The Shantar Islands are not well known to anyone: they are small in area, practically not inhabited, the climate is harsh, and getting here is a whole adventure. However, will talk about the most interesting places on the planet, regardless of the distance!
The Shantar Islands are located in the Sea of Okhotsk (southeast, Tuguro-Chumikansky district) literally at the entrance to the Udskaya Bay, the Tugursky Bay and the Academy Bay. In total, the archipelago includes 15 islands, the total area of which reaches 2500 sq. km.
What is the difference between the Shantar Islands?
It has incredible landscapes that will amaze even tourists from the Nordic and Scandinavian countries. The islands are poorly populated - it is believed that there is no permanent population at all, therefore nature remains practically untouched:
- Rocks overgrown with conifers
- Colored mosses and lichens of the most bizarre colors
- Kekura (rocks with a pillar or cones, which appeared from natural causes - for example, weathering) of interesting fantasy forms
- Many plants and animals from the Red Book. Let's note at least the mykizho fish (even if it is not an animal in the literal sense of the word) - the local population is considered one of the largest surviving ones. Here you can also see bowhead and killer whales, seals and Steller's sea eagles!
The weather here is not to say hospitable (the conditions of the Far North): ice caps the islands for 8 months a year. Even in July, when the sun is strong, there are enough large icebergs in the adjacent waters, which is why local navigators are very skilled. Fogs are also frequent here, which add mysticism to the surrounding species.
There are many valuable rocks in the rocks - marble, jasper and others - that's why on the Shantar Islands you can see slopes of red, pink, green, white: at sunset they shimmer especially beautifully and seem to glow from the inside. The maximum height on the islands is Mount Veselaya (720 meters).
How to get there? Shantar tourism
Since 2013, the Shantar Islands National Park has spread out here, so now some tour operators offer an unusual travel option. The park includes both land (515,500 ha) and water spaces (274,284 ha). Even on the islands themselves, there are 2 tourist offices - however, no more than 100-150 tourists get here per year. Main directions of travel:
- Whale watching (there is even a special program "Shantara Whale Watching")
- Historical and cognitive
- And even gastronomic!
Tours usually take 10-12 days and start in Khabarovsk: there is no constant air connection with the islands, so you have to get there by water and by helicopter. Modern SUP boards are also actively used (always with wetsuits: after all, this is not the Maldives).
The Shantar Islands are a godsend for the jaded tourist: they are truly unusual and unique experiences on the territory of Russia!