These two remote regions of Russia are locked in the grip of winter for over half the year and are both challenging but highly rewarding places to visit. Looming like a giant inverted iceberg north of the BAM line, the sprawl of the remote Sakha Republic (the country’s largest region) takes time and effort to reach. Likewise, the smaller coastal Magadan Oblast is a chunk of wilderness that travel adventures are made of: a frozen and remote world of endless pine trees, vast rushing rivers and gold mines.
The most unrepentant dissidents (first Decembrists, then Bolsheviks and later anyone deemed by Stalin to be an 'enemy of the people') were exiled here in camps where escape was impossible due to the swamps, ice, bears and bug-infested forests spreading for hundreds of kilometres in each direction. Today both regions attract hardy explorers keen to see Russia's most wild and remote corners.