Yakutia: The Pole of Cold Festival

From $4,650
The “Poles of Cold” are the places where the coldest temperatures on earth have been recorded. In the northern hemisphere, the honour goes to a remote Siberian township known as Oymyakon, widely regarded as the coldest permanently inhabited place on the planet. This tour is about much more than experiencing one of the most unique cultural festivals on earth. It’s about immersing yourself in a completely different reality, a place where people rely on time-tested traditions to live in a place that challenges the very limits of human endurance. This is the harsh, frozen Siberia of your imagination. A real place, where the cold brings people closer to each other, both literally and figuratively. You’ll be astonished not only by the incredible fortitude of the people who survive here, but by their extraordinary warmth and hospitality. 
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On this tour, you’ll travel by road from the Yakutian capital, Yakutsk, to Oymyakon, 970km to the east. In Tomtor, a small village in the Oymyakon valley, Russian scientist Sergey Obrychev recorded a bone chilling, record breaking temperature of −71.2 ° back in 1924. Around here, the average low temperature for January is −50°C. Our Pole of Cold tour takes place during March, when the average low is a comparatively comfortable −40°C! Astoundingly, around 500 people make their homes in this seemingly uninhabitable environment, mainly engaged in traditional occupations such as reindeer herding, hunting and fishing. In the last few years, another small, specialised industry has emerged here – tourism. Tourism in Oymyakon is reserved for the hardiest of travellers, hoping to get a taste of daily life in the most extreme of climates. The Pole of Cold International Tourism Festival has taken place in Tomtor village annually since 2001. During the festival, you’ll witness lively celebrations showcasing the traditional costumes, music and dance of the indigenous Evens people as well as reindeer racing, ice fishing, dog sledding and native cuisine.

  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Departures
  • Accommodation
  • Map
Welcome to Yakutsk

Day 1 : Welcome to Yakutsk

Meet at Yakutsk airport and transfer to our hotel. Afternoon city tour including a visit to the Museum of History and Culture, the Mammoth Museum and the Treasury of Yakutia.

Journey to khandyga village

Day 2: Journey to khandyga village

We depart on a scenic 8-9 hour journey from Yakutsk to Khandyga village (432km). Along the route are two ice crossings over the Lena and Aldan rivers. En route, visit the open air Cherkehsky Museum.

Road to Oymyakon

Day 3: Road to Oymyakon

Transfer from Khandyga to Oymyakon (540km), passing through the spectacular Verkhoyansk mountain ranges on the iconic Kolyma Highway, the “Road of Bones”.

Pole of cold festival

Day 4: Pole of cold festival

Morning tour of Oymyakon including a visit to the Pole of Cold monument and vodka tasting at an ice bar. Our festival experience kicks off with folklore performances and the annual Miss Pole of Cold contest.

The Reindeer herders

Day 5: The Reindeer herders

Reindeer herder’s festival in Yuchyugey village. Meet the herders and their animals as they celebrate with decorated sleds, traditional costumes, reindeer races and the ancient song and dance of the Evens people. Overnight in the village in a local family home.

Journey back to Yakutsk

Day 6-7: Journey back to Yakutsk

Our return journey to Yakutsk takes place over the next two day

farewell hugs

Day 8: farewell hugs

Pole of Cold comes to an end. Fly out from Yakutsk airport.

  • What's included

  • Group airport transfers
  • Transport on tour
  • Accommodation in Yakutsk
  • Homestay accommodation in the Oymyakon region. Extremely remote region, so accommodation is limited to small, family-run guesthouses
  • Experiences detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as specified
  • English speaking guide
  • Russian visa support letter
  • Not included

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Individual transfers
DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
20 March 2016
Guaranteed Departures
Available 4,650 Reserve
Make an enquiry Detailed Itinerary

Trip Details

  • Trip Name: Yakutia: The Pole of Cold Festival
  • Trip Code: POC001
  • Trip Style: Winter wonderland
  • Type: Scheduled ?
  • Duration: 8 days/7 nights
  • Arrival city: Yakutsk
  • Departure city: Yakutsk
  • Places visited: Oymyakon
  • Group size: 6-12 people
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