Southern Russia is a region situated across different countries and cultures that makes it unique in comparison with the rest of Russia. Having an access to the Black and Caspian Seas, it boasts the nicest climate and the most picturesque landscapes in the whole country.
Southern Russia is undoubtedly a special world where various cultures and traditions are mixed together. Its northern part is predominantly Russian in character with traditional Russian Orthodox churches, Soviet and European buildings and Slavic culture. While the south of the region has much in common with South Caucasus and Western Asia countries such as Georgia and Armenia. This diversity makes the region an alluring destination for those who want to understand Russia in its entire complexity.
In contrast to the northern and central parts of the country, Southern Russia didn’t have a single large center until recently, but nowadays this role belongs to Rostov-on-Don. Rostov is often informally referred to as the “Gates of the Caucasus”, the “Southern capital of Russia” and “Rostov-Father”, thus emphasizing its logistical significance. Located on the Don River it is the city of wondrous beauty where there is everything that any tourist would expect to find during the journey - from interesting architecture to delicious restaurants with traditional Russian and Don cuisine.
East of Rostov-on-Don a greenish city of Volgograd is located on the western bank of the Volga River. This hero-city bears the impress of World War II as it suffered extensive damage and death toll during its resistance against the German Army. The city was almost completely destroyed during the war, so there is no ancient monuments and buildings there. Nevertheless, Volgograd will definitely stir your imagination with its colossal memorial complex in Mamaev Kurgan, dedicated to the battle of Stalingrad, with an immense sculpture of “The Motherland Calls” at the top.
Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, that has been granted an official name of the “Third Capital of Russia”. In 2000 Kazan was honored by UNESCO, as the city with a unique ensemble of the Kazan Kremlin, that was included into the list of the World Heritage Sites. Although Kazan is a mostly islamic country, different world religions are closely intertwined there. A popular landmark of Kazan, the Temple of All Religions or the Universe Temple, is designed to commemorate this peaceful and harmonious coexistence of different religions. With such an interesting mix of cultures, Kazan is definitely a must-see city during your cruise along the Volga river.
Another Volga river attraction is Samara - the sixth largest city in Russia and its important industrial center. It developed tremendously during the 19-20th centuries, resembling the rapid growth of many young North American cities, and thus receiving the names of “Russian New Orleans” and “Russian Chicago”. Samara boasts continental climate, similar to that of the Mediterranean region, and clean sandy beaches with beautiful embankment. Besides, there are lots of museums, theaters and churches in Samara. It means that you will always have something new to explore in this city. So, it is not surprising that Samara is a wonderful resort and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
On the whole, Southern Russia is an amazing region where everything has its own unique charm. Whether you want to enlarge your knowledge of Russian history and traditions, admire fantastic architecture or enjoy delicious national cuisine - all of this you will find in Southern Russia.
Experience this one-of-a-kind corner of Russia and its great cities with our Russian River Cruises.