Murmansk Oblast, Russia

The Murmansk region is located on the Kola Peninsula in northwestern Russia. The Murmansk region is a major mining center of the country, as well as the base of the Russian Northern Fleet. Most of the cities on the coast of the Barents Sea are ZATOs and are hardly interesting for tourists. At the same time, the coast of the White Sea attracts lovers of ecological tourism, in particular, fishing for valuable fish species, the Khibiny attract lovers of skiing, and ethnographic tourism is developing in remote places of the region.



Administratively, the region is divided into several districts (Pechenga, Kolsky, Tersky, Lovozersky, Kandalaksha) and urban districts (Kovdorsky district, Murmansk, Apatity, Kirovsk, Monchegorsk, Olenegorsk, Polyarnye Zori and several ZATOs).

From a tourist point of view, it is more interesting to present the region in terms of geographical and recreational division:
Kandalaksha and Tersky coasts
Coast of the White Sea in a part of the Kola Peninsula. Historically, the Pomeranian shores stretched from the Karelian White Sea to Cape Svyatoy Nos. Shores covered with taiga forest with rivers flowing into the sea. Commercial fishing for valuable fish species attracts some tourists. The industrial Kandlalaksha is a transport gateway to visit the interesting Pomeranian settlements of Umba and Varzuga.

Murmansk coast
Stony, harsh northern coast of the Kola Peninsula from Cape Svyatoy Nos to the borders with Norway. The shores are cut by deep bays.

Khibiny and mountain tundra
The central part of the Kola Peninsula, which consists of mountainous rocky tundra plateaus, among which there are lakes. The edge of active mining, at the same time, attracts tourists with its ski infrastructure.





Other destinations

The Khibiny Mountains


What to do

Sami village (Sam syyt) (Located between the city of Olenegorsk and the village of Lovozero.). ✉ ☎ +7 (921) 169-62-99; +7 (911) 306-06-75. 1500 rubles per person. Ethnographic open-air museum.
2Snow Village, Kirovsk (near the Tirvas dispensary). ✉ ☎ +7-921-510-00-06. 11:00-21:00. 600 rub.


Getting here

By plane
Murmansk Airport (IATA:MMK) has regular flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Arkhangelsk. There are also international flights to Norway to Kirkenes and Tromsø. Airlines flying to Murmansk: Aeroflot-Don, Aeroflot-Nord, STC Rossiya, SkyExpress, Norwegian Widerøe.

By car
On the highway M18 "Kola" from St. Petersburg through Novaya Ladoga, Syasstroy, Lodeynoye Pole, Petrozavodsk, Loukhi to the settlements of the region.

From Moscow, take the M10 Rossiya highway to St. Petersburg, take the M18 bypass, or exit to Zuevo on Kirishi, then through Staraya Ladoga, exit to the M18 at Novaya Ladoga.


Precautionary measures

The main danger is packs of stray dogs. The city of Apatity has dubious fame in the criminal sense. But in general, the Murmansk region is a fairly safe region.



The rapid growth of industry, culture and population of the region became the reason for the creation in 1938 of the Murmansk district and the Kandalaksha district of the Karelian ASSR as an independent administrative unit - the Murmansk region.

In 1940, after the end of the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940, the western parts of the Rybachy and Sredny peninsulas, which had gone to the Soviet Union, became part of the Murmansk region.

In 1944, Pechenga was included in the region, known as Petsamo as part of independent Finland.

On February 3, 1947, the Janiskoski-Niskakoski sector with an area of 176 km² was bought by the Soviet Union from Finland and included in the Murmansk region.


Physical and geographical characteristics


The Murmansk region is located in Northern Europe. About 70% of the territory of the region is occupied by the Kola Peninsula (its area is 100,000 km2), it also includes the continental part, the Rybachy and Sredny peninsulas, the islands of Ainovskie, Veliky, Kildin, Seven Islands. Most of the region is located beyond the Arctic Circle.

In the west it borders with Norway and Finland, in the south with the Republic of Karelia and across the White Sea with the Arkhangelsk region. It is washed by the White and Barents Seas. The length is 550 km from west to east and 400 km from north to south.


Geology and minerals

The Murmansk region is located on the Baltic crystalline shield. The bowels are exceptionally rich in minerals and minerals. So, for 2021, 1,070 minerals (about 1/4 of all known on Earth) were discovered and studied in the region, of which 256 are newly discovered (about 100 of them were found only here).

