The Riviera beach in Sochi, Russia. Picture: Arthur Lebedev
Russia is widely known for its cold winters, Russian vodka, the Kremlin, and its current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – but hardly for its beautiful coastal scenery.  Yes, you read correctly, Russia has beaches across its country, which is visited quite often by tourists and Russian citizens. 

Russians manage to get a tan by visiting beaches across Russia in coastal cities like Sochi, Lake Turgoyok and Vityazevo. Now, these are cities that are hardly associated with Russia in common conversations, but they each host beaches that are popularly visited and should be places to check out while in the country for the FIFA World Cup or whenever you are in Russia.

Vladivostok
Sportivnaya Harbor, Vladivostok. Picture: Supplied
Situated in the east, this major port town is host to a few beaches, with the favourite being the Sportivnaya Harbor. The people of Vladivostok have created a ritual for visitors of the beach which is based off of a half-submerged mermaid statue: you salute the statue as you jump off the port into the sea. 

The harbour draws in a lot of yachts around the marina in the summer time, with visitors walking along their promenade and taking a ride on the harbour’s Ferris wheel. Although there are laws forbidding people from entering the beach, that doesn’t stop beach goers from jumping into the water from the harbour. 

Sochi

Sochi is also a host to a number of wild and public beaches off the coast of the Baltic Sea. The two most known beaches are the Riviera and the beaches in Lazarevskoye.

The Riviera Beach and the beaches of Lazarevskoye are some of the most popular beaches in the city, and also some of the most convenient. The beach’s shoreline is lined with pebbles and sand and beach goers are treated to live entertainment while on the shore. 

Beach goers are also supplied with showers, sunbeds or sunshades and massage beds for rent as well as changing rooms. Live entertainment offered includes amusement rides for the kids and the adults (both on and off the water), beach volleyball and even catches the attention of strength trainers and gym-savvy people who enjoy a workout outdoors. 
The Riviera beach, Sochi. Picture: Arthur Lebedev
Lake Turgoyak

Based in Lake Turgoyak is an interesting beach that is situated in the Ural Mountains, between the cities of Chelyabinsk and Ufa. The lake is not visible on the road as it is hidden by the forested peaks of the Ural Mountains, and has often been compared to the Baikal Lake in southern Siberia. 

The lake is host to the Golden Beach resort, which has rooms, sunbeds and water gear available for rent. 
Lake Turgoyak, Russia. Picture: supplied
Kurshskaya Kosa National Park

Nestled in the Curonian spit lies the Kurshskaya Kosa National Park. A Unesco World Heritage Site, the Curonian Spit divides the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea and is a 98 kilometre stretch of pristine white sand, dunes and remote, rugged beauty.
The national park is merely 50 kilometres of the Curonian lagoon, and offers sand dunes and isolated beaches from the city of Kalingrad, which is a whole day’s drive from the city. 

Gelendzhik beach

Situated on the Black Sea, the beach is situated just outside the city of Gelendzhik, and is almost considered as popular as the Riviera beach in Sochi (almost). 

Also a resort town, the Gelendzhik beach features a promenade, and a beach resort that features entertainment for the whole family, including water sports and beach volleyball while guests stay at hotels like the Kempinski and the Gelendzhik Beach Resort. 
Gelendzhik beach, Russia. Picture: Supplied
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