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Active Travel in Russia
July 16, 2008 23:35

Active travel in Russia is a ticket from weekdays to an adventure and an opportunity to have a bright journey one would remember again and again. Unfortunately, active travel in Russia is still surrounded by stereotypes of the Soviet era and the most difficult thing about it is to break the ice.

Dispelling the myth about a lack of comfort on active routes in Russia, nowadays tour operators offer modern tents and sleeping-bags, high-quality bicycles and other equipment, fresh food, and well-trained coaches.

The majority of active routes are developed for an ordinary person to be able to cope with the offered physical activities on their own. Managers of travel companies normally try to match the tours with travellers taking into account their wishes and capabilities. In all kinds of active travel and all regions of Russia the offers line is diverse, including different levels of the routes` difficulty. It is not recommended to travellers with no experience in active travel to pick the most difficult routes. On the other hand travellers in good physical shape can pick any tour they like.

When choosing an agency for going on an active tour in Russia for the first time, it is reasonable to consider the Internet, travel magazines, or friends who have positive experience of active travel in Russia. There are hardly a dozen of agencies in Moscow specializing on active travel; unlike mass travel destinations, active travel organization requires more knowledge and specifics. The chances to get good service are high if the agency’s offers are about active travel only.

Seeking cheap offers may play a low-down trick with the traveller. A good tour cannot be cheap, like any other good service or product. On the whole, travel to Russia is not cheap, and the prices on travel are reflection of the whole country’s economy. Depending on the kind of activity, tours can cost $US250-1000. Amongst the inexpensive tours is trekking, rafting, cycling tours, horse-riding. Some combined routes, jeep-tours, and quad safari are more expensive offers.

If going on an active trip to Russia for the first time, tour operators advise to start with a rafting tour to Karelia. It includes the simplest but various routes for the whole family, beautiful nature sights, and moderate physical activity. More experienced travellers may like rafting in Altai, but the majority of routes there exclude presence of children.

It is also possible to choose cycling tours in Altai, Ural, Karelia and Adygeya. Cycling tours imply all personal belongings and equipment to be loaded on a car while the travellers cycle light.

Horse-riding tours imply some experience; otherwise the trip might turn into hell on the third-fourth day, because “life” in the saddle is not that easy as shown in Westerns.

Jeep-tour and quad safari are a handy variant for “lazy” travellers but at the same time are amongst the most exciting and memorable kinds of adventures.

It is needed to keep in mind that self-organized active tours can hardly be compared to the modern variants of active travel: they have the same share of romantics along with a higher level of availability, safety, and service.

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