“God is a long way up there, but Moscow is even further away” - Chukotka saying
Russian Far East constitutes over one-third of the country’s territory. The wild wild east is bigger, more remote and with winters even colder than in Siberia.
Located along the Bering Strait, Chukotka is home to stunning tundra scenery and the indigenous Chukchi people. Notably, Chukotka is the only Russia’s region in the Western Hemisphere.
It also is the closest point that Eurasia gets to North America. You can even see Alaska across the Bering Sea, if the weather is fine. Chukotka is populated extremely sparsely: there are only 55 thousand inhabitants, while the territory is nearly 737,700 square kilometres.
The nature of Chukotka is pristine. There are unique forests and hot springs. You can go whale-watching and be ravished with delight at the sight of the northern lights.
Kamchatka Peninsula, 1250 kilometre-long piece of land is one of the best places on Earth in terms of abundant wildlife and untouched nature. Here is located the largest active volcano in the northern hemisphere. Despite it is ice-bound most of the time, Kamchatka is enthralling: where else you can see fuming volcanoes, peaking through the clouds, bears feasting on salmon and otherworldly geysers?
Kamchatka possesses incredible biological wealth: it is home to over 1000 species of plants, 9 different whale species, and at least 15 thousand brown bears, 15 hundred reindeer, wolves, wolverines, sables and half of the whole world’s population of sea eagles.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the largest city on the peninsula and one of the oldest in the Far East, is a port city facing Avacha Bay. It is a base camp for any expedition in the region. Its setting is truly extraordinary, surrounded by snowcapped mountains and overlooked by giant volcanoes. It is impossible to see horizon from any point in city. Petropavlovsk offers some easily accessible activities, like skiing and volcano climbs.
The Kurils are a chain of 56-islands, located to the north of Japan, in Russia’s Sakhalin Oblast. The archipelago stretches for approximately 1,300 km. Visiting them and seeing 49 active volcanoes, azure lagoons, boiling lakes and rivers is one of the world’s greatest adventures. Kunashir, Iturup and Shikotan are the three most populous islands, accessible by public boat or plane. Northern islands which are mostly unpopulated, can only be visited by private sea craft.
When visiting, be sure to eat seafood, which costs hundred times less than it would cost in restaurants all over the globe. This area is considered to be one of the best in the world in terms of fishing.
Khabarovsk, the Far East’s pleasant surprise, offers a sublime riverside setting, attractive parks, classic tsarist-era architecture and broad strolling areas with colourful tiles. Old buildings are kept intact and present to visitors a taste of the past. Situated at the confluence of two rivers, Amur and Ussuri, it is the capital of Khabarovsk Krai and the second largest city in the Far East.