Travel Wish list: Kamchatka, Russia

 

Most people have probably not even heard of Kamchatka. And it’s not surprising. This volcanic wilderness is a 1250 km long peninsula on the far eastern coast of Russia and is almost as remote as it gets.

 

Until 20 years ago tourists were not able to visit the area and even now parts of it are only accessible by helicopter. Kamchatka is very difficult to explore independently and, unless you happen to have your chopper license handy, often impossible.

There are of course companies that offer organised trekking tours. For a price.

 

Photo credit: Gile Breton

 

To attempt the 130km and 10 day trek into the Valley of the Geysers you fly by helicopter from the main town of Petropavlovsk to the million hectare Kronotsky Reserve on the eastern edge of the peninsula.

 

The trek explores the reserve’s mountains, Siberian pine forrests, glaciers, lakes, hot springs, open highlands and several of the 29 active volcanoes before finally descending into the Valley of the Geysers.

 

This is the only geyser field in Eurasia and has over 20 main geysers, some belching and exploding every 10 minutes or so.

 

Goreli Crater. Photo credit: Archangem

 

Often referred to as the ‘land of fire and ice’, Kamchatka is adventure travel at it’s finest.

 

As well as the trek there are plenty of volcanoes to climb – a few hundred apparently. Because of the need for helicopters and guides, this trip is pretty pricey. There is also a ridiculously large population of bears.

 

I’m terrified of bears and helicopters, but I have to say there’s no way that’s going to stop me heading to this incredible corner of our earth one day.

 

Mutnovsky Volcano. Photo credit: Robert Nunn

 

Is Kamchatka on your wish list?

Do you love remote, faraway places like Kamchatka or do you prefer a more easily accessible destination?

 

 

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