Highlights of the Russian Far East / 14D

14 Days Nature Sights Volcanos Bears Olkhon Island


  The Russia Far East makes up around 40% of the territory of Russia, although it is home to just 6% of the population. This means that you can find here some of the wildest and most beautiful places on the planet, but of course, it also means that it is especially hard to travel around.

  Your trip of a lifetime starts from the deepest lake on the planet - Lake Baikal. Although it is actually located in Eastern Siberia, rather than the Russian Far East, you can’t possibly come all this way and not see one of the most beautiful sights in Russia. You will visit the largest island in the lake - Olkhon - and the southern shore near the village of Listvyanka, from where you will set off on a train trip along the Circumbaikal Railway. 

  Your next region is Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic - an enormous territory which spreads across three time zones, mostly on permafrost. You will visit another natural wonder - the Lena Pillars - giant stone pillars in places reaching 200 metres, which were formed over 500 million years and run for several kilometres along the River Lena.

  After exploring Yakutia you will fly to the Kamchatka Peninsula - the land of volcanoes. There are 29 active volcanoes and about 300 dormant ones here, including the largest in Eurasia - Klyuchevskaya Sopka. Kamchatka can also be called a land of bears as 15% of Russia’s bear population live here. The Kamchatkan brown bear is larger than other brown bears and on this trip, you will visit Lake Kurilskoe - a favourite place for the bears who come here to fish. 

  Your final destination on the programme is Vladivostok, and the end of the world’s longest railway - the Trans-Siberian Railway. The city is often compared to San Francisco due to its relief, bay and beautiful bridge.  It was a closed city up to 1992 as home to Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

  After Vladivostok, you could even continue your trip east to Sakhalin or to Japan.



Arrival in Irkutsk. Transfer to the hotel.

 Night in Irkutsk.


tazheran stepp

Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to the Tazheranskaya Steppe

 Excursion around the Tazheranskaya Steppe - The landscape here resembles the Mongolian Steppe and is unusual for Siberia and its taiga forests. The rocks also found here are over 300-400 million years and are one of the more interesting geological features around Baikal. More than 150 minerals have been found here, including unique ones and even two new ones: tazheranit and azoproit.

Transfer to Olkhon - the largest island in Baikal.

 Night on Olkhon.


olkhon island

Breakfast at the hotel.

 Excursion to Cape Khoboy - Cape Khoboy is the northernmost tip of Olkhon Island. Its name means ‘fang’ in Buryat. It is located 77km from the island’s ferry crossing and 40km from Khuzhir - the largest settlement on the island. From here you can enjoy amazing views of the vast open water of Lake Baikal. In clear weather, you can see the Syatoy Nos (Holy Nose) peninsula on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal.

Lunch box picnic.

 Night in Khuzhir.



Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to Listvyanka  - Listvyanka is one of the main tourist destinations in south Baikal and the closest spot on Lake Baikal to Irkutsk.

 Night in Listvyanka.


baikal train

Breakfast at the hotel.

Excursion around the Circum-Baikal Railway - this was the most difficult and expensive railway projects of imperial Russia and the main goal was to connect the two sections of the Trans-Siberian Railway to link Central Russia to the Far East. It took four years to build this 260km stretch of railway and each 400 metres involves some sort of engineering feature such as a bridge, tunnel or gallery, many of which are unique and especially designed for this railway. 

The railway runs along the coast of Baikal and so throughout the trip you will be accompanied by beautiful views and you will make stops at some of the most picturesque places and interesting sections of the railway. You will have your luggage with you on the train.

Lunch is included.

 Night in Irkutsk.



Breakfast at the hotel.Transfer to the airport. Flight to Yakutsk. Duration: 2h30

Upon arrival a transfer to the hotel.

 Night in Yakutsk.



Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to the airport and flight to Yakutsk.

Upon arrival a transfer to your hotel. 

 City Tour of Yakutsk - the largest city on earth built on permafrost. It is the capital of the Republic of Yakutia (Sakha), a land rich in gold, oil, gas, diamonds and other precious stones and minerals. 

 Night in Yakutsk.


