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Saami Village Christmas and New Year Experience with St Petersburg

Overview

Looking for an adventure like no other this Christmas? Then look no further! From cosy campfires to reindeer sledge rides, this Saami Christmas and New Year experience is the perfect festive get-away for you and the family. Start your experience in the enigmatic city of St Petersburg before heading North to discover the customs of the Saami people through festive dance, games and banquets. If you are looking for a unique culture-packed Christmas away from home, then this is the tour for you. This 12-day experience offers a variety of activities including several days in the city of St Petersburg, Komi folk performances, a visit to a Christmas fair, and plenty of time to relax by the campfire. 

  • Komi folk ensemble performance

  • Riding a reindeer sled across the frozen lakes

  • Time to relax in a Russian sauna

  • Visit to the local ethnographic museum

  • Visiting the local Christmas fair

  • Guided tour of Catherine Palace

  • Visit to the Hermitage Museum

  • Stroll around Pavlovsk Park

Itinerary

St Petersburg

The pinnacle of art and culture in Russia, St Petersburg, is one of the country’s most visited destinations and former capital city. Nicknamed the ‘Venice of the North’ due to its elaborate system of canals, the city lies on the Neva River. It is popular with tourists and includes several of Russia’s most famous attractions including the Hermitage Museum, Catherine Palace and the Peterhof.

Day 1

Arrival in St Petersburg

After arriving in St Petersburg, your driver will take you to your hotel where you will check-in and have some free time to rest and relax.

  • Arrival Transfer

  • Free Time

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • Souvenir Shopping

Day 2

Walking tour of the State Hermitage Museum

After breakfast, you will begin your day by meeting your guide and driver in the hotel lobby where you will embark on a city tour by car, taking in the most spectacular sights found in Russia’s second city.

  • Breakfast & Lunch

  • Expert Guide

  • Hermitage Museum

  • Winter Palace

  • City Tour by car

  • Free Time

  • Souvenir Shopping

  • Scenic Surrounds

Day 3

Guided tour of the Catherine Palace and Amber Room

Today you will enjoy a spectacular guided tour of one of St Petersburg’s most well-known attractions, the Catherine Palace along with its famous Amber Room.

  • Breakfast & Lunch

  • Expert Guide

  • Catherine Palace

  • Fast Track Admission

  • Amber Room

  • Faberge Museum

  • Free Time

  • Souvenir Shopping

Day 4

Visit to Pavlovsk

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast followed by a full morning of free time to explore the city as you see fit. In the afternoon, you will meet up with your guide and driver for the trip to the Pavlovsk Imperial Residence. While in Pavlovsk, you will be shown around the palace of Emperor Paul I, the only legitimate son of Empress Catherine the Great.

  • Breakfast

  • Free Time

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • Souvenir Shopping

  • Expert Guide

  • Pavlovsk Palace and Garden

  • Optional Extras

Day 5

Train to Murmansk

After breakfast, you will check out of your hotel in St Petersburg and meet your driver for the transfer to the train station. You will arrive at the station in plenty of time to catch the 10:00am train to Murmansk.

  • Breakfast

  • Departure Transfer

  • Day on the Train

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

Travel to

Murmansk

The most Northern city in the Russian Federation, Murmansk has a long history as a naval port strategically located on the Kola Peninsula. Murmansk is primarily an industrial city, however growing interest in major tourist attractions such as the Northern Lights and better transport links between St Petersburg as well as to Norway and Finland are making the city an up-and-coming tourist destination.

Day 6

Arrival in Murmansk

Most of your day will be spent on the train heading for Murmansk. On arrival in the city, you will be taken to your hotel where you will check in and have some free time to relax or explore the city and stretch your legs.

  • Day on the Train

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • Arrival Transfer

  • Free Time

  • Optional Extras

Travel to

Krasnoshchelye village

A rural village settlement situated in Russia’s Northern Murmansk Oblast, Krasnoshchelye Village stands 157m above sea level beyond the Arctic circle, on the Kola Peninsula. The settlement is primarily home to the native Izhma Komi and Saami people and has a distinct culture from those of the nearby Russian settlements. The village is best known as the filming location of “The Tundra Race” by German director René Harder, which portrays the village and its inhabitants.

Day 7

Reindeer sled ride around Lovozero

After breakfast, your driver and guide will meet you at the hotel before setting off on the 2 ½ hour journey to Lovozero. Once you have arrived in Lovozero you will stop for lunch before changing into some warmer clothes for a sled ride pulled by a snowmobile to nearby Krasnoshchelye. On the lakes outside the village of Lovozero, we will stop near the Komi family chum where the hospitable Komi will offer you a ride on reindeer sleds.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Expert Guide

  • Snowmobile sled ride

  • Cultural Immersive Experience

  • Reindeer sled ride

  • Russian Banya

  • Food & Drink Experience

  • Star gazing around campfire

Day 8

Relaxation day in Krasnoyschelye village

After a leisurely breakfast, you will enjoy a relaxing stroll around the village where you will get to visit the local historical museum.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Free Time

  • Historical museum

  • Cultural Immersive Experience

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

Day 9

Ice fishing with the locals

After breakfast, you will head over to the nearby lakes for a spot of ice fishing, before learning how to build a national dwelling “Kuvaksa”, to make a campfire, and start a samovar. You will stop for lunch in the kuvaska where you will get to hear the stories of local fishermen.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Ice fishing

  • Kuvaksa building

  • Samovar

  • Cultural Immersive Experience

  • Food & Drink Experience

  • Sauna

Day 10

Visiting a local Komi village

After breakfast, you will visit the Orthodox School and Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov before enjoying some free time cross-country skiing in a nearby forest and stopping for a late lunch.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

  • Orthodox School

  • Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov

  • Free Time

  • Ethno-cultural centre

  • Komi folk ensemble

  • Souvenir Shopping

  • Food & Drink Experience

Day 11

Visiting the Saami Museum in Lovozero Village

After breakfast you will have time to pack up your belongings and get dressed up in your warm clothes before saying your goodbyes. Enjoy a final sled ride pulled by a snowmobile back to Lovozero village where you will get the chance to make a few stops to take any final photos along the way and get some lunch. After arriving in Lovozero Village, you will visit the local Saami Museum and have lunch before being transferred to Murmansk by minibus.

  • Breakfast & Lunch

  • Snowmobile sled ride

  • Prominent Landscape

  • Scenic Surrounds

  • Saami Museum

  • Free Time

  • Souvenir Shopping

Day 12

Departure from Murmansk

After breakfast, you will have time to pack up your belongings and get dressed up in your warm clothes before being transferred to the airport. You will be able to enjoy a short sightseeing tour before arriving at the airport where this tour will end.

  • Breakfast

  • Departure Transfer

Where you can stay

A hotel can be the make or break of any experience, and we understand that choosing the right hotel is important to our travellers. Check out our range of hotels ahead of time, and learn more about our standard 3-star options and the luxury 5-star upgrades that are available in the destinations you will be visiting.

Please note that the selection of hotels included here are examples of where you may stay on your tour, we will pick the best option for you based on your travel requirements.

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