Kamchatka - The Lost World

Written by 56th Parallel on 2nd Aug 2018
Kamchatka volcanoes trekking tour Russia bears and volcanoes

This is the ultimate Kamchatka adventure tour. Discover everything that makes Kamchatka paradise for nature lovers and intrepid adventures whose dream is to wander far from the well-trodden path. This comprehensive tour of Kamchatka takes place over 18 of the most memorable days you’re ever likely to experience. With almost three weeks to explore the peninsula, this uncommon journey allows you to traverse vast distances to remote lands and explore all the most breathtaking highlights of Russia’s mythical Far East. Staying in a mix of hotels, wooden cabins and spectacular campgrounds and travelling by helicopter and 4WD, we visit as many unique habitats as possible. Feast your eyes and cameras on the volcanic ranges and lava fields of the Pacific Ring of Fire, untouched swathes of old growth forest, mountain hot springs, majestic coastline and the wind-swept tundra where Kamchatka’s last nomads make their summer camps alongside their reindeer herds.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Fly to Kurilskoye Lake via helicopter. During salmon season, Kuril Lake is one of the few places you can observe brown bears in their natural habitat at close proximity. To get the best chance of heart-stopping close encounters and amazing photos ops, we’ll watch the bears feeding along the shore from a motorboat, as well as on-land from a viewing platform overlooking prime fishing territory
  • Travel cross-country on remote roads to Central Kamchatka, home of the Even and Koryak tribes, the “people of the reindeer”, who set up their summer camps near the village of Esso. You’ll be granted the extraordinary privilege of experiencing traditional nomad life, spending a night camped out with the herders in their tents
  • Embark on a full day trek to the summit of Mutnovsky, a hike containing some of the of the scenically beautiful landscapes in Kamchatka. Feel as if you’re witnessing the earth’s creation as you gaze down from the rim of the crater upon glaciers and mineral lakes and the torches of sulphur spewing fumaroles
  • Visit the eerily beautiful Dead Forest and lava fields beneath Tolbachik volcano. The result of an enormous eruption between 1975 and 1976, the larch trees at the volcanoes foothill have become petrified ghosts of their former selves
  • Trek to the top of Mount Gorely (1,829m), one of the most active volcanoes in Russia. Enjoy a picnic lunch on a rock ledge just below the crater, with magnificent views of the volcanic lake and steaming fumaroles below

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Lake Baikal Photography Expedition

Written by 56th Parallel on 4th Nov 2016
Lake Baikal photo tour

Lake Baikal Photography Expedition has the well-deserved honour of highlighting Siberia’s most famous frozen landscapes. Summer sees the bulk of tourist activity in the area, but it’s in winter that the most devoted photographers make the pilgrimage, hoping to capture once-in-a-lifetime images of the natural world at its most powerful and surreal. READ MORE

Golden Eagle, Luxury Trans-Siberian Express

Written by 56th Parallel on 5th Jun 2016
Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Moscow to Vladivostok tour, Trans-siberian railway, Trans-siberian express

Undoubtedly the world’s greatest railway journey, the Trans-Siberian Railway runs like a steel ribbon across mysterious Russia connecting east and west from Moscow over the Urals, across the magnificent and endless steppe and alongside the shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake. Opened in stages between 1891 and 1916, this extraordinary engineering achievement is a vital link for all the communities that live in close proximity to the line – and to travel along this route is by far the best way to experience the vastness and grandeur of Russia’s rarely visited interior.

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Arctic Rail Explorer - Quest for Northern Lights

Written by 56th Parallel on 4th Jun 2016
Northern Lights train tour, northern lights Russia tour

This compelling 12-day Northern Lights Train Tour offers a unique contrast between two of Russia’s most majestic cities and the remote, yet charming communities deep within the Russian and Norwegian Arctic Circle. Commencing in St. Petersburg, we visit some of the city’s most prominent historical and cultural sites on this railway journey before embarking on this remarkable arctic adventure onboard the Golden Eagle.  READ MORE

Naadam Festival - Trans-Mongolian Express

Written by 56th Parallel on 3rd Jun 2016
Naadam Festival, discover Mongolia, Trans-Mongolian Express railway

Rail cruising is a fantastic way to absorb the rich culture of the Naadam Festival and cinematic landscape of the country. Our exclusive Trans-Mongolian Express rail journey through Russia and Central Asia combines first-class customer service with a romantic exploration of the world’s most remarkable sites and a room with a view that constantly changes; offering a unique and memorable exploration of the places we visit. READ MORE

