Russia is the worlds biggest country, and it has probably the biggest unexplored territories in the world. The Siberia is covering almost all of north-eastern Asia. It extends eastward from Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and southward from the Arctic Ocean to the hills of north-central Kazakhstan and borders of China and Mongolia. The Siberia has an area 13.1 million km² (5.1 million square miles). With area that big and people density about three people to the square kilometer Siberia is the ultimate destination for adventure travelers that want to explore uncharted territories.
The Ural Mountains are the easiest destination. They are divided in Polar Urals, Northern Urals, Middle Urals and Southern Urals. The Southern Urals are well populated and popular amongst tourists. The moderately high Ural Mountains (failing to top 2000 m anywhere) offer a lot of opportunities – hiking, rafting, spelunking and others. Because traveling independently to the Ural Mountains includes a lot of self preparation and can be difficult they are not very popular amongst foreigners. However there are few agencies in Yekaterinburg who are organizing trips to Ural Mountains.
The Greater Altai is probably the most popular travel destination in Siberia. It has to offer everything – from snow covered mountain tops to almost 7000 lakes. The Greater Altai also hosts Mt. Belukha (4056 m) which is Siberia’s highest mountain. Like other destinations in Siberia traveling in the Altai requires a lot of preparation and considerable self-sufficiency. There are some tour agencies in Novosibirsk and Barnaul that can help with arranging your trip.
There are almost endless destinations in Siberia for adventure travelers, but for foreigners they can be very difficult to reach, because such trips require a lot of self preparation and there are very few agencies that are organizing such expeditions. When traveling independently it is very important to carefully plan your trip. The knowledge of Russian language will help a lot, because there are not so many people that speak foreign languages there. Some territories in Siberia require special permits, so you should get those. When traveling in summer especially in the Russian taiga or along rivers don’t forget mosquito repellent. One thing that you should always take with you is a GPS receiver and maps of your location or else you will get lost easily.
Although travel in Siberia can be very difficult, it is also very rewarding, because this still is one of the wildest regions of Earth.