Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

We continue to share amazing routes created especially for you together with photographers Russian Explorers. Vyacheslav Savinsky (@savinskyv) has prepared a guide to Kamchatka! And so that you can use it as soon as possible, in our telegram channel we are giving away a discount on air tickets to the peninsula, as well as for accommodation there.

Many people dream of visiting Kamchatka, but few get there. Far. Wild. Beautiful. Three words that are associated with the name of this large and beautiful peninsula. It attracts people to itself at any time of the year, not leaving them indifferent.

How to prepare

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

When going to Kamchatka, you need to be prepared for changeable weather conditions – it is better to check the forecast at the stage of preparing the trip. I usually use the Windy application for this.

Since even in the summer months it can be very cold and windy, I have prepared recommendations for you and a small list of things that may be useful.

High trekking boots. These will provide the strongest ankle support on uneven terrain. Don’t forget to use a moisture sealer.

Down jacket. A light, warm, compact down jacket will always keep you warm. Let me remind you that summer often begins only in August.

Thermal underwear. Both in winter and in summer, we locals wear thermal underwear. It protects against overheating and hypothermia. It’s definitely worth taking with you.

Buff (scarf), light hat, fleece gloves.Something I don’t go without on my travels around Kamchatka. Especially for windy locations.

Swimwear. Kamchatka is, of course, not a resort, but the presence of hot thermal waters makes it possible to enjoy swimming in the open air at any time of the year.

Headlamp. If you plan to spend the night, for example, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in a tent, a flashlight will definitely come in handy.

Small thermos. Hot tea while trekking quenches thirst, warms you up and gives you strength to continue your journey.

Tracking backpack. You need to put all your things somewhere.

Copies of all documents in sealed packaging. If you lose documents, it is always easier to restore them and ask for help with copies. And, of course, be sure to take with youfirst aid kit.

Features of traveling around the peninsula

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

In Kamchatka there are protected areas (specially protected natural areas), and if you are traveling on your own, you must obtain permission to visit them. You will find information here and here. According to the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation, only Petropavlovsk and Yelizovo (the airport is located there) are not considered special territories. as well as the roads between them. If you are not a citizen of the Russian Federation, make sure in advance that there are no problems with border services at all stages of your trip. You can obtain permission from the FSB on this website.

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Kamchatka is the home of bears. They are the most important representatives of the fauna of the peninsula. About 20,000 individuals live here – that’s a lot! And they can really be found anywhere. Sometimes bears even enter cities because they are attracted by smells. However, under no circumstances should these animals be fed – this way you are dooming them to death, teaching them not to get food on their own.

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Simple rules to follow if you suddenly encounter a bear:

  • Make some noise! Especially if you are in an area overgrown with greenery and trees. Whistle, talk louder, or even shout. Bears have poor eyesight, but excellent hearing – when extraneous sounds appear, they will try to leave.
  • Do not leave food and waste in nature – the smells of food (and other things) will attract them even from a great distance. Take everything with you, burn it and, if it is food waste (peels, bones, etc.), throw it into the river.
  • If you meet a bear cub, hurry up and leave, as the mother is nearby. Nothing can stop the bear.
  • Use flares, hunter signals and cylinders to protect yourself from wild animals. However, remember that their effectiveness has not been proven.
  • Try to distinguish bear trails from human trails. The easiest way to do this is by looking at animal feces: if they are fresh, it means the bear is nearby.
  • Keep an eye on the seasons and nature: if there are fish in the rivers or berries are ripe in the forests, bears will most likely be nearby.
  • Do not go near carrion (animals or fish). Perhaps the bear is also somewhere nearby.
  • If you carry foods with a strong smell, they may attract a predator.

How to get there

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

You can fly to Kamchatka by plane. Unfortunately, there is no land connection. Fishing and cargo ships sail the sea, but there are no passenger ships. But the new marine terminal has been put into operation and before the pandemic received foreign cruise ships. Perhaps Russian passenger ships from Vladivostok will soon begin to operate.

As for airplanes, everything is simple. There are direct flights to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky from Moscow, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and other cities. And with transfers you can get there from almost any region of the country. The longest direct flight takes about 8.5 hours. Tickets cost approximately 25,000 rubles* in both directions. It is important to remember that the time difference with Moscow is  9 hours, most likely you will arrive the next day.

