The Most Remote Cities in Russia [Remote Cities Series]

Most Remote Cities in Russia

Being so vast, you will find many of the world’s most remote cities in Russia. It has many different climates and landscapes. From the cold arctic tundra in Siberia to the subtropical forests in Asia, Russia has something for everyone! Some of the most remote cities in Russia are Ust-Ilimsk, Yakutsk, Esso Village, Kamchatka, and Ust-Tsilma. These four Russian towns and settlements provide some of the most stunning scenery you will find anywhere on Earth. Bleak, colorful but beautiful..and cold.

This blog post discusses remote cities in Russia. It provides a list of the most remote places and describes some of their beautiful scenery.

Russia is such a vast country with many different climates and landscapes it is impossible to choose just one as being remote when there are so many where electricity is barely connected and the pace of life has two speeds, dead slow and stop!

Ust-Ilimsk

Ust what? Ust-Ilimsk can be considered as one of the most remote cities in Russia. It is located deep in Siberia in what we might know as a Gulag region where so many lost there lives in work camps under the Soviet regime.

The city is located on the Angara River which flows into the mighty Yenisey. Though life originally centered around an old 17th century fortress, the town as we know it nowadays came about due to the building of the Ust-Ilimsk
Hydroelectric Power Station. It was founded in 1965 with work on the dam commencing in 1966 and granted town status in 1973. The dam was completed in 1980. The dam is truly a monolith of communist era engineering.

The population is substantial at around 81,000 people according to 2018 estimates but life in general is tough in this remote area of the Russia.

The climate of this remote Russian town is one of extremes. Warm and humid in the warmer months with cold, dry, sub arctic conditions in winter. The normal winter temperatures average around -23.1 °C (−9.6 °F) with a record low of -53.1 °C (−65°F)

Ust-Ilimsk airport closed in 2001 due to bankruptcy but reopened in 2013.

Otherwise getting to Ust-Ilimsk is a bit of an ordeal, hence why we’ve included it on our list of the most remote towns in Russia. To get to Ust-Ilimsk via car from Moscow will take you 3 days.

Without a car you can get there by taking train and bus but expect it to take 3.5 days.

Better bring some sandwiches and vodka for the journey!!

Yakutsk, Russia

Yakutsk is the largest city and capital of Sakha Republic, Russia. It’s located in the Far East of Russia, about 450km from the Russian border with Mongolia. In fact it was a closed city until 1991 when Russia finally opened its borders to foreigners and tourists. It is considered to be the coldest major city of the world. With historic low air temperature of -71 °C the city is truly inhospitable, yet it is home to over 300,000 people. In this place everyone’s chillin’ out and the fridge is like a microwave!

You can get to Yakutsk by plane from Moscow or Vladivostok. There is also a train line that connects the city to Neryungri in south Sakha, which takes about 40 hours.

Yakutsk has an airport and is served by Russian airlines including Sakhalin Airlines and Yakutia Airlines. It’s connected with flights from other cities of Russia.

The city is best known as a hub for diamond trading but it’s also home to the Mammoth Museum where you can see fossilized woolly mammoth bones and other ice age animal fossils such as rhinos.

Esso Village, Kamchatka, Russia

The most remote city in Russia is Esso Village, Kamchatka. It is located on a peninsula in the northern part of Russia just north from Japan with the Bering Sea just to the north and Alaska further north. You’re really getting as remote as you can get here in Kamchatka.

The Kamchatka Peninsula is located in the area of an extinct volcano. Though extinct the area is rich in geothermal activity and it’s warm geothermal water serve as a natural spa for locals and tourists and the warm waters have been harnessed to heat the homes of Esso locals.

Esso was built in the 1930s and consists of about 1,800 people. It is home to Russia’s largest geyser valley, Geysir Kamchatka which shoots water up to 200 feet into the air with a rumbling roar.

Esso Village, Kamchatka Peninsula
Esso Village, Kamchatka Peninsula

There are no roads that lead to this special village but you can get there by getting a helicopter or boat but the easiest method of transportation is to catch flight with Aeroflot from Moscow directly to Kamchatka. There is a direct flight from Moscow Sheremetyevo airport into Petropavlovsk-Kamcahtsky airport which takes approximately 8 hours and 40 minutes.

Ust Tsilma Village

The village is considered the most remote settlement in Russia. You can get here by plane with UTair Express, Komiaviatran several times a week. Getting her via waterway hovercraft is one of the simplest ways to get here, yet it is one of the world’s most isolated places, not just Russia.

Ust-Tsilma can be reached from Vilyuysk at certain times of year over an ice road with rickety bridges linking both sides for part of its length. Ust-Tsilemsky District has been described as “the place where civilization ends”. Inhabitants live without supermarkets or shops; they have no electricity, no plumbing and all get by without cars.

Ust-Tsilma is a part of the Sakha Republic in Russia’s Far East Yakutia region that shows how remote cities are around the world can be when you look at russia’s most remote places!  The Ust-Tsilma region may legitimately be called an living testimony to ancient Russian culture, since traditional customs, lifestyle, and rich song traditions have been maintained and continue to thrive.

Conclusion

Russia is a large country with many remote cities. This list only scratches the surface of possibilities for tourists looking to explore these most remote places in Russia. If you know of any other areas that are more remotely located, please share them with us so we can continue to offer helpful information on how Russians live their lives away from major metropolitan centers! We’d love to hear about your adventures exploring some of the remotest regions in this vast and beautiful nation.

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