The main minerals in the region are apatite (Khibiny deposits of apatite-nepheline ores). Apatite, a valuable raw material for phosphate fertilizers, has been mined on the territory of the Murmansk region since pre-war times, nepheline is used to produce alumina, a raw material for the aluminum industry, to produce soda and to produce cement. The second place is taken by iron ores (about 10% of Russian production) from the Olenegorsk and Kovdor deposits. The Kovdor deposit also produces apatite, zirconium ore (baddeleyite), phlogopite mica and vermiculite (the world's largest reserves). Copper-nickel ores of the Pechenga and Monchegorsk group of deposits give the country, in addition to nickel and copper, such metals as cobalt, platinum, osmium, iridium and many others. In the bowels of the Fedorovo-Pansky massif there is the largest deposit of platinum group metals, which is one of the largest in the world.

Oil is also produced on the shelf of the Barents Sea, one of the world's largest gas fields, the Shtokman field, has also been explored here. The largest reserves of rare earth metals in the country are concentrated in the bowels of the unique Lovozero deposit. Almost unlimited reserves of aluminum raw materials (kyanite schists in Keivy), almandine garnet. In the same place in Keivy there are deposits of beryllium and lithium (almost 50% of Russian reserves) ores, rare metals. Mica-muscovite and pegmatites are mined.

There are numerous deposits of building rocks, ornamental and semi-precious stones (amethyst, chrysolite, garnet, "belomorite" moonstone, amazonite, eudialyte, etc.). Recently, diamond finds have been noted.



The climate in the southern part is moderately cold, in the northern part it is subarctic maritime, softened by the warm North Atlantic Current (the northeastern continuation of the Gulf Stream), which allows navigation all year round. Winter is characterized by polar night, summer - polar day. The average air temperature of the coldest months (January-February) ranges from -8 ° C in the north of the region (influence of the warm current) to -12 ... -15 ° C in the central regions. In summer, respectively, +8 °C and +14 °C. The lowest air temperatures in winter are -35 °C on the coast of the Barents Sea, -45 °C on the White Sea coast and -51 °C in the central regions. Summer maxima, respectively, are +27, +32 and +33 °C (the exception is Teriberka (village), where the absolute maximum temperature is +34.5 °C). However, severe frosts are rare (as a rule, in the central and eastern regions). On the contrary, thaws are quite frequent, especially on the Murmansk coast. In general, winter is rather mild for the Arctic, milder in the north of the region. In addition, it is quite snowy (with the exception of mountainous areas).

Frosts are possible on any day of summer; snowfalls are not uncommon in June. Strong winds are frequent on the sea coast and mountain plateaus (in the Khibiny, gusts reach 55-60 m/s). Snow lies on average from mid-late October to mid-May (in mountainous areas from late September-early October to mid-June).

The entire territory of the Murmansk region belongs to the regions of the Far North.



In the central part of the Murmansk region (in the western part of the Kola Peninsula) there are the Khibiny mountain ranges (up to 1,200 m high) and the Lovozero tundras (up to 1120 m high), even to the west - Monchetundra, Chunatundra, Wolf Tundra, Nyavka Tundra, Greasy Tundra, Pechenga tundra and Tuadash Tundra.

In the distant past, the territory of the current Murmansk region was covered with a glacier, which, when attacked, left deep scratches on the ground, therefore, in the Murmansk region there are many rivers (Varzuga, Umba, Niva, Voronya, Kola, Tuloma, the longest is the Ponoi River) and lakes (Umbozero, Lovozero, the largest in area - Imandra). There are also small rivers, such as Strelna. Water reserves are not limited to fresh inland water bodies and seas; there are significant water reserves in underground layers. There are more than 110 thousand lakes with an area of more than 10 hectares and 18,209 rivers with a length of more than 100 m.

Due to the relief and high water supply, the region has a significant hydroelectric potential, used in the 2000s up to 3 billion kWh/year.



The region is dominated by podzolic-gley, podzolic illuvial-humus and tundra-gley soils that are not practically valuable;


Animal and plant world

On the territory of the Murmansk region, the southern tundra, forest tundra and northern taiga replace each other sublatitudinally. Plain tundra occupy about 20% of the territory of the region, stretching from the northwest to the southeast. The tundra is carpeted with mosses and lichens, there are many berries: blueberries, cloudberries, blueberries, lingonberries and cranberries. To the south of the tundra, the forest-tundra stretches (in a strip from 20 kilometers in the northwest to 100 kilometers in the southeast), represented by light forests of downy birch. Trees in the forest-tundra zone are often dwarfed (birch and aspen), spruce grows well, and pine is found. The northern taiga extends south of the forest-tundra strip. The forest fund is 94.5 thousand km² or 69.2% of the region. The share of forest stands with a predominance of pine accounts for 43%, spruce - 29%, birch - 28% of the area. Clearcutting from the 1940s to the 1980s resulted in a 60% reduction in commercial timber.

