Arctic Dreams

From the White Sea to the Barents Sea

Type Experience

Geographic, cultural and photographic

Duration

14 days & 13 nights

Location

Kola Peninsula

Price 4.200€ (*)

The Kola Peninsula, bathed by the Blanco and Barents seas, is located above the Arctic Circle. From the beginning of May until the middle of August, the Sun is always on the horizon and the nights are similar to the days. The ancient cultures and natural riches of Kola move us to a unique and little known region. The taiga, the lakes, and the polar tundra dominate the landscape. We will explore the heart of the Khibiny Mountains by routes only accessible to special vehicles. We will go kayaking on Lake Imandra. A fascinating trip on the White Sea awaits us, where we will find the ancient structure of the Stone Labyrinth dated 5,000 years before our era. We will share experiences with the old traditional villages on the White Sea coast. We will feel the polar air in Murmansk and the Barents Sea. Our specialist guides will make you feel and understand all the richness of this remote region.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE PHOTOS

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Departure from Barcelona at the agreed time to take the flight to Moscow. Link with the flight to the historic port city of Murmansk, located in a deep gulf at 35 km. from the shores of the Barents Sea. Upon arrival, transfer from the airport to the Azimut Hotel. Dinner in a restaurant. Hotel accommodation.

DAY 2

Breakfast. At 9:00 am transfer to Monchegorsk. Meeting with the local guide who will explain today’s program. We will start our route in an SUV. Off any road we will go to the Khibiny mountains. We will eat in the city of Kirovsk during the journey. We will continue to the Kukisvumchorr pass, while stopping at several places to take panoramic photos of the landscape. We will start a short walk to the next waterfalls. Then we will reach a small glacier that never melts, not even in summer. We will arrive at the place of overnight, a cozy mountain hotel to spend the night. Sauna availability. Dinner. Accommodation in a mountain hotel.

DAY 3

Breakfast. We return to the city of Kirovsk for a brief excursion through the town center and visit the Apatita Mineral Factory Museum with its interesting exhibitions dedicated to mining. Lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, we continue towards the White Sea following the main road. We will make short stops to photograph and receive explanations en route. About any place of interest. In the afternoon we will arrive in the city of Kandalaksha. Dinner at a local restaurant. Hotel accommodation.

DAY 4

Breakfast. We will continue our journey along the White Sea coast. First, on an asphalt road, following low tide. Our first objective is a replica of the ancient place inhabited by people of the sea called Tetrina Tonya, a true open-air museum. Tetrina Tonya shows us the real lifestyle of the inhabitants of the sea or Pomory, transporting us to the past. After the excursion we will have a traditional meal in the traditional Pomory style. After lunch we will continue our journey driving through lonely landscapes, of great natural beauty along the White Sea coast. On the way we will see the old town of Kashkarantsy and the Chapel of the Unknown Monk by the sea. We will spend the night in wooden houses in our base camp of Lodochny Ruchey. We can enjoy a nice sauna. Campfire dinner Lodge accommodation.

DAY 5

The next morning we will find ourselves surrounded by the overwhelming nature of the White Sea. We can observe and photograph this exceptional place with the sea on one side, the Taiga forest on the other. The coast contains interesting specimens of arctic flowers. We can make hiking trails taking advantage of low tide, picking berries and mushrooms and observing wildlife. The geology is very rich, being frequent to find amethyst stones whose crystals grow in the rock. Breakfast, lunch and dinner around the campfire. We will have a comforting sauna. Night in wooden houses.

DAY 6

Breakfast. Taking advantage of the low tide, we will go to the mouth of the Varzuga River. Here was the first settlement on the coast, in Tersky, where a famous Orthodox Church, still in use, is preserved. It was erected in 1674 without any iron nail, it consists of two buildings and a bell tower. We will start a walk in the village on wooden pavements, surrounded by small and cozy houses. At noon, we will arrive at our country house where we will have the food ready. The town is located on both banks of the wide river. We will use boats to move to the other side. Afterwards, we will walk through the forest behind the village of Varzuga. A path will take us to a miraculous place where springs sprout from the sand. The place is considered holy by the local inhabitants. At the end of the afternoon we return to Lodochny Spring base camp. Sauna availability. Campfire dinner Lodge night.

DAY 7

Breakfast. We begin to return to more inhabited places. We will visit one of the mystical sites in the area: the ancient stone structure known as the Babylonian Labyrinth dated about 5000 years before our era. Most scientists believe that the labyrinths served for religious or shamanistic purposes. The place of its location is incredibly beautiful due to its sea views with many islands and sandy beaches, completed with the thick forests of the Taiga. We can often observe seals and sometimes white whales. Campfire meal. Then we will return to Kandalaksha. Dinner in the hotel cafeteria. Hotel accommodation.

DAY 8

Breakfast. We will continue our exploration of the Kola Peninsula. At the starting point of the excursion, we will reach the Elmaraiok pass until we reach Lake Seidyavr (Holy Lake). In an environment of polar desert, dominated by the tundra, we will prepare our food. From the top of the pass, we will go down to the shore of the lake to a place considered magical by traditional culture. Here it is said that the figure of the dancing shaman, they say, freezes forever on the rock. Lapland people call it Kuiva (Idol). We will make a camp on the shore of the lake and cook our campfire dinner, sleep in tents. The night can be fantastic contemplating the starry sky or northern lights if there is occasion.

