Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area was founded in 1930. Nowadays its area amounts to 769 thousand sq.km; its population is 543 thousand persons, 7% are indigenous inhabitants, 13 thousand persons lead a roaming life. The time zone in the region has +2 hours difference with Moscow.
The administrative center is Salekhard, the only city in the Polar Circle. It was founded in 1595, but it officially became a city only in 1938. The distance between Salekhard and Moscow is about 2,000 km.
The larger part of the Region is located in the Polar Circle; the part is at the slope of the Urals. The Region includes the Yamal peninsula. The climate is cold. There are permafrost zones in the Region. The cold Kara Sea is nearby. Winter lasts for up to 8 months. In Arctic part, winter is frosty with snowstorms and fogs. Even in the southern part of the Region, summer does not last more than 100 days (maximum 68 days in the Arctic and Sub-arctic zones).
The local relief is represented by plain with tundra and forest-tundra. There are many lakes, rivers and swamps here. The Ob, the Nadym, the Taz are the greatest rivers in the Region. Besides, a part of the Artesian basin with the total area of 3 million sq. km underlies the Region.
The most northern in Russia Gydansky Reserve open since 2001 is located in the Area. Its area is 878 thousand ha and it includes the Yavai Peninsula, Oleny Island, Shokalsky Island, Pestsovy Island and others. The Reserve keeps migration routes of aquatic and semi-aquatic birds unaffected as well as the traditional culture of the Nenets and the Enets Peoples. A special permit is required to visit the Reserve. Unauthorized camps are prohibited. Scientific tourism is allowed for materials sampling.
Archeological monument «Ust-Poluysky» is located in Salekhard. Diggings of this ancient town helped the scientists to clarify some questions on formation of northern peoples and the history of sled reindeer breeding. The richest collection of ancient domestic and religious articles is gathered here. The major monument complex is dated II-I B.C.E. — III A.D.
Even if you are not fond of industrial landscapes, you should definitely visit the bridge in Yuribeya, the only in the world railway bridge in the Polar Circle. It is 4 km long. It was built in only 349 days, though the construction period was estimated at 4 years. The total weight of the bridge exceeds 3 thousand tons. The bridge is supported by 110 pillars, drilled into the permafrost at a depth of 70 m.
For tourists the Area offers splendid opportunities for Alpine skiing. There are ski resorts «Oktyabrski» in Labytnangi town and Polyarny village which have various ski routes and tubings for extreme sport amateurs. The ski route is under construction in Salekhard at the Angalsky Foreland. The main season for this type of sports lasts from the second part of March till April.
In summer, tourist camps are organized in the Region. Every year amateurs of water-sports raft along the Kara, Zchuchia, Synia and Sob Rivers. The rafting tour includes unforgettable fishing. Tourists can also enjoy ethnographic tours, during which they can get acquainted with traditions and customs of indigenous inhabitants.
For more detailed information on Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.