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Primorsky Krai
Primorsky Krai Profile


Primorsky krai (Primorye) is located in the south of the Far East. It is bordered by Khabarovsk krai in the north, China in the west, North Korea in the south-west, and is washed by the Japan Sea in the south and east.

The maximum extent of the region makes about 900 km. The greatest width is about 280 km. The total length of the region's borders makes 3000 km including about 1500 km of sea borders. The central and eastern parts of the region are covered by Sikhote-Alin Mountains. Ussuri and Prikhankai lowlands lie in the west. The spurs of the Manchurian-Korean Mountains spread along the southern borders with China. The highest peak of the region is 1933 m Anik Mountain located in the north-east of the region, near the border with Khabarovsk Krai.

Among many attractions of this region is the Pacific coast and the striking beauty of its landscapes deserves special attention.

CAPITAL: Vladivostok (founded in 1860, population 605,049 in 2019)

AREA:  165,900 km2 (64,100 sq mi)

 POPULATION & NATIONALITIES: in total1,913,037 in 2018, there are more than 160 ethnic groups living in Primorye. 92.5% of inhabitants are Russians, 2.8% Ukrainians, 1% Koreans, 0.2% Chinese, others 1.5%.


The strong influence of the ocean, as well as the fact that Primorye is located in a place where the world biggest ocean meets the world largest continent, in general, provide a specific kind of weather. The climate of Primorye is temperate monsoon.

Spring is long, often windy and cloudy. Summer and autumn in the region come late, due to the influence of the ocean. Winter is cold for such low latitudes, due to the influence of the winter monsoon which brings the cold air from the depths of the continent.

The main peculiarity - lots of precipitation and fog in summer. Summer is the period of typhoons. The average temperature in July is about plus 17-21 degrees Celsius, in January - minus 8-23 degrees Celsius.


The first people settled in the region more than 30 thousand years ago. According to ancient legends, the coastal line was densely inhabited. In the Middle Ages, there were three empires on the territory of Primorye, which successively replaced each other: Bohai (698-926), Jin (1115-1234), Eastern Xia (1215-1233).

 In the early 13th century, the territory of East Asia suffered the Mongol invasion. This led to the fall of the empire of Jin, but some provinces in the east preserved independence and formed an independent state known as Eastern Xia. In 1233, after another invasion this state ceased to exist too.
After that, the region was in ruins and attracted people persecuted in surrounding countries (bandits, adventurers, political dissidents). The first documented Russian presence in the region dates back to the summer of 1655, when the northern Primorye was visited by Russian Cossacks.

Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve

Area: an area of 390,184 hectares (4,016 km²) and 2,900 hectares offshore

 Location: the northern part of Primorsky Krai

The Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve was founded in 1935. The reserve was originally established to protect sable populations that were on the verge of extinction.

 It is a territory of contrasts, a land of surprising diversity and contradictions of natural zones: from high mountains to sandy and shingly beaches of the sea coast. It combines relict, endemic and even subtropical species of flora and fauna. Created to restore the sable population, the reserve became an "island of salvation" for many species of animals and plants that were endangered.

About 97% of the territory of the reserve is occupied by forests, the main wealth of which is Korean cedar. Sable, Himalayan and brown bears, the Amur tiger and lynx get along well on one territory. Spotted seals live on the reserved coast of the Sea of Japan.

The reserve is included in the system of international biosphere reserves and in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2015, the Sikhote-Alin Reserve, the only one in Russia and the second in the world, received a CATS certificate proving the importance of this territory for the preservation of the rarest cat on the planet - the Amur tiger.

«Land of Leopard» national park

Area: 280,000 hectares  

Location:  the southwest region of Primorye (the Khasansky, Nadezdinsky, Ussuriysky districts)

The southwest region of Primorye is a unique area in terms of biodiversity: it is home to bears ungulates, lynx, and the Far Eastern forest cat (or Amur leopard cat). Here, you can also find ancient relic plants as well as species of tropical fauna.

