Solovetsky Islands

Solovetsky Islands

The Solovetsky Islands are considered to be one of the main sights in the north of Russia.

Solovki (Solovetsky Islands) are located in the western part of the White Sea, less than 100 miles far from the Arctic Circle, consisting of 6 big and numerous small islands. The largest island is the Big Solovetsky Island which is famous for medieval monastery.

There are plenty of historical and natural sights on the islands. Please find the list of the main ones below:

Main sights of Solovetsky

Solovetsky Monastery and Fortress

The famous monastery was founded in the first half of the 15th century. Now it is the main attraction of the islands. The monastery is surrounded by boulder towers and walls, which are six meters thick.

Solovetsky village

A lot of historical sights have been preserved on the territory of the village, for example, “Herring hut” - a house of fishermen, a water dock, a monastery’s hydro-power station, a monastery pier, chapels, a bath-house built with boulders, tar works and a cellar.

Sekirnaya Hill

There is Svyato-Voznesensky (Ascension) Skete on the top of Sekirnaya Hill. The Church of Ascension also serves as a lighthouse. In the 1930’s, the most severe punishment cells were located in this church. In the memory of people executed there the Commemoration Cross was later erected at the foot of the hill.

Big Zayatsky Island

It is located southwest of the village of Solovetsky. There is the 18th-century St. Andrew's Skete, prehistoric labyrinths and Russia's first stone dock harbor on the island. The landscape of the island is very picturesque. A boat trip to Big Zayatsky Island, in our opinion, is one of the most interesting one on the Solovetsky islands.

Solovetsky Botanical Garden and Makary Hermitage

Makary Hermitage was founded in 1822. The summer house of Archimandrite Makary of 1882 has been preserved. Since the late 19th century, various plants have been grown here, and now there are 1626 species.

Big Muksalma Island

On the Big Muksalma Island situated to the southeast of the Big Solovetsky, monks used to keep their cattle. A boulder dam was constructed to connect two islands in the 19th century. This outstanding engineering facility is about one-kilometre-long and up to 6 metres wide. There a forest path from the village to the dam.

Solovetsky Gulag museum

The exhibition of the museum is devoted to the period of 1920-39, when Solovetsky Camp of Special Purpose and Solovetsky Prison of Special Purpose functioned. Solovetsky Gulag history museum is housed in a former barrack of 1929.

“Negotiation” Stone

It was put on the shore of the south-western part of Solovetsky Island in memory of the successful defence against British ships during the Crimean War. The skirmish between the Islands garrison and HMS Brisk and HMS Miranda took place in July 1854.

The Belugas Cape

It is located to the north-west of the village. Starting from the end of June till the beginning of August it is possible to watch belugas in the wild.

Solovetsky lakes and canals

There are hundreds of lakes on the island. In the 16th Century, monks started to connect lakes by means of canals. Nowadays, a good active tour by a paddle boat is available.

It is possible to get to the Solovetsky Islands by boat or by plane.

Getting to the Solovetsky Islands by boat.

Small ships depart from the pier in Rabocheostrovsk (port of Kem) and from Belomorsk. Departures from Rabocheostrovsk are daily from June till August, from Belomorsk - from the middle of June till August.

Timetable (subject to change)

Kem

Solovetsky arrival / departure

Kem

08:00 M/S «Vassiliy Kosyakov»

10:00 / 18:00

20:00

11:00 M/S «Metel»

13:00 / 16:00

18:00

Belomorsk

Solovetsky arrival / departure

Belomorsk

08:30 M/S «Sapfir»

12:30 / 18:30

22:30

In case of a heavy storm or thick fog boat trips between Kem, Belomorsk and Solovetsky can be delayed and even cancelled.

Getting to the Solovetsky Islands by plane.

There is an airport on the Solovetsky Islands (ИАТА CSH). As of 2020 the airport is under reconstruction.

Grand Karelia Tour: St. Petersburg - Solovetsky

Grand Karelia Tour: St. Petersburg - Solovetsky

8 days / 7 nights

Discover the most interesting sights of North-European Russia

  • Travel to Valaam, Kizhi and Solovetsky Islands
  • Visit monasteries and museums
  • Observe natural sites and Gulag objects
  • Taste local food and take a vintage steam train
  • Small group tour for up to 12 people

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