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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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.

1 (3)

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

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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.