Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug (KhMAO), historically known as Yugra, is geographically located in Western Siberia, but is part of the Ural Federal Okrug. There is everything for an unforgettable and eventful vacation: historical and cultural monuments, unique natural resources. Connoisseurs of northern landscapes and local cultural traditions will have the opportunity to fully enjoy the incomparable landscapes and hospitality of the local people.
History of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug
The first people appeared in these parts during the Paleolithic period, about 10-12 thousand years ago. For a long time, distant lands served as a shelter only for small peoples of the Ugric group, traditionally engaged in hunting and reindeer herding. In the 16th century, the Cossacks came to Ugra and annexed this region to Russia. For the next several centuries, life flowed here quietly, nothing remarkable happened. But about 70 years ago, everything changed - oil and gas were discovered in the local bowels. Ancient Yugra is of great importance for modern Russia, since it is here that most of the Russian oil is extracted.
The languages of the region's indigenous peoples - Khanty and Mansi - are very close to modern Hungarian. It is believed that the Hungarians came to Europe from here.
Climate in Khanty-Mansiysk
The climate here is real Siberian, with long cold winters and short (at the same time rather warm) summers. A peculiarity of the climate can be called the variability of the weather: often there are strong changes in temperature (this happens especially often in spring and autumn). The nature of the district is remarkable for its amazing beauty - many rivers and lakes, taiga, a variety of flora and fauna.
What to see in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug
The Khanty-Mansiysk District cannot yet be called a popular tourist destination, but the situation is gradually changing. This is facilitated by good transport accessibility (the presence of several modern airports, railways and roads), as well as rich tourism potential. The most beautiful northern nature, the cultural heritage of the indigenous peoples, the ancient history of the region attract more and more visitors every year. Such areas as industrial (here you can see with your own eyes how oil is extracted) and sports (the Winter Sports Center in Khanty-Mansiysk is a world-famous venue for high-level competitions) tourism are actively developing.
Khanty-Mansiysk is the main city of the region with a population of 95 thousand people. It is known as one of the largest sports centers in Russia - it hosts numerous skiing and biathlon competitions. Among the main attractions are the Museum of Nature and Man (its branch is the Archeopark with sculptures of mammoths and other extinct animals), the Museum of Geology, Oil and Gas, Torum Maa (an open-air ethnographic camp at the confluence of the Ob and Irtysh rivers). Not far from the city, you can visit Tundrino (an old Russian village of the 19th century) and Lyantor (a Khanty village on the Pim River with a museum and an ethnopark, where the Khanty live, observing their usual way of life).
One of the richest cities in Russia is Nizhnevartovsk, which is often called the "oil capital" of the country. This is a very young city, oil and gas production began in this area only in the 70s of the XX century.
Surgut is the largest and oldest city in the region. Founded in 1594, today it is one of the largest oil and gas production centers in the country. It is located about 250 km east of Khanty-Mansiysk and can be reached by plane (from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Samara, etc.) or by train from Tyumen and Nizhnevartovsk. Among the tourist attractions of the ancient city are the art museum, the historical and cultural center "Old Surgut".
The small town of Berezovo is known as a place of exile for many famous Russians - Prince Alexander Menshikov, many Decembrists and even Leon Trotsky were in exile here.
Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug is the venue for various festivals, including the Spirit of Fire Film Festival and the Samotlor Nights Festival of Arts, Labor and Sports in Nizhnevartovsk.
What souvenir to bring from the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug
Fish (especially muksun) and reindeer dishes are considered the main local delicacies. The most popular souvenirs are traditional products made of fur, wood, beads, pine nuts, muksun. Many tourists take away oil bubbles in the form of fridge magnets as a keepsake.