Primorsky Region is located in the most southern part of the Far East on the Sea of Japan Coast. The territory of the region equals 165,9 thousand sq.km. It is about 1% (0,97%) of the Russian Federation territory. Primorsky region belongs to average-sized regions of our country but nevertheless it is considerably bigger than countries like Greece (131,9 thousand sq.km) or Bulgaria (111 thousand sq.km ), or Iceland (103 thousand sq.km) and the area of Belgium, Holland, Denmark and Switzerland together. Several islands are included into Primorsky Region beside mainland part: Russian, Popov, Putyatina, Reyneke, Rikorda, Rimskogo-Korsakova, Askold, Petrov, etc. Names of many these islands are given in honour of Russian sea travellers, who discovered or investigated our Far-Eastern seas and lands.
Highlands dominate the territory of the region. Most of it is mountainous, and almost 80% is forested. The average elevation is about 500 meters (1,640 ft). Sikhote-Alin is a mountainous formation, extending for the most part of the Krai. It consists of a number of parallel ranges: the Partizansky, the Siny (Blue), the Kholodny (Cold), and others. There are many karst caves in the South of Primorye. The relatively accessible Spyashchaya Krasavitsa cave (the Sleeping Beauty) in the Ussuriysky Nature Preserve could be recommended for tourists. There are comparatively well-preserved fragments of the ancient volcanoes in the area. The ranges are cut by the picturesque narrow and deep valleys of the rivers and by large brooks, such as the Partizanskaya, the Kiyevka, the Zerkalnaya, the Cheryomukhovaya, the Yedinka, the Samarga, the Bikin, and the Bolshaya Ussurka. Most rivers in the Krai have rocky bottoms and limpid water. The largest among them is the Ussuri, with a length of 903 kilometers (561.1 mi). The head of the Ussuri River originates 20 kilometers (12.4 mi) to the East of Oblachnaya Mountain. The vast Prikhankayskaya Lowland extends into the West and the South-West of Primorye, carpeted by coniferous-deciduous forests. A part of the Lowland surrounding the largest lake in the Russian Far East, Khanka Lake, is occupied by a forest-steppe.
The geographic location of Primorye accounts for the variety of its flora - there are the mountainous tundra areas, conifers and coniferous-deciduous forests, forest-steppe, which is sometimes called the Far Eastern Prairie, where the ancient plant species have been preserved: the ferns, the lotus, the Chozenia Willow, etc. The fauna of Primorye is also diverse, the following animals are found in the Krai: the Ussuri black bear (Ursus thibetanis), the Amur tiger, the leopard, the lynx, the wild boar, the Manchurian deer (Cervus elaphus xanthopygos), the roe deer, the musk deer, the goral (Nemorhaedus goral), the sika deer, the sable, the mandarinka duck (Aix galericulata) and others.
Visit Benevskiye waterfalls, the most known waterfall complex in Primorsky region , located not far from Benevskoye settlement. Complex consists of 10 diverse waterfalls, each of which strikes with its nonrepeatability. For example, the height of the most immense from them is 18 m. You can simply control swift aqueous flows and admire views, and can completely investigate separate waterfalls with the assistance of our instructors and special equipment. For example, you can go down along the waterfall on the rope, or get into the cave, hidden by a powerful aqueous flow. Road to the complex of waterfalls will take about one day and a half. Tent camp is set in immediate proximity of the falling water jets, which will make it possible to control the bewitching splendour of the noisy water during entire journey, and lying at night in the tents you will fall asleep with the lulling sounds of the flows.
There are other remarkable waterfalls in Primorsky region. The most known of them - Yelamovskiy, waterfalls of the Lazovskeyeo region, Tigrovie on Steklyanukhe river. The nearest to Vladivostok waterfalls - Kravtsovskiye. Entire five waterfalls cascade located there. Their height is up to 7 m. They cut through basaltic plateau in the canyonlike valley. Waterfalls are comparatively rapidly moved up the river stream for the reason of basalt chunks caving into the stream. The names of the waterfalls speak about their beauty: Rock chaos, Rock cup, Mouth, Stepped and Crystal. In winter waterfalls freeze and turn into the excellent icy cascades.
Make a trip to the Lotus lake in the period of Lotus blooming. you can make one-day trip in several ways: One hour by the motor ship from Khabarovsk - and you will find youself on the island, a small walk more and you will have the chance to see the extraordinarily beautiful scene: flowers cover the aqueous smoothness of the lake, and the impression is that they are not on the water, but on the usual lawn!
One additional lake, where it is possible to admire this excellent nature creation-lotus, is located in some distance from Khabarovsk, trip on the motor boat will take about 4 hours, and after that 3- kilometer walk through the most beautiful places, until the lotus lake appears in front of you. This trip can take up to 2 days, the tent camp is set near the lake in the night; you will have the unique possibility to admire these mysterious flowers during the sunset and also at night under the moonlight! The period of lotus blooming is in August.
One of the most beautiful cave complexes is situated in Primorsky region! Caves located in the Sanboli region strike even the most experienced travellers! Stalactites, stalagmites, underground lakes form the unique views, which can be met only underground!
