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Northern Lights Discovery in Russia

Hunting Aurora Borealis above the Arctic Circle

Head for the snow-white serenity of the Kola Peninsula, where the Saami have herded reindeer for generations and the Northern Lights dance in the clear Arctic sky.

To visualise the northern lights discovery, imagine a place that lives, works and plays above the Polar Circle. This extraordinary place is Kola Peninsula in Russia’s Arctic. Kola may not be on the tourist radar, but that’s what makes it special. The small city of Murmansk of around 300,000 residents are compact, but it’s the surrounding Arctic nature and the well-preserved indigenous cultures that will enthral the intrepid traveller. Murmansk is also known to be one of the best places to see the northern lights in Russia in all its glory. 

Why do we visit Kola in the coldest part of the year for this northern lights Russia tour? Being so close to the Arctic Circle, it’s one of the world’s premier destinations to see the Aurora Borealis, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful natural phenomenon visible from earth.

Our journey begins in Moscow, where you’ll have the opportunity to tour some of the capital’s most important sites, including the Kremlin, Red Square and St Basil Cathedral. Then we’ll take a flight to Murmansk and get to know some of the city’s fascinating wartime naval history. The next few days we’ll spend in Murmansk, Kola Peninsula, where we will visit Saami settlements and learn about their semi-nomadic way of life that has survived for thousands of years. We also take a snowmobile ride at the Khibiny Mountains and enjoy fun winter activity - husky dog sledding.

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Arrival

Departure

Accomodation

Moscow

Murmansk

Active adventures

Duration

Action rating

Group size

7 days / 6 nights

     

2-8 people

Itinerary View map

DAY 1:Arrival to Moscow

Touch down in Moscow airport. Your driver will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to your centrally located hotel. After rest and lunch at the hotel, meet a guide for a tour, which will take you to the most popular tourist attractions. Enjoy a panoramic drive along the embankment of the Moskva River and see a huge controversial statue of Peter the Great located right in the river. Pass by the legendary Gorky Park and the White House, the seat of Russian government. During the day you will also make several stops at the most picturesque places of the city, such as Novodevichy (New Maiden) Convent noted for its architectural beauty and historical significance (we will view the convent from outside only); Sparrow Hills known for the main building of Moscow State University and the observation platform offering a fascinating view of the huge megalopolis.

DAY 2:Moscow city tour

Our in-depth tour of Moscow starts with a walking tour of the historical city centre. You will see and hear the stories of the most popular places of the city: Red Square, the hub of Russia, with its fantastic "stone flower"- St. Basil Cathedral, one of the symbols of Moscow. These are places that make Moscow one of the most beautiful cities of Russia.

Have a delicious lunch in one of the multiple downtown cafes or restaurants and continue the day with a tour of the Kremlin and Armoury Museum. Take a Metro to see some of the most beautiful stations of world-famous Moscow subway system and enjoy a stroll along the famous Arbat Street.

DAY 3:Murmansk city tour

Very early in the morning, you will be transferred to the airport, for you short fly to Murmansk (2h 30min), a destination two degrees north of the Arctic Circle, reaching the city by mid-morning. After settling in at the centrally located hotel, your guide will meet you in the afternoon for a sightseeing excursion around the town.

An important Russian naval base, Murmansk served as a port for the Arctic convoys during WWII. Our tour will include a visit to the Naval Museum and the world’s first nuclear icebreaker ship, the Lenin. We’ll return to our hotel at around 6pm.

Tonight is the first night that with a bit of luck, we might be able to see and photograph the Aurora Borealis as it appears above the glittering night-lights of the city.

DAY 4:Husky dog sledding

Today we’ll drive a short distance out of Murmansk to a husky farm run by the indigenous Saami people of the Kola Peninsula. Learn the wonderful story of how the Siberian husky breed came to be, then take on the snowfields Saami-style, commandeering your very own northern dog sledding team. After a lunch of traditional Saami dishes, drive back to Murmansk. It’s your last evening on the Peninsula, so if you are lucky enough you will get the chance to hunt Aurora.

DAY 5:Snow village and Khibiny Mounatins

This morning, our destination is the Snow Village, an ambitious tourism project that has been running since 2008. Snow Village has been painstakingly constructed almost entirely out of ice and snow and features ornately decorated buildings, sculptures and labyrinthine tunnels with intricately patterned rooms, walls and corridors. This enchanting place is the work of true artists and a chance to open your imagination to the magical spirit of winter.

The afternoon sees a change of pace, with the chance to carve it up on a snowmobile safari in the Khibiny Mountains. After a safety brief, you will truly feel yourself “in the saddle” and will be able to enjoy the stunning winter landscapes and tranquillity of the mountains.

DAY 6:Saami people

Head to one of the largest Saami settlements in the Kola Peninsula, where many traditional dwellings are still in use. The settlement was built around important grazing land for the Saami’s precious reindeers, who are surprisingly affectionate and enjoy being stroked and fed by visitors.

You’ll get the chance to learn about the ancient Saami culture and be invited to play traditional games, test your lasso throwing skills and reindeer sledding abilities, and maybe even try on some traditional Saami clothing. The locals will put on an authentic lunch spread including fish soup, berry pie and herbal tea.

In the afternoon, we’ll make our way back to Murmansk. In your free time, you may visit the Regional Historical Museum or hike the surrounding countryside in search of Aurora Borealis.

DAY 7:Departure from Murmansk

After breakfast, it’s time to check out of your Murmansk hotel. You’ll be transferred to the airport to catch a flight back to either Moscow or on to your next destination.

Inclusions

Accommodation

4* hotel accommodation in Moscow (2 nights), Murmansk (4 nights)

based on twin share, for solo travellers single supplement fee applies

Meals

Breakfasts in hotels

Transportation

Airport transfers, all transportation on tour, according to the itinerary

Guides

Professional local English-speaking guides

Guide and car services for hunting Aurora Borealis

Activities and sights

All activities indicated in the itinerary:

  • Moscow city tour with entry tickets
  • Murmansk city tour with entry tickets
  • Husky dog sledding experience
  • Snow Village tour
  • Snowmobiling in the Khibiny Mountains
  • Cultural immersion in the Saami settlement
  • 1 night of hunting Aurora Borealis

Other

Russian visa support document/voucher

*Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for comprehensive visa service here.

Not included

Flight tickets

Travel insurance, visa, individual transfers

Dates & Prices

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
Any dates from December to April
Private Tour
AvailableUS $2,550contact usReserve
7 days
Moscow to Murmansk
from
$
2,550
USD
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If you have any urgent questions or enquiries, please give us a call +61 2 9388 9816