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General information about Kamchatka

Kamchatskiy kray is included in the Far East Federal district occupying the peninsula Kamchatka and a part of the continent, Commander and Karagysnkiy Islands. The most extreme northern spot is in the latitude of Arkhangelsk city and the southern one is in the latitude of Kiev city.

The surface dimensions of the peninsula are almost the same as of Spain, however there are only three cities: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy (the capital city of the kray), Elizovo (with the main Kamchatka airport) and Vilyuchinsk (a restricted military town), all the other settlements are inhabited by fewer people.

One can reach the peninsula by air only with one of the regular flights from Moscow, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok and a number of other Russian cities. There are no railways in Kamchatka, so to reach the majority of sights such as volcanoes, hot springs, nature parks one should use an off-road vehicle or a helicopter. Be advised to plan a couple of extra days of your journey in advance because of changeable weather of the peninsula.

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Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy

Volcanoes of Kamchatka

Animal world

Indigenous people

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy is an administrative city of kamchatskiy kray.

It was founded on October, 17 in 1740 by Vitus Bering, the head of the second Kamchatka expedition, who entered Avacha bay on board packet ships named “St. Peter” and “St. Paul”. However the settlement turned into the town only in 1822 when it got its name as Petropavlosk port.

The city is situated on the coastline of Avacha bay – the main transport gates of the peninsula. A lot of tourist companies offer sea journeys to explore the famous “Three brothers” rocks, colonies of sea birds and sea mammals and enjoy sea fishing in one of numerous bays of the coast.

The “Home volcanoes” Koryakskiy, Avacinskiy and Kozelskiy make a familiar panoramic view of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy. The volcanoes are separated with the city only by 20 km. Avacha climbing is of the favorite tourist itineraries for locals and guests of the kray.

Kamchatka is an object for interest not by its city but by the nature.

Speaking about the city the most attractive spot is its center: Kultuchnoye lake, Lenin square with a drama theatre, pebble beach with the sea and volcanoes view and Nikolskaya hill which has the second name the hill of Love.

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy has two big museums: local history and battle glory museums and about twenty small specific ones.

Volcanoes of Kamchatka

There are about 300 volcanoes and 29 of them are active.

Volcanoes represent one of the main curiosities in Kamchatka. The images of volcanoes decorate the flag and the arms of Kamchatka kray as well as Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy.

The volcanoes of Kamchatka are the part of the “Pacific ocean fiery ring”, a chain of more than 300 most active volcanoes of the planet.

The biggest active volcanoes of the peninsula are Shiveluch, Klyuchevskoy, Ichinskiy, Koryakskiy, Avachinskiy, Karymskiy and Kronotskiy. The altitude of the highest volcano is 4750 m above sea level. This volcano is the highest in Eurasia and most active in Kamchatka.

Wildlife

Kamchatka is a definitely brown bears land: 6% of the world bear population inhabits the peninsula. There are more than 15 000 bears in Kamchatka.

The fauna of Kamchatka is notable for its incredible diversity. This is explained by different relief of the peninsula and a number of climate zones. In the areas the civilization has not touched, the nature is totally preserved.

There are 918 species of animals, birds and fish in Kamchatka. The most interesting animals are brown bears, moose, reindeer and bighorn sheep. One can meet even a wolverine. Without any doubts the king of Kamchatka fauna is the brown bear which occupies the whole peninsula except for plateaus and swaps.

The main resource of inland water and adjacent seas is anadromous salmon: humpback salmon, siberian salmon, sockeye salmon, coho salmon, chinook salmon, as well as herring, atlantic cod and navaga. Near the west seaside of Kamchatka large king crabs are caught. Deep lakes and rapid rivers promise fishermen an excellent catch.

Indigenous people

Kamchatka is one of the least inhabited regions in Russia.

The average population density is quite low: 16 square km per person. However you can meet here representatives of 176 nationalities and ethnic groups. The indigenous people are represented by Koryaks, Itelmens, Evens, Aleutions and Chukchis. Their cultural traditions, history and way of life are very interesting to get known with.

In Kamchatka you are able to visit ethnic settlements to explore peoples’ culture, to taste national dishes and to try birch braiding, bone carving and beads braiding.

It is important to single out traditional ritual feasts.

The national Koryak festival is “The first fish celebration” (late May - June), the Itelmen ritual feast “Alkhalalay” (early September), the celebration of Even New Year “Nurganak” (late June).

In winter one can be a spectator of a true dog sled competition! The most famous one is “Beringiya”.

Further information