6-day Experience Sakhalin Tour6 Days | Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

6-day Experience Sakhalin Tour

Russia’s largest island, Sakhalin, combines impressive coastal scenery, unique nature, delicious seafood, and fascinating history. This Experience Sakhalin Tour showcases some of the most beautiful and interesting places in the south of the island. Admire the impressive coastal landscapes, carved by wind and waves over many years; collect and taste giant oysters and other seafood at Lake Busse; and take a master class in preparing seafood. Walk along the forest trail to the 20-million-year-old Frog Rock, one of Sakhalin’s most spiritual places, and enjoy the views from the top. Learn about the island’s indigenous inhabitants and visit monuments to Sakhalin’s history, including from the time of Japanese control.

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – Arrival
 
Arrive in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, meet your driver, and transfer to the hotel. After checking in, take a short break and then meet your guide for a sightseeing tour of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Start at the Sakhalin Regional Museum of Local Lore, which is located in a Japanese-style building constructed in 1932 when Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk was the Japanese-controlled city of Toyohara. The museum’s collections illustrate the island’s cultural heritage and natural history and include ancient artifacts of Sakhalin’s indigenous communities. Stroll through Lenin Square and see the Neftegorsk Earthquake Monument to those killed in Russia’s most destructive earthquake of the last 100 years. Continue to the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ and walk through Gagarin Park. Finally, visit Victory Park and take the cable car to the ski resort for beautiful panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. Return to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours

During your free time, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Visit to the Victory Museum and Memorial Complex;
Visit to the “Russia is My History” Park;
Visit to the Museum of the History of the Sakhalin Railway;
Visit to the Sakhalin Zoo and Botanical Park.

Day 2: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – Tikhaya Bay – Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
 
After breakfast, take a trip to Tikhaya Bay on the eastern coast of the Sea of Okhotsk (135 km, 3 hours including stops). During the journey, listen to stories from your guide about life in the area during the time of Japanese rule, see the remains of a destroyed Shinto shrine, and admire the Japanese Torii Gate. Visit the local market and take the opportunity to buy and eat freshly caught crabs and other delicious seafood. Then take a walk along the coast (1.5-2 km one way) to see lagoons, grottoes, and gorges; climb the sea terraces; and swim in the sea. If you’re lucky, you may even find some amber! Along the way, enjoy a lunch of fish soup, caviar, and Far Eastern delicacies, accompanied by tea made from Sakhalin herbs. Return to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (2 hours). Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 9-10 hours
Day 3: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – Velikan & Ptichiy Capes – Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
 
After breakfast, take a driving tour to Velikan (Giant) Cape and Ptichiy (Bird) Cape (100 km, 3 hours including stops at observation decks; the route consists mostly of passes with steep ascents and abrupt descents, as well as dirt roads in places). On the way, stop in the village of Okhotskoye, where you can buy delicious seafood. The eastern coast of Sakhalin has been sculpted by nature—strong winds and waves have created multiple unique stone formations and unusual arches and pillars have become the home of bird colonies. Take a walk along the coast (1.5-2 km one way) to admire and photograph the capes, try fishing from the shore, and—if you dare—enjoy plunging into the cold sea. Eat your packed lunch on the way. Return to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (2-2.5 hours). Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 8-9 hours
Day 4: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – Lake Busse – Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
 
After breakfast, transfer to Lake Busse on the coast of Aniva Bay (100 km, 2 hours including stops). Pass by Russia’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, the first port in Russia built specifically for ships carrying LNG, and Mount Juno. Lake Busse, famous for its fresh seafood that you can collect and taste, is one of Sakhalin’s most renowned places for gastronomy. This unique place is home to giant oysters, scallops, sea urchins, crabs, trepang (sea cucumbers), and many other species. Take a trip on a rowing boat to the oyster beds to collect oysters and other delicacies, and then participate in a master class in seafood preparation. Finally, taste some of the delicious seafood you’ve helped collect and prepare, before returning to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 9-10 hours
Day 5: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – Vestochka – Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
 
After breakfast, drive to the village of Vestochka (12 km, 30 min). Continue on foot to the 20-million-year-old Frog Rock, a sacred place fo the indigenous Aino people and one of Sakhalin’s most spiritual places. Walk along the forest trail to the foot of the mountain (20 minutes) and climb up to the rock to enjoy the views and take photographs. In good weather, you’ll be rewarded with impressive views of Aniva Bay and Tunaicha and Izmenchivoyo lakes. At 13:00, depart for Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Free time. Overnight at the hotel.
Duration of sightseeing tour: 3-4 hours

During your free time, we offer the following optional activities (at additional cost):
Visit to the Victory Museum and Memorial Complex;
Visit to the “Russia is My History” Park;
Visit to the Museum of the History of the Sakhalin Railway;
Visit to the Sakhalin Zoo and Botanical Park.

Day 6: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – Departure
 
Breakfast followed by hotel check-out (by 12:00). Free time until your transfer to the airport. Departure. End of the tour.

Recommendations: comfortable waterproof and windproof clothing, hiking shoes, raincoat, mosquito repellent, and motion sickness medication.

  • All transfers (1-2 pax by sedan type car, 3-7 pax by minivan, 8-13 pax by 30 seat bus, 14+ pax by 40-50 seat bus);
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room sharing, breakfasts included;
  • Lunch on Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4;
  • Sightseeing tour programme with local, English-speaking, guides;
  • Entrance tickets to sights as per itinerary;
  • Visa support for Russia tourist visa;
  • In groups of 11 or more travellers, 1 person travels free of charge and is accommodated in a single room.
  • Tour leader to accompany the travellers for the whole tour;
  • Full board (lunches and dinners, unless otherwise stated);
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Consular fees for Russia tourist visa;
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Domestic flight tickets to/from Sakhalin;
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • Tips/gratuities for drivers and guides (although these would be appreciated).

Accommodation:

Economy Option
Comfort Option
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk - 5 nights
Gagarin Hotel, Belka Hotel, Lotos HotelSanta Resort Hotel, Pacific Plaza Hotel, Mega Palace Hotel

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