Far Kamchatka: hot springs, wild bears and volcano freeride skiing

Price for holiday on Kamchatka

The Kamchatka Peninsula surrounded by two seas and the Pacific Ocean can be visited every summer and winter. The territory that’s far from Central Russia is ready to welcome tourists every season and has things to attract them with. Both fans of sport fishing and hunting and amateurs of skiing tourism gathered on the peninsula. Connoisseurs of beach holiday can visit hot Kamchatka springs. Realnoe Vremya’s analytic staff found out the price for a flight to the peninsula, how to get to the geyser valley and see volcanoes.

Better to book a holiday on Kamchatka 6 months in advance

Tourists who once have visited Kamchatka confessed Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent that they plan to go to the peninsula one more time, as the krai’s nature is so diverse that it’s impossible to see in for two weeks of an average holiday. Kamchatka’s climate, geographical location and natural resources allow to visit it all year round.

It’s better to book a holiday on the peninsula 6 months in advance, then it will be possible to buy plane tickets and the tour cheaper. When talking with Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent, tour operators stated that Russian airlines often have special offers. There are no direct flights from Kazan to Kamchatka, this is why one will have to get to Moscow or Saint Petersburg first.

By the time the article was written in April, the price for a round-trip flight was 35,461 rubles with one connection to 57,711 rubles with three connections depending on the airline. Ticket prices to Kamchatka are more expensive in summer and autumn than when it’s cold. ‘‘An Aeroflot round-trip flight in winter will be 25-26,000 rubles. In summer, in case a ticket is purchased a year beforehand, one can find a ticket for the same price. A flight in June-August is from 60,000 to 100,000,’’ replied Montane Territory tourism company’s manager.

Moreover, Kamchatka’s airport is not in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky but in the suburban Yelizovo, which is 30 km far from the city. As a rule, tour companies provide guests with transfer by the beginning of the route.

Kamchatka’s airport is not in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky but in the suburban Yelizovo. Photo: aviateka.su

Land of volcanoes and geysers from helicopter’s cabin

People go to Kamchatka to visit hot and mineral springs, volcanoes and glaciers, the Geyser Valley. Tourists will be able to evaluate the beauty of Kamchatka Krai barely stepping off the plane: a view on Avachinsky Volcano opens from the runway. It’s seen from everywhere in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, as this active volcano is just 30 km from the city.

As a rule, tourists prefer to purchase a tour consisting of a trip to volcanoes, geysers, rafting, sport fishing. One can go to Avachinsky Volcano together with a guide from Kamchatka Tour company for 8,000 rubles. It takes from 4 to 6 hours to climb it on average. In summer, there is no need for special training or equipment to go up.

Guides can also organise transfer to the active Mutnovsky Volcano for 7,500-8,000 rubles. It’s partly located on the territory of South Kamchatka Nature Park enlisted by the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site. An excursion to the north most active volcano on Kamchatka Shiveluch will take four days. It will cost 30,000 rubles. It includes transfer, meals, accommodation, guide and life insurance.

Travellers will also like a more accelerated variant of the excursion: a helicopter trip to Kamchatka volcanoes. In this case, it’s better to find out the price on the spot. Excursions by helicopter allow to considerably reduce the time and see as many beauties of Kamchatka as possible. One can visit Kurile Lake for 7 hours that salmon shoals enter for spawning, which attracts herds of bears. Over 200 brown bears gathered near the lake at the end of summer. An excursion by helicopter to Kurile Lake will cost 42,000 rubles. The price also includes a visit to Ksudach Volcano, a dip in Khodutkinsky hot springs. A helicopter trip to the Geyser Valley is 39,000 rubles.

People go to Kamchatka to visit hot and mineral springs, volcanoes and glaciers, the Geyser Valley. Photo: ilovekamchatka.ru

Freeride skiing on Kamchatka volcano slopes

Kamchatka is a paradise for lovers of skiing. The manager of Montane Territory tour company specialised in freeride skiing and walking tourism said that Kamchatka was gaining in popularity among inveterate skiers who used to prefer to go skiing in Europe.

