10 Most Amazing Destinations in Eastern Russia

by Alexander Maxim
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Cityscape and Koryaksky Volcano at Sunrise

10 Most Amazing Destinations in Eastern Russia

Tourists often visit the western part of Russia. While visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg, you shouldn’t overlook what Eastern Russia has to offer. If you’re into the great outdoors, the Far East of Russia is the place to go. It’s filled with national parks, volcanoes, and snow-capped peaks.

The islands off the coast provide a glimpse into a different side of Russia, and the Far East is a convenient jumping-off point for trips into China and Mongolia. Russia’s Far East is an amazing place to explore, with attractions ranging from Yakutsk (the coldest city on Earth) to Wrangel Island (Polar Bear Island).

10. Oymyakon

Yuchugey village. Oymyakon.

A stunning view of the remote Yuchugey village in Oymyakon. Image source: Spiridon Sleptsov/Shutterstock.com

Yakutsk could be the coldest city on Earth, but Oymyakon is much colder. This town holds the record for the world’s coldest climate for human habitation. As far as we know, Oymyakon is the place on Earth where the temperature is the coldest outside of Antarctica. Planes are unable to land for a portion of the year due to the very cold winters.

Travel groups from nearby cities can drive in, but solo winter exploration is not recommended. When in Oymyakon, whether in the summer or the winter, be sure to check out the Pole of Cold Monument, a monument that celebrates the town’s frigid environment.

9. Valley of Geysers

Russia. Kamchatka. The mountains and fumaroles of the Valley of Geysers.

A stunning aerial view of the Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka, Russia. Image source: AlexUm5/Shutterstock.com

The Kamchatka Peninsula is home to a geyser field known as the Valley of the Geysers. All of its many geysers can be found in a single basin, together with steaming pools and a flowing river. It is located inside the Kronotsky National Wildlife Refuge. The Valley of the Geysers has lost some of its luster, unfortunately.

Rapid mudflows in 2007 flooded the valley. As a result of the covering of more than 60% of the geysers, the region is permanently damaged. Some of the muck is starting to recede, so there’s hope that the Valley of the Geysers might return to its former beauty.

8. Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve

Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve. Wooden footbridge over a small stream in the autumn forest.

A serene view of the autumn forest in the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve. Image source: Alexander Khitrov/Shutterstock.com

The Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve is notable for numerous things. First, and most crucially, it is home to the Sikhote-Alin Mountain Range. Many photographers find inspiration in the stunning scene formed by the combination of these towering hills and picturesque valleys. The rich biodiversity of the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve complements the stunning scenery.

Brown bears, the Amur goral goat, and even the tiger’s traces have all been seen in the area. Astronomy buffs would remember the name Sikhote-Alin since in the 1970s, one of the biggest meteorites ever to strike the Earth dropped upon the nature reserve, lighting up the night sky along the way like a ball of fire.

7. Yakutsk

Gradoyakutskiy Transfiguration Church in Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russia.

A beautiful view of the Gradoyakutskiy Transfiguration Church in Yakutsk, the capital of the Sakha Republic in Russia. Image source: Hani Santosa/Shutterstock.com

As the world’s coldest major city, Yakutsk is a unique and intriguing tourist destination. The winters are often quite cold, although the summers can be rather warm. All twelve months of the year, you can choose from a wide variety of fun indoor and outdoor pursuits. If you’re interested in 19th-century architecture, you should definitely check out the Old City. Then, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, visit the Institute of Cryogenics’ Underground Laboratory to examine frozen artifacts and even mammoth bones.

6. Esso

Significant places in the village of Esso in Kamchatka. Russia.

A fascinating view of the village of Esso in Kamchatka. Image source: DMITRIY VOROSHILOV/Shutterstock.com

Esso is a small village in the Kamchatka region, which is known for its extreme cold but also for a fantastic way to keep warm. The town’s quaint wooden houses are kept warm by the town’s many hot springs.

Relax in these wonderful, reasonably priced, and conveniently accessible hot springs after a day of exploring Bystrinsky Nature Park, stopping by reindeer farms, or taking a dog sled ride. Keep visiting for the yearly international dog sledding competition.

5. Lena Pillars Nature Park

Scenic view of rock pillars in Lena Pillars National Park

A stunning view of the rock pillars in Lena Pillars National Park in Yakutia, Russia. Image source: Vicky Ivanova/Shutterstock.com

The Lena Pillars Nature Park can be found about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Yakutsk. Taking a boat from Yakutsk down the Lena River to the park is the most relaxing and scenic way to get there. Lena Pillars is a natural rock structure that stands more than 300 meters (980 feet) tall in certain areas and has been there since the Paleozoic Era. It’s worth getting out on land to hike around the pillars’ bases and up to their summits, since the result is spectacular scenery in both directions. Layers of limestone, dolomite, and slate provide aesthetic appeal and intrigue to the rocky outcrops.

4. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Cityscape and Koryaksky Volcano at Sunrise

A beautiful sunrise in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky with the Koryaksky volcano in the background. Image source: Alex Tihonovs/Shutterstock.com

Visitors in quest for fresh air, adventure, and fun in the sun will find what they’re looking for in the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Approximately 200 thousand people call this city, which can only be reached by air or water, home.

There are a few cool things to do inside the city boundaries, including Lenin Square, but most of the exciting stuff happens just outside the city. Day trips can be taken to see wild bears, try paragliding, or fish in Avacha Bay.

3. Kuril Islands

Scenic view of a mountainous island in Russia

A breathtaking view of Paramushir Island, part of the Kuril Islands in Russia. Image source: Belikova Oksana/Shutterstock.com

The Kuril Islands are a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean between Russia and Japan. Few people live on the islands, but those who do speak both Russian and Japanese. The natural splendor of the Kuril Islands is a major draw for visitors. The Kuril Islands are located on the Pacific Rim of Fire, a belt of potentially explosive islands that stretches around the perimeter of the ocean.

If you’re lucky enough to be granted permission to go to the Kuril Islands, you can take in sights like Mt. Tyatya, beautiful blue lagoons, hot geothermal rivers, and breathtaking cliffside vistas from Stolbchaty Cape.

2. Wrangel Island

Aerial view of Wrangel Island, Chukotka

A stunning aerial view of the Wrangel Island in Chukotka, Russia. Image source: Vera Vakulova/Shutterstock.com

Since Wrangel Island sits above the Arctic Circle, weather and scenery will be typical of a tundra region. Wrangel is a world-famous destination for nature enthusiasts despite its high temperature and the difficulties of traveling to the island. This could be your best chance to see Arctic animals in the wild. Animals including polar bears, Arctic foxes, reindeer, and walruses roam the land of Wrangel Island.

With a knowledgeable guide, it’s almost certain that you’ll see polar bears in their natural environment, since there are several dens around the area. Grey whales are not only seen from boats far out at sea but even from the shoreline.

1. Vladivostok

Aerial view of Vladivostok city

A breathtaking panoramic view of Vladivostok city in Russia. Image source: saiko3p/Shutterstock.com

Vladivostok is a significant Pacific port city that is located just 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the North Korean border. Since it is the last stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia, many tourists have visited Vladivostok. A trip to Golden Horn Bay, home to the Russian Navy’s fleet, is a great place to begin your exploration of the water’s top sights.

Sportivnaya Harbor is great for a swim if the weather is nice or for a stroll over the ice in the winter. In addition to the floral gardens, the Museum of Vladivostok Fortress and the Sportivnaya Market are all great places to spend a day or two.

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