Upon arrival, if the weather is good, you will immediately be greeted by your “home” volcanoes. Arik, Aag, Koryaksky, Avachinsky and Kozelsky. Two of which are active and visible from almost anywhere in the city. 

A taxi ride from the airport to the regional capital will cost approximately 1000 rubles*. You can also get there by regular bus No. 104, which will take you to the central market of the city, and the ticket will cost 70 rubles*. Travel time to Petropavlovsk – 30-40 minutes.

Where to stay

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Within the city there are several hotels, hostels, guest houses and many rental housing options to suit every taste and budget. It is better to book hotels and apartments in advance – the tourist season begins in July. Outside the city there are several recreation centers located on thermal springs, where you can also stay. Most of them have a swimming pool, a cafe, rooms and houses of varying degrees of comfort and cost. But they are located about 60 km from the regional capital, so it is worth considering recreation centers as a temporary option for stopping, for example, for a couple of days before departure.

Personally, I recommend staying in guest houses on the shore of Avacha Bay, for example:

  • Guest house Bay House – from 6000 rubles* per night for two;
  • Guest house Granin House – from 4000 rubles* per night for two;
  • Hotel “Head of Kamchatka” – from 5500 rubles* per night for two.

Living next to water, breathing sea air, admiring volcanoes, sunrises and sunsets is worth a lot. Additionally, the above options are close to the city center where most events take place.

Where is

The city has many cafes and restaurants for every taste, including those offering traditional Kamchatka dishes. If you prefer to cook yourself, several large shopping centers are at your service: for example, Shamsa, Vega, Klever. You can buy fresh meat, seafood and other delicacies at two large markets (the first is located on Pogranichnaya Street, building 1/1, the second is on 50 Let Oktyabrya Avenue).

Seafood lovers will appreciate the large selection of delicacies presented in the fish departments and central markets. If you want to save money, look for the seafood you are interested in on Avito. For vegetarians, the restaurant chain “Sita & Ram”, several Ecolife cafes and, of course, there is always the opportunity to shop at the Vegetoria health food store.

I have my own selection of favorite places:

1. Butcher, meat restaurant. The food here is very tasty, the food is served quickly, and the establishment itself is located near the main street of the city. On Friday and Saturday, it is better to book tables in advance.

2. Friends and burgers burger bar serves delicious and original burgers, as well as home-made fruit drinks. The interior is stylish, but the prices are not very low. A pizzeria, a sushi bar and a cafe serving Vietnamese cuisine have recently opened nearby, each serving high-quality dishes.

3. Gate 917, a cafe with American pizza and burgers. It is located near the central street of Petropavlovsk, the specialty of the establishment is early breakfasts (unfortunately, few in Petropavlovsk can boast of this).

4. People go to the Irish pub Harat’s to listen to live music, drink beer and have a tasty snack. There’s no crowd on Friday and Saturday.

5. Gotcha is a restaurant with interesting dishes. Unusual, tasty and beautiful – that’s all about Gotcha.

6. Daikon, Korean and Pan-Asian cuisine. You can take the dishes with you or order delivery.

How and what to move on

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

The easiest and cheapest way is by bus. The price for travel around the city is 27 rubles*, payment is possible by bank cards. Install the Go2Bus app to track bus movements in real time. You can also rent a car without a driver. The simplest “car” can be rented for 1,500 rubles*, and for an SUV you will have to pay up to 15,000 rubles* per day. I recommend taking this one: it will be more convenient to cover distances on a bad road in an SUV. You can ask the price here.

Another common method of transportation used by guests of the peninsula is a taxi. Prices vary depending on the class, number of passengers and car size. If you travel with your own gear and equipment, be sure to discuss this issue with the operator. All this will significantly affect the final choice of transport. An alternative to a taxi is the InDriver application, in which you choose the place where you need to go and set the price yourself.

Things to do

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Kamchatka is one of the first to wake up, so immediately upon arrival you need to find something to do so as not to fall asleep early and quickly adjust to the local time zone. Melatonin, which is sold in any pharmacy, will help you stay alert.