You will see bats there guarding this excellent underground reign, cave labyrinths preventing from entraning the cave. With the instructors assistance you will easily will overcome any obstacles and will get to the cave complex! All caves are located on the area of 1,5 sq. km, and each of the caves is completely unique and unlike others; therefore each time entering the new cave you will be amazed by it's uniqueness!
Peter the Great Bay is the most extensive one in Sea of Japan. It is located in the northwestern part of the sea. The width of bay is almost 200 km.
Diving in Peter the Great Bay you will have the chance to see the striking variety of natural beauty both above and under water, numerous islands and extensive coastline with the variety of landscapes. There are cliffs, sandy beaches, subtropical forests, steppes, swamps on these islands, also on the Bolshoi Pelis Island and Stenina island you will find miniature lakes.
The most untouched, beautiful and the largest islands - the Bolshoi Pelis Island and Furugelma Island. The high cut rock shores with the distant separate cliffs break into the sea from the southern and eastern sides of islands. Under them in the sea divers will find vertical walls 30 m deep, covered by the yellowish-green carpet of the sea Metridium anemones and hydro-ides, or sharp boulder slopes with the druses of large seaside Gray's mussels with purple ascidia. The underwater landscapes of Peter the Great Bay present great interest for the observation and photography. There is the greatest specific variety of ground animals in Russia in the bay. Special interest recall coelenterate (actinium, jellyfish, Ctenophora), the mollusks (bryukhonogiye, folding, Cephalopoda - octopus, cuttle), Echinodermata (sea urchins, starfishes, ofiury, goloturii), to ascidia and numerous fishes. Majorities of them are encountered on the stone ground, the underwater cliffs, the banks, which are often covered with motley continuous carpet from the algae, the sea anemones and the mollusks. On the sandy soil it is possible to meet dark red and gray flat and heart-shaped sea urchins, bright starfishes. Different algae are varied. Deeper than 20 m. on the stony- sandy soil the large forms of macro-benthos almost completely disappear.
Landscapes of the area. The very a few sections of the coast of Russia in their beauty can be compared with the coastline of Gamow cape. The rock shores, their slopes are covered with pine trees, form secluded coves, passing into the perpendicular cliffs.
Vladivostok (that means "to possess the East" in the Russian language) is a capital and the largest city of Primorsky Region. It is also the largest port in the Russian Far East, that is why it is called sometimes the Eastern Marine gate of Russia. It is located in the Southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky peninsula of Primorsky Region, which is about 30 km long and 12 km wide. The area of the city equals 600 sq. km. The city is washed by the Amursky Gulf in the West, Ussuiysky Gulf in the East and famous for a most convenient internal never-freezing Golden Horn Bay. Vladivostok shares the same latitude with Nizza, New York and Chicago. The longest railroad in the world - Transsiberian railroad - starts here. Population is 659,000 people. Vladivostok is a crossing point of many important airways. Vladivostok is situated at the edge of a mountain ridge and the ocean that bring to the city unique charm and beauty. The spirit of Vladivostok is in it's unusual landscape. The buildings are amphitheatre-like placed on the slopes of the hills. You can observe half of the city from any point of the hills. The highest hill is the Orlinoye Gnezdo (the Eagle's Nest) hill where the best view point was arranged. The height of the hill is 214 m. Vladivostok has Far Eastern spirit, and at the same time European spirit, so that such mixture results in particular appearance that charms all guests and newcomers.
The main city sights are:
The Headquarters of the Pacific Fleet and the famous submarine C-56, which sank 10 faschist ships during World War II. The submarine was put on the pedestal and turned into museum, so that the visitors can come inside of it to see the historical exhibits and such sections as the ensign section, periscope, torpedo section.
Triumph Arch after Tsesarevich Nikolay, built in 1981 to commemorate the visit of the future last Emperor of Russia to Vladivostok. The Arch was completely destroyed at Soviet time and built again according to the old pictures in 2003.
Vladivostok Railway Terminal, built in 1911 and recognized as a monument of architecture for its beauty and fascinated design.
Milestone 9 288 km - the biggest figure in the world, showing the distance between the capital of Russia Moscow and its terminus Vladivostok.
Vladivostokskaya Fortress, constructed at the end of XIX c. and considered the strongest marine fortress in the world. A ship's cannon is placed at Bezymyannaya battery of the fortress nowadays. A shot is fired from this cannon at noon sharp to mark the exact time.
The Vladivostok Funicular is the only one in Russia. The length of the railway totals 180 meters. Ascending on the highest hill of Vladivostok "Orlinoye Gnezdo" hill at the height about 214 m takes 1.5 minutes.
Several monuments: Monument to Lenin at the Railway Station Square and Monument to the Fighters for the Soviet Power in the Far East at the Central Square.
Viewpoints where one can observe the various aspects of the city: on the Orlinoye Gnezdo hill, in the Southern extremity of the Shkot peninsula, in the area of Tikhaya Bay, etc.
Other memorial buildings dated by early XIX c. carefully preserved as they looked more than 100 hundred years ago, monuments of the pre-revolutionary and Soviet epochs to the explorers of the Far East, seamen, military men who contributed to development and independence of Primorye, etc.