (provided that at least one dose of the vaccine is received). In addition, the second test on arrival will replace the express test for 4-5 days.

What to do in Phuket

Phuket Island is located in the southern part of Thailand, and it is one of the most popular locations among travelers. There is lush vegetation everywhere, mountains and beaches with fine white sand. You can relax here at any time of the year, but the most successful period is winter – the dry season.

Once in Phuket, it’s worth taking a ride through all the viewing points of the island to see the most impressive sunsets. There are quite a lot of them: Rang Hill, Sarasin Bridge, Khao Khad Tower, observation decks at the foot of the Big Buddha, on Karon Beach, Promthep Cape.

Another picturesque and no less interesting place is Monkey Hill, or Monkey Mountain. This is one of the highest hills in Phuket, where several hundred sociable monkeys live. You can take pictures with them, treat them with mangoes, nuts, corn and bananas.

Lovers of natural beauty will also appreciate the botanical garden, where you can see unique palm trees, hundreds of plant species and dozens of varieties of cacti, stroll through fragrant gardens and ponds with beautiful lotuses, lilies and bright carp.

The surroundings of Nai Yang Beach in the northern part of the island are a great place for spotting: planes land 100 meters from the shore and fly literally over the tourists’ heads, so it will be possible to make incredibly exciting shots.

When the main attractions of the island will be explored, and the most outlandish dishes of Thai cuisine tried, we offer to go to the neighboring and incredibly picturesque: the Phi Phi archipelago, famous for the movie “The Beach”, James Bond Island – a cult place from the American blockbuster, as well as a small but very interesting Coral Island, the water off the coast of which is incredibly transparent. You can get to all these places as part of excursions.

What to see in Koh Samui

Koh Samui is an island of stunning natural beauty and diversity, the third largest in the country. It is famous for its snow-white beaches, bright corals, gentle lagoons and picturesque waterfalls, the most impressive of which are Na Muang 1, Na Muang 2, Hin Lat and Tarmin.

The first thing to do on Koh Samui is to go around all the beaches and meet incredible sunsets, climb the observation decks and enjoy the spectacle of a true tropical paradise, and then visit other pearls of the island. Among them is the amazing Red Wat Ratchathammaram Temple, there are practically no crowds of tourists here and you can enjoy the silence and tranquility of the Buddhist sanctuary, as well as incredible bas-reliefs in red tones. Nearby is the Snake Stone Pagoda, which is one of the three oldest on the island. Her age is about 250 years old, and she keeps the relics of the Buddha.

Another sacred place is the Magical Garden of the Buddha. This amazing oasis of tropical greenery is located on the highest mountain of Koh Samui, and here you can spend an hour wandering around the sculpture garden and taking fascinating pictures. By the way, if you like atmospheric photo shoots, you should also look at the Dusit Dhewa Cultural Center — this is one of the most interesting places on the island in terms of authentic aesthetics and color. In one place, Thai Khun Chat collected all kinds of antiques, costumes, figures and sculptures. The result is a ready-made luxurious outdoor photo zone, the territory of which is planted with flowers and fruit trees.

When the main attractions of Koh Samui are explored, go to the neighboring islands Phangan and Koh Tao are wilder, but incredibly beautiful by nature. Local coral reefs off the coast will amaze even fans of underwater treasures of the Red Sea. And finally, sail to the Angthong Archipelago, consisting of 42 islands. Here you will see absolutely wild nature: you can visit this miracle of Thailand only as part of excursions, long stops and hotels are not provided for them.

What to be surprised about in Bangkok

Bangkok is an incredibly exotic city where the color of Buddhist temples, houseboats and historical quarters is closely intertwined with skyscrapers and the benefits of modern civilization. Move from one attraction to another convenient by taxi.

The first thing to start exploring the capital of Thailand is a visit to the Royal Palace, which consists of several buildings and 95 pagodas, as well as to see the temple-mount of the Morning Dawn Wat Arun.

You can admire the city from a height on the observation decks. The most famous of them are Wat Saket The Golden Mount Temple (to climb it, you need to pass 318 steps), as well as the tallest skyscraper in Bangkok — Bayok Sky.

To join the rhythm of local life, take a look at Lumpini Park — in the evenings they run here, do fitness, ride catamarans, and lizard lizards over a meter in size walk right on the lawns, which are not dangerous to humans (the main thing is not to touch them). And you can get into a truly Asian flavor at floating markets, where all kinds of souvenirs, clothes and food are sold directly from boats.

Another interesting, though not so well-known tourist attraction is the open-air museum “Ancient Siam”. This is a huge park with architectural examples of structures from all over Thailand, where you can spend the whole day. The territory is huge, it is more convenient and fastest to move around it by bike or golf cart.

If you have a free day, we also recommend visiting the ancient city of Ayutthaya, which is located 75 km north of Bangkok. This is the historical capital of Siam, which has now become an open-air museum with many colorful ruins of temples and ruins of an ancient city.



