Russia is the ideal destination for travellers who love the outdoors and wilderness. Here are the three best regions for hiking. Each one offers a unique experience with varying levels of difficulty and comfort.
Altai has a stunning variety of landscapes: arid steppe with salt lakes, white-capped mountains, cedar taiga on the shores of Lake Teletskoe, mountainous prairies and glaciers. In Altai, you can combine hiking with horse-riding.
From the village of Bolshie Koty, follow the track along the shore and breathe in the heady smells of green taiga and rhododendrons. Get comfortable for a picnic on a peak overlooking Baikal. Olkhon Island is also a great place for hiking. The area is mild and home to many shady creeks where you can set up camp.
Climb volcanoes that will remind you of the size and isolation of this peninsula to admire the abyss of the Pacific Ocean. Then hike on the tundra’s soft carpet in the charming company of scampering marmottes. Climb down to the river along tracks tred by bears. This mystical place requires a skilled guide: more than 20,000 bears live in Kamchatka.
Trips that include hiking can be organised in Altai and around Baikal from the beginning of May until the end of September. Ice-trekking on the frozen surface of Lake Baikal is only possible in February and March.
In Kamchatka, the hiking season is short due to the abundant rains. Even at the end of June, many tracks are still covered in snow. The season opens at the beginning of July and lasts until the end of September.