Trekking Volcanoes in Kamchatka

Written by 56th Parallel on 28th Dec 2015
trekking volcanoes in Kamchatka tour

This 2-week volcano trekking expedition in wildest Kamchatka, Siberia is geared towards the active and adventurous traveller. We’ll climb several volcanoes during the trip, although all are easy to moderately strenuous hikes, with no special climbing gear involved. In addition, we’ll travel by 4WD to remote Central Kamchatka to the summer camps of the Even and Koryak tribes, indigenous Kamchatkans who still live a semi-nomadic way of life, herding reindeer and keeping their distance from urbanised lifestyles in order to preserve their ancient culture and unique mix of Christian and shamanic beliefs. This guided Kamchatka trekking tour involves a mix of hotel stays, camping, off-road driving and trekking, with an average height of 1,200m above sea level.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spend a night camped out in tents or log cabins in Klyuchevskoy Nature Park, a World Heritage-listed natural preserve which contains 13 of Eurasia’s most spectacular and active volcanoes at its centre. Enjoy a real Siberian sauna (banya) in the wilderness beneath a stunning night starry sky
  • Visit the eerily beautiful Dead Forest and lava fields beneath Tolbachik volcano. The result of an enormous eruption between 1975 and 1976, the larch trees at the volcano’s foothill have become petrified ghosts of their former selves

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Kamchatka - Kingdom of the Brown Bears

Written by Anna Schneider on 8th Dec 2015
Kamchatka Bears

Perhaps the most potent symbols of Kamchatka’s untamed nature are its towering volcanoes and its most famous furry resident, the mighty Kamchatka brown bear, ancestor of the Alaskan Kodiak bear and equally as imposing in size. These two iconic natural emblems are the main subjects of this tour, an adventure into the wilds of Russia’s Far East that’s equal parts thrilling and humbling. Including three nights staying in a forest cabin on Kuril Lake at the height of the bear’s salmon hunting season, this Kamchatka wildlife tour will get you closer than you ever imagined to the animal inhabitants of the peninsula.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Kuril Lake during the summer salmon run is one of only a few places where visitors can observe hunting brown bears in their natural habitat at close proximity. To get the best chances of adrenaline-pumping close encounters and amazing photos ops, we’ll watch bears feed and frolick along the shore from a motorboat, as well as on-land from a special viewing platform overlooking prime fishing grounds.
  • Take off in a Russian Mi-8 helicopter for a breathtaking flight to the Khodutka River hot springs, nestled in a forested valley where we’ll bathe, relax and camp for the evening. The largest collection of hot springs in Kamchatka, water temperatures in the various spring pools range from 40 and 60°C.

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Kamchatka Photography Expedition

Written by 56th Parallel on 4th Feb 2015
Kamchatka Bears, Kamchatka photo expedition

On this 2 week Kamchatka tour designed especially for landscape, nature and wildlife photography enthusiasts, stay on the shores of the iconic Kurilskoye Lake and take part in some of the best brown bear photo opportunities anywhere in the world, as the bears gorge themselves during the annual salmon run. Hike to the summits of some of Kamchatka’s active volcanoes for thrilling shots of steaming vents, acid lakes, and smoking craters. Your aim – to return to “Earth” with images of alien landscapes and wild nature worthy of the pages of National Geographic. This tour will suit the professional and amateur photographers, active and adventurous travellers. No prior mountain climbing experience is required, but a decent level of fitness is strongly recommended.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Brace yourself for a bone rattling journey on a Russian 6WD all-terrain vehicle on a road tracing the western coast of Kamchatka (complete with river crossing) to isolated Pauzhetka village. Pauzhhetka is a tiny settlement between the Sea of Okhost and Kuril Lake, surrounded on all sides by towering volcanoes
  • Fly to Kurilskoye Lake via helicopter for a two day shooting and photo workshopping season among the brown bears who gather at the lake in large numbers during the salmon season To get the best chance of heart-stopping close encounters and amazing photos ops, we’ll watch the bears on land and on boat, staying overnight in log cabins close to the lake shore
  • Russkaya Bay Cruise: Set sail from the capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and explore the wildlife rich waters of Russkaya Bay and the Starichkov Island seabird capital. Try your hand shooting marine mammals including whales and seals and enjoy a lunch of freshly caught seafood
  • Embark on full day trek to the summit of Mutnovsky, a hike containing some of the of the scenically beautiful landscapes in Kamchatka. Feel as if you’re witnessing the earth’s creation as you gaze down from the rim of the crater upon glaciers and mineral lakes and the torches of sulphur spewing fumaroles far below
  • Trek to the top of Mount Gorely (1,829m), one of the most active volcanoes in Russia. Enjoy a picnic lunch on a rock ledge just below the crater, with magnificent views of the vivid blue acidic lake below

