The pristine landscapes of the Arctic Circle, along with the dark forests that blanket the remote foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, present us with some of the last unexplored frontiers in Europe. Blessed with some of the most dramatic scenery left on the continent, these are lands that still evoke memories of childhood legend, where wolves roam the dark forests and ancient monasteries can still trace their ancestry back to the early beginnings of Christianity. Unique destinations, that stretch from the frozen north to the Caspian Sea, the region provides a rich mix of cosmopolitan cities, charming medieval towns and hidden villages that still lie refreshingly off the beaten track. Here, the long forgotten Europe of the Romany Gypsies and the Sami reindeer herders lives on, amongst some of the most beautiful landscapes anywhere in Europe.
The Basilica Cistern below the streets of Istanbul is huge and atmospheric, well worth a visit.