The fauna of the Murmansk region is noticeably less diverse than the general Russian one. So, 32 species of mammals live within the borders (in total in Russia - 326), about 280 species of birds (in total in Russia - 765), a small number of amphibians and reptiles. Among mammals, foxes, martens, ermines, arctic foxes are common, you can meet a wolf, a brown bear and a wolverine. Moose and reindeer are also common. Sometimes in the southern part there are lynx, wild boar and roe deer. Lots of squirrels and lemmings.

Of the birds here you can meet tits, bullfinches, waxwings. In the forests - a polar owl, a hazel grouse, a white partridge, a black grouse and a capercaillie. Lots of gulls, terns and other sea birds.

The Murmansk region is rich in fish - such species of fish as cod, sea bass, halibut, catfish, flounder, herring, saffron cod fish in the sea. In the Barents Sea, off the coast of the region, the king crab has been introduced. Lakes and rivers are rich in valuable species of fish, such as: trout, salmon, whitefish, grayling, char, nelma, char. Perch, pike, burbot are found in large quantities.

Nature reserves and botanical gardens
Lapland Reserve
Kandalaksha Nature Reserve (also in Karelia)
Pasvik (also in Norway)
Polar Alpine Botanical Garden-Institute



As of the beginning of 2021, 21 power plants with a total capacity of 3,532.6 MW were operating in the Murmansk Region (excluding the decentralized energy supply zone), including one nuclear power plant, 16 hydroelectric power plants, three thermal power plants and one tidal power plant. In 2020, they produced 16,493 million kWh of electricity (including the Kumskaya HPP, which is territorially located in Karelia, but organizationally part of the Murmansk energy system).

The region is supplied with electricity by the Kola NPP with an excess capacity of 1,760 MW, the Apatitskaya CHPP (323 MW, 735 Gcal/h), the Murmansk CHPP (12 MW, 1,111 Gcal/h), and a HPP with a total capacity of 1,550 MW on the Tuloma Rivers (Nizhnetulomskaya HPP and Verkhnetulomskaya HPP). HPP), Niva (HPP-I, II and III), Paz (Pazskiye HPPs), Kovda (Knyazhegubskaya HPP, Iovskaya HPP), Voronya (Serebryanskiye HPPs), Teriberka (Teriberskiye HPPs). The Murmansk region has a unique power plant: the Kislogubskaya tidal power plant, which produces electricity from the energy of ebbs and flows (the only tidal power plant in Russia).

Kola Superdeep Well
Another unique object in the territory of the Murmansk region is the Kola super-deep well, its depth exceeds 12 km, the well is currently closed.

They mainly grow fodder crops, potatoes and vegetables. Developed berry picking. Most of the industry's output comes from cattle breeding—meat and dairy farming, reindeer breeding (about 60,000 heads), and pig breeding.

reindeer breeding
The region has developed a developed reindeer herding, and the number was relatively stable in the post-Soviet period: in 1990, there were 78 thousand deer, in 2000 - 70 thousand deer, and in 2010 - 62 thousand deer. Reindeer husbandry is distinguished by the significant role of agricultural enterprises: as of January 1, 2011, only 8% of reindeer were in private hands.

Tourism, recreation and sports
Recently, ecological and ethnotourism has been gaining momentum, mainly foreign tourists who want to live in places in Lapland where no human foot has set foot (for example, a camp site near Yokanga). Mineralogical and extreme tourism is also popular in the region.

Ski resorts in Khibiny near Kirovsk.



The federal road R-21 "Kola" runs through the territory of the region from St. Petersburg through Petrozavodsk, Murmansk, Pechenga to the border with Norway (international automobile checkpoint "Borisoglebsk") from km 1068.

In total, there are 2,566 km of public roads in the Murmansk region, of which 2,472 km (or 96.3%) are paved (91.3% in Russia as a whole), including: category II (106 km), category III ( 628 km). The largest roads in the region besides Kola are Lotta, Salla and Serebryanka.

In terms of the provision of public roads with a hard surface, the Murmansk region has an indicator of 17.1 km per 1 thousand km².