What to see near Cancun and Riviera Maya resorts


Each of Mexico’s 31 states is unique. Laws, customs, nature, and society differ. We have seen stereotypes about gangsters and crime in this country in many films. That’s why sometimes people think it’s dangerous here. And, indeed, it is better not to visit some territories for tourist purposes. However, there are many quiet regions in Mexico that help to get to know this country from its best side.

The resorts of the Yucatan Peninsula are popular among Russians: Cancun and Riviera Maya. In addition to wonderful hotels and white beaches with turquoise water, there are cultural monuments and entertainment facilities that introduce legends and immerse you in the magical atmosphere of Mexico.

How to get

The cost of flights from Moscow to Cancun and back on OneTwoTrip starts from 60,000 rubles*. There are both direct flights and options with one or two transfers. To enter, you do not need to be tested for COVID-19, you will only need to fill out a special application form. From the airport to the beaches of Riviera Maya can be reached by bus, taxi or rent a car (from 6800 rubles * per day). There are regular and tourist taxis in Mexico. The latter are marked with green numbers and are much more expensive, but are considered safer.

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Where to stay

Cancun is suitable for those who like to move in the rhythm of the city. Housing in the category of “three stars” and below is much more here than on the Riviera Maya. Therefore, in general, this vacation in Cancun will be more budget-friendly. For example, a night in Suites Cancun Center it will cost from 2,700 rubles * for two.

Riviera Maya will appeal more to those who want to retire in nature. Bungalows and villas of local hotels are drowning in the greenery of the jungle, where raccoons and noses run, and pelicans fly to the beaches. It is not easy to get to civilization from this oasis, and tourist life is concentrated on huge hotel territories. The cost of a room in a five-star Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa starts from 23,000 rubles*. There are also discounts, such as, for example, in Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort & Spa, where you can now book a room for 12,400 rubles*.

What to do

Day One

Chichen Itza Archaeological Complex

This political and cultural center of the Maya civilization is located far from the coast. On the roads of Yucatan, there is often a speed limit of up to 40-50 km / h, which is important to take into account when planning a route. It is important to arrive in the ancient Indian capital before the opening in order to have time to buy tickets, enter the territory first and take a walk before the crowds of tourists rush in. There is a lot to see on the large territory of the ruined temple complex. The partially restored pyramid of Kukulkan with snake ladders — one of the symbols of the Maya culture – served as a place of sacrifice. For the same ritual, teams met in a deadly battle on the ball field. Astronomers watched the celestial bodies from a huge snail observatory. And many cenote wells were considered portals between worlds.

Cenote Ik-Kil

The reservoir is located next to the pyramids. The porous earth of Yucatan is dotted with underground caves. Their vaults often collapse, forming holes that are filled with groundwater and precipitation. A unique natural phenomenon is called “cenote”. Today, you can swim in this clear water under the vines hanging from the ground. Take your bathing accessories with you and try to get here early to be alone. Due to its high popularity, within an hour after the start of work, the cenote becomes like a swimming pool.

Mayapan Plant

A place where agave is grown and tequila is produced in a traditional natural way. Against the background of bright yellow buildings and huge cacti, the most “Mexican” photos are obtained.

Coordinates: 20.72539100,-88.20633500

Valladolid

When all the tourists arrive in Chichen Itza, we return to the coast and on the way we stop at a medieval picturesque town. Founded by the Spaniards in the era of the conquest, it has preserved the colonial architecture.

Day Two

Akumal Beach with big turtles

It is easily accessible via the coastal highway. The main local entertainment is watching giant waterfowl turtles. They graze like cows, collecting algae from the seabed.

You will need fins and a mask with a tube. And the beach itself with snow-white sand and palm trees leaning over the water looks like a dream from the Bounty advertisement.

Tulum

The ancient Mayan port city of the pre-Columbian era on the Caribbean coast of Yucatan is located next to Akumal Beach, so you can spend the middle of the day here. The visiting card of the archaeological zone is the castle of El Castillo on the very edge of a high cliff, through the openings of the windows of which you can see how the sun rises.

There are other ruins in the historical complex, as well as a beautiful garden with fancy plants, where you can meet iguanas. And from the observation decks on the steep cliffs, dizzying views of the turquoise sea open up. By the way, there is also a hotel here Ahau Tulum, which is very common in social networks, thanks to an unusual anthropomorphic “living” sculpture. Tree trunks and planks are woven into the torso of a man who grows out of the sand and forms an arch-entrance.

Koba Pyramid

Life hack: it’s worth coming here closer to closing, because organized excursions happen here in the morning. In the evening there is a chance to climb the pyramid alone. Yes, you can climb the ruins of the oldest city of the Mayan civilization, although you need good physical training for this, the steps of the second-highest pyramid of Yucatan are very steep! But from a height you can see the endless sea of jungle. Several other objects have been preserved on the territory of the park. You can move between them on foot, but much faster and more fun on rented bicycles.

