Most of Murmansk Oblast is in the Arctic Circle. The Kola Peninsula is an area of endless wild mountains, tundra that is open to all winds, taiga forest and countless rivers and lakes. You can see the Northern Lights here, which last from a couple of hours to several days. Travelers are struck by the summer polar day, when the sun never sets over the horizon, and the polar night when the sun doesn't rise at all. It lasts from late November to the middle of January.
The region's capital is the hero city of Murmansk — the Russian gateway to the Arctic and the home of the Russian nuclear fleet. Sredny and Rybachy peninsulas are only 2,500 kilometers fr om the North Pole. Visitors can add the achievement "I swam in the Arctic Ocean" to their CV.
Murmansk Oblast is famous around the world for its spawning rivers; wild Atlantic salmon and other valuable species of fish can be found here. In some rivers, you are allowed to catch salmon during the spawning run. Although the fishing principle is generally "catch it and let it go", some trophies weigh more than 20 kilograms.
One of the most popular areas of the Kola Peninsula is the Khibiny Mountains which are more than 300 million years old. Visitors come here in summer to go trekking, while, thanks to the locals, skiing is well developed in this cold region. The ski season lasts from about late November to the middle of May. The Big Wood ski resort in Murmansk Oblast is the northernmost ski resort in North West Russia. Its total elevation is 550 meters. The Snow Village tourist center made from snow and ice is listed in the Russian Book of Records. It is the largest snow construction in Russia and is rebuilt every year.
Lake Seydozero, situated in the Lovozero Massif, is considered to be the cradle of the mythical Greek Hyperborea — a legendary northern country which, translated from Greek, means "beyond the North Wind". The Indian Rigveda, the Iranian Avesta, Chinese and Tibetan chronicles, Russian tales and myths and legends of different peoples around the world describe a northern ancestral land with Arctic phenomena — the northern lights and polar night, wh ere the sun sets and rises once a year and the year lasts one long day and long night. Hyperborea was destroyed by ice and snow which made the climate unbearable and forced people to leave and go south. The Sami are indigenous people living in the Lovozero Massif in Murmansk Oblast; they have kept the legends of their ancestors who lived here more than 20,000 years ago of the mythical Lake Seydozero and the Giant Kuiva, whose image can be seen carved on the lake's rocks.