reindeer herders, endless tundra and fur tepees
Salekhard – Yar-Sale – Yamal – Obdorsk
This tour is offered on a regular basis in both the winter and summer months. 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 give you a wide 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.
Please note: this journey follows two slightly different routes across the Yamal peninsula depending on which season you'd like to travel in: the winter program (classic) corresponds to the itinerary listed below and includes a 4-day visit to the Nenets winter tepees encampment near Yar-Sale, whereas during the spring/summer route these 4 days will be spent with the Nenets in their traditional settlements scattered around the green summer pastures along the Yorkuta river. There's no price difference between the two options.
The following itinerary refers to our most popular route in the Yamal Peninsula. This remote and fascinating land, a Soviet version of Canada’s Northwest Territories, greets its temerarious guests with a cornucopia of natura and cultural wonders. In case you are interested in a particularly remote area, unusual activity and/or off-the-beaten-path attraction within the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug or if you are just looking for an hit-and-run visit to Salekhard 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 guides we are able to offer you a wide range of tailored routes and bespoke itineraries across and beyond the endless tundra of the Yamal Peninsula. 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 Yamal!
Day 1 - Salekhard
In the morning you will meet our tour guide in the lobby of the designated hotel (exact hotel address and meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email; private airport pickup and shuttle service available for a small additional fee).
Introductory briefing about the region, the route and the set of rules to observe while travelling in the Yamal region.
Salekhard sightseeing: Lenin Statue, 66th Parallel Monument, Mammoth Statue, Petr and Pavel Cathedral, Fish & Fur Market and WWII Memorial.
In the afternoon we'll visit the 16th century fortress in Obdorsk, the first Russian settlement built in the region.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Salekhard.
Day 2 - Yar-Sale
Transfer to Yar-Sale, the first trading post built on the Yamal Peninsula by the Russians in 1927.
The 6-hour trip from Salekhard to Yar-Sale is done by all-terrain vehicle in winter and by boat in summer.
Once at destination we'll enjoy a walking tour of this out-of-the-world settlement mainly inhabited by ethnic Nenets.
Dinner and overnight in Yar-Sale.
Day 3/4/5 - Reindeer Herders
In the morning we'll reach the nomadic herders living and moving across the tundra surrounding Yar-Sale.
We'll 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.
There is no specific travel plan for these days but highlights 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; wildlife spotting and birdwatching; short walks and longer treks across the magically surreal landscapes surrounding the camp.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in a traditional fur teppes.
Day 6 - Yar-Sale
Today we'll slowly return to Yar-Sale travelling through pristine landscapes on board of a sledge attached to a snowmobile (winter) or on a Soviet-made sturdy all-terrain vehicle (summer).
Several photo, contemplation and toilet stops will be done en route.
Dinner and overnight in Yar-Sale.
Day 7 - Salekhard
After a lazy morning in Yar-Sale we'll transfer back to Salekhard travelling along the mighty river Ob.
Free afternoon in Salekhard for souvenir shopping and vodka tasting sessions.
Dinner and overnight in Salekhard.
DAY 8 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last Arctic-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 Salekhard International Airport.
We can also arrange a bespoke tour extension to the neighbouring Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO) in the Arkhangelsk Oblast (not to be confused with the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug of the present itinerary, which instead belong to the Tyumen Oblast), an area even more remote and less visited than the Yamal Peninsula itself.
Highlights of a trip to the NAO will include: the Pleistocene-like landscapes of the Northern Timan mountain range, the extremely isolated and polar-bear-infested Kolguyev Island, the ruggedly romantic coast of the Barents Sea, the high sand dunes slowly devouring the village of Shoyna and, of course, the Nenets people themselves, their resilient and welcoming spirits, their compelling culture, their mystical language, and their troubled history.
End of the tour.
3 to 6 participants: 3160 €
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 20 euro/night), private transport in the region, 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, transport to and from the airport of arrival/departure (35 euros/ride), 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.
Please note: this journey follows two slightly different routes across the Yamal peninsula depending on which season you'd like to travel in: the winter program (classic) corresponds to the itinerary listed above and includes a 4-day visit to the Nenets winter tepees encampment near Yar-Sale, whereas during the spring/summer route these 4 days will be spent with the Nenets in their traditional settlements scattered around the green summer pastures along the Yorkuta river. There's no price difference between the two options.
Airport pickup/transfer in Salekhard is available for just 35 euros per ride.