Russia (aka the Russian Federation) is the largest country in the world. It shares land borders with loads of countries but, rather than list them all, why not just look at the map!
Russia has some 30+ PADI dive centres which are located primarily in the main towns, such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, which tend to train the local population. The diving on the Pacific coast takes place around Sakhalin Island, the Barents Sea at Murmansk and also, at some of the Black Sea resorts.
Sakhalin is a very long, but narrow island located between Japanese and Russian maritime territory. It is 1000km in length and is separated from the Asian continent by a narrow strait of 6 km in width. The diving is located off the south west corner at Moneron Island where the first Russian Marine reserve was created.
The main bodies of water around Russia are the Arctic Ocean, the Baltic, the North Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, the Black Sea and the White Sea.
Probably the most popular form of diving in Russia is ice diving but, be prepared, it's expensive, but worth it. Not sure if it's for you? Then, take a look at this website where you can check out the experience. Probably one of the most spectacular sights below the ice is the Beluga whale. Read the BBC report in the links below.
In addition to the diving (in northern parts of Russia), you will have the opportunity of seeing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
- As Russia is so large, it is impossible to list all the interesting dives as it depends on where you intend to go.
- The Arctic Ocean for ice diving and also, for diving with Greenland seals in the summer period.
- The Baltic for wreck diving.
- The northwest coast of Russia to ice dive with the beluga whales inhabiting the sub-Arctic waters of the White Sea.
- Ordinskaya Cave - the longest underwater cave in Russia, the second longest underwater cave in Eurasia and the longest in the world cave in gypsum...
- To undertake ice diving, you must be in possession of an Ice Diver Certificate from any international underwater federation.
- The best time for ice diving is from February to April.
- You'll have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights during winter. At latitudes where auroras are common, it is typically light all night in the summer, so you rarely have warm weather and a good aurora. Furthermore, in most polar regions, the weather tends to be clear during the middle of winter, so often the best time to see an aurora is also the coldest. (So, if this interests you, you might like to give the diving a miss!)
|Language:||Russian + various minority languages|
|Time:||GMT +2 to +11|
|Climate:||In winter, its absolutely freezing in the north (Siberia) to cool on the Black Sea. In summer the climate in the north is cool and on the Black Sea the summer is humid continental.|
|Diving season:||Year round - including ice diving|
|Water temperature:||Winter 2C (35F)|
|Summer 23C (73F)|
|Air temperature:||Winter -10C (14F)|
|Summer 30c (86F)|