A wild and volcanic peninsula, Kamchatka has been unexplored for a long time because of the extreme difficulty of the trip, as witnessed by the reports of the first travellers.
The Dane Vitus Bering, after long years of services under the tsar, was appointed to explore this land, where he arrived the 6th of October 1740 with the ships Saint Peter and Saint Paul. He dropped the anchor in the Avacha bay, where the future capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski was later founded and named after the ships.
Sparsely populated (1 inhabitant per km2), the peninsula has a great variety of plants and animals (especially bears, rodents and many species of salmon, greatly appreciated by the tourists and … the bears) and it is part of the Kurilo-Kamchatski fire circle in the Pacific Ocean. 160 volcanoes, almost thirty of which are still active, are scattered on the peninsula, sometimes combined with other volcanic phenomena as the geysers of the famous valley, considerably transformed by the recent earth tremor, and the therapeutic baths.
Completely closed to tourism during the Soviet era, the region has started to open to foreigners about thirty years ago and has subsequently developed its infrastructure.