Paratunka District in Kamchatka
There is a wonderful place in Kamchatka – Paratunka Resort, located at the same-name river in the same-name village belonging to Yelizovsky District. About one and a half thousand people live in the village, and it is located 70 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It is easy to get here from the capital of the region thanks to a direct road.
Paratunka has its own amazing microclimate. Due to the hills around the village, there are no strong winds that are so characteristic of Kamchatka. And, most significantly, there are healing thermal waters in Paratunka. Though even in summer, as elsewhere on the peninsula, it is quite cool (air temperature usually does not exceed +15 °C), hot springs allow taking water procedures in comfortable conditions. Water in springs holds 37–45 above Celsius.
Local thermal waters are divided into three groups. Near the village, there are Nizhne-Paratunsky springs. Higher, about six kilometers from this place, there are Sredne-Paratunsky springs. The water here is too hot for swimming, and it reaches 80 grades above Celsius. Verkhne-Paratunsky springs, located 12 km from the village, are also hot. Water streams flow down forming a waterfall.
Nizhne-Paratunsky springs, the reason for the creation of a spa resort here, are poorly mineralized. These are nitrogen alkaline siliceous springs. The main component is silicic acid, which, entering the human body, helps to rejuvenate the skin and strengthen the bones. In addition, useful algae grow in thermal waters, and they contain a large number of microorganisms that humans need, for instance, iodine, bromine. But that's not all.
Not only waters but also silt muds from the bottom of the Utinoye Lake located near Paratunka are healing. The reserves of this mineral muds are huge; their main component is hydrogen sulfide. Despite the specific odor, tourists willingly take mud baths as they contribute to the treatment of many diseases, especially gynecological ones, and perfectly restore strength.
Such a comprehensive healing effect attracts many tourists to Paratunka. Sanatoriums, hotels, recreation centers have been built in this area. Tourists are also attracted by clean air. Inhaling it, you can feel how the lungs straighten and cleanse, enriched with fresh oxygen.
History of Paratunka
Russian Cossacks came here at the beginning of the XVIII century when Rodion Presnetsov’s detachment went to the Paratunka River and saw thermal springs. The locals, Itelmens, tried to avoid those places, considering them a dwelling of evil spirits. So, there were no settlements nearby. The Cossacks did not build anything there, as well. A hundred years passed, and the members of Ivan Kruzenshtern’s expedition came to the shores of Paratunka, among them – Grigory Langsdorf, ethnographer, naturalist, doctor. He was the first to make a detailed description of Paratunsky springs.
When Rear Admiral V. S. Zavoyko became the Governor-General of Kamchatka, his residence was located in the Peter and Paul Harbor (now the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky). The thermal springs located not so far were used for spa purposes. Baths were built, dressing rooms were made. A small church was erected nearby. Houses were built for the staff. Gradually, the village grew.
The geographer and doctor Benedykt Dybowski, who was sent to Siberia for participating in the Polish uprising, after finishing his exile, arrived in the 70s of the XIX century to Kamchatka to explore the region. He studied Paratunsky springs in detail and described their medical significance. After Dybowski, other expeditions arrived at Paratunka in the early XX century, and they studied the features of the local thermal waters, as well.
During the formation of Soviet power, there were fights in Kamchatka. In honor of one of the dead partisan commanders, G.M. Yelizov, the city was named and became the center of Yelizovsky District. Paratunsky springs remained in the focus of researchers’ attention, and finally, from the 50s of the twentieth century, they began a comprehensive study to justify the development of the resort area here.
What to See in Paratunka
Paratunka is surrounded by a magnificent landscape. Volcanoes rise around, the snow on the peaks lies until the summer. Therefore, you can go skiing here even in June. The slopes of the mountains are suitable for mountaineering and trekking; the routes are mapped. There are day tours to volcanoes from Paratunka, including summit ascent.
Vilyuchinskaya Sopka is the closest to the village. Its height is more than 2,100 m above sea level. It is an extinct volcano, very ancient and beautiful. UNESCO lists it as a natural monument. Its cone is heavily indented, and there are many large stones. Tourists effect an ascent to its southwestern slope.
Paratunka is a perfect place for a great vacation. Here, you can relax and improve your health, go in for sports, take interesting excursions to magnificent natural landmarks.