Primorsky Krai is the southernmost part of the Russian Far East, an unexplored land for the many inhabitants of European Russia. The longest railway in the world, the Trans-Siberian railway, ends in Vladivostok, the region's capital. Many travelers dream of crossing Russia from west to east by train.
Primorsky Krai is first of all a place for beach holidays. The sea is warm, but the swimming season is short – 30 days in the east and up to 100 days in the south. The beautiful coastline and rich underwater world of the Sea of Japan, waterfalls, ancient dormant volcanoes, caves, tourist resorts on islands and easy access to most sights make the region a highly attractive tourist destination.
Visitors come to Primorsky Krai for environmental and health tourism (particularly fr om China); the area is home to the Zov Tigra, Udegeyskaya Legenda and Land of the Leopard national parks, six state nature reserves and the Shmakovsky therapeutic mineral water springs. Lovers of extreme sports also have plenty to do here; they can go mountain skiing, kiting, rafting, surfing, diving, horse riding, explore caves, do a parachute jump or go paragliding.
Vladivostok is the largest city in the Russian Far East and one of the largest ports on the Pacific coast.
Zolotoy Rog Bay is the center of the town. In the 19th century, the general governor of Eastern Siberia Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky ordered the building of a military post here and called it Vladivostok. For many years, the bay divided the city into two poorly connected parts; however, in 2012, in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the two banks were joined by a magnificent cable-stayed bridge called Zolotoy Bridge.
Thanks to its natural landscape, Vladivostok has numerous viewing sites. They are one of the city's unique features. The best way to see the city from two different points is to walk along Svetlanskaya Street from the Square of the Fighters for Soviet Power to the Far Eastern State Technical University and take the funicular up Orlinaya Sopka.
Nakhodka and the neighboring port of Vostochny are the main sea gates of Russia's Far East. In Soviet times, when Vladivostok was a closed city, all foreign visitors, including the legendary David Bowie, entered the USSR through Nakhodka. Nakhodka stretches along the slopes of the mountains on Trudny Peninsula and is extremely picturesque; you can get a wonderful view of the port from almost any point.
The beaches in the outskirts of Nakhodka are famous throughout the Far East and, unlike those in Khasansk district, are quite well developed. The most popular beaches are in the village with the Crimean name of Livadiya and in the Volchanets microdistrict. The best is considered to be Triozyorie Bay (Bay of Three Lakes) named after the freshwater lakes on its coast. As well as relaxing on the long beach, visitors to Triozyorie Bay can go diving, windsurfing and kiting.
Arsenyev is the ski center for the whole of Primorsky Krai. The town is located in the foothills of Obzornaya Sopka, which has several ski pistes. Lots of natural monuments can be found in the areas around Arsenyev: caves and waterfalls, as well as a lotus lake, which appeared several years ago thanks to the efforts of naturalists.
The Sikhote-Alin mountain range stretches along Primorsky Krai, from north to south. In the north, the mountains reach 2 kilometers high and are unbroken ground hardly touched by man. The southern part of Sikhote-Alin is accessible to tourists; the mountains are rounded and are not difficult to climb.
When travelling from the capital to the popular beaches of Livadiya and Triozyorie, visitors often stop off at the safari park in Shkotovsky district, home to Amur the Tiger and Timur the Goat, whose surprising friendship was reported around the world. The park occupies several factors of forest, wh ere friendly rodents live together with fierce tigers and leopards. A unique feature of the park is that the animals are not kept in cages but live in large areas similar to their natural habitat. Certain animals – birds, ungulates or predators – have their own areas that can be visited separately.