Northwestern Russia has everything you need to make the 10-day winter holidays an unforgettable experience. Take a ride on snowmobiles, discover reindeers, marvel at the Aurora Borealis, walk through snow-covered swamps, and talk to a real Father Frost. The Silver Necklace regions offer great holiday opportunities for both nature lovers and those who prefer winter sports and activities. Compiled by the tourist information centres of Russia’s northwestern regions, this list of attractions and activities will help you discover the best winter destinations, tours and events.
NOVGOROD REGIONCome to Veliky Novgorod to meet Father Frost. His train residence will arrive from Veliky Ustyug to Veliky Novgorod on Christmas day, 7 January 2022. You will be treated to a performance right at the railway station, get to talk to Father Frost, enjoy a tea party in the dining car, and visit the photo car. You can also send a holiday post card to your family and friends, and receive a New Year gift.
Learn the secrets of pottery and ceramics, and make a wish by a magic well
The Porcelain Chime Ecomuseum invites visitors young and old to learn the pottery craft. Join us for a programme packed with workshops on using the pottery wheel and decorating ceramic toys. An interactive game will help you discover how ceramists and pot makers lived and worked, learn to carry water buckets using a shoulder pole, make a wish by a magic well, and much more.
Image Novgorodian Rus Tourist Office
Krasnaya Izba tourism development centre, Veliky Novgorod, visitnovgorod.ru
Novgorodian Rus, novgorod.travel
PSKOV REGIONWinter season in Polistovsky Reserve
Take a ride on snowmobiles and swamp buggies in the pristine nature of the Pskov Region’s Polistovsky Reserve. Nature lovers will discover the magical world of a snow-covered swamp. Stable snow cover is required for these itineraries.
Image Polistovsky Reserve, official VKontakte group, by Olga Kudrina
Malskaya Valley, the magnet of the northwest
The Pskovian land is beautiful at any time of the year, especially during the winter season. The golden church domes reflect the sparkling snow, creating a special charm. Those who prefer outdoor activities will enjoy the Malskaya Valley, one of the most picturesque places in the Pskov Region, which offers a great venue for snow slides, snowboarding and skiing.
Image Official website of Malskaya Valley Outdoor Park
Pskov Region tourist information centre visit.pskov.ru
NENETS AUTONOMOUS AREADiscover the world of nomadic reindeer herders in its original beauty
Winter is in full swing in Naryan-Mar, making it a great time to discover the Nenets culture. One Day in the Life of Reindeer Herders is a one-day tour to a reindeer herding camp on snowmobiles. Not only will you discover how the Nenets people live, but you will get immersed in their everyday life, culture and traditions.
Aurora Borealis – see it once to remember it forever
This magical phenomenon can be observed in the Nenets Area more often than in other Russian regions. Usually, the hunting season for the Northern Lights lasts from September until April, to see bright green, violet and pink patterns reminiscent of a dancing fire above the endless snowfields.
Image by Viktor Kulikov
Nenets Autonomous Area tourist information centre www.visitnao.ru
ARKHANGELSK REGIONIce merry-go-round in the Malye Korely Museum
With the New Year holidays around the corner, the Malye Korely open-air museum launches a unique winter attraction, a merry-go-round made from ice. It will not fail to amaze both young and old.
Cross the Severnaya Dvina in Arkhangelsk
Arkhangelsk’s ice crossings are famous across Russia because they cross the river where ships continue to navigate. You can stand within arm’s reach of an icebreaker or a giant cargo ship passing by.
Arkhangelsk Region tourist information centre pomorland.travel
LENINGRAD REGIONOkhta Park year-round resort
Winter, the season of red noses and wool mittens, is here, but the Okhta Park year-round resort can be enjoyed in any weather. The evening lighting creates a magical atmosphere, footpaths wind away into the woods, the fragrant smell of sangria is in the air, and an ice-skating rink is open. This is a place where dreams come true and small miracles happen.
Image Okhta Park resort
Krasnoye Ozero is one of the largest mountain skiing resorts in the Leningrad Region. Located near Korobitsyno, Priozersky District, it is a favourite destination among professional skiers and those who are only starting out, for its magnificent slopes and the marvellous nature around them.
Image Krasnoye Ozero resort
Leningrad Region tourist information centre, St Petersburg, lentravel.ru
KOMI REPUBLICFinno-Ugric Cultural Theme Park
Join us on New Year’s Eve at the Finno-Ugric Cultural Theme Park, the region’s top tourist attraction. The programme includes star performers, games and entertainment, lots of positive emotions and a special New Year menu. Take a walk in the winter woods to feel the holiday spirit.
