Kamchatka: Discover a land of fire, volcanoes, earthquakes…and crab!

Kamchatka is very different from other parts of Russia. It’s a land of volcanoes and glaciers, hot springs and boiling geysers, swift rivers, lakes and waterfalls. It’s one of the country’s most Eastern – and remote – regions, with few permanently inhabited settlements.

Volcanoes are the region’s pride and main attraction: they adorn both its flag and coat of arms, and are included on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Kamchatka contains over 300 volcanoes in total, which partially explains the frequent earthquakes the region experiences.

Kamchatka’s flora is less exotic: the most common tree is the stone birch (not unlike many other parts of Russia). Large conifers are less common; the Yezo spruce forms forests only in the Kamchatka river valley. Much of the rest of the region’s territory is covered in tall grass. Wild berries abound: — there are honeysuckle berries, two kinds of bog whortleberry, lingonberry, two kinds of cranberry, and many others are growing on the peninsula.

The waters around Kamchatka – including the Pacific Ocean – are rich in mussels, shrimp and king crab and are also home to various seals, walruses, orcas and fish. However the region’s rivers and lakes are relatively poorly stocked with marine wildlife. Above ground, Kamchatka is rich in various birds, sables, otters, moose and reindeer. However, many mammals commonly found in other parts of Eastern Siberia and the taiga can’t be found there. But watch out – the Kamchatka brown bear is never far away!

One of Kamchatka’s most mysterious and beautiful places can be found at the Nalychevo Nature Park, located next to a river of the same name. The park contains glaciers, ancient volcanoes and thermal springs and it’s adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Inside the park, predators like wolverines and lynxes abound.