The Best Beach Holidays in Russia

Choose from the Black Sea, the Arctic Ocean, or the Baltic Sea with our guide to Russias best beach holidays
Choose from the Black Sea, the Arctic Ocean, or the Baltic Sea with our guide to Russia's best beach holidays | © Andrey Khrobostov / Alamy Stock Photo
Zita Whalley

Warm sunny days spent working on your tan may not be the first thing you associate with Russia, but it’s totally possible. Beaches run the gamut in Russia – from wild and rugged to stylish and glitzy to quaint and pebbly. So, if you’re in the country for the World Cup why not combine your trip with the glamour of the Black Sea or some rustic Arctic charm? Whatever you’re after, find your ideal Russian beach holiday here. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.


A busy Sochi Beach features hundreds of visitors and jet ski rides galore

World Cup host city and probably Russia’s most famous beach resort town, Sochi is a glamorous getaway on the Black Sea. It has also been the presidential summer residence since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a role it took over from Crimea. Not the destination for those who want to strip everything back to basics and nature, Sochi has booming nightclubs, a busy boardwalk, water and amusement parks, as well as a dynamite sunset. Stretching 150 kilometres along the coastline it has plenty to discover.


Popular tourist place and walking place near the Sportivnaya Embankment of the Russian city of Vladivostok in Primorsky

If you make it to Vladivostok, Russia’s most eastern major port town, well done you – it’s quite the hike. As your reward, the city has several options should you want to soak up some rays. Vladivostok itself has a few beaches. The best is Sportivnaya Harbor, where there is a half-submerged mermaid statue, which, as per custom, you should salute as you jump in. Alternatively, there are the easily accessible islands of Popov and Reyneke, each with beaches imploring you to explore.

Kurshskaya Kosa National Park

Beautiful aerial drone wide view of Curonian spit, Kurshskaya Kosa National Park, Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia

In the enclave of Kaliningrad, the Kurshskaya Kosa National Park is nestled in the Curonian Spit. A Unesco World Heritage Site, the Curonian Spit divides the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea and is a 98km (60mi) stretch of pristine white sand, dunes and remote, rugged beauty. Kurshskaya Kosa is only 50km (31mi), but that is still big enough to make sure your neighbouring beach-goer is nowhere in sight. Aside from relaxing in the sun, roam and explore this beautiful spot and get a feel for Kaliningrad’s wild beauty.

The Gulf of Finland

If you are in St Petersburg – another World Cup host city – and need to escape the heat, follow the locals and head up to the Gulf of Finland. It’s an easy day trip from Russia’s second city although there are plenty of options should you want to stay a little longer. Picturesque beaches, both sandy and pebbly, are flanked with pine trees creating the ultimate forest bathing experience. Popular beaches include Laskovy Beach, Tarkhovka and Repino, but there are so many others for you to explore.

The Kola Peninsula

The stunning fall landscape of the Kola Peninsula with wild flowers at sunset

Above the Arctic Circle in Murmansk, the Kola Peninsula might be a chillier Russian beach holiday, but in summer the days are literally endless. One of Russia’s most northern destinations, you’re almost as far north as Finland’s Lapland. The region is probably more well known for spotting Aurora Borealis, but a jaunt up here in the warmer months, when it can reach a not-so-scorching 15 degrees Celsius, is still worth it. Soak up the peninsula’s stunning wilderness under the glow of the midnight sun.


Beautiful aerial panorama of Arkhipo-Osipovka beach and promenade in the Gelendzhik region

Also on the Black Sea, Gelendzhik is somewhat quieter – but not really quiet – than Sochi. Lesser known than its neighbour, it is still exquisite. While it is another resort town, the surrounding beaches and nature are a sublime payoff for those who venture out of the city. In fact, just outside of the city there are nature walks through conifer trees and mountains if you need to break up the lazing about.


The busy city beach of Baltiysk in the Kaliningrad region of Russia

Another Kaliningrad gem, Baltiysk sits on the enclave’s south, on the Baltic Sea. And it is stunning. Year-round strong winds make this an ideal windsurfing and sailing destination. This wind, which can build up a fair bit of momentum, blows the sand dunes about, creating the phenomenon of the dancing sand dunes – a major drawcard to the town’s beaches. On top of this, the sand and the dunes are coloured with amber, the fossilised tree resin which is common to the region, giving the sand and the dunes a warm yellow colour.

Why not diversify your holiday by also going skiing in Russia? See the best hotels for skiers and snowboarders in Russia and book your stay with Culture Trip.

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