When it comes to finding luck and love with a healthy sprinkle of happiness, visiting a destination rarely crosses our mind. We think about finding a lucky penny on the street or hitting the lottery jackpot. We may go for magic potions and visit an old hag with a crystal ball, but visiting Russia is not the likeliest option that would pop into the mind. However, there is a certain magic in Russia that’s out there for us little people to discover, which is why Russia Beyond The Headlines has made a list of 5 enchanting destinations that will certainly add some luster to our lives, full of success, happiness and love.

1. Mount Svetelka, Samara Region

Mount Svetelka, Samara RegionImage by filgray/livejournal

Near the Volga Cliff Sanatorium, this lovely place seems to radiate with energy that reminds us of the Stonehenge and Mayan pyramids. Here, the geographical alignments allow for the radiation of energy that restores one’s health, meaning walking hours on end through the picturesque region won’t easily leave you short of breath. There is a legend there which entails the throwing of 5 rocks to symbolize 5 wishes, one for each of health, love, luck, dream fulfillment and financial boons. Should the rocks thrown off the mountain fall straight down, landing flat, your wishes will come true.

2. Kolyvan, Novosibirsk Region and Altai Mountains

House in the village of Kolyvan, Novosibirsk Region, RussiaImage: Modern wooden decoration of the house in Kolyvan village by D-man Mongol/skyscrapercity.com

The ancient Siberian village of Kolyvan is believed to be protected by saints and is a pilgrimage site. Treating the holy Apostle Peter with pure thoughts in the local church are believed to bring about success and financial prosperity. What’s interesting is that you can find another village named Kolyvan in the Altai Mountains, wherein there’s an amazing stone carvers’ congregation, comprised of specialists who make only the most beautiful works of art for the grandest of architectures in Russia. Clean air and an abundance of herbs make this quaint little corner of the earth a lovely place to get away from the reality of the cities we are from. Climbing the slopes of Sinyukha by the ill is believed to cure all ailments.

3. Arzamas, Nizhny Novgorod Region

Holy source near the tomb of St. Seraphim of Sarov, Diveevo near Arzamas, Nizhny Novgorod Region

There’s a holy source near the tomb of St. Seraphim of Sarov in Diveyevo village near the old merchant town of Arzamas that makes this place an attractive destination for tourists and pilgrims alike. It is believed that here John the Evangelist, one of the 12 Apostles, served as a patron, which has led to the legends of healing properties in this source. According to the “Index of Happiness conducted in 2013, Arzamas was among the most joyful of Russian cities, which was to be expected from the “the most beautiful place on earth” as this is how it’s translated from the Mordivian language.

4. Hippo in St. Petersburg, Dog Border Guard in Moscow and The Elk in Izhevsk

Suatue of the border guard with a dog at metro station Ploshchad Revolutsii, Moscow, rubbing the dog nose for luckImage: Rubbing the dog’s nose for good luck by Bill/Flickr

If you want some good luck, the public garden in the courtyard of the Philosophy Department at St. Petersburg State University at 11 University Embankment is the place to be. Here, you should ensure you go to see the hippo called Tonya, wherein love seeking individuals can hold the right ear to find a groom and the left ear to find a bride. Furthermore, good luck can be achieved by rubbing the nose of the bronze border guard dog seen at  “Ploshchad Revolutsii” (Revolution Square) metro station. There is also a legend for newlyweds to engage in throwing the bridal bouquet onto the horns of an elk statue seven kilometers from Izhevsk city, symbolizing a married life where the groom will not be threatened by “horns.”

5. Lake Svetloyar, Nizhny Novgorod Region

Lake Svetloyar, Nizhny Novgorod Region, RussiaImage by komanda-k.ru

This lake is a place to purify the soul and receive the blessings of the Virgin Mary. Also, if by looking into the reflection of the lake you see the gold church domes, you will indeed find happiness in your life. Furthermore, when it comes to the midsummer festival Ivan Kupala, the lake acquires magical properties and it is said that chimes can be heard from the ancient city of Kitezh, which is believed to either have gone underwater or been transported into another dimension.