Umba (Russian: Умба) is a town on the shore of the Kandalaksha Gulf on the Kola Peninsula in Russia. It's one of the oldest settlements on the Kola peninsula, and the largest settlement east of the peninsula.
Unlike many other settlements on the Kola peninsula, Umba has no access to mineral resources and its economy is oriented around agriculture and forestry. It is famous for its dairy production, including milk, kefir, cream, sour cream, and yogurt. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Umba's population has been nearly halved from 8,300 in 1989 to about 4,400 in 2020. The subarctic climate (average year temperature is around zero) makes living conditions on the peninsula harsh. Temperatures are only positive from May to October, and although winters aren't nearly as cold as in Murmansk, they are still very long.
The village was first mentioned in 1466 as a fishing settlement. It became a destination for pilgrims after the Solovetsky Monastery was built in 1765, including a Christian Orthodox church. At the end of the 19th century the village started industrialisation, and in 1898 a sawmill was erected followed by a small cargo port to export timber. The logging industry is the economic life line of the town, and nearly everything is constructed out of wood, even the sidewalks!
In the 1930s, the newly established State Hydrological Institute of the Soviet Union established a research station in Umba. Researchers studied the lakes and reservoirs around the town. The station is still operational, under supervision of the Belomorsk Biological Station of Moscow State University.
Umba does not have a railway link; the nearest railway station is in Kandalaksha.
The regional bus lines 222 (Kandalaksha - Umba) and 223 (Kandalaksha - Umba - Varzuga) are the easiest connections although the journey takes 2-2½ hours from Kandalaksha. All PJSC "Murmanskavtotrans" tickets are valid on these lines.
Umba has a port, although there are no scheduled ferry services. Umba also has an airfield, 1 Umba Northwest but as of Nov 2020, there are no scheduled services.
Umba isn't very large, but has its own bus service, line 6.
- 1 Museum of History, Culture, and Industry of Tersky Pomors, ul. Dzherzhinskogo 78, ☏ . Tu-Sa 09:00-17:00, Su-M closed.
- 2 Museum of Stonemasonry (Музей камня), ☏ . M-Sa 10:00-18:00.
- 3 Kanozero Rock Carvings Museum (музей "Петроглифы Канозера"), улица Дзержинского 36.
- 4 Petroglyphs of Kanozero (Петроглифы Канозера), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-F 10:00-18:00; Sa 10:00-16:00.
- 1 Public sauna (Баня), Горная улица 41.
- Amethyst Coast (Сувернирная лавка «Аметистовый берег»), ул. Горная, д.60. 11-19 daily. Rocks, minerals, souvenirs.
- Kandalaksha — transport hub 110 km to the west