Solovki and Kizhi tour

Sun 8 Days Night 7 Nights Nature sights Nature Un UNESCO Allyear End of May - September

Tours Russian North Tours  Russia's Northern Havens

  This tour to the Solovetsky Islands and Kizhi Island is a unique trip deep into the Russian North on which you will see masterpieces of Northern Russian architecture and enthralling scenery. The Solovetsky Islands are just 140km from the Arctic Circle. You will follow the route taken by thousands of pilgrims and then by thousands of prisoners who were sent here during the darker period of the islands' history when the first Gulag camp was established here. Today though the unforgiving northern landscapes, the remoteness of the islands and the disconnection with ‘civilisation' are now drawing tourists here.

  You will also visit one of the most amazing examples of Russian wooden architecture – the Transfiguration Church on Kizhi Island. Imagine a 22-domed church, rising up on an island in an enormous lake among beautiful unspoilt natural surroundings. You can’t help but be impressed.

  This tour to the Solovetsky Islands and to Kizhi is planned so that you leave from Moscow by train, but it is also possible to travel by AN-24 plane via Arkhangelsk. In this case the days of your trip will depend on the flight which is only operated three times a week.


Moscow → Petrozavodsk → Kizhi → Kem → Rabocheostrovsk ⇔ Solovki 

 Total distance of the tour: 2,942km -  2,712km | 20km |  210km


 

 DAY1 | DEPARTING MOSCOW

 21:02 | Departure by premium train from Moscow's Leningradsky Station to Petrozavodsk.

 Duration: 12 hours


 DAY2 | PETROZAVODSK

 09:30 | Arrival in Petrozavodsk. Transfer to your hotel.

 Breakfast at your hotel.

 12:00 City tour around Petrozavodsk - the highlights of this tour include:

  • National Museum of the Republic of Karelia – the main regional museum in the republic. The museum has a unique collection of expositions dedicated to the history of the republic, its native people (the Karelians and the Veps) and its capital of Petrozavodsk. (CLOSED ON MONDAYS)
  • City Park and Lake Onega Embankment – all along the embankment various original sculptures have been unveiled which were gifts from Pertozavodsk’s twin cities. For example, the Tübingen Panno from its German twin, a sculpture of Fishermen from Duluth, Minnesota, the Wave of Love sculpture from Finland and the Tree of Wishes sculpture from the Swedes.
  • St Aleksandr Nevsky’s Cathedral – this eparchial cathedral was erected in 1832 next to the Aleksandrovsky Factory. In the Soviet years it was closed and only reopened in 1993. It then underwent restoration work and was eventually reconsecrated in 2002. The building was completed in the late-classical style. Next to the cathedral is a belfry holding eight bells.
  • Historical quarter of Petrozavodsk – here you will find some original buildings which were erected when the city was first built in the 19th century. This includes the Lazorev House, the Kuchersky House, a building of the governorate hospital with a chapel and a blacksmith's workshop.
  • Gubernatorsky Park – this is a popular place with locals and visitors alike. Near to its entrance there is a collection of items connected with metallurgic activities in Karelia and products made at the Aleksandrovsky Factory. In the centre of the park there is a statue of Gavril Derzgin, a poet who was also the first governor of the city.
 Duration: 3 hours |  Transportation: by a private car
 Free time in the city. 

 Night in Petrozavodsk.

• OPTIONAL EXTRA • PETROZAVODSK •

  Excursion to the Three Bear Zoo Complex
  • This three-hectare site in a forest on the bank of Lake Syamozero is home to bears, moose, raccoons, raccoon dogs, lynxes, wolves, polecats, chinchillas and arctic foxes. The complex is an ecological and scientific complex, which aims not to encroach on nature but to showcase in the best way possible the unique Karelian forest and its inhabitants.

Tour availability: daily 

 Duration: 4-5h |  Transportation: by a private car

      

PRICE PER GROUP 1-2 PAX 3-4 PAX 5-6 PAX 7-8 PAX
RUR 12784 16728 19992 23936

  Excursion to the Kivach Waterfall
  • One of the largest cascade waterfalls in Europe, it is located in the Kivach National Park. According to one legend the falls were formed when two river-sisters, Suna and Shuya, didn't want to be separated and flowed next to each other. But Suna got tired and let her sister get ahead. When she woke up she was shocked at how far Shuya had travelled, and so Suna set off in pursuit knocking down everything in her way. As a result the boulders which Suna broke through formed the waterfall. It is one of the most popular sights in Karelia where you can enjoy beautiful views of both the waterfall and a Karelian forest, plus you can also try some Karelian cuisine and fresh trout shashlyk. 

