YAKUTIA

towering pillars, freezing temperatures, mammoth tusks, socialist urbanism, traditional settlements and the glorious vastness of the soviet tundra 

Yakutsk – Lena – Oymyakon – Verkhoyansk – Tiksi


Tour dates

Regular monthly departures: this tour is offered regularly once a month. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the ask-us button below and we will match your preferences with the relevant scheduled group departure. If you are unsure about the month you wish to travel in, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will provide you a range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours! 

Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with friends and there are 5 or more of you, you can set your own dates and we will organise a tour just for you without charging any additional fee. If you are travelling solo or with less than 4 companions we will organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.


ITINERARY

The following itinerary refers to our two most popular routes in Yakutia. The itinerary for the first two days (Yakutsk and the Lena Pillars) is the same both in Summer and in Winter; from Day 3 onwards the tour will follow two different itineraries according to the season you choose to travel in. If you are interested in a particularly remote area, unusual activity and/or off-the-beaten-path attraction within Yakutia or if you are just looking for an hit-and-run visit to Yakutsk and its surroundings, we can easily meet your needs with a unique tour individually designed according to your preferences. Thanks to our deep knowledge of the territory and longstanding collaboration with independent local tour operators we are, indeed, able to offer you a wide range of tailored routes and bespoke itineraries across and beyond the white vastnesses of legendary Yakutia. We also regularly cater for biologists, conservationists, ethnologists, historians and documentarists alike interested in conducting field research in the region. Get in touch for more info on our private tours to Yakutia

DAY 1 - Yakutsk

  • Our guide will meet you at Yakutsk International Airport and drive you to our hotel of choice (exact hotel name and address will be communicated well in advance per email); currently the best flight connections to Yakutsk are offered by Yakutia Airlines and S7 Airways: we will gladly assist you in the booking process. 
  • Introductory briefing about the region, the route and the set of rules to observe while travelling in Yakutia.
  • Yakutsk sightseeing: Lenin Avenue, Permafrost Museum, State Drama Theatre, Transfiguration Cathedral, WWII Memorial and plenty of Soviet architecture and socialist monuments. 
  • Dinner and overnight in Yakutsk

Day 2 - Lena Pillars

  • Today we'll enjoy a long day trip to the majestic Lena Pillars, the world-famous rock formations towering over the Lena river just a couple of hours south of Yakutsk
  • In summer the trip will be done by speedboat, whereas in winter you will travel by jeep on the so called "winter road" (that is the frozen surface of the river).
  • The excursion will last between 10 and 12 hours and includes a short ascension hike to the panorama deck and some free exploration time in the park, which you can spend either wandering along one of the many trails crisscrossing the surrounding forest or simply enjoying a Yakutian-style picnic at the camping area. 
  • Along the way to the pillars, if time permits, we will stop in Bulgunnyakhtakh, a traditional Yakutian village with an impossible-to-pronounce toponymic. 
  • Dinner and overnight in Yakutsk

WINTER ROUTE

Day 3 - Khandyga

  • We'll leave Yakutsk early in the morning and embark on an epic journey along the Kolyma Highway, also known as the Road of Bones, because the skeletons of the forced laborers who died during its construction were used in many of its foundations.
  • Right after Yakutsk, we will cross the Lena River. In winter time we'll drive on the frozen surface of the river.
  • We’ll also pass through Nizhny Bestyakh, an important transport hub where two federal roads – the Amur-Yakutsk Highway from the southern town of Neryungri and the Kolyma Highway to Magadan – meet each other.
  • We'll then head east-northeast to semi-abandoned Khandyga, a Soviet-made town that used to be quite busy and prosperous back in the good old days, as the area was intensively mined for coal and gold and its airport served as one of the main hubs for the Alaska-Siberia Air Route during WWII.
  • Besides the routine pauses for food, toilet and random landscape pictures, we'll break the 8-to-10-hour journey to Khandyga in several traditional Yakutian settlements, such as Cherkyokh, where we'll visit the local open-air museum. 
  • Along the road, it’s also possible to see roaming Yakutian horses, native horse breed adapted to dwell in the extreme cold climate, and able to locate and graze on vegetation hidden under the deep snow cover.
  • Dinner and overnight in Khandyga

Day 4 - Oymyakon  

  • We'll drive to the Soviet outpost of Teply Klyuch and then continue onto the village of Kyubyume through the mountain passes of the Verkhoyansk Range.
  • We'll stop en route to visit some truly stunning natural sights such as the Tomporuk Pass and the Zayachya Petlya.
  • After an early dinner in Kyubyume and fuel and photo stop in Tomtor, we'll reach Oyamyakon, the notorious Pole of Cold
  • Overnight in Oymyakon

