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Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Yamal is a mysterious Arctic land. Northern lights in winter and white nights in June, the Chernya Mountain in the snows of the Polar Urals, skiing in July and the most exciting event of the year—the Reindeer Herders day in March— all attract tourists from Russia and abroad. Yamal is a secret corner of the Russian Arctic, full of myths and legends, a region with dazzling northern nature.

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug is in the Far North, the central part of Russia's Arctic facade. The northernmost part of Yamala lies at 73° 30’ N latitude, which explains the name given to the peninsular by the Nenets—the ends of the earth. Salekhard, the region's capital, is the only town in the world inside the Arctic Circle.

Yamal is a sacred place for the indigenous peoples of the Far North, an international reindeer herding center and home to Russia's fuel and energy complex the Arctic Heart—almost 90 % of Russia's natural gas is extracted from Yamal. The reindeer population in Yamal is more than 600,000, the largest herd in the world.

Visitors come to Yamal to escape the stress of everyday life and to test their strength of mind. In Salekhard, visitors can witness an unusual ceremony, you can cross into the Arctic Circle and receive a certificate confirming this.

Shemanovsky Museum and Exhibition Complex displays a unique Yamal discovery—Lyuba the baby mammoth. This female woolly mammoth calf was discovered in May 2007 by reindeer breeder Yuri Khudi in the upper reaches of the Yuribey River. The reindeer breeder named the discovery after his wife.

The tour of the preserved 52-meter long railway track on the outskirts of Salekhard gives visitors the chance to witness the remains of prison camps and the Salekhard-Igarka Gulag 501 Railway of Death. A monument has been erected on the Salekhard airport highway in memory of the people deported to the north and who worked on the 501 construction project.

Set off for the tundra to immerse yourself in nomadic life: discover the trades and culture of the Yamal nomads. Visitors can stay with families, learn how to put up a chum (a temporary dwelling similar to a yurt), cook national dishes, and take part in ceremonies.

Trekking across the Romantikov Glacier in the Rai-Iz range in the Polar Urals is very popular among lovers of outdoor activities. The active section is 6 kilometers of climb to the cirque of the Rai-Iz glacier from the Engayu River valley. This is a picturesque place with waterfalls loved by visitors. For those who prefer water trips, rafting is organized in summer along the Sob mountain river (Polar Urals).

Lovers of winter holidays can enjoy ice fishing in the tribal lands of the indigenous inhabitants of the Yamal tundra.

The nature and ethnographic complex in the village of Gornoknyazevsk is home to Yamal Iri, the Yamal Grandfather Frost. Guests can take a selfie with Yamal Iri himself while making a wish and holding his magical staff.

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