Iturup in Ainu means «big salmon». It is the biggest island in the archipelago of the Kuril Island arc.
Majestic volcanoes, 12 of which are active, create wonderful opportunities for speleology and mountaineering. The most amazing place on the island is the Medvezhya caldera. Here you can find four volcanoes, frozen rivers of lava streams, multiple lakes (two of which have hot water), all in a huge ring-shaped gap.
The most attractive place for tourists is Kudryavyi Volcano, with its multiple craters and fumarole fields. At night, one can observe the amazing luminescence of the fumarole fields. The Atsonupuri Volcano is also popular. On the surface, it is similar to the Tyatya Volcano in Kunashir, but it is much more picturesque. The Lion's Mouth Caldera is an old volcano crater filled with sea water. The striking bay is protected by a stone-lion, a beautiful rock that looks like a sphinx. From above, the caldera looks like the claw of a large crab.
Hikers will find it interesting to walk along the Ivan the Terrible range, visiting the following volcanoes: Yermak, Ivan the Terrible, Dragon, Machekha, Tabenkov, and Baransky. The latter is favored by locals. Here you can find an abundance of thermal springs, picturesque mud pools, fumarole exits, and even thermal swamps. And the Kipyashchaya River is appropriate for swimming in any seasons along its entire length. Its possible to get a free massage thanks to the numerous waterfalls with hot water.
There are more than 30 lakes on the island. The largest of them (Blagodatnoye, Kasatka, Dobroye) are of lagoonal origin and are great for snorkeling and diving.
Ilya Muromets Waterfall, the tallest (141 meters) multistage waterfall of the Russian Far East, is located on the northern part of the island on the slopes of Demon Mountain. There are many smaller waterfalls with a height up to 50 meters on the coast of Itrup from Rogatyi Cape to Medvezhya Bay.
The most beautiful forests, rich in berries and mushrooms, are located on Itrup. Locals gather a special Japanese mushroom that is about the size of a frying pan. People say it is never grub-ridden and tastes as good as a white mushroom.
Hydrangea, Sumac (Toxicodendron), and Kuril Cherry are among the lush vegetation on the island.
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|Address:||Sakhalin Oblast, the Kuril Islands|