Siberia is located east of the Ural Mountains in the northern part of Asia. It accounts for 77% of Russia's land area, stretches all the way to the Pacific Ocean and abounds in cold weather, impassible taiga and bears. Its natural resources are legendary: gold, oil, coal and gas can all be found in abundance, as can beautiful and untouched nature.
The region has several micro-climates – everything from tundra to semi-deserts – but most of its territory is covered in coniferous forests and swamps. In Western Siberia, there are many flat plains and a huge number of rivers, lakes and swamps. Eastern Siberia, however, features lowlands in the North and East and Mountains in the South and West.
Siberia's climate is harsh, but differs depending on the region. The North has long, harsh summers and short, cool winters. In the South, summers are dry and hot while winters are less bitter (hence most of the population is concentrated in the south). The region's overall high humidity and strong winds make even moderately cold temperatures seem much more extreme. But at least there's plenty of sunshine.
Siberia is full of lakes and rivers, including Lake Baikal, which contains 20% of the world's fresh water and is a major tourist destination. Its forests abound with ermines, weasels, hares, large-eared voles and lemmings. The region is also home to the Baikal seal, deer, roe deer, moose, bighorn sheep, brown bear, wild boar, polar fox, wolf and many other species of mammal.