Day Three

Merida

If in your imagination Mexico is associated with sultry beauties in lush dresses with lace in resinous hair and voluminous fans, then you will definitely like this city of colored houses and stone arched galleries.

A large business center and a vivid illustration of the era of the conquest is located quite far from the coastal resorts, so lay on a trip for the whole day.

Day Four

Shkaret Park

After you have seen all the sights of the peninsula— it’s time to get acquainted in detail with the culture and history of Mexico in a grandiose eco-archaeological park among the jungles. You can get to it from Playa del Carmen by city bus, special shuttle or taxi. On a huge territory, you can taste national cuisine and take part in folk games.

Visit the island of jaguars, swim with dolphins, see zebas, crocodiles, noses, cougars, agoutis and other animals without cages, play with big parrots. To see the models of traditional churches, residential and outbuildings and even visit a specific stylized cemetery, where copies of the most intricate graves are collected. The Mexican “cheerful” attitude to death is a very curious experience. Actors work on the territory of the park and there are several theatrical venues where bright performances about the life of the Maya Indians are shown. And in the evening, a show with special effects, large-scale battle scenes and stuntmen begins at the stadium. The performance closes with a concert of popular mariachi. And since the park is visited by local tourists, you can hear the stands singing along to their favorite performers.

Our project “Where to go” will help you with ideas for the upcoming vacation. You choose the month and the city of departure, and we offer the most interesting and affordable options – with ticket prices and information about restrictions for tourists.

View the project

*Prices are valid at the time of publication



Like in Iceland: a route through the most beautiful waterfalls of Armenia


Hospitable and sunny Armenia traditionally attracts tourists with delicious dolma, juicy shish kebab, young pomegranate wine, strong cognac and, of course, rich cultural and historical heritage. People who are not personally familiar with Armenia, from the natural attractions of the republic, only Lake Sevan comes to mind – the largest and most popular reservoir in the Caucasus. But on the territory of this compact country there are other points worthy of the tourist’s attention — picturesque waterfalls are scattered throughout Armenia. Some of them are difficult to access and require special training when visiting, others are easily accessible by car, but all of them are definitely worth seeing.

How to get

To get to Armenia, Russian citizens do not need a visa or even a passport, and a return ticket from Moscow will cost only 12,000 rubles*. To see the most beautiful waterfalls, it is best to rent a car. The rental price starts from 2100 rubles * per day. It will take at least four days to visit all the waterfalls discussed in the article.

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Car for rent

Torchekan Waterfall

Torchekan (40.9163366, 44.1157773) is located three hours away from Yerevan on the border between Shirak and Lori regions. This powerful 23-meter cascading waterfall on the Chichhan River, surrounded by lush greenery and relief rocks in the warm season, resembles the landscapes of Iceland.

It owes its name to trout, which at the moment of spawning goes against the current and jumps out of the water right above the flowing streams, which is why “trchkan” is translated from Armenian as “jump”. And the waterfall area is also the habitat of many rare red-book birds that sing with voices unusual for the Russian ear.

The road from Yerevan or Gyumri is convenient, it reaches almost to Torchekan itself, even a passenger car will pass through it without any problems. Not far from the waterfall you can see Chichkhanavank — the oldest sanctuary of the Lori region, dated to the VII century.

Jermuk and Shaki

The Jermuk waterfalls (39.8365564, 45.6681759) and Shaki waterfalls (39.5518789, 45.9931415) are located at a distance from Yerevan to the east, so they can be visited in one day, provided that the departure is early.

Jermuk is a waterfall unique for Armenia: the fact is that it is located in the center of a small town of the same name and is its main attraction. The city itself is a famous alpine balneological resort, which is famous for its healing mineral water and hot springs. It may seem surprising, but the waters of the 68-meter cascade remain icy even in the summer heat. Strictly speaking, Jermuk is more like a water slide: on one of the steep slopes of the Arpi gorge, which divides the whole city in half, water flows down in streams, hissing and writhing, resembling long scattered hair. Therefore, the second name of the waterfall is “Mermaid Hair”. Having risen from the gorge, you can walk around the resort part of the city and try mineral water in the gallery.

If Jermuk is an urban waterfall, ennobled, then its neighbor Shaki (just an hour and a half of a leisurely drive to the east) is wild and free, although it works according to schedule. Quite small, about 30 meters wide and 18 meters high, this picturesque waterfall crumbles along the steep slope with a wall of thundering jets during the hours when the hydroelectric power station upstream is not working. Usually, regardless of the season, Shaki can be found “turned on” before 11 am and after five in the evening. In the era of free travel, this pretty waterfall was very much loved by foreign tourists, as it is convenient and easy to get to it: a car will also pass along a country road one and a half kilometers from the highway to an organized parking lot, and leaving the car, you need to walk about 400 meters along the path. Not far from Shaki there is an ancient observatory “Stone Bouquet”, more than 6000 years old. Locals call it the Armenian Stonehenge because of the stone forms similar to the British monument. In addition, many Paleolithic caves and grottoes can be found in the area of the waterfall and carefully explored. And a trip to Jermuk and Shaki is successfully combined with a visit to the high-mountain Tatev monastery, which is located 60 kilometers from the second waterfall.

