Russia is by far the largest country in the world covering more than 6.5 million square miles and spanning 11 time zones. It is the ninth most populated country with 142 million people and spans the whole of north Asia and 40% of Europe. It has the planets largest mineral and energy reserves and its lakes are home to ¼ of the worlds fresh water. Russia also has access to the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Oceans.
Adventure Alternative concentrates its trips in Russia to the Caucasus area in the South for climbing Elbrus, the border with Mongolia for its treks to the Altai, and the far east of the country to visit the volcanoes in Kamchatka.
Most of Russia are plains known as steppe to the south and forests to the north, with tundra along the northern coast. The mountain ranges include the Caucasus (containing Mount Elbrus, which at 5642m is the highest point in both Russia and Europe) and the Altai (containing Mount Belukha, which at the 4506 m is the highest point of Asian Russia) and in the east the Verkhoyansk Range or the volcanoes of Kamchatka. The Ural Mountains form a north-south range that divides Europe and Asia.
The Russian Orthodox Church would be the main religious group, which is also a symbol of Russian heritage and culture. Smaller Christian groups such as Roman Catholics, Armenian Gregorians, and Protestants are also found. Islam, Buddhism and Judaism are also traditional religions and deemed part of Russia's "historical heritage".
Of the many ethnic groups in Russia you will find the Slavic Orthodox culture, Tatars and Bashkirs with their Turkic Muslim culture, Buddhist nomadic Buryats and Kalmyks, Shamanistic peoples of the Far North and Siberia, the highlanders of the Northern Caucasus, and the Finno-Ugric peoples of the North West and Volga Region.
What is the climate in Russia?
The climate of the Russian Federation varies hugely due to the enormous size of the country and the remoteness of many areas from the sea result in the dominance of the humid continental and subarctic climate, which is prevalent in European and Asian Russia except for the tundra and the extreme southeast. Mountains in the south obstruct the flow of warm air masses from the Indian Ocean, whilst the plain of the west and north makes the country open to Arctic and Atlantic influences.
Throughout much of the territory there are only two distinct seasons — winter and summer; spring and autumn are usually brief periods of change between extremely low temperatures and extremely high. The coldest month is January (February on the shores of the sea), the warmest usually is July. Great ranges of temperature are typical. In winter, temperatures get colder both from south to north and from west to east. Summers can be quite hot and humid, even in Siberia. A small part of Black Sea coast around Sochi has a subtropical climate. The continental interiors are the driest areas.