Spanning 11 time zones and two continents, Russia puzzles and fascinates. Taking up an immense space, a home to different nationalities and cultures, it’s often called a bridge between the East and the West. You can spend a lifetime exploring it without ever unveiling all its mysteries. With one-sixth the entire land mass of the world within its borders, and so many natural and manmade wonders to see, you will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience on any trip you take to Russia. The vast differences in this great land led Russian Emperors to formerly be known as the “Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias”. It is a country of contrasts with a complex reality, far from clichés. If ancient walled fortresses, glittering palaces and swirly-spired churches are what you’re after, focus on European Russia. Here Moscow and St. Petersburg are the must-see destinations, twin repositories of eye-boggling national treasures, political energies and contemporary creativity. Within easy reach of these cities are charming historical towns and villages, such as Veliky Novgorod, Pskov and Suzdal, where the vistas dotted with onion domes and lined with gingerbread cottages measure up to the rural Russia of popular imagination. Arrange a ski holiday in Krasnaya Polyana, go trekking in the Altai, or even climb an active volcano in Kamchatka – the varied possibilities will make you head spin. Russia is a collection of distinct territories, each one deserving separate attention

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