A little under a thousand people permanently reside in the village of Teriberka. Visitors are far greater in number. Some want to experience the set of the famous Leviathan movie first hand, while others fell in love with the place long before the film came out. All are drawn by the fascinating landscape and the silence missed so much in larger cities
According to the Lonely Planet travel guide, “hemmed in between the Barents Sea and snow-covered hills around it, the dying-out Sami village of Teriberka is one of the most picturesque spots in Arctic Russia. With skeletons of old fishing ships lying on its shores, cute wooden cabins, the empty shells of Soviet-era housing and a colourful seafront graveyard, this spot is easily accessed from Murmansk by car or by daily bus through spectacular Arctic scenery.”
A very different Kola Peninsula welcomes those willing to tread beyond the beaten path. Travellers keen to enjoy the grandiose natural landscape are sure to find plenty of generous local people - those who never let a traveller go lonely and are always ready to extend a tea-time invitation
Teriberka was first mentioned in the history books in the 16th century as a temporary fishermen’s camp. In 1608, the village consisted of six wooden houses. Teriberka withstood attacks from the Danes in 1623 and from the Brits in 1809
Having settled in Teriberka in 1869, Russian colonists made up the village’s first permanent residents. In the mid-20th century, the village was home to about five thousand people, two fisheries, two dairy farms, a poultry farm, a mink-breeding farm, and a deer farm with about two thousand animals
The second Teriberka. New Life Festival will be held this year from August 12 to August 14. The three-day event, celebrating this picturesque corner of the world, provides a huge positive boost to village life. Last year’s festival heralded the opening of the village’s first café and two hotels, as well as general repairs for the road leading from Murmansk to Teriberka. Travellers at the festival can take part in sporting competitions, sample real Nordic cuisine, take a sea-boat tour, go snorkelling or whale-watching, hike the tundra or enjoy a great number of other exciting activities. The festival’s program lists dozens of workshops, theatrical performances, and contemporary art events. For details, see the official website.
The Sami are the peninsula’s indigenous population. They breed deer, fish, and hunt. Approximately two thousand Sami are currently living in Russia, with about 900 of them residing in the village of Lovozero. A little over 10 percent of the Sami population are nomads. The rest have long settled in villages and towns.
About a third of Lovozero residents are Sami. The Sami language is taught at the Lovozero Vocational College. A Sami-language web-based radio station broadcasting Sami music and songs 24/7 was launched in 2012
The region of Karelia showcases yet another side of northern life. Located only a few hours away from the city of St. Petersburg, the area has long been a popular holiday destination for Russians. Karelia proudly boasts the highest number of lakes per resident in the country, one lake for every ten people
In the winter, travelers can enjoy the sight of aurora borealis, otherwise called the northern lights
The islands of Kizhi, Valaam, and Solovki form a triangle route that is always at the top of the must-see list for travellers in Karelia. The Islands of Solovki are officially located in the Archangel Region, but are best accessed from neighbouring Karelia
Fireweed is one of many local specialities. This beautiful plant makes for a deliciously energizing herbal tea. Fireweed is traditionally harvested in July
Andrey Zvyagintsev’s award-winning film Leviathan paints life in the small village of Teriberka on Russia’s northern Kola Peninsula as a bleak place without hope or joy. In real-life, the country’s northern regions have far more to offer: a land of vast forests, thousands of lakes, mountains and mossy hills, all crowned by the flickering Northern Lights. Lenta.Ru is here to let you know why the Russian North, the Kola Peninsula and even the little village of Teriberka are worth visiting at least once.