This is why you should travel to Siberia in winter
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
Why go to the trouble of traveling into the world’s coldest habited area in winter when you can fly somewhere warm and enjoy the sun? The reason is simple - to see the things you won’t be able to see otherwise, fill yourself in with excitement and make lifelong memories!
Image by Sergey Pesterev (Unsplash)
In a nutshell
Siberia is a vast Russian province, accounting for over 60% of the country's land mass, and that’s a huge chunk of territory to explore, at least once in your life. There’s a great landscape diversity: from conifer forests to steppe to taiga to tundra. The climate varies significantly across Siberia, with annual variations in temperature reaching 100°C.
Winter usually starts in late October and continues into April (that really depends, as I’ve seen snow in June a few times at my place!), so it’s a pretty wide interval for you to choose your trip dates. Scenery changes greatly across different seasons, so even if you’ve been here in summer, autumn and/or spring, you still haven’t seen Siberia at its most beautiful.
Image by Alex Dukhanov (Unsplash)
Siberia is mainly known for an untouched beauty of its nature, but it is also home to a number of huge cities, over 50 resorts, research centers, and some of the most hospitable people.
To me, it seems like a challenge that any avid traveler should have on their list!
And now, let’s go over places to see and things to do on your winter trip to Siberia.
Experience -30 (or colder…)
Whatever destination is Siberia you choose, experiencing the famous -30°C (or lower) winter is impressive in itself. And most likely novel as well! As crazy as it sounds, such low temperatures are quite easy to accommodate - you just need proper clothes and a little bit of bravery :)
In return, you’ll feel capable of a lot more than you think you are, which is exactly why many of us would go on an adventure!
By the way, the lowest recorded temperature is -71°C (Oymyakon, the Sakha Republic).
Do winter sports
Since you’re gathering courage to explore one of the world’s coldest regions, why not also try some of the most exciting winter sports in one of Russia’s ski resorts?
And don’t forget to check out the largest Siberian ski resort, beautiful in both winter and summer!
Image by Wix Media
So, here are some of fun sport activities you can try in winter wonderland:
See winter wonderland
Let’s see the most famous places in Siberia that are worth visiting in winter.
Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake on Earth and number one Russian landmark. In winter, it freezes over, and the lake’s clear water turns into a magical turquoise ice with unique patterns due to the rise of methane gasses.
Image by Ekaterina Sazonova (Unsplash)
The ice is thick enough (1.5-2 meters) so you can skate, take a dog sled ride and even drive a car or motorbike (however, be careful!).
You can also see charming Baikal seals, get to grottos and caves that aren’t accessible in summer, and also try fishing under ice!
Altai has a lot of places that open up to travelers in their full beauty only in winter, for example, unfreezing turquoise lakes (in summer, they are flooded by the river Katun) or Svetloye lake, where swans fly in for winter.
You can see bisons in their natural environment, as they go nearby tourist routes only during the cold season. Altai is also home to snow leopards, lynx and falcons.
This is a must-visit place if you like snowboarding or mountain skiing.
Photo by Sergey Isakhanyan
Sheregesh is an international ski resort with the best routes in Eastern Siberia and good snow for freeride. Take a snowmobile route to the Wayside Cross on Kurgan Mountain (1555m high) and enjoy the view from the top. If you’re lucky enough, you might meet the Putorana snow sheep, written down in the IUCN Red List.