Lena Pillars

Breakfast at the hotel.

Excursion to the Lena Pillars by car and boat - the Lena Pillars are remnants of ancient Cambrian limestone bedrock. The natural formations running 40km along the River Lena are spectacular and some people are reminded of a great wall, castle, columns or church. Up close some people even say they can see figures resembling knights. Some ancient rock pictograms are also found here made out of a yellow mineral pigment by the original inhabitants of the area. These include depictions of animals, an ancient Turkic runic script and people.

Lunch box picnic.

 Night in Yakutsk.



Breakfast at the hotel.

Excursion to a Yakutian Horse Farm - Yakutian horses are a special breed which can cope with a 100C range of temperatures from +40C in summer and -60C in summer. They are furry and squat with a big head and strong legs, which allow them to get to the grass through the snow in winter months. Despite the difficult surroundings, they can weigh up to 400kg, of which up to 80% is fat to keep them warm.

During the excursion, you will see both domesticated and wild horses that live in special enclosures. Lunch is included.

 Night in Yakutsk.


Khalaktyrsky beach

Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to the airport. Flight to Petropavlovsk - Kamchatsky.

Arrival in Petropavlovsk and transfer to the hotel.

City tour of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky - Although Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is not the most beautiful city in Russia, its natural surroundings completely make up for this. The Soviet architecture against a backdrop of volcanoes certainly creates a contrast. During this tour you will visit Nikolskaya Hill, which was one of the reasons the city was first founded here. In 1740 Vitus Bering chose the location to set up a base here, and this base would go on to develop into Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. During the Crimea War, Russian artillery was set up on Nikolskaya Hill to protect the city from the British and French navies. You will also visit the main viewing platform in the city on Mishennaya Hill, the regional museum and of course the fish market, which is one of the most popular places in the city.

Trip to Khalaktyrsky beach - this beach is located on the eastern shore of the peninsula on the Pacific Ocean. It is famous for its black volcanic sand, created by the constant volcanic eruptions on the peninsula.  Streams of lava pour out and cool down on the slopes and surrounding areas. Then over the years the rock is worn down by rivers and taken to the ocean as fine sand, which is eventually deposited on the shore by the waves. In places 20 metre tall dunes have been formed and in total the beach runs for 30 kilometres.

 Night in Petropavlovsk.


kurilskoe lake

Breakfast at the hotel.

 Helicopter tour to Lake Kurilskoe.

  • Lake Kurilskoe - in the area around the lake live the highest concentration of bears in Kamchatka. They come here due to the abundance of fish that come here to breed. The lake is located in south Kamchatka between Ilyinsky Volcano and Kambalnaya Hill and is the second largest lake on the peninsula. In places, the lake reaches 300 metres in depth. It is filled by mountain streams, snow and rain, meaning that its waters are especially pure. You will fly here on a MI-8 helicopter to the Ozerny cordon located on the shore of the picturesque lake. You will have a walking tour to a scientific centre which monitors the migration of red salmon and will have the opportunity to watch bears catching fish.
  • Ksudach Volcano - you will fly to Ksudach Volcano and land in its caldera to walk along the shores of Lake Klyuchevoe - due to its location in the caldera of an active volcano its water is hot. The volcano is located in south Kamchatka and although is not tall by Kamchatkan standards (just over 1,000 metres) its caldera is massive, with new cones forming - the most active of which is Styubel Cone on the northern side of the volcano.
  • Khodutka Hotsprings - your next stop is a flight to the foothills of Khodutka Volcano and the hot springs located here - so don’t forget your swimsuit! The Khodutka springs are located on the right bank of the River Pravaya Khodutka. Over 20 hotsprings here even form the River Goryachaya (which translates as Boiling River), which flows into the Pravaya Khodutka. The river is 20 metres wide and with a depth of 1.5 metres in places and its temperature remains around the 50 degree Celsius mark, but can get even hotter.

Lunch box picnic.

 Night in Petropavlovsk.


dachny source

Breakfast at the hotel.

