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”.
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 Russia’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.
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.
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.
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