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Kola Peninsula
Russia - Online Travel Guide

Kola Peninsula - the Land of the Snow Queen

Have you ever experienced a feeling that the sun will never rise above the Earth again? Or that the night has suddenly forgotten to come? Each winter, for more than 2 months, life on Kola Peninsula is blanketed by the legendary polar night, when the sky is lit only by the Aurora Borealis. During the polar day period - in June and July - the peninsula is transformed into a very different place, the bright sunshine of the polar day illuminates the land around the clock.

The Kola Peninsula - a region of Russia situated north of the Arctic Circle - offers its guests unique, breathtaking nature, as well as rich and ancient cultural heritage.

Here you will find thousands of jewel-like lakes, rivers with many rapids and magnificent water falls, dense virgin taiga-forests and the desolate tundra, stunning mountain vistas and fantastic rocky outcrops with more than 110 rare and valuable stones and minerals. This unique, pure nature stretches over thousands of square kilometers - almost untouched and unsettled.

The first inhabitants of the Kola Peninsula arrived over 10,000 years ago, as shown by the many remains of their ancient civilizations. The meaning of some of the ancient discoveries - stone labyrinths, world-famous petroglyphs and rock paintings – still remains unknown.
Over the last several hundred years the distinctive northern-Russian culture has been developing and interacting here with the national culture of the local Saami population. On the White and Barents sea coasts you can also see some of the very few remaining villages of the old northern-Russian folk Pomory. The central part of the Kola peninsula is traditionally the area where the original pagan folk Lapps, or Saami have been living since they came to the Kola Peninsula and Scandinavia about 4 thousand years ago.

The remaining Saami still live in full harmony with Mother nature which is the result of almost complete isolated from modern civilization. The trip to the Saami-village Lovosorevo will give you the unique opportunity to witness this ancient but still vibrant and well-preserved culture.

The amazing landscape diversity of the Kola peninsula, covered by dense network of lakes, rivers, rocks and forests, offers the discoverers of the Polar Circle great opportunities for unforgettable adventure and pure nature experience.


Despite the northern location, the Kola Peninsula has a relatively warm and mild climate. This is because of the influence of the warm Atlantic currents. Winters are cold but not frigid, summers are warm but not dry and hot.


  • Stone labyrinths and pagan rock paintings aged more than 2 thousand years
  • Living culture of some of the most rare north folks in the world – Pomory and Saami
  • Large nature reservations – Kandalakshinskoje and Lapplanskoje, offering the whole range of the northern flora and fauna. Here you can cross three nature zones in 1 day
  • Khibiny mountains with a unique collection of rare and valuable stones and minerals


  • Reindeer nation: According to national legends, the routes of Saami or Lapps go down to their Father – sacred Reindeer Myandash, who could turn into man by his own wish and was married with the woman Matryona. Therefore as soon as the warm time of the year comes the Lappish families are moving to undercover forest houses of their grandfathers to return to the harmony and wisdom of nature… The culture and the way of life of the Lapps were so distinctive that the whole area populated by Lapps (currently includes territory of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia) began to be referred as Lappland.
  • Ancient traces: Petroglyphs, the famous art paintings on the rocks, were discovered on the banks of one of the Peninsula"s longest rivers - Panoy. These paintings are one of the oldest memories of rock art among ancient civilizations. For ages people continued to come to this sacred spot in order to paint more and more pictures. The petroglyphs depict the life and religious symbolism of the region"s inhabitants, however many questions remain unanswered regarding their origin and the people who created them.
  • Flora and fauna: The region is home to a wide variety of flora: more than 650 species are found here. Trees include three types of spruce, four types of birch, as well as pine, rowan, and alder. The Kola Peninsula is also rich in fauna. Wildlife includes reindeer and elk, brown bear, wolf, fox, Arctic fox, ermine, and wolverine; birds include wild geese, duck, ptarmigan, hazel-hen, grouse, eider and peregrine falcon. Various representatives of the salmon family can be found in the lakes and rivers.
  • Mountain overview: The most interesting mountain ranges rise out in the western and central parts of the Kola Peninsula. The largest of these is the Khibiny Tundra (max 1,200m) and Lovozorevo tundra (max 1,127m).
  • Geological heritage: The first discovery of the incalculable underground mineral resources on Kola peninsula was made in the beginning of XVIth century. 110 minerals (18 of which were absolutely unknown before) amazed the members of the XVIIth International Geological Congress members who visited Khibiny in 1937. Nowdays the Kola Branch of the Academy of Sciences is the biggest geological scientific centre beyond the Arctic Circle.