The 911s’ successes on the snowy tracks of the Monte Carlo Rally, the dusty special stages of the African Rally Safari, the London-Sydney marathons, and, of course, the convincing victory of René Metsch and Dominique Lemoyne in the extremely difficult Paris-Dakar 1984 rally marathon proved it. The German traveler Siegfried Hammenele drove a classic Porsche 911 Targa and conquered the caravan trails of Afghanistan, and the Englishman Ben Coombs drove a Porsche 944 from London to Cape Town in South Africa, A citizen of South Africa, Andre Bezuidenhut and his Porsche 911 T/R nicknamed “Frisco” traveled not only by native African continent, but also Australia, Japan and New Zealand, and reckless Frenchman Philippe Delaporte to Baikonur in Porsche 928 and managed to cross Iran, Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan.
But there is one big problem with this kind of travel: it takes a very long time, and not everyone can afford it. The Porsche Travel Experience project was invented in order for travelers to visit truly unique places that are difficult to reach on their own and enjoy driving a Porsche Cayenne in their natural environment, but within reasonable time. Its first routes were traveled in 1996, and since then, their geography has covered all continents, with the exception of Antarctica. The appearance in the lineup of models off-road Cayenne allowed to significantly expand the geography of travel, in fact, there are many interesting places on the planet, where you should not try to get on a sports car, because it would be frank mockery of the driver, and the car. But the Cayenne, while retaining its signature sporty character, proved to be a real fighter on the rugged roads. Today, the Porsche Travel Experience package includes more than 100 routes.
Over the years, the project has developed its philosophy, which is based on a focus on getting the most positive emotions for the participant. Each tour is more than just a bunch of scenic roads from one attraction to another. It is a special experience of driving in very different conditions, communication with like-minded people and new friendships – it is not uncommon for tourists who met during one of the tours to go to the next one together in a tight-knit group. It is not surprising – the journey with Porsche go people “with gasoline in the blood”, long ago came to the conclusion that the car of this brand – one of the main components of a good holiday. At the same time, the Porsche Travel Experience doesn’t just take participants to interesting places and give them the opportunity to try their hand at unique and challenging sections of road around the world. It provides them with an exclusive travel package that satisfies the most discerning customer, providing both accommodation in the best hotels and the opportunity to enjoy superb examples of culinary art.
Yes, travel is what gives life its special flavor. And that is why the aftermath of the pandemic earlier this year was so painful for everyone. Closed borders, cancelled flights, empty hotels, ruined vacation plans – all this hit a huge number of people. In these conditions, projects related to domestic tourism became especially relevant. After all, our country is huge, and it has enough of everything – the monuments of ancient times and beautiful creations of nature… Is it any wonder that this year many automobile brands have shown interest in automobile tourism. Naturally, the brand Porsche could not stay away from the development of this direction: in fact Porsche cars – this is a real space eater, and capable of not only move a person from one point to another at high speed and maximum comfort, but also to give joy during this movement.
When launching the Porsche Travel Experience project in Russia, the company’s specialists focused on several groups of potential customers. In the future, when the borders open, the destination will certainly be popular with visitors from abroad, especially those who have already used the services of the Porsche Travel Experience in other countries. Everything will be exotic for them: the golden domes of temples, and the harsh beauty of the Arctic Circle… The second target group will be the current owners of Porsche. Of course, they are quite capable of organizing their own trip to any interesting place. But they want to see as much as possible in the shortest period of time (well, what businessman can afford to spend more than 5-6 days on vacation?), while taking advantage of the opportunities that their cars give them. After all, it’s cars Porsche allows you to make lightning quick rushes from one site to another, from one picturesque location to another, without wasting precious time on the movements. This means that in a short period of time, two, three or four days, you can visit as many interesting places and see as much as you would in a week-long trip on a leisurely tour bus. In general, Porsche owners are used to a certain level of comfort and want to maintain this level while traveling, but here to spend two or three just to get to interesting places at the wheel of their own car, they absolutely do not want. But these can also be high-income customers who own cars of other brands: first, they will simply be interested in spending a few days at the wheel of a legendary brand SUV, and secondly, it is quite possible that for someone of them acquaintance with Porsche during an exciting trip will be an occasion to subsequently visit a brand showroom to buy such a car in personal ownership.
In any case, tourists will be offered the best hotels in the region with the highest possible (and most often international) level of service and meals in the best restaurants, prepared by the best local chefs. After all, Porsche Travel Experience, launching the project in Russia, is not going to deviate one bit from its standards, which are in force on the project routes in other parts of the globe.
