- Duration 7 hours
This trip to Kamchatka will introduce you to the three attributes of this peninsula at the end of the world: volcanoes, salmon-fishing bears and birds of the Pacific. The programme includes a camping trip in the tundra at the foot of a volcano located in the southern half of the peninsula. From your base on the tundra, you will climb the Gorely and Mutnovsky Volcanoes that are accessible to anyone in good physical shape. Back in civilisation, you will embark on a boat trip on the Pacific with one free day for a helicopter excursion. The second part of your journey will start by a 500-km ride north to the highest and most active volcano in Kamchatka: the Klyuchevskoy. Infrastructure is practically non-existent in this wild corner of the planet, so you will spend a few nights in a tent. We do our best to make this trip as comfortable as possible according to the conditions in Kamchatka: every 2–3 nights will be spent in a hotel or guest house with a banya.
Leave in the afternoon for Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Night flight (duration: 8h10). Tip : check in 24 hours before departure to choose your seats on the lefthand side of the plane in front of or behind the wing. This way, you will get magnificent views over the volcanoes and Avacha Bay when you are landing.
Late morning arrival (+8 hours time difference with Moscow) in Kamchatka (airport Yelizovo). Your English-speaking guide will be waiting for you with a sign Artel Troika. Transfer to Petropavlovsk (40 minutes). Lunch in town. Minibus tour of the town with your guide. Panoramic views of the city and Avacha Bay from the Mishennaya Hill (381 metres above sea level). Then you will head to the Pacific coast at Khalaktirsky, a 20 km-long beach of black volcanic sand. Transfer to Paratunka (1 hour), a small seaside resort built over volcanic hot springs. At a distance of 50 km from Petropavlovsk and surrounded by Erman birch trees, Paratunka is the departure point for further expeditions deep into the peninsula. Arrive at the hotel. Dinner at the hotel restaurant. Night in Paratunka.
After breakfast, transfer by truck to the plateau at the feet of the Gorely et Mutnovsky volcanoes (4 hours, 80 km off-road on a dirt track). The exact plan of the day will depend on weather conditions: if it is raining, you will stop at the hot springs and visit small geysers, if the weather is mild, you will climb Gorely. Settle into camp on the plateau: 2-person tents, 1 large kitchen tent with table and chairs. A cook will prepare dinner. Outdoor toilets. Night in a tent.
Climb to the Mutnovsky crater (2,323 metres above sea level): 6-hour hike with total +800m altitude gain. You will pass active fumaroles, siphons, mudpots and a crater lake. The crater of the Mutnovsky Volcano is one of most incredible volcanic sights in Kamchatka. Rigid walls of dazzling glaciers surround a wide and deep crater. Return to camp. Night in a tent (900 metres above sea level).
Climb Gorely on a path through slag fields, lava flows and caves (5 hours, +900m altitude gain). Return to camp. In the afternoon, leave for Paratunka (4 hours, 80 km off-road on dirt track). Dinner and night in Paratunka.
Day reserved for a helicopter ride to Lake Kuril or the Valley of Geysers.
The famous Valley of Geysers was discovered in 1941 and is one of the world’s largest. It is distinguished by the sheer number of hot water springs, streams and steam. In fact, it has the second largest concentration of geysers in the world.
Kamchatka has the biggest population of bears in Russia. The Kamchatka brown bears are found around Lake Kuril during the salmon spawning season.
Boat excursion to Starichkov Island. You will sail through Avacha Bay, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. The views over Kamchatka’s volcanoes, especially Avachinsky, are simply gripping when the weather is good. Upon leaving Avacha Bay, you will pass by the “Three Brothers”, a rock formation. Many seals live here because the waters are particularly clean. Along the way, we will get close to Starichkov Island and its many rookeries. Return to the Petropavlovsk port. Transfer to Paratunka. Dinner and night in Paratunka.
Departure by 4x4 truck to the village of Kozirevsk at the foot of the Klyuchevskoy Volcano that dominates the peninsula at an altitude of 4,835 metres (500 km, 8–9 hours). 300 km of the road is surfaced and passes through the valley of the peninsula’s largest river, the Kamchatka. Heading north, you will see the vegetation change: deciduous trees of the Pacific are replaced by larch trees. Stop for lunch in the village cantin of Milkovo. Departure for Kozirevsk. Evening and night with a local in a camp in the village of Kozirevsk.
After breakfast at a local’s house, hike to the foot of the Tolbachik Volcano (70 km, 4 hours). Not far from Kozirevsk, you will take a track through the taiga, then along the Studenaya River. When you get to the slag fields, you will discover the destruction caused by the 1975 eruption. This place is known for its lunar landscapes of cones formed in the northern eruption zone, and the buried forest ( +400 m ascent). The eruption lasted 1.5 months and engulfed the tundra and forest in a deep mantle of slag. Here, you will truly understand the violence of these eruptions. Camp at the foot of Tolbachik (1,200 metres above sea level). Night in a tent.
Explore the new eruption zone of Tolbachik. This day focuses on the consequences of the last eruption in 2013. You will walk on a recent lava flow and observe lava tunnels, pahoehoe lava (e.g., ropey lava strands) and gas vents, which are all typical characteristics of volcanic activity. Return to camp. Night in a tent (1,200 metres above sea level).
After breakfast, there may be a hike if the weather conditions allow it. Ascent to a viewing point to see the Zimina and Kamen Volcanoes. In the afternoon, departure for the village of Kozirevsk (70 km, 4 hours). Russian banya. Dinner and night at a local home in Kozirevsk.
After breakfast, depart for Paratunka with a lunch stop at Milkovo (500 km, 9 hours). Settle in at the hotel. Night in Paratunka.
Transfer to the airport. On the way, you will stop at the Yelizovo fish market to buy local produce: red caviar, crab, etc. Flight from Petropavlovsk to Moscow.