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Kola Peninsula

The Kola Peninsula is a 100,000-sq-km knob of tundra, bogs and low mountains between the White and Barents Seas. Lying almost entirely north of the Arctic Circle, its mesmerising expanses of wilderness are fabulous places to be dazzled by the aurora borealis or midnight sun.

Mineral strata beneath the Khibiny and Lovozero mountains contain a treasure trove of exotic minerals that get the world’s geologists and rock collectors salivating. Apatity has secret museums, Lovozero is the heart of Russia’s Sami community and Kirovsk is the gateway to pristine wilderness and has the region’s best skiing. Wilderness lovers will find Central Kola particularly rewarding, with husky and reindeer sledding on offer. It's also rich hunting ground for Soviet ruin enthusiasts, with abandoned villages scattered through the region, and even a gigantic disused train station in Kirovsk.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kola Peninsula.