Stretched along the left side of the Volga river for 50 kilometers, Samara has the longest embankment in Russia. Having originated as a merchant center, due to its advantageous location, Samara played the role of Russia’s “spare” capital during World War II: all the strategic industrial facilities essential to sustaining the country during the war were evacuated to Samara along with ministries and embassies. Even a reinforced underground bunker was constructed, which now became a museum. This laid-back city has a long strip of well-equipped beaches, an enchanting historical district in the city center, Europe’s largest square and stunning nature sights just outside the city border, that make for perfect day trips.