Waterfalls of the Gegharot River

Another full day will take a walking trip to the waterfalls of the Gegharot River. This small river, only 28 kilometers in length, originates from the crater of Mount Aragats and forms several beautiful cascades in its course, which are the highest mountain waterfalls in Armenia. The largest of them, with a height of about 17 meters, is usually called the Gegharot Waterfall (40.4998336, 44.2063869). The milky yellow color of the water is explained by the large amount of clay and looks very contrasting against the background of the burgundy-red stones of its bed. There is another small waterfall downstream, and the landscapes around fascinate with their beauty: it is not for nothing that Aragats is considered the favorite and most visited place in Armenia among fans of hiking tours and mountain climbing. The journey to Gegharot from Yerevan by car will take about an hour, and Kari Lake should be indicated as the destination. You can park your car there and continue to get there by hiking trails. The route does not seem complicated, but still requires some experience and preparation. It is worth noting that in winter the waterfall freezes, and the path to it becomes several times more difficult and dangerous, so it can be added to the route without fear only in the warm season.

Vahagn and Astghik Waterfalls

Surprisingly, such a small country as Armenia has more than two dozen national parks and state reserves. One of them is the oldest in the world — the Khosrov Forest, located in the province of Ararat, keeps many cultural heritage monuments on its territory, including the famous Garni temple and the ancient fortress of Kakavaberd. In addition, there are four waterfalls on its territory, but tourists are more often attracted by two of them – Vahagn (40.0906380, 44.8121565) and Asthik (40.0893366, 44.8168863), named after ancient pagan gods and located several hundred meters from each other. The first one, named after the god of thunder and war, breaks down with a narrow powerful stream from a steep cliff about 10 meters high and breaks on flat stones below. Astghik, named after the goddess of beauty and fertility— is smoother, more rapid, flows down stone steps formed by a rocky slope into a transparent pool at the foot. The waterfall is buried in the greenery of trees and shrubs leaning towards the streams. It is possible to get to Vahagna and Astghik only on foot, since the movement of vehicles is prohibited on the territory of the reserve.

Kasakh Waterfall

Anyone who finds himself in Armenia in the spring will have a unique chance to look at the disappeared waterfall — Kasakhsky (40.3363128, 44.3910527). Once the highest in Armenia, today, due to the construction of a hydroelectric power station, it flows through a pipe most of the year. But the spring spillway fills the dried-up riverbed again, and from the 70-meter height of the picturesque gorge, stormy noisy streams rush down into the Kasakh River.

A country of high mountains, deep gorges and stormy rivers, Armenia has about thirty waterfalls. Visiting some of them is a mandatory program for everyone who wants to get to know the rich and beautiful nature of this land.

Our project “Where to go” will help you with ideas for the upcoming vacation. You choose the month and the city of departure, and we offer the most interesting and affordable options – with ticket prices and information about restrictions for tourists.

View the project

*Prices are valid at the time of publication



Novorossiysk as an important point on the gastrocard of notorious foodies


Special coffee, foam collection from all over the world, local cuisine at cost and gifts of the Black Sea region that everyone should try. Do it all in one weekend? Easily. Save locations and pack your suitcase.

1. No 35 – a coffee shop with special coffee, freshly baked and very chocolate cookies, a showroom of Russian designers and a mini-boutique of natural cosmetics. All this harmoniously fits into a single space where you can stay all day – Wi-Fi does not fail, you do not look askance at an open laptop, and coffee is prepared according to science. There are experimental lots of the type of Rwanda Anaerobic – this is a grain of anaerobic fermentation, i.e. without the participation of oxygen. The “filter” is prepared on grain from 4-5 roasters to choose from — most often they offer special products from “Welder”, “Coffee Lab”, Roasting Brew, “Sunrise” and Underground Coffee.

When talking about coffee showers, they will help you identify your favorite tastes and tell you in detail about each grain and brewing methods. No. 35 is remote from the center, but definitely worth a 15-minute walk.

2. Surf Coffee x Port with the atmosphere of Balinese Changu and, again, convenient coworking for those who are always online. As an idea – to run before a walk along the embankment.

You can open your laptop on a long wooden counter at the coffee bar or stretch out on pillows at suspended surfboards. Right under the palm trees. The menu includes excellent coffee, a large selection of nut-fruit-vegetable snacks (if you’re lucky, you can catch jackfruit with clementine, papaya with coconut or watermelon chips), vegan desserts, full-fledged breakfasts, lunches and dinners in the Food Makers package and funk on vinyl.

