who we are
Soviet Tours is a tour operator focussed on off-the-beaten-path destinations across the globe.
Our core geographical area, as the name suggests, lies mainly in and around the former USSR. From the mystic forests of Central Siberia to the austere peaks of the High Caucasus, from the scorching deserts of the Soviet Stans to the windswept steppes of Southern Russia, through the concrete shapes of Soviet Europe and across and beyond the endless vastness of the Russian Far East we do cover every single corner of the former Evil Empire. Whether you wish to embark on an adventurous journey along the Pamir Highway or simply enjoy the serene tranquility of the Russian Baltic Coast you can safely rely on us as your best option to discover the many wonders of a marvellous and enigmatic land, once upon a time known as the Soviet Union.
The former USSR is our homeland, our playground and our workplace. Over the course of the past ten years we have thoroughly journeyed every inch of this immense vanished country, which once covered one sixth of the Earth's surface. Our passion for the former Soviet republics and their people knows no limits and has brought us to delve deeper and deeper into the multilayered realities defining the post-Soviet society. Opting for Soviet Tours you'll go beyond the shallow stereotypes of cheap booze, seductive women, military paraphernalia, tacky souvenirs and tasteless dark tourism other companies often like to advertise the former USSR with. We have chosen to avoid ridiculous simplifications and to focus our tours rather on culture, history, politics, traditions and human relationships.
We tend to shun well travelled routes and prefer to explore unknown destinations, remote regions and forgotten backwaters. We are experts in unrecognised countries, contested territories and separatist states such as Crimea, Transnistria, Ossetia, Abkhazia, Karabakh and the Donbass as well as little-known autonomous republics and obscure geopolitical entities such as Chechnya, Tuva, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia and Khakassia. We do also offer outstanding journeys to countries beyond the borders of the former Soviet Union including Iraq, Nigeria, Kurdistan, Eritrea, Sudan and North Korea.
Soviet Tours seeks to deliver an unforgettable travel experience that goes way beyond the usual sightseeing. Our tours go straight to the core of the culture and traditions of the regions we journey through. Travelling with us you'll be given the exceptionally rare opportunity to get a first-hand insight into the complex and often misunderstood geopolitical issues defining the unusual destinations we take our guests to.
Our motto is flexibility and we will help you to customise your tour or to design new routes from scratch according to your particular preferences and requirements. Our team of local guides have an extensive knowledge of the regions they live and work in, exclusive contacts with the relevant authorities and an unrivalled ability to solve complex problems; moreover they can all be legitimately labelled as prodigious polyglots as they are able to speak at least three languages fluently. Finally we also offer volunteer and language programs, which are truly unique in the former Soviet scenario and basically represent your only chance to get involved in a long-term project in the region.
Soviet Tours was proudly founded and is enthusiastically run by Berlin-and-Tbilisi-based photojournalist, adventurer and travel author Gianluca Pardelli, whose reportages from the most diverse and remote backwaters of Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe have been featured in major newspapers and media outlets around the globe.
More about the founder and his work is available at www.gianlucapardelli.com
You were not made to live like brutes but to follow virtue and knowledge
(Inferno - XXVI)