Russian North: St.Petersburg & Solovetsky Islands (8 days)

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Fremad Russia invites you to the Solovetsky Islands!

Located just south of the Arctic Circle, the Solovetsky Islands are the place of mesmerizing beauty. Sights of the Solovetsky Islands are the unique nature of the Russian North, untouched by civilization. The entire territory of the islands, as well as a five-kilometre zone in coastal waters are Russia Nature reserve.
Solovetsky Archipelago is not just a point on the map. Once it was the land of the Earth, forgotten by all, where monks, cossacks, or even robbers ran from the world, and once was the capital of the Northern Lands, rich and powerful.

On the Solovetsky Islands there are many objects created by man from the III millennium before the Common Era to the present day. The main property of Solovki is a unique complex of defensive, religious and civil buildings scattered around the islands. Tourists also come here to see with their own eyes such mysterious ancient buildings as dolmens, barrows and stone labyrinths. The main center of attraction is the Solovetsky Monastery. The historical and architectural ensemble of the ancient monastery are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The word "Solovki" is also associated with the Stalin GULAG. This is where the story of the creation of the very first concentration camp in Russia begins.

We offer to combine St. Petersburg tour with remarkable journey to the Russian North with its untouched nature, historical sites and amazing stories! We would love to show to you the very best of St.Petersburg: The Hermitage, Peterhof, Peter and Paul fortress and other St.Petersburg places of interest. And next with a comfortable train we will take you to the Solovki, a completely unique place where significant milestones of the history of our country are intertwined. All the tour you will be accompanied by experienced local guide. We will take care about accommodation, museums and everything to make your journey truly memorable.  

Prices are upon request.

Tour Highlights

Solovetsky Monastery

Solovetsky Monastery is a UNESCO heritage and it was the greatest citadel of Christianity in the Russian North before being turned into a special Soviet prison and labor camp (1926–1939), which served as a prototype for the Gulag system. Situated on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea, the monastery braved many changes of fortune and military sieges. Its most important structures date from the 16th century.

Botanic Garden on Solovetsky Island.

Botanic Garden is located 4 kilometers to the north from the Solovetsky Kremlin. From three sides it is screened by the high hills, and warm air flows there from the south. As a result, there was formed a special climate making it possible for monks to grow water-melons and some other plants, ncharacteristic for the Russian North.

Sekiranya Hill on Solevtsky Island

Sekirnaya mountain may be the most tragic place not only on the Solovki but in the entire Russia. In the course of several centuries there was located one of the skits of the Solovetsky Monastery, and after the revolution of 1917 there was opened a punishment isolation cell – the site of mass executions of the prisoners of the Solovki prison camp.

Special Purpose Camp

During the excursion you will learn information about the stages in history of the Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp, the "mother of the GULAG" according to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. In 1926 the Camp was turned into a prison, partly because of the conditions which made escape nearly impossible and partly because the monastery was the only official prison in Russian empire.

Bolshoi Zayatsky Island

Bolshoi Zayatsky Island is a small island (1.25 km2), belonging to the group of Solovetsky Islands. It is covered with boulders, moss and large bushes. This small island has got 13 or 14 labyrinths as well as more than 850 heaps of boulders and numerous other stone settings (e.g. a unique stone Sun with radial spokes).

The State Hermitage Museum

For those wanting a greater insight into Russian culture and history, the Hermitage's extensive collection of artworks literally paints a picture of the nation's captivating past. In fact it's one of the largest and oldest museums in the world! The museum was founded in 1764 and nowadays, the Hermitage has about 2.7 million exhibits and displays a full range of world art.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Russia

Welcome to St. Petersburg. On your arrival, Fremad Russia will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Take some rest and prepare for an exciting sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg tomorrow!

Day 2: St. Petersburg

In the morning sightseeing tour “The "Golden Age" of St.Petersburg architecture” combined with visit to the Peter and Paul Fortress. In the afternoon enjoy excursion to the State Hermitage Museum.

Day 3: St. Petersburg

In the morning we will take you to the one of the most beautiful of former imperial estates, Peterhof with its gorgeous Lower park. Transfer to railway Station. Departure by night train St. Petersburg – Kem. Overnight in the train.

Day 4: Kem-Solovetsky Islands

In the morning arrival to Kem. Arrival to Kem in the morning. Transfer to the pier. Departure to Solovky by ferry. "Check in" at the hotel, lunch. Walking tour “History and Architecture of Solovetsky Monastery”. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 5: Solovetsky Islands

In the morning excursion to the Botanical Garden. Pcknic lunch. In the afternoon excursion to Sekiranya Hill. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 6: Solovetsky Islands- Kem

In the morning excursion to Bolshoi Zayatsky Island. Lunch and then we take boat back to Kem to take the train to St.Petersburg in the evening.

Day 7: St. Petersburg

Arrival to Saint-Petersburg. In the morning excursion to St.Isaak's Cathedral. Afternoon is free.

Day 8: Leaving St. Petersburg

This day marks the end of an unforgettable vacation to Russia. Check out from your hotel by 12:00 pm. Fremad Russia will transfer you to the airport/railway station.