Russia’s largest island, Sakhalin is one of those islands you have never heard of before or know little about and is tedious to get into, but once you reach the island, you will be dazzled by its haunting beauty, learn more about its tumultuous history, and discover why the island is a must visit.
Located between mainland Russia and Japan, Sakhalin Island has been claimed by both the Japanese and the Russians until it was seized by the Russians right before the end of World War II. It became a “prison island” where thousands of Russian dissidents and criminals where incarcerated. It also became infamous when Korean Air Flight 007 was shot down near the island in 1983, killing everyone on board. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the island opened its doors to foreigners who are drawn in by its oil and gas industry, and the beauty of the island. Under the radar of even seasoned travelers, Sakhalin Island must be visited before it becomes a tourist hot spot. You can get into the island by ferry from the Russian mainland or from Hokkaido in Japan, or fly into the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport served by Russian carriers and Air Asiana.
You would be surprised with the myriad of activities you can enjoy in the island. During winter, you can experience numerous activities like skiing, snowshoeing, ice-fishing and snowboarding in Gorny Vozduh. For outdoor enthusiasts, you can go hiking and trekking, camping, diving, river rafting, island hopping, and bird watching. You must also visit Sakhalin Regional Museum, Museum of Local Lore, Saklhain Art Museum, Gagarin Statue, Lenin Statue, and the St. Innokenty Church.
Take that step into venturing into the unfamiliar, and be one of the few who dare to visit Sakhalin Island. Consult your travel agent for more details.