Line in the Sand
Russia’s not just all about fur muffs, circus bears, Stoli Vodka and Matryoshka dolls – you know, the wooden ones who decrease in size before your very eyes – Russia has sunshine. And beaches. And just not any old piles of sand – a Guinness-World-Record smashing-beach which saw 1,602 bikini-clad Russians strutting their gangly limbs on there for a Cosmo commercial last year. Imagine the pouting… And the Russian Riviera is up for nomination for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Impressed? To the core.

Located by the Black Sea coast on the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, the beach is drenched in dramatic black-stones. The best time to visit being July and August when the temperature’s a toasty 30 degrees plus.

If you want to woo a potential Russian playmate, learn some phrases but leave the Bond baddie accent at home. “Alló”. (Easy enough). “Spasiba”. (Thank you). Or: “Moio sudno na vozdušnoy poduške polno ugrey.” (My hovercraft is full of eels). Do what you will with that.

High heels are favoured instead of flip-flops, but, ladies, leave them at home for fear of channeling mail-order-bride-chic. And, chaps; cigars aren’t debonair unless you want to emulate Jimmy Saville.