Tour availability: daily

 Duration: 4-5h |  Transportation: by a private car

      

PRICE PER GROUP 1-2 PAX 3-4 PAX 5-6 PAX 7-8 PAX
RUR 10880 12920 14280 16320

   

  Excursion to the Ethnographic Museum of the Veps
  • A native people of Karelia. This is the only museum in Russia which details the culture of the Veps, a Finno-Ugric people who only number about 6,000 worldwide. Nevertheless there are attempts to protect the Vespian culture, language and traditions. During the tour you will see Vespian villages and their way of life and traditions.

Tour availability: daily except Mondays

 Duration: 4-5h |  Transportation: by a private car 

      

PRICE PER GROUP 1-2 PAX 3-4 PAX 5-6 PAX 7-8 PAX
RUR 15912 17272 18632 20672

   Kantele House
  • This is one of the oldest national ensembles in Karelia which performs music, songs and dances of the Karelian natives - Russians, Karelians, Veps, Finns and Ingrians. The kantele is an ancient instrument of the Karelian and Finnish people, somewhat reminiscent of the Russian gusli. During the Excursion you will learn about the history of the instrument and visit a workshop where they make kanteles. Of course you will also get to hear a performance on this unusual instrument. This excursion lasts for an hour and is RUB 6,000 for up to 20 people.

        

PRICE PER GROUP 1-2 PAX 3-4 PAX 5-6 PAX 7-8 PAX
RUR 10880 11560 12512 13600

 DAY3 | KIZHI ISLAND

  Breakfast at your hotel.

 Transfer to Onega Dock.

  Departure of the boat to Kizhi Island.
 Duration: 1h15

 Excursion around Kizhi Island - the highlights of this tour include:

  • Transfiguration Church - this is the most famous and outstanding building of the architectural ensemble. It dates from 1714 and features 22 domes located at various levels. At 27 metres high, it is the height of a 11-storey accommodation block. It is built out of wood and it is often said to have been made without a single nail (although the tiles of the domes do have nails to hold them in place strongly). The church’s iconostasis has four rows and consists of 102 icons, it is believed to date from between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Two of the oldest icons - Transfiguration and Intercession - date from the end of the 17th century.
  • Intercession Church – this church was built in 1764 and has eight domes surrounding a central dome. These domes are small in proportion so as not to obscure the neighbouring cathedral. The original iconostasis of the Intercession church has been lost, but in the 1950s restoration work was carried out and icons from the Onega region from the 17th and 18th centuries were installed here.
  • Resurrection of Lazarus Church - this church was built sometime between the 14th and 16th century, making it one of the oldest in the Russian North. It was brought to Kizhi from the former Muromsky Monastery in 1959.
  • Ovshevnevo House – this 19th century house was brought to Kizhi from the nearby village of Ovshevnevo. The large two-storey house combines both residential and service premises to meet the needs of the harsh climate and the way of life of local peasants. This type of house is characteristic for 19th century peasant houses around Lake Onega.

 Duration: 1h30 |  Transportation: walking excursion

 Free time on the island. 

 Transfer back to Petrozavodsk.

 Duration: 1h15

 02:00 | Transfer to the railway station.

 02:55 | Overnight train to Kem

 Duration: 8h


 DAY4 | KEM - SOLOVKI

  10:55 | Arrival in Kem. Your driver will wait for you next to your carriage with a sign saying . Transfer to Rabocheostrovsk.

 Distance: 10km

 12:30 | Ship Departure to Bolshoy Solovetsky Island.

 Distance: 45km |  Duration: 2h

 

 14:30 | Arrival at the island's port. Transfer to your hotel.

 

 Free time on the island. 

 

 Night on the island. 

 DAY5 | SOLOVKY 

  Breakfast at your hotel.

 

  Excursion around the island - the highlights of this tour include: 
  • Solovetsky Monastery – perhaps the most beautiful monastery in Russia, whose walls are built out of giant boulders. The first Special Designation Camp was located here under Stalin and victims of his repression were sent here. 
  • Transfiguration Cathedral – the main cathedral in the monastery, which dates from 1566. The walls of the cathedral reach five metres in places and the corner domes look like towers of a fortress. In fact its architectural design is unique among Russian cathedrals.
  • Refectory – this represents the first stone building of the monastery, dating from 1557.
  • Solovetsky Prison – from the 16th century onwards prisoners were kept at this remote monastery and up to the Revolution around 500 people were held here. Some of the most famous inmates here include: Archpriest Silvester, who fell from favour with Ivan the Terrible, Petro Kalnishevsky, the last hetman of the Zoporozhian Host of Cossacks, Count Pyotr Tolstoy, a statesman of the time of Peter the Great who was banished here when Peter II came to the throne, and Aleksandr Gorozhansky, a member of the Decembrists.
  • Solovetsky Mill – considered one of the oldest surviving stone watermills in Russia.
  • Annunciation Church – this church dates from 1601 and is the only church whose iconostasis and frescos have survived.

