Kamchatka - Land of Ice and Fire
Russia, Trek & Walk, 15 days - from £2,795 (land only) - from €3,550 (land only) - from $4,500 (land only)
Day 1: Arriving in Petropavlovsk, KE group package services begin with a group transfer to a hotel where we have some time to rest and freshen up. In the late afternoon, we transfer (2 to 3 hours) by all-terrain vehicle, south to a camp at the foot of the volcanoes Gorely and Mutnovsky.
Day 2: As our first taste of Kamchatka, we will make an ascent of Gorely (1829m). This semi-dormant volcano famously boasts 11 craters. We hike across terrain which is a mix of grassy tundra, shrubby taiga and bands of basaltic rock. On the upper part of the approximately 1000 metre ascent, there are low-angle snow fields. Return to camp.
Day 3: Today, we climb to the crater rim (1829m) of Mutnovsky (2393m) with its pools of boiling mud, fumeroles, wonderfully colourful rock formations and deep summit crater. Return to camp.
Day 4: Today, we will trek to Dachnye. This is a great place to explore before boarding our transport for the drive back to the hotel in Petropavlovsk. Overnight at the group hotel.
Day 5: A free day in Petropavlovsk, with a boat trip on Avacha Bay. Another option is to arrange a scenic helicopter flight. In the late afternoon we transfer by all-terrain vehicle to the refuge below the volcano Avachinsky.
Day 6: A long climb to the summit of Avachinsky (2748m) involving around 1700 metres of ascent, with the final part on frozen scree or snow. Great views of the volcanoes Gorely and Mutnovsky. Easier hike option on Mount Camel for those not wishing to make the Avachinsky ascent. Overnight in the refuge.
Day 7: We drive north to Kozirievsk settlement, a small village on the banks of the Kamchatka River with great view to Kluchevskoy Volcano. Arriving in the afternoon, we stay in basic homestay facilities, complete with a Russian `banya` or sauna.
Day 8: We board our all-terrain vehicle again for the drive into the rarely-visited heart of the Kamchatkan wilderness. Our camp is at Vodopadnaya Waterfall Base, close to the very active volcano, Tolbachik.
Day 9: After driving to Lunakhodchikov Base, our hike takes us to the top of each a 500 metre high lava cone - 'Alaid'. Fantastic views and a good day out. Return to camp.
Day 10: Today (volcanic activity permitting) we hike to the active crater on the north side of Tolbachik. We pass steaming vents (fumeroles) and a petrified forest to reach some impresive lava caves. Approx 6 - 7 hours trekking. Return to camp.
Day 11: After a short transfer, we make the long hike to the top of Plosky Tolbachik (3085m), crossing slag cones, bare rock, screes, snow and ice. There are superb views of Klyuchevskoy (4750m), the biggest active volcano in Asia. After a long descent, we overnight at our camp at the Waterfall Base. Approx 12 to 14 hours trekking.
Day 12: This is something of a contingency day in the Tolbachik area in case our programme has been delayed by bad weather. There are several hiking options in the morning for anyone who doesn't need a rest after yesterday's big day. In the afternoon, we start our drive back to Petropavlovsk, getting as far as Milkovo, where we check in at our hotel.
Day 13: We complete the drive back to Petropavlovsk, stopping off en route to bathe in the hot springs near the Bistraya River. Arriving in Petropavlovsk, we check in at the group hotel.
Day 14: A final free day in Petropavlovsk. Either take up one of the optional additional activities, or have a day at leisure in the city.
Day 15: After breakfast at the hotel, there is a single transfer to Petropavlovsk Airport, where KE Land Only package services end.
This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres. Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at altitude.