Arctic Russia 'Ends Of The Earth' Expedition : 7th August 2013 - 11 Days


Arctic Russia is simply like no where else on earth, so expect everything on this amazing tour!

This is the place you’ve dreamt about every time you went green-laning, this is what every modification you ever put on your truck is for... it’s Europe’s last true wilderness and is pure off-roading heaven! For the 11 days you’ll tackle every type of off-road terrain imaginable; mud, rocks, sand, log bridges, river crossings, routes that take you into the sea, two full days, 180km, without seeing a spot of tarmac ... maybe even some snow!

The photos in the Past Tours galleries tell the story, but join us on the Ends of the Earth Expedition and live the dream for yourself!!

   

We start on muddy forest tracks where broken bridges mean that we have to make a detour into the sea, an hour long beach drive, out to a shipwreck, through sand dunes to half deserted villages. Then it’s a 100km drive north into the endless forest, through mud, rivers, overflowing bogs and not a sign of civilisation in all that way. We’ll stay in an ’unofficial’ village of a dozen wooden houses before another 80km the next day, with a huge river crossing at the end of it.
Then we head into the ancient, brooding Khibiny mountains, rock-crawling to the top over a lunar landscape to park at the edge of a sheer 200m cliff. If the road up the pass is blocked by snow drifts we’ll make a detour up the river before tackling a route known locally as the River Road which is exactly as its name suggests, 50km of bonnet high wading ... One last night in a nice hotel and then it’s something special ... something that other off-roaders only dream about ... three days deep in the forest. Totally self-sufficient. Camping wild. Gathering firewood. Fishing for our dinner. Proving our claim that this truly is the ultimate off-roading expedition!

Sounds too much to believe? Just look at the Past Tours galleries for the expeditions we’ve been running since 2006.


     


This is not a rough wilderness camping trip, spending every night in a tent in the woods, it is a cultural as well an off-roading tour. We will be staying in a wide variety of accommodation; a couple of hotels, log cabins on the White Sea shore, an amazing traditional turf-covered Sami dome house, a large wooden lodge in the forest, and four nights wild camping out in the pristine wilderness. But please don’t expect to have 5* luxury every night. The places we stay are basic but cosy! Out of the first town there are no houses with drainage, electricity or running water, so you will go a couple of days without a shower.

We’ll have leisurely lunch stops where we’ll build a fire in the woods and will have excursions to things like a traditional native Pomor welcoming ceremony, a Mesolithic stone monument, a Stalinist labour camp, an amethyst mine, off shore shipwreck and the Russian version of the Arctic Circle visitor center…

   


Many people wonder if their vehicles are capable enough for this tour or worry that the routes will cause damage, but although this is a very rough tour with many challenging trails, vehicles do not have to be tricked-up to the hilt. Most standard 4x4s will cope fine with everything that we come across, as you can see if you look through the Past Tours galleries from our previous tours, we’ve had L200s, a 130 Camper, as well as a new Nissan Navara and they all coped fine. All the driving is slow and controlled and you will have the full attention of the guides on the trip. Each day we will give you detailed descriptions of the coming routes and if you are not happy to tackle the route we will find you an easier alternative.

Getting There

It’s not as hard to drive to Russia as you might think, in fact you can get there quite easily in just three days. There are ferries from Germany or Sweden to Finland which cut out a lot of driving miles and when you factor in 2 nights accommodation and the savings on fuel, you'll see it's actually quite cost effective.
Also, for those not too into road-trips Ryanair have flights to from London Stansted and Edinburgh to Tampere in Finland, just fours hours drive from the meeting point in Rovaniemi on the arctic circle.



   


Fly-Drive Option

If you want to be part of one of the ultimate off-roading tours but don't have time for the 3-day drive there and back, or don't think you have a capable enough 4x4 then you can fly out and have a seat in the 'bus', an army troop carrier which has absolutely astounding off-road capabilities and with teh aircarft seats in the back is really comfotable to travel in!!
What's more, the costs are the same per person as coming in your own vehicle!!
For more details, please contact us.



Vehicle Preparation & Equipment Needed

There is no real minimum requirements for our tours, we just recommend certain measures to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible.
Both long-distance driving and off-roading are considered hard driving conditions for your vehicle so we recommend that you give your vehicle a comprehensive service before you leave, as if it is not in tip top condition 10 days of off-roading is not going to make it any better. You should also consider what spares you’d be happy carrying as parts are certainly not readily available in this part of the world. A basic tool kit is also well recommended.
Road tyres WILL NOT be sufficient for the conditions. You need A/Ts as a minimum. If you want, and if your route permits it you can drive up to the meeting point in Roveneimi, Finland, leave your road tyres there and then swap them back when you pass through here on your way back. There are lots of rocks and logs lurking in the mud, so consider some sort of steering / diff protection. You WILL need recovery points, front and rear, and if your vehicle has a small tank or is thirsty then you’ll need a couple of jerrycans as sometimes we will be 2 days away from a fuel station. We can carry them in the support truck if you’d rather not travel with fuel containers in your own vehicle. We will supply all of your drinking water and food, including lunch and snacks, and it will all be carried in the ‘bus’ so you don't really need to stock up or reserve space for storage.
For driving through Europe you will need a first aid kit, a warning triangle, and a small fire extinguisher. In the event of a large mechanical failure we will do our best to get you to a garage or can tow you to the border. This is not exactly an official service, but it goes without saying that of course we’ll try and help as much as possible, however we can.

Prices

Because of the fluctuating exchange rates of this present economical situation, the prices for this tour are given in Euros. EUR 1488 per person.
Price includes…
•Fully guided and supported 11-day off-road tour of Arctic Russia. (1 day is getting you across the border and the last is sight-seeing and souvenir buying in Murmansk and crossing back into Finland or Norway, so 9 full days of off-roading.)
•Full board!! All accommodation and 3 meals prepared for you a day, for the 9 days.
•Full-time escort, guide and translator all the way from the meeting point in Finland and all through the tour.
•We’ll provide you with your visa invitation and will give you as much help with you visa as you need. (It’s not as hard as you might think)
•We'll arrange your Russian car insurance for you, for no extra cost. Please contact us for details.
•All the taxes, charges and permits for travelling through military and controlled zones. (No extra charges or 'options')
•All the pre-trip advice you need.

What is not included: Your fuel, your travel costs to Russia, travel and vehicle insurance, and your food and accommodation on the way to and from the tour.


       


One thing we ask you to understand is that this is Russia, and the level of bureaucracy just to get into the country is incredible. The requirements for entry have changed about 7 times since we started running tours here, so now, rather than coming back to you, asking you for more information, we will get all of your personal details like passport numbers, place of work and all of your vehicles’ details and hold them on file. We get your visa invitations, your vehicle insurance and also your permits to enter the restricted zones as part of the service, which is why we need all of this info.

Before you book, please look at our Disclaimer and Preparation pages to see what our prices do and do not include and what preparation is necessary for you and your vehicle.