An Epic Europe Road Trip: Across the Balkans, Cappadocia and the Caucasus with a 4×4

A year ago our epic road trip with the Land Rover Defender we had bought from the British Royal Air Force started. It was also the starting point for this blog as it started with a day by day documentation of that trip. We travelled to 12 countries, 11.000 km in 1,5 month. It resulted in a number of adventures, funny stories and wonderful acquaintances we squeezed into ca. 40 blog posts.

Now, a year later, we think of the time spent on the road and evaluate the trip. In this blog post, we want to share the highlights of our trip, name the potential dangers, pros and contras of travelling Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Turkey by 4×4 and what it was like, to live in a Defender for 6 weeks.
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Solovki: a Remote and Beautiful Archipelago, a Religious Shrine and the Place Where Gulag Originated

On our road trip from Moscow to the Arctic Circle and beyond it, we leave the paved road for the water road and set off for the Solovki Islands. Solovki embodies all the reasons we love the Russian North for: the beautiful nature, the remoteness and historical architecture. However, these idyllic isles have some obscure history of their own.
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Travel Kola Peninsula for Watermelon Flavored Snow, Husky Farms and Out-Of-This-World Landscapes

It’s incredible what you may find on the Kola Peninsula beyond the Arctic Circle in Russia! A great outdoors with tundra, Arctic deserts and fjords is just one of the examples. You can certainly have some unique experiences here – like doing a tour on a nuclear ice-breaker or visiting a reindeer and husky farm!
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Vologda Region – Russia’s Hidden Gem

Vologda Region – Russia’s Hidden Gem

…When we left Moscow at the end of August, it was burning hot. The city was glowing. Just 450 km north – or a one-night-long drive away – the temperature fell to 12 degrees and the sky was rainy and grey. But with every degree off the thermostat, the landscape around was getting more and more beautiful. The burned yellowish meadows turned to ankle-high wet green grass. Deep dark forests, lakes, swamps and seldom villages built of wood appeared behind the car’s window.
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10 Lessons Learned from Our Road Trip to the Arctic Circle and Beyond – in Russia

10 Lessons Learned from Our Road Trip to the Arctic Circle and Beyond – in Russia

We had an epic time on our road trip to the Arctic Circle, exploring the northern wilderness in the European part of Russia: Karelia and the Kola Peninsular. This part of the world has everything we are fond of: pristine nature and it is far off the beaten path. There is room for both peaceful contemplation and wild adventure.

We are up to summarize our experiences into a series of articles. Maybe it will inspire you to put the Russian North on your bucket list or if it’s already in your plans, our stories might provide you with some travel tips and a sample itinerary.

This first post is devoted to the things we learned on this trip: some of them were more or less expected others got us by surprise!
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