Yet, the most important animal here is the leopard. The distribution of the Far Eastern Leopards decreased dramatically over the past two decades, but population of this species reached its critically low level and estimates 30 individuals in the southwest of Primorsky krai. The main purpose is to protect and restore the population of the Far Eastern leopard for that the park covers all the territories where a rare animal lives, and supports leopards with a special regime that helps them to survive. The first ecological tunnel in Russia, Narvinsky, is located on the territory of the national park. This facility was built specifically for the safety of wild animals: migrating from one part of the national park to another, deer and leopards can cross the track on top without leaving the roadway.

 The Land of the Leopard is divided into several zones. The “protected” zone requires a special access permit and is the smallest of them all. Restrictions for other zones are less strict: guided eco-tours are allowed in a “specially protected” zone; the “recreational” zone allows more active tourism; and the zone of “economic development” considers the interests of people living within the National Park.

The flora of the national park is very rich - more than 1,600 species of plants and about 2,000 species of fungi. For such a small area, these are great numbers. And if we take into account the fact that there is a considerable number of relict plant forms in the park, its value increases even more.

 An important focus of the Land of the Leopard is the environmental education. For children and adults, the national park organizes lectures and contests, quizzes and conferences, holds environmental festivals and events. Wherefore, today, despite still being listed as critically endangered, the world’s rarest cat is beginning to make a comeback.

«Zov Tigra» (Call of the Tiger) national park

 Area: 83,384 hectares (834 km2)

Location: 100 km northeast of Vladivostok

 «Zov Tigra» national park has been operating since 2008, and it is located deep in the Usury taiga. The national park's territory covers the part of the Sikhote-Alin mountain Range including mountain Oblachnaya, upper half of the Milogradovka's river basin, and sources of the Kievka River. More than 50 mountains which are more than 1000 meters high and one of the highest mountains in Primorye — Oblachnaya (1854 meters) are located within the national park.

The aims of the «Zov Tigra» national park are establishing are preservation and restoration of the natural complexes, environmental monitoring, and creating conditions for tourism.

Many rare and valuable species of mammals of the south of the Far East live in the Park. The territory has no equals in Russia in its species diversity of rare predators and ungulates. The predators of the Park are the Amur tiger, the Amur leopard cat, lynx, mink, brown and Himalayan black bear, etc. Cloven-hoofed animals living in the park are wild boar, red deer, sika deer, roe deer, goat antelope, musk deer. 6 species of mammals are listed on the Red Book. One of them is the “master of the taiga”, the Amur tiger.

 Read the article “Siberian tiger vs grizzly bear - Who would win?” here

The Far East Marine State Biosphere Reserve

 Area: 64,316 hectares (63,000 of which is water area)

Location: the western part of the Japan Sea, occupies 10% of the Peter the Great′s Gulf′s territory.

 The Far East Marine State Biosphere Reserve was created in 1978 to preserve the Peter the Great Gulf′s environment, and first of all marine organisms′ gene pool. The number of different species of animals and plants in the reserve exceeds 5 thousand.

The east area of the reserve is a zone of the strict reservation conditions, where subtraction and introduction of any organisms are prohibited. The conduction of the academic-research works related to the marine communities conservation and restoration, monitoring and inventorying of marine population is allowed in the southern and western areas of the reserve. The northern area is an excursion zone, where are working museum «Nature of the sea and its protection» and the Center of Ecological Awareness.

The Far Eastern State Marine Biosphere Reserve′s water area is the richest in Russia by its species diversity. It is inhabited by more than 2130 species of animals and plants. The reservation preserves 40% of plants known in Primorye. The full list of birds of the Reserve numbers 370 species, 223 of which (colonial seabirds, breeding and migrating birds) can be watched directly within Reserve. Common minke whales, killer whales, and dolphins come to the Reserve′s waters. Species of tropical fishes such as tuna, swordfish, highly toxic takifugu, sargassum fish, and tiger shark can be referred to the exotic inhabitants.



 Primorsky Oceanarium on Russky Island is one of the largest scientific and educational complexes in the world. The aquarium resembles an open white mollusk shell. While visiting this large shell, you may find yourself in the tropics, meet dinosaurs, count a crocodile's teeth and walk past 135 aquariums with over 500 inhabitants from all the oceans and climatic zones of the planet. The complex also houses a 70-meter underwater tunnel and a dolphinarium with an arena pool. The program includes a show with the participation of the Oceanarium's marine inhabitants, dances with stingrays and feeding Baikal seals and penguins.

