Khalaktyrsky Beach in Kamchatka
Khalaktyrsky Beach is located on the eastern coast of Kamchatka, not far from the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. A distinctive feature of the beach is black volcanic sand.
This is a rare phenomenon caused by constant volcanic eruptions on the peninsula. Lava and slag flow and harden on the slopes and neighboring territories. The fast rivers that originate in glaciers erode the mineral-rich formation year after year and carry it into the ocean. And then, each wave approaching the shore carries out the small particles of volcanic origin and they remain on the shorefront. Now, the thickness of black sand reaches 20 meters, and the coast of Khalaktyrsky Beach has stretched for more than 30 kilometers.
Every weekend, or just in the middle of the week, the locals and visitors come to Khalaktyrsky Beach to wander along the sand, listen to the screams of seagulls and rolling waves. Once the first organisms originated in the waters of the first oceans, and now, after millions of years have passed, we are still drawn back. The ocean is calling!
When only approaching the place, the energy of large water penetrates you, you feel a salty smell and even the wind has a different taste.
Gradually, the birch forest recedes, the hills fade into the background, and a plain overgrown with a rare shrub replace the hills. Sand is already appearing underfoot. Then, over the next hill, the ocean suddenly opens up ahead. It stuns you from the first second and fills you with joy.
Recently, Khalaktyrsky Beach was chosen by the surf spot in the summer, and new waves attract the people’s attention from all over the world. We wrote more about this in the article Surfing in Kamchatka. It is cold to swim even in summer. The water temperature in the hottest days warms up to 15 degrees above Celsius. However, it is a pleasure to laze on the sands, which warm up perfectly in sunny weather.
If you walk along the water's edge after low tide you will find the riches of the ocean left by the water — iridescent pearl shells, starfish and seaweeds.
The black volcanic sand on Khalaktyrsky Beach is rich in valuable metals such as iron, vanadium, and titanium. But the current technology makes the mining unprofitable. Only in some places, the sand is collected and then used in the streets of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in winter.
Khalaktyrsky Beach and the neighborhood is an area at risk because of huge ocean waves — tsunamis. Earthquakes in the open ocean can cause large waves that reach the coast and go deep into the land. As the territory is flat, such waves can cause much harm to neighbor settlements, what happened in 1952, not without human losses. When living so close to the ocean, you should always take into account its strong and rebellious disposition.
During the war, the locals, when having waited for the Japanese landing on the coast, built dugouts, dug trenches, and even dug tanks into the ground in some places. Khalaktyrsky Beach still has traces of the war; they only acquired the imprint of the past.
The farther you go from the coast inland, the more contrast is the change. First, small shrubs appear, you can even enjoy crowberry, going further — collect bright orange and red rose hips. After a couple of kilometers, you can meet horses grazing in the meadow. And the Khalaktyrsky Beach is far behind.
How to get to Khalaktyrsky Beach
You can get to the beach on your own — by bus or taxi, or by joining our excursions. The coordinates on the map of Kamchatka for independent travel are е 52°57′55″N, 158°48′59″E
You can reach the visitor center by motor vehicle. This is an equipped area with a wooden walkway for convenient walking. There is also a playground, information boards and benches where you can rest and enjoy the views.
In the main hall of the visitor center, you can see photo exhibitions of local photographers, buy souvenirs or just listen to interesting lectures.
There is a small indoor cafe nearby, as well. The menu is not very rich, still, you can order kebab, French fries, various drinks, and milkshakes. Prices are quite reasonable.
Walking along the beach to the left, you can go to the steep cliffs where climbers take classes. Without such skills, you are unlikely to climb up from the waterside, but if you go around the mountain, there is a small narrow path leading to the very top. We recommend you to ascend and enjoy a stunning view from above.
Khalaktyrsky Beach and Pacific Ocean in winter
It is possible to get to Khalaktyrsky Beach in winter only by skiing or snowmobile as part of a guided tour or by yourself — we provide all options.
At this time of the year, the beach looks quite the other way, though no less beautiful!
When walking, you can even meet polar bears.
Here is our Kamchatka, so rich in contrast!
To the tourists
You can visit Khalaktyrsky Beach as part of our numerous tours, here are some of the most popular ones: