Travel is an escape: from routine, for new impressions, from cold or heat. An airport or a railway station is like a teleport to another reality, where there is no usual "home - work - home" scheme. We have collected for you the options for the perfect summer escape in any incomprehensible situation: from the cold, from the heat and towards great gastronomic discoveries.
Text: Evgeniya Pisman
Where to run from the cold
How to get there: The easiest way is to buy a package tour with a direct flight to Rhodes and hotel accommodation. You need a Schengen visa.
The Greek summer should be written out for everyone who is tired of the Russian winter. Take a tablespoon three times a day: clear sea, spray of white and blue houses, grilled octopus. For a snack - legends and myths of Ancient Greece in the form of the nearest ruins of an ancient temple. The quintessence of Greek summer can be found on islands like Rhodes, where two seas meet, the Aegean and the Mediterranean, and two stories - the ancient Greeks and the Hospitaller Knights. After the end of the activities of the crusaders, the knights moved to Rhodes and erected a powerful fortress here. The Palace of the Grand Masters, the hospital building, towers and bastions - in two hundred years the Hospitallers turned the city of Rhodes into a decoration of the knightly era.
If the legacy of chivalry is weary, an hour's drive away is the wondrous city of Lindos, with the photogenic ruins of an acropolis and a heart-shaped bay. They say that St. Paul wet his feet in this bay - his ship took refuge in the bay from the storm, and the apostle immediately began to promote the teaching of Christ.
HOW TO GET THERE: By plane to Makhachkala or by train to Makhachkala or Derbent. You can get from Makhachkala to Derbent by minibus or train in about two hours.
The Caspian Sea, southern heat, ancient history and the absence of visa formalities - this is Dagestan. Derbent is considered the oldest city in Russia (although there are disputes over this) - here, through the eye of a needle of a fortress between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, caravans of the Great Silk Road passed. Translated from Persian, Derbent was called “closed gates”: on one side the sea, on the other mountains, a narrow passage is closed into two rows of the fortress wall. In the upper city, the medieval layout of the magal quarters, circling next to the mosque, has even been preserved. The tangled streets were supposed to catch the enemy and lead them to a dead end - today travelers wander here, hunting for scenes of local life and the medieval atmosphere.
Derbent is full of ancient things: a fortress, a Christian temple, a mosque, a synagogue send greetings to a traveler from the depths of the centuries. Derbent is also the southernmost city in Russia, where all roads lead to the beach. However, for the beaches it is better to go to the town of Izberbash - and there it is a stone's throw to Makhachkala and Sulak canyon, which is even deeper than the Grand Canyon.
HOW TO GET THERE: By plane to Antalya and two hours by bus before turning to Cirali. No visa required.
An alternative Turkey, where yogis perfect asanas and clink ankle bracelets, are European tourists. A secluded cove in a nature reserve, where there are no multi-storey hotels and animations - only small family pensions and mini-hotels with breakfasts made from local products. In July, turtles come to lay their eggs on a wide pebbly beach, and above there is the famous Lycian trekking trail and a natural fire on Mount Chimera burns.
Sightseeing in Cirali needs to be arranged on your own: go to the ruins of neighboring Olympos, climb Mount Chimera and explore local cafes. In the evening, you can gaze at the stars and replenish your inner resources with sustained silence.
Where to escape from the heat
HOW TO GET THERE: By plane or train to Vilnius and by bus arrive in Druskininkai. You need a Schengen visa.
In Druskininkai, the rain-filled air can be squeezed into a glass, and outside the window there are fifty shades of green.There are lakes for swimming, if you are lucky with the summer, and a water park with beaches, if it rains, and the air temperature is plus eighteen. If the summer is turned on to the maximum, there is the Snow Arena winter entertainment center with closed ski slopes. Supermarkets sell wonderful cottage cheese and cheese, blueberries ripen in the forest and in the market. Singing fountains and ducks in the local pond as leisure activities, bike paths and bike rentals for a sporty lifestyle - Druskininkai knows a lot about rest from worries. There are also more than a dozen resorts and spa hotels. And if the serenity gets bored, Vilnius is a two-hour drive away - with baroque churches and the freedom-loving Užupis quarter, where artists in bohemian workshops live according to their own constitution.
