Russia is a gorgeous country with so many beautiful natural landmarks that most of you never even heard of.
I think it is a real shame that all Russia is known for is “vodka, bears, Siberia, and communism”. Most of you probably know what to see in Moscow and must things to do in St. Petersburg, but I don’t think many of you heard about the natural gems of Russia.
Here I have a largest on the Internet collection of the best natural places to visit in Russia – 40 landmarks from all over of the biggest country in the world.
From the Curonian Spit on the west of Russia to the volcanoes of the Kuril Islands in the Far East. Breathtaking views of the lakes, mountains, bays, deserts, volcanoes, waterfalls – you are going to see it all in this collection by Russianblogger.me.
Please, sit comfortably and enjoy these 40 pictures of the beautiful Russian nature.
- 1. Agursky Waterfalls, Krasnodar Krai
Agursky waterfalls are one of the most popular natural landmarks near Sochi, Krasnodar Krai. Agursky waterfalls are not that big, the highest waterfall in the chain is only 23 meters (75 ft.). It is a great place to visit for a few hours: enjoy the sounds of nature, hike around or BBQ.
- 2. Ai-Petri Mountain, Crimea
Ai-Petri is one of the symbols of Crimea and the main attraction in the area. The mountain is located above the city of Alupka and has a height of 1234 meters (4049 ft.).
Taking a cable car to the top of Mount Ai-Petri will be one of the most exhilarating experiences you will have while you visiting Crimea. From the top of the mountain, you’ll be able to see some gorgeous views of the Southern coast of Crimea and the Black Sea, which will simply take your breath away.
- 3. Altai Mountains, Altai Republic
Altai is one of the most beautiful regions of Russia. Every year thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the Altai Mountains. The region is very popular for its fun outdoor activities, such as rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, etc.
The most popular places in Altai are Katun River, Chuysky Trakt, Aktru Glacier, Beluha Mountain (highest mountain in Siberia) and Teletskoye Lake.
- 4. Amur Pillars, Khabarovsk Krai
Amur Pillars is one of the wonders of the Khabarovsk Krai of Russia. This landmark is located in the taiga area, 134 kilometers from the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur by the village called «Nizhnetambovskoe».
Amur Pillars are 12 to 70 meters in height. Scientists assume that they were formed as a result of an underground volcanic eruption 170 million years ago. Visitors of the Amur Pillars will enjoy the unforgettable scenery, clean taiga air and crystal water of the Amur River.
Photo Credit: Ingalipt66
- 5. Avacha Bay, Kamchatka
The Avacha Bay is one of the largest bays in the world. It is 15 miles long and 2 miles wide with a maximum depth of 26 meters (85 ft.).
The Avacha Bay is the home base of the Russian Pacific fleet.
Photo Credit: alekss-shevchuk
- 6. Baikal Lake, Irkutsk Oblast
I’m sure most of you have heard about Lake Baikal – it is one of the most famous natural landmarks in Russia. Baikal is the deepest and largest freshwater lake in the world. It contains (more or less) 20% of surface unfrozen fresh water in the world. To learn more about the lake I recommend you to check out my other post about the most popular places to visit on Lake Baikal.
Photo Credit: kseniya-denisenko1306
- 7. Baskunchak Lake, Astrakhan oblast
Lake Baskunchak is a Russian analogue of the world famous Dead Sea; the surface elevation of the lake is 21 meters (69 ft.) below sea level. Because of the high concentration of the salt in Baskunchak, when you are in the lake, water pushes your body up just like at the Dead Sea. Lake Baskunchak is also in my list of the top 18 places to visit in Russia.
Photo Credit: Sergey Dolya
- 8. Chara Sands, Zabaykalsky Krai
Chara Sands is a very unique phenomenon of nature, it is a desert located in the middle of Siberia. The size of the desert is pretty small- it is only 3 miles wide by 6 miles long. Chara Sands is surrounded by mountains, taiga and bogs all around.
Photo Credit: Alexander Lesnyansky
- 9. Chirik-Kel Blue Lake, Kabardino-Balkaria
Chirik-Kel is the second deepest karst lake in the world, the area of the lake is very small (but not its deepness – 258 meters or 846 ft.). Chirik-Kel is unique in the way that the temperature of the water in the lake never changes all year and equals to 9 degrees Celsius.
