Highlights and Main Attractions of the Kamchatka Peninsula

Situated as far east as one can travel in the Far East, Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula is a vast area of remote wilderness prime for adventure. Despite its size, there are less than 200 miles of paved roads here, and the best way of getting around is often by helicopter. Known as 'the land of fire and ice', Kamchatka contains the highest concentration of active volcanoes in the world, as well as freezing winters that are braved by nomadic reindeer herders. The volcanoes have been incorporated into an extensive UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including brown bears, sea otters and sea eagles. The region’s extensive network of rivers and proximity to the Sea of Okhotsk and Pacific Ocean allows it to play host to the largest variety of salmonid species on earth, including the sockeye salmon. The seas surrounding the Commander Islands are perfect for intrepid adventurers wishing to catch a glimpse of marine wildlife, with orcas, humpback whales and teeming seabird colonies often visible. 

For those wanting to experience the true meaning of wild, this far-flung territory offers landscapes and experiences that will do just that.

Where is the Kamchatka Peninsula?

The land of fire and ice

Containing a wide diversity of ecosystems and an abundance of wildlife, Kamchatka is a fascinating destination for the more intrepid traveller. The peninsula boasts the highest density of volcanoes in the world which form the Volcanoes of Kamchatka UNESCO World Heritage Site, spread across six different sites in central and southern Kamchatka. Klyuchevskaya Sopka is the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere, at a staggering 15,584 feet high, while the perfect conical shape of Kronotsky Volcano has earned it the reputation of being among the most beautiful. 

Surrounding this volcano on the eastern coast is the Kronotsky Nature Reserve, home to over 800 Kamchatka brown bears and as many as 750 different plant species. The rugged terrain also incorporates the famed Valley of Geysers, a literal hotspot of thermal activity featuring the second largest concentration of geysers in the world, along with a host of hot springs.

The Kamchatka brown bears, renowned for their exceptionally large build, are also drawn to the shores of Kuril Lake, located on the southernmost tip of the peninsula. This beautiful crater lake, set against a backdrop of the Ilinsky and Diky Grebe volcanoes, contains the largest stock of sockeye salmon in Asia. Further north, the annual salmon run in the Kamchatka River is a real spectacle, as millions of spawning salmon turn the waters a deep crimson.

Due to its rugged landscape and low population density, much of the peninsula is not easily accessible, but the regions volcanoes and lakes are often best viewed from the air.

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