Kuril islands. Tour to Kuril Island. Kuril Island tour. Trip to Kuril Island. Russia.
WELCOME TO KURIL ISLAND
ABOUT KURIL ISLANDS
Discovered and first charted in 1739 as part of Russia’s Great Northern
Expedition, the Kurils are a chain of 56 variously sized islands, arced like
stepping-stones between Kamchatka and the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
Blistering winter winds, fog-smothered summers, chronic
storms, volcanic eruptions, bubbling fields of sulfur, earthquakes, tidal waves,
noxious seaweed-scented air, and blood-sucking swarms of mosquitoes – the
Kurils is the home of all these natural womders.
The combination of great distances between the Kurils and the
mainland, deep channels between islands, and strong ocean currents created major
barriers to plant and animal dispersal, so that species evolved distinctly in
their place of origin. Thus each island has its own unique geological and
biological history, allowing scientific glimpses into a rare, spectacular
spectrum of biodiversity. The Kuril Islands today are one of the last
biologically unknown places in the world. The Kuril Islands form part of the
Pacific 'Ring of Fire'. There are about twenty major islands, all of which are
the summits of volcanoes that rise from the seabed starting at depths of about
3000 m. The arc is quite active, with eruptions nearly every year, and most of
the peaks are quite youthful and symmetrical in form. The climate is cold and
wet, with snowfall in winter and rainfall year round, and only the northernmost
and highest peak, Alaid, bears a few small glaciers. Only a few of the Kurils
are inhabited, and access is quite difficult to all except the southernmost
island, Kunashir (home to the strikingly beautiful volcano of Tyatya). There is
irregular ferry service to the other inhabited islands and no air service, so
any trips there would probably require a private boat or floatplane for access.
GETTING THERE AND AWAY TO THE KURIL ISLANDS
About the only way to reach the Kurils is to take a plane from Yzhno-Sakhalinsk (a flight of about an hour). Though in theory, flights are operated daily, they are often delayed because of thick fogs often wreathing the Islands.
It’s possible to get to the Kuril Islands by sea. Once or twice a month a ship departs from Korsakov, Sakhalin’s southern port, taking a day to reach the Kurils.
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