Hauntingly beautiful, the World Heritage-listed Solovetsky Archipelago stretches across Onega Bay. Rare bird species, including the whooper swan, merlin and marsh harrier, are just some of the 190 migrating summer species. The impressive Solovetsky Monastery and Fortress was founded in 1436. The collection of ancient manuscripts draws pilgrims from around the world, while the remains of Stalin’s infamous camps of this Gulag Archipelago speak of darker times. An uneasy alliance between church and state means visits aren’t confirmed or assured.
Discovery: On your Scenic Discovery excursion, pending permission, land close beneath the monastery’s massive walls and tour the magnificent medieval towers, churches and prehistoric stone labyrinths. Paddle a kayak through the forest-bound lakes via interlinking channels, some dating back centuries, or take a birdwatching and nature walk to spot some of the many migrating species.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner