Trans-Siberian Winter Tours
To the surprise of some the winter months from December to February can be some of the best in which to make a Trans-Siberian rail trip. Much of Russia looks at it’s best under a beautiful blanket of snow and as the winters are so long the culture and activities available are well established and designed to make the best of this season.
Will it be cold? Well, yes, very! However, it is rarely a cold that the right clothing can’t deal with and the trains and hotels are are snug and warm! The weather rarely if ever holds up the train and usually in the period after New Year the climate is settled with clear skies much of the time.
Winter travel will also get you closer to the Russians themselves as there are far fewer tourists and a certain appreciation that you are choosing to visit at this time.
All of us at The Trans-Siberian Travel Company look forward to assisting you with your winter trip!
The Top Winter Trans-Siberian Tour Destinations
The Trans-Siberian offers up some superb winter experiences with the highlights found in the main destinations below. The train travel itself is also very special in the winter months with nothing more cosy than sitting in your warm cabin watching the frozen winter landscape of Siberia pass by!
Ekaterinburg's Winter Activities
This stopover offers a wide range of winter activities from ice fishing to dog sledging making it an excellent winter stop. Our favourite is the sledging which makes for an unforgettable day with these extraordinarily tough and beautiful dogs. Ekaterinburg itself has a small ice festival and the forests outside are a delight to walk through. There is also the option of skiing in the Ural mountains which is sure to stop anyone waxing lyrical about their trip to the Alps!
Irkutsk & Frozen Lake Baikal
By January Lake Baikal has frozen over and venturing out on to the ice is a wonderful experience. The ice is exceptionally clear and don’t worry about it’s thickness as temporary roads are made across the lake. In fact, the Trans-Siberian originally ran across the lake in winter. It is possible to mountain bike on the frozen lake and there are also opportunities to snow mobile and go dog sledging. Irkutsk and Baikal can be fitted into any Trans-Siberian tour.
Mongolia Frozen in Time
Perhaps the most magical winter experience we have had is a night in a Mongolian ger out on the frozen steppe. The traditional accommodation of the nomads are well designed for winter with insulation so good it is not unheard of to have to open the door to cool them down! For the truly fearless of the cold there is also the Lake Khuvsgul Ice festival held in late February. At least 1 night in a ger is an essential Trans-Mongolian experience.
Harbin & the Ice Festival
The Chinese in Harbin take the concept of ice festivals to a whole new and vast dimension. The Harbin Snow and Ice Festival runs each year from early January to mid-February and we think this is one of China’s most spectacular yet largely unsung events. Each year has a theme and near life size replicas of Russian cathedrals, Chinese temples and a whole host of iconic world sights are built and lit up. Harbin is conveniently along the Trans-Manchurian line.