Have you ever wondered what sorts of wondrous waterfalls are hiding in Russia’s mountains, canyon-like gorges and deep forests? Truth be told, they’re thousands. Being the largest country in terms of size means Russia is packed with various waterfalls, which are scattered here and there, and exploring all of them would probably take years. For those of you who are fond of breathtaking waterfalls and charming nature, here are some of the best waterfalls in Russia to include on your list with to-visit destinations.
The highest waterfall in the popular Sochi area is Polikarya. Due to the fact that it’s being fed by ancient glacier waters from the Aibga mountain ridge, its waters are notably full and mighty, just like its name. Falling from approximately 70 meters in height, the waterfall is a stunning sight to see. For the most part of the year Polikarya’s slope and foot are covered by a layer of snow – a phenomenon, which doesn’t occur often at most waterfalls on the planet. Needless to say, this is a popular spot for tourists and mountaineers, even though there are no restaurants, cafes, lodges or other similar amenities nearby.
Here’s another magnificent waterfall located in the Sochi area that deserves to be on your bucket list with places to visit in Russia. The Zmejkovskie waterfall is actually a chain of 7 different waterfalls, some of which intersect with one another. Gorgeous cascades form at every single step of the 7 levels fed by the Snake river, which is one of the several main feeders of the river Usha. The falls’ cascades are constantly meandering and winding over the rocky terrain of the river shores, hence their name (which means Snake’s Falls). Fortunately for those who aren’t fond of hiking, the area is fully equipped with decks, rails, stairs and bridges that make it safe and easy to explore.
Believed to be Russia’s highest waterfall (and probably the highest one in Asia too), the Talnikovy waterfall is a splendid cascade that falls for over 600 meters! Sadly, it’s not easy to access, to say the least. For the most part of the year the brook is covered by a slippery ice cap, whereas the cascade itself appears only occasionally when it’s fed by a melting creek springing from the area near the Trapetsia summit. If you can brave the harsh weather, lack of safety equipment and nearly impassable routes, this waterfall will definitely grant you a once in a lifetime sight.
Among Crimea’s natural wonders is Uchan-su, which means The Flying Water in old Crimean Tatar. Falling from a height of 98 meters, Uchan-su is the highest waterfall you’ll find on Crimean territory. Early spring is the best time to visit this place since the fall’s two cascades completely freeze in late autumn and the entire waterfall nearly disappears during the summer season when the parts of the Uchan-su river feeding the cascades dry up.
Last, but not least, comes the Kivach waterfall – a popular touristy spot among visitors from near and far. It owes its fame to the famed Russian poet Gavrila Derzhavin, who was so inspired by its beauty that he wrote the notable piece “Waterfall”, which later became a classic in Russian poetry. Unfortunately, nowadays Kivach isn’t as picturesque as it used to be. In the early 1900s parts of the waterfall were diverted in order to aid a hydroelectric power station, which eventually impacted Kivach in a negative way. Nevertheless, it’s still one of the most visited destinations in all of Karelia and a focal point of the Kivach Natural Reserve.