AN ENDLESS OCEAN, full of killer whales, dolphins, and two species of sea lion. Hot springs, mud volcanoes, and unparalleled skyscapes. Aniva Lighthouse and bridges built back in the time of
Imperial Japan. Sakhalin is sure to impress you to the core with these sights and more.
TEXT: ANGELINA NADEZHDINA
PHOTO: RUSPEKH.RU / TWIMG.COM / YURIY TSYGANKOV / TIC SAKHALINSKY
1 BOAT TOUR TO ANIVA LIGHTHOUSE
In order to experience all the charm of Sakhalin, you should take a boat tour to one of the island’s most famous lighthouses — Aniva, built in 1939.
During this trip, tourists can see the most beautiful sites of the island: Cape Three Stones and Cape Marble, seashore bird colonies, possibly killer whales and dolphins, and, of course, the lighthouse itself — Sakhalin’s signature landmark.
2TOUR OF CAPE GIANT AND BIRD’S CAPE
Along the coast from Bird’s Cape to Cape Giant you can find many grottos, formed by the wind and waves, caves rising right out of the sea, and arches and pillars of various sizes and fantastical forms. Colonies of sea birds live in this area, and the coast itself is rich in rare flora and fauna. You can reach the cape from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in a good off-road vehicle, driving around 100km along a road with stunning scenery.
3 SEA LION ROOKERY IN NEVELSK
Right within the city of Nevelsk itself is a unique natural zoo — a sea lion rookery. Every spring, several hundred sea lions swim up to the shores of Nevelsk and settle on the old breakwater. These sea lions only form such rookeries in two other places on earth besides Nevelsk: in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Seattle, USA.
4PUGACHEVSKY MUD VOLCANO
This is an enormous mud field covered in craters, almost completely lacking in vegetation. Once here, you’ll feel as though you’re on a completely different planet! The volcano periodically expels streams of mud.
5WITCH’S AND DEVIL’S BRIDGES
This is a complex of unique railway facilities, built during the Karafuto era in the 1920s.
The road leads to the entrance of the tunnel, which is almost a kilometre in length, and passes under the bridge and loops around inside the mountain so that the upper part comes out just above the entrance. After passing across Devil’s Bridge and through another tunnel, tourists will find themselves at Witch’s Bridge. It’s 50 metres high and extends around 200 metres. Unfortunately, Witch’s Bridge is not preserved as well as Devil’s Bridge, and it is dangerous to walk across it. But vibrant photo souvenirs are guaranteed.TLR
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