Magadan Oblast is a region of severe winters, permafrost, and gold veins. More than 20 tonnes of gold are mined here annually. In this region with its floating rivers and untouched nature you will only rarely come across nomadic reindeer herders or gold miners. The population density of Magadan Oblast is only 1 person for every 3 square kilometers. Flights from Moscow to Magadan take 7.5 hours.
Magadan Oblast is the leading Russian gold mining region, with 24.5 tonnes of gold mined every year. Most of the gold in Kolyma is extracted from open-cast mines. The mining of this precious metal is automated as much as possible: it is panned using special drags and mobile plants. A special net separates large stones, then the remaining soil containing gold is sent along pipes to the plant, where it is further filtered: the smallest stones and debris are removed.
Since recently, Magadan Oblast Gold Festival celebrating Russian craftsmanship has been held here. On the day of the festival, anybody can try to be an artisan and challenge for a valuable prize. The Artisan Strike gold panning competition is held as part of the festival. Contestants compete using traditional gold panning methods. The "artisans" wash the gold-bearing soil with large quantities of water. The unwanted material is washed away, while particles of gold, which are heavier than soil, remain at the bottom of the pan. The specks of precious metal can be tiny, but this is still a success as gold is very expensive.
The Kolyma River is 2,129 km long, flowing through Magadan Oblast, north-east Yakutia and into the Arctic Ocean on the border of Yakutia and Chukotka. This water artery is one of Oblast's main attractions; traveling or rafting along the Kolyma can make for an unforgettable and entertaining journey.
Hunters come to Kolyma from all over the world for its mountain sheep, wild reindeer, and bears. The region's quotas are not reached, so the potential for trophies is huge.
The local rivers are home to Siberian salmon, humpback salmon, and sockeye salmon. Anglers come to Magadan Oblast to catch their biggest or most unusual fish.
The therapeutic properties of the hot mineral springs are as good as in the best resorts in the world. Talaya Health Spa was built on the north-west slope of the Kolyma Range in the basin of the Talaya River at about 720 meters above sea level. The healing powers of the local thermal siliceous alkaline waters were discovered in the 18th century.
The region is also interesting for its ethnography. Visitors will enjoy seeing a real nomad comp or taking part in the Khebdenek or Bakyldydyak festivals. In Kolyma, you can witness the world of the indigenous peoples, discover how they live in harmony with nature, learn about ancient legends, and immerse yourself in the minimalistic life of the Evens and Koryaks.Tourists who travel around Russia will highly appreciate how varied a visit to Magadan Oblast can be. There are animals living here that are not found anywhere else in the world. This is the only place with primeval nature that hasn't changed for thousands of years.