Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall – Siberia Has It All

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall – Siberia Has It All

Siberia is huge and phenomenal, with swathes of taiga forest, northern tundra underpinned with frozen earth called permafrost, mighty rivers rushing north to the Arctic, and grand Lake Baikal, the deepest and oldest freshwater lake on earth.

At any time of the year there are wonders to behold here, whether it’s the swaying purple fireweed of summer, tall as a man, or the thick winter ice on Lake Baikal, shoved up into peaks so clear they look like windowpanes. And the hardy Siberian people know how to have a good time no matter what the weather is doing. Join them – winter, spring, summer or fall.

MIR has more than 30 years of expertise in hand-crafting Siberian travel itineraries, each one capturing the magic of its season. For more information about what to know before you go, check out MIR’s insider’s guide into travel to Siberia’s Lake Baikal and Buryatia Region

Find the season that best matches your travel style:

WinterSpringSummerFall

 

Playing on a frozen Lake Baikal. Photo credit: Vladimir Kvashnin

Picnic on a frozen Lake Baikal
Photo credit: Vladimir Kvashnin

Winter in Siberia

Winter is Dr. Zhivago time, when fields are obliterated by snow and etched with skeleton trees. Local people travel across the Baikal ice on snow machines or dogsleds. Shaggy horses pull sleighs over the snowy ground, and venders warm their hands over their stoves as they smoke fresh-caught omul at lakeside stands. Snow and ice don’t keep Siberians from enjoying the season, whether indoors or out. And they’re happy to take you along with them.


Winter activities include:
  • Board a hovercraft and glide over the Baikal ice to a place where you can join local people ice-fishing.
  • Admire the fantastic sculptures and mazes carved from the clear Baikal ice that dot the snow-covered open spaces around Irkutsk’s main square.
  • Hurtle down an ice slide on an inner tube.
  • Steam yourself in a traditional Russian banya, then run out into the snow.
  • Go dashing through the taiga and onto the frozen Angara River on a traditional troika ride.
  • Raise your ice-glasses and toast to winter with chilled Baikal vodka.
  • Mush over frozen Lake Baikal on a dogsled pulled by Siberian Huskies, a courageous breed exported from Russia into Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush.
  • Race a snow machine against a dogsled.
  • Enjoy a cozy home-cooked meal – including blini – in a Siberian home.

Why end might Winter in Siberia with MIR on these itineraries:

 

Lake Baikal Photo credit: Vladimir Kvashnin

UNESCO-listed Baikal, the deepest and oldest lake on earth, so vast that locals call it “the sea”
Photo credit: Vladimir Kvashnin

Spring in Siberia

Late winter extends into early spring in Siberia. Eventually there’s a thaw, and the land begins to break free of its frozen blanket. In very early spring, Siberia may remind you of a molting bird – soon beautiful plumage will cover the bare bones, but right now it’s a bit scraggly. Finally, it’s May, and time to travel! Buds break through, the sun begins to warm your skin, tiny white trillium bloom in the woods, and hopeful people spill onto the streets to greet their neighbors after the harsh winter.


Spring activities include:
  • Venture inside a private Russian home for a traditional home-cooked meal of Russian specialties such as blini and borscht.
  • Enjoy a tour of the classic wooden architecture of one of Russia’s loveliest cities, Irkutsk.
  • Discover Vladivostok, the formerly closed Pacific Rim port city flourishing on Russia’s east coast.
  • Ride the famous Trans-Siberian Railway through the taiga, steppe and wide valleys of Siberia ().
  • Breathe in the astounding beauty of UNESCO-listed Baikal, the deepest and oldest lake on earth, so vast that locals call it “the sea.”
  • Inspect the largest opera house in Russia, in Novosibirsk, the biggest city in Siberia.
  • Attend a concert of classical music at the Decembrist Museum in Irkutsk.

