Russia’s far eastern peninsula might ring a bell for the fans of board game, Risk; in real life it is one of the world’s most remote and greatest natural sanctuaries. A well-kept secret. A wilderness of thermal springs, thousands of rivers bursting with fish, enormous natural parks and wild cliffs and coastline; fittingly Kamchatka is shaped like a salmon swimming its way southwards from Russia towards Japan. It’s nearly 500,000sqkm in size, but has the human population of Bristol - nature truly is King here.
If the Earth really was made in seven days, Kamchatka is how it must have looked on day two: boiling mud holes, roaring fumaroles and smoking sulphuric pillars – not to mention the volcanoes
An irresistible Pandora’s box of biodiversity, the peninsula is home to bears, walrus, reindeer and snow geese, as well as puffins, Emperor geese and spoon-billed sandpipers that dwell among the dunes. And then there’s the volcanoes steaming proudly at almost every turn: destinations have found fame on one volcano alone; Kamchatka has 300, of which 29 are active and, like the protective guardians at the gates of this otherworldly wonderland, erupt defiantly from time to time to remind us who’s boss.