Good news for diving fans – Chirik-Kel is very popular among divers from all over. Anyone can dive here at the Blue Lake. All you need is to complete a quick course at the dive center located next to the lake.
- 10. Commander Islands, Kamchatka
The Commander Islands are located 109 miles east of the Kamchatka peninsula. The majority of the archipelago is taken by a natural preserve – Komandorsky Zapovednik. The only inhabited locality here is a village, Nikolskoye, with an estimated population of 613.
Photo Credit: hafizow
- 11. Curonian Spit, Kaliningrad oblast
The Curonian Spit is a 98 km long sand-dune spit that separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea coast. The Curonian Spit is shared by two countries: Russia and Lithuania; its southern portion (46 kilometers) belongs to Kaliningrad oblast, Russia.
The best time to visit Curonian Spit is during the time period from May to November.
Photo Credit: almaz-lusi
- 12. Demerdzhi Mountain, Crimea
Standing tall at a height of 1356 meters, the Demerdzhi Mountain hovers above the Valley of the Ghosts which contain some amazing rock formations. The area is well known for trekking and some eye popping views of the coastline.
Photo Credit: s.anashkevitch
- 13. Dombay Mountain, Caucasus
Dombay is a very popular ski resort, one of the best ones in Russia. But skiing is not the only thing to do in Dombay – it’s also a gorgeous place to visit during the summer. Hiking, camping, mountain biking, four-wheeler’s – Dombay area has a lot of fun outdoorsy things to offer during the summer.
Photo Credit: inqar
- 14. Elbrus Mountain, Caucasus
Mt. Elbrus is the highest peak in Russia and Europe – 5642 meters (18510 ft.). If you are big on skiing or snowboarding you should definitely check out the south slopes of Elbrus Mt. and visit Elbrus-Azau ski resort.
Photo Credit: a-gorobey2014
- 15. Elton Lake, Volgograd oblast
Elton is second after the Baskunchak salt lake in our list of the most beautiful places in Russia. It is one of the most saline lakes in the world and the largest hyper saline lake in Europe and Russia (150 km ²).
Salt was excavated from the lake until 1882. Right now, near Elton Lake, is a popular spa resort and a sanatorium.
Photo Credit: albertozavr
- 16. Ergaki National Park, Krasnoyarsk Krai
Ergaki National Park is a perfect place for hiking lovers. Mountains, lakes, forests, a variety of wildlife – you’ll find enough of all of that at the Ergaki. By the way, bears are frequent guests at the National Park. If you always wanted to meet one, you may have a good chance for it to happen here in the south of the Krasnoyarsk Krai.
Photo Credit: alex
- 17. Fisht Mountain, Republic of Adygea
Hiking and climbing the Fisht Mountain is one of the most popular things to do in the area. The height of the mountain is 2867 meters (9406 ft.). The mountain can only be reached by foot or on horseback because of its location at Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve. The territory of the reserve is not far from cities Krasnodar, Novorossiysk and Sochi.
Photo Credit: OL-RUNA
- 18. Jack London Lake, Magadan oblast
You will not believe it, a lake located in Russia named after the famous American author Jack London. Why is it named after him you may ask? It’s pretty simple, Russian geologists who were exploring the area around the lake really enjoyed the works of Jack London. This is how the lake got its name in 1932 by geologist P. Skornyakov.
Jack London Lake is located at a height of 803 meters and it surrounded by beautiful mountains. The narrow gulf of the lake with a rocky coast might remind you of famous fjords of Norway or some beautiful lakes of Scotland.
Photo Credit: eywbz
- 19. Kezenoyam Lake, Chechnya Republic, Dagestan
Kezenoyam is a largest and deepest lake of the North Caucasus. The lake is located on the boarder of the Chechnya and Dagestan republics of Russia, where just a few years ago have been rattled gun shots during the Second Chechen War. Since then a lot of things changed – the area is out of separatists and it is safe to visit these gorgeous places.
Government of the Chechnya Republic has big plans on bringing more tourists to the Kezenoyam Lake. In the near future by the lake will be built a complex with a hotel, sporting venues, restaurants and few other objects of infrastructure. This lake deserves to be seen by many people.
Photo Credit: timag82.livejournal.com
- 20. Kinzelyuk Waterfall, Krasnoyarsk Krai
Kinzelyuk is one of the highest waterfalls in Russia with the height of 328 meters (to compare, the height of the world famous Niagara Falls is only 53 meters).
