Solovki – Kizhi – Valaam

(6 days)

Day 1

Arrival in Kem’  by night train from SPB at 10:45 and meeting with local guide.

Transfer to the pier and departure for Solovki Islands by boat. The Solovetsky Islands or Solovki are an archipelago of 6 islands located in the Onega Bay of the White Sea, about 165 km from the Polar Circle.

Arrival on the island. Transfer to the hotel. Accommodation and lunch.

Excursion around the Monastery complex. You will listen to the history of the legendary Solovetsky Monastery that once was one of the richest monasteries of Russia, visit its functioning church, and go along its thick fortress walls that no enemy could overcome.
 

Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 2

Breakfast
 

Today you will visit the highest point of Big Solovetsky Island, Hill Sekirnaya. On the top of the hill is situated one of the strictest sketes of the island with a unique lighthouse church. During the GULAG time the skete was one of the cruelest of all the detention places for the inmates of the camp. Today it is a living skete again and a very tranquil place that offers a fantastic panorama view over the island.
 

Lunch
 

Excursion to the exposition devoted to the history of the Solovetsky Labor Camp (GULAG). After the October Revolution of 1917, the atheistic power declared war to the people and to the Church. In 1920, the Solovetsky Monastery was closed, and in 1923 there was a concentration camp, transformed in 1937 into the Solovetsky Special Purpose Prison.
 

Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 3

Breakfast/box breakfast

Transfer to the port. Transfer to Kem’ by slow boat. Arrival in Kem’ and transfer to Petrozavodsk. Lunch on the route.

Stop at Belomorkanal on the route. The White Sea–Baltic Canal is a ship canal in Russia opened in 1933. It connects the White Sea, in the Arctic Ocean, with Lake Onega, which is further connected to the Baltic Sea. The canal was constructed by forced labor of gulag inmates. 

Stop at Sandarmokh forest on the route. Sandarmokh is a forest where thousands of victims of Stalin's Great Terror were executed. Over 9,000 people of more than 58 nationalities were shot and buried there in 236 communal pits over a 14-month period in 1937 and 1938.A thousand of the victims were from the Solovki special prison .

Arrival in Petrozavodsk and transfer to hotel for accommodation. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 4

Breakfast
 

City tour of Petrozavodsk, the capital city of the Republic of Karelia  which stretches along the western shore of Lake Onega. Petrozavodsk is distinguished among other towns of North Russia by its Neoclassical architectural heritage.

Transfer to Kizhi island by boat. Arrival & lunch.

Excursion to Kizhi open-air museum. Kizhi is the pearl of wooden architecture. In fact, the entire territory of the island is a museum. The unique open-air museum-reserve contains architectural monuments, icon paintings and household items that have been created in Karelian, Veps and Russian villages for centuries.

Return to Petrozavodsk. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 5

Breakfast

Transfer to Sortavala. Arrival and transfer to Valaam island by boat. Arrival & lunch.

 

Excursion to Valaam. Valaam is a beautiful monastery, monastery on the islands. It’s an archipelago of 50 islands in Lake Ladoga, situated 22 km from the mainland with the Transfiguration Monastery located on it.

 

Return to Sortavala. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 6

Breakfast

Transfer to Petrozavodsk. Excursion to Ruskeala natural park on the route. Ruskeala Mountain Park is one of the brightest and most amazing places of the Northern Ladoga, annually attracting hundreds of thousands of Russian and foreign tourists. Here you can see a marble canyon that is now a lake with clear crystal water and another underground lake. 

Stop for lunch in Kinerma village.  Kinerma is a unique Karelian village, lost among the everlasting forests. It has been standing for more than 440 years. The uniqueness of Kinerma in its architecture. It is just a reference example of a traditional Karelian settlement.

Arrival to Petrozavodsk and TRF to railway station for departure by evening speed train to SPB at about 18:00.

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