3. Wine bar and shop “55” with exclusively local wine and food. In short, the menu includes the whole color of southern winemaking (and more than 100 samples are poured into glasses), snails from Chateau Pinot, craft cheeses and gastronomic sets. There is no printed wine list, everything is decided in a dialogue with the bar owner, sommelier or waiter. With special luck, you can catch a lecture, tasting or a party with wine and dancing.

4. Next door there is a beer hall and a Pinta bar. Everything for bar geeks — around 300 varieties of craft and classic foam drinks from around the world, seasonal menu and other Beer Pairing.

5. “Workshop” with a favorite concept of cost – across the street from previous locations.

Everything is given at the real cost without restaurant interest, you only need to buy a ticket to enter. Its cost is quite affordable – from 150 rubles * in the period from 11:00 to 16:00 on weekdays. There is a taste fusion in the menu, so there are no restrictions on the size of the company, age and preferences. From Spanish tapas, Mexican quesadillas and Italian bruschetta with strachatella to sets of mussels and langoustines, baked trout with rapan, duck leg with baked pear, variable healthy lifestyle positions and other world and local specialties. The list stretches for four sheets, it’s a long time to list. It is better to book a table right away — this is a prerequisite.

6. Received the status of a legend of local meetings – gastropub “Horse and Dolphin”. Again – right on the embankment a stone’s throw from the lighthouse temple.

What is interesting? A voluminous menu with comfortable food at a reasonable cost and a chef’s emphasis on the Black Sea – barabula, horse mackerel, pelengas and everything that is on the gastronomic ear. The goal to close your minimum in terms of southern cuisine is achieved at once.

7. Eniki-Beniki cafe chain and dozens of dumplings. And also – dumplings, pies, pancakes and pancakes (quotes from the menu).

Amur dumplings, with rabbit, for children, lazy dumplings, sweet with cherries and raspberries and hearty, with salted cheese, minced fish and sauerkraut, pancakes and even “PP” pies made of whole grain flour. Everything that is cooked is sculpted by hand. And in “Eniki-Beniki” they revive the memory of Soviet cuisine of the 60-70s (favorite “Mimosa”, casseroles and borscht with pampushki). Cafes are located near the embankment – cafe “Eniki-Beniki” on Revolution Street 1905 and a large restaurant “Enik-Benik” next door to the “Horse and Dolphin”.

8. Central Market – the whole color of farm and garden products.

Spices, huge bunches of juicy and, let’s not hesitate, “fleshy” greens, rows of vegetables and fruits, milk and cheeses, fresh fish and meat — the choice is dizzying. To narrow down the navigation slightly, we reveal a couple of mandatory points.

Under the arch at the entrance from the parking lot (opposite the shopping center “Red Square”), pomegranate juice is squeezed for 150 rubles * / 250 ml. The owner himself stands behind the counter on wheels — you will not miss him. A little further on, to the left of the arch, the spicy universe is localized — the shopkeeper scrupulously selects spices, takes offense if you say something like: “Ground nutmeg without aromatics at all” (after all, he himself ground it yesterday), and brings black quinoa, the very Ceylon cinnamon and the most inaccessible cereals, spices by order and spices. And for fresh goat cheese (also to order) – to the farmer at the end of the dairy row (in a building adjacent to the same arch). This is the only man in the whole row, so you can’t go wrong.

Our project “Where to go” will help you with ideas for the upcoming vacation. You choose the month and city of departure, and we offer the most interesting and affordable options – with ticket prices and information about restrictions for tourists.

View the project

*Prices are valid at the time of publication



Winter Kazakhstan: why it’s worth going to your neighbors in the cold


Kazakhstan is not only endless steppes, megacities and liters of koumiss. This country has a diverse landscape, and many mountain ranges are scattered throughout its territory. And where there are mountains, there are, as you know, ski resorts. While the snowy slopes of most European countries remain closed to Russians, the Kazakh mountains are quite happy to receive tourists.

Currently, air traffic with Kazakhstan has been resumed, a negative PCR test for coronavirus is required to enter the country, made no earlier than 72 hours before arrival.

“AkBulak”

“Akbulak” is a great option for those who are worried that the rest may be spoiled by bad weather. This resort is located in the heart of the picturesque Soldier Gorge, thanks to which its slopes remain protected from strong winds. There are two cable cars on the territory, there are six trails of various difficulty levels and a special slope for balloon rides with children, as well as an ice palace with a skating rink, a restaurant and a karaoke bar.

Tourists come here not only to snowboard and ski, but also to improve their health. For example, in the alpine resort hotel Ak Bulak, a program was developed to recover from coronavirus infection and pneumonia. There is also a spa with cedar barrels, a salt cave, a sauna and swimming pools. The resort itself is surrounded by coniferous forests and birch groves. Guests can attend classes in Nordic walking, yoga, breathing exercises.

You can stay at the Ak Bulak Hotel.

