Siberia small group holiday
Description of Siberia small group holiday
This Siberia small group holiday takes you to a vast and untamed land where people have existed in the wilderness for thousands of years. One of the least populated places on the planet, it contains steep mountain peaks, vast grasslands, icy rivers and sweeping tundra, and stretches from the Pacific Ocean in the east to the Ural mountains in the west.
Your trip kicks off in the Altai Mountains, which lie near the border with Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China. Among age old landscapes, we’ll trek through otherworldly valleys, where shamans and snow leopards have made their homes for centuries, and discover glaciers, ancient paintings and Bronze Age sites.
Your next stop will be Novosibirisk, where you’ll hop on board the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway in order to travel across the steppes to Irkutsk and Lake Baikal. This is an area where age-old traditions still hold fast, and you can get to know the local people through interaction and cultural experiences.
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PlanetThis tour involves not very glamourous accommodation, but it is locally owned and run. We will be staying in yurt camps and homestays in the Altai mountains. The wonderful thing about this kind of interactive tourism is that everyone gains – the nomads financially and us with the wonderful welcome and experience they give us.
We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to each one of our trips, and as a responsible tour operator, it is something we are careful and steadfast about promoting. Each one of our guides are trained to uphold, promote and put into practice such responsible behaviour, especially in wilderness areas or whilst traveling to UNESCO heritage sites.
By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12 and through walking through many regions during the tour, we minimise the human and environmental impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit. Along with our small group size, we will be staying in local guesthouses and homestays, directly transferring profit into the local economy and creating a smaller carbon footprint than staying at bigger hotel chains.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.
We are promoting the natural beauty and ancient heritage of Russia through visiting not only many gorgeous natural landscapes and mountains, but also the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lake Baikal. UNESCO Sites are chosen by the UNESCO committee and must "bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to civilisation", "an important interchange of human values" or be outstanding examples of major stages of Earth's history or ecological and biological processes in evolution. Visiting such sites helps sustain the traditions and natural ecosystems of Russia.
PeopleOn day 2 of this tour we will be meeting with a kaichi – travelling storyteller – to educate us on the myths and legends of the incredible Altai through stories and throat-singing.
On Day 7 of this tour we will be exploring the vast Chuya Steppe, finding petroglyphs, shaman trees and singing stones to uncover the shamanistic relationship of this landscape with its people. Once persecuted by the Soviet’s, shamanism has survived in Russia and it is important we preserve the once stifled culture.
During our time in Lake Baikal we will explore the Buryat settlers of the area. On Day 14 we will enjoy lunch with a local family to understand the history of the settlers in the region. The best way to share stories and understand new cultures is over a plate of great food and a glass of wine in hand.
Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that we have been committed to since our conception. It is part of our core sets of beliefs that these words are not simply scattered nonchalantly into our literature and on our website but moreover that they are central to each and every trip. Our adventures are therefore carefully curated celebrating all that is local from the people, to the culture. We believe that a successful trip delivers a unique and authentic journey for our clients, but furthermore benefits the people whose land we have the privilege of encountering.
On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.
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