In May-June there is already something to do, for example:

  • Sup walks from 2000 rubles*.
  • Pools with thermal water in the village of Paratunka. The distance from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is about 50 km. Entrance ticket price – from 300 rubles*.
  • Excursions to ethno-villages, for example, Kainyran. Cost – from 5000 rubles*. Here you will find stories about the local indigenous population, performances, dances, and a national dinner.
  • Horse riding (including for children), with routes of varying time and complexity. Cost – from 1200 rubles*.
  • Sea trips on boats and yachts. The most common ones are to Starichkov Island (from 5,500 rubles) and to Russkaya Bay (from 10,000 rubles)*. Along the way there is sea fishing, fresh fish soup and crabs. It is possible to meet whales and killer whales.
  • If you have extra time and weather conditions allow  ― visit the wild thermal springs: Karymshinskie, Verkhne-Paratunskie, Zelenovskie and Malkinskie.

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Khalaktyrsky beach

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

I recommend everyone to start their trip to Kamchatka from Khalaktyrsky beach, which is located on the eastern shore of the peninsula and is washed by the Pacific Ocean.

The ocean is a place where you rest your soul and body. You come to the shore and don’t notice how time flies. You wander for a long time along the black sand, left alone with yourself. You look for something with your eyes, listen to the sound of the waves, watch people.

How to get there

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Install the Maps.Me application, which works even without an Internet connection, choose a route and go! It’s easy to get there by your own car or taxi (cost from 800 rubles*). You will spend about 30 minutes on a dirt road from Petropavlovsk.

You can also stay there for the night, for example in a small warm Scandinavian house overlooking the water and home volcanoes. Cost – from 14,000 rubles* per night. There are also more budget options – for example, in a tent.

I use the most budget-friendly option: a tent and a sleeping bag. Travel agencies of Petropavlovsk  They allow you to rent the necessary equipment so as not to carry it with you. Tent – from 500 rubles* per day, sleeping bag – from 250 rubles*, you will also need to leave a deposit*. 

Think about your diet. Cook yourself on a gas burner or order a three-course meal at the SnowWave surf village (need to arrange in advance).

The most interesting thing is surfing. This sport is actively developing in the Kamchatka Territory. Any beginner, regardless of age, can learn to surf in the Pacific Ocean! There are several surf schools:

  • SnowWave
  • Quiksilver Surf School

Lesson cost – from 3000 rubles* (including necessary equipment).

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Gorely and Mutnovsky volcanoes

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

I propose spending the next two days in the south of Kamchatka, near the Gorely and Mutnovsky volcanoes.

It will no longer be possible to get to them on your own – you will have to turn to professional guides who operate specially prepared equipment. SUVs on large low-pressure wheels will comfortably take you to the most interesting places that will remain in your memory for a lifetime.

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

The route starts from the village of Termalny. Moving along a dirt road, you are greeted by the large and beautiful Vilyuchinsky volcano. Active ascents to its peak begin in May. Driving past you can see the waterfall of the same name, popular with tourists in winter because of the large ice build-up of a beautiful blue color. Climbing the serpentine road to the Vilyuchinsky pass, you will see a beautiful panorama of several volcanoes. There is still quite a lot of snow on this side of the peninsula in July.

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

Next we move  to the active Gorely volcano, whose height is 1829 meters. If snow permits, you can climb to the very top in a specially prepared SUV. After a short excursion and photo session, you need to move to the foot of the Mutnovsky volcano (height – 2322 meters). Place yourself in  house on the cordon of the same name, spend the sunset and meet the sunrise in an amazing place… What could be better?

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

In the morning after breakfast we go to the Opasny Canyon, where a beautiful 80-meter waterfall is located. While on the observation deck, you understand why the canyon was given such a name. Next we move to the parking lot, from where the trek to the Mutnovsky volcano begins. The narrow path up, the snow and volcanic landscapes make you think that you are on another planet. Having reached the fumarole field, you watch how the earth breathes. Huge volumes of steam-gas mixtures, enriched with many chemical elements, burst out of the fumaroles under enormous pressure. In such places you feel the power and strength of our nature. After the excursion and photo session, we return to the car and go to Petropavlovsk.

Route from Russian Explorers: Kamchatka

The cost of a two-day trip with meals, accommodation and equipment – from 19,000 rubles*.

This concludes my guide to Kamchatka. Travel with pleasure!

*Prices valid at time of publication

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