Legends of Siberia

 (Krasnoyarsk / The Nature Preserve 'Stolby' / Yeniseysk / Lesosibirsk / Kasnoyarsk)

6 Days / 5 .Nights



Siberia – usually thought of by outsiders as the land of extremely harsh conditions, exiles and prisoners on one hand, on the other hand as the land of endless opportunities and fabulous wealth. The truth lies as usual in between. Vast, endless, sparsely populated landmass in the North-East of the Eurasian continent is in fact one of the world's biggest wildlife reserves as well as the enormous source of natural resources. It constitutes ¾ of the Russian territory but only ¼ of her population live there.

The recorded history of Siberia started in 1581, when Russian Cossacks, commanded by Yermak, broke through the Tatar state of Siberian Khanate successor of the Golden Horde and entered vast domain of Siberia proper. The colonization of Siberia in many ways similar to the American run for Wild West, was done by pioneers and free enterprising traders as well as by the soldiers and exiles. In the Russian case it was the Fur Rush, rather then Golden Rush that attracted large numbers of adventurers. Great modern change to Siberia was the Trans-Siberian railway, constructed in 1891–1916. It linked Siberia more closely to the rapidly-industrializing Russia of Nicholas II. Millions of peasants moved to Siberia at that time looking for better life and land.

The reign of Stalin sent millions of prisoners of GULAG to Siberia. Following the outbreak of the WWII many industrial factories from European part of USSR with their personnel evacuated from advancing German troops. In the post war time it gave initial stimulus to development in Siberia modern industries and scientific centres. Akademgorodok near Novosibirsk became model Soviet scientist's settlement and a refuge of free thinkers and libertarians.


Krasnoyarsk is one of the oldest and biggest of the Siberian cities, founded by the Cossacks comander Andrey Dubenskoy in 1628, and for 100 years Krasnoyarsk used to be the Russian frontier advanced post. During its existence it has never been conquered. When Siberia was finally joined to Russia in 1690 the fortress officially received the status of a town. The extension of the Great Siberian Post Road in 1735 stimulated further development of the town. The construction of the Trans-Siberian Railroad in 1895 turned it into a big industrial center. The city is situated on the banks of the deep water powerful Yenisey River that is a symbolic border between the Western and the Eastern Siberias. The city, with the current population around 1 million, stretches for 18 km along the left bank of Yenisey and for 25 km along the right one. The original symbol of Krasnoyarsk is a Chapel of the Saint Veil (Paraskeva Pyatnitsa) built in 1855 on top of the sentry hill that can be seen from everywhere in the city. The breathtaking panoramic view of Krasnoyarsk with its gold church cupolas and crosses surrounded by picturesque rocks covered with conifers can be enjoyed from this hill. In the past prisoners condemned to penal servitude or to exile were sent to this area - among them old believers, Decembrists, revolutionaries, art workers.

The famous Russian artist Surikov, along with a number of other famous people, was born in the city.

The town of Divnogorsk is situated within 40 km southeast of Krasnoyarsk. It originated as a settlement built for the constructors of the Krasnoyarskaya Hydro Power Station in 1957. The fabulously picturesque Sayan Mountains account for the name of the town - Divnogorsk means ‘wonderful mountains’. The town was designed as a staircase with the steps formed by green terraces descending to the Yenisey bank.

The modern town is one of the most picturesque towns known for its impeccable ecology. The construction of the Power Station began in 1959, and completed by 1971. The assembly of the Hydro Station includes the dam, the building of the Station and the unique sloping ship elevators. This Station produces 6 mln kw, and is the 2nd powerful station of the country. The height of the dam is 124 m, the large water reservoir is 380 km long, and occupies 2000 sq.m.

The village Ovsyanka situated between Krasnoyarsk and Divnogorsk, on the right bank of Yenisey, was founded in 1671. Victor Astafiev, the writer, was born in this village. It was him who initiated building the library and the church of the St. Innocent of Irkutsk here.

The State Nature Preserve “Stolby” (the Pillars) founded in 1925 is situated within 3 km southwest of Krasnoyarsk, on the right bank of Yenisey. The 80 groups of gigantic pillars formed during million years by winds and rains stretch for 34 km; some pillars are over 100 m high. The reserve for fishing is situated within 3 hours drive from Krasnoyarsk, in the confluence of Angara and Yenisey. There are a 2-storey wooden cottage, 3 summerhouses, a Russian bath, and everything a fisherman needs for a rich catch.

Yeniseysk was founded as a jail by Cossacks in 1619. The waterway from the River Ob towards Lake Baikal was the main trade way for many years. Yeniseysk being in the middle of this way was growing quickly, and became the base for Cossacks who conquered the Northern, Southern and Eastern areas of Siberia for Russia. Yeniseysk is a historical preserve town, as numerous original buildings are protected by the State. In the beginning of the 18th century a few scientific expeditions arrived at Yeniseysk for research work and investigation of the Siberian Northern and Eastern territories. In the 19th century the discovery of the golden lodes in taiga around the town attracted lots of gold miners, manufacturers and merchants that served to further growth of the town, and to the development of its economics and culture.

Lesosibirsk is situated southwest of the plateau beyond the River Angara, on the left bank of Yenisey, within 300 km from Krasnoyarsk. It is the center of the timber industry with about 30 wood processing enterprises. The highlight of this town is the Cathedral of the Holy Cross built of red bricks. This is the only church in Siberia with 30 cupolas 63 m high.

The program of the tour:


Arrival in Krasnoyarsk, transfer to the hotel, check-in,  breakfast, time at leisure;
13:00 – lunch at the hotel;
14:00 – general sightseeing tour of the city including a visit to the Museum of the Local Lore; trip to Divnogorsk via Ovsyanka village towards the Krasnoyarskaya Hydro Power Station; return to the hotel;
at 19:00 folklore show artists welcome the guests with vodka, bread and salt according to the Russian traditions; folklore concert, the guests are offered to play the folk music instruments; tour of the art saloon “Diana” to see the collection of the artistic objects made by local craftsmen of birch bark, wood, stone, mammoth tusk, antlers, paintings by local artists;
at 20:30 – dinner at the hotel.

Day 2

from 10:00 to 15:00 – excursion to the Nature Preserve “Stolby”.
At 15:00 – lunch in a café in the Preserve area;
at 17:00 – return to the hotel; at 18:00 – visit to the opera theater; 21:00 – dinner at the hotel.


Day 3

From 08:00 to 09:00 – breakfast, trip to the Fishing reserve;
13:00 - arrival, check-in;
13:30 – lunch;
15:00 to 16:00 – lecture and discussions about Siberia;
16:15 - a stroll in the woods, boating, fishing, Russian bath;
19:00 – dinner;
20:00 – meeting with local people, folk songs and dances.


Day 4

08:00-09:00 – breakfast;
09:00-10:00 – transfer to Yeniseysk, sightseeing tour of the town including a visit to the Iberian Nunnery, to the Friary of the Saint Savior, and to the Assumption Church;
13:00-14:00 – lunch in Yeniseysk;
14:00-17:00 - trip to Lesosibirsk, sightseeing tour of the town, a visit to the Timber Museum, Exhibition Hall, and to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross;
17:00 – return to the Fishing Reserve;
19:00 – dinner.


Day 5

08:00-09:00 – breakfast; all day in the village of the old believers.


Day 6

08:00-09:00 – breakfast;
09:00-12:00 – transfer to Krasnoyarsk;
13:00 – lunch in a café downtown;
transfer to the airport (rail station).


The truly interested travelers are invited to proceed to the North of the Krasnoyarsk area – Evenkiya and Taimyr.

The price of the tour is quoted by request.