The most beautiful places in the Arctic

Need the perfect place for an Arctic photoshoot?

22.07.21 // The Arctic is an amazingly beautiful and diverse land. We have tried to pick at least one place for a photoshoot in each Arctic region. There are many such picturesque places in the Arctic. Below, we have highlighted just a few such places.

Murmansk Region: A Kola Tale

Hardly any tourist walking around Murmansk leaves without a photo of the surrounding countryside taken at the memorial Defenders of the Soviet Polar Region during the Great Patriotic War (Alyosha). You can also get some unforgettable pics on a trip to the Khibiny Mountains. This is where the eerie Russian TV series Dead Lake was filmed. The village of Teriberka and its surroundings are truly beautiful — we all know from the movie Leviathan.

However, we would like to single out another hotspot for photographers which is, perhaps, not as popular with tourists as Teriberka, that being Rybachy Peninsula. It is washed by the Barents Sea and Motovsky Bay.

Rybachy is a plateau of sandstone, limestone and clay shale, with steep cliffs at the seashore. It's right on the edge of the tundra. Beautiful pictures can be taken from Mount Eina (299 m).

Photographers are so ecstatic with the Rybachy Peninsula that they describe it as representing all the energy of the Kola Peninsula squared.

Arkhangelsk Region: Kenozersky grad

If you follow the guidebooks, there are plenty of places for tourists to see in the Arkhangelsk Region. More than enough for one holiday for sure. Malye Korely, the Solovetsky Islands, Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Kargopol, Franz Josef Land Archipelago, Kiy-island…

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Photographers will certainly appreciate a place like Kenozersky National Park. There are over 300 lakes and water reservoirs, as well as artefacts of ancient architecture, churches, crosses and chapels. The Park is often referred to as Kenozersky grad.

Karelia: wild forests, stunning views

Karelia is an Arctic region that is easiest to reach for residents of St. Petersburg and Moscow. So many people from there have become acquainted with the region's attractions first-hand. These include the Ruskeala Mountain Park, Kizhi, Valaam and Ladoga Skerries National Park. In Karelia, rafting, cycling, and visiting sacred places and masterpieces of folk architecture are quite popular.

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In this rating of photogenic places, we have decided to include a less popular but lovely corner of Karelia — Paanayarvi National Park, considered to be the most beautifully preserved wilderness area in the region.

The national park is located in a nature conservation area in north-western Karelia, in the area with the highest elevation.

The unique Lake Paanayarvi, formed in the fractures of the bedrock, is a unique attraction for photographers.

'Dense, wild forests, stunning views, beautiful waterfalls... It's best to visit for at least three days', such are the comments tourists tend to write about the park on social media.

Krasnoyarsk Territory: the lost world of Siberia

You can't head home from a trip to Krasnoyarsk Territory without stunning photos, either. Sunsets on the Yenisei River (which you can enjoy on a boat trip to Norilsk), Stolby National Park, the Krasnoyarsk Sea (formed by the construction of the Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Dam) and Ergaki Park — these are the sights to see in the region.

However, few places can rival the beauty of the Putorana Plateau. It is a vast and largely untouched basalt plateau in Eastern Siberia, just north of the Arctic Circle. Untouched, wild Siberia with ethereal landscapes and the highest waterfalls around is how photographers describe the Putorana Plateau and Lake Lama located on it. People usually come here from Norilsk.

Nenets Autonomous Area: on the shores of the ancient sea

Residents of the European part of Russia aren't familiar with the sights in the Nenets Autonomous Area. Nevertheless, there is a huge number of interesting places to visit. They include the Stone City on the Belaya River, the ancient glacial lake Golodnaya Guba, the thermal springs of Pym-Va-Shor, the mysterious village of Amderma, and Vaygach Island on the border of the Barents and Kara Seas.

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One of the seven wonders of the Nenets Autonomous Area is called the Great Gate Canyon.

About 400 million years ago, this was the shore of the ancient Devonian Sea.

In the canyon, the river cuts through basalt rocks that rise up to 90 m. A variety of semi-precious stones can be found there.

There are many endangered trees and birds species.

Chukotka Autonomous Area: a tale on the edge of Russia

Islands, lakes, abandoned Inuit settlements, capes, hills and fjords — all this can be found in Chukotka. There are plenty of natural attractions, but some, such as Cape Dezhnev, the tip of Eurasia, are difficult to reach. To do so, you need to join an expedition or organise one yourself.

One of the most famous and beautiful places in the region is Providence Bay. This part of the Bering Sea is protected from winds and storms by tall cliffs. Travellers can enjoy views of the surrounding hills, fjords, numerous bays and unique wildlife.

Whales, in particular, often come here. By the way, you don't have to wait for the right expedition to reach Providence Bay. You can get here on scheduled flights or, during the warmer months, by motorboat.

Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area: a glacier for romantics

The nature and archaeological finds of the North are what Yamal is famous for. Unique shots can be taken in many locations around the region. In Kunovat Park, for example, you will be able to see and even catch cranes. This is an extremely rare species of crane, which can rightly be called a 'natural fossil'.

However, even if you're not so keen on rare birds and animals, you'll get some beautiful shots if you head to the Glacier for Romantics. This picturesque spot with crystal-clear water is easy to reach. Most hikers walk this route in a day.

Komi: among the idols of the Mansi

The nature and sights of Komi are quite distinctive, although very little is known about this North-Eastern region of Russia. Except that Komi is one of the centres of oil production.

However, there is one totally unique site in the region — the Manpupuner Plateau in Troitsko-Pechorsky District.

Surrounded by unspoilt nature, it features stone idols (also called Mansi bolvans). These idols are pillars each about 30 m high. Many people think they will collapse on them, but the idols are millions of years old.

They were formed by the weathering of rocks. In 2008, the Mansi bolvans were recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of Russia.

Yakutia: How diamonds are mined

The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is the largest in Russia in terms of area (over 3 mn sq. km). Yakutia stretches for 2,000 km from north to south and 2,500 km from west to east.

Of course, such a vast republic has plenty of beautiful spots. One way to see Yakutia's changing nature and capture its beauty is to take a boat trip on the Lena River. On such voyages, visitors stay onboard the ship overnight. This way, you can visit different natural areas, from the tundra to the taiga.

Also, one of the most unusual and advertised attractions in Yakutia is a quarry by the name of Mir. It is the symbol of the region.

The diamond pipe is 450 m deep, it has an outer diameter of 1,200 m with a bottom diameter of 300 m. Images from the quarry will be a unique addition to your photo album.

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