The island is 27 km long and its width varies from 5 to 13 km. The maximum height is only 412 m (Mount Shikotan). The island has a hilly terrain and the mildest climate among the Kuril Islands, with humid and cool summers (the temperature in July and August is around +13°С...+15°C), and snowy winters with thaws.
Shikotan is separated from the Kunashir Island by the South Kuril Strait (the distance between these islands is 57 km). There are small uninhabited islands in the water area of Shikotan, the largest of which are Aivazovsky, Gnechko, Grieg, Dalniy, Devyaty Val, Farkhutdinov, Kapitsa, Sredny. About 20 km to the south-west is the Lesser Kuril Chain. This archipelago covers an area of about 100 square kilometres and is usually considered to include a group of islands separated by shallow straits. Among the largest are the islands of Polonsky, Oskolki, Zelyony, Demin, Yuri, Anuchin, Tanfilyev.
The main settlement on Shikotan is the settlement of Malokurilsky, located on the shores of the bay of the same name on the northwest coast.
And the main attraction of the island is Cape Krai Sveta (Edge of the World).
It is located in the northeast of the island (about 10 km from the settlement of Malokurilskoye). The Cape protrudes into the Pacific Ocean for almost a kilometre, with cliffs 40-50 metres high. Feeling a strong wind and looking into the endless blue expanse, you can really feel being on the edge of the world.
Next to the Cape is the Bezymyannaya Bay, where the Soviet film "The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe" starring Leonid Kuravlyov was shot.
In general, Shikotan is famous for its high banks, indented by beautiful rocky bays.
Among them, Tserkovnaya Bay stands out. The path there lies through hills and mud volcanoes, and a breathtaking view opens from its coast to the islands of Aivazovsky and the Devyatyi Val. The road starts from the village of Krabozavodskoye (9 km from Malokurilskoye). Part of the path can be overcome by SUV, but after that you'll have to walk. Nearby are the extinct volcanoes of Notoro (357 m) and Tomari (356 m).
The Snezhkov Bay is relatively close to here (3 km from the village of Krabozavodskoye, then walk about an hour to the mountain pass, and then another 1 hour to the sea shore).
One should know that the island of Shikotan is earthquake-prone and tsunamis are possible near the coast. Waves can reach 10 m in the southeast of the island (Dimitrov, Tserkovnaya, Snezhkov, Mayachnaya and others bays). In the northeast, the waves usually do not exceed 3 m (Krabovaya, Zvezdnaya, Malokurilskaya and others bays).
How to get to Shikotan
There are several ways to get to Shikotan.
One way is by water by taking the Igor Farkhutdinov ferry, which operates on the Korsakov - Kuril Islands line (Kunashir, Shikotan, Iturup).
You can buy tickets for the ship two months before the start of the trip at https://rfbus.ru/. You can also buy a ticket on Sakhalin at the box office (address: 21 Kommunisticheskiy Avenue, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk; tel. +7 (4242) 22-79-58).
Local travel agencies can buy a ticket for you for a fee, and they also offer package tours to one or several of the Kuril Islands. They will take care of all the formalities, including arranging for a border pass to the islands for the tourist .
You can also get to Shikotan by helicopter. Air transportation between the islands is carried out by Aviashelf. Tickets are sold on the Aurora Airlines website at https://www.flyaurora.ru/ and at its ticket offices. You can also buy tickets at the box offices of the Aviashelf agents at the following addresses:
- Kunashir Island, Yuzhno-Kurilsk (Mendeleevo) airport building, ticket office;
- Shikotan Island, Krabozavodskoye, Torgovaya st., 2 (administration building), office of the Municipal Unitary Enterprise Shikotan ZhEU, ticket office;
- Iturup Island, Kurilsk (Yasny) airport building, ticket office.
You can get detailed information on the airline's website at https://www.aviashelf.com/ or call +7 (4242) 510-580.