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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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How early can I get to Murmansk?

Am going to have another crack at getting to Murmansk next year, driving up from St Petersburg. Would then like to head over into Finland and Norway to complete a circuit of the Baltic.

Realistically, how early in the year will I be able to do this? (I'll be in a car - Land Rover Freelander - so a bit of snow shouldn't be an issue) I imagine the main road to Murmansk will be kept clear of snow throughout the winter, but perhaps the smaller roads in Finland might be a problem?

Frankly, I have no idea.

If I head up there in April am I going to get stuck, or will most of the snow have melted by then?

Cheers,

Matt
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Old 21 Sep 2012
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It depends how crazy are you.
Have a look: 3 bikers from Poland rode to Murmansk in January 2012.



BTW Murmansk is not in Northern Asia
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Old 22 Sep 2012
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Great video there! And a good reminder to get out there and have some fun because the world is a big place and a lot is possible in it!
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Old 26 Sep 2012
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Hi Matt!

If your coming with car to Finland it wont be problem if its winter or summer. If you are looking to explore small roads even they are kept open during winter but april might be little bit muddy in some places. I would probably wait till May as it starts to be little bit better wheather also generally.
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Old 26 Sep 2012
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Hi folks, thanks for all the replies. I'll check out that vid when I'm not at work!

Tirpse, that is good to hear. I'm really looking forward to seeing the north of finland.

Matt
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Old 2 Feb 2013
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We just drove Austria - Nordkapp via the Baltics, Karelia and Murmansk with a 4x4 car in January: Roadtrip Russia (1) Murmansk - Machackala - Magadan - Gentleman Adventurer

Roads in Russia were mostly very good and ice-free (they use an excellent aggressive chemical). The exceptions being the stretch between Narva and St. Petersburg (potholes, some ice) and between Murmansk and Kirkenes (pressed snow, no problems).

It was MUCH harder to drive in the Baltics and Scandinavia where no salt is used (I assume for environmental aka budgetary reasons). In Lithuania on a particularly bad day we saw 8 heavy accidents (mostly trucks). Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Northern Sweden they were also just ploughing snow, leaving very icy asphalt. For whatever reason, in Finland they leave a cover of pressed snow on the roads that gives good grip.

It is funny that EU law protects you from taking a toe-clip onboard airplanes, or from mad cow disease, but on European E-Roads in winter your life is basically left to a daily lottery with bad odds.

(We like bad odds - and we loved that trip. Just to make the point ...)
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