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Legend of Lake Baikal

Written by 56th Parallel on 12th Nov 2014
Legend of Lake Baikal, Lake Baikal Summer Tour

Dive into the Legend of Lake Baikal on this glorious summer excursion to the glittering Blue Pearl of Russia. Plummeting to 1,642m at its deepest point, Baikal is also the world’s most voluminous lake. Its mirror-clear waters are a reflection of Siberia’s wildness, its vastness and its beauty. Baikal is a place where shamans still speak to the spirit world, wildlife-rich virgin forests thrive and lake-living seals fish and frolic in freshwater. Surrounded by jagged mountains and taiga of pine, fir and cedar, Lake Baikal is a protected World Heritage site. Unsurprisingly, it is the most famous attraction in Siberia, but Baikal’s sheer size means there’s always an escape from the crowds.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Taltsy Museum between Irkutsk and Listvyanka is a fabulously comprehensive open air museum, set over 64 acres. Over 40 historical buildings from both the Russian and Buryat cultures of Baikal have been painstakingly reconstructed and authentically furnished. Wander through the streets of an 18th century Siberian village and get a feel for life in a nomadic Buryat summer camp
  • Cruise to Olkhon Island, the largest of Lake Baikal’s islands and the “capital” of shamanistic culture. On a day tour of Olkhon’s natural wonders, discover untouched Siberian forests, craggy capes, pristine beaches and jaw-dropping sunsets
  • Baikal Nature Reserve: Here, the desolate mountains of the Khmar Daban Range descend steeply to the rocky shores of this wild south eastern stretch of coast. The park preserves subalpine meadows and tundra, and deep within the taiga, bears, lynx and eagles. Hike along the Oskinova River, guided by a local huntsman to a crystal clear waterfall and enjoy a homemade lunch at a riverside hunter’s hut

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Lake Baikal Ice Adventure

Written by 56th Parallel on 11th Nov 2014
Lake Baikal winter tour

Our Lake Baikal Ice Adventure tour takes place during late February and March. The beginning of spring in the Baikal region, at this time of year, the temperature climbs above zero, but the surface of the lake is still largely frozen, covered by solid winter ice so clear you can see rocks and other objects at the bottom of the lake as far as 40m below. During spring, Baikal receives few visitors compared to the summer high season, allowing you to feel an inspiring sense of isolation and communion with undisturbed nature during this handcrafted 6 day tour. Be amazed by the frozen beauty of the world’s oldest and deepest lake and experience real-life walking on water. We’ve included a few activities exclusive to the cooler months such as ice skating, ice rafting and ice golf to add a sprinkle of spills and thrills to this thoroughly enjoyable adventure.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Embark on an over-ice expedition by 4WD to Olkhon Island, the largest of Lake Baikal’s islands and the centre of shamanic energy for the Buryat people. Spend two nights on the island and discover pristine beaches, craggy capes and untouched Siberian forests 
  • While on Olkhon Island, participate in a round of special activities for Baikal’s ‘ice travellers’. Take your pick from ice golf, tube riding or ice skating, or just head out on to the ice for a once-in-a-lifetime photoshoot! 
  • Visit Buguldeika on Olkhon Island, a small rural village amid spectacular natural surround including forested mountains and ancient caves in the valley of the Buguldeika River. Spend the night in a real hunters cabin hidden in the middle of the taiga 
  • Our over-ice driving 4WD expedition continues on to Peschanaya Bay, part of the Baikal National Park and widely considered to be the most beautiful sandy bay in all of Baikal 
  • Ice Rafting: Indulge in an amazing experience unique to Baikal – rafting down the Angara River near Listvyanka village on a raft made of solid ice cut from the surface of the lake, enjoy mulled wine, chocolate and cheese along the way

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Highlights of Lake Baikal Cruise

Written by 56th Parallel on 17th Apr 2014
Lake Baikal cruise, Lake Baikal boat tour

