Posted 14 апреля 2023,, 07:40

Published 14 апреля 2023,, 07:40

Modified 14 апреля 2023,, 11:29

Updated 14 апреля 2023,, 11:29

Kamchatka instead of Sochi and Thailand: how much does a vacation in the harsh regions of the country cost

Kamchatka, Chukotka, the Urals... How much does it cost to relax in non-resort regions of Russia

14 апреля 2023, 07:40

Kamchatka instead of Sochi and Thailand: how much does a vacation in the harsh regions of the country cost

The trend for home recreation and the search for non-trivial places for this originated in the years of the pandemic. But over the past year, it has been strengthened by sanctions and a ban on flights from Russia. With traditional regions for recreation, everything is clear, it will be expensive and cramped there. Novye Izvestia, than the tourist will be surprised by the North and the Far East.

Alexander Dybin

Ural: from easy walks to polar expeditions



In 2022, the regions of the Ural Federal District accounted for 7.4 million tourists, for comparison, more than 8 million came to St. Petersburg in a year. The leaders in the district were Sverdlovsk (2.4 million), Tyumen (2.5) and Chelyabinsk (1.7) regions. But these statistics are crafty. Firstly, because this number includes business travelers, and secondly, because some hotels do not share information about bookings, and some even live with private owners. In addition, the concept of the Urals in the tourist sense also includes the regions of the neighboring Volga District (Bashkortostan, Perm Krai) and the North-Western District (Komi Republic).

What to watch in the Urals?

The Urals is literally a stretchable concept.

The mountain range stretches for 2,000 kilometers from north to south. This means that the rest here is very different both in terms of comfort and price. Let's start from the South. This is the most developed part of the Urals, both in industrial and tourist terms. It is easy to get here from anywhere in Russia, as three million-plus cities with major airports are located here at once: Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Ufa. A lot of hotels, both in cities and directly at tourist spots, at the foot of mountains or near numerous lakes. In terms of familiarization with nature, you can walk through national parks with well-trodden and safe trails, you can choose more "wild" routes, go down into caves or rafting on rivers. Recreation can be varied with excursions to small colorful towns, where they will tell about the history of mining and factory civilization. Separately, it is worth mentioning the Arkaim Nature Reserve, where the Bronze Age city of the same name is located. These are no longer mountains, but a completely different landscape – steppes. But a 400-kilometer detour is worth it.

"We see a constant increase in the number of people interested in wildlife and the mountains of the Urals", - says Oleg Chegodaev, founder of the Embassy of the Ural Mountains project. – The Southern Urals is the most comfortable and most accessible part of the Urals. In general, this territory can become a large All-Russian park, where everyone, regardless of their tourist experience, physical condition, can find some entertainment in the wild. There is good transport accessibility here. It's a 2-hour flight from Moscow, you get in the car and after another three hours you're in the mountains. In the wild. The Caucasus is also good and it is also accessible. But there are no objective dangers in the Urals, as in high mountains, there are no avalanches and rockfalls, there are no acute interethnic problems. The weather is quite stable, so these mountains are accessible to a very wide range. It will be interesting for unprepared tourists, families with children, pensioners, and athletes who come for the races. This is probably the largest density of races in all of Russia".

How much does a vacation in the Urals cost

The head of the travel agency "Arkaim Travel" Yaroslav Ivanov also notes the interest of tourists in the Southern Urals.

According to him, tourists are increasingly booking long tours for 10-14 days, whereas previously 3-4-day programs were in demand

"People want to come and see everything at once", - he says, "and absolutely everything is interesting, it's difficult to single out any particular object. Therefore, we are now actively developing and preparing programs that could combine both nature and museums. We see great interest from school groups, adult groups from Moscow and St. Petersburg. It is a very popular topic in the capitals, pensioners unite in groups and travel together."The cost of a vacation in the mountains starts with the most modest amounts.

If you are used to Spartan conditions, then you will have to spend money on flights and transfers to the mountains. By taxi it will cost 3-4 thousand, but you can also take the train. And then a free tent and a backpack of stew.

In the case of an organized vacation, then you need to focus on 6000 rubles per day per person.

"This will include accommodation, transfer, escort, guides, one or two facilities and meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner", - says Yaroslav Ivanov, "if this is a three-day tour, then it comes out somewhere 15-18 thousand. At the same time, accommodation in hotels in the area of three stars. Of course, it can be cheaper, but this option is suitable for any guest".

The reverse side of the tourist type

With the increasing popularity problem come.

So, according to an expert on mountain tourism, there is more garbage in the forests.

"And the infrastructure stopped coping because it was not ready for such an influx," says Oleg Chegodaev, "it happens that in the hot season the rivers are simply filled with rafters. As a result, all the banks are in garbage. But there is also a reverse movement. Every year there are more and more young people who are more aware of nature. There are two opposing tendencies".

The infrastructure also does not cope with the flow of tourists, it is more difficult to find a room, prices are rising.

"Now prices have jumped, there is no accommodation for the May holidays. If you can find something, it's three times more expensive, those who didn't book on time are now overpaying," he says  Yaroslav Ivanov, - the price is three to four times higher out of the blue. There is not enough infrastructure at all. At the same time, people are afraid to develop it, because it is unknown what will happen tomorrow. Suddenly the flow will subside. And it takes several years to pay off a hotel or a recreation center. Before the pandemic, there was enough infrastructure, now there is an acute shortage, but there are risks. In this regard, the topic of glamping is becoming popular, since such objects do not require capital investments and pay off faster"/

Northern Urals: conditions are harsher, prices are higher.

The Northern Urals is a completely different story. There are hundreds of kilometers to civilization here, there is no communication, hotels and shops. A vacation here is more like a mini–expedition than an easy walk in the park. The main thing that affects the price is logistics. Actually, you need to get to the place of rest by helicopters or SUVs. But there is an opportunity to see amazing objects. The main postcard view of the Northern Urals is the Manpupuner plateau with weathering pillars, the Narodnaya and Manaraga Mountains, as well as the route of the infamous Dyatlov expedition.

According to Dmitry Kirillov, the head of the Northern Ural travel company and the Severny volunteer detachment, this direction is also of interest to the audience. But it is not growing as rapidly as the Southern Urals. The same Manpupuner a few years ago could not be visited due to the lack of tourist infrastructure, which was created by volunteers and travel companies: shelters, crossings, trails. But even now, only up to 2000 tourists a year can visit this territory due to the requirements of the reserve.

"If you go along these routes on your own, then this is a free vacation," the expert says, "live for at least a month, at least two, you can stay in shelters for free, there is a minimum supply of food there. Organized groups start from 50,000 rubles for a one-day helicopter flight to the Manpupuner Plateau. With an overnight stay in the mountains - this is already 65,000 rubles. And a week-long hike - 80,000 rubles. The more objects are captured, the more expensive it will be for 100,000 rubles to visit the national village of Mansi. As for physical training, in 2016 the mountains of the Northern Urals were accessible only to physically strong people. But since there is infrastructure on the route now, more and more families with children and pensioners who have traveled 90 kilometers each come".

Yamal is the northernmost region of the Urals and in addition to oil and gas, there is also tourism.

According to Zelfira Makhmutova, the head of Discover Yamal, tourists turn their eyes to the north when they have already visited more popular locations, such as Altai or Baikal.

"Tourists are attracted by a new territory, places where they have not been before," the expert says. - Here you can see the way of life of the indigenous people, the northern lights, the real winter, and in the summer – the mountains, which, in principle, are poorly studied and unexplored. In addition, there are unique places like the extreme eastern point of Europe. Four-day turnkey tours start from fifty thousand. This amount includes accommodation, almost the entire excursion program, support. Most of the routes pass outside of civilization, there is no basic comfort, like a warm toilet or shower. But a full immersion, which can be a whole adventure."


Chukotka – you need to be ready for everything


The Chukotka Autonomous Okrug is one of the most remote (if viewed from central Russia) and difficult to access. And therefore expensive to travel. But here you can visit the easternmost point of Eurasia – Cape Dezhnev, cross the date line, look at the life and fishing of sea hunters, enjoy incredible views and, if you're lucky, watch polar bears. As the head of the Chukotka Travel Agency Evgeny Basov told Novy Izvestia, it is better not to go on an independent trip without serious experience of expeditions, but to plan an organized tour in advance. At least because all movements in Chukotka are carried out on local airlines, and if you could not buy a ticket, then you will not fly anywhere.