“Medeu”

Medeu is a beautiful lake in the tract of the same name on the northern slope of the Zailiysky Alatau ridge, in the picturesque valley of the Malaya Almatinka River. The world’s largest high-altitude sports complex was built next to it in 1972: it is located at an altitude of 1,691 meters above sea level. Its heart is a huge skating rink with an area of 10.5 thousand square meters, flooded with water from mountain springs. The thickness of the ice cover on the rink is 2.3 meters. Reinforced concrete plates are embedded in the ice surface, along which 170 km of cooling pipes are distributed. The artificial ice freezing system has no analogues in the whole world and allows you to keep the surface of the rink frozen for eight months a year.

Photo: Rom Chek / shutterstock.com

Both amateurs and professional athletes train here: the highlands and the purest mountain water for pouring ice contribute to achieving high results in speed skating, and it was at the Medeu skating rink that over 200 world records were set (for this the Almaty stadium was nicknamed the “factory of records”).

By the way, there is a thermal spring “Gorelnik” not far from here: tourists often come here after walking in the mountains or intensive training in a sports complex. The visit is free and possible even at night. The temperature of radon water in specially equipped baths is kept at around 22-27 ℃ all year round.

You can stay at the hotel Shymbulak Resort Hotel (from 1,700 rubles* per night per person) or in a guest house Shymbulak Resort House (the cost of one night is from 25,300 rubles*).

Ski resort “Cimbulak”

Photo: Christian Popp / shutterstock.com

“Zimbulak” is one of the most famous resorts not only in Kazakhstan, but also in Central Asia as a whole. It is located on the Zailiysky Alatau ridge on the territory of the Ile-Alatau National Park, a little above the Medeo high-altitude skating rink. The ski sports base was built here in 1954: the terrain features allowed Soviet athletes to achieve maximum speeds.

Not only skiers come here, but also climbers, as well as hiking enthusiasts. There are quite unusual tracks in “Zimbulak” — for mogul, slalom, tubing, freestyle, as well as a halfpipe track for snowboarders. The ski slopes are laid with a height difference of 900-1000 meters.

A modern cable car operates here (it starts 800 meters from the Medeo skating rink). Its first section leads to the lowest point of the ski slopes, where there are ski rentals, snowboards and equipment, snack bars and restaurants, the second – to the middle of the route, from where you can already start the descent, and the third – to the highest point of “Zimbulak”, Talgar pass, located above the clouds. By the way, the largest cave in Kazakhstan, Oktyabrskaya, is located just three kilometers from the “Zimbulak”, you can visit it accompanied by an instructor guide.

The road from the center of Almaty to “Zimbulak” will take only 15 minutes (public transport runs). See the placement options above.

Tabagan

Another mountain resort located near Almaty — Tabagan – is located in the Shybynsai gorge (Zailiysky Alatau) on the territory of the Ile-Alatau National Reserve. Locals and guests of Kazakhstan love this place very much, because it offers a variety of entertainment for the whole family. On the territory of Tabagan there are 11 ski slopes of all levels of difficulty, slopes for sledges and cross-country skis, an ice rink, a snowmobile rental, a shooting range, a stable, a climbing wall, Finnish grill gazebos with a menu of steaks and kebabs, a sauna, as well as a park area for hiking with magnificent views called Yeti Park. By the way, this is one of the few mountain resorts in Kazakhstan where night skiing is possible: the trails remain illuminated until 22:00.

Just four kilometers from the resort there is a five-star resort hotel Lesnaya Skazka Mountain Resort (the price per night in a double room is 8,400 rubles*).

“Borovoe”

This is the least mountainous of the ski resorts in Kazakhstan, but it still remains a picturesque and interesting location. “Borovoe” is suitable for those who suffer from altitude sickness and cannot cope with altitude differences, and also prefers cross-country skiing to mountain skiing. The trails here do not run along the slopes, but along wooded hills covered with pines and firs. Also, at any time of the year, “Borovoe” is a great place for hiking: in the surrounding valley there are 14 emerald lakes of amazing beauty at once (the closest to the resort are Borovoe, Maloe and Bolshoe Chebachye).

By the way, it is here that families with children like to come: not far from Borovoye is the residence of the Kazakh Santa Claus ― Ayaz Ata. In the amusement park, you can ride a sleigh drawn by deer, horses or huskies. There are also spa resorts in the vicinity of Borovoye, where balneological procedures are carried out. The best nearby hotel is considered to be a five-star Rixos Borovoe, where you can stay at a price of 7900 rubles * per night per person. A more budget option with good reviews of guests — Hotel Nurlytau (from 2700 rubles* per night).

“Altai Alps”

This resort combines Oriental hospitality and European level of service. It is considered one of the most budget-friendly in the country and therefore enjoys great popularity among local residents. However, cheap does not mean bad: the Altai Alps also differ from other resorts by a longer season — you can ride already in November (the height of the snow cover reaches one and a half meters in autumn). Athletes and amateurs come here until mid-April: thanks to regular snowfalls, snow cannons and artificial “sprinkling” of trails are not used here.

