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Sakhalin Oblast

Cape Velikan

The Cape Velikan natural monument, with a surface area of 43 hectares, is located in the Korsakovsky region on the southern shore of the Sea of Okhotsk.

The Cape is listed in the register of specially protected natural areas. The Cape forms a part of the Tonino-Anivsky ridge. The ridge begins from Cape Aniva and extends all the way to Cape Tonin (Cape Svobodny). Its length is 90 kilometers with a width of 20 kilometers, and the maximum altitude is 544 meters.

A lighthouse is installed on practically every cape of the southern shore of the Tonino-Anivsky peninsula. But there has never been one on Cape Velikan, as it is quite hard to reach. Sheer cliffs, closely placed to the sea, as well as the thick pine forest, make it difficult to hunt or do anything else in the vicinity of the cape. Despite its inaccessibility, a Japanese settlement was once established a few kilometers away from Velikan (though nothing remains of this settlement today). The closest populated place is Pikhtovy village, which lies approximately 15 kilometers away.

Commercial activity is forbidden on the territory of the natural monument, as are visits to the bird colonies from May 1 to August 1. Hunt, fish, and gathering wild plants require special permits.

It is widely thought that the cape was named by Ivan Kruzenshtern. Passing the cape on his ship «Nadezhda», Kruzenshtern was amazed by the beauty and magnificence of the cliffs. According to another version, the origin of the name is the Japanese word «uerikon»  This was the name the Japanese gave to this cape at the time of the occupation.

Cape Ptichiy, located within the territory of the Cape Velikan Natural Monument, is another unique place. Along the shore there are many bird colonies along the rock outcroppings, which form numerous arches and stone bridges.   The territory of the Cape is home to many plants listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation (and of Sakhalinskaya Oblast), including  Sargent juniper and aralia. Even the stones near the shore are covered with curly long stems of hardy grasses, including rhodiola rosea. The conifer and fir forests are inhabited by the wood lemming and the Sakhalin musk deer (both species are listed in the Sakhalinskaya Oblast Red Book). On the shore of the Cape, the most colorful representatives of the aviarian world are seagulls, cormorants, and swifts.

Inside the natural monument, sightseeing excursions are permitted as well as scientific observation expeditions by special permit. Collecting mushrooms and berries is also allowed with a permit.

Sightseeing tours include the rock formations commonly known as the Finger, the Warrior, the Elephant, and the Arch. These natural sculptures are situated in amazingly curved bays, while mountains covered in impassable taiga approach the sea from the shore.

Ministry of Sports, Tourism, and Youth Policy of Sakhalin oblast

Site on the map

Address: Sakhalin Oblast, Korsakovskiy Region, southern shore of the Sea of Okhotsk

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