Visiting the Russian Far East offers an alternative way to experience a fascinating country. The Kamchatka Peninsula is located in the eastern reaches of vast Russia, and it is best known for its unspoiled landscapes and excellent fishing. At more than 600 miles in length, Kamchatka offers endless opportunities for adventurous travelers looking to experience nature in its purest form. This area of Russia has been compared to the Alaska of 75 years ago and, at only a four-hour flight from Anchorage, has gained popularity for fishing and nature tours because of its accessibility.
Kamchatka travel provides an opportunity to see a wide variety of flora and fauna, some unique only to this region of the world. The Russian Far East is known to have some of the biggest rainbow trout in the world, and fishing enthusiasts have come from far and wide during the summer for the chance to catch one themselves. Wildlife tours are offered in July, August, and September, and they are typically one week in length. It is wise to book in advance, as special discounts are given to groups, and certain weeks are especially desirable times to visit.
The Kamchatka Peninsula is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Volcanoes of Kamchatka. Today, only about 29 of the 160 volcanoes on the peninsula are active. This fact adds a bit more adventure to Kamchatka travel, as many travelers come to this area to see the largest volcano in the northern hemisphere, called Klyuchevskaya Sopka. No trip to this area would be complete without seeing some rare wildlife, including brown bears, foxes, and moose. A spectacular location to photograph these animals in their natural habitats, the Russian Far East also has significant populations of lemmings, weasels, and river otters.
While many Kamchatka Peninsula tours are focused on fishing or hunting, there are also options for those who want to simply enjoy the scenery. From steaming geysers to snow-capped volcanoes, this area of Russia proves there is more to see in the country beyond Moscow and St Petersburg. Adventure tour options also include dog sled tours, a fantastic way to see the snow-covered landscape as you glide over its frozen surface. The opportunity to bathe in thermal hot springs provides the perfect thaw to a cold day. Vacation packages for these types of tours often include transfers, accommodation, and meals, so they're well worth looking into if you want your Russian vacation experience to include the Far East.
Kamchatka travel can also include some mountain climbing. Options range from beginners to strenuous, and fitness levels are important when dealing with altitudes and steep cliffs. The opportunity to climb some of the peninsula’s volcanoes has only been available in the last decade. Ski tours and river cruises are options as well for exploring the vast area of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The Russian Far East offers romantic trips as well, including helicopter rides that allow visitors to experience the dramatic landscape from above.