The Kuril Islands detailed itinerary

Day 1.  Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Arrive in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the morning. Accommodation at the hotel. Walk in the city park which was founded by Japanese in 1906. Visit to the local lore museum; it possesses a rich collections of history, ethnography and geography of the region. The museum was built in 1937 and was an architectural pearl of the city of that time.

Meals: dinner

Day 2.  Sakhalin – Kunashir Island (by ship)

Transfer to the Korsakov sea port (45 km from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk). Korsakov is one of the southern non-freezing ports of Sakhalin on the shore of the Aniva bay. Boarding a ship and departure to Kunashir. Accommodation in cabins for four. There is a restaurant on board the ship where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Meals: breakfast.

Day 3. Yuzhno-Kurilsk

Arrival in Yuzhno-Kurilsk, the main settlement on Kunashir. Accommodation at a hotel. Seafood dinner on the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk.

Meals: lunch, dinner.

Day 4. Wednesday: Mendeleev volcano

After breakfast we will take our first trip around the island - 17 km drive and 7 km walk along the old Japanese road to the fumarole field of Mendeleev volcano. Fumaroles are the openings in the crust which emit volcanic gases. On the slopes you will see solfataras – fumaroles that emit sulfurous gases. They result in the formations of yellow sulfur. The fumarole field of Mendeleev volcano surrounded by coniferous and deciduous forests looks rather picturesque.

Return to Yuzhno-Kurilsk.

Meals: breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 5.  Motor-boat ride to the foot of Tyatya Volcano

In the morning transfer to the shore of the Pacific Ocean near the “Chertov palets (Devil’s finger)” cliff to the north from Yuzhno-Kurilsk. Take a motor-boat to the foot of Tyatya volcano (60 km, 3 hours). Base camp on the Pacific shore.

Tyatya volcano (in Japanese it means “Father-mountain”) is one of the highest (1 819 m), active and beautiful volcanoes of the Kurils. Tyatya is a double volcano. The higher (new) cone is located on the truncated cone of the old partially destroyed volcano. The volcano is very attractive and is often compared to Vesuvius or Fujiyama. There are bears in this area but in summer when there are plenty of fish and berries they are not hungry and try to avoid meeting people. Nevertheless the group will be accompanied by a local guide who is aware of bears' behavior. Overnight in tents.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6. Tyatya volcano climb

Tyatya volcano, 1819 m, seems to be too high for a day walk and it is really a long and demanding day. But we are going to start gaining this altitude from the very sea level which means that: I) the altitude problems will not affect your organism; ii) this makes your ascent a really “honest achievement”.

Ascent to the top of the first crater takes about 6-7 hours. A comparatively good path goes through a dense forest with bamboo undergrowth. In 3-4 hours we reach a “dead forest” area – remains of the forest burnt our by an eruption. Depending on the weather and group conditions we will finish the climb either at the height of the first rim (1 500 m) or of the second rim (1 819 m, two extra hours). This is a difficult but rewarding day.

Overnight in the same camp.

Meals: breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 7. Return to Yuzhno-Kurilsk

After a good rest and late breakfast we’ll take our motor-boats back to Yuzhno-Kurilsk.

Meals: breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 8. Stolbchaty cape

Today we will go to the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk, to Stolbchaty cape which is included in the UNESCO world heritage list as a natural monument (transfer 18 км and further 8 km walk along the ecological trail). Columnar basalt formations of Stolbchaty Cape are perfectly matched to one another and look like an artificial construction. Looking from above this natural wonder resembles modern paving slabs. It is a perfect place for making nice photos. From here you can even see Japanese Hokkaido.

We will have an opportunity to bath in the Stolbovskie Springs today. Return to the hotel.

Meals: breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 9. Golovnin volcano

Drive 50 km to the south of the island and walk to Golovnin volcano (9 km one way).

The volcano was named after Vasiliy Golovnin, Russian seafarer and explorer of the Kurils and Kamchatka region. He was arrested by Japanese authorities on Kunashir in 1811 and spent 2 years in prison.

Golovnin volcano is the southernmost volcano on the Kurils. There are several volcanic domes and craters on the top of caldera. Goryacheye (Hot) and Kipyascheye (Boiling) Lakes are the main volcano's attractions. By the way the water of the Kipyascheye (Boiling) Lake is really boiling! We will have an opportunity to bath in the Hot Lake.

The area around volcano is the territory of the Kuril Nature Reserve. The local guide will tell us about the nature of Kunashir, it's flora and fauna.

Meals: breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 10. Ship from Yuzhno-Kurilsk to Korsakov

Departure to Sakhalin Island by ship

Meals: breakfast.

Day 11.  Korsakov – Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Arrive at port Korsakov. Transfer to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Visit to the fish market on the way to the hotel. Accommodation at the hotel.

Meals: No.

Day 12. Day in Sakhalin Island

In the morning departure to the south of Sakhalin along the Eastern shore of Aniva peninsula to Velikan Cape (Sea of Okhotsk). In the vicinity of Velikan and Ptichiy Capes there are plenty of rocky arches and cliffs with birds' colonies. Very often one can notice seals lying in the sun on the rocky and sandy beaches of Velikan Cape. Hiking along the sea shore. Return to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the evening.

Meals: breakfast, picnic-lunch on the sea shore.

Day 13. Departure from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Transfer to the airport. Trip ends.

Meals: breakfast.


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