Realm of the Nenets (Dec - Apr)

Journey to the Nenets Autonomous Okrug region, where you find yourself in the lost world of the endless tundra. At all times this territory was inhabited by the aboriginal people – the Nenets. Over the years the Nenets people created an original culture that is adapted for the peculiarities of the life in the Arctic region.

HIGHLIGHTS

Witness astounding landscapes of the Nenets tundra

Savour local nomadic food of the Nenets people

Experience activities and daily life of the fascinating Nenets people

ITINERARY

DAY 1: MOSCOW / SALEKHARD

Depart Moscow for your domestic flight to Salekhard Regional Airport where you will be met as we then begin a tour of Salekhard, the administrative center of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug region, situated in the Polar Circle. Modern Salekhard is one of the most interesting and dynamic developing cities of the Russian North. Fish canning and sawmilling reflect the regional economy. It is also a base for the northern gas fields of western Siberia. Witness the Peter & Paul Church, the only surviving religious building of the 19th century in the city reflecting the history of the spread of Christianity in Siberia. See the “Obdorsky ostrog” architectural complex, showing how the outpost of the Russian state looked in the 17th century. Today, it is an open air museum opened at the historic location at the confluence of the rivers Ob and Polui. Be fascinated by the Mammoth sculpture, opened in the area of “settlement” of prehistoric animals, on the banks of the Ob River, at the entrance to Salekhard. The monument is dedicated to the ancient inhabitants of the North - mammoths, the mammoth bones and tusks are found in all corners of the Yamal Peninsula.

 

Later, transfer to the Yuribey Hotel for check in. Over dinner, you will be briefed about the region, the route and rules to observe while travelling in the Yamal region. 

Overnight: Yuribey Hotel, Salekhard

Meals: Lunch & Dinner

DAY 2: SALEKHARD / YAR-SALE

This morning, we leave Salekhard to Yar-Sale, the first trading post built on the Yamal Peninsula by the Soviets in 1927. The 6 hour journey from Salekhard to Yar-Sale is done by "Soviet trekol" (all-terrain vehicle). On arrival, we enjoy an orientation walking tour of this out-of-this-world settlement mainly inhabited by ethnic Nenets - a Samoyedic ethnic group native to the Soviet Arctic, most of them living in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug and Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Before the advent of the Stalinism, the Nenets used to be nomadic hunters and reindeer herders, but they were then forcibly resettled by the Soviet government in the early 1930s. After the tragic fall of the Soviet Union, remote Nenetsia fell into oblivion: a long darkness of economic crisis and social despair, where only sustainable tourism can now save the fragile Nenets people. We then retreat to a local guesthouse where we spend the night. 

Overnight: Local Guesthouse, Yar-Sale

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 3: YAR-SALE / DOMAINS OF THE REINDEER HERDERS

In the morning, we'll reach the nomadic Nenets living and moving across the tundra surrounding Yar-Sale where we spend three full days gallivanting around the endless tundra with the Nenets Reindeer Herders, sharing with them our time and our food and learning as much as possible about their culture and lifestyle. We will stay in "Chum", temporary dwelling tents used by the nomads made out of reindeer skins. 

There is no specific travel plan for these days but highlights will definitely include:

* Daily gastronomic adventures into the secrets of Nenets national cuisine (reindeer blood will top your list of try-before-you-die local staples);

* Participation in traditional activities such as sewing clothes, building wooden sledges, hunting and fishing; 

* Short hikes and longer treks across the magically surreal landscapes surrounding our camp. 

NOTES:

Snowmobile, gear (jacket, bib & brace overalls, balaclava, gloves, mittens, sleeping bag will be provided

Overnight: "Chum" Tent

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4 - 5: DOMAINS OF THE REINDEER HERDERS

We have the next 2 days to engage in as many activities (planned or unplanned) with the nomad Nenets people to learn about their fascinating culture and way of life. 

Overnight: "Chum" Tent

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: RETURN TO YAR-SALE

Today, we will slowly return to Yar-Sale travelling through pristine tundra landscapes. Several photography, contemplation and toilet stops will be done en route.

Overnight: Local Guesthouse, Yar-Sale

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 7: YAR-SALE / SALEKHARD

After a wonderful morning in Yar-Sale, we transfer back to Salekhard travelling along the mighty river Ob. On arriving back into Salekhard, there will be free time at leisure for souvenir shopping and vodka tasting.

Overnight: Yuribey Hotel, Salekhard

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 8: DEPARTURE SALEKHARD / MOSCOW

After enjoying a last Arctic-style breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to Salekhard International Airport for either your flight back to Moscow or your next connection to yet another exciting destination in the region such as the Komi Republic or Karelia. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Situated in Salekhard, Yuribey Hotel has a bar and a shared lounge. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The accommodation features an ATM and a concierge service for guests.  At the hotel, all rooms are fitted with a wardrobe. At Yuribey Hotel rooms are fitted with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.

Yuribey Hotel, Salekhard

Experience a stay in an authentic "Chum" nomad tent fitted with reindeer hides which provides ample warmth and sleeping bags.  

"Chum" Tent in the Nenets

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