North extrem test
You are welcome to the airport of Norilsk named by the name of Nikolai Nikolayevich Urvantsev – a geologist, hydrograph, scientist, researcher of Taimyr.
Just imagine that you find yourself in a distant northern world where you can not get either by a car or by a train!
Norilsk airport is the only connection of these places with other regions of Russia. In addition to the aircrafts you may get here only by water along the Yenissei river and the northern sea route.
On the way from the airport to Norilsk you will make your first acquaintance with the nature of Russia’s largest Taimyr Peninsula (its area is 400 000 square kilometers), you will see its flora and fauna.
If we are lucky – an ermine, sable or polar fox can cross the road and a partridge will fly overhead. Deeper into the tundra you can meet a reindeer, bighom and a polar owl but it will be in a few days.
But now we are close to Kayerkan, the western district of Norilsk. On the way to it we will see a monument on the Ambarnaya river, an inactive old
narrow-gauge railway bridge and a steam locomotive on it. This narrow-gauge railway was built back in 1936.
This first railroad (this is one of the most northern roads of the world!) was built here by GULAG prisoners.
At the entrance to the town we take pictures at the arch “Welcome to Norilsk!” We are sure that not many people have such pictures!
Kayerkan is a unique town with a unique history. This is a working settlement that was built in the year 1940 on the site of the coal deposit.
We shall also pass by Nadezhda, a metallurgical plant that is a stronghold of metallurgy at the Far North.
If you wish we shall stop at the guard cross at the entrance to Norilsk. Did you know by the way that the custom to put such worship crosses arose in Siberia in ancient times? Travelers-pioneers thus marked the new borders od Orthodox Russia. Crosses were installed on the hills, mounds and passes through ridges.
In Norilsk we shall visit the railway station that is the central station of Norilsk railway. This is the largest railway network in Russia isolated from the continent!
Today we shall go for sightseeing tour of Norilsk. This town is the northernmost town of Siberia. The living conditions here are quite extreme: the permafrost of the tundra, the strongest winds, frosts and heavy snowfalls. However, 181 000 residents of the town have everything they need: museums and theatres, schools and supermarkets and even the traffic jams. Not like in Moscow but anyway!
We shall visit the memorial complex “Norilsk Golgofa”. This is the burial place of the victims of political repression, one of the few in Russia. Here are the bones of the prisoners, workers of Norilag labor camp: Russians, Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Jews, Japanese. There is an evidence that more than 16 000 people died during the period of this camp existence.
Then you will walk along the streets of the Old Town and see the Zero point – an astronomic sign installed in the year 1920 by an expedition of the geologists who were working out the topographic map of the Norilsk region.
Here, on this place, the very first house of Norilsk has been built.
Then we shall see many interesting places: a building of Norilag management; nickel plant square; monument to A.P.Zavenyagin; Zavodskaya and Oktyabrskaya Streets; a mystical monument to a girl on the Oolba Lake; architectural complex at the entrance to the town from the side of the lake; the local museum.
In the morning the hotel offers you a buffet breakfast. You should have plentiful meal because we are going on a real adventure – a two-day excursion on quad bikes!
The route of our journey is really unique: South Yergalakh – Middle Yergalakh – the Chibinite River – the confluence of the Chibinete River with the Dudinka River.
These are the wildest, impassable places where almost no man has ever walked. You will discover the pristine beauty of the harsh but such a magnificent and unusual northern nature.
The landscapes in some places resemble movies of the fantasy genre: stones, hills and endless expanses of the tundra, covered with moss colored in the rare rays of the sun. Perhaps we shall see the most interesting flowers of Taimyr – frying, they are also called “the lights” or “the flowers of trolls”.
Traveling on a quad bike is a real pleasure even if you don’t have a driving license! The bike is light, maneuverable and at the same time very powerful. It can easily overcome all the pits, ravines, deep puddles and steep descents!
Of course, we shall stop to walk along the rivers banks – South Yergalakh, a fast river with rapids and beautiful sandy, stone and grass banks. Dudinka river is a slow, unhurried, overgrown with shrubs river.
Today we are changing from a quad bike to a bike stretch the legs and turn the pedals of the bike with pleasure! The route is called “Historical” and it will introduce you to an unusual history of origin of this northern town.
Route: Zapadny settlement - Coal shaft 24 – Sorting station – Boat station - a warehouse of the explosive materials –Medvezhy Ruchey (Bear Stream) – an open pit.
Zapadny settlement is an abandoned village of the miners, a quiet and deserted place with a very specific atmosphere, deserted streets and destroyed streets and houses. Let’s go along these streets and take pictures.
