Africanda, Polarnye Zori district

Yesterday, for no particular reason other than its curious name, we headed to a place called Africanda, about 10 miles north from Polarnye Zori. The story says that the name originated as a joke, when railroad station builders encountered a particularly hot, Africa-like, summer day. The village offers among the most spectacular local ruins. The town core however appears relatively civilized, full of small two-story houses surrounded by pine trees. Here are a few photos to convey to you the sense of the place:



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The average cost of one square meter of housing in the Murmansk region

Location Roubles/m2 In $US at the current exchange rate of 62 roubles per $1US
Murmansk 37202 Just over $500/m2
Kola 37052 just over $500/m2
Apatity 21700 $350/m2
Kirovsk 21715 $350/m2
Monchegorsk 15000 just under $250/m2
Olenegorsk 17100 just under $400/m2
Severomorsk 35500 slightly over $500/m2
Revda 10609 $160/m2
Polarnye Zori 30000 under $500/m2
Molochny 35750 over $500/m2
Pushnoy 7895 slightly over $100/m2
Murmashi 31025 $500/m2


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extremeThe Regional Youth Subculture Festival will be held at Polarnye Zori on May 21, at the Main City Square (ulitsa Sivko), starting at 1pm.

Skateboarders, BMX bikers, graffiti artists, breakdancers and other fun types will be presenting their skills.

Festival’s VK page:

Cross-country motorcycle races in Polarnyye Zori on March 19 2016

motorcycle-racesLocation: Motorcycle race track “behind the canal”, Polarnye Zori.

Date: March 19 2016.

Time: 12 noon.

Dedicated to “The day troops were pulled out of Afghanistan”, which explains the Kalashnikov machine gun on the poster.


WWII air field by Lake Pinozero

One of WW2 artifacts between Kandalaksha and Polarnye Zori is the WW2 air strip used from 1942 to 1944 as a base for 22 lend-leased P-40 Kittyhauk airplanes.


The air strips appear to be accessible by car during summer months as there are potato plots of Polarnye Zori residents nearby.

Polarniye Zori hotels

Disclaimer: the information below has been pulled from a variety of sources but not verified.

(1) A billboard by the train station:

(2) Ul. Lomonosova 16, tel. +7(81532) 64655. A dormitory-type establishment.
(3) Ul. Kurchatova 24, +7 (81532) 63149. Another hostel-type place.
(4) Nivskiye Berega (“Niva Riverside”) Hotel, ul. Lomonosova 1A, +7(81532) 43551
(5) You can also stay at the mountain skiing complex “Salma” ~5km from Polarnie Zori. It is 1186th kilometer of the St. Petersburg to Murmansk road (highway M18), tel. +7 (81532) 43271.
(6) Ul. Pushkina 20, +7 (81532) 76783. This is a “sanatoruim” type place.
(7) Ul. Lomonosova 3, +7 (81532) 71811. Another “sanatirium”.
I’ll be grateful for your feedback on any of the above.

A quick visit to Polarnie Zori (“Polar Dawns”)

5That’s the first city north from Kandalaksha, ~20km north towards Murmansk. Went there just because it was a sunny March day.

A town with a definite “built in the early 1970s” feel, with its apparent raison d’etre being to house the Kola Nuclear Station workers.

Population, ~15 th., is less than half the size of Kandalaksha.

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Of travel practicalities, a hotel’s billboard was noticed. (Click to enlarge.)

More hotels in Polarnie Zori >>



6A fighter jet is installed in the main square.


The town is clean and appears to be well-maintained. Unlike Kandalaksha, it has a well-supplied bookstore.

Plans to set up a deer park in Polarnye Zori


A watercolour painting by Anna Mikhailova. See

Kola Nuclear Electric Station has announced plans to set up a deer park in Polarnye Zori, the town next door from Kandalaksha towards Murmansk. The park is to have 6-8 animals and be equipped with guest houses. If all goes well the park will welcome its first guests in spring of 2015.