The White Sea is an interesting tourist destination in northwestern Russia.

The White Sea is located in the north-west of Russia. It washes the coast of Karelia, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions. The total area of the sea is about 95,000 sq. km, the coastline is about 3000 km. The average depth is 67 meters; the maximum depth is 340 meters. Salinity is 24-31 ppm.

In summer, the temperature of the upper layer of water in coastal zones can rise above 20 degrees Celsius. In winter, most of the sea is covered with ice. The sea does not freeze completely due to strong currents and tides.

The main tourist attractions of the White Sea

The Solovetsky Islands are the main attraction in the area..It is the home for the world famous Solovetsky Monastery, as well as for a significant number of other attractions, including the sketes on Sekirnaya Gora, the islands of Anzer and Bolshaya Muksalma, a church and stone labyrinths on Big Zayatsky Island, Botanical garden, lake-canal system on Big Solovetsky Island and others.

Not far from the Karelian coast, there are the Kuzova Islands. The main islands of the archipelago are the Russian Kuzov, 123.4 meters above the sea level, and the German Kuzov, 117.8 meters above the sea level. The hills on the islands offer picturesque views of the beautiful archipelago. On the Kuzova Islands, primitive and medieval cultural objects were discovered, including ancient settlements and two stone labyrinths. Popular sightseeing sites are seids - groups of stones and individual stones, presumably Saami shrines.

Kandalaksha Bay is located in the north-western part of the White Sea. It is also notable for archaeological sites - ancient labyrinths, also called by the locals “babylons”. A significant part of the territory of the bay is occupied by Kandalaksha Nature Reserve.

Ecotourism in the White Sea

We offer several options for eco tours in this region.

White whale (beluga) watching

Beluga whales are found in various parts of the sea. The most accessible place for observing belugas in the wild is the Big Solovetsky Island. A group of white whales can be seen every year from the second half of June to the beginning of August in the area of Beluga Cape, under favorable weather conditions and at low tide. You can get to the Beluga Cape on foot by hiking the ecological trail, by boat, or by an all-terrain vehicle along the littoral area of the shoreline.

Seal watching

The White Sea is the habitat of the bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus), the harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) and the Arctic ringed seal (Phoca hispida).

Good observation opportunities are available in the Kandalaksha Bay area. In May, harp seals can be seen directly on the coast near the city of Kandalaksha, where they are fed by local residents (scientists do not recommend this).

Ringed seals and bearded seals are clearly visible when they lie and rest on the ice. At the beginning of May, the tourist center in the Karelian village of Chupa organizes ecological tours by high-speed “Zodiac” boats, and tourists can observe and photograph seals and sea birds.

Harp seal or Greenland seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus). In early March seal pups have just been born and have a beautiful white fur (then it darkens). Helicopter excursions to observe seals and their pups on the ice are sometimes arranged from Arkhangelsk or nearby settlements.

Bird watching

On the islands of the sea and on the coast, one can see many birds, including the white-tailed eagle, eiders, oystercatcher, Arctic tern, great skua, silver gull and other gulls, various species of geese and ducks, and other birds.

Getting here

Travelling to the White Sea

1.       By plane to the airports of Arkhangelsk and Solovetsky Islands.

2.       By train. The main railway stations near the White Sea are the stations of Arkhangelsk, Kem, Kandalaksha and Belomorsk.

3.       By car.

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