Why end might Spring in Siberia with MIR on these itineraries:

Ulan Ude's Old Believers

Visit a village to hear the powerful centuries-old songs of the Old Believers and learn
about their unique traditions
Photo credit: Helge Pedersen

Summer in Siberia

Summer is sumptuous in Siberia. The extra hours of warm sunshine bring out the tang of pine needles and sticky birch leaves, and encourage the lush growth of the potato plants and sunflowers that crowd every village backyard. The golden Siberian globeflower dots the hillsides, and people fishing in ancient Lake Baikal find that they can see a hundred feet below the surface.


Summer activities include:
  • Honor the chanting monks, townspeople and pilgrims near Ulan Ude at Ivolginsk Datsan, center of Buddhism in Russia, decorated with beautiful silks, precious stones, and painted woodwork.
  • Make a village visit to enjoy a home cooked meal and hear the powerful centuries-old songs of Old Believers, learning about their unique history and traditions ().
  • Spend a day admiring UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal on the fabulous Circumbaikal Old Railway, one of the most complicated and beautiful rail routes in the world ().
  • Discover the other-worldly sounds of Tuvan throat-singing at a traditional performance in Kyzyl, capital of Tuva.
  • Spend the night in the home of a local Siberian family, and enjoy Russian hospitality at its finest.
  • Board a boat and search for Baikal’s elusive freshwater seal, the nerpa.
  • Why end might a traditional banya, or steambath, in Listvyanka, a little lakeside village that began as a fishing outpost and has become a center for the study of Lake Baikal.
  • Hydrofoil to sacred Olkhon Island, where the indigenous Buryats believed that the gods of Baikal lived; experience a shaman ceremony here.

Why end might Summer in Siberia with MIR on these itineraries:

A photogenic lookout over a swathe of Siberia's taiga forest as the leaves glow in their fall colors. Photo credit: Martin Klimenta

A photogenic lookout over a swathe of Siberia’s taiga forest on the Baikal shore
Photo credit: Martin Klimenta

Fall in Siberia

Fall comes quickly here, with harvest time arriving in September, and aspen, birch and larch turning bright yellow against the evergreens. The sheep and horses start growing their winter coats, and villagers pick berries, smoke fish and make pickles in preparation for winter.


Fall activities include:
  • Venture inside a private Russian home for a traditional home-cooked meal of Russian specialties such as blini and borscht.
  • Enjoy a tour of the classic wooden architecture of one of Russia’s loveliest cities, Irkutsk.
  • Discover Vladivostok, the formerly closed Pacific Rim port city flourishing on Russia’s east coast.
  • Ride the famous Trans-Siberian Railway through the taiga, steppe and wide valleys of Siberia ().
  • Breathe in the astounding beauty of UNESCO-listed Baikal, the deepest and oldest lake on earth, so vast that locals call it “the sea.”
  • Inspect the largest opera house in Russia, in Novosibirsk, the biggest city in Siberia.
  • Attend a concert of classical music at the Decembrist Museum in Irkutsk.

Why end might Fall in Siberia with MIR on these itineraries:

 

Travel to Siberia with MIR

MIR is your Siberia travel expert – with more than 30 years of travel experience to Russia and with affiliate offices in Ulan Ude and Irkutsk (both in Siberia), as well as in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

MIR’s full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”

30 years of travel expertise means that the specialists at MIR know how to get there, what to do while you’re there, and how to enhance your trip in each of our destinations. For more information about what to know before you go, check out MIR’s insider’s guide into travel to Siberia’s Lake Baikal and Buryatia Region

Wondering which destination or itinerary is right for you? In addition to browsing the pages of our free catalog, you can narrow down your choices online using our Trip Finder and the Destination Map.

Siberia in the

WinterSpringSummerFall

all you have to do is call: 111-111-1111.

 

Top photo: Whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, you can have fun on Lake Baikal. Photo credit: Douglas Grimes and Martin Klimenta.

PUBLISHED: June 21, 2016

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