Pidan Mountain is the highest peak of Primorsky Krai. Along the way to it you will find pyramids, dolmens, altars and dungeon entrances. Some visitors reach the summit in one day, but it is better to choose a two-day tour. From the top of Olkhovaya Mountain, tourists can see a beautiful panoramic view. Chandolaz, which means «a large elongated mountain», attracts visitors with its stories of lost expeditions, mysterious caves and endless branching labyrinths. Dardanelles Cheeks Ravine not only has a memorable name, but also a unique terrain, gorgeous views and interesting history. Cliffs and buttes resembling ancient castles tower along the ravine's slopes, and rocky stairs go all the way down to the river.

The Museum of History and Local Lore in Ussuriysk and the famous 800-year-old stone turtle will introduce you to the history of this city. At the end of summer, tourists come to see the city's blooming lotuses. In winter, you can enjoy a swim in an outdoor pool, surrounded by snowy fir trees. There is a historical park of everyday life and customs of the Russian people called “Emerald Valley” located 5 km away from the city. Various events are held here, including the celebration of Kupala Night, jousting tournaments, Christmas and Maslenitsa festivities, etc.

Vladivostok Fortress Museum used to be a military defense facility. Today, its exhibits present the naval history of Vladivostok in its entirety. Currently the museum holds Vladivostok: Vremya Kreposti (Vladivostok: Age of Fortresses) exposition, which tells about the fortress as an engineering and architectural phenomenon, about its role in the history of the city and the country and how it has changed the lives of the Russian people.

The Sikhote-Alin meteorite is one of the largest and most famous meteorites to have ever fallen not only in the Far East but on the planet. In 1947 specialists discovered 106 craters and holes with a diameter of three to 92 feet and a depth of six feet. It was determined that the Sikhote-Alin meteorite weighed about 100 tons.

The Boguslavka meteorite is considered to have been one of the biggest that people were able to observe. It weighed 564 pounds. On October 18, 1916, there was a powerful explosion 3 miles from the Boguslavka village. A large cavity formed on the location of the fall, which later became a lake. The body of water does not exist anymore, but the contours of the lake can clearly be seen today.

Egersheld Lighthouse founded in 1876, it reckons among the oldest lighthouses in the Far East. For over one hundred years it serves not only as the main landmark for seamen who enter the Port of Vladivostok, but also as one of its key attractions, which is always included in the tourists' must-visit lists. The Egersheld Lighthouse and its beach is Vladivostok's residents' favourite recreation place, particularly in summer. The tourists come here in the first place to admire breathtaking views that open from the lighthouse: there are Russky Island and the Port of Vladivostok on the left, and the incredibly beautiful sea merging with empyrean dome to the right.

Read about the Egersheld Lighthouse and the others most spectacular lighthouses in Vladivostok here

The Golden Horn Bridge was officially opened in 2012 and it is the world's largest cable-stayed bridge, built across the Eastern Bosphorus Strait and connects Vladivostok with Russky Island. It has been compared to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Look on Top-5 best places to visit in Vladivostok according to the locals here.


 “The farthest shore: peaceful scenes from Primorsky Krai, Russia’s crossroads with China”

China’s border with Russia spans over 4000 kilometres in length. Before it reaches the Pacific Ocean it skirts Primorsky Krai, the southernmost region of the Russian Far East, where much of the eastern Russian population is concentrated. Primorsky Krai is also a melting pot, where Russian and Eastern Asian cultures and traditions coalesce.

To continue reading click here


“24 or 48 hours in Vladivostok: What to do in Russia’s most eastern metropolis”
Day 1
8 a.m. Breakfast at the bakery

Start your perfect day in Vladivostok with a coffee and pastry in any café of the Lakomka bakery chain owned by Vladkhleb. Established in 1903, this is one of the oldest companies in the city. Locals love the breakfast to go, and here you can enjoy the authentic smell of bread before later in the day diving into the delicious world of seafood.

To continue reading click here 

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