At the moment I’m working, with progressing desperation, on finding a ride for a fellow who needs to get from Salla to Kandalaksha on Monday, July 16. Here are some notes on my progress, shared in hope they may be useful to travellers.
It turns out that most passenger vans make their runs towards the weekend, leaving Thursdays or Fridays, and the traffic is generally down in the summer. Last time I undertook a search like that on March 2 2018. Here is some additional information:
- https://uslugio.com/kandalaksha/6/31/mikroavtobus#back(lots of ads by private operators here)
A viable option is getting a private car to pick you up. The costs I’ve been quoted are in the range of 10 to 20 thousand roubles ($160 to $320) for a 200km ride from Salla to Kandalaksha. Given the need and cost for the Finnish visa and international auto insurance for the driver the rate appears entirely reasonable.
Still, there is nothing like a regular bus route. There are misleading pieces of information still floating around (eg. http://www.kolatravel.com/transport_connections.htm) but they appear to be ghosts of past glory.
Lots of announcements of the new railroad link to be built but no sign of real activity at the moment.