Kurils/Iturup: Goryachie Hot Springs

Goryachie Hot Springs are a good 2-hour jont on a hardly-drivable road along the steep slopes of the Baranskiy Volcano – serious 4WD-ing is involved. But the reward is immense – the most amazing natural not springs I have ever been to. The facilities are almost nonexistent, but the river of hot water creates many waterfalls and natural pools along its way down a steep mountain slope. The water is crystal clear and has a greenish hue due to very high sulphuric content, which you can smell as well. It’s quite acidic and you can feel the stinging when getting out of the water and when it gets into your eyes. The temps are about 38-40C. You can lie in a natural bath surrounded with hot waterfalls and admire the distant volcanoes – absolute paradise at the edge of the world (quite literally)!