11 adventure ideas that will make you book a holiday in Russia in a heartbeat

How about riding a tank, becoming a special ops agent for a few days, or witnessing a rocket launch from Baikonur?

1. Experience zero gravity

Even though space tourism is still far off from becoming widely available, one can still feel like a cosmonaut, even if just for a short while. Zero gravity flights - not far from Moscow - are offered by many Russian tourist agents on board an IL-76 MDK, a Russian aircraft designed for real cosmonaut training. Your health needs to be in good nick and such a trip will burn a $3,000-5,000 sized hole in your wallet.

Space tourism (in English)

Mir Puteshestviy (in Russian)

Country of Space tourism (in Russian)

2. Witness a rocket launch at Baikonur

Another exciting opportunity for space-lovers is witnessing a Soyuz rocket leave the Earth in person. This is possible at Baikonur for a minimum of $1,679 for a five-day tour (Mir Puteshestviy). Not a cheap experience but it will definitely make a good story to tell your grandkids.

Starcity tours (in English)

Space Travel (in Russian)

Mir Puteshestviy(in Russian)

3. Fly in a military jet

Looking for something even more extreme? Fly a MiG-29 jet together with the main pilot and even attempt to perform some aerobatics. The flights offered by Mir Puteshestviy  take place in the skies over Nizhny Novgorod but if you’re not prepared to spend a fortune (600,000 rubles/$10,609 for a 25 minute flight) there’s a more affordable option of flying L-29 or L-39 jet trainers. As advertised by the Country of Space tourism, a 20-minute flight in these jets will cut your budget by 35,000 rubles/$618 (on an L-29) or 80,000 rubles/$1,414 (30 minutes on an L-39) and will not require you to travel far from Moscow - flights take place 200 km west of the Russian capital.

Space tourism (in English)

Mir Puteshestviy (in Russian)

Country of Space tourism (in Russian)

4. Ride a tank

Yes, now everyone can become a member of a tank crew. Plus, there are tours available not far from Moscow for a decent price – 9,000 rubles ($160) for one person or 17,000 rubles ($300) for a team of four (Mir Puteshestviy).  Isn’t it what the world expects from a trip to Russia?

Space tourism (in English)

Tank tour (In English)

Country of Space tourism (in Russian)

Mir Puteshestviy (in Russian)

5. Become a Special Forces agent for 2 days

For up to five days you can live and train like a real fighter of the Russian Special Forces - learn the basics of shooting, hand-to-hand combat, climbing, and storming a building. A day training in the Podolsk Region (not far from Moscow) will cost around 6,000 rubles ($105) and will leave you with a certificate proving you’ve rubbed shoulders with Russian fighters.

Mir Puteshestviy (in Russian)

Grand Rus (in English)

6. Learn survival skills in Russia’s wilderness

Another challenging option available in Russia is to delve deep into the wild and learn some basics survival skills from experienced Russian instructors. Karelia, the Urals, Baikal, and the Tver Region - these are just a few locations for potential adventures where you’ll be taught how to set up camp, find and purify water, make a fire, and provide medical help. A week of such training costs a minimum of 17,000 rubles ($300) per person (Mir Puteshestviy).

Wolfin Travel Club (in English)

Russia Rocks (in English)

Mir Puteshestviy (in Russian)

7. Visit the North Pole and swim in the Arctic Ocean

In Russia you can join a tour to the North Pole. Leaving from Murmansk on an icebreaker you’ll be able to see white bears, walruses, and even swim in the freezing Arctic Ocean. This doesn’t come cheap though: Around two weeks of such adventure will cost around $25,000-28,000.

Space tourism (in English)

Poseidon Expeditions (in Russian)

Mir Puteshestviy (in Russian)

8. Hunt for the Northern lights in the Russia’s North

Always dreamt of seeing the Northern Lights? There are many places in Russia where you can get an opportunity to witness the Aurora Borealis. Of course, due to the unpredictability of the weather no tourist agent can guarantee that you’ll surely see them, but this doesn’t stop many Chinese travelers, for example, from flooding Russia’s Murmansk Region. Why should it stop you?

Nord Tours (in English)

Kola Travel (in English)

North for you (in English)

9. Dive under the ice of Lake Baikal

There are so many things one can do on Baikal, but probably one of the most extreme activities is diving under the ice. It’s so clear that a diver can actually see a person standing on the surface. Besides, you’ll get to see the ice sculptures that emerge under water and might even spot some inhabitants of the lake. А one-day tour costs just 2,800 rubles ($49) with Mir Puteshestviy while a week long adventure - 85,000 rubles ($1,500) with Crocodile Club.

Baikal Explorer (in English)

Crocodile club  (in Russian)

Mir Puteshestviy(in Russian)

10. Go freeriding in Kamchatka

An extraordinary place with practically no flat areas, Kamchatka has many mountain ranges and around 300 volcanoes and, if you are up for it, you can ride them on skis or a snowboard. Heli-skiing and backcountry adventure here are not cheap, of course, but the experience is truly remarkable.

Kamchatka Land (in English)

Pro Adventure (in Russian)

Kamchatka freeride community (in Russian)

Travel Kamchatka (in Russian)

11. Chase whales

There are not so many places on Earth where see these rare ocean giants, but Russia’s Far East and Arctic regions are fortunately among them. There are several whale-watching tours organized from cities like Murmansk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and Belomorsk, and differ in price, duration, and schedule. The cheapest option we’ve found is a week-long tour to the White Sea offered by Pro Adventure for just 30,000 rubles/$530.

Russia Discovery (in English)

Heritage Expeditions (in English)

Magnetic North.Travel (in English)

Far East Travel Centre(in Russian)

Pro Adventure (in Russian)

Still not sure which place to visit in Russia? No worries - our quiz will help.


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