Life & Leisure

The Arctic Circle, closer than ever

Teriberka, Russia, Jul 2 (EFE).- The Arctic Circle is becoming more and more accessible. All you have to do is travel to the north of Russia, across several hundred kilometers of inhospitable tundra along unpaved roads until you reach your destination — a rocky coast with lakes, waterfalls and a coast void of bathers.

“The northernmost restaurant in the world,” says the sign of an establishment that has the skeleton of a whale at its entrance.

Welcome to the small fishing village of Teriberka, the only town on the Arctic Ocean coast that can be reached by road, others require expensive organized trips by boat or helicopter.

In the wake of Russia’s isolation, first due to the coronavirus and now because of its invasion of Ukraine, many Russians are exploring local attractions, especially in the north of European Russia and in Siberia.

One of these is Teriberka, located about 130 kilometers to the northeast of Murmansk, the largest city in the world within the Arctic Circle.

Winter travel to Teriberka is made complicated by wind and snow storms.

The temperature is around 20C (68F). There is also no trace of snow — it is not the North Pole, although the water does not exceed 6C.

In winter, visitors can go sledding and watch the northern lights, but in summer the range of activities is greater. Travellers can hire boats and spot whales off the coast.

One of Teriberka’s main attractions is its coastline, the beach of the Dragon Eggs receives the name of the huge boulders that cover it to the very shore.

There are also crystal clear lakes, reminiscent of an Alpine landscape, and a spectacular waterfall that is just a few meters from the ocean.

Teriberka was a port with a bleak future until prominent Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev shot the award-winning Leviathan (2014) in the town.

“Thanks to Zvyagintsev’s film, hundreds of thousands of people have discovered the beauty of the North,” Andrey Chibis, governor of the Murmansk region, says.

The locals have wasted no time. In 2021, they recovered the whale skeleton that was on the movie poster and it has become one of the main tourist highlights.

The polar gastronomy does not disappoint either. Fresh cod and smoked turbot are a delight, as are reindeer meat, oysters, mussels and especially sea urchin, a Teriberka delicacy, as well as the local beer.

Some locals, however, fear that the flood of Muscovite tourists to Teriberka will spoil the town and its Arctic surroundings.EFE


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