Day 5 - Oymyakon

  • We'll devote the entire day to Oymyakon, the coldest inhabited place on Earth.
  • Average winter temperatures here regularly reach –55°C with a record of –67.7°C (−89.9 °F) registered in 1933. 
  • We'll pay a visit to the Soviet-era Pole of Cold Stele and meet the local Chyskhaan, the Yakut "Keeper of the Cold".
  • You'll also enjoy some extreme temperature experiments (such as making snow out of boiling water), participate in a traditional ice-fishing session and meet local families.  
  • Lunch, dinner and overnight in Oymyakon

Day 6 - Teply Klyuch

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  • Dinner and overnight in Teply Klyuch

 

Day 5 / 9 Feb 2019 / Sat: Drive Oymyakon to Teply Klyuch. Breakfast in the early morning. 08:00 – Leaving a guest house. Drive to Tomtor, 41 km. On the way, we’ll have a visit to the Yakutian horse breeding farm. In Tomtor, we visit the ice tunnel complex called “Residence of Chyskhaan”, which remarkable for its huge snowflake-like ice crystals on its surface. Drive to Kyubyume, 153 km. We’ll ride through the Oymyakon winter forest and mountains we have missed during a previous ride in the dark time the other day. Dinner at the “Cuba” café. Drive back to Teply Klyuch through evening mountains. Dinner at café in Teply Klyuch. Overnight in Teply Klyuch. Evening tea and overnight at the apartment-based private hotel (twin-triple room, shared WC/shower inside, shared kitchen).

Day 6 / 10 Feb 2019 / Sun: Drive Teply Klyuch to Topolinoye, village of reindeer herders, 219 km, 5 hr. Time for breakfast (not included) at café. Visit to Museum of GULAG History in Teply Klyuch. Drive to Topolinoe with stops to observe the remains of GULAG camps en route. Arrival to Topolinoye by the evening. Dinner at truck drivers’ cafe. Overnight at family’s apartment (rooms for 2-3 people, shared kitchen, shared WC/shower).

Day 7 / 11 Feb 2019 / Mon: Topolinoye – Reindeer Herders – Lake Emandja. Breakfast (not included) at cafe. Walking across the town of Topolinoye. Visit to the reindeer herd in mountain forest. Tea with herders at the winter camp. Lunch (not included) at a cafe. Start of the journey toward Batagay by the longest winter road, 711 km. Stay at Lake Emandja for overnight (in a vehicle).

Day 8 / 12 Feb 2019 / Tue: Drive Emandja to Batagay. This day we pass by such places as the rivers Khatykchaan, Nelgese, Adycha, Tokum, the abandoned town of Alys Khaya, and other places. Lunch at cafe in Tokum. Arrival to Batagay in the evening. Check-in at private hotel in Batagay (single rooms, shared WC/shower).

Day 9 / 13 Feb 2019 / Wed: Day trip from Batagay to Verkhoyansk. Drive to Verkhoyansk, 71 km. Visit to the “Pole of Cold” regional museum. Free time. Lunch at family’s in Verkhoyansk. Back to Batagay by the evening. Overnight at the same private hotel in Batagay.

Day 10 / 14 Feb 2019 / Thu: Day in Batagai. This is a reserve day. We need it if any delay would happen en route. Overnight at the same private hotel in Batagay.

Day 11 / 15 Feb 2019 / Fri: Batagay to Yakutsk. Transfer to Batagay Airport. Flight to Yakutsk, 2 hr. Arrival in Yakutsk Airport. Transfer to hotel. Free time. Souvenir shopping with a guide in Yakutsk.

DAY 14 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations  

  • After enjoying a last Yakut-style breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.  
  • For those flying out: we will arrange transfer to Yakutsk International Airport for your flight back home.
  • For those wishing to take the bus to reach further destinations: we will arrange transport to the local bus station.
  • End of the tour. 

SUMMER ROUTE

Day 1: Yakutsk – Batagay – Base on the Tuostakh River. Transfer to Yakutsk Airport in the early morning. Flight to Batagay, 2.5 hr. Arrival at Batagay Airport at 09:55/10:30. Drive to Betenkes, 48 km. Stop by at Shaman Tree en route. Boat journey from Betenkes to the base along the Adycha & Tuostakh Rivers, 60 km, 2 hr. Stop by at Mammoth Hill (one of paleontological sites). Arrival to the base. Early dinner. Overnight in twin rooms in one-store wooden buildings. Shared outdoor toilet, shared sauna.