Image from the Finno-Ugric Cultural Theme Park archive
Elyaty Family Park
Come celebrate New Year in cosy huts on a picturesque lake. We have everything you need to spend a great holiday with your family and engage in outdoor activities: an ice-skating rink in the woods, a cross-country skiing trail, Finnish sledges, snowmobiles for kids, an ice slide and a husky park. On New Year’s Eve, we will treat you to fireworks, and Father Frost will drop by to add some magic to the air.
Image from the Elyaty Family Park archive
Komi Republic Agency for Tourism Development and Promotion, tourism.rkomi.ru
ST PETERSBURGTop winter attraction: Ice rink at the Port of Sevkabel
Love ice skating in unusual places? Come to the Ice Rink by the Sea, which opens to a panoramic view of the Gulf of Finland and will sure put you in a romantic mood. Standing at the centre of the ice rink is a magical forest. There is also great music all the time, food trucks, decorations and a selfie zone. The rink attendants are dressed as seals and polar bears.
Image by Grigory Sokolinsky, Port of Sevkabel press service
Winter at Nikolskiye Ryady
The courtyard at Nikolskiye Ryady turns into a European-style Christmas market, filled with the magic of the winter holidays. You can ride down a huge slide, enjoy a Venetian merry-go-round, take fabulous winter photos, marvel at a six-metre-tall New Year tree, buy gifts at a cosy winter market, and warm up with some hot mulled wine. There are also performances on weekends and holidays.
Image Nikolskiye Ryady press service
St Petersburg city tourist information space www.visit-petersburg.ru
VOLOGDA REGIONChristmas Fairy Tale in Vologda
Vologda invites you to experience a winter fairy tale: visit the Vologda Kremlin, marvel at the mighty Sofia Cathedral and New Year decorations around the city, learn the secrets of an ornamental palisade, take part in a folk outdoors festival in Semyonkovo, and drop by the Bryanchaninovs’ winter estate.
Outdoor activities at Y.E.S. Leisure and Entertainment Centre
New Year holidays offer a great opportunity to get a boost of positive energy. There is no shortage of outdoor activities – including skiing, snowboarding and snow slides – for having a good time during the holidays. The Y.E.S. Centre has a state-of-the-art snow park, ski slopes, as well as an aquapark and a dinosaur park.
Image Y.E.S. Leisure and Entertainment Centre
Vologda Region tourist information centre vologdatourinfo.ru
MURMANSK REGIONHunting for the Northern Lights
Have you been dreaming since your childhood of seeing the Aurora Borealis, one of the genuine wonders of the world, with your own eyes? You will see navigation signs across the Murmansk Region pointing to the best locations for observing this phenomenon. You can hunt on your own by moving around in your car, or hire an experienced guide who will drive you around.
Image Maxim Malyutin
Explore the snowy expanses of the Kola Peninsula on a snowmobile
Embark on an unforgettable adventure across the Arctic vastness. Choose the Murmansk Region as your destination for the New Year holidays and pick a captivating itinerary for your trip on a snowmobile.
Murmansk Region tourist information centre murmansk.travel
KALININGRAD REGIONChristmas Story tour on 3-7 January in Kaliningrad
Want to enjoy your New Year holidays? This five-day winter adventure gives you a chance to discover our region and its unique attractions. It includes historical tours, vista points, museums, hot warming drinks, pastries and much more.
Get to know Kaliningrad
Winter is the best time for touring museums. Kaliningrad has quite a few of those: the Cathedral, the Sackheim Gate, the King’s Gate, the Amber Museum, the Museum of the World Ocean, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Altes Haus Museum and much more. This is a great way of discovering the city’s past and its heritage.
Kaliningrad Region tourist information centre, visit-kaliningrad.ru
REPUBLIC OF KARELIATalviukko, the Karelian Father Frost, invites you to his residence
You will have a great time there, with a chance to visit a breeding station for husky dogs, explore a reindeer farm, ride a Finnish sledge, and much more. There will be something for everyone, young and old, and to suit everyone’s taste.
Husky Moa environmental New Year
Located 30 km from Petrozavodsk, this complex is surrounded by woods and is not far from the Bolshaya Tollya rapids and the River Shuya, which breathes the fresh Karelian air into the camp. Visitors will be accommodated in guest houses, and will get a chance to play with dogs, take part in various tours, and engage in outdoor activities.
Republic of Karelia tourist information centre ticrk.ru
Join the RussiaTravel.club when travelling across Russia’s northwestern regions, earn bonus points for visiting the Silver Necklace regions, and get valuable prizes. You can validate your points at tourist information centres and museums. You will find the list of participating locations in the RussiaTravel.club messengers.
Photo credits: Nenets Autonomous Area tourist information centre; Polistovsky Reserve official VKontakte group, by Olga Kudrina; Port of Sevkabel press service, by Grigory Sokolinsky; Okhta Park; Arkhangelsk Region tourist information centre, pomorland.travel.