It is very important that the company never forgets about social orientation and family values. For example, seats for children under 18 years of age are provided free of charge! Because this is the only way to teach the younger generation the habit of caring for nature, to show them good examples of quality family pastime and examples of “right” adventures. Naturally, the most important concern of the organizers remains safety. Along the route the participants move in a column, which is headed by an experienced instructor. Movement in the column will require a certain driving discipline and adherence to quite a strict schedule, but along the route there are stops for coffee and rest, and for photo sessions in the most picturesque places. And as the organizers consider that the main goal of such tours is to get positive emotions, it is possible to pass the most exciting part of the route with the most interesting and difficult turns. Instructors are ready to help participants in any difficult situation: each of them is trained in first aid, and life, health and luggage of all crew members are insured for the whole period of the trip.
Where can Porsche Travel Experience Russia customers go? Today, the Russian menu of the project offers five destinations.
Of course, one of the most interesting, but at the same time quite affordable, is the Northwest.
Karelia has become a tourist Mecca. Here come both fans of water tourism, and fans of hiking trails, and, naturally, those who prefer to travel on wheels. They are attracted by the numerous attractions, and the unique nature of Karelia.
Karelian landscapes were formed during the glacial period, when the advancing glaciers chipped away chunks of rocks, grinding and smoothing them out. After the retreat of the great ice there remained “ram foreheads”, “curly cliffs”, the famous Ladoga skerries and thousands of lakes, divided by rocky ridges. Well and the bottom sediments of the ancient sea turned into deposits of the famous Karelian marble, and the most famous of them – Ruskeala, which has become today “Ruskeala Mountain Park”, the pearl of tourism in Karelia.
The Swedes began to mine marble here in the 17th century, but they were only interested in processing marble into lime. It was under Catherine II, in 1766, that the extraction of finishing marble began here. Ruskeala marble decorated St. Isaac’s Cathedral and Kazan Cathedral, as well as the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg, the Roman Fountains in Peterhof, the Orlovsky Gate in Tsarskoye Selo, the Gatchina Palace and many other architectural monuments. In the 20th century quarries began to decline, and during the Second World War they were completely abandoned. Then marble quarrying was rebuilt, but unsuccessful blasting operations destroyed the dam that covered the water table, the main excavation was flooded and a lake formed in its place. In 1998 the marble quarry was declared a monument of historical and cultural heritage of Karelia, and in 2005, the Mountain Park Ruskeala was officially registered. Several companies jointly invested money, improved the territory, laid hiking trails, equipped viewing platforms, installed stairs, fences, bridges and information boards.
The park is really stunningly beautiful, in its own way at every time of the year, and every year it becomes more and more popular, and besides the park itself there is a lot of interesting things in its vicinity. For example Ahvenkoski waterfalls on the Tohmajoki river, which became the scenery for one of the main scenes of the movie “The Dawns Here Are Quiet”. That’s why Ruskeala is actually the main attraction of the two versions of the tour, the two-day (“Weekend in Karelia”) and the five-day, “St. Petersburg and Karelia”. The main, but by no means the only one. Tourists will enjoy the beauty of Ladoga skerries, look at the “City of angels” in the ruins of the Lutheran church, and fans of active driving will enjoy a section of A-121 road between Sortavala and Priozersk. This road with numerous descents, ascents and short turns, winding along the Ladoga river, is the real generator of adrenaline. Especially if you are behind the wheel of such an emotional car, as the Porsche Cayenne. If you choose the five days variant of the tour, then the “menu of pleasures” will be added with foot and automobile walks along the city on Neva and offroad routes on the highways, where the stages of Russian Rally Championship take place. This route will prove that Porsche cars can be a real pleasure to drive under any circumstances, and it’s not only on asphalt of racing circuits and highways that one can get over the top emotions and adrenaline rush.
