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The River Sob, north of Kharp

Yamalia (Russian: Яма́ло-Нене́цкий автоно́мный о́круг yuh-MAH-luh nee-NYEHT-skee uhf-tah-NOHM-nee OH-krook) is the northernmost region in Russia's Urals Region and is home to Russia's most important natural gas deposits as well as large West Siberian oilfields. Located in the middle of Russia's Arctic Ocean coast, Yamalia is about as remote a destination as one could possibly choose and is rarely visited by anyone except those on oil and gas business.



  • Salekhard — the administrative center and the only town in the world located directly on the Polar circle
  • Gubkinskii
  • Kharp
  • Labytnangi
  • Muravlenko
  • Nadym
  • Novy Urengoy — the largest town in the region and the last stop on the Tyumen-Novy Urengoy railway
  • Noyabrsk — few good reasons to visit this oilfield city (which is the second largest in the region), unless you are there on oil business
  • Tarko-Sale — for those looking to vacation in the exact middle of nowhere, this small town boasts a modest museum of local lore

Other destinations[edit]

  • Gydansky Nature Reserve — you will be confronted with neither long lines nor touts at this wilderness preserve located in the Arctic tundra of Yamalia's northeastern most bay on the Kara Sea. The nearest inhabited place is Gyda.
  • Verkhne-Tazovskii Nature Reserve


Despite looking much like an ahistorical barren land of interest only for its natural gas and oil reserves, Yamalia was the site of some of the most interesting conflicts of Russia's Siberian expansion. Prior to conquest by Yermak Timofeyich (who was killed in the process), Yamalia was known as the Khanate of Sibir, led by the energetic Tatar Khan Kumuch, who mounted fierce resistance to Russian expansion and attempted to convert (and thereby unify against the Cossacks) his diverse people of Siberian Tatars, Khanti, Mansi, Nenets, Yamals, and Selkups to Islam. In the wake of the region's conquest, colonists established the first Russian settlement of the region, Salekhard, in 1595.


Get in[edit]

Novy Urengoy is at the end of the rail line from Tyumen, which passes through Surgut.

Salekhard, Novy Urengoy, and Nadym each have airports, which service flights to/from Moscow, Tyumen, and Yamburg, Nenetsia. while Novy Urengoy's airport has flights to/from Moscow, Tyumen, and Ufa. Noyabrsk's airport has some flights to/from Moscow.

Get around[edit]

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Stay safe[edit]

The bigger gas and oil towns have significant drug-related crime and visitors should be wary.

Get out[edit]

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