DAY 9

Campfire breakfast by the lake. We will continue our way, following a path that crosses the Sergevan River. We will stop for food in the polar desert, in an environment of subtle beauty, where we will immerse ourselves in the Arctic environment. From the end point of the hiking trail, we will begin the transfer back to Monchegorsk. The length of the excursion is about 10 km. Dinner in a restaurant. Night at hotel

DAY 10

Breakfast. Today we are going to explore the largest lake in the Kola Peninsula, which will open its imposing landscapes, a mixture of tundra and taiga in complete harmony. On the shore of the lake we will receive instructions from our guide to use the boats. Once we start sailing, we will cross the overpass through the reservoir, following along the Kilevay passage, leading to the Great Imandra Lake. Our navigation will continue along the coast between picturesque islands. The meal will be held in the Arctic desert, on one of the beautiful islands. After lunch we will start the way back with our boats. Transfer to the hotel in Murmansk. Dinner at the hotel.

DAY 11

Breakfast. Today we will begin our contact with the Russian Lappish tribes. We will arrive at the Saami settlement in a region with a great tradition of reindeer herding. There are some traditional houses with the ground covered with reindeer skins (Kuvaksa) that we can visit. The older reindeer male is always in the settlement, which welcomes greetings and something to eat. There are also polar foxes and husky dogs for sledding. It is common for a reindeer herder to tell us interesting stories about the past and present of people, legends and Saami songs. We will enjoy a typical local meal prepared right there. We can practice and play with some traditional games and try your luck by pulling the tie. It is possible to acquire souvenirs of local crafts carved in reindeer horns, stones, wood, and others based on reindeer skins. They will always be special memories of the north. Then we will return to the hotel in Murmansk. Dinner in a restaurant. Night at hotel

DAY 12

Breakfast. We will travel by special vehicle to the shore of the Barents Sea. We are on the Russian Arctic coast. In this sea there were hard battles in the course of World War II. The goal of our trip is the town of Teriberka, founded in 1523. Teriberka is a mixture of mysticism, wild nature of the north, pre-Soviet, Soviet and current heritage. We will see the town and the places where many scenes of the famous movie “Leviathan” were filmed in 2015. On the shore we can make observations of its peculiar geology, as well as its great richness in polar flora. We will walk to the waterfalls, going down to the sea from the top of the fjords. Lunch in a restaurant. At night we return back to Murmansk. Dinner in a restaurant. Night at hotel

DAY 13

Breakfast. Our local guide comes to pick us up for a 6-hour city tour. We will visit places of interest, including the Alyosha Memorial viewpoint, an excellent opportunity to take panoramic pictures of the city and the great harbor. We can choose to visit one of the most interesting museums such as the Naval Museum that explores the history of the Russian Navy with photographs, uniforms and other artifacts, as well as models of ships and submarines or the Museum of History and Nature that includes exhibits on the flora and fauna of the Kola Peninsula. It is a complete sample of the history and culture of northern Russia to this day. It also has excellent samples of minerals and rocks. Another place of interest for its long history is the port. We will have an excursion visiting the First Lenin Nuclear Icebreaker. After, free time. Dinner in a restaurant. Night at Hotel

DAY 14

Breakfast. With the luggage ready, we will make the transfer to the airport. Flights to Moscow and Barcelona. End of the trip-expedition.

ADDITIONAL INFO AND CONDITIONS

About the photographic equipment

For this trip it is not necessary to have a specific photographic equipment. We will learn to get the most out of all the devices you bring, from a mobile phone to a state-of-the-art digital camera. We will practice photography not only through the viewfinder of a camera. In addition, during the trip, you will have the opportunity to try a professional team, if you want.

SLR, evil or compact cameras can be brought. For SLR or evil cameras, it is not advisable to bring fixed optics since it is very easy to exchange sensor faults when exchanging them. Optical zoom is recommended from the angle to the telephoto lens (18-135mm, 24-120mm, etc.). It is essential to bring thin Lycra gloves to put mobility in the hands and not suffer possible freezing and covers or plastic to protect the equipment. The use of analog cameras is not ruled out since, being mechanical, they present less problems in extreme conditions and temperatures.

If you have any questions about the equipment or photographic devices, do not hesitate to contact the specialist technician. Photography is not done by the camera, we create it in our mind, the equipment is a mere instrument, a channel.

About Baggage

The type of luggage depends on the time of the year in which we make this trip-expedition, so we will give specific instructions depending on the departures. However, it should be considered that the tundra is an open territory. The clothes must allow to face diverse meteorological situations (sensation of heat, cold, rain, wind…) it is recommended that they can be put on and removed by layers. Good mid-mountain boot type shoes. Waterproof boots are better to buy in the city, they are cheap and excellent. Wool hat, buff and gloves.

To observe the fauna it is recommended to carry binoculars, the size of which may vary depending on the needs of each one. The 8x30mm or 7-10x50mm models are ideal. The heavier the more need for a tripod (which can be the same as the camera). A backpack for picnics, water bottle or thermos and personal items, easy to handle. Sunglasses. The organization will provide maps of the area and complementary information. Any personal medication is better to bring from home. The mosquito (summer) always comes in handy. Try to minimize weight. In this type of travel, multipurpose clothing is the best. Protection against rain and wind indispensable.

The specialist guides will carry different observation material, binoculars, weather station, GPS and dossiers over the territory. They will be available to all participants. They will hold various technical sessions and colloquiums on the highlights of the trip-expedition.

Try to minimize weight. In this type of travel, multipurpose clothing is the best. Protection against rain and wind indispensable.

SERVICES INCLUDED: Local accompanying guide exclusively for the group. Flights Vehicle and transfers indicated. Accommodation. All the foods. Entrances and visits to historical and natural monuments. Basic travel assistance insurance.

ANY SERVICE NOT INDICATED IN THIS SECTION, WILL BE CONSIDERED AS A SERVICE NOT INCLUDED

IMPORTANT: Depending on the nationality, a visa to enter Russia and a passport valid for at least 6 months after the return date will be required

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