Siberia’s seven wonders: The region’s most astounding places to visit

First parts  are published in #83 and #86


  1. Ergaki National Park (Photo credit: Lori/Legion-Media)
    Where:Krasnoyarsk Territory, Western Sayan Mountains
    Why you should see it: This national park, located in the area of the Ergaki Mountain Range, is visited by travelers of the most varied places: from the nearby village of Shushenskoye and from the Czech Republic, from Novosibirsk and Moscow. The truth of the matter is that this mountainous and taiga-forested region is also one of the most compact, accessible and beautiful ones in Siberia. Both families with adolescents and professional mountaineers and lovers of mountain hiking go to Ergaki to admire the waterfalls, eat blueberries and bilberries, roast pine cones over a fire, bathe in its icy lakes and climb to the mountain tops to admire the vistas of the grandiose Sayan and the thick taiga below.

  1. Putorana Plateau (Photo credit: Sergei Gorshkov for RBTH)
    Where:Krasnoyarsk Territory, Central Siberian Plateau
    Why you should see it: It may seem that given the development of communications and transport, that even in Siberia there would be no more distant, difficult-to-reach and untrodden places left. Yet vast areas of uninhabited wilderness here have remained intact. The Putorana Plateauin the Far North, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage monument, is a large mountainous tract where Peter Jackson could have shot his futuristic fantasy films. There are numerous gorges and valleys, but the area is famous most of all as “the land of 10,000 lakes and 1,000 waterfalls. There is no place in Russia with such a concentrated quantity of waterfalls and Lake Vivi can also be found here, also known as the geographical center of Russia. Visiting Putorana is like waking up on an unknown planet.

  1. Tomsk (Photo credit: Alamy/Legion-Media)
    Where: Tomsk Region
    Why you should see it: In Siberia there are many towns where wooden architecture has survived, but it is in Tomsk that you can find the peculiar essence of old—the spirit of the Siberian province and simplicity. Shishkov’s mansion, the wonderful grounds of Siberia’s oldest house of learning—Tomsk State University, the fabulous “House with the Firebirds”and perhaps most famous are the patterned casings of the windows. You should go to Tomsk if you’re searching for the masterpieces of Russian wooden architecture and examples of Siberian Baroque and Art Nouveau. But don’t forget to try Siberia’s best “bliny” (pancakes) and “pelmeny” (dumplings) and experience its youthful atmosphere: one in five residents here is a student.

  1. Trans-Siberian Railway (Photo credit: Anton Petrov for RBTH)
    Where:Moscow – Vladivostok
    Why you should see it: The historical name of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway is “The Great Siberian Route,” and this railway has always been associated with Siberia. Russia’s European part is joined with the harsh Ural Mountains and Siberia and the Far East by 9,289 kilometers of rails—there is no railroad longer than it in the whole world. After a weeklong trip along the Trans-Siberian Railway you will come to know the national mentality and witness Russia’s diverse landscapes and city views from the window. You will get to try the smoked omul fish from the stations in the Irkutsk region and witness the unforgettable scenery of Lake Baikal. You will pass through various underground tunnels en route to the highest spot on the route, Yablonovy Pass, in the Trans-Baikal region. Along the way you will meet travelers from far and near. Foreigners and native Russians should all get onboard the Trans-Siberian Railway to better get to know the world’s largest country.