When planning a trip to places with extreme weather or drastic change in the temperature throughout the year, it is important to find information about the right time to visit the said regions. One of the countries that fall in this category is Russia, and it has been in many travelers’ bucket lists. According to the weather, May is said to be the best time of the year to travel to Russia. But how important is it and why?
Weather in Russia
It is impossible to describe in general terms the weather throughout the vast territory of Russia. The climatic zones located here – from arctic to subtropical – have their own temperature and precipitation standards for each season. So in the summer, the daily temperature in different climatic zones can vary by 20-30°C.
The best time of the year to travel in central Russia is traditionally considered summer. A comfortable average daily temperature of +25°C and minimal rainfall make this season ideal for exploring the country’s main wealth, which is nature.
Russian winters are usually cold and snowy. The average daily temperature in cities is around -15°C. Due to unstable temperature, in December there is often freezing rain, while January and February are characterized by strong winds and blizzards. We can say that in Russia the winter lasts for five months. Snow cover often falls already in November, and frosts can last until the end of March.
The beginning of spring is not the best time to travel around Russia because urban slush can last until mid-April. In the countryside, due to the rapid melting of snow, rivers flood every year. By May, the air warms up to +20°C; it often rains, accompanied by thunderstorms and strong gusts of wind.
Summer in the middle lane is usually not hot, with little rainfall. The average daily temperature during high season rarely exceeds +26 °C. However, there are hot, dry months, which lead to a large number of forest fires throughout the country during this time of the year. Going on a summer countryside trip, you’d better not forget to take sunscreen and a hat.
Autumn is one of the most beautiful and unpredictable seasons in Russia. It begins with a noticeable cooling in late August. In September, the temperature usually does not fall below +14°C. And at the end of September and the beginning of October there is “Indian summer” – short-term warming up to +25°C. After that, the temperature continues to drop, prolonged drizzling rains become more frequent. An umbrella and rubber shoes will be indispensable for an autumn walk. At the end of October, the first night frosts begin, and in November it often snows.
Visiting Russia in May
May is the last month of spring and the beginning of summer. During this time the temperature is not too hot, but nature is already blooming with all its colors. Usually, the beginning of May is still cool, but the end of the month is very different and is much more like summer, no matter in the north or south of the country. Spring sunshine, clean roads, flowering trees, good mood – this is perhaps the best time to visit the two capitals of Russia; Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The average daily temperature in May in Moscow is 20°C, at night the thermometer can drop to 10-11°C; while in St. Petersburg it is usually way colder. Of course, there are so many more places you can visit in Russia during May other than the two most popular cities.
1. Enjoying nature in Bashkortostan
For protected forests, rivers, lakes, steppes and mountains, go to Bashkiria. In May it is cool there, but there is a chance to go skiing in Abzakovo which is also suitable for family vacations: you can take a horse ride, have fun at the water park, drive ATVs and take pictures of the Amur tiger in the zoo. Even closer to nature you will find yourself in the idyllic village of Kagi. You can stop at the camp site Tengri where you will be provided with awesome views and excellent dinner.
From Kagi there is a direct road to the Shulgan-Tash nature reserve, created to protect wild bees. Bashkiria is the only place where beekeeping is still preserved. Here you can watch how wild honey is cultivated. Also, try and visit the Kapova cave with images of mammoths of the Paleolithic era on its walls.
2. Immersed in the sea of Sochi
In May, the city looks like a bride on the wedding day: rhododendrons and horse chestnuts bloom all over the place, and blooming sakura can be found in the arboretum. The sea, however, is still cool: swimming is better in a heated pool – there are plenty of them in Sochi. Try and drink Krasnodar tea while you are there, too. Get along the path to the Eagle Rocks to find out where Stalin rested. It’s great to have a day with the kids at Sochi Park.
3. Drive to Novgorod and Straya Russia
In the Novgorod region, the concentration of beauties and antiquities rolls over. For a full experience, go by car, especially if you only plan a short trip. In the Kremlin, do not miss the museum with the rarest collections and the 11th century items. On the picturesque bank of the Volkhov River, feel the connection of centuries in the Rurik Hillfort.
After Novgorod, go to Staraya Russa, which is famous not only for ancient churches, but also for mineral springs. In the sanatorium, pick up mineral water in a drinking gallery, swim in salt lakes or immerse yourself in a mud bath. Finally, visit the house where Dostoevsky wrote his masterpieces. You can spend the night in Novgorod for more options of culinary and accommodations. May is definitely an important time of the year to travel to Russia.