If you have a liking to explore isolated destinations, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug or simply known as Chukotka located on the far eastern fringes of Russia would be the ideal choice. This remote, difficult, and yet a magical terrain is the last inhabited Russian outpost that has not been explored by many a tourist.
The ecology is out and out Arctic in character. All around yourself you will feel the snowy barrenness melting into a silent and enigmatic world populated by a few Eskimo tribes and the uncommon Arctic fauna that is struggling for existence. This region is open to strong winds blowing in from two oceans, the Pacific and the Arctic, and the tourists can feel the chill bite their bones.
A visit during the summer season will expose you to the abundance of floral displays in the most vivid colors and sweetest of fragrance. Arctic berries, mushrooms and flowers bloom ubiquitous, and the ambience will enchant you. Ethnic Eskimos, Chukchi and Evens are kind and hospitable towards foreigners. The splendid bays and fjords of the Chukchi Peninsula are treat to the eyes.
The capital of Chukotka called as Anadyr is accessible from Moscow only by flight. Yet, this climatically inhospitable spot offers some amazing attractions, be it the rare glimpse of the surreal northern lights or vast expanses of ice sheets vanishing into eternity. Apart from these, there are also many other activities that you can do, and that will give you a once in a lifetime experience. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Go to Heritage expedition in Wrangel Islands:
Wrangle Island preserve will enthrall you with its immense biodiversity. This place is often referred to as polar bear birthing house and arctic foxes are visible in abundance here. The natural reserve created in 1976 is a safe haven for the Arctic fauna namely Snow geese and walrus and is one of the country’s famous wildlife sanctuaries.
Visit Provideniya Bay:
The place reflects the severest of Northern Arctic beauty as you keep gazing on the layered fogs that spread over a vast area. During the day, the turquoise blue waters of the bay sparkling under the glistening sun will make you feel the worth of visiting this place.
Enjoy the natural spectacular Northern Lights:
Long Arctic nights cover Chukotka with sun appearing for only a couple of hours every day. Amidst the biting cold, nature treats you with its spectacular display of Northern Lights, which is a memorable experience.
Unravel the mystery of the Whale Bone valley:
You may visit the whale bone valley which is situated in Yttygran Island south east of Chukotka. It features a double row of whale ribs and skulls belonging to mammoth Greenland whales and runs a length of about 500 meters.
Explore ancient Eskimo art and culture:
You can explore here the traces and preservation of ancient Eskimo art and culture. These are Pegtymel petroglyphs made up of designs ingrained in escarpments shooting up to a height of 20 to 30 meters. Pictures are estimated to be 2000 years old and convey scenes of hunting. The most intriguing thing in the composition is human like creatures with mushroom shaped heads.
Get acquainted with the local lore in Chukotka museum:
It is well worth a visit. Get some insightful understanding of Chukchi culture. Photography inside the museum is prohibited. The art collection is excellent and displays are elaborate. However, much of explanations and labels are in Russian.
Visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral:
This is an awesome Cathedral in Anadyr sculpted out of wood. The interior is well decorated and has a traditional ambience though the construction is a brand new one.
Whale watching at Monument of St Nicholas:
The statue of St Nicholas is awe inspiring. It welcomes the outside world to this mysterious and yet fascinating country. Just below the statue is a huge water body for beluga whales to swim and display aquatic skills.
Visit the Monument of the writer Yuri Rytkheu:
This monument is worth a million visits. Located right at the center of a well-landscaped park, the place is very popular among tourists.