HOW TO GET THERE: Fly to Geneva and take a shuttle bus to Chamonix. You need a Schengen visa.
It would seem that Chamonix is about alpine skiing, but no. The city can entertain the traveler all year round: skis end and trekking begins. You can take a backpack and uncompromisingly walk around Mont Blanc, sleeping in mountain huts on the route, or you can book accommodation in Chamonix and arrange radial excursions. Buy French cheese and Savoyard sausages at your local supermarket, take the lift and have a picnic overlooking Mont Blanc. Glaciers, mountain lakes, viewing platforms - here you can spend a week or two. In the town itself - summer sales of trekking equipment and the atmosphere of a mountain brotherhood. Next to the Italian Courmayeur with the new SkyWay Monte Bianco cable car and a rotating cabin to view Mont Blanc from all sides.
HOW TO GET THERE: By train.
The Russian North is a worthy alternative to southern beaches. The fugitives from the heat are greeted by cool Petrozavodsk: a huge lake, a handful of preserved wooden houses and a carved silhouette of Kizhi in an hour's ride on the "meteor". Petrozavodsk offers a program to choose from: a hotel in the city for leisurely walks or a house at a camp site on the lake shore as a forest retreat. From Petrozavodsk, you can go to Solovki to touch the history of Russia: the Solovetsky Monastery from the UNESCO World Heritage List, the memory of the terrible camp for dissidents of the Soviet era, the piercing northern nature and the most delicate herring in local cafes await travelers. Or you can go to Valaam with its lush greenery and blue domes. Karelia treats them to wicket pies, pours handfuls of berries into the hem and gives out to everyone according to their needs. Digital detox, immersion in history, lake fishing or rafting - choose for yourself.
Where to escape for a gastronomic experience
HOW TO GET THERE: By plane to Rome or Pisa, from where by train or bus to Florence. You need a Schengen visa.
Follow in the footsteps of Michelangelo - and he probably wound many kilometers around Florence in search of the most delicious lampredotto, that is, buns with tripe. In the bun, you need to put the most tender rennet boiled in vegetable broth (a piece of a cow's stomach), season with black pepper, moisten the crispy lid of the bun in the broth and greedily eat without leaving the cash register.
If this seems too naturalistic to you, go for a Florentine steak from a young local Chianina bull - a huge shmat of meat is fried without salt for five minutes on each side and served with oozing soft pink juice. Seasonings include salt, pepper, olive oil and a glass of red wine. Florence breathes on the traveler with the proximity of the Tuscan hills, puts Tuscan sausages on the shelves and teases the nostrils with the spicy aroma of pecorino cheese. Chianti and Montepulciano shelves from seven euros per bottle - Tuscany knows how to tempt.
Helsinki Stockholm Ferry
HOW TO GET THERE: By train or plane to Helsinki and there take the ferry to Stockholm. You need a Schengen visa.
The Baltic Sea ferries are famous for their buffet dinners - an hour and a half of gastronomic hedonism with ten varieties of pickled herring, smoked salmon, shrimp, mussels, crab cutlets, raw smoked venison mousse on rye bread and so on. The Scandinavians have collected over a hundred menu items, including white and red wine without limits. For the sake of such a dinner for 39 euros per person, many specially plan a trip to Helsinki, Riga or Stockholm - the cruise is short, budgetary, with a taste of lingonberry sauce for the meatballs. On board you can learn how to eat Finnish caviar, with onions and sour cream, find out what gravlax salmon is, and distinguish herring in mustard sauce from herring in blackcurrant marinade.
HOW TO GET THERE: By plane to Tbilisi or Batumi. From Tbilisi by train or bus to Batumi. No visa required.
A boat of Adjarian khachapuri quenches all sorrows - cheese melts in it, butter melts, and an egg yolk calls out "break off the crisp, dunk, eat me." Batumi is considered the capital of Adjara - river trout is fried here with inspiration, yachns are made - a spicy variation on the theme of satsivi, only with veal instead of chicken, and eggs with walnuts, herbs and spices called chirbuli are cooked. The sun is in the plate, the wine is in the glass, the sea is at the doorstep - Batumi is cramped in the narrow streets of the old city, like khinkali tails in a plate. It splashes out with a bamboo grove, modern skyscrapers and a new boulevard.
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