Day 2: Kisilyakh. Breakfast. 09:30 – Transfer by motor boat/s to Ketet site, 20 min. Hiking to Verkhoyansk Kisilyakh, 10 km. Lunch (packed) at Adycha River’s Kisilyakh. Excursion around Adycha Kisilyakh. Dinner. Free time. Overnight at a mountain guest house. Meeting sunrise ritual.

Day 3-4: Kisilyakh. Breakfast. Hiking to the highest Bolshoi Kisilyakh (5 km above sea level) and other remarkable sites. Lunch (packed) en route. Dinner and overnight at a guest house.

Day 5: Kisilyakh – Base on the Tuostakh River. Breakfast. Hiking back to Ketet site. Transfer by motor boat/s to the base. Free time. Dinner. Sauna. Overnight in twin rooms in one-store wooden buildings. Shared outdoor toilet, shared sauna.

Day 6: Tuostakh Base – Batagay – Verkhoyansk. 07:30 – Breakfast. Transfer by motor boat/s to Betenkes, 2 hrs. Drive to Batagai town. Time for lunch at cafe. Trip to Verkhoyansk (distance is 72 km, time to drive 1.5 hr). Walking around the coldest town. Stop by Verkhoyansk Stella. Drive back to Batagay in the evening. Time for dinner at cafe. Overnight at private guest house (single/twin rooms with shower room, shared kitchen).

Day 7: Batagay – Batagaika Crator. Breakfast. Road trip to Batagaika Crater. Hiking. Free time at Batagaika. Time for lunch (snacks, bottled water). Transfer to Batagay. Time for dinner at cafe (not included). Overnight at a guest house in Batagay.

Day 8: Batagay – Yakutsk. Morning tea at hotel. 10:00 – Transfer to airport. 11:55/12:10 – 12:45/13:00 – Flight to Yakutsk. Transfer to hotel in Yakutsk.

 

Day 1 (Tuesday) – Yakutsk to Tiksi.

– Transfer to Yakutsk Airport in the morning.
– Flight to Tiksi, 2 hr 50 min.
– Arrival in Tiksi Airport at noon.
– Transfer to the place of stay.
– Lunch.
– Sightseeing in Tiksi with visits to Regional History Museum, Tiksi Bay and the “Tiksi” town sign.
– Dinner.
– Free time.
– Overnight at family’s (twin room in a private flat in a multi-stored building, shared WC/shower, shared kitchen).

Day 2 (Wednesday) – Excursion across the vicinity of Tiksi.

– Breakfast at family’s.
– Travel by an off-road vehicle to Stolovaya Mountain. With a great view on Tiksi and the bay. Free time, photo session.
– Back to Tiksi.
– Lunch.
– Travel to the places of the remains of Soviet military units.
– Dinner.
– Overnight at family’s (twin room in a private flat in a multi-stored building, shared WC/shower, shared kitchen).

Day 3 (Thursday) – Trip to the Soginka River through the Arctic tundra

– Breakfast.
– Trip to the Soginka River by a swamp buggy through the tundra, 30 km. With stops on tops of hills and passages for photo sessions.
– Fishing on the Soginka River. It’s possible to catch graylings.
– Lunch in the tundra. W/ fish soup.
– Free time.
– Way back to Tiksi.
– Dinner.
– Sauna.
– Overnight at family’s (twin room in a private flat in a multi-stored building, shared WC/shower, shared kitchen).

Day 4 (Friday) – Flight to Yakutsk.

– Breakfast.
– Transfer to Tiksi Airport.
– Flight to Yakutsk, 2 hr 50 min.
– Transfer to hotel in Yakutsk.

DAY 14 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations  

  • After enjoying a last Yakut-style breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.  
  • For those flying out: we will arrange transfer to Yakutsk International Airport for your flight back home.
  • For those wishing to take the bus to reach further destinations: we will arrange transport to the local bus station.
  • End of the tour. 

PRICE

Winter - 3 to 8 participants: 4390 € 

Summer - 4 to 9 participants: 3990 € 


The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 18 euro/night), private transport in the region, entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.

The price does not include: international flights and any other flight not explicitly included in the tour price and itinerary, meals, drinks and tips, visas if required, entrance fees to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.

The route of this tour has been carefully designed after several research trips in the region. It is, however, always possible to slightly modify the itinerary according to the needs and the suggestions of the participants. Our motto is flexibility.


WHERE THE HECK AM I TRAVELLING TO?  

BELOW YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENT TOUR STAGES MARKED ON A MAP OF THE REGION YOU ARE GOING TO EXPLORE WITH US

CLICK HERE FOR SOME NICE PICTURES AND MORE INFO ABOUT THIS DESTINATION

POSSIBLE TOUR COMBINATIONS FOR THIS ITINERARY INCLUDE

Chukotka and/or Kolyma