Russia, for many, invokes images of snow-capped spires, ice skating in Gorky Park and swarms of shivering people wearing ushankas (ear-flap hats).
But the best time to go to Russia is during the summer months of June, July and August, when the days are balmy and long. Soak up the atmosphere of the colourful capital, Moscow, and then travel by high-speed train to St Petersburg.
During the period of the White Nights Festival from June to July in Saint Petersburg, the sun never sets and the city never sleeps.
A seven-day Moscow to St Petersburg trip costs from £1,880 pp (two sharing), including B&B, excursions and the services of a local guide. Flights extra.
Call TravelLocal on 0117 325 7898 (www.travellocal.com).