Like most other landmarks in Siberia, Kinzelyuk Waterfall is really hard to get to; it’s possible to get here only by taking a helicopter or a boat tour from Krasnoyarsk.
Photo Credit: oleg-kopchewsky
- 21. Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Kamchatka
Klyuchevskaya Sopka is one of the most active volcanos on Earth; it is also the highest volcano in Eurasia – 4750 meters (15580 ft.). In the past few years, Klyuchevskaya Sopka has had many eruptions. No joke, it is possible that while you are reading this now a volcano is erupting.
Photo Credit: airpano.com
- 22. Krenitsyn volcano, Kuril islands of Onekotan
According to Eugene Kaspersky, Krenitsyn volcano is the most beautiful volcano in the world. I mean, it is a gorgeous place, and like a lot of other beautiful places in Russia it’s located in the Far East and is really hard to get to. The only way to get to the Onekotan Island is by boat or helicopter from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in Kamchatka.
Krenitsyn volcano is unique in the way that it’s located in the lake and surrounded by water on all sides. The height of the Krenitsyn volcano is about 1324 meters.
- 23. Kungur Ice Cave, Perm Krai
Kungur Ice Cave is a karst cave, a popular landmark in the area. Visitors can walk and explore around 1.5 kilometers (almost a mile) of the cave; total length of the cave is 5.7 km. Kungur Ice Cave contains 48 grottoes and 70 lakes.
Photo Credit: zorg517
- 24. Lena Pillars, Sakha Republic
Lena Pillars is a natural rock formation along the banks of the Lena River, which is located in the Sakha Republic of Russia (far eastern Siberia). This landmark is definitely not easy to get to; but you know it is something special when Lena Pillars National Park is inscribed on the World Heritage List.
Photo Credit: NSemin
- 25. Manpupuner rock formations, Komi Republic
Manpupuner rock formations are a unique geological monument. There are a total of 7 stone pillars. The height of each of them is approx. 30-40 meters (98-131 ft.). Manpupuner rocks used to be the object of a cult for Mansi people.
Photo Credit: satorifoto
- 26. Ordinskaya Cave, Perm Krai
Ordinskaya Cave is a Mecca for cave diving; it is one of the longest underwater caves in the world. Approximately 3 miles of its length is under water. Diving at the Ordinskaya Cave is only open to the certified cave divers because of its danger.
Photo Credit: kerpe1
- 27. Pole of Cold, Sakha Republic
Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon in the Sakha Republic of Russia are two coldest places in the northern hemisphere where humans live. Both places share the northern hemisphere temperature record of −68 °C (−90 °F).
One of the most popular entertainments, among tourists in the area, is tossing a glass of water in the air which instantly freezes and falls down as a snow drizzle.
Photo Credit: mr-suhov2009
- 28. Proval Lake, Stavropol Krai
Lake Proval is located on the south-eastern slope of Mount Mashuk in Pyatigorsk, Stavropol Krai. By the way, Pyatigorsk is a very popular spa resort and famous for its mineral springs.
Proval Lake is a karst lake located in the cave of Mount Mashuk. The lake is only 15 meters in diameter and has 11 meters of depth (it’s really small), but it doesn’t make Proval less beautiful and unique. The water of the lake has a very pretty blue color because of hydrogen sulfide and special bacteria’s containing in it.
Photo Credit: nevlid
- 29. Providence Bay, Chukchi Peninsula
Providence Bay is one of the most beautiful places of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug of Russia, which is located in the far northeast of Russia. Providence Bay is home to the port of a few small settlements and a local airport. To get to Providence Bay, you can take a normal flight from the city of Anadyr in Chukotka or with the Bering Air charter flight from Nome in Alaska.
- 30. Putorana Plateau, Krasnoyarsk Krai
Putorana Plateau is a mountainous area which covers around 250 thousand square kilometers. Just so you realize how massive it is – it’s like the size of Great Britain. Yes, really. And it is unknown to most of the Russians. It is one of the most remote and pristine areas of Russia.
Putorana Plateau is often known as “edge of ten thousand lakes and thousands of waterfalls”.
Photo Credit: aleksanusachev
- 31. Ruskeala Canyon, Republic of Karelia
Ruskeala is a beautiful marble canyon, Mountain Park. The length of the canyon is approximately 460 meters, width – up to 100 meters. Here at the Park you can rent a boat and enjoy the views from the water, or if you are brave enough try bungee jumping from one of the walls.
