The Kamchatka Peninsula is one of the most beautiful and unique places in Russia that boasts an incredible number of magnificent volcanoes, pure rives, pulsating geysers. Mountain lakes, snow peaks, and hot springs are available for travellers from around the globe.
Volcanoes are the landmark of the peninsula. You can see them even before your arrival, while you are still on board your plane about to land in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. There are about 300 volcanoes in total, and 29 of them are active. The diversity of fire-breathing mountains is just stunning — from giant behemoths with perfectly round cones to volcanoes hiding acidic lakes in their calderas.
Geysers are thermal phenomena that discharge hot steam and water jets. It can be anything from a fountain to light splashes, from an inclined jet to an ordinary stream. Geyser activity is diverse and may vary. The Kamchatka peninsula is one of the five places on earth where you can observe the unique phenomenon of geyser eruption, while the Valley of Geysers is rightfully considered the most beautiful geyser field in the world.
Hot springs are a natural result of volcanic activity. The Kamchatka peninsula features over 140 large thermal springs. The closest hot spring pools are only 30 kilometres away from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The Paratunka river valley is home to various spa resorts and recreation centres where you can relax in waters rich in chloride & sulphate, sodium, and silica.
The flora of Kamchatka boasts about 1,300 species, including various endemic species found only in Kamchatka. Short northern summers, the humid climate of the Pacific, numerous streams and rivers, mountainous landscapes and volcanic activity shape the plants of Kamchatka making them truly singular and extraordinary. The flora of Kamchatka is unique — birch forests, coniferous woods in its central part, mountain plants, such as shrubs and tundra vegetation. The Kamchatka Territory has various wild berries, the most prominent of which include honeysuckle, bog bilberries, volcanic blueberries, cowberries, crowberries.
Local fauna is amazingly diverse. As most areas in Kamchatka are virgin and unspoiled, you can encounter animals in their natural habitats. This land is home to various forest, Arctic, and mountain species, such as sables, lynx, bears, moose — typical representatives of taiga; or reindeer, Arctic foxes, rock ptarmigans that prefer tundra areas, while snow sheep, black-capped marmots, and northern pikas prefer to dwell in the mountains.
The inhabitants of salt and fresh water are also in abundance. The waters of Kamchatka are home to seven species of pinnipeds: the walrus, seal lion, fur seal, bearded seal, earless seal, harbour seal, spotted seal. You can also encounter sperm whales and orcas. The coastal waters of Kamchatka are swarming with fish. The major types of fish caught here include such families as the Gadidae, Clupeidae, Percidae, etc. Fisheries also catch various types of crabs and shrimps. The Kamchatka Territory is famous for salmon and red caviar. All species of the Pacific salmon come to spawn in the rivers and lakes of Kamchatka, including pink salmon, chum salmon, coho salmon, chinook salmon, and sockeye salmon. Angling is a very popular activity in Kamchatka both among locals and visitors.
The climate here is very diverse, and the weather can be unstable because of the geography of the peninsula, the proximity of the seas and the Pacific Ocean, atmospheric circulation, and the characteristic landscape. The tourist season in Kamchatka is all year round. However, the local climate can throw a curve ball — storm winds or cold rain. Summer heat can suddenly give way to autumn-like dribble. Therefore, when going to Kamchatka, you have to pack wisely.
The indigenous peoples of Kamchatka include the Koryaks, Itelmens, Evens, Aleuts, and Chukchee. Their history, culture, traditions are fascinating. In Kamchatka, you can visit ethnic villages where you can get acquainted with the everyday lives of the small indigenous groups and even try their national cuisine.