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Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia


Accessible only by air or sea, the remote city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is surrounded by what UNESCO describes as “one of the most outstanding volcanic regions in the world.” The snowcapped peaks of Koryak and Avacha loom directly behind the city, and the terrain is so mountainous that one cannot see the horizon from any point in town. Admire one of Russia’s most majestic landscapes from any number of vantage points: a cruise through the bay, an ATV excursion to the base of an active volcano, a challenging hike to a summit or a helicopter ride through the clouds. While rugged natural beauty may be the biggest draw, the town also holds historical significance as a military outpost and the region’s capital. Some worthwhile museums and a bevy of monuments combine to the tell the story of Russia’s most easterly city, from its founding by Vitus Bering through the Crimean War and the Soviet era.