Of the 145 rural settlements, 106, or 73.1%, have a connection via paved roads with the public highway network (in Russia as a whole - 66.1%).

During the period of implementation of the "Roads of Russia" program (2000-2004), 50.1 km of federal and territorial roads and 453.7 linear meters of bridge structures were built and reconstructed in the Murmansk region.

Until 2005, communication between the right and left banks of the Kola Bay was carried out through bridges across the Kola and Tuloma rivers.

Launched in October 2005, the bridge across the Kola Bay is a key link that provides motor transport links between the regions of the Murmansk region and access to the borders of the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Finland) and a significant part of the region with Murmansk.

The construction of this bridge has been carried out since 1992 with the participation of the federal budget. The length of the bridge is 2,500 meters, the number of traffic lanes is 4, the design and estimate cost of the facility in 2005 prices is 2,856.873 million rubles.

The main road is the Kovda-Murmansk section electrified with alternating current 27.5 kV (double-track from Kovda station to Apatity station and single-track with double-track inserts from Apatity station to Murmansk station) of the St. Petersburg-Murmansk line. The line was built in its original form during the First World War, and entered temporary service on November 5, 1916. Later, diesel locomotive lines were built to Alakurtti, Kovdor, Revda, Monchegorsk, Severomorsk, Nikel and Liinakhamari.

In the early 1950s, construction began on a branch line to the east, to the bays of Ponoi and Iokanga in the eastern part of the peninsula (the so-called Kola railway), but due to the death of Stalin, construction was not completed.


Military significance

The Murmansk region is of great military and strategic importance. This is the only place in the European part of Russia where ice-free ports are located, providing year-round direct access to the open ocean. The Northern Fleet is concentrated here with headquarters in Severomorsk. In total, there are 5 ZATOs of the Ministry of Defense in the region (Severomorsk, Vidyaevo, Zaozersk, Ostrovnoy and Aleksandrovsk). Until recently, the Rybachy Peninsula was also closed to the public. Aviation of the Northern Fleet, including Tu-22M3 long-range missile carriers, is stationed at the Olenya, Severomorsk-1 and Severomorsk-3 airbases. There is a military airfield near Monchegorsk.



In 2016, in the Murmansk region, 2 public and 2 private universities had a valid license, as well as 8 branches of universities in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities of Russia.

The state educational system of the region includes 240 preschool educational organizations, 166 general educational organizations, 19 secondary vocational education.



The first museum in the region, the Murmansk Regional Museum of Local Lore, was opened on October 17, 1926. Nine years later, on May 1, 1935, the S. M. Kirov Memorial Museum appeared in Kirovsk. After that, in the period from 1935 to 1950, museums arose throughout the region, local history exhibitions were opened at schools in the region, the first geological museum of Murman was opened at the Kirov mine, in 1946, based on the works of artists and photographers from the Great Patriotic War, in Murmansk opened the Naval Museum of the Northern Fleet.

The first museums at large enterprises and institutions of the Murmansk region began to appear in the late 1970s. Thus, the exposition “Formation and Development of the Fishing Industry of the Northern Basin” appeared in the recreation center of the fishermen of the Murmansk trawl fleet, Kolenergo acquired its own museum in Murmashy, the Lovozero Mining and Processing Plant in the Revda village, the Apatit plant in Kirovsk, and in Murmansk - city customs, internal affairs bodies, etc. In 1989, the Murmansk Regional Art Museum was founded, the last museum that appeared in the region during the Soviet period.

Due to the financial crisis that arose during the years of perestroika, many museums, especially small school museums and museums at enterprises and institutions, were closed and liquidated. The revival of the museums of the Murmansk region took place in the second half-end of the 1990s. In 1996, the North Sea Museum of the History of the City and the Fleet was founded, in 1999 - the City Museum of Local History and Local Lore of the ZATO city of Polyarny and a number of municipal museums in Kandalaksha, Kovdor and other settlements of the region. Museums began to appear at large regional libraries, for example, the Oktyabrina Voronova Museum of Sami Literature and Writing in the village of Revda, the Yesenin Museum at the Murmansk Regional Children and Youth Library, the N. N. Blinov Literary Museum and others.

As of 2008, 89 museums are officially registered in the Murmansk region: 2 regional, 8 municipal, 1 departmental and 78 public. From public museums: 25 of military glory, 16 of the history of educational institutions, 14 of the history of enterprises and organizations, 6 of local history, 5 of literature and 12 of various profiles.