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Visit the Kamchatka Peninsula

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One of the most enchanting areas of Russia is the Kamchatka peninsula. It is how the earth must have looked like in prehistoric times. A lost world that is still not discovered. Amidst active volcanoes you see how brown bears hunt for salmon, you can take a boat trip or climb a volcano. Kamchatka however is only a suitable destination for experienced travelers. The residents hardly speak English, so basic knowledge of Russian comes in handy. The country is so wild and vast that transport is often only possible by helicopter or by boat. Kamchatka seems the end of the world. Which it is also is on our world map.

Kamchatka is a peninsula in the east of Russia. It is therefore closer to Alaska than to Europe. Kamchatka, including the Commandeur Islands, are 370,000 km2 in size and have around 380,000 inhabitants, three-quarters of whom live in the capital. 30% of whole the district is protected nature reserve. Two volcanic mountain ranges run across the island, the Sredinny Chain and the Eastern Chain. Also there are 150 volcanoes, of which 28 still active. Around the capital Petropavlovsk are three volcanoes, the Avachinsky, Koryaksky and Kozelsky. The Avacha is the most climbed and offers beautiful views.

The most notable animals are bears and wolves. Large fish such as salmon, a popular prey of bears and Steller's White-tailed Eagles live in the lakes and rivers. There are otters, seals, sea lions and seabirds who live along the coasts. Reindeers are seen in the more northerly areas.

The best starting point to discover the wilderness is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. In this small town on the east coast, the only paved road of the area ends. The town is enclosed between three enormous volcanoes and the more than 10 kilometers deep Pacific Ocean. In these fertile waters, killer whales, sperm whales, humpbacks and thousands of seals swim.

Best time to visit

If you cross Kamchatka from the south to the north you move from one climate zone to another. Kamchatka dangles just below the Arctic circle. Come in mid summer for endless days and the best weather. In winter the peninsula is hidden under a thick layer of snow that disappears in May. The short summer only lasts from July until mid-September. Click here for average weather details of the region.

This article was last updated on December 17, 2020.