Far Eastern Federal District
Chukotka Autonomous Area
Time: MSK+9 (UTC+12, summer UTC+13).
Local time now:
Federal district: Far Eastern Federal District.
Main cities: Bilibino.
Land and Resources: Chukotka Autonomous Area is located in northeastern Russia on the Chukotka (or Chukchi) Peninsula and adjoining mainland. It has an area of 737 700 km2 (4.32% of the RF). The area includes Wrangel, Ratmanov, and other islands. It borders on the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Kamchatka and Magadan regions, and the East Siberian, Chukchi, and Bering seas. The area is located at the confluence of two large rivers, the Sernoi and Enmyvaam and is surrounded by three northern seas (East Siberian, Chukchi, and Bering). The great Anadyr River flows through the very center of the area. On the southern part of the peninsula near the Kenkeren mountain range, there are a number of glacial lakes that are usually ice-covered until the end of June. The Anyue-Chukchi mountain tundra plateau forms the watershed between the Pacific and Arctic ocean basins. It consists of a series of mountain ranges cut by broad water gaps. The Anadyr Plateau, where the main mountain ranges and river basins originate, is located in the center of the peninsula; and the Koryak Uplands cover the extreme southern part of the area. The Anadyr Lowlands lie between them. Tundra vegetation predominates on Chukotka, although there are areas of forest tundra and forest in the south and west.
Climate: Chukotka Autonomous Area has a severe continental climate with average January temperatures from -15 to -39°Ñ and average July temperatures from +5 to +10°Ñ. Winter lasts for eight to nine months, with strong winds. Summers are short, and the sun does not have time to warm the earth.
Transportation: The main forms of transport are sea (ports of Anadyr, Pevek, Provideniya, Egvekinot, and Beringovsky) and air (airports in Anadyr and Pevek). There are also shipping routes on the Anadyr and Velikaya rivers. The seas play a vital and diversified role in the area`s economy. Anadyr is an important sea port on the Gulf of Anadyr of the Bering Sea. It has an airport, which serves major and minor cities in the Russian Far East with connections to Khabarovsk and Moscow, and Bering Air charter flights to Nome, Alaska.
Every nation has its own history, culture, and way of life. Reindeer herding, fishing, sealing, and fur trapping are traditional economic sectors that are governed by a nomadic way of life and the scattered character of settlement. The cultures of the small native groups of the north are on the verge of disappearing due to the loss of native languages, native skills, everyday traditions, crafts, and folklore. The decrease in material and financial investments in culture has played a role in this.
Anadyr was founded on August 3, 1889 as Novo-Mariinsk, and renamed on August 5, 1923. Town status was granted on January 12, 1965.
Two municipal museums opened in the area between 1997 and 1999: a museum of bone carving in the village of Uelen, Chukotsky District, and a museum of Chukotka life in the village of Meinypilgyno, Beringovsky District. Altogether, the museums of Chukotka have a fund of more than 50 000 exhibits, such as bone carvings and Chukchi and Eskimo implements.
Many villages have their own distinctive national ensembles. One of these is the world-famous professional concert ensemble Ergyron, which performs not only in the area, but also abroad.
Despite Chukotka`s harsh climate, many people are drawn to this territory. They include extreme sports lovers, professional athletes, travelers, and plain romantics, who have decided to test themselves. Separated from central Russia by thousands of kilometers of roadless terrain, Chukotka is difficult for travelers to reach. Today, although it is possible to get to Peveka and even more remote locations on winter roads (from January to mid-April inclusive), these routes are long, difficult, and cold. In summer, travelers can reach Chukotka by boat; however, the main form of transport is by air.
The Chukchi Plateau extends through the northeastern part of the area. This plateau area also attracts tourists. The tourist routes pass mainly through uninhabited areas. Points of interest for the development of combined routes are mountain peaks, such as Leninskogo Komsomola (1810 m), Rubinovaya (1624 m), Skalisty Peak (1646 m) and Konus Mountain (1707 m), and Ioni and Koolen lakes. There are also ski trails over mountain passes (elevation 700-800 m). The starting points for tours are the villages of Enmelen, Novoe Chaplino, Lavrentiya, Lorino, Uelen, and Iultin, which are reached by plane from Anadyr.
