The Russian Tundra and the Green Nightskies
Venture to extreme latitudes in the Kola Peninsula for an off-the-beaten-path experience of the Northern Lights.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
Arrival in Murmansk
Though it is the largest city in the Arctic Circle, it is not usually a destination travellers have in mind when going to the extreme north… it is their loss. With sprawling tundras, fjords and polar history, it is actually a city steeped in legend. As you arrive and settle in the hotel, the long twilight of the extreme latitudes sets in: the forecast is propitious and you soon find yourself going outside the city in search of the lights. With shows like that, you wonder why Murmansk isn’t known as the Broadway of the sky.
Life in the Arctic is hard, there’s no denying that. Those hardy enough to call this place home, depend on ancient traditions and faithful companions. The sled-dogs have served the locals for centuries for transportation and company. Dogs as hardy as these are no lapdogs, training them and breeding them is no mean feat. As you play in the snow with a pack of Huskies, it’s hard to fathom they keep so much of the wolf in them. A little while later, as you rush through the Arctic landscape on a dogsled, you marvel at the stamina and strength of these cuties. You arrive at a Sámi community where you are welcomed by the representatives. They welcome you to lunch and share with you their traditions, their songs and their music, you learn of their colourful traditional costume and, since you’re friends now, you offer to help with the afternoon chores: feeding the reindeer. It’s been an exciting day and you are in for a spectacular night. Read more
More Nature than Could Fit in Most Countries
The Kola Peninsula has gorgeous fjords and a rather peculiar coastline, it has more than a hundred thousand lakes and uncountable rivers. In the west, it is craggy and rugged and becomes flatter, a white desert and tundra towards the east. It is a beautiful transition. Today you travel along this shore and traverse some stretches by snowshoe. However, the scale of the Kola Peninsula es enormous, so you hop on a snowmobile to reach Teriberka, a small rural community where you enjoy lunch and, of course, more lights.
Murmansk Grows on You
Before departure, visit a couple of museums, one of which used to be a nuclear icebreaker. You learn of the ancient dwellers of the region and of the soviet past. The natural treasures and the vast expanses make you realise you’ve been sitting on the tip of the iceberg. Murmansk, though modest at first, deserves a second visit, perhaps during the summer, where festivals, like the sun, continue well into the night and cruises sail from its shores, some even onto the North Pole.