Contents of the article
You can benefit from this guide if you’re looking to travel to Kamchatka, Russia. This is especially true since this travel destination is unlike the most popular destinations in the world. This location presents a lot of challenges and the first step that you need to do to overcome these challenges is to be informed as to what to expect. That’s why here we have a travel guide to Kamchatka, Russia.
Getting to Kamchatka
The first thing that you need to know is you can’t reach Kamchatka peninsula by car from any point of Russia. Yeah, you should know by now how big Russia is.
Now that’s out of the way, how exactly do you get here? The most practical way is to fly in by plane. If you’re flying commercial, you’ll arrive at Yelizovo airport near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It’s also possible to get here by hitching on a boat ride, but getting here by plane definitely is the most practical option.
Once you’re here, you can get around by car or helicopter.
Basic Information about Kamchatka
Kamchatka is located in the Russian Far East. It’s a peninsula that’s 1,250 kilometers long. It’s a geological location so you can expect a lot of geysers, hot springs and volcanoes – some beautiful natural wonders of Russia. There’s even a lake filled with acid.
It’s popular among adventurous tourists mainly because of its wide abundance of wildlife – both arctic and marine. In addition, the volcanoes of Kamchatka remain to be a popular reason why people travel to Kamchatka. There are 19 volcanoes all in all that make up this group of volcanoes.
Here are some important details that you have to know before you travel to Kamchatka:
1) The climate in Kamchatka is diverse.
You have to know where exactly in Kamchatka you’re traveling. This is because of its diverse climate. As far as climate zones are concerned, they are divided along coastal, geothermal and alpine lines.
If you’re not really an extreme traveler, it’s the best to go to Kamchatka anytime from July to September. This is when the climate is generally comfortable at anywhere in between 15 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius. However, you have to know that temperatures can quickly rise or drop.
Rain can also be a problem. The Okhotsk sea sometimes bring storms while the northern Pacific is notorious for bringing in heavy rains.
2) Mosquitoes can be a problem.
This is especially true if you’re going to a low altitude part. Mosquitoes can get pretty active especially during summer and until the month of September. If you are traveling to Kamchatka, get the necessary shots and bring protection against mosquitoes.
Major Cities of Kamchatka
Here are the popular cities that you can travel to. Also listed are information that travelers may find interesting about these cities:
This is the biggest city in the peninsula and is home to more than 50% of the population of Kamchatka.
This is probably the first city that you’ll encounter since it’s home to the only commercial airport in the area.
If you’re looking to enjoy hot springs and mud therapy, this is the best place to visit.
This is the capital of Kamchatka’s northern Koryakia region.
See how the Even people are living. This is where you’re going to find their nomad camp.
If you’re traveling to Kamchatka for a dog-sled racing event, this is probably your destination.
Most Popular Places to Visit
Here is a list of places we recommend you to travel in Kamchatka:
- Kronotsky Nature Reserve
A trip to Kamchatka won’t be complete without a visit to the Kronotsky Nature Reserve. After all, it’s the best place to marvel at the Kronotsky Volcano. In here, you also get to enjoy the Valley of the Geysers.
Speaking of the Valley of the Geysers, it’s actually the most popular destination in the Volcanoes of Kamchatka site. It used to be the 2nd biggest of its kind, until a humongous mudslide that happened in 2007 wiped out almost the whole territory. But even if only about 1/3 of the territory remains, it’s still a marvel to look at.
- Nalychevo Nature Park
At almost 290,000 hectares, this is a massive nature park. You’ll find the Nalychev river here as it provides a border for volcanoes and mountains in the area. Medical tourists are drawn to this area because it’s a rich source of mineral water, both cold and hot. The nature park is a UNESCO Heritage site because it offers diverse animals and plants.
Make sure to check out the picturesque museum right in the center of the park. It’s unlike other museums you’ve seen before.
- Koryaksky Zapovednik
Most travel guides won’t mention this location. After all, it’s very remote that a lot of people have tried to go here only to fail. Why do people even bother? It’s because it’s worth the trip. It’s very beautiful. In addition, this is the best spot to watch and observe bears in their natural habitat.
- Other nature parks
The three nature parks listed above are the most popular ones, but feel free to visit the other nature parks in the peninsula. Here are some of them: Southern Kamchatka Nature Park, Blue Lakes Nature Park, Kluchevskoy Nature Park, Bystrinsky Nature Park.
What You Need to Understand
This is not for everyone. It’s generally not a family-friendly destination. People who travel to Kamchatka are usually the adventurous and outdoors-y types. After all, you’re expected to hunt bears, climb volcanoes and mountains, fish in challenging rivers and do other adventurous activities that are not for the faint of heart. If you are not a big fan of all of that, then maybe you should consider to visit some other places in Russia – check out the 10 must see places to visit in Russia.
You need to set expectations so that you won’t end up disappointed or overwhelmed. If you understand what to expect and you prepare for what’s in store for you, there’s a good chance that you’ll have the time of your life in Kamchatka. It’s a road less traveled as far as vacations are concerned, but that’s the beauty of it.
If you have any questions about Kamchatka and traveling to Kamchatka I’ll be more than welcome to give you an answer. I have a lot of knowledge about the area. I can also do some research on the Russian-speaking forums or make calls if its necessary. Don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the Facebook comment form below.