Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/18/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Areas currently open to limited number of travelers

Russia's Kronotsky area, known as the nation's Ring of Fire, is a natural wonderland that has been off limits for many years, with only scientists and researchers as the land's sole visitors. The area has now been made more accessible since 2011, but only to a select number of travelers.

The area provides many natural steambaths for the many local brown bears.

The area provides many natural steambaths for the many local brown bears.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

2/18/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Travel

Keywords: Kronotsky Zapovednik, Russia, travel, geysers

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Located on Russia's 1,200 kilometer-long Kamchatka peninsula, the nature reserve is closer to California than to Moscow. Larger than Yellowstone, with more than 10,000 square kilometers of protected wilderness, Kronotsky has permitted only the most constrained of non-scholarly visits. The area is only visited after taking a helicopter flight. Groups of tourists parade on boardwalks in small areas for under three hours.

Brown bears troll in the Valley of the Geysers, ambling among purple orchids, emerald grasses and the second-largest gathering of geysers on Earth.

Keep yourself warm in this beautiful hooded sweatshirt --

Meadows with golden rhododendron soothe the eye. Visitors are able to drink from snowfield streams. Spectacular volcanoes loom ahead, which are part of the great arc of volcanic and seismic activity known as the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Russia's Kronotsky Zapovednik is the world's largest system of strictly protected nature reserves.

"I was one of the first foreigners permitted to go hiking here as a mere tourist," Fred Strebeigh with the BBC says.

Russian began the country's system of zapovedniki, OR strictly protected nature reserves in 1916. Previously, these vast landscapes have been mostly inaccessible, except to scientists, rangers and students.

Strebeigh remarks that it's "as if the U.S. National Park Service (also, incidentally, founded in 1916) had forbidden hiking for most of a century - then decided a few travelers deserved a chance to explore the Grand Canyon or get close to Yellowstone's Old Faithful." 

Strebeigh describes his small group finally straddling one of the areas most intimidating volcanoes. "Now, as our group of three reached the mid-point in a five-day hike, snow-crowned Kronotsky Volcano rose before us, lifting more than 3,500 meters from the nearby Pacific.

"At its base, 30 million landlocked salmon swirled in its lava-dammed lake, a buffet for hundreds of the world's best-fed (and, weighing up to 700 kilograms, largest) brown bears.  Kamchatka snow sheep roamed unmolested in the volcano's heights - a privilege, since foreign hunters pay handsomely to shoot this long-horned subspecies in unprotected mountains."

There is absolutely no hunting permitted in the area. "The Russian word zapovednik comes from zapoved (commandment), as in 'thou shalt not harm.' The reserve's 33-year-old director, Tikhon Shpilenok, who came here after he worked as an anti-poaching ranger at another zapovednik, happily cited Russian law that permits only "educational tourism" in Russia's 102 zapovedniki.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Travel

5 amazing safe holiday travel tips you can't go without this year Watch

Image of Safe travels with your family can be simplified by following a few basic safety rules.


With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years just around the corner, people around the world are planning to travel to visit with friends and family. Any form of travel comes with its own hazards, but Catholic Online has five top safety tips for the holiday traveler. LOS ... continue reading

Top 5 Catholic Bucket List Destinations Watch

Image of St. Michael Guardian Angel Travel Protection Clip (Catholic).


As Catholics, we know the world offers a variety of historically religious landmarks from the River Jordan to the birthplace of Christ, our Savior. So, after scrimping and saving you're ready to go out and explore religiously-relevant locations across the ... continue reading

Pilgrimage of Mary: The Tour of the Major Relics of St. Maria Gorreti Watch

Image of St. Maria Goretti's remains are encased inside a glass-sided casket. Inside the casket is a wax statue, which contains her skeletal remains. None of the sacred remains are visible. Nevertheless, the skeleton is complete, with the exception of small fragments that were taken to be placed in altars and for use in the Church's ministry (


St. Maria Goretti Parish is set to host a tour of the relics of its patron saint, St. Maria Goretti, as part of the Pilgrimage of Mary: The Tour of the Major Relics of St. Maria Gorreti. The parish is one of more than 50 in the United States to host the major relics of ... continue reading

Pope Francis plans visit to Mexico in 2016 Watch

Image of Pope Francis' visit will be his first time in Mexico.


The Vatican announced that Pope Francis is planning to visit Mexico in 2016. His itinerary will include a visit to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vatican spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed last Tuesday that plans of a ... continue reading

Never before seen Vatican artifacts on display in Philadelphia Watch

Image of Pope Pius IX's processional cross.


A preview of "Vatican splendors" can be seen in an exhibit at the Franklin Institute that showcases never before seen relics and art pieces from the Vatican. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A collection of over 200 items from the Vatican that have never been seen ... continue reading

Visit historic Catholic sites in New York Watch

Image of Visit New York City's Historically Catholic architecture!

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The New York Times released "A Tourist's Guide to Catholic New York," indicating which prominent locations in New York City stand out for their Catholic annotations and historic relevance. NEW YORK CITY, NY (Catholic Online) - People have made a journey to New York ... continue reading

'We were able to walk where Jesus walked': Pastor strives to become peacemaker while visiting the Holy Land Watch

Image of Pastor John Moyle offered to be a peacemaker between Israel and Palestine.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pastor John Moyle wanted to visit Israel not as a tourist, but as a peacemaker. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Moyle, who is a social justice minister at Oakbrook Church in Reston, Va., wanted his church group to become peacemakers throughout Israel and ... continue reading

Want to visit Cuba? Here are 5 things to keep in mind! Watch

Image of Visit Cuba today!

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba restored, Americans have already started to plan Cuban vacations with thoughts of eating good food and soaking up plenty of sunshine -but what should Americans keep in mind as they plan?  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

St. Michael's Mount Watch

Image of St. Michael's Mount is located on an area that is supposedly part of a mythical kingdom that was destroyed by the sea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

St Michael's Mount is a tidal island located 366 meters, (400 yd) off the Mount's Bay coast of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. It is a civil parish and is united with the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low ... continue reading

Interactive map gives users a 'blast from the past' of Old San Francisco Watch

Image of Two encoders have taken a Google Street View Map and turned into an interactive look at San Francisco of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Call it a virtual time machine. Two encoders have taken a Google Street View Map and turned into an interactive look at San Francisco of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It may very well be the closest to a trip back in time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

All Travel News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 11:1-10
1 A shoot will spring from the stock of Jesse, a new shoot will grow from ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:1, 7-8, 12-13, 17
1 [Of Solomon] God, endow the king with your own fair judgement, the son ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 10:21-24
21 Just at this time, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said, 'I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 1st, 2015 Image

St. Eligius
December 1: Eligius (also known as Eloi) was born around 590 ... Read More