Lake Baikal: Two Shores, Four Cultures

Written by 56th Parallel on 8th Dec 2017
Legend of Lake Baikal, Lake Baikal Tour

One of the world’s oldest geographical features formed 25 to 30 million years ago, magnificent Lake Baikal is the highlight of Eastern Siberia, Russia. Ancient and mysterious, Baikal holds deep spiritual and historical significance for the four indigenous cultures that inhabit its shores. On this 9 day Lake Baikal tour, you’ll get acquainted with these long-surviving cultures as we visit the region’s most famous and picturesque places, both overland and across this majestic “inland sea”.

LAKE BAIKAL TOUR – TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cruise to Olkhon Island, the largest of Lake Baikal’s islands and the “capital” of shamanistic culture. On a day tour of Olkhon’s natural wonders, discover untouched Siberian forests, soaring capes and cliffs, pristine sandy beaches and jaw-dropping sunsets
  • Visit Ust-Orda village to experience the ancient customs of the Buryat people first hand. Feast on Buryati noodle soup and dumplings, hear extraordinary throat singers and participate in traditional games and dances

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Reindeer Migration with the Nenets in Yamal

Written by 56th Parallel on 8th Aug 2017
Reindeer herders migration Nenets of Yamal Peninsula

As the world gets smaller, there’s a desire to travel further – and there are few places as enchantingly far away as Yamal Peninsula. This cultural tour transports you deep into Siberia’s isolated Arctic region. ‘Yamal’ means ‘edge of the world’ in the language of the indigenous Nenets. The Nenets of Yamal carve out a unique way of life, seemingly at the limits of human tolerance. Yamal Peninsula was considered so inhospitable that Stalin built his prison camps here. Yet a strikingly colourful, rich and resilient culture has been preserved and relatively unchanged here for some 2,000 years. READ MORE

Northern Lights Discovery in Russia

Written by 56th Parallel on 14th Jun 2017
northern lights discovery, northern lights Russia tour

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.  READ MORE

Kamchatka's Critters and Craters

Written by 56th Parallel on 22nd May 2017
Kamchatka summer tour

The compressive 15 day Kamchatka summer tour will take you to many of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes and prime wildlife spotting locations on the peninsula, despite the challenges of travelling in a largely undeveloped region defined by vast distances and the virtual absence of sealed roads. We’ll also visit remote Koryak and Evens settlements in Central Kamchatka and be welcomed into the summer camps where they graze their reindeer herds in the tundra. At times exhausting and frequently exhilarating, these unforgettable two weeks in Russia’s Eastern frontier will send you home with a newfound appreciation of the raw power and beauty of Mother Nature and the importance of preserving these last remaining tracts of untouched wilderness.

Best of Kamchatka Summer Tour Highlights

  • Take a breathtakingly scenic flight on a Mi-8 helicopter to Kurilskoye Lake, with a bonus flyover of the summit of Kusdach volcano. With a bit of luck, we’ll land near the summit and walk to the deep blue lake in the crater of the volcano, where’s it is actually possible to swim for short periods in the lake’s ‘hot beach’
  • Spend 2 incredible days among the brown bears of Kuril Lake. As the bears’ only interest is in gorging themselves on the salmon swimming upstream to breed, visitors can observe wild bear families at unbelievably close proximity. We’ll observe the bears both from boats and from a special viewing platform overlooking prime fishing grounds 
  • A Russian Mi-8 helicopter will drop us off at the banks of the Khodutka River to bathe in thermal hot springs. After a relaxing soak, our joy flight continues with a breathtaking pass over the crater of the active Mutnovsky volcano.

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Trekking Volcanoes in Kamchatka

Written by 56th Parallel on 28th Dec 2015
Kamchatka Volcano Trekking

This 2-week Kamchatka volcano trekking expedition in wildest Kamchatka, Siberia is geared towards the active and adventurous traveller. We’ll climb several volcanoes during the trip, although all are easy to moderately strenuous hikes, with no special climbing gear involved. In addition, we’ll travel by 4WD to remote Central Kamchatka to the summer camps of the Even and Koryak tribes, indigenous Kamchatkans who still live a semi-nomadic way of life, herding reindeer and keeping their distance from urbanised lifestyles in order to preserve their ancient culture and unique mix of Christian and shamanic beliefs. This guided Kamchatka volcano trekking tour involves a mix of hotel stays, camping, off-road driving and trekking, with an average height of 1,200m above sea level.

Kamchatka Volcano Trekking Highlights

  • Spend a night camped out in tents or log cabins in Klyuchevskoy Nature Park, a World Heritage-listed natural preserve which contains 13 of Eurasia’s most spectacular and active volcanoes at its centre. Enjoy a real Siberian sauna (banya) in the wilderness beneath a stunning night starry sky
  • Visit the eerily beautiful Dead Forest and lava fields beneath Tolbachik volcano. The result of an enormous eruption between 1975 and 1976, the larch trees at the volcano’s foothill have become petrified ghosts of their former selves

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About 56th Parallel

56th Parallel is a travel company specialising in providing packaged tours and travel services in Russia.

Our goal is to redefine travel to Russia, focusing on creating the most rewarding experiences, which help travellers unfolds the soul of this exciting destination.

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