On the territory of the “Altai Alps” there is a special gentle slope for training beginners and 12 trails of various degrees of difficulty, from green to black, which meander between the trees. It will definitely appeal to fans of extreme sports. All slopes for advanced level skiing have an international FIS certificate. The tracks are rolled by snow trucks and are served by two chairlift and two tow rope roads. The resort also has 12 heated gazebos for a winter picnic, two cafes and a 43-room hotel. There is a possibility of spa treatment and wellness procedures such as massage, baths, herbal baths, baths, inhalations and wraps.

The nearest city to the resort is Ust-Kamenogorsk. You can stay in Dedeman Oskemen Tavros Hotel (from 6500 rubles* per night per person). There are also more budget options — for example, “Apartments on Slavsky Embankment, 14” (from 2300 rubles* per night).

Nurtau – “Prince’s Mountains”

This is the youngest ski resort in Kazakhstan: it was opened in 1999. Nurtau is a picturesque corner of East Kazakhstan, where travelers come all year round. Despite the fact that there are only two trails in the “Prince’s Mountains”, favored mainly by freeride fans, the resort has something to offer tourists: for example, horseback riding and skiing, snow tubing and snowmobiling, and even snowmobile rides. This small campsite is ideal for families with children. On the territory of Nurtau there are cafes, comfortable cottages for living, warm gazebos with a barbecue, a Russian sauna on firewood, as well as an ice rink for skating enthusiasts.

The resort opens the ski season in December: it lasts, as a rule, until the beginning of April. Nurtau itself is a small mountain village just 35 km from Ust-Kamenogorsk, very cozy and photogenic. You can rent a house there. We have indicated the accommodation options in Ust-Kamenogorsk above.

*Prices are valid at the time of publication



From Murmansk to Kamchatka: a selection of glamping for winter holidays


Do you know this feeling when you don’t want to go home after a long busy day in nature? I wish, you think, I could stay here for the night, look at the stars and fall asleep to the sound of the wind. This is how glamping appeared, their name translates from English as “glamorous campsites”, combining our usual comfort with hiking romance. Spheres with panoramic windows, wooden houses and dwarf huts, yurts and tents – there are many options, and their comfort and stunning landscapes around unite them. The noise of the ocean, views of the majestic Baikal and volcanoes of Kamchatka and even the colors of the northern lights are included in the price. We have collected a selection of glamping sites in Russia, where you can relax and have fun even in winter.

Aurora Village

Where: 49 kilometers from Murmansk towards Teriberka.
How to get: by plane to Murmansk, then by taxi or rent a car. The cost of the flight Moscow-Murmansk and back – from 5500 rubles *.

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Photo: Qiongna Liao / shutterstock.com

The main feature of the dome glamping on the shore of Lake Kanentyavr is the Northern lights, which guests can admire right while in one of the ten igloo. No wonder, because glamping is located beyond the Arctic Circle, and from September to April nature arranges an amazing light show here. Also in Aurora Village you can book an excursion to the Teriberka advertised by Andrey Zvyagintsev, go snowmobiling or skiing and rent snowshoes. And in the evening — relax in a hot font under the open sky. Just don’t forget to check the forecast of the Northern lights before booking an igloo.

“Northern Crimea”

Where: the village of Maloe Zamoshye, 120 km from St. Petersburg.
How to get: Tickets for the Moscow-St. Petersburg flight cost from 3,200 rubles* round trip, car rental will cost from 2,000 rubles * per day.

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Car for rent

Five spheres with panoramic windows and thirteen tents are installed in a pine forest on the lake shore. Here you will fall asleep, looking at the starry sky, and drink coffee with a view of the snowy expanses of the lake, wrapped in a cozy blanket.

Reindeer live on the territory of the glamping, there is a mini-farm with pets. Lovers of steam will appreciate the sauna on the shore, and children will surely like the ice slides and a large skating rink.

LadaGlamp

Where: the village of Uralets, 160 km from Yekaterinburg.
How to get: Tickets from Moscow and back will cost from 5100 rubles *, car rental from 3500 rubles * per day.

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Car for rent

Drinking cocoa with a croissant and looking at the eternal mountains after an active day — what could be better? The domed hotel is located three kilometers from the popular ski center “Mount Belaya” near Nizhny Tagil. During the day, conquer the snowy slopes on skis or snowboarding – equipment can be rented at the GLC — or climb to the top of the mountain on a comfortable chairlift to admire the snow-covered fir trees and open spaces to the horizon. You can just take a walk in the picturesque Ural forest or go cross-country skiing, try to make a swallow at a local ice rink or arrange a descent competition with friends on cheesecakes. In the evening, bask in a vat of herbs right next to the dome, and at night enjoy the stars with room service.

“Green Path”

Where: the village of Volkovichi, Tula region.
How to get: it is most convenient to travel 200 km from Moscow by car. Car rental in Moscow – from 3100 rubles * per day.