 Duration: 3h |  Transportation: walking excursion

 Free time on the island. 

 

 Night in the Island.

• OPTIONAL EXTRA • SOLOVKI ISLAND •

  Excursion to the Botanical Garden.
  • The gardens were founded in the 19th century by monks of the monastery in a part of the island which has its own microclimate 1.5 degrees warmer than the rest of the island. More than 30 kinds of trees and bushes are grown here as well as almost 500 sorts of decorative, medicinal and edible plants. This includes cedars, apple trees, cherry trees, lilacs and roses.

        

PRICE PER GROUP 1-2 PAX 3-4 PAX 5-6 PAX 7-8 PAX
RUR 12920 13400 14280 15640

 Duration: 2 hours |  Transportation: by a private car

  Excursion to Sekirnaya Gora and Voznesensky Skit
  • Sekirnaya Hill is the highest point on the island. It was here that monastic life on the island started as it is considered to be the place where the monks Savvaty and German (the founders of the Solovetsky Monastery) first settled. The Voznesensky Skete’s church is unique in the fact that it also serves as a lighthouse. The lighthouse began operating in 1867 and today still shows sailors the route. Its lights are visible at night from up to 60km away. In Soviet times the building was used as a cell for solitary confinement. The prisoners were kept in the Ascension Church, which was not heated, and were forced to sleep directly on the stone floor. At the foot of the hill, prisoners were executed on mass, and human remains are still being uncovered here.

 Duration: 2 hours | Transportation: by a private car

  

PRICE PER GROUP 1-2 PAX 3-4 PAX 5-6 PAX 7-8 PAX
RUR 10880 11560 12920 14280


 DAY6 | SOLOVKY 

      Breakfast at your hotel.
     
     Free time on the island. 

     18:20 | Transfer from the hotel to the port.

     19:00 | Departure of ship to Rabocheostrovsk.

     Distance: 45km |  Duration: 2h

     21:00 | Arrival in Rabocheostrovsk. Check-in at your hotel in Kem. Night in Kem.


     DAY7 | TRAIN TO MOSCOW 

     05:30 | Transfer from Rabocheostrovsk to the railway station in Kem. 

     06:30 | Departure of the train for Moscow.

     Day and Night in the train.


     DAY8 | ARRIVAL IN MOSCOW 

     09:45 | Arrival at Moscow’s Leningradsky Railway Station.

    • Optional excursions should be booked before the start of the tour to schedule the itinerary.
    • This trip can be organised from the end of May to September. Best time to travel on this route: from the end of June to mid-August.
    • It is possible to get to the Solovetsky Islands (or back) by plane via Arkhangelsk.
    • You should take into account that there are no luxurious hotels, restaurants, bars or restaurants on the Solovetsky Islands.
    • It is recommended to bring sea-sickness medicine with you in case the crossing is rough. In addition anti-mosquito spray is recommended.
    • The programme includes a visit to a working Orthodox monastery, so you should wear the appropriate attire when visiting: for men this means no shorts and women should cover their heads and wear a long skirt covering their knee – and not trousers.
    • There are only a few places which serve food on the island so we recommend you book accommodation with breakfast and evening meal.
    • The tour is available in    - other languages upon request.
    • During the high season (July - August) and on public holidays we recommend you book the tour in advance as hotel accommodation on the island is very limited.

    • CANCELLATION POLICY 

    DATE OF CANCELLATION

    CANCELLATION CHARGES

    FROM 60 TO 45 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE 10%
    FROM 44 TO 15 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE 30%
    FROM 14 TO 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE 50%
    LESS THAN 7 DAYS BEFORE THE DEPARTURE 100%

     COST OF THE TOUR WITH 3* HOTELS 

    PRICE PER GROUP 1-2 PAX 3-4 PAX 5-6 PAX 7-8 PAX
    RUR 98451 171470 244625 320772

     COST OF THE TOUR WITH 3+* HOTELS 

    PRICE PER GROUP 1-2 PAX 3-4 PAX 5-6 PAX 7-8 PAX
    RUR 116506 207580 298790 392992

    Included
    • Private transport service according to the programme
    • Private guide service according to the programme
    • Entrance tickets to museums.
    • Train and boat tickets according the programme
    • Accommodation in a hotel of a category of your choice, central location, standard DBL rooms with breakfast.
    • 24h emergency support during the tour
    • Visa support documents
    Not included
    • Transfer from your hotel in Moscow to the railway station and back.
    • Lunch and evening meals on the island.
    • Tips for a guide or driver
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