For almost a decade, the team at YPT have been running ground breaking tours into the darkest corners of Russia. From opening up tourism opportunities in Chechnya and South Ossetia to taking the train most Moscow to Pyongyang, we are your go to experts for adventures in the former motherland of the Soviet Union. In today’s article, we’re going to look at one of the much loved destinations often requested on our private Soviet tours across Russia: Yakutia.
Located in the far East of Russia, Yakutia also goes under the name of the Sakha Republic and is one of the biggest federal republics in Russia stretching an enormous 1,190,555 square miles. It is known for being one of the coldest places on the planet, with some places like the village of Oymyakon plummeting to temperatures as low as -58° F in the winter, earning the not very envious title of the coldest village on earth.
Home to fascinating cultures and indigenous peoples, an abundance of wildlife, Soviet history and epic road trips, we run private tours to Yakutia all year round whether its braving some of the coldest temperatures on earth or basking in the warm Siberian sun, we cater for all tastes. Our Yakutia tours in the past have focused on a range of interests from wildlife, industrial heritage, archeology and, our natural favourite, Soviet history. During the days of the Russian Civil War, Yakutia was the last battleground when it played host to the Yakut Revolt. This combined with decades of Gulags, industry and military training facilities, makes Yakutia a Soviet history lover’s dream!
On our winter Yakutia tours, our activities range from ice fishing to hunting the remains of mammoths that once roamed this area in abundance. The Sakha Republic is also littered with former Gulags that were the object of terror for many unfortunate souls during the Soviet Union. We undertake extreme road trips to these isolated and abandoned settlements all year round. In the unforgiving climate of Siberia in winter, you can get an idea of how bad life must have been for political prisoners in the camps. Due to their remoteness, the Gulags are largely still intact since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Our winter Yakutia tours also take in the famous Lena Pillars, which is a jaw dropping natural rock formation that stretches up to 300 metres high and runs along the banks of the Lena River. For those brave enough, we naturally pay a trip to the coldest village on earth in Oymyakon, which is home to the pole of the cold to mark where the lowest air temperatures have been recorded in history. To see how people adapt and live in this unforgiving climate is simply fascinating. The winter in Yakutia offers a chance to enjoy a spot of ice fishing or husky sledding.
On our summer Yakutia tours, we ditch our parkas and take advantage of the warm Siberian sun as the Sakha Republic sees temperatures of up to 18.5 °C in summer, ok it’s certainly not the Carribean, but it is Siberia after all! In contrast to winter, our summer Yakutia tours naturally offer a different vibe to exploring the region, with the ability to stay out late, camp at gulags and go swimming in its many stunning lakes and rivers.