Medvezhy Ruchey (Bear Stream) is also a working settlement since 1956. Once it was very popular – housewives from Norilsk came here for shopping. They assured that the settlement shop contained more diverse range of goods than the town shops and on every Sunday they organized a kind of “”shopping tours”.
And now we are at the mine at an altitude of 500 meters from the town level. The disseminated copper-and-nickel ores are mined here. Once there were 3500 people working here, now they are only 110.
You seem to take a tour on the time machine into the past! Wherever you look, everywhere there are the remains of the past, memories of the life of the 50-s, 60-s, 70s-… This is a real open-air museum!
Today and for the next two days the main event of our program awaits for you –a fascinating journey on off-road vehicles and rafting along the turbulent rivers of the North.
Skiing Center – canyon “Red Stones” – canyon “Hair lip” – mountain Sokol – Upper Valyok River – Lower Valyok River.
Our adventure will start with a trip to the impassable places on the quad bikes. The nature beauty here will capture you! Just look at the canyon “Red Stones”: two dark cascades of waterfalls, rocks of red shade, emerald moss, a beautiful lake… Landscapes here are like on Mars!
This is a rafting along the Valyok River to the river Norilka. The bottom of the river in some places is stony with the pebble banks, in some places sandy, the water is clear. The route for the rafting is fascinating but also safe, suitable for the tourists without this special experience. The speed of the current is fast, in some places it exceeds 10 km/hour. It will not be boring for sure!
We shall stop for the sanitary purposes, have lunch. We shall pass about a half of the river length then stop and organize a camp; then we cook a delicious dinner on the open fire and get to sleep.
Travel time: approximately 8 hours, 15 kilometers.
After breakfast and gathering the camp property we finish the rafting on the Valyok River but now we go on along a calm, weaker water stream. We shall have snacks in the boat.
We enter the Norilka river and row to the bridge where we collect the things and go to the town. We return to the hotel, have a rest, take a shower and then have lunch.
During the next two days you will have a chance to get familiarized with the life, traditions and living conditions of the Nenets – the indigenous people of the North. We shall go to the real ethic camp!
It’s located in Dudinka town and isa fabulous oasis of tundra life. The local people call it “Taimyr Oikumen”.
Here you will not only see the life of the northern peoples but also get acquainted with their culture and customs.
You will taste the dishes of national cuisine ad talk to the representatives of indigenous groups of Taimyr.
Return to Norilsk.
You’ll have some options in Norilsk:
- Visiting the USSR museum (optional)
- Attending concert events (optional)
- Sending the postcards with Norilsk postmark
- A walk from “Moscow” (former store) to “Vorkuta” (also a former store). This is the shortest distance from Moscow to Vorkuta in Norilsk – 2 km, the
length of Leninsky Avenue, the main street of Norilsk (if the weather permits).
- Attendance of the library and library activities (optional and if there are any). Here you can see an all-year-round working library - an old refrigerator converted into a mini-library with cross-booking located at the wall of the library.
- Taking photo with the Northern Man. You can whisper your cherished wish into his ear and it will come true for sure!
- Visiting the exhibition hall “Vernissage” where the collection of folk craftsmen of Norilsk was created (optional and if we have time).
- Dinner in cafes and restaurants of Norilsk (for those who wish).
- Visiting the exhibition hall of the art residence where you can purchase the paintings of the local artists (optional).
Departure to the airport named after N.N.Urvantsev. Check-in. Departure from Norilsk to Moscow.
We say “Good bye” to you but you take priceless memories, vivid impressions, unique photographs and rare souvenirs with you!
All the beauty of Russian North will stay in your hearts and your photos for a long time!
Have a nice trip and come back again!
North extrem test
|Difficulty||2 of 4|
|Group size||to 5 person|
|Duration||12 days (11 nights)|
|Accommodation during the trip|
|7 days in the hotel|
|4 days in the summer houses|
What's included in the price- Accommodation in the hotels and recreation centers throughout the program;
- Full program transfer;
- Accompanying guides services;
- Accompanying interpreters services;
- Rent of all necessary equipment;
- Catering according with the program (cafes and restaurants of Norilsk are not included).
Extra charge- Flight to Norilsk. The average price of such a flight, depending on the season, ranges from 15 000 rubles to 25 000 rubles;
- Catering in the cafes and restaurants of Norilsk;
- Visa support.
- Warm pants;
- Jacket fleece or polartec;
- Thermal underwear (2 sets);
- Warm socks (2-3 pairs);
- Simple socks (2-3 pairs);
- Winter hats (knitted and fur hats);
- Winter mittens and gloves (replaceable);
- Winter non-slip shoes (2 pairs);
- Personal soap, home clothes.
*Taking into account that the weather during this period is unpredictable (wind, rain, temperature from -5°C to +25°C).