Lake Baikal: Two Shores, Four Cultures

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
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
Last updated on 23rd Aug 2018
Reindeer herders migration Nenets of Yamal Peninsula, Russian Festivals

As the world gets smaller, there’s a desire to travel further – and there are few places as enchantingly far away as the 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. Each spring, the Nenets migrate from winter pastures on the Russian mainland to the summer pastures in the Arctic Circle, a one-way journey of up to 1,000km. This is your chance to experience a small part of this epic journey alongside these extraordinarily resilient people. This is a remarkable extraordinary opportunity to get to know one of the world’s last true nomadic reindeer herders through their eyes.

Reindeer Migration TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Salekhard is the only city in the world located right at the Polar Circle. Among the highlights on our tour of the city is the Shemanovskiy Yamal-Nenets District Museum, which includes an exhibition on mammoth remains found in the region
  • From Salekhard, we’ll board an all-terrain vehicle for a drive for up to six hours over the frozen surface of the River Ob to Yar-Sale village. The river is the only way to access the village – either by boat in summer or by driving the ice in winter

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Northern Lights Discovery in Russia

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 23rd Aug 2018
northern lights discovery, northern lights Russia tour

Painting the night sky with a dazzling display of shifting light and colour, the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights is one of the earth’s most spectacular natural phenomena. A bucket-list experience for countless travellers, certain places have become commercial tourist hotspots for seeing the Northern Lights. The Kola Peninsula, in Russia’s far northwestern Arctic Region, has so far remained under the tourist radar, despite being one of the best destinations on earth to view the Aurora Borealis. Here in Kola, you’ll be perhaps one a handful of visitors to witness the breathtaking spectacle of cosmic iridescence above the northern sky. At the same time, you’ll discover a little of the history and culture of the local Saami people and enjoy favourite winter pastimes such as dog sledding and snowmobiling.

Northern Lights Discovery Trip Highlights:

  • Moscow City Tour: Before we fly out for the Arctic, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the capital’s highlights. Admire the Red Square in its finest winter decorations, explore the Kremlin and Armory Museum and much more
  • Discover the hidden charms of Murmansk. Visit the Lenin, the world’s first nuclear ice-breaker, and now a Naval Museum. With any luck, you’ll catch the Northern Lights dancing above Murmansk’s night-time cityscape

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Kamchatka's Critters and Craters

Written by 56th Parallel
Last updated on 22nd Aug 2018
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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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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