The Chukotка`s potential for recreational activities is truly unique. Nearly every district of the Okrug has facilities for ecotourism. The most valuable of them are joined into a system of reserved areas. Among them is the world famous state preserve on Vrangel Island, the largest island in the Arctic, and the “Beringia” nature-ethnic park. There are 7 sanctuaries (including the state swan sanctuary) and 26 nature memorials. And according to recently achieved international agreement the “Beringia” park is going to become part of an international (Chukotka and Alaska) park bearing the same name.
Rapid development of cultural tourism is facilitated by close vicinity of artifacts of ancient Paleo-asian peoples` history and those of the native people now living in the region. Some ancient culture objects – the Whale Alley, Ekven and Kivak – are world-famous. Rock paintings (petroglyphs) of the Neolithic man found on rocky banks of the Pegtymel River are the world only ancient graffiti found in the tundra zone.
Epic nature reserves, huge virginal lands provide unique opportunities for ecological and adventure tours. And in a sea cruise travelers will enjoy picturesque bays and islands with bird colonies and stunning diversity of polar fauna. Those who prefer exotics will visit folk villages (of Chukchi, Eskimo, Koryak, Lamut, Even and other people) and join deer-breeder brigades during their standing in tundra.
Sport, culture and entertaining centers of Anadyr can receive all types of tourist groups all the year round.
There is no better way to get to know nature of the Okrug than to travel along water arteries of the Chukotka inner territory, which is very rich in rivers. Doing down the rivers on canoes or rubber boats is possible only during high water season (July-August) - during the rest of the year the rivers are either frozen or shallow and therefore impassable.
The most popular routes are:
along the Amguema River, from source to 168th km of the Egvekinot-Yioultin Road (310 km);
along the Chantalveergyn River (150 km);
along the Pegtymel River (there you can see rocks with petroglyphs);
along the Ekittyki River and lake (94 km);
along the Anadyr River, from Markovo Village to the river mouth (300 km).
Length of the routes and direction may be varied at tourists` request. You can rent motor boats in Anadyr and in the settlements of Markovo, Ust-Belaya (the Anadyr River), Amguema (the Amguema River) and Egvekinot (the Cross Bay).
Coasts of the Chukchi Sea and Providence Bay every year see cruise ships with American, Canadian and Russian tourists. Such tours are arranged by both American and British tourist companies (“Circumpolar Expeditions”, “Supernova Expedition LTD”), and Kamchatka travel agencies (“Pacific Network”).
These tours ordinarily include visiting unique natural, historical and cultural sights of the region: the Whale Alley on Yttygran Island, Lorinski hot springs, ethnographic museums on Nunyamo and Dezhnev Capes, numerous folk villages.
Sea cruises along the Anadyr and Bering Districts shores gain more and more popularity. Tourists coming to the district center Anadyr in summer can go on a motor boat excursion into the Onemen Bay, to the Kanchalan and Anadyr estuaries and to the mouths of the Anadyr and Velikaya Rivers.
The Okrug is rich in game-preserves inhabited with many hunting species, among which are: elk, wild reindeer, brown bear, sable, lynx, wolf, glutton, ermine, fox, polar fox, mink, otter, squirrel, etc.
About 40 species of fish inhabit fresh-water basins of the Chukotka Peninsular, half of these fishes are suitable for commercial fishery. Every year in April on the ice of the Anadyr estuary ice-fishing competition takes place, it is called the “Korfest” - “Smelt Festival” (last Sunday in April)
The Okrug is a popular place for research expeditions and conferences devoted to issues of constant and stable development of the territory. Most of more than 500 archeological sights of the Okrug are still very little studied. Ornithologists often come to Chukotka, as more than 220 bird species live here.
The Chukotka Peninsular is mainly a mountainous area with low and medium mountain relief. So in summer it suits for hitchhiking and bicycle mountaineering of different degrees of complexity. In winter on its bold peak slopes Alpine-skiing and snowboarding tracks can be routed.
Severe climate conditions, landscape variety and detachment from civilization are perfect requisites for such kinds of tourism, as: rafting, kayaking and suchlike activities: Jeep-tours, tundra-roaming with reindeer-breeders, participation in a sea hunt, traditional forms of nomadic roaming – in dogs and deer ledges, walking tours, bicycle tours.
Encarta World Atlas
http://www.chukotka.org/ - Official Site of Chukotka Autonomous Area