"Chukotka, of course, attracts experienced travelers", - says Evgeny Basov, "we have seen an increase in the flow since the 2010s. You don't have to be a millionaire to visit Chukotka, but you need above-average wealth. We go first of all for emotions. Another category is hunters and fishermen."As a rule, the tour organizer takes care of all the organizational issues, buys tickets for local lines, provides meals and accommodation.

All a tourist needs is to fly to Anadyr. But adventures can begin right from the ladder. To get from the airport to the city, you need to cross the estuary by boat. Even in summer, the weather can be such that there is no transport. So, you will have to stay at the hotel at the airport, wait for the weather.

"I have budget programs, even designed for students, where you can meet 50-60 thousand rubles, the minimum tour is 70,000," says Evgeny Basov, "but there are seasons when no one takes them, the average check is 250 thousand, not counting the flight to Anadyr".

According to Rosstat, the tourist flow to Chukotka is one of the most modest in the country.

In 2022, a little more than 30 thousand tourists were recorded (it is not clear how many business trips are in this number). But, according to Evgeny Basov, more is not needed for such a unique region, as it will change the way of life of the locals. "Chukotka is not a territory for everyone," the expert says, "officials are building some plans of their own. They need growth figures and dynamics. So I will say that Chukotka should be a territory with limited tourist visits. It is physically difficult to increase the tourist flow here, because it is necessary to create infrastructure. But building something for the sake of two months a year is pointless. The second point is that a large tourist flow will simply wash away the ground under your feet. The most popular village in Chukotka is Lorino, a little less than 1,000 people live there, there is its own culture of behavior. If 1000 more come there in the season. They are interested in everything, hunters, Chukchi, let's take a picture, sell this and that. I am still observing this today. Now 200 people come there per season and this already has irreversible consequences for the mentality, for the way of life, for the attractiveness for which everyone is going."


Kamchatka: see bears and volcanoes


Kamchatka is one of the most desirable regions. First of all, because of the unique landscapes and volcanoes, as well as the opportunity to observe wild animals and natural processes like salmon spawning. Naturally, a flight to Kamchatka is expensive, but these are not the only difficulties that tourists will have to face. There is no connection on almost the entire peninsula, and there are few hotels with the usual amenities.

Oksana Sobolevskaya, a tour guide, a member of the Union of Guides of Kamchatka, advises to prepare for the trip in advance. It is advisable to buy air tickets in advance, in winter it is more likely to buy tickets at a reduced price.  For those who choose between hotel accommodation and independent living in a rented apartment, it is necessary to take into account their priorities.

"The main difficulty is the degree of comfort that our tourists are used to. Many people want their accommodation to be comfortable and not expensive, but in Kamchatka hotels with the usual amenities are noticeably more expensive than, for example, hostels. Prices for travel services and accommodation, in principle, are quite high. We have a rather "expensive" region, compared to the central part of the country. As for travel, it is always necessary to contact only qualified drivers, guides and instructors-guides. The safety of our guests is the main priority of our work. But the degree of comfort will depend on the wishes and capabilities of the guests. For example, the transfer of 3-4 people to the Mutnovsky volcano on a highly passable SUV will cost about 10-12 thousand per person. For those who are comfortable traveling as part of a group of 20-25 people, it will cost within 3000 rubles."

Kamchatka is a region not only of natural beauty, but also of still imperfect infrastructure, so our guests should be ready for this. But qualified specialists of the tour.industry will try their best to make your vacation safe, interesting and unforgettable.

A standard tour for 9 days per person will cost 160-180 thousand rubles. Services begin with a meeting at the airport, this amount includes accommodation, meals, sightseeing, logistics, and the services of instructors who not only provide a "cultural program", but are also responsible for security. There are tours and more expensive – up to 300 thousand per person, but the guide advises to study the set of services in detail, since somewhere this amount includes only standard objects, and somewhere a drop to distant volcanoes by helicopter.

A separate nuance of Kamchatka is gray tourism. According to the law, only certified guides can provide services, of course, it is more expensive. But there is also an offer from local residents who are willing to take you to volcanoes cheaper. Yes, this is a saving, but it can affect safety, so they advise you to deal only with legal guides.

Another difficulty of independent tourism is the search for hotels. There are few of them and, as a rule, at the end of the season, travel agencies book rooms for next year. Therefore, for individual tourists, the choice of hotels is greatly narrowed.