The Kamchatka peninsula is one of Russia's most beautiful regions. It is not accessible by car as there are no regular roads leading there from the neighboring Magadan Oblast and Chukotka. Once you get there by air or by sea, you can drive within the peninsula.

Kamchatka is often called "the land of fire and ice". It boasts more than 200 volcanoes which erupt at a regular basis. The best attractions are well away from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Many places require a 6WD, a helicopter or a couple of days hike.

Kamchatka's main city Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was founded in 1741 by Vitus Bering, the Danish-born Russian captain and was used as the base for exploring the Aleutian Islands and Alaska.

Once you get there take a boat tour of Avacha Bay, one of the most beautiful harbors in the world with fascinating rock formations all around it.

Next day could be spent on a trip to Paratunka - a leafy network of spa resorts set up around natural or pool-like hot springs.

To get acquainted with indigenous population it is advisable to take a road trip to the village of Esso located about 500 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the middle of the peninsula. Esso is a quiet, lovely place populated by Even people.

Discovered only in 1941, the Valley of Geysers is located about 200 km north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.  The valley is commonly accessed by a helicopter.

For a traveler of a truly inquisitive nature I recommend to use services of the Heritage-Expeditions - New Zealand's award winning expedition travel company that specializes in worldwide natural history small group expeditions.

Natural History Travel Expeditions

Taking part in one of there cruises gives one a unique opportunity to visit not only mainland Kamchatka but also the Commander Islands and the Wrangel Island rarely visited by regular tourists.

Click Russian Far East Cruises and sign up for the cruise of your choice.