The harsh beauty of the North
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.
Well, it’s time now to relax and we move to Talnakh, the eastern region of Norilsk.
Here there are comfortable rooms in the 3-star hotel “Talnakh” where you can find everything you need: hot shower, cable TV, restaurant, bar and a wide bed. Do you want to relax? Then go to the sauna or play billiards.
Today we’ll go for an exciting excursion on the snowmobiles to the camp “Storm”. Route: Start – mountain skiing center – canyon of Red Stones – canyon Hare Ears – Falcon mountain – Upper Valek river - Nizhny Valek river – camp “Storm” – overnight stay.
You will fully enjoy the speed, endless spaces, a sense of freedom and an exciting off-road riding! The beauty of winter landscapes will charm you and you will see the most amazing places where no man has ever walked. After all the snowmobiles allow us to get to the most distant, impassable places.
You will see the canyon of Red Stones, unforgettable landscapes, mountains and turbulent rivers, frozen in the permafrost and snow.
After accommodation in the camp site we are going for a walk around the neighborhood, then we’ll have dinner and go to bed.
Next morning we are going on a winter hunting or fishing!
Winter fishing is something you fall in love once and forever having tried once. Ice allows you to move comfortable around the lake and to reach the best places for fishing. To catch the big fish from under the ice is an exciting pleasure, incomparable feeling.
They say that the ice fishing is much more difficult than usual but that’s not true. Everyone can get his rich catch!
Winter hunting is adrenaline and drive. On Taimyr you can hunt reindeer, arctic wolf or musk ox.
In the evening we return to our oasis of comfort and coziness – the “Talnakh” hotel where there are sauna, billiards, restaurant and a bar.
Today we’ll go for sightseeing tour of Talnakh.
Talnakh is the north-eastern region of Norilsk. It got its name from the name of the river Talnakh which in Dolgan language means “river with ice”. There is another, more free translation – “the forbidden place”.
We invite you to explore this lost world hidden in the snow and permafrost! You will see how the strong northern people live here, far from the rest of the world thousands kilometers from the continent and noisy megalopolises.
Excursion program: visiting the branch of Norilsk museum in Talnakh. Viewing platform (site). Panorama of the surroundings.
By prior agreement – visit to the industrial site of Norilsk Nickel, “Komsomolsky” mine. Excursions to the summer houses (camps) located along the road Norilsk – Talnakh.
We leave to Dudinka.
On our way to this town we shall visit the railway museum. We shall also visit the metallurgical plant.
On the way to Dudinka you’ll find out a lot about an unusual history of Taimyr development, learn more about local population – six ethnic groups (they co-exist peacefully for many yeas!), as well as getting acquainted with the north flora and fauna.
In Dudinka you’ll stay overnight in a real plague (chum). Chum is a traditional home of the northern peoples of Siberia. This is a tent of conical shape covered with the skins of the reindeers, birch bark and felt. It’s warm and cozy inside.
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!
The harsh beauty of the North
|Difficulty||2 of 4|
|Group size||to 5 person|
|Duration||10 days (9 nights)|
|Accommodation during the trip|
|7 days in the hotel|
|2 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.
- Thermo underwear or its analog;
- Several pairs of simple gloves for climbing the rocks;
- 2-3 pairs of socks;
- Training suit;
- Stormy suit;
- Warm jacket;
- Rain cover (rain coat);
- Polartec jacket;
- Waders (required as necessary);
- Replaceable shoes (sneakers, slates shoes);
- Sports cap;
- Mosquito net;
- Mosquito repellents;
- Tracking boots;
- Photo- and video equipment with the charging devices (optional);
- Fishing gear (optional);
- Personal care products;
*Taking into account that the weather during this period is unpredictable (wind, rain, temperature from -5°C to +25°C).