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KAMCHATKA MAP AND TRAVEL ITINERARY
KAMCHATKA TRIP INFORMATION
WHAT TO DO AND WHAT TO SEE IN KAMCHATKA?
The Kamchatka peninsula was open to tourism just a few years ago and, located in the easternmost part of Russia, surrounded by northern Pacific ocean, offers spectacular volcanic landscape, dominated by volcanos of the big " fire ring ", hot water springs, immense lava fields, boiling mud pots, colored caldera lakes, glaciers, but also pristine forests offering opportunities for wildlife trips (bear viewing and fishing).
This trip review shows an itinerary beginning with a short visit to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the capital of the Kamchatka peninsula, before continuing the tour onboard a cruise in Avacha Bay (just out of the capital) searching for bird colonies, with opportunities to see seals, whales and dolphins. From Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, my Kamchatka tour continues by an all terrain vehicle to Mutnovsky and Gorely volcano, which will be ascended by day trekking over solidified lava fields, between fumaroles and colored minerals, to main craters. The next stop of this Kamchatka trip is the Tolbachik volcano, about 500 kilometers to the north, where there is an opportunity to explore a " dead forest " and to visit more amazing craters surrounded by lunar landscape. My tour in Kamchatka ends with a visit to the native village of Esso, in the very heart of the peninsula, before returning to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and catch my flight back to Moscow and Italy.
HOW TO ORGANIZE A TOUR TO KAMCHATKA?
This tour to Kamchatka has been organized by contacting the travel company Kamchatka's Vision, a local travel agency, offering group tours to Kamchatka. Traveling to Kamchatka requires good legs for the long, but not technically difficult, treks and willingness to deal with frequent rainy and windy weather. Internal transport is usually guaranteed with powerful 6WD trucks or Toyota 4x4 (or similar) depending on group size.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO GO TO KAMCHATKA?
The best time to travel to Kamchatka is from mid summer to very early autumn, when all the snow has melted even at higher altitudes, letting to better appreciate colours and to hike more comfotrably. In any case you will need to be prepared for any situation (from moderate cold to moderate heat) with possible strong winds and rain (top quality rain gear is suggested).
HOW TO GET TO KAMCHATKA?
Due to the long distance (Moscow - Kamchatka flight is about nine hours long, non stop) and flight schedule, people coming from Europe may require a night stop in Moscow before and/or after the tour. Personally (I am from Italy, so I had to fly eastward) I've chosen to fly with Aeroflot, puchasing the tickets online for their we site. For tourists needing to fly westward instead (for example for people coming from the west coast of the USA), in case direct flights to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky aren't available, the best airport of entry in Russia may be Vladivostok.
KAMCHATKA TOUR AND TRAVELOGUE - KAMCHATKA PICTURES
|<<-- GO The direct flight from Moscow to Kamchatka is particularly interesting, especially in beautiful weather, because most of the route is over Russia's arctic. The downtown of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatkiy doesn't have attractions for tourists, except some beautiful volcanoes view in good weather, but the city is the ideal base for excursions or longer tours in Kamchatka.|
|<<-- GO A cruise in Avacha Bay lets to meet many different species of nesting birds, including puffins and parrots. Strange rocks with suggestive names, like "The Three Brothers" dominate a landscape made of steep cliffs falling straight into the northern Pacific ocean.|
|<<-- GO The Mutnovsky volcano in southern Kamchatka is an authentic jewel and can be easily considered the most beautiful volcano seen during this trip to Kamchatka. A journey on a powerful 6WD bus, followed by a several hours trek, lets to explore and admire the Mutnovsky crater with its sulfur fumaroles, geysers and boiling mud pots.|
|<<-- GO The Goreliy is an active volcano in Kamchatka having a beautiful summit crater with a small lake inside. Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, we had to return before getting to Gorely's top, however the trek has been in any case interesting because of the picturesque surrounding landscape.|
|<<-- GO This optional excursion made by helicopter to Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka, has been documented by Mr. Vladimir, another tourist in my same group, who has kindly authorized to publish the pictures here. The Valley of Geysers cannot be accessed by land, but only via an extremely expensive helicopter trip, rewarding with beautiful views (weather permitting).|
|<<-- GO Today, traveling on a powerful 6WD bus, the group moves from south to north, along the main gravel road crossing the Kamchatka for more than 600 kilometers. The final destination is "The Moon Rovers" base camp, our home for the next three nights, from where treks and excursions to Tolbachik volcano will depart.|
|<<-- GO A very long and strenuous, but not technically difficult trek, to climb from 1680 to 2850 meters, gives the opportunity to see the majestic Plosky Tolbachik volcano's main crater, which is almost two kilometers wide and more than 500 meters deep, inside which a beautiful glacier falls inside. The trek requires about 6-8 hours round trip and just good legs.|
|<<-- GO With today excursions, the group visits by short drives and mini treks, the Tolbachik volcano cones born during the catastrophic explosion and eruption happened in 1975. We visit also the dead forest, where thousands of trees were killed instantly by the volcanic ash cloud having a temperature of more than 1000 degrees centigrade.|
|<<-- GO Esso is a town in the hearth of Kamchatka, home of Evens, Koryaks, as well as many Russians. The atmosphere is very charming and picturesque, as the town is made by small wooden houses having lush gardens due to excellent availability of water and a rich soil. Two museums are an excellent source to know more about nomad reindeer people and natives.|