Those going to Northwest Russia to see the Solovetsky Islands can go on flights to the Solovetsky Airport. This domestic gateway to the area can be found on the map at 65.02944 (latitude) and 35.733334 (longitude). It has an elevation point of 60 ft above sea level, with a runway about 4,921 ft long. Reports of a minor Russian navy presence have been reported, but this island airport serves commercial passengers looking to see one of the country's best-known monasteries.
Travellers landing on the airport will find that there is truly more to Northwest Russia than St Petersburg and Moscow. These islands on the White Sea tell of a mysterious and bloody history involving its most famous landmark and the Gulag prisoners in the area. Travellers going here will need to prepare for the cool weather to remain comfortable while touring the islands.
What to see & do
Travelers going to the Islands must stop by the Solovetsky Transfiguration Monastery. It is the most popular landmark in the island, starting when it was first established in 1429. This religious institution did not serve as a place of worship, though. It also housed the enclave which did not follow the Russian Orthodox Church, became a shelter against British warships, and a harsh prison for Soviet Union rebels. The monastery of today did not lost its structural beauty, which makes it a delight to explore for those who want to get a feel of one of Russia's most well-known buildings.
Those who want to see the legacy of the forced labour camps in the 1920s to 1930s should visit the former gulag barracks in the area. One can take part in a scheduled tour by registering at the tourist office. One must be able to know Russian to understand the explanation of the different stages of the gulag prison in Solovetsky. Displays featuring testimonies of gulag prisoners can also be found here with a short film after the tour, which depicts real events and propaganda in those dark times.
Another fascinating sight in the island is the Solovetsky labyrinth, just a bit of a distance away from the Solovki Hotel. The sight can be an intriguing one, especially as one wonders about the purpose of the labyrinth. Those exploring the area will find a botanical garden where the monks plant fruits and vegetables for centuries. One can marvel at the ingenious way the garden was built. Those who want to see beautiful beaches can visit Bolshoy Zayatsky Island. The place is also known for being a female solitary gulag encampment. Well known for its 13 stone labyrinths, one will also find here a wooden church, as well as stone burial mounds.
How to get around within Solovetsky Islands
Due to its abundance in lakes, the primary mode of transportation in Solovetsky Islands is by boat. Travellers can hire boats or group together to go across the canals. This mode of transport is also useful in traversing the way to the other isles and then go back after to the main island.
How to get there
Travellers going to Solovetsky Islands can reach it via Solovki Airport. To get here, one has to connect with Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg and then get a flight from Nordavia airline to Talagi Airport in Arkhangelsk. From here, one can catch a flight going down on Solovki Airport and start a vacation.
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