‘‘A winter holiday on Kamchatka is more available than the summer one. We told guests that they shouldn’t be afraid of our krai in winter. Everyone got used to hearing that it’s expensive to fly to Kamchatka, though one can visit Europe with the same amount of money. And same Europeans come here for freeride skiing tours,’’ manager of Montane Territory tour company said.

Freeride skiing on wild slopes of snow-covered volcanoes in March-Many is 94,000 rubles and lasts for 10 days. Skiers get to the volcanoes either on foot or by snowmobile. A day of helicopter rent will cost 50,000 rubles, 5-7 lifts can be done in a day.

In the skiing programme, tourists are accompanied by experienced climbers, rescuers, guides. Before a tour, travellers do some training about safety, behaviour in case of an avalanche.

Walking tourism on Kamchatka land in summer will cost 77,000 rubles. During 11 days, travellers will go to volcanoes, go rafting and fish, see the Pacific Ocean and go to a marine trip in Avachinskaya Bay by boat. The price includes transfer from and to the airport, accommodation, hot springs, the ascent of volcanoes, a trip to Opasny Canyon and rafting on Bystraya River. To see all Kamchatka beauties, Montane Territory offers the tour Kamchatka. Golden Ring. The tour is designed for 17 days and costs 108,000 rubles.

“The popularity of Kamchatka is growing. Skiers understand that a holiday here is not so expensive than flying to the Alps. The same amount of money can be spent on plane tickets. In case of booking in advance, we have special offers and discounts on programmes,” manager of Montane Territory tour company said.

Kamchatka is a paradise for lovers of skiing. Photo: kamchattour.ru

“It’s fantastic to see another Russia”

Prices for excursions in Kamchatka Krai depend on the number of days and occupancy. The average tour price is 70,000 ruble, and it lasts for 7-10 days. However, there are cheaper options. Orange Keds designed two 12-day tours to Kamchatka, they cost 32-38,000 rubles excluding plane tickets.

“The youth use our services. As Kamchatka is a promoted trend, many companies raise prices, while we try to get closer to reality. Demand for the peninsular arose four years ago when sanctions appeared. Then Aeroflot began selling tickets to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky as a special offer, and we launched a tour to this destination,’’ noted Maria Blokhina, an organiser of Orange Keds company.

Natalia Tokranova visited Kamchatka with friends two years ago. Then the whole tour with tickets cost 80,000 rubles.

“The programme was called Kamchatka without Rucksacks and lasted for 14 days. The trip was divided into blocks: we lived in tents for three days, then we stayed in a camp, we spent three days to climb the mountains. It was hard to go on foot, and we drove. It’s fantastic to see another Russia. The sky, nature is different there. Even snow didn’t melt down completely on Kamchatka in August, spring comes. We wanted to see bears but saw just only on the last day,” Natalia Tokranova said.

It’s possible that tourists were even lucky. According to guides, brown bears often ruin the tent camp, destroy food, this is why guides have to keep watch all night long.

Demand for Kamchatka is growing, however, local tour companies not always can host everyone. The peninsular has problems with construction materials, this is why tour operators are limited to hosting guests.

A holiday on Kamchatka includes not only walking, skiing and health improving tourism but also offers hunting for bears, wood grouse, Koryak snow sheep. Photo: vezdehod-tour.ru

Hunting for bear and elk from €5,000

A holiday on Kamchatka includes not only walking, skiing and health improving tourism but also offers hunting for bears, wood grouse, Koryak snow sheep. Hunting for Kamchatka bear starts from 22 April to 25 May. The price for the tour per person will cost €5,000, €700 is to be paid to the guide. One can stay in hunters’ houses in Milkovo village.

To hunt for elk, one should fly to Kamchatka in early September, the second period starts in November-December. The hunting tour lasts for 7 days and in the same hunting lands in Milkovo district. Such a programme costs €7,000 per person. Tour operators claim that not a trophy matters in such hunting, the most important thing is “how it was done, even the experience gained in hunting”. Such a tour includes transfer, meals during the hunting, guide, cook, licence.

By Yekaterina Gumarova