Have you ever been above the Arctic Circle? Well on this tour, you will explore the Russian Arctic - a magical and extremely interesting place. Long winters, short summers, polar nights followed by polar days, sparse forests, the Northern Lights, endless tundra and lots of snow - these are the main attractions of the region. Although it sounds like some really remote place, it is just a two and a half hour flight from Moscow (and only two hours from St Petersburg).
On this trip, you will explore the centre of the region - Murmansk, a city which has historically been seen as the Gates to the Arctic. The city is itself is quite interesting, especially considering its military history. During the Second World War, three-quarters of the city's buildings were destroyed. They were rebuilt following the war, which explains the predominantly Soviet architecture of the city.
On this tour to Murmansk, you will also visit Teriberka - a small settlement located on the Arctic Ocean. The place was closed to foreigners until 2009 and remains the only place freely accessible on the Barents Sea - the rest of the coastline remains closed to foreigners.
You will also learn about the Sami - one of the most ancient indigenous peoples of the Russian North. By the 10th century, the Sami population occupied the territory of modern Finland, Karelia and part of the Russian North. Gradually, the farmers who came from the south began to master the Sami lands. Reindeer pastures disappeared, and local residents were pushed out and headed north. There are about 1,700 Saami in Russia and almost 90% live in the Murmansk Region. During the tour, you will visit one Sami family and learn about their customs and traditions.
Dog-sledding is fun not only for children but also for adults. Husky dogs love people, love the winter and love to run. During the trip, you will have an excursion to the kennels and a ride along the tundra and forest. Note that we only provide services with professional kennels that provide appropriate care for dogs.
You will also have a snowmobile ride in the Khibiny Mountains - the biggest mountain range in the region. During the ride, you will see how the landscape changes and visit a Snow Village - a large sculpture made of snow and ice.
On any visit to Arctic Russia, you have to try your luck at seeing Aurora Borealis and the Kola Peninsula is one of the best places in the world to see the phenomena. To see the Northern Lights, there needs to be strong solar activity and a clear sky, we will let you know the likelihood of lights and their visibility in advance.
DAY 1 / ARRIVAL
Arrival in Murmansk and transfer to the hotel.
Tour of Murmansk - the world’s most populated city located above the Arctic Circle. During the excursion you will see:
Lenin Icebreaker (interior) - the world's first civilian vessel with a nuclear power plant on board. For 30 years, it provided navigation on the Northern Sea Route. The icebreaker guided thousands of ships in the ice of the Arctic, and covered 654,400 nautical miles. It was decommissioned in 1989.
Alyosha Monument - the monument rises above the city at an altitude of 173 metres, and itself reaches a height of 35 metres, meaning that you can see Alyosha from almost anywhere in the city. This monument is one of the largest in Russia, behind only Volgograd’s Mother Russia.
Military Intervention of 1918 - 1920 monument - unveiled in 1927 this is the oldest monument in Murmansk. The monument stands on a mass grave of the participants of the uprising against the White Guards in Murmansk, which occurred on 21 February 1920.
Memorial to Sailors who Died in Peacetime - this complex of structures includes a 17.5 metre tower in the form of a lighthouse. In the walls of the tower, there is a gallery of memory with memorial plates and remembrance books of fallen sailors, where to date more than 1,500 names have been recorded. There is also an engraving of the K-141 "Kursk" submarine, which sank in the Barents Sea in 2000. The tragedy took the lives of 118 crew members.
Duration: 4h | Transportation: By a car
DAY 2 / DAY TOUR TO THE ARCTIC OCEAN
Breakfast in the hotel.
Tour to Teriberka - this settlement is located 120 kilometres north of Murmansk. Along the trip, you will see how the landscape changes, with the forests around Murmansk giving away to featureless tundra nearer to Teriberka and the endless white of the snowfields, merges into the blue sky on the horizon. The journey takes from 2.5 to 3 hours depending on the weather conditions. Polar nights in the village last for 43 days (from 1 December to 12 January), and during a full moon, moonrise and moonset can be seen twice a day. On the one hand, Teriberka resembles a traditional fishing villages: wooden houses, boats and berths, but parts of the village were also built up with houses of the Soviet period. The buildings have been fairly battered by time and the wind from the sea, and the abandoned port has turned into a real cemetery of ships.
