4 Day Nenets Winter Homestay Trip

A Nenets boy dressed in traditional reindeer skin clothing runs through the snow outside a chum

Are you coming to Russia to travel on the Trans-Siberian Railway? Take a few additional days for Russian Arctic Travel’s Nenets Trip – an incredibly unique experience in Siberia. With a flight time of under 3 hours from Moscow, this is a perfect opportunity for you to come to Yamal and experience the adventure of life with the Nenets. 

These indigenous Siberian people continue the traditions of their ancestors, spending a lot of the year herding their reindeer through the arctic. Although life for the Nenets has become more modern, they still follow their ancient migratory routes. There’s no better way to round off your Trans-Siberian holiday than by staying with the people who call Siberia home.

Start your trip in Salekhard before being taken by our expert guides to a nearby Nenets camp. You’ll spend 3 nights living with the nomads, which really gives you the chance to experience what it takes to live in this extreme environment. You’ll share meals with the Nenets and sleeping in their chums at night. No matter the season, we’re sure that you’ll leave this magical place desperate to return.

This trip runs from December to May.
Contact us via email or phone if your preferred dates are unavailable.

a nenets boy plays in the snow during Russian Arctic Travel's winter Nenets trip

Nenets Winter Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Moscow to Nenets Camp 

Arrive at Salekhard airport on an early morning flight and transfer to our staging point in a nearby village. We’ll have an arrival briefing to ensure you know what to expect in the days to come. Russian Arctic Travel’s local guides will check that your gear is suitable for the weather conditions you’re likely to experience. In the winter we have excellent cold-weather gear available to rent, ensuring that you don’t need to add weight to your suitcases!

Once we’ve loaded up the vehicles we’ll head out to the Nenets camp in the remote tundra. Upon arrival, we’ll be welcomed by our host family for the next few days and then join them for dinner.

All meals are included during our stay here and represent traditional Nenets food. Meals will be simple and are likely to include fish or reindeer meat. Stoves are used for heating and in the winter, blocks of ice are melted for our morning cup of tea!

Accommodation will be in the chums (traditional tent made of reindeer skins and felt) of the Nenets and is basic, with pit toilets. Before turning in for the night in the chum we’ll keep our fingers crossed to see a display of the Northern Lights.

Accommodation: Nenets homestay

Meals: L/D included

Day 2 – Nenets Camp

Life with the Nenets. We’ll have plenty of time to observe the traditional way of life of the Nenets and the amazing ways that they cope with this harsh environment. You’ll have plenty of chances to participate in the daily running of the camp. Help to chop firewood, learn about Nenets cooking, how to make reindeer-skin clothing, wooden sledges, and other essentials for polar life. 

The Nenets homestay accommodation

Depending on the time of year, the reindeer may be located next to the campsite, in which case you’ll have a wonderful opportunity to interact with these sweet animals. If you’re a dog lover then you’ll love meeting the Nenets Herding Laika dogs who have been specially bred to herd reindeer. We’ll eat with the Nenets again and sleep in the chum tonight.

Accommodation: Nenets chum

Meals: B/L/D included 

Day 3 – Nenets Camp to Salekhard

This morning we’ll have breakfast with the family before starting to pack our gear. We aim to depart the camp around lunchtime in order to make it back to our staging point in the late afternoon. We’ll transfer to Salekhard where you’ll check into your hotel for the night.

You have the option to enjoy a banya in the city before the farewell dinner this evening.

Accommodation: hotel in Salekhard (twin-share)

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 4 – Salekhard to Moscow

After breakfast today we’ll transfer you to the airport so that you can catch your flight back to Moscow to resume your Trans-Siberian railway journey!

A nenets man rides his reindeer sledge through the Russian Arctic, chased by his dog

Please note: We are very happy to extend this trip for you if you would like an additional night with the Nenets or in Salekhard, one of the only cities in the world located on the Arctic Circle.

Included

  • Accommodation: 1 night in Salekhard hotel (twin-share), 2 nights homestay with the Nenets
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Russian Arctic Travel English-speaking guide
  • All transfers in Salekhard
  • Vehicles/snowmobiles and fuel on expedition
  • Arctic safety/security equipment
  • Permits and visa invitation documents
  • Return flights from Moscow to Salekhard

Not included

  • Personal expenses such as drinks, tickets, phone calls, etc.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Individual clothing, backpack, cold-weather clothing (contact us for advice – rental of clothing is possible)
  • Banya in Salekhard
The Nenets homestay in winter

Note: The final route and activities may vary slightly, as the weather can be unpredictable here in Yamal. Your guide may need to adapt the program depending on the group, prevailing conditions and available options at the time. During the expedition the cooperation of all participants will be crucial – you‘re always welcome to lend a hand.

Other important information

  • Please be aware that you are visiting this nomadic family in their home and this is a very personal space for them. The guides will inform you of any specific considerations or taboos that you need to be aware of.
  • Alcohol is strictly prohibited during the whole stay with the Nenets family
  • The Nenets might move their camp at any time, so we will only know the exact location of our homestay just before departure
  • Accommodation in the chums is on a sharing base. Depending on the group’s size there might be a chum available for the group only
  • Using drones above the reindeer herds is prohibited

Fitness and dietary requirements

  • A basic level of fitness will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip, but no special training is required
  • Dietary requirements should be discussed prior but can usually be catered for

Recommendations for Clothing and Equipment

  • Will be sent at the time of booking

Visa Information

  • Russian Arctic Travel will provide visa invitation documents for you to apply for your Russian visa overseas

Price is based on double occupancy: a single supplement of €200 will apply if you are a single traveller and are not happy to share a twin room.