Solovki of the GULAG era on the back of 500 rouble notes

Churches are without domes and crosses, the way they were when Solovki was used as a political prison from around 1923. Carelessness or purpose?

Kem’ was a bit too much even for Pasha, our connoisseur of gloom

kemA town in Karelia, on the White Sea, about halfway between Medvezhyegorsk (“Bear Mountain”) and Kandalaksha, 15km off the main highway. Populaton ~30 th. Any train to Murmansk will go through Kem’. About 32 hours from Moscow, 25 from Saint-Petersburg, and 2-3 from Kandalaksha.

Visit Kem’ if you are interested either in the Pomors (an ethnic or cultural group, a subset of Russians), or the history of Gulag. A boat to the Island of Solovki – a popular destination among the Orthodox Russians because of the Solovetski monastery – leaves from the Kem’ port.

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How to get to Solovki in the winter


The flights are Tue. 12:30 and Sunday at 13:10 from the Talagi airport. Time in air: 50 minutes. The airplane is AN-24. Winter schedule applies till March 26.

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Weather gone mad

Karelia, Petrozavodsk, Onegskoe Lake. +2C, rain. Photo by Igor Podgorny. Some time ago Pasha has come up with the “Winter is the Soul of Russia” concept. As always, he was late.

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Winter tour to the Solovetsky Islands

solovki_winterby Alexandra

The Union of Independent Guides offers a new two-day  snowmobile tour to the Solovetsky Islands.

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