Central Russia. Here, undoubtedly, the main tourist destination is the Golden Ring cities of Russia. The name “Golden Ring” itself appeared more than 50 years ago, in 1967, when art historian, historian, and journalist Yuri Alexandrovich Bychkov traveled through the towns of the Vladimir region to write a series of essays about the journey for the newspaper “Soviet Culture. His trip along the circular route Moscow – Sergiev Posad – Pereslavl-Zalessky – Rostov – Yaroslavl – Kostroma – Ivanovo – Suzdal – Vladimir – Moscow gave him an opportunity to collect a lot of materials, which formed the basis of his literary description for a photo guide to a new tourist route, which was finally named the “Golden Ring of Russia”, and the book “Golden Ring”, dedicated to the protection of monuments of Russian history and culture. The very name “Golden Ring” became a brand, the right to enter the list of cities of the “Golden Ring” achieved Alexandrov, Gorokhovets, Gus-Khrustalny, Dmitrov, Kalyazin, Murom, Myshkin, Plyos, Rybinsk, Tutaev, Uglich, Yuryev-Polsky, Shuya, Kasimov, Kaluga and settlements of Bogolubovo, Kideksha and Palekh. But clients of Porsche Travel Experience will follow the classical route laid by Yuri Bichkov, which goes through eight ancient cities. Here is a concentration of the memory of thousands of years of the country’s history, depicted in the rare beauty and historical value of architectural monuments, magnificent frescoes and icons, and of course, unique collections of folk crafts. Tourists are waiting for the historical and cultural wealth, which can be called the true gold of Russia. The first stop is Pereslavl-Zalessky, an ancient town with distinctive architecture and glorious history. The majestic temples of St. Nicholas, St. Nikita and Holy Trinity Danilov monasteries, the elegant domes of the Church of the Transfiguration and the Church of the Forty Martyrs and, of course, the most beautiful panoramas of Lake Pleshcheyevo await tourists. Alas, a week will not be enough to visit all the sights and museums of Pereslavl-Zalessky, because there are dozens of them in the city. The participants will have to make two more high-speed throws. The first one will take them to Rostov Veliky, where they will admire the white-stone Kremlin with the Metropolitan mansion, Uspensky Cathedral with its famous bell tower and the Church of the Resurrection, and where famous scenes from the comedy “Ivan Vasilyevich changes his profession” were shot. Finish point of the second throw will be the capital of the “Golden Ring”, Yaroslavl. We strongly recommend you to take time for a walk through the historical center with the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Monastery, Uspensky Cathedral and the beautiful park at the “Strelka” in the place where the Kotorosl river flows into the Volga. After a night in the best hotel of the city Ring Premier Palace journey will continue. Tourists will visit Kostroma and the Ipatiev Monastery, which is called the “cradle of Russian statehood”: it was in the cells of this monastery lived young Mikhail Romanov with his mother, nun Martha, and here, on March 13, 1613, came the embassy of the Assembly of the Land, which had elected the 16-year-old Michael as Tsar of All Russia. By the way, during the Time of Troubles, Yaroslavl played the role of the capital of Russia for several months.
Next stop is the quiet merchant town of Plyos. This Volga town became the main source of inspiration for the most famous Russian landscape painter, Isaak Levitan. Plyos today remains the city of artists: many of the people of this profession are trying by all means to buy a small house in the city, to be able to work freely in the plein air. According to a member of the Union of Artists, landscape painter Michael Obmanschin, Plyos is ideal for painting. Everything is compact here, the artist can choose any of a variety of motifs: the domes of churches, embankment with boats, forest, river Shohonka, streams, hills … In a town with a population under two thousand people regularly hold exhibitions and runs several art galleries. After lunch in a country manor, the route will take travelers to Suzdal.
This city was not accidentally awarded the status of a museum city and is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Today in Suzdal there are 5 monastery complexes, more than 40 churches, almost 300 other monuments of architecture. Here, at Nikolaevsky Posad Hotel, built in the style of a merchant’s estate, tourists will stay overnight to continue their journey in the morning and see the sights of Vladimir and the colorful surrounding towns. Founded in 1108 by Vladimir Monomakh, the city, which was named after its founder, became the center of the vast Vladimir-Suzdal principality, with the residences of Princes Andrei Bogolyubsky and Vsevolod the Big Nest. The princedom with adjoining dependent territories and so was called – Vladimirskaya Rus. The Golden Gate, Assumption and Dmitriev Cathedral, as well as the residence of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky and the Church of the Intercession on the Nerl in Bogolyubovo remind one of the glorious history of the city. All these buildings are real masterpieces of ancient Russian architecture.
And the journey will end with a gala dinner in Moscow, in the White Rabbit restaurant. By the way, this dinner is a perfect illustration of the Porsche Travel Experience organizers’ approach to catering for participants. There are many good restaurants in Moscow, but only White Rabbit is included in the world ranking of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, which is compiled annually by the British magazine Restaurant and international jury of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. In 2019, the restaurant took 13th place in this rating, and, perhaps, only here you can get acquainted with national dishes in a modern interpretation of high cuisine.
