Peter the Great Bay is unique. There are no similar regions in Russia. Its geographical position, merging of warm and cold currents, and shoreline irregularity leads to an extraordinary diversity of animals and plants. Peter the Great Bay is the main marine entrance to Vladivostok, and the islands of the bay play an important role in the ecotourism in Primorye. Many islands of the bay are not inhabited by people and therefore remain suitable for wildlife.
Nature. The bay area is home to more than 200 species of fish, among which the valuable commercial species: salmon, herring, plaice, mackerel, halibut, pollock and tuna. Coastal waters of the Gulf of Peter the Great are rich with sea cucumber, clams and mussels.
A big part of the bay is included in Far Eastern Biosphere Nature reserve.
It’s a popular destination for birdwatching in Primorye. Furugelm island is famous for its world’s biggest colony of black-tailed gulls and Japanese cormorants, and the only place where Black-faced spoonbill and Chinese egret nest in Russia. Pakhtusova island is unique for having a breeding colony of Styan’s grasshopper warbler.
Geography. There are 4 large islands in the archipelago of the Bay: Russkiy, Popova, Reyneke and Rikorda. Three of them have regular transport connection with the mainland: Russkiy island – with a bridge, Popova and Reyneke – with a ferry. The ferry from Vladivostok port takes about 2 hours. Coastline of the islands is rich with cliffs, caves and stacks, but there are quiet sand beaches as well.The vegetation of some islands includes beautiful Japanese red pine (pinus densiflora) – typical for Korean peninsula, but unique for Russia.
Aside from the large islands, there are numerous smaller islands, like Zheltukhina, Pakhtusova, Karamzina, Furugelm and others. Smaller islands are usually home to colonial birds and spotted seal rookeries.
Recreation & Tourism. The islands of the Peter the Great Gulf are a popular tourist destination in summer. People from other regions would often come to camp here and spend their whole Primorye vacation. Some people establish permanent camps and organize music festivals.
Recreation activities include snorkeling, sea bathing, hiking, fishing and birdwatching.
Almost every big island has solid military fortifications left from Soviet Union and it attracts many tourists as well.
Smaller islands are more difficult to get to and are less suitable for sea vacation, and therefore remain quiet and wild.