 Excursion to the Dachniye Springs - these springs of mineral water located on Skalistaya Hill, which is located on the south-eastern foothills of the 2,323 metre-tall Mutnovsky Volcano, are sometimes called the Small Valley of Geysers. However, this is in itself a unique area, which is still forming due to hot gas boiling streams of water and the stream escaping from the earth - meaning that they are not actual geysers but boiling hot springs.  In all there are over 100 springs and the earth has been turned yellow and red due to the minerals contained in the water. There is also often a sulphur smell in the air and a sound of hissing and gurgles. All in all, it is a spectacular and primaeval place. You will be taken here in a comfortable car along a dirt road, through the plateau of the Gorely and Vilyuchinsky volcanoes to the foothills of Muntovsky Volcano (three hours).

Lunch box picnic.

 Night in Petropavlovsk.


camel mount

Breakfast at the hotel.​

 ​Trekking around Mount Verblyud - this is one of the easiest peaks to climb in Kamchatka. It was formed by volcanic activity as lava escaped from cracks in the earth’s layer during eruptions of the neighbouring Avachinsky Volcano. Its peak is 1200 metres above sea level but only 200 metres above the ground level here. Its name means Camel in Russian and was so named due to its resemblance to camel’s humps.

While walking up you will be able to enjoy unique views and take stunning photos of an otherworldly landscape. From the top, in clear weather, you will be able to see both Avachinsky and Koryaksky and even the Nalychevo Valley and Zhupanovsky Volcano.

This area is home to lots of arctic ground squirrels, sweet and inquisitive animals who now know that tourists are a great source of food. 

Lunch is incuded.

 Night in Petropavlovsk.  



Breakfast at the hotel.​ Transfer to the airport. Flight to Vladivostok.

Arrival in Vladivostok. Transfer to the hotel.

 Tour of Vladivostok - the so-called Russian San Francisco, due to the similarities between the two cities: hilly terrain on the shore of the Pacific, and now Vladivostok even also has a beautiful bridge. The Golden Bridge links the city to Russky Island and is one of the largest cable-stayed bridges in the world. During the Soviet era, Vladivostok was a closed city as the Pacific Fleet has its base here. On the excursion, you will visit a C-56 submarine, which is credited with destroying more than 10 warships during the Second World War. 

 Tour of Russky island - this small island in Peter the Great Gulf became Russian territory in the mid-19th century and was closed during the Soviet era, due to the military bases and fortifications located here. On this excursion, you will visit one of only two surviving turret batteries in Russia, dating from the 1930s. 

Duration: 4-5 hours

 Night in Vladivostok.



Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer to the airport. Departure Vladivostok.



  • Part of the tour takes place in the open air, therefore you should follow advice in terms of required clothing and provisions for excursions on Yakutia, Lake Baikal and Kamchatka.

  • The tour is not an extreme tour and does not require any special physical preparation, however some trekking included in the itinerary.

  • 4* hotels are not available in Petropavlovsk - Kamchatsky, therefore they are replaced with 3* hotels with accommodation in high room category.

  • Tickets to museums cannot be sold without an excursion with a guide.The tour is suitable for travellers with children

  • The tour is available in English. Other languages upon request.

  • All excursions/guided tours included in the itinerary are private which means private guides and private transport along the programme - unless otherwise stated.

  • The tour is possible from the end of June to September.

  • The prices given below are for guidance only. The actual final cost of the tour will depend on availability. Hotel prices and train tickets may increase or decrease in cost depending on how much in advance you book them.

Kamchatka bears

Date of the tour


Number of travellers

Children (6-16):


Cost of the tour in
  • Private transport service according to the programme
  • Private guide service according to the programme
  • Group excursions and tours
  • Meal plan according the itinerary
  • Entrance tickets to museums and national parks (skip-the-line where available)
  • Accommodation in a hotel of a category of your choice, standard DBL rooms with breakfast
  • Plane tickets: Irkutsk - Yakutsk - Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky - Vladivostok, economy class
  • Russian sim-card with unlimited internet data
  • 24h emergency support during the tour
  • Visa support documents
Not included
  • Plane or train tickets to Irkutsk
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional excursions and tours
Country of residence
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