SIBERIA - Beauty Will Take Your Breath Away

It's untouched, it's rugged, it's beautiful, it's paradise. That's what Siberia is. You don't often hear about it on travel websites or see hashtags but this is one place that every biker will want to explore.Winter or summer, this magical place has two extremes of appeal that will leave you wondering why you never visited it sooner. The Trans-Siberian route, the might Urals, the solitude you feel as it embraces you - there's nothing quite like setting out on a quest to uncover Siberia!

It may sound cliched but Siberia really is a winter wonderland. The fairytale-like landscape turns into a blanket of white in the cold season, distinctly reminiscent of Narnia. While the roads are challenging and require you to gather all your biking skills, it's an experience that will leave you filled with pride and quench your thirst for adventure.

For most, Siberia conjures images of white everywhere. But go in summer and you'll be stunned by the abundance of green. The hills come to life and the lakes thaw and reflect the sky. To say you'll want to dismount every so often and take it all in is an understatement. You'll wish you could just stay here and forget the rest of the world.

The Trans-Siberian Railway is here and there's a route that follows it to give motorcyclists the ultimate thrill. Imagine the journey - 10,000 kms over 29 days starting from Moscow and ending at Vladivostok. Is there anything more adventurous than this? We highly doubt it. Biking through cities like Omsk and Kemerovo and stopping to admire the ancient Lake Baikal will leave you in wonder and have you planning a second trip - maybe even a third? - before the first is even over.

Where else can you appreciate the majestic beauty of the Ural Mountains? The rugged mountain range will speak to the spirit of any outdoor lover and lure you to explore it. Instead of just zipping past, you could camp the night (or two) and hike the wild terrain. You'll have an even deeper appreciation of nature and will love the tranquility one so often finds in the outdoors.

Siberia is one of those as yet undiscovered places where you can feel like you're one of a handful of people. Tourism isn't really developed here and exploring it means you need a guide. Yet, that's the appeal and if you're an avid motorcyclist who loves long journeys, you know this is the only way to do it. The Russian Far East is the perfect escape if you want to cut yourself off from the world for a time and just get immersed in raw beauty.

You may motorcycle across Siberia but that's not the only thing to do here. On days when you're not astride your ride, there are numerous adventures that await you, adventures that will thrill and get your adrenaline going.

Whitewater rafting on Chuya or Bashkaus will see you trying your best to tame the powerful rapids. If you'd rather have your feet on land, there's nothing like hiking or trekking through the Lake Baikal Trail and Taganay National Park. Although small, you'll enjoy seeing the wealth of wildlife here. Witnessing the mountain ridges of Taganay in the distance is an experience that will take your breath away and leave you reluctant to say goodbye to this otherworldly land.

Siberia's varied landscape makes for some of the best off-roading trips. In fact, there are so many places to go off-road especially in the Altai region. The Chuyskaya Steppe with its arid landscape and extremes of weather is the perfect locale for you to test your skills against the elements. You'll want to keep an eye out for horses and camels - yes, camels! - that graze. The city of Yakutsk holds several wonders, some of which date back to the Ice Age. Here, in the cold, looking at the fossils of mammoths and rhinos, it's easy to feel tiny and intimidated by these giants. Yet, before you even reach the city, there's a highway called Kolyma Highway that will give you food for thought and help you reflect on the grimmer realities of history. Also called the Road of Bones, some of the highway's foundations contain the bones of slave laborers who were forced to work during the Stalinist era.Riding along the highway, you can't help but feel a deep tug and wonder at the numerous lives lost. It's a very sombre experience and one that will make you appreciate life.Siberia can be a surprise especially if, like the majority, you expect it to be ice and snow all year through. Its untapped potential is its biggest draw and as an adventurer, you'll realise this almost as soon as you enter the region.. Rather, you'll be blown away by its raw beauty and its capacity to captivate.

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