Duration: 7-8 hours | Transportation: by car
DAY 3 / HUSKY KENNEL AND SAAMI FAMILY
Breakfast at the hotel.
Visit an Alaskan husky kennel with dog-sledging - this is the biggest kennel on the peninsula with more than 80 dogs which are always happy to see new guests. The Alaskan husky is a very affectionate dog and likes to hug people. After the excursion around the kennel and instruction, you will go dog-sledging along a forest and tundra path. Please note that the sledge will be managed by a professional musher, and you will be a passenger. After the dog-sledging, you can take photos with dogs and have tea.
Visit a Saami family - there are more than 190 different ethnic groups living on the vast territory of Russia. Some of these groups are small in number and the Sami of the Russian North have one of the smallest populations. On this excursion, we will visit Nathalia who is Sami herself and trying to preserve the culture and tradition of the Sami people. She lives in this culture, naturally and organically, like her ancestors did and part of her life is shamanism, involving communication with spirits and seeking help from ancestors. On the bank of the River Kitsy, in addition to the deer shed, there are traditional Sami dwellings, Tupa, Vage, Kuvaksa. After the excursion around the household, you will be treated to tea with Nathalia.
Duration: 6-7 hours | Transportation: by car
DAY 4 / SNOWMOBILES IN THE KHIBINY MOUNTAINS
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to Kirovsk. Distance: 212km
Snowmobile ride in Khibiny mountains - the Khibiny mountains are the largest mountain range on the Kola Peninsula. The highest mountain is Yudychvumchyor at 1200 metres. Khibiny extends 40 kilometres from west to east and 35 kilometres from north to south. During the 1.5 hour ride, you will cover about 25 kilometres through a beautiful, simple radial route along the glacial valley of Kukishvum on the Kukisvumchorr Pass (479 metres), connecting the southern and northern parts of Khibiny. The final point of the route is Lake Serdtsevidnoe, from where the valley of the River Kuniyok can be seen. In winter, the level of the lake drops and the ice frozen in the autumn when the level of water was higher forms of unusual ice sculptures along the edges of the lake.
Snow Village in Kirovsk - after lunch in a cafe you will visit a site that entered the Guinness Book of Records as the largest structure of snow. The theme of the "Snow Village" changes every year and is always unique. Every year there are new structures with halls, corridors, intricate patterns and, of course, a unique spirit.
Excursion to the Apatit Museum - the museum has a rich collection of minerals extracted from the Khibiny Mountains and the Kola Peninsula and models of open underground mining and enrichment plants. In the collection of minerals, there are 850 varieties, including precious samples of gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other valuable minerals.
After the excursion return to Murmansk. Alternatively, you can stay in Kirovsk and fly out from the peninsula to Moscow via the local airport with local airlines, however, we would recommend you to fly from Murmansk.
Duration:10-12 hour | Transportation: by car
DAY 5 / DEPARTURE
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to the airport.
- The tour is possible from the end of November to April.
- The road to Teriberka can get blocked by snow in the winter and in this cases cars can only travel there behind the snowplough which clears the roads. We don’t recommend travelling to Teriberka on the last day of your trip to Murmansk as you might get delayed if the weather is bad.
- From autumn to spring, layers are the key to keeping warm here. You should wear a good coat with a hood that protects you from the wind and also have a raincoat, good hiking boots, warm trousers, thermal underwear, hats, gloves, scarves, thick warm socks (you might even need to wear two pairs at once). You should also bring a spare warm sweater and spare socks in case the ones you are wearing get wet.
- We can book for you domestic flights to Murmansk.
• CANCELLATION POLICY •
DATE OF CANCELLATION
(with respect to the date of the departure)
(with respect to the total price of the tour)
|FROM 60 TO 45 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||10%|
|FROM 44 TO 15 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||30%|
|FROM 14 TO 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||50%|
|LESS THAN 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE||100%|