The route of the southern direction, called “Southern Discovery,” begins in Krasnodar and is almost entirely devoted to the ancient art of winemaking. The history of viticulture and winemaking in the Russian Black Sea region dates back to ancient times, when the Greek colonies, located on the territory of present-day southern Russia – Phanagoria, Tanais, Gorgippia, Nymphaea, Hermonassa, Theodosia began to grow grapes, make wine and even export it to the metropolis. Even the Greek geographer Strabo wrote about the methods used to protect the vines from the winter cold that arose in the northern Black Sea region. Russian winemaking has known ups and downs. For example, Gorbachev’s “fight against drunkenness”, when vast tracts of vineyards were cut down throughout the wine regions of the USSR, caused it huge damage. But now, fortunately, the industry is on a real rise. Each year the area of vineyards grows by hundreds of hectares, new farms and wineries appear, and the brands “with history” enter the international orbit, earning prizes and wide recognition. And the most famous of these wineries, no doubt, is the winery “Abrau-Durso”. The winery was founded in 1870, when the Emperor Alexander II issued a “royal commandment for the establishment of a new special appanage estate with the name “Abrau-Durso” and entrusted the management of it to D. Pilenko, the first chief of the Black Sea District. The first agronomist of the farm was Franz Geyduk, who purchased over 20 thousand vines of Riesling and Portuguiser varieties, and then imported from the Crimean Livadia grapes of Cabernet, Sauvignon, Aligote and Pinot Blanc. Further development of the estate is inextricably linked with the name of Prince Golitsyn, the head winemaker of the Udelov Department. But the participants will certainly be told about it during the exciting tour around the historic wine cellars, cut into the rock mass, and the no less indispensable tasting. But before tourists get to “Abrau-Durso” they will have to drive over 180 km of high-speed serpentine, and every kilometer of this way will present them with beautiful landscapes, sharp turns, ascents and descents, and all the pleasure of a high-speed drive while driving a Porsche.
And this day will end with an unforgettable adventure – an offroad route from Abrau-Dyurso to Anapa, laid straight through the mountains and along the serpentines. This route will provide an opportunity to test your own driving skills, as well as the classic sporty character of Porsche, combined with the outstanding off-road characteristics. The reward for success will be an overnight stay in the hospitable Utyosov View Hotel and dinner at a fine restaurant perched on a rocky hillside just above the sea shore.
The next day tourists will visit three wineries, Gai Kodzor, Vinoterria and Lefkadia Valley. Each of them has its own, unique flavor. “Gai-Kodzor” is a combination of tradition and modern technology, so that the airy glass pavilions surrounded by trellises of vineyards do not seem anything alien. “Vinoterria is a cozy atmosphere and typical southern flavor reminiscent of sunny Italy or southern Austria. A “Valley Lefkadia” will be remembered with elegant buildings, snow-white fountains, unique man-made ponds, lavender fields and designer boutique hotel right on the territory of the complex, where the tour participants will stay overnight. Naturally, in the evening they will enjoy a gourmet dinner accompanied by local wines and the opportunity to try the ancient art of winemaking. Rest in the complex “Lefkadia Valley” will be a beautiful conclusion of the route. From there, tourists will leave for the airport, taking with them beautiful memories of the four days spent together with the Porsche Travel Experience Russia.
Altai…. How could organizers of auto tours bypass this destination? After all, every travel enthusiast dreams to visit Altai, and those who have already been, are ready to visit this land again. The word “Altai” itself is translated as “Golden Land”. This land of shamans, mountain spirits and “places of power” attracts mystical mystery fans, yearning to find their way to Shambhala or Belovodie, and those who seek harmony in union with nature. Those who need extreme, waiting for rapids Chuya and Chulyshman, glaciers Mount Belukha and Aktru gorge passes. But for those who prefer automobile tourism, for those who think that only a car gives an opportunity to see everything within a short time, Altai offers a lot of opportunities. One thing is bad – it is a long way from Central Russia to get to this mountainous land. The four-day Porsche Travel Experience Russia route, called “Above the sky”, will be a manna from heaven.
The route is organized in two equal parts. Some groups after the meeting in Gorno-Altaisk airport will go clockwise, from Artybash village and “Altai Village” complex to “Altai Resort” tourist complex, the other groups will go counter-clockwise, from “Altai Resort” to “Altai Village”. But on the way they will have the same impressions, sights and adventures. There is a very interesting museum in Artybash village, where there are things of everyday life of Altai people, archeological finds, stuffed animals, and products of local craftsmen, which introduce them to history and culture of Altai people, natural peculiarities of the region, its flora and fauna. And in the picture gallery there are pictures by Altai artists, who have been inspired by the beauty of the Altai Mountains and the Teletskoye Lake for a good hundred years. Teletskoe Lake is a unique natural object. Its depth is 325 meters, the lake is the second largest in Russia as a natural reservoir of the purest fresh water, and is included in the list of UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage, and not for nothing it is called the little brother of Lake Baikal. During the cruise participants will be able to appreciate the picturesque view of its shores and during the comfortable cutters that will take them to the place of overnight stay in “Altai Village” and then to the cape Kyrsay, where the automobile part of the trip will start.