Photo Credit: elkost
- 32. Seydozero Lake, Murmansk oblast
Seydozero Lake is one of the most beautiful places in the Kola Peninsula on the northern part of Russia. It is a sacred place for the Sami people that are surrounded by mystery and many legends.
Photo Credit: yuri-off
- 33. Stolby National Park, Krasnoyarsk
The National Park is a 20 minute drive from Krasnoyarsk city. It is a very popular place to go to for the weekend for locals. Geologically speaking, the pillars are made of magma that has cooled millions of years ago without making it to the surface. Several hundred of rocks polished by wind and rain are concentrated in a fairly small area. The height of the pillars at Stolby National Park reach 60 and up to 100 meters.
Photo Credit: sergeydolya.livejournal.com
- 34. Tobot Waterfall, Dagestan
Tobot is probably the easiest to get to waterfall in the North Caucasus region. It’s located less than a mile away from the Arani settlement in the Republic of Dagestan.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to live right by this gorgeous place? Here you should check out 3D panoramic tour around the Tobot Waterfall.
Photo Credit: artstudio
- 35. Tyatya volcano, Kuril islands of Kunashir
The height of the Tyatya volcano is 1819 meters; it is the second highest volcano in the Kurils after Alaid. The last time Tyatya erupted was in 1973, it was a pretty powerful eruption that destroyed the only settlement in the Kunashir Island – Tyatino. Since then, the island has been deserted.
Photo Credit: irina-chisa
- 36. Ubsunur Hollow, Republic of Tuva
Ubsunur Hollow is a unique area located on the territorial border of Mongolia and the Russian Republic of Tuva. What is so unique about this landmark you may ask? Here in Ubsunur Hollow, the world’s most northern desert meets the most southern tundra zone. On the territory of the Ubsunur Hollow, you can find glaciers, deserts, dunes, the Alpine tundra, the Alpine meadows, and massive mountainous taiga areas.
Photo Credit: andrey5d
- 37. Valley of Geysers, Kamchatka
Valley of Geysers is the most popular attraction in Kamchatka. Valley of Geysers has the second largest geyser concentration, not just in Russia, but in the whole world. It’s a shame, but this unique place was seriously damaged by mudflow in 2007 – it wiped out about 2/3 of the valley. Valley of Geysers is located at the Kronotsky Nature Reserve and the only possible way to get there is by helicopter.
Photo Credit: ya-voldemar777
- 38. Vasyugan Swamp, Western Siberia
Vasyugan Swamp is one of the most low-studied and mystical places in Russia (known as “Russian Amazonia”). It is one of the largest swamps on our planet – it occupies 53,000 km ², which is larger than the territory of some countries; for example, the territory of Switzerland is only 41,000 km ².
It is not recommended to visit Vasyugan Swamp without special training and the presence of a local guide. On the territory of the swamps, you’ll have to face impassable bogs, bears, snakes and hornets (they are more dangerous than snakes).
Photo Credit: cedrus2008
- 39. Zeygalan Waterfall, North Ossetia-Alania
Zeygalan is one of the tallest waterfalls in Russia and Europe – the height is approx. 600 meters. This landmark is located in the mountains, in the valley of the river Midagrabindon; it is 7 kilometers south of the Dzhimara settlement in North Ossetia-Alania.
Zeygalan waterfall runs from the Midagrabin glacier. The best time to visit waterfall is during the summer, when it is the most powerful after a season of rain.
Despite all the charm of the Zeygalan waterfalls, it’s not very safe to come close to it. Together with the downfall of water, often fly different sized rocks. Considering the size of the waterfall, you can assume that coming in contact with one of these flying rocks (from the height of 2000 ft.) will not have a happy ending.
Photo Credit: natasha-melnitskaya
- 40. Zyuratkul Lake, Chelyabinsk Oblast
Zyuratkul is a mountain lake located 724 meters above sea level. The lake is surrounded by ridges which are covered by the forest. Zyuratkul Lake is part of the Zyuratkul Nature Reserve and is one of the most beautiful nature places in the Ural area.
Photo Credit: Svetlanchukovskay
Well, guys, congratulations if you reading this – I know it’s not easy to go trough that much of information and pictures. But I really hope that you learned something new about Russia and its beautiful nature places.
Please, share your favorite place out of this list in the comments below! Where would you love to go?
Hope you having a good time here on Russianblogger.me.