Sailing as a type of tourism is a new phenomenon in Russia. Therefore, is still unusual and not very widespread. There are many reasons for this – they usually remember that the climate for yachting in Russia is not the same, and entertainment is not cheap.
Traveling on motor yachts or sailing yachts can seem daunting to plan as long distances have to be covered. Also, the country’s infrastructure for this sport is poorly developed. In addition, international rights to operate yachts in Russia are not recognized.
However, many difficulties are largely offset by a large selection of climatic zones and water areas for navigation. From the humid subtropics of the Black Sea to the subarctic cold of the Barents and monsoons of Primorye, from the serene surface of the northern lakes and canals to the raging waves of the Pacific Ocean. We tell you about where to go to see all the shades of blue in the rivers, lakes and seas of Russia.
Black Sea Route: Adler — Sochi — Lermontovo — Gelendzhik — Novorossiysk — Anapa — Crimea.
Warm sea waters and light breezes, quiet bays, and an endless line of beaches framed by subtropical forests, snowy peaks of the Caucasus Mountains on the horizon – the Black Sea coast creates almost ideal scenery for summer yachting. Start your journey in the Olympic Village area – several yacht clubs are based here, there are yacht rental services, as well as a sailing school.
Leaving the Olympic stadiums behind, set sail and head north. An endless line of beaches stretches along the coast, behind which trains slowly crawl, and the hazy mountains of the Caucasus close the landscape.
The first stop can be made in Sochi – here the marina (yacht parking) is located in the very center of the city, right behind the spire of the Marine Station. Dine on the terrace of one of the many seafront fish restaurants, You could book your stay before visiting there online and enjoy the living. Shop for some groceries and move on.
The further north you go, the less often hotels and sanatoriums flicker along the coast, and the more often there are deserted beaches and wild forests. The next stop can be made in the bay of the village of Lermontovo, where there is an equipped marina.
Another big crossing – and you are in Gelendzhik. Take a walk around town and refresh yourself before a long sailing trip to one of the local restaurants before heading out to sea – heading for Novorossiysk. You can finish the trip in Anapa – or continue along the Crimean coast.
Volga Route: Tver — Kalyazin — Uglich — Myshkin — Rybinsk — Yaroslavl — Kostroma — Ples — Yuryevets — Gorodets — Nizhny Novgorod — Kazan — Ulyanovsk — Togliatti — Samara — Saratov — Akhtuba — Astrakhan.
Sailing along the longest river in Europe almost from start to finish is an epic journey. Starting in the Tver region as a modest river, the Volga is gradually gaining strength and confidence, expanding to a gigantic scale in the Samara region, where the other bank can hardly be seen on the horizon.
The river passes through 15 regions and connects many cities that are firmly associated with the milestones in the history of Russia. Traveling along the Volga, as if through the pages of a book, you will move from one key event to another. On this porch in Uglich the Rurik dynasty ended, and in this monastery downstream a new Romanov dynasty began. Here Yaroslav the Wise, according to legend, defeated the bear , and here Ivan the Terrible gave a decisive battle to the Kazan Khan.
It will take a lot of time and effort to repeat the route from the Varangians to the Greeks. You have to plan all stages of the route and find suitable marinas for parking. You can start both from Tver and from Zavidov or Konakov on the border of Moscow and Tver regions.
Route: Vladivostok – about. Iturup — about. Simushir-about. Yankich — about. Onekotan-Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
For unearthly views of lonely volcanic islands and the romance of ocean sailing, head to the Far East . Vladivostok hosts the famous sailing regatta and there are several large yacht clubs offering boats for rent and sailing lessons. After climbing the main local hills and exploring the old Chinatown of Vladivostok, go out into the open sea and head for the Kuril Islands.
Make sure to stop at Iturup Island for a dip in the hot springs, wander the deserted sandy beaches framed by contrasting black rocks. Drop anchor in expansive Broughton Cove and set off to explore a Soviet ghost village.
Make your next stop in Craternaya Bay – it is located right in the mouth of an extinct volcano. A little further north, on Onekotan Island, there are several active volcanoes. One of them rises right in the middle of the lake, forming an absolutely fantastic landscape.
The entire journey with disembarkation on the islands will take an average of two weeks. You decide whether to stretch the pleasure or return ahead of time. YOu can decide that on the weather conditions and your enthusiasm.
Route: Chupa — Sonostrov — Umba — Solovetsky Islands.
Where the forest thickets and swamps of the Russian North are disobedient to pedestrians and motorists, a yacht comes into play. A network of lakes, straits, and canals allows you to move freely across the wide expanses of this region.
In addition to the obligatory white nights with endlessly long sunsets, it is worth going here in order to swim through the local fjords. Admire the scattering of rocky skerry islands, see beluga whales and visit the ancient Pomor villages.
The best place to start is from Chupa, a small village halfway between Petrozavodsk and Murmansk. It has its own yacht club with the possibility of renting yachts. After passing along the narrow Chupinskaya Bay, go out into the open sea. Then head towards the practically uninhabited Sonostrov with its waterfalls, a scattering of lazy seals on the shore and a mussel farm.
If you cross the Kandalaksha Bay (and at the same time the Arctic Circle), you will find yourself in Umba. It is an old Pomor village with wooden sidewalks and ancient churches as if frozen somewhere in the 19th century. Then head south to the Solovetsky Islands to see the domes of the ancient monastery reflected in the water. Explore the local stone labyrinths and watch a flock of beluga whales splashing around the island at dawn.
Where else to go sailing in Russia?
For short trips on a yacht, the Moscow Region reservoirs and the Gulf of Finland are perfect. For training, go to the Sea of Azov – many yacht schools arrange training in the Yeysk area. Another interesting route is to go on a yacht from St. Petersburg to Kaliningrad , going out to the Baltic Sea.
Julien Chbib is the founder of Julius Homes. His interest in hiking, skiing, and adventure holidays made him bring together the choicest accommodations around the globe to make holidays relaxing and comfortable.