Hiking the Magical Mountains of Khibiny

The Khibiny Mountains, also known as the Khibiny Massif or Khibins, are located in Russia's Kola Peninsula and it is one of the main mountain ranges of the region. Noted for its steep slopes, plateaus, ice fields, snowfields and glaciers, the Khibiny Mountains are an ideal escape from stressful city life. Trekking or hiking across the Khibiny Mountains is a remarkable adventure, a Russian hike not to be missed.

Located just 150 km north of the Polar Circle, the Khibiny massif is an oval shaped geographical feature, measuring plus-minus 1 300 km squared. Seated in the central area of the Kola Peninsula, the massif stands 900 to 1000 m higher than the plain that surrounds it. The highest peak measures 1191 m, and is called Chasnachorr Mountain. The Khibiny Mountains of Russia are still seismically active and are rich in minerals such as nepheline and apatite.

Various adventure travel companies offer Khibiny Mountain hiking tours. Visitors to the mountains will traverse a variety of terrains such as tundra. A distinct advantage of hiking the Khibiny Mountains is the long light “polar” day enjoyed in the summer. The climate of the Khibiny Massif is somewhat milder than other sections of Russia's polar region. Hikers can look forward to trekking through sheer natural beauty, featuring sparkling rivers, shrubs, lichen, berries and mushrooms. Visitors can also take in the ancient petroglyphs left by the Lappish people of the region. The ancient drawings of the Kola Peninsula are a true delight, transporting you into a different era. Some tours offer their patrons the opportunity to live like the Laps, sleeping on reindeer skins, learning customs and traditions, and hearing the local legends.

Whilst no mountaineering experience is needed to hike the Khibiny Mountains, hikers should be fit and have some hiking experience. Organized hikes can last from 3 to 12 days depending on your requirements and the travel company you join. There are no chalets on the mountains, so tents provide accommodation on hikes. Most adventure travel companies will supply the tents along with food, a cook and guides. Whilst no particular inoculations are required when entering Russia, it is advisable to receive an encephalitis vaccination as you will be trekking through wild forest. Hiking the Khibiny Mountains is an unforgettable Russian trekking adventure.


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