Kola Peninsula is a remote region of Russia (and a small portion of it) above the arctic circle in its most western part. Except for the main road to S.Petersburg and to Norway and Finland borders, there are just a few others accessible by car, connecting for example the main city centres of Apatit, Monchegorsk, Kirovsk, Oleonogorsk, Lovozero, all in the peninsula. The heart of the peninsula, mostly unpopulated, is only accessible by snowmobile in winter. In summer just with an helicopter !.
Because of this remoteness and isolation, the landscape almost entirely composed of tundra and taiga vegetation with thousands of lakes and small rivers, remains untouched and pristine, making it an astonishing place for nature photographers. Most of the territory is made up of flatlands with the greatest elevation around 1100 metres in the Khibiny massif.
From early June to mid-July the sun never sets below the horizon, creating the polar days. The opposite occurs from early December to mid-January, when the sun is never seen, creating the so called, polar nights. These period is also the one with the lowest temperatures, that can reach minus 35, although just for a couple of days, hopefully!.
Snow is guaranteed at least six months on the entire peninsula, but in Khibiny massif it can last eight. Therefore this is a wonderful place too, for snow sports enthusiasts. Having this in mind and because Russians love winter, a modern skiing resort operates in the city of Kirovsk that attracts people around the world to descend the smooth slopes of Khibiny mountains. They even build an icy village every winter as a tourist attraction, but only lasts until it melts, as expected !. It stands in the Guinness book of world records as the biggest man made icy structure.
Now imagine any of these nature scenarios and you outdoors, with the Northern lights illuminating the sky, and we can guarantee that you will return home with a lifetime experience, we hope, to be repeated !
A lot more could be said about this often overlooked territory, but we don´t have the pretense of being experts on the subject, so it´s better to appreciate it with your own eyes.
About the tours:
· Standard six days tours (first day, pick up at Murmansk airport, last day, return to Murmansk airport). Another schedule is possible, only restricted to the amount you are willing to pay. More days also increase the odds for the aurora to be seen.
· Transportation in a medium brand 5 seat vehicle to every place we will be visiting, with a native driver and guide, English speaking. In Murmansk we recommend walking or public transportation (the most northern trolleybus in the world), so everyone can “blend” with local residents, but it doesn´t have to be like that, especially if it´s too cold.
· Accommodation in a countryside hotel close to Murmansk, or in Murmansk center, based on a double bedroom occupancy. Extra for a single bedroom.
· Breakfast in the hotel (maybe dinner too), lunch and dinner in the places we will be visiting or in the closest restaurant.
· Shooting of the aurora in every possible place and every possible occasion, only dependent on weather and safety conditions. We provide the tripod, but not the camera. To increase the odds of seeing the aurora, we may travel to the countryside late at night with an experienced local guide.
-Travel (health) insurance is mandatory for those applying for a visa, so we don´t include one.
· We accept tour dates starting late August until beginning of April, for the aurora.
· With due regard for the differences, the item “general conditions” in this website menu "Arctic experiences-Russia", also applies.
· Without being extensive, in menu “Gallery” you can have a glimpse of the kind of attractions and places available in Kola Peninsula, for daytime activities. That doesn´t mean we will be able to pick them all in your tour, but we will recomend a few options.
To design the tour and give you a quote, we need to know what you have in mind, and when do you intend to travel. We will give the details of your tour and upon acceptance, ask you to make a initial payment to secure your place. No later than fifteen days before the tour begins you have to pay the remaining amount.