Car for rent

Cozy wooden houses are scattered around a picturesque clearing, quiet, warm and homely – this is glamping “Green Trail”. On Saturdays, they sing songs around the campfire, cook glegs and mulled wine, and then listen to the silence — such that even the roe deer come to the bank of the stream. Add to this panoramic windows through which you can watch the stars all night, riding cheesecakes from the high bank of the Oka, skiing and horseback riding through the wonderful forest, baths with fonts and delicious farm food on the menu — and you will understand why the “Green Trail” is called one of the best glamping in the Moscow region.

In December, Christmas is celebrated here in Finnish with themed workshops and treats, as well as a hedonistic dinner. For the most inquisitive guests, there are many interesting things in the area – from the Vasily Polenov Museum and Yasnaya Polyana to the Tula Kremlin and numerous cultural institutions of the ancient city.

Daydream Forest Glamping and Snow Hotel

Where: Listvyanka village, 70 km from Irkutsk.
How to get: plane tickets from Moscow to Irkutsk cost from 15,000 rubles * round trip, car rental in Irkutsk – from 4,000 rubles * per day.

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Car for rent

A dozen snow houses almost on the shore of Lake Baikal from the outside look like either hobbit holes, or nomads’ yurts. Inside, heated beds and an imitation of the starry sky above are waiting for guests, and breakfast is served in a coffee shop with panoramic windows. People come to the Valley of Dreamers for silence, Siberian cuisine and, of course, for the majestic Baikal. To listen to the breath of the deepest lake on the planet, admire its ice patterns, cracks, hummocks and the dance of snowdrifts in the vast expanses, ride a dog sled with a breeze or ride horses in a birch grove, and then spend a fiery sunset – glamping guests have a lot to do. In winter, caring hosts prepare icy surprises for guests — come to see the wonders with your own eyes.

Kamrelax

Where: Halaktyrsky beach (near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky).
How to get: plane tickets from Moscow to Petropavlovsk will cost from 21,700 rubles* round trip.

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Glamping on the Pacific Ocean with a view of the waves and snow-capped volcanoes – it’s worth going to the ends of the earth for this! In winter, on the black lava beach, you can spend the night in a warm Scandinavian house or spend a romantic evening in a panoramic dome — just the two of you, the sound of the wind and the boundless Pacific Ocean. In the afternoon, go on an excursion to the volcanoes — three giants can be seen from glamping at once: Koryaksky, Avachinsky and Kozelsky. Those who like to admire the beauty from a height can book a helicopter tour, including to the famous Valley of Geysers. You can restore your strength in a sauna and a real cedar barrel. Then, basking under the blankets in the house, spend the sunset over the ocean — it will definitely get into your list of the most beautiful. And try not to oversleep the dawn.

Eco-camping “Sphere”

Where: Pleshcheyevo Lake, 120 km from Moscow.
How to get: the most convenient way is by car from Moscow, rent will cost from 4000 rubles * per day.

Car for rent

A geo-dome, an eco-tent or a nomad yurt in a coniferous forest on the shore of Lake Pleshcheyev is a great opportunity to spend a weekend in peace and tranquility of the nature reserve. A walk through the winter forest, drink tea from a real samovar, play chess by the fireplace, in which the firewood crackles comfortably, cook mulled wine on the fire and bask in the bath — simple joys that residents of big cities lack so much. And if you can’t sit still on vacation, go to Pereslavl-Zalessky – there are enough museums and antiquities in the homeland of Alexander Nevsky for more than one day.

Shanti Home

Where: the surroundings of Lake Ladoga, 90 and 120 km from St. Petersburg.
How to get: Moscow—Saint Petersburg tickets cost from 3,200 rubles* round trip, car rental will cost from 2,000 rubles* per day.

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Car for rent

Shanti Home has two locations — forest and lake. Colorful triangular houses with walls-windows, in addition to everything necessary for a comfortable stay, are equipped with fireplaces and hammocks, and several in addition have their own terrace with a heated font. You can go cross-country skiing in the woods or rent a sauna with a panoramic window. Turn off the Internet and enjoy a leisurely vacation in the winter forest. To complete your impressions, rent a projector and watch your favorite movie before going to bed.

Dome hotel “Inhale”

Where: Chemalsky district, Altai Republic.
How to get: Plane tickets from Moscow to Gorno-Altaysk will cost from 9,000 rubles * round trip, another 90 km to the hotel will be overcome by taxi.

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In the Altai Mountains, between the Katun River and the gorges overgrown with taiga, there are eight futuristic domes and four modern yurts. Wood-burning fireplaces, mountain views through transparent walls and food delivery from the restaurant to the rooms … the temptation to lie around all day is great, but still go for a walk. Hiking is popular among glamping guests — there are many hiking trails and interesting viewing platforms in the vicinity. Finish the evening in the Altai spa tub for soaring, suspended over a campfire. The price includes essential oils for fragrant steam, fir brooms and tea made from local herbs with honey from your own apiary. If you are not ready to go to the boiler yet, board games are waiting for you in a spacious tent-cafe and grill house.

*Prices are valid at the time of publication