Winding ground roads winding along the river Chulyshman will lead travelers first to the tract Ak-Kurum with a unique creation of nature, “stone mushrooms”, and then to the Katu-Yaryk pass. This is the most difficult and dangerous pass in the Altai Mountains, through which there is a highway. However, the word “road” here is not quite appropriate. Katu-Yaryk is 3.8 kilometers of steep ascent with nine serpentine loops, connecting Chulyshman valley with Ulagan plateau. But the reward for those who overcome this difficult climb will be the magnificent panorama of the Chulyshman river. Then you will travel along the mountain steppes past famous Pazyryk barrows, ancient burials of the Scythian period. The excavations of these mounds were conducted back in 1929 by the expedition of Academician Rudenko, and the unique finds, made there (in particular, carpets preserved in the permafrost in an amazing way) are exhibited in the Pazyryk Hall of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Through some more passes near the village Aktash the route will take the tourists to the asphalt of Chuiskyj highway.
The Porsche Travel Experience Russia has prepared a special meal for those who want real adventure, who are ready to test both themselves and the capabilities of Porsche cars in the extreme conditions of the Russian Polar Circle. This five-day itinerary, which begins and ends in Murmansk, the city of sailors and military glory, the largest city in the world above the Arctic Circle, is called the Kola Tour.
The first day of the trip includes a flight to Murmansk and accommodation in the city’s best hotel, Azimut, located in the very center. The second day is entirely devoted to a trip to the foothills of the Khibiny, a land of untouched tundra and eternal snow. What the tourists will see from the Porsche cabins will not leave anyone indifferent. But the main adventures are ahead – because the next two days participants will spend on the rocky off-road of the Middle Peninsula. They will have to go through numerous fords and ruts wiggling between boulders, the trip will require good driving skills, stamina and endurance. But the reward for this will be the amazing, full of hidden power, peace and harsh beauty of the landscape, the shore of the Barents Sea, the night out in the nature in a wonderful comfortable glamping, where they will be treated with delicacies of the natural products of the northern seas, cooked according to the ancient recipes of the inhabitants of the North, and communication in the company of like-minded people. The route will finish in the same place where it began – hotel “Azimut” in Murmansk. Participants will go home, taking away the cargo of emotions and impressions. Everyone will remember something different, but all memories will be invariably bright and positive. For example, the biggest impression on the famous restaurateur, a passionate fan of Porsche cars and inveterate traveler Aram Mnatsakanov were just caught crabs, simply boiled in the salty water of the Barents Sea, which he was gorging on glamping in the Middle Peninsula. And he had traveled halfway around the world and tasted the most exquisite dishes in the best Michelin restaurants on the planet! And he was also struck by the fact that the Porsche Cayenne is able to turn a trip even on the most extreme highway in an absolutely comfortable journey. “Even after driving 600 kilometers a day, you’re not tired and you’re ready, for example, for a difficult three-hour drive to the Sredny Peninsula to the shore of the Barents Sea, and you take everything that happens as an exciting adventure,” he said after finishing the route. “With the touch of a finger you change the suspension modes, and the car goes “like butter” over any surface, from rocks and water to mud and snow.” That’s the kind of positive emotion people travel for, and that’s the kind of emotion that any Porsche Travel Experience tour offers.
But those wishing to test themselves in the polar extreme will have to wait until July 2021. And this is understandable: it is known that spring does not come to the Rosvumchorr plateau, and many winter roads on the Kola Peninsula are sometimes impassable even for tracked vehicles, but next July six groups will go to the Kola Peninsula. Those who want to enjoy the winter nature of the Russian north should not get upset: in December 2020 and January 2021, there will be 13 Northwest tours, six of them as part of the two-day Weekends in Karelia, and the rest – the four-day St. Petersburg and Karelia tour. In May and June next year, six groups of tourists will be able to get aesthetic refreshment by riding in the mountainous Altai. The exact schedule of the tours is published on the official site of the project Porsche Travel Experience Russia, where you will find a full description, programs, prices and conditions of registration ….. There will also appear a tour schedule for other destinations, which will be announced later.