The world’s largest country is a land of great mystery and prestige. Russia’s diverse territories stretch from Europe to far-eastern Asia and the Arctic circle, while its landscape varies from barren steppes (treeless plains) to hulking peaks and frozen tundras. Unlike its compact European neighbours, Russia is obtrusively enormous; a drive from the capital Moscow to Chelyabinsk, the gateway to Siberia, would take almost 24 hours and pass many regions, each with their own customs, languages and ethnicities.
The streets of its cities teem with remnants of its complex past. Communist-era apartments sit beside modern high rises in Moscow, while the palatial buildings and gold-domed cathedrals of St. Petersburg exude opulence. Escape the two biggest cities and you’ll come across picturesque villages steeped in tradition. Russia will lure you with its mystery and entrance you with its sights.