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Yakutia: The Pole of Cold Festival

Yakutia pole of cold

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.

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.  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.

Arrival

Departure

Accomodation

Yakutsk

Yakutsk

Mixed (hotels, guest houses)

Duration

Action rating

Group size

8 days / 7 nights

     

6-12 people

Itinerary

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.

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.

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”.

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.

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.

Day 6-7:Journey back to Yakutsk

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

Day 8:Farewell hugs

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

Inclusions

Accommodation

3* hotel in Yakutsk

Homestay accommodation in the Oymyakon region -  extremely remote region, so accommodation is limited to small family-run guesthouses.

Meals

Meals as specified in the detailed itinerary.

Transportation

Group arrival and departure airport transfers

All transportation on tour, according to the itinerary (4WD cars)

Guides

Local English speaking tour leader, experienced drivers

Activities and sights

All activities and sights indicated in the itinerary

Other

Russian visa support documents

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

Not included

Flights, travel insurance, visa, optional excursions, individual transfers, tips

Dates & Prices

DatesAvailabilityPriceSingle sup. 
20 March - 28 March 2018
Guaranteed Departures
Available US $4,650 N/A Reserve

Tour map

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