After the winter-time freeze, Baikal becomes a balmy summer boating paradise – a vast expanse of calm water with shimmering azure bays and a shoreline hugged by dramatic mountains, pristine forests and quaint ethnic villages. This relaxing three-day Lake Baikal cruise will take you to some of the most picturesque beauty spots in and around Lake Baikal, travelling on board the modern cruise ship Sibiryak with just 11 other guests. In three days, you’ll be able to take in a truly memorable taste of Siberia’s unique culture and nature – including a scenic journey on the magnificent Circum-Baikal Railroad and a walking tour of the Baikal National Park.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover one of the most extraordinary man-made attractions in Baikal, the Circum-Baikal Railway. Cruise to one of the most picturesque stretches of the train line, sety between the coast and the dramatic slopes of the Primorsky Range. Later, we’ll disembark for a walking tour of the railway’s abandoned tunnels and galleries
  • Steam into Peschanaya Bay as the sun rises, a secluded cove renowned for its long, white sand beach, clear shallow water and majestic, panoramic mountain backdrop. Hike the scenic two hour mountain track between Peschanaya and Sennaya Bay within the protected Baikal National Park
  • Olkhon Island is the largest island in Lake Baikal, housing forests, mountains, Buryat settlements and sacred shamanic sites. Pass through the narrow Maloe More, the 70km strait that separates Olkhon from the mainland

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Kayaking Lake Baikal

Written by 56th Parallel on 25th Feb 2014
Kayaking Lake Baikal tour, Lake Baikal kayaking tour

Be swept away by the relaxed and tranquil atmosphere of Lake Baikal. Kayaking Lake Baikal tour takes you across crystal clear waters by day and sleeping on its shores by night. Experience its diverse range of flora and fauna as you paddle your way through breathtaking coves and picturesque bays. Discover pristine golden beaches, ‘walking trees’ and if you’re lucky, get up close and personal with the beloved Baikal seals. From Buguldeika village to Peschanaya, this Lake Baikal Kayaking tour invites guests to feel the energy of the world’s oldest lake as they navigate on its transparent water and relax on the soft sands of its shores.

 

Kamchatka Discovery

Written by 56th Parallel on 20th Feb 2014
Valley of the geysers Kamchatka, Kamchatka discovery

There are adventure travel destinations. And then there’s Kamchatka. If you crave transformative travel experiences, communion with nature and wilderness that is still truly “wild”, Kamchatka is a bucket list destination that will fulfil your frontier travel fantasies. The remoteness and sheer size of the Kamchatka Peninsula don’t always make for a leisurely vacation, but our Kamchatka Discovery tour with private transport makes seeing many of the Siberian territory’s most spectacular sights possible over eight enthralling days.

To make the most of your time in Kamchatka, you’ll tour the peninsula by 4WD, on foot and on board a boutique cruising yacht. Perhaps the most ideal way to travel Kamchatka’s great distances is by helicopter. On one of our optional helicopter excursion, land next to Kurilskoye Lake to observe the famous fish brown bears, or take a fly-over across the Valley of Geysers for an incredible bird’s eye view of the kind of bizarre and beautiful primitive landscapes that make Kamchatka so alluringly otherworldly.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Avachinskaya Bay cruise: Spend half a day tracing the twisting coastline from tranquil Avacha Bay out to Starichkov Island, a nature reserve renowned for its seabird population
  • Volcano trekking around Mount Vachkazhets: Discover the surprising beauty of the peninsula’s volcanic landscapes on a circuit of the Vachkazhets volcano, an easy four-hour hike passing flower-filled meadows, waterfalls and panoramic mountain viewpoints

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Sea Kayaking in Kamchatka

Written by 56th Parallel on 6th Mar 2013
Kamchatka kayaking tour, Kamchatka sea kayaking

This epic Kamchatka kayaking tour, of roughly 110km, will take you to parts of this dramatic region only accessible by small sea craft. Tracing the coastline of the peninsula south from the calm waters of Avacha Bay, you’ll paddle beneath the shadows of snowy volcanoes and explore mysterious sea caves. Visit the incredible Starichkov Island Nature Reserve – the biggest birds colony and impressive Russkaya Bay, where we will observe vivid marine wildlife. What better way to experience the incredible wilderness of Kamchatka than on this Russia sea kayaking adventure?
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About 56th Parallel

56th Parallel is a travel company specialising in providing packaged tours and travel services in Russia.

Our goal is to redefine travel to Russia, focusing on creating the most rewarding experiences, which help travellers unfolds the soul of this exciting destination.

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