You’ve probably seen a selection of the most beautiful places on Earth: azure water in the Maldives, the beaches of the White Harbor in Australia, the salt desert in Bolivia. But once you start planning your trip to see this beauty with your own eyes, it becomes clear: the travel budget exceeds all reasonable limits. What to do? Choose more economical options!
We have compiled a list of beautiful places, the trip to which is not too expensive, and you will get no less impressions than in China or Mexico.
The length of the trip is the same in all examples – six days, five nights in a hotel. Prices are given without discounts and bonuses, per adult traveler.
We looked for plane and train tickets on our website, and took hotels there. Hotels were chosen with ratings above 8 points and in the immediate vicinity of the destination.
However, the amount is indicative: the price may change depending on the duration of the trip, time of year and season. It is better to book hotels and buy tickets in advance, then you can save money.
Up to 20,000 rubles
Mountain Park “Ruskeala”, Karelia, Russia
Previously, in the quarry, the main attraction of the park, marble was mined, with which many historical buildings in St. Petersburg, including St. Isaac’s Cathedral, were faced. In the middle of the 20th century, the quarry was closed and flooded, and today there is a beautiful artificial pond with marble banks and clear emerald water on this place. Lights are on on Friday and Saturday evenings. For lovers of walks around the quarry, there is an excursion trail, along which the entire park can be walked around in about an hour and a half.
If you want to get a better look at the beauty, take a boat and sail on it through the marble grottoes. If you wish, you can go down to the adit – a vertical shaft in which marble was mined. Admission is free, without a guide.
It is also worth looking at the Ruskeala Failure, which arose in the 60s of the XX century due to explosions in neighboring quarries. You can go down into the hole using a special rope, the descent will cost 1000 rubles. After descending, you will go through the tunnel and get to the very center of the marble quarry. Keep in mind that it is cold in the hole: the ice does not melt there even in summer.
Do not forget to also look at the Ruskeala waterfalls, located two kilometers from the park.
How to get there
There is no direct route from Moscow to Sortavala, you need to go through St. Petersburg (any train or plane will do, but the train is cheaper). In St. Petersburg at the Ladozhsky railway station, buy tickets for the St. Petersburg – Kostomuksha train, it runs only on Wednesdays and Fridays. You need to get off at the Sortavala station.
There is a regular bus from Sortavala to Ruskeala. The destination of this bus is Vyartsil, it has a stop in Ruskeale.
Lake Ritsa, Abkhazia
Alpine lake Ritsa is one of the most famous sights of Abkhazia. The lake is fabulously beautiful: the greenish water is so clean and transparent that the bottom is visible as much as 10 meters. True, you cannot swim in the lake: it is dangerous, and the water is too cold. You can take a catamaran to admire Ritsa, and there are special places for fishing enthusiasts.
On the way to the lake, you will see several more beautiful natural attractions, for example, the Blue Lake, the color of which is fully consistent with the name. According to legend, the water reflects the color of the eyes of an old man who lived in a nearby cave. He allowed the robbers to stay for the night, who killed him, after which the water acquired a strange shade. Legends aside, it’s all about lapis lazuli – a blue stone that covers the bottom.
The road to Ritsu also has two waterfalls – Maiden’s Tears and Men’s Tears. The first one is very small, only a few streams flowing from the rock. The second is bigger and higher. You can also visit another waterfall, Gegsky, where the final scene from the Soviet film about Sherlock Holmes was filmed, but you can only get there by SUV.
How to get there
First, you need to get to Adler or Sochi – there are regular flights there from Moscow. If possible, then it is most convenient to take a car or a taxi – there is no public transport from Adler to the lake. Another option is a sightseeing bus, the ticket for which will cost 800-1000 rubles.
If you want to get cheaper by public transport, you will have to go from the Abkhazian city of Gagra. You can also stay there for the night. In summer, an electric train runs from Adler to Gagra three times a day. Travel time is about two hours. Minibuses or tourist buses go from Gagra to the lake. There is no regular public transport there. And the most convenient way, of course, is to go by car. The road to Ritsa goes along the gorge of a mountain river, therefore it is no less beautiful than the lake itself.
Another option is to take bus # 173 in Sochi, which stops right in front of the exit from the airport. On it you will reach the border (Psou), where you will pass passport control, and after the checkpoint you will see in the parking lot a lot of passenger buses and minibuses that take tourists to Gagra and other resort towns.
Up to 30,000 rubles
The Oludeniz resort, whose name is translated from Turkish as “Dead Sea”, is nothing like its Israeli counterpart. The Turkish sea is alive, bright and incredibly picturesque, and the word “dead” in the name in this case is used in the meaning of “calm”. They come here to swim in the lagoon, lie on a beach with white sand and fly on a paraglider from Mount Babadag, which rises above the resort village. To the south of the village there is a nature reserve and a beautiful secluded cove.
The beaches in Oludeniz are sandy and pebble: there is sand near the sun loungers, and large round pebbles near the water. These beaches are considered the most beautiful in Turkey, receive Blue Flags and are regularly ranked among the best beaches in the world – and no wonder. The sea here is of an unreal bright turquoise-blue color, and the nature around is striking in its beauty. There are three beaches in total – Beljekiz, Laguna and Kidrak. The longest is Belcekiz, and the most popular is Laguna, it turns into a sand spit. There is a protected area on the spit, and the beaches in the depths of the bay are private, some of them belong to hotels.
The National Park and the Blue Lagoon attract many tourists. The reserve is surrounded by pine trees, and in the lagoon itself the water is very salty, clean and so warm that you can swim here even in winter. It is quite shallow here and there are no waves – an ideal place for families with small children.
How to get there
During the holiday season, charters fly from Moscow to Dalaman. There are also regular flights through Istanbul.
From Dalaman to Oludeniz by public transport, you can only get through the city of Fethiye. First you need to get on the bus (flights are operated by Havas and Muttas). The timetable is usually adjusted to the schedule of aircraft arrivals. The bus stop is located at the entrance to the terminal. The ticket will cost 4 euros, the travel time is just over an hour.
In Fethiye, a bus will drop you off at the bus station, but you need to go to Oludeniz not from there, but from the Erasta shopping center, which is located nearby. Dolmush minibuses start from the center to the resort every 15-20 minutes. For 2 euros and 25 minutes, this Turkish minibus will take you to Oludeniz.
Seven Rila Lakes, Bulgaria
The natural pearl of Bulgaria, the high-mountainous Rila lakes are located at an altitude of 2100-2500 meters above sea level. The landscape around is unearthly: there are not too many greenery, mainly mountains – and, of course, the purest water in which the sky is reflected. The lakes are glacial, so the water is very cold: you won’t be able to hold your hand even for a minute. In general, bathing is out of the question.
There are several trekking routes in the park – both long and one-day. You can easily walk around all the lakes in a day. The main system of the Rila lakes includes seven – Rybnoe, Dolgoe, Shamrock, Gemini, Kidney, Eye and Tear. A tear is the highest and purest, the water is so transparent that it allows you to see far into the depths. Lake Eye of an ideal oval shape. Lake Kidney resembles this organ in shape, and its shores are the steepest of all the lakes in the group. Gemini is the largest lake in the park. The shamrock also bears this name because of its shape; it is the lake with the lowest shores. The smallest lake is Rybnoye, and Lower is located below all. It collects waters flowing from other lakes, and the river Jerman begins.
Behind the lakes lies the path up to the mountains. It takes 8-9 hours to walk along it to the Rila Monastery.
How to get there
There are regular flights from Moscow to Sofia, but the journey is not easy: the Rila Lakes are not popular tourist destinations, and you will have to get to them with transfers by public transport.
The most convenient way to travel is by train. Take a ticket to Dupnitsa at Sofia Central Station. There are 9 trains going there daily. From Dupnitsa you will need to get to Sapareva-Bani by bus, and from there find a ride or a taxi to Panichishche – this is the closest settlement to the Rila Park.
You can immediately take a bus from Sofia to Sapareva Bani, but it runs only once a day.
The most convenient way to reach the lakes themselves is by chair lift from the Pionerskaya hut, which is located near Panichishche. The lift works from 9:00 to 18:00, it is advisable to return to the descent by 17:00. The lift to the lakes is about half an hour away. You can also walk, but a couple of kilometers to the lakes will take several hours.
Up to 40,000 rubles
Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled is located at the foot of the Julian Alps at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level. It is fed by hot springs, but the water here is not too warm: in summer it warms up to a maximum of + 24 ° C. Nevertheless, there are enough people who like to swim in the season (from July to September). There are two city beaches on the lake – equipped (entrance opposite the Park hotel) and unequipped (opposite the Villa Bled hotel).
Spring water is also served in hotel pools, so in addition to the beauties of nature, you can get a full spa treatment. In the middle of the lake there is a picturesque artificial island with a real medieval church.
The nature here seems to be untouched by civilization: the lake is crystal clear, surrounded by forests. Tourists come mainly to thermal spas and see the sights of the town, but there is something to do in Bled, and lovers of outdoor activities. In cold winters, the lake becomes a huge natural ice rink, while in summer you can rent a boat or canoe, go fishing, ride a bike or play tennis. There is even a golf club here, which is considered one of the best in Europe. It is open from March to November.
How to get there
There are several regular flights from Moscow to Ljubljana all year round. The town of Bled, located on the lake of the same name, is located only 32 kilometers from Ljubljana Airport, and if you take a taxi or rent a car, the journey will take only 25-30 minutes.
Public transport to Bled runs with transfers. At the airport, you will need to take a bus to the town of Kranj, and then from Kranj change to a bus to Bled. Buses on both parts of the route run every hour, the whole journey will take about an hour, excluding transfers and waiting times.
If you are driving to the lake from Ljubljana, you can choose a bus or train. Both types of transport go directly to Bled.
Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Plitvice National Park is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Europe. In 1979, this forest complex and a system of 16 interconnected lakes were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The lakes are famous for their amazing colors – from azure to green, gray and blue. The colors constantly change depending on the amount of minerals and microorganisms in the water, the weather and the angle of sunlight. You cannot swim in the lakes, and this somewhat disappoints tourists, but leaves the water in pristine purity.
There are 8 hiking trails in the park, which differ in length and complexity. The shortest is only 3.5 kilometers, and the longest is 18.3 kilometers. The optimal route C is 8 kilometers, you can walk it in 4-6 hours. It starts at Entrance 1 and includes a trip across the lake by electric ferry and return to the start by panoramic bus. On the way, you will see all the main attractions: the canyons of the Upper and Lower Lakes, waterfalls, including the largest Great Falls 78 meters high, and caves.
The cost of entering the park depends on the season and how many days you buy a ticket. The park is huge, so it’s best to spend a couple of days here. A ticket for 2 days in high season (July 1 – August 31) costs 400 kuna, or almost 4000 rubles.
How to get there
Plitvice Lakes are located quite far from the usual tourist destinations in Croatia. The most convenient way to get to them is from Zagreb, which is easy to reach from Moscow by plane.
From Zagreb airport you need to get to the bus station by bus, and then change to a bus to the lakes (carrier Autotrans). Schedules and prices can be viewed in advance on the bus station website. There are 10-20 flights daily in the direction of the reserve (the number depends on the season). The road will take about two and a half hours.
Ask the driver to stop in advance at the entrance to the National Park, otherwise it will take a long walk from the stop.