Sakhalin is the largest island in Russia, washed by the Okhotsk and the Japan Seas. In 1805, the Russian ship "Nadezhda" under the command of Kruzenshtern explored most of the coast of Sakhalin, but it was not possible to bypass Sakhalin around and the question of whether Sakhalin is an island, or a peninsula remained without an answer.
In 1808, Japanese expeditions proved that Sakhalin is an island, but for a long time Sakhalin was designated either an island or a peninsula on various maps. Only in 1849, the expedition under the command of Nevelsky put an end to this issue, passing on the military ship Baikal between Sakhalin and the mainland. This channel was later named after Nevelskoy
This is only a small part of what you will learn when traveling to Sakhalin Island. By the way, we suggest after finishing our motorcycle tour to take 7-8 day detour to Kuril Islands with local guides/tour companies. From Sakhalinsk its very close, there are local airplanes and boat trips to Kunashir, Iturup and Shikotan islands, most famous and beautiful of Kiral range.
The tour starts in Khabarovsk, finish is in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Tour lasts 10 days, one-way ride. One group goes Khabarovsk-Sakhalin, the second one goes Sakhalin-Khabarovsk. It is reasonable to rent our motorcycles, but you can ride your own also.
The price includes:
The price does not include:
Khabarovsk – Vanino – Dolinsk – Okhotsk – Novikovo – Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
1. Arrival in Khabarovsk
Checking into the hotel and meeting with the group. Briefing before the tour, getting the motorcycles, dinner in the city
This is one of the most beautiful cities in the Asian part of our country. The wide Amur is at hand, gentle hills that add variety to the landscape, but do not make you tired when walking, an abundance of greenery. Due to the close neighborhood with China (by land it is about 25 km to reach the border), the city has many Chinese markets, restaurants, and cafes with Chinese dishes
2. Khabarovsk – Vanino, 530 km
Today there will be the biggest mileage of the whole tour. We will go to the shores of the Tatar Channel, from where we will reach Sakhalin Island by ferry. To the village of Lidoga, we will ride along the Amur in the direction of the capital of the domestic aircraft industry, Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Last 300 km of the mainland will pass along a newly renovated and incredibly beautiful road. Throughout its length there is not a single settlement, and among the locals there are only bears.
3. Vanino – Kholmsk, Ferry to Sakhalin Island
In the morning we will board the ferry, take places in cabins, and start to explore the spaces of the Tatar Channel. Travel time is about 18 hours.
4. Kholmsk – Dolinsk, 300 km
That’s it! We are on Sakhalin. We will start exploring the island from its western coast, going along the Tatar Channel to the North. First, we will visit the Cape Slepikovsky, a unique natural complex, on the territory of which plants included in the Red Book grow. There is also a 27-meter lighthouse built by the Japanese in 1934.
Next, we will go to Tikhaya Bay, which is on the shore of the Okhotsk Sea, i.e., on the eastern coast of Sakhalin. Even though we will not want to leave this place, we will go south along the seacoast. Along the way, we will get even closer to the Japanese heritage of the Sakhalin Island. We are talking about the Torii gate, which we will find in the village Seaside. We will spend the night at the recreation center on the coast of the Okhotsk Sea.
5. Dolinsk – Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 360 km
Today we will go to the southern part of Sakhalin, having previously visited the capital of the region - Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Then we will go on a beautiful road to the city of Nevelsk, from where we will go towards Kholmsk on unpaved road
Beautiful monuments of industrial architecture are waiting for us: the old lighthouse and the railway "devil's bridge". We will not bypass natural monuments either - we will see the Salyut waterfall and a secret reservoir.
Then we will again go to the east coast, where we will stop for the night on the shore of the picturesque lake Tunaycha
6. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, rest day
City tour with local guide. During next three days we stay in one hotel in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and every day we will do radial trips to different places of interest, returning back to the city in the evening.
7. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – the Cape Velikan, 200 km
Today we will go to one of the most beautiful places in Sakhalin - the Cape Velikan. An excellent asphalt road leads there, which smoothly turns into an excellent unpaved road that goes around the shore of Mordvinov Bay. Further through the forest and hills we will reach the coast of the Okhotsk Sea, where we will go down on foot to a sandy beach with rocks in the form of arches. On the way back to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk we will visit Lake Tunaycha - a spawning place for salmon fish
8. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – Aniva Bay, 175 km
By an unpaved road we will reach the small village of Novikovo, where we will leave the motorcycles and get a speedboat. From here we will go on a 2-hour walk to the Aniva lighthouse, which is a real symbol of the Island Sakhalin. We will have lunch on the shore or right on the boat in the open sea, after which we will go back hoping to meet seals, sea lions and even killer whales. After coming back to Novikovo, we will change back to motorcycles and return to the hotel.
9. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – Busse, 150 km
The last driving day of our trip. First, we will go to Lake Busse, where we will try to participate in oyster fishing. If we have a success, it will be very tasty. Then we ride to the Turquoise Lakes. After we return to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, drop off bikes and go to farewell dinner.