The Gulag: secret territory

It is a very unusual tour, which will tell you about the most secret and bloodiest pages of the world’s history -  Stalin's epoch. 10 years ago, before "iron curtain" fell down, it was impossible even to imagine such a tour. In the USSR only in the beginning of 90's last political prisoner was released. But gradually every secret becomes evident.

You will see the territory that had been restricted for a long time, and which territory was the biggest secret of Bolshevist Government. Political repressions are often to be found in the worlds' history. But repressions of communists' regime in Russia stand out by their cruelty and dimensions. Repressions began soon after the October Revolution in Russia. Guiltless people considered as "class enemies" were repressed as well as real opponents of Communists regime.

Repression system existed during almost all Soviet history but acquired a new grand scale under Stalin in 30-50's which turned it into mechanical monster that devoured people. Communists’ regime was interested to hide everything concerning repressions. According to some researches, the result of political repression in the USSR during communists' regime was about 30 million killed people. 

The main link of repressive system was labor camps - GULAG (Main Administration for Corrective Labor Camps). The word has become well-known all over the world due to the ex-prisoner and humanist Alexander Solzhenizyn and his book "Archipelago GULAG". He won Nobel Prize for the book, but was deported by force from the USSR and deprived of civic rights. 

Today it is very difficult to find any traces of GULAG camps, they can be found among eye-witnesses and in their progeny's memories.

Today we are opening Stalin's camps for you as a museum exhibit. Have a look...

How to get to the beginning of the tour

This trip will start from Perm city. Airport “Savino” is located about 29 km away from the center of Perm. Regular flights (3 times per week) connect Perm with Frankfurt (Germany). There are 1-2 daily flights to/from Moscow and 1 daily flight to/from St Petersburg. Numerous long-distance trains pass Perm daily. The trains go not only east and west, but also south along Turk-Sib railway. The most comfortable way to get to Perm from Moscow for 21 hours is using daily train “Kama”. For more detailed information please contact our managers



Route Map


Day 1. Perm city, Russia. Arrival in Perm. Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation. Lunch. City-tour. Dinner. Overnight.

Day 2. After breakfast trip for the whole day with excursion and lunch to Perm-36 museum. 

Camp "Perm-36" was founded in 1946 under Stalin and closed under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988. It is the only camp that had worked until "perestroika". "Perm-36" is famous by its the very strict regime. The territory of ex-camp "Perm-36" is the only place that can be called "labor camp of Stalin's style escaped destruction. In 1995 the camp turned into a museum conducted by "Memorial center of political repression history". The museum was created in honor of millions suffering and murdered people during the years of repression. You can visit an active exhibit, look round wooden barrack of prisoners, and visit the most impressive place - narrow cell of solitary confinement.

See "Perm-36" gallery

Day 3. After breakfast transfer to Belogorsky St.Nicholas Orthodox Male Missionary Monastery

Belogorsky St.Nicholas Orthodox Male Missionary Monastery is situated at scenic slopes of Ural Mountains, 100km away from Perm. Long time ago "Belaya Gora" (White Mountain) was the place of prayers and salvation. Cabins and cells of outlaws (fugitives from local factories and old believers - staroobriatsy) have been located here since the18th century. Everybody, who has visited this place at least once doesn’t know worries, problems, sorrow and anxiety. Peace and calmness are coming upon your soul. The usual reply of pilgrims to the question "why are you here?" is - praying and silence.

Play video from the Belaya Gora (965 kb)

Lunch. Return to the hotel. Dinner. Check out. Transfer to the train station. Departure for Tomsk. 

Day 4. In the train. 

Day 5. In the morning arrival in Tomsk. Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation. Breakfast. City-tour with lunch. 

Tomsk was founded in 1604 and grew into one of West Siberia's most important trading posts in the 18th century. Caravans from Bukhara, Samarkand and Central Asia passed through the city as well as many emigrants that traveled by the Siberian Tract to Tomsk, which served as a transit station for exiles. The Trans-Sib, constructed in 1900's, missed out Tomsk over 70 km to the south. This was, in some way, a bad thing for Tomsk. It lost out a huge expansion and industrial development, but had an important significance in camps system and became the administrative GULAG capital in Stalin's epoch. And even now Tomsk looks like an old Siberian town. It has treasured its marvelous charm because of beautiful wooden architecture with plenty of wooden carvings.

See "The Woodcarving of Tomsk" gallery

Day 6. After breakfast visiting the museum of Wooden Arts and observing the most charming pieces of wooden architecture of the city. Lunch. Visit to the Museum of istory of political repressions. 

The Museum of history of political repressions "Internal NKVD prison"(est.1989) is placed in an old building where NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs) department of Tomsk took place from the beginning of 30's til 1944. People were kept in a basement and in cells for temporary imprisonment there. They were sent either to camps or to execution from that basement. Many arrested people that had got there were lost forever. Eyewitnesses say that there were underground secret passages that connected the basement with the NKVD building complex. Now cells represent a significant part of exhibition devoted to memory of Stalin's repressions. Here you can see documents, pictures, and personal belongings of GULAG prisoners.

 Dinner. Overnight. 

Day 7. Breakfast. Transfer to the airport. Departure for Moscow. 


Extension for B program (9-days) (with Novosibirsk)

Day 7. After breakfast transfer to Novosibirsk (240km from Tomsk). Accommodation in hotel Sibir. Lunch. City-tour, visiting historical and cultural center of Novosibirsk, Lenin Square, Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, the bridge across the Ob` river, the building of Railway Station. Boat trip along the Ob river. Dinner. Overnight. 

See "Novosibirsk city" gallery

Day 8. After breakfast visit to the local museum with its reach ethnographical and paleontological collections.

Transfer to Akademgorodok - the settlement of scientists.

Visit to the museum of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography. Here one can admire the unique collection of finds from Altay burial mounds. The central exhibit of the museum is the mummy "The Princess of Altay", that was found in Altay Plateau Ukock in frozen earth high in the mountains and due to this fact the mummy is well preserved. 

In the evening return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight. 

Day 9. Transfer to the airport. Departure for Moscow

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A. 7 days/ 6 nights;
B. 9 days/ 8 nights (with Novosibirsk)
C. Program B + Moscow

all year around

available hotels 
in the region (3*, 2*+)

Rhythm of the tour:  

Land Cost:
on request.

Trip Highlights

  • Reach the very bottom of secret NKVD-KGB torture chambers

  • Be among first foreign travelers visited GULAG camps.

  • Experience one night in GULAG prison cell (as option)

  • Good chance to experience real life and culture of Russian in Siberia today

  • Trip Details

    • 7-days tour begins in Perm and ends in Tomsk

    • 9-days tour begins in Perm and ends in Novosibirsk

    • As option we arrange the tour which starts and ends in Moscow 

    • Standard tour price includes:  train tickets Perm-Tomsk in 4 berth coupe; accommodation (DBL std); full board, except meal on trains; excursions, transfers, guide-interpreter service according the program

    • Budget tour price includes: train ticket Perm-Tomsk in 4 berth compartment, accommodation in hotels with breakfasts, transfers according all program of the tour

    •  Programs A, B
      not includes:
      visa legalization and visa payment; international flight tickets; excursion and services with the mark "option"; tips; personal requests