As posted earlier this week, early January in Russia includes two major holidays, the New Year and Orthodox Christmas on January 7th. Most Russians have time off during this period making it one of the most popular times for travel in Russia. As Russian search marketing readers learned earlier in the week, many Russians do stay local and enjoy some rest and time to catch up on shows during this week but many others are also taking trips during this time period.

There are primarily two types of Russian holiday vacations. The first is a warm weathered trip, where Russians can go to beach resorts to relax and enjoy the change in climate for a little.  These trips can be both domestic and abroad. The second type of holiday vacations, which rely on the cold weather, are ski trips. The Russian holiday season offers the perfect amount of time and the perfect weather to hit the slopes.  Another fun travel activity is the winter festivals that occur in many major cities in Russia. Domestic travel is popular because of events such as these winter festivals, but international travel offers a wider variety of warm weathered beach and resort areas.

Russian Holiday Travel Calendar

From the  last week in December to mid January people take advantage of the public holiday week between NYE and Christmas. This means no work for many Russians; the New Year and Orthodox Christmas afford many Russians the opportunity to travel. It’s common for Russians to take extra vacation time leading up to but more commonly after the holiday period.  Often times people will stay at home for the holiday and spend an extra vacation week away.

Russian Holiday Travel Destinations

For Russians who plan to travel domestically, this year’s most popular destination is Sochi, according to TripAdvisor. Sochi is a great skiing spot for Russians who are traveling domestically during the holidays. Moscow and St. Petersburg follow behind Sochi in holiday travel popularity. This is probably linked to their extravagant winter festivals. Russian winter festivals are a celebration of Russian culture, and include performances, feasts, shopping, ice skating, and riding in Russian horse drawn carriages, known as troikas.

Russians who choose to travel abroad during the holidays usually aim for the warm weathered destinations. According to TripAdvisor, the most popular abroad destination this holiday travel season is Phuket, a southern province in Thailand, known for its seaside resorts. Pattaya, Koh Samui, and Bangkok are other popular abroad destinations in Thailand for Russians on holiday vacation. Other beach resort areas Russians frequent during the holiday season are Tenerife, Bali, and the Dominican Republic. It is clear in their abroad travel destinations that Russians are craving heat during the cold winter.

While not all Russians are traveling during this season, the Russian holiday calendar leaves the perfect opportunity for those interested to relax on the sea side, hit the slopes, or even go to a local cities’ winter festival.