Get to the edge of the country

Chukotsky Autonomous District

Russia Beyond
Russia Beyond
Chukotka is a very special region, which, due to its remoteness and inaccessibility, does not fall into any lists, except for one… It’s definitely a dream trip!

Severe Chukotka does not like idle vacationers. To see the best sunset in your life, you have to storm the mountain. Would you like to catch a whale by the tail? Get ready to spend many hours in a boat with harsh sea wind tearing through your expedition suit. Do you want to know how the Eskimos lived? Get into an all-terrain vehicle as soon as possible, but hold on tight: many hours of driving on the dirt road await you! And if the weather suddenly deteriorates along the way… well… time to turn back, as it’s not worth the risk!

There is rarely a connection with the virtual world, but there is definitely a connection with the real world. Before your very eyes, a glaucous gull steals an egg from a guillemot. Somewhere behind the hillock, the tail of a fox flickers.

And what kind of steam rises on the horizon? Is it thermal springs? What does an explorer of the country’s edge, who hasn’t bathed for five days, need…? Plunging into a hot spring! You sit in the water, look at the craters of ancient volcanoes and state the fact: “The dream has come true!”

What is the most important thing to see in Chukotka? Of course, everything related to the Eskimos and whales!

The first part of the task is relatively easy to handle. Not far from the village of Providence are the ancient settlements of Avan and Kivak, where meat pits are still preserved - stores for meat and fat, made of bones - semi-underground dwellings, for the construction of which they used a rare tree in these parts, stones and whale bones.

Don’t be surprised when walking along the coast of the Chukchi or Bering seas; you will come across intervertebral discs, jaws or even whole skeletons of whales and walruses… after all, it was thanks to sea hunting that the indigenous peoples of the north survived for hundreds of years in such extreme conditions. No matter how much you would like to take such an exotic souvenir with you to the “mainland” - it’s not worth it, with a high degree of probability you will be accused of poaching at the airport. Only indigenous people are allowed to harvest sea animals, process bones and sell exquisite figurines to tourists. If you are not very interested in such crafts… then just take a picture of your find!

And where to see gray and humpback whales in their natural habitat? Every year, in the second half of July, the huge mammals come to the Senyavin Strait. This area is part of the Beringia National Park, so you need to contact its representatives in advance to arrange a visit to the water area.

Although, local old-timers assure you that you can even meet whales… without leaving your own hotel! It so happens that the curious giants swim right into the port of the village of Conduct. And then, you can easily take photos of them with a long-focus lens right from the window of your temporary home!

How to get to the edge of the country?

Seeing Chukotka with your own eyes is not an easy task, even for a seasoned traveler. You can easily fly to the capital of the Autonomous Okrug, Anadyr, and then sit in the city for a few weeks, if the weather is bad and small motor planes aren’t able to take you further along the route.

Local guides usually say this: “You first get to us, say, in the village of Providence, and then we will decide where to go next.” Therefore, it is worth laying at least two to three weeks for a trip. At the end of the day, snowstorms and storm winds, even in July, are absolutely normal phenomena in Chukotka.

But, if you are lucky with the weather and time of year, you will see places like no other. The famous Whale Alley on Itygran Island, Emma and Provideniya bays look especially beautiful at sunset or dawn, which last for many hours in summer in high latitudes. The sun seems to stick to the edge of the low Chukchi mountains for a long time, illuminating the landscape